The Mehler Trans-Alp tent is a compact, lightweight tent designed to be held in place with the assistance of a mountain bike. Because the tent has no poles, it is supported by a mountain bike which is pushed into the center of the tent and held in place with three staked-down guidelines.
Watch the video below to get my thoughts on this unique tent:
Benefits Of This Tent:
The Mehler Trans-Alp has a lot of things going for it. First of all, the tent is extremely compact and lightweight when compared with most other tents of the same size. The size and weight of this tent is decreased by 1) removing the need for poles and 2) removing the external rainfly found on most modern tents. What this means, however, is that the bicycle MUST be used in order to hold the tent in place, and condensation can be a main concern, as the lack of a rainfly means there is a high-chance of condensation build up when you get inside the tent.
The other big benefit of this tent is it’s spaciousness. While the tent is rather small when inside it’s stuff sack, the Trans-Alp is quite large once it is set up. You could easily fit two people inside this tent, or have one person sleeping on one side of the tent and a whole lot of gear on the other side. The tent is long enough to fit someone who measures at least 6 feet 6 inches in length and even a tall person like myself (I’m 6 foot 1 inch tall) could sit up inside the tent and feel totally comfortable. This is a feature not seen in many other lightweight tents of this size.
Drawbacks Of This Tent:
While the overall idea behind this tent is a fun one, it’s overall construction is poorly executed.
My first main concern with this tent is the material it is made out of. It’s a low-quality fabric with low-quality stitching. When placing the tent back in it’s stuff sack for the very first time, I ripped the stitching on the stuff sack and instantly ruined it. Since the stuff-sack is made out of the same fabric as the tent itself, this is a bad sign for the quality of the tent itself.
Other smaller problems with the tent include its need for so many tent stakes (11 to be exact), its lack of a rain-fly and internal ventilation, and the fact that bicycle pedals need tent to whack you when you do finally crawl inside the tent.
The biggest problem with this tent’s design, however, is he fact that you have to lower your bicycle’s seat post every single day in order to use the tent. While lowering your seat post each and every day might not seem like that big of a deal, if you are anything like me, you can work for days to get your seat post into just the right position. Once you get your seat/saddle fit just right, the last thing you want to do is move it around and ruin all the hard work you’ve just put into positioning your seat/saddle correctly. For me, this is the #1 reason not to use this tent.
While the idea behind this tent is interesting, it’s a low quality product with a below-average design. I would not recommend this tent and don’t plan on using it for any type of serious bike tour (although I might use it for short overnight adventures near my home).
My Overall Rating: 3 Out Of 10
Review Status: This tent was sent to Bicycle Touring Pro at no cost for the purpose of this review.