A lightweight one-person tent for long haul cyclists

a two weeks bike trek across europe

Step 1.
The problem


Cycoon is a tent for cycle trekking. I started this design while preparing for my own cycle tour across Europe in 2010. An intense two week trek from Berlin to the Mediterranean, passing through Czechia, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia.

I needed to select reliable, light and affordable equipment. The most difficult item to select was actually the tent. I took this as an opportunity to create a light weight and compact tent specifically designed for cycle trekking adventures.


Step 2.


A cyclist's most valuable item during the trek is the bicycle. It makes sense for a cyclist to keep it next to him while resting through the night. Most pitches on trek do not provide enough suitable anchors to lock bycicles, so I thought that I could include an element of added security and shelter for the bike in my tent design. Also, with poor weather, providing shelter overnight for the bicycle would reduce maintenance to the brakes and gears.


Step 3.
Research: materials


I wanted to reduce parts and materials to be used in the tent prototype, whilst also providing shelter for the bicycle.
So I envisioned a way of using the bicycle as the core structure of the pitched tent. A bike frame supports the flysheet and the inner tent. With no tent poles, the Cycoon is lighter and easier to pack and can also be manufactured and sold at a lower price than a conventional tent.

Step 4.
Tech Specs


  • Under 2000g in total weight
  • Small and compact when packed
  • Simple and quick to pitch
  • Accommodate 1 Adult, inner tent minimum length 1950mm
  • Provide space for equipment, up to four paneers of luggage
  • 3 Season Rated
  • Strong and sturdy when pitched able to with stand high winds
  • Water tight
  • Ventilated
  • Vestibule/Sheltered area to provide sufficient and safe space to use small trekking stove
  • Provide added shelter and security for bicycle

Step 5.
Structural Design


The Cycoon Tent incorporates both an inner tent and fly sheet. These make it suitable for three season trekking. The inner tent is hung up once the fly sheet is pitched and erect. There is a small vestibule at the entrance, offset to the head end of the tent. A flap style door opens the outer tent, it can be rolled up or opened and tied out to any surrounding trees or poles to open up the tent.


Step 6.


  • Fly Sheet.
  • Silicon coated rip-stop nylon – waterproof - 58g/sm
  • Inner tent walls.
  • 15D Rip-stop Nylon Ground Sheet.
  • 4D 100% Nylon with PU coating Stitching.
  • Waxed Nylon Bond Guide Ropes.
  • 3mm Nylon Cord
  • Total weight 1788g


Step 8.
Mounting the tent


Step 1.

Lay down the inner tent to a suited area of terrain. Pulling the ground sheet tort whilst leaving the soft walls loose on top peg down the inner tent at the six offset points.

Step 2.

Remove the panniers and flip the bicycle onto its saddle and handle bars. Align the bicycle at the head of the tent with the back wheel centred between the two head pegs, the gear side of the bicycle should face away from the inner. Release the front and place at the foot of the inner tent and throw over the fly sheet, aligning the points for front forks and the curved seam for the back wheel.

Step 3.

Peg down the fly sheet at points around the bicycle frame- in front of the forks and behind the saddle. Then the points at the head end of the tent. Prop-up the front wheel to sit just before the foot of the inner tent and inside the curved seam at the foot of the fly sheet and peg down the three point around this. Then complete the pegging out of the fly sheet pulling tort along the seams of the tent. Extend and peg out the guides to suit the weather.

Step 4.

Open the door and hang up the inner tent walls using the four points provide with hooks on the inside of the fly sheet.






To design Cycoon, I combined





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