Dome Tent SKU: HDL-10010
Available through Harley-Davidson dealers
I remember my very first camping trip like it was yesterday and not be-cause it was fun. I was a Girl Scout for one hellish year, which included one campout. My friend and I, being some-what geeky, ended up tenting with the troop leader, so you would think that she would know what she was doing, but when it started raining and the rain came through the tent walls and then part of the tent fell over, I knew we were in trouble. I did not go camping again for many years after that.
I did learn one thing from my bad camping experience: Make sure you have the proper equipment. The Harley-Davidson Dome Tent fits into that category. It is well made and easy to put up, which means a lot to me. It is bright Harley orange and has some very tastefully placed Bar & Shield logos, including one on the floor of the tent, but best of all, it has a vestibule, which you need to see to appreciate.
The tent is packaged in its own bag with a separate, smaller bag for the tent stakes (14 of them) and a bag for the shock-corded fiberglass frames, which included two for the tent, one for the fly and one for the vestibule. It is a snap to set up and once it is, it is just as easy to attach the vestibule. There are plenty of tie-down points on the tent but I think it could use one more on the vestibule for more stability and maybe another frame pole for the same reason.
The tent is big enough at 8′ x 7′ to sleep four people, but you better know them well. For me two is the perfect number in a tent. The center height at 52″ is not tall enough to stand up in but you also did not feel claustrophobic while inside. The reinforced floor keeps the elements out and it has front and rear doors with mesh for insect protection and flow-through ventilation plus inside zipper storm flaps. However, the zippers only zipped from top to bottom. I like to be able to zip from either direction, but that’s not a showstopper.
The fly attaches with side release buckles for easy setup and it has tension adjustment and “clearview” windows for extra light and visibility.
The 8′4″ x 8′7″ vestibule is large enough to fit a bike inside, although I think you would have a tough time fitting a fully loaded bagger. You can also use it for a living room, as it provides some shade or storage for stuff you don’t want to keep inside the tent. This is the most unusual thing about the tent. It also gave you a real sense of private space amongst the other campers around you.
The tent and stakes weigh 16 pounds and were too long to fit in the back box on my bike, but it was not a problem to bungee it to the back seat. With a price tag of $189 I don’t think you can go wrong with what you get.