Hunting eBike Vs Quads/ATVs and Side-by-Sides: What's Better?

Hunting eBike Vs Quads/ATVs and Side-by-Sides: What's Better?

It's time to tackle the elephant in the room. The arrival of hunting eBikes means they're taking the place of traditional modes of transportation through the great outdoors. 

Seeing as they are a form of competition, there will be a lot of arguments in its favor and against them. 

As a site solely dedicated to these new and exciting pieces of technology, you may assume that we will say that eBikes are the best. 

As much as we love hunting eBikes, we know full-well that this isn't a clear-cut conversation. Which is best ultimately depends on the situation. 

We're going to dive into the strengths and weaknesses of each so you can make an informed decision on what you should take on your next hunt. 

Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE


Side-by-sides are nearly as new to the scene as eBikes. 

While models like the Yamaha Rhino and Kawasaki Mule have been around for some time, it wasn't until recently that they really caught fire. With such powerful, capable models coming out of today's market, it's only natural for hunters to put them to use. 

In comparison to the other options we're discussing, side-by-sides do a few things best. First and foremost, they have the longest range, with some models going as far as 150 miles on a single tank of gas. 

The superior storage capacity offers room for spare tanks of fuel, extending the range even more. They won't soon be weighed down by your gear, hunting buddies, or the take. 

They, like ATVs, are also incredibly resilient to environmental obstacles like mud, water, snow, and sheer abuse. It's also worth mentioning that they can be fitted with heaters, AC units, and other creature comforts to help lessen the toll of those long treks. 

The drawbacks of these highly-capable units start with their relatively low agility. There's no arguing that they simply won't fit through as many trails as ATVs and eBikes

While the power to overcome obstacles may counter the issue, the high noise output and fumes associated with them are less desirable for hunting, as is the potential for fuel leaks. 

We also can't forget that these are costly pieces of machinery that can cost as much as a full-sized truck. 

Side-by-Side Pros

  • Longest range of the three 
  • Superior storage capacity
  • High weight capacity 
  • Can be equipped with heaters and other creature comforts
  • Highly resistant to the environment 

Side-by-Side Cons

  • Noisy
  • Low agility 
  • Potential for fuel leaks
  • Fumes 
  • Most expensive of the three 

Honda Pioneer 1000-5 LE


If weight capacity and extended range are essential, but there's no room in the budget for a SxS, ATVs are hard to beat. Though they aren't as affordable as a hunting eBike, they aren't that much more expensive. 

Also, they are a lot more agile than a SxS which may ultimately make it the vehicle with the longest real-world range through the tight brush. 

Of course, carrying a spare tank is an option, but you don't have as much room for cargo as you would with a SxS, so you'll need to be tactile in deciding how much to bring, but an average of 120 miles on a single tank should suffice. 

There is still more room for cargo than on an eBike, and you have a greater weight capacity to accommodate it. 

As with anything using an internal combustion engine, noise, potential fuel leaks, and fumes can be a real issue while hunting. 

We should also point out that taking another hunter along with you is possible but isn't advisable if you intend to haul anything out of the woods with you. 

Quads/ATVs Pros

  • High range (nearly rivals SxS)
  • High weight capacity 
  • Moderate storage capacity 
  • Moderate agility 
  • Highly resistant to the environment 

Quads/ATVs Cons 

  • Noisy 
  • Potential for fuel leaks 
  • Little passenger accommodation
  • Fumes 
  • Moderately expensive 

Hunting eBike Vs Quads/ATVs and Side-by-Sides: What's Better?

Hunting eBikes

We spend enough time talking about everything there is to love about hunting eBike. Let's start by talking about everything that makes them potentially inferior to the other options. 

For starters, eBikes have the shortest range of all three, with 40 miles on a single charge being about the average. 

On top of that, they are dependent on batteries, meaning you need to wait several hours for the battery to charge up. They also don't take the same level of abuse that ATVs and side-by-sides will, nor can they handle mud, water, or snow to the same degree. 

It should go without saying that weight capacity and storage room are also the lowest of the bunch when it comes to eBikes. 

That doesn't mean eBikes aren't worthy contenders. The most obvious benefit of the platform is low noise output. You don't have to worry about a revving engine warning wildlife of your location. 

There are also no fumes and no risk to the environment associated with the eBike itself. Furthermore, they have the highest agility and can easily squeeze down the narrow trails the others may not. 

Also, if the electric bicycle's battery dies, it still works just like a normal bicycle, meaning it always serves as a mode of transportation. The same can't be said for the others if they run out of gas. 

eBikes Pros

  • No noise 
  • Superior agility 
  • Environmentally sound 
  • Can be used as a normal bicycle 
  • Relatively low investment 

eBikes Cons 

  • Dependent on battery charging 
  • Low weight capacity 
  • Little storage room 
  • Relatively short range 
  • Not as resistant to the environment 

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There is no answer to which is best. They're all tools for a specific job, meaning the situation will dictate which will be the appropriate choice. 

That said, which you should invest in really depends on the situations you find yourself in most. Remember that we haven't discussed local laws, what type of trails you hunt, and whether or not you're hunting with others. 

At the end of the day, you need to make the call which is best. We'd like to say hunting electric bikes are always superior, but that's ultimately a decision you need to make. 

4 Responses

Robert Prehn
Robert Prehn

April 07, 2023

I have a mountain bike and an e-hunting bike.
My lung power is severely challenged at high altitude…(Typically over 9,000’)

I do not have room to store an ATV.

I can take Ebike and gear in back of pickup while towing trailer.
Also Kayak if I use ladder rack…
Do not need to have a winch in case I get stuck.
May be able to walk bike out even if it can’t be peddled out.

I had removed throttle to allow it to be used in some more places. But put it back in to increase chances of my getting back if injured afield.

Robert Prehn
Robert Prehn

April 07, 2023

In Colorado: National forests consider ebikes as ATVs. BLM regulations are different.
You can go around (or over) most forest gates with pedal bikes.
(Unlike ATVs, you can ebike down almost any road.
Phone apps like OnX can show overlays indicating what roads or road sections you can ride ATVs on.)

Many front range areas restrict ebikes to hard surface trails or on specific trails.
(Soft fat tires can wear out quicker on concrete surfaces.)

On an bike or ebike you do not have to enclose your weapon in a case, unlike ATVs etc. per Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

Greg Karfor
Greg Karfor

April 07, 2023

I would LOVE to have an ebike instead of my quad, but at age 72, consideration needs to be given to safety. Falling off an ebike could result in broken bones or worse and that is the reason I am hesitant to get one. But I do love the idea of silently approaching your hunting spot.


May 22, 2022

I don’t yet have an eBike, but I am definitely looking at getting one. I hunt locally in an area that is mostly owned by timber companies and though their roads are closed to all motor vehicles, they are open to foot traffic and biking. I have used a normal bike in these areas before, but using an eBike would allow me to get further into these areas with much less effort. As a side benefit, I could use my eBike to commute to work where I could not use a quad or side by side. With current gas prices what they are, that would help defer the ultimate cost of an eBike and make the purchase that much easier.

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