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Alpine Design Hiker Biker

rated 3.5 of 5 stars

The Hiker Biker has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2024.

photo: Alpine Design Hiker Biker three-season tent

Alpine Design Hiker/Biker great on a budget!!


  • Lightweight
  • Full rain fly
  • Packs relatively small
  • Perfect for one person & gear


  • Thin heavy poles
  • Limited headroom
  • Not freestanding

The Alpine Design Hiker/Biker and Hiker/Biker II is a solid, economical tent for the outdoors person on a budget.

The Hiker/Biker Original is roomier with enough space for two people and some vestibule room for wet pack or boots. While the similar yet smaller Hiker/Biker II is truly a soloist shelter for those campers 6 feet and under. Both have a full rain fly which is great for inclement weather.

Highly recommend seam sealing the tent and spraying waterproofing on the fly and floor. (retreat every year or two depending on use)

Setup is super easy and takes a few minutes, while it's not freestanding the "tube" design offers nice access and enough room inside. 

Both version have no-see-m mesh and in cool/cold weather do make sure you have some extra ventilation to prevent condensation build up. Just prop the rain fly up in a few spots to allow air to flow a bit more freely.

Recommend replacing the poles outright with a more durable, lighter material (i.e. aluminum) If not you may want to add some duct or electrical tape to re-enforce the fiberglass.  Try a site like Tent Pole Technologies (www tentpoletechnologies dot com) if you are looking to replace your poles.

Major Upside: is the full fly coverage. great to have that extra insurance when you hear thunder! Reasonable price tag too!

Major Downside: is the thin fiberglass poles. I dislike fiberglass anyway, but these are pretty flimsy. so be careful.

As a side note: I purchased the Hiker/Biker II (soloist) at Sports Authority for 15$ on clearance. So at that price it was a steal! If you spend 30-40 dollars upgrading to aluminum poles and 10 bucks on a can of waterproofing spray, you'll have spent $60 and have a shelter comparable to those on the market selling for 100-200 bucks.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20-30

Got this on sale at Sports Authority for $28 (regularly $39). I was in the market for a solo tent for backpacking so I figured for under $30 and 4 pounds it was worth a shot. I'd read elsewhere the fiberglass poles were really weak so I made sure to be extra careful with them.

I set it up at home, it's pretty quick and easy but the materials are paper thin, not good considering its an all-in-one design with no rainfly. I sprayed the bottom with a waterproofer. It packs down really small but the poles are about 18" sections. No biggie, stuck them in the side of my pack.

Did the backpacking dry run at a campground and it setup quick and held up fine in steady 25mph wind with decent gusts. It's a little cramped for my 6'1" frame, my feet were touching the end since its tapered so radically.

I woke in the morning to TONS of condensation. And I had left the door screen half open too. But the inside walls were soaking wet with beaded water, had to carefully get out of my sleeping bag to not get it wet. I still figured for $28 it was worth it since its so light, I'll just plan to leave the door screen open.

My sister used it a few days later. I set it up for her since I knew the poles were delicate. And just like that, SNAP, one split down the middle. She slept in a friend's tent that night. I took it back to the store the next day and got my money back.

With upgraded poles this could be a passable tent but I wouldn't recommend it to a friend.

Design: non-freestanding
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: easy but requires staking to stay up
Weight: just shy of 4 pounds
Price Paid: $28

Compact and easy to set up!

I love love love the original Hiker Biker. I use it every time I go camping! The original model can easily fit two people and their stuff (so long as it's not a giant backpack).

Mine didn't come with a rainfly so I can't use it during bad weather, but it definitely stays put in the wind and although you do have to stake it down I've never had a real problem with being about to do that. There was an instance where some of the stakes bent the ground was so hard, but that's not a huge problem.

Most recently the larger pole snapped and I threw them away before realizing that it's really hard to get new ones!!!! The manufacturer won't answer and pole technologies tells me they don't have info for the specific tent, plus it doesn't help that I don't have the poles to measure them.  

Source: received it as a personal gift

Good tent- I sealed it prior to use- all two piece floor that is stitched:( however it was sealed and taped- came with a rain fly I don't believe the new models do- that was sealed and taped : )

Two pole set up get new stakes because that what it relies on the stay up and sturdy.

And a ground sheet for the tent out of some plastic.

Took the tent to Vermont 4 days three nights rained twice- tent stayed very dry! Does not ventilate the best with the rain fly.

You're not getting two people plus gear inside however the rain fly extends past the door about a foot of sooo i guess you can get some gear outside the door- I did not personally stay in the tent, however I lent it to a friend. He had no complaints.

Design: non-freestanding non-dome tent needs to be staked
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: easy- with experience
Weight: a pound or so
Price Paid: $25

Bought this for a two night in Surprise Canyon. Setup was very easy, materials seamed fair for a 30 dollar tent. I chose it for its light weight. First night was in the low 30's. In the morning there was a lot of condensation inside the tent.

Over all I was happy with the performance, and would say it is a good deal. I highly doubt it will last a long as the more expensive units, but if you are on a budget, or if you may only do one or two trips this is not a bad way to go.

Design: Not freestanding
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Very easy if the soil is good.
Weight: 4 LBS
Price Paid: $29

Great tent at a great price, easy to put up and take down, but it leaked a lot in the rain. It didn't come with a rain skirt.

Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: Yes
Weight: 4 lbs
Price Paid: $30

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