We’re not massive fans of camping here at Bikemagic but we’ve done our fair of sleeping under canvas at various mountain bike events over the years, and as a result we know how well designed products can make the whole weekend a far more enjoyable experience.
So with a few mountain bike weekend events on the horizon this summer, we’ve been dragging out our camping gear. It’s not a pretty sight, or smell. Fortunately, someone must have been reading our minds as a box of fresh new camping equipment landed with a thump on the floor beside the Bikemagic editorial desk this morning.
First out of the box is the GSI Personal Java Press. We always need a hot mug of strong coffee before we can even thinking about cycling, and the Java Press should make brewing a passable coffee much easier. It’s essentially a cafetiere, and neatly the plunger gubbins dismantle to make packing away easier. There’s an insulated mug hidden inside too, with a Sip-It lid for avoiding spillage when you’re tinkering with your bike with a spanner I none hand, and your coffee in the other. It costs £30.
We all like a little home comfort, and while not a pocket sprung mattress the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir should be fine for one or two nights. It packs up really small, as the photo shows, so it won’t abuse much of the space in your car when loading up, and is self-inflating. It costs £125.
Usually we raid the kitchen cupboards for plates and cutlery, but the Sea to Summit range of pop-out plates, bowls and cups is just the solution we’ve been looking for. They’re made from food grade silicone bonded to rigid bases (which can double up as a chopping board) and take up little space when folded flat for storage, but open up to making eating your pasta so much easier. Prices start from £10.
Lastly, the Vango Beta 450 tent. It’s a four-man tent so plenty of space for you and your mates, or more likely just plenty of space for all the gear, food and clothing that will undoubtedly spill out of your car into the tent. Or is that just us?
It’s based around a tunnel design and boasts a huge porch area with entrances on both sides – they claim the porch area is big enough to store your bike. Other nice features include clear windows, reflective webbing (making finding your tent when stumbling back after the inevitable pasta party a little easier), pre-attached guy lines and an easy pitch design.
Take a closer look at the gear in the photo gallery just below these words.
All these products are available from www.cotswoldoutdoor.com