Mehler Adventure Trans-Alp Bicycle Tent

Bicycle holding up tent

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

tent stakes and tie down string

meyler trans alp bike tent

bicycle doesn't fit in tent properly

tall man sitting inside his meyler bike tent

erect bicycle tent

Review Status: This tent was sent to Bicycle Touring Pro at no cost for the purpose of this review.


6 thoughts on “Mehler Adventure Trans-Alp Bicycle Tent

  1. Jimbo says:

    I first thought this was a tent just to garage your bike while on tour…but that’s what nylon cover or cheap tarps are for. I think you’re being pretty generous with a 6/10 rating. Even though I haven’t personally tested it, I cannot see this tent as being practical–at all. For starters, the weight savings of no-poles isn’t probably much. I’ll bet there are 1-3 man thru-hiking tents that are lighter and maybe bigger than this one (and they only need 4 or less stakes. Is the Trans-Alp made of sil-nylon? A good quality tent should never rip simply by handling. What’s the weight? Size? Freestanding tents are getting lighter and need no guidelines, or even stakes. Sometimes the ground is too hard for either. And then there’s the ease of set-up. I can’t see that being easy pitch, parking the bike in there. Moving my seat post is a pain. And if your solo, you’re forced to pick a side. Two of you? Your divided. Dumb. Bike wet? Tires muddy? So is the middle of your tent floor as well as your sleeping bag, etc, no doubt. Certainly wouldn’t want to set this thing up during a rain storm. Ouch! I know I’d smash limbs into the pedals every single time. That alone would be a deal-breaker for me. Sorry. And it doesn’t look anymore spacious than my 2-man Kelty Tour-lite…which is little too snug with two. And what if u want to do a day-hike? Either hide bike in tent, or lock it up? I want to lock it…which brings me to you can’t set this tent up, then ride into town for dinner. Everyone does that at least once on a tour. IMHO, this tent is a bad idea. Maybe it would be better as a bike+gear vestibule for groups. And the cost? Don’t think I wanna know…Sorry, man.

  2. cycle2kenya says:

    This looks like a great way to keep your bike and gear safe at night because you are sleeping with it in your tent. So it would be a great tent for us to use on our trip to Kenya. It also seems like it would be smaller and lighter than most other tents?
    Do you think the safety benefits outway some of the negatives that you pointed out? Or are there other light weight tents that are far superior?

    • Bicycle Touring Pro says:

      I think it is a good idea with poor execution. The idea of keeping your bicycle inside the tent with you at night might be a good one. But in this case, the design of the tent (it’s lack of a rain-fly and proper ventilation & the fact that it doesn’t work with every size mountain bike) is a major reason not to purchase it. It’s a cool little novelty tent, but for long expeditions I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

  3. Bicycle Touring Pro says:

    Ha. Joan. That is one of the strangest comments ever here on Bicycle Touring Pro. The point of the tent being inside the tent with you is two-fold. 1) The tent is inside the tent with you, so you don’t have to worry about it getting stolen while you are sleeping at night, but most importantly 2) the tent is that much lighter to carry on your bicycle because it has no poles and is instead being held up by the bicycle itself. So that is the idea behind a tent like this. Unfortunately, in this case, it is just a cheap tent with a number of different problems that make it something I would not recommend.

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