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Community => Non-Thorn Related => Topic started by: 6527richardm on February 06, 2012, 07:31:49 PM

Title: Best Touring Tent
Post by: 6527richardm on February 06, 2012, 07:31:49 PM
I am looking to purchase a two man tent for cycle touring in Europe and the UK. What would you recommend bearing in mind that as I will include the West coast of Scotland it will need to be completely waterproof?
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on February 06, 2012, 07:55:48 PM
well hilleberg just brought out a new 4 season tent aimed at backpackers so its there lightest tent,and for the life of me i cant remember the name of it but just check out there website if you have a spare 500 euro  handy.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: 6527richardm on February 06, 2012, 08:08:31 PM
Jags

Thanks someone I work also suggested the Hilleberg Nallo or the Nallo GT anyone have any experience of either tent
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: rualexander on February 06, 2012, 09:02:39 PM
well hilleberg just brought out a new 4 season tent aimed at backpackers so its there lightest tent,and for the life of me i cant remember the name of it but just check out there website if you have a spare 500 euro  handy.
The new Hillebergs are 3 season versions of some of their 4 season tents :
http://www.hilleberg.co.uk/news/hilleberg-tentmaker-introduces-3-season-tents-2012

e.g. The Anjan 2 is the same design as the Nallo 2 but is 0.5kg lighter.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: StuntPilot on February 06, 2012, 09:17:55 PM
The Hilleberg Nallo 2GT is highly recommended and used by many cycle tourers. It is high quality and very well made, hence more expensive than others. There are many similar designs - I have a http://www.vango.co.uk/expedition/spirit-200+.html (http://www.vango.co.uk/expedition/spirit-200+.html) which is a very similar design and have found it great, and substantially less expensive. Used it all sorts of conditions without a problem. May be a three-season tent where the Nallo 2GT is four-season probably due to its better construction - well you get what you pay for.

Even for solo touring I would go for a two-man tent.

Both the Nallo 2GT and Vango Spirit 200+ have a large vestibule useful in Scotland during bad weather. The inner tent has a fly screen to protect against those midges! Not sure what the Nallo 2GT has.

The http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/tents/experience-series/hubba-hubba/product (http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/tents/experience-series/hubba-hubba/product) or http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/tents/experience-series/hubba-hubba-hp/product (http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/tents/experience-series/hubba-hubba-hp/product) is also used by many. A extension porch is available which I like http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/tents/experience-series/gear-shed/product (http://cascadedesigns.com/en/msr/tents/experience-series/gear-shed/product)

A good quality 2-man tent from a major known brand and you can't go wrong! Shop around and you can get some bargains.

Good luck!

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 06, 2012, 11:04:47 PM
For 30-odd years, I used an Early Winters Pocket Hotel, a double-hooped single-wall bivy with a free tail section and enough room inside to prop myself up on one elbow or change clothes in if I wiggled a lot. It died on-tour in 2010 (the Gore-Tex was still sound; the rubberized urethane coating on the floor and sidewalls failed) and I replaced it with a 1-person Coleman Xponent Dakota 1 (made to spec for the Dick's Sporting Goods firm here in the US; their model has a one-piece floor unlike some seemingly identical offerings by Coleman). At only a half-kg more than my Gore-Tex bivy, it is a double-wall tent I can sit up at the waist in or pitch as a bug-tent if I don't attach the fly. It was so cheap on closeout (USD$60), I bought three of them so I'll have a couple in reserve.  It has worked terrifically well so far, and I find the extra room to sit up, the side entry, and small side vestibule to be ideal for my needs. It feels like a hotel suite compared to the bivy. My HB bag fits in the tail cone, the front panniers on each side of my head, and the two rear bags fit in the vestibule. The build quality is surprisingly high -- on a level equal to many more expensive tents I have seen and used -- but I don't expect it to last forever. At $60, it doesn't have to. That's why I got three. ;) To be honest, the places where I use a tent on-tour are awfully hard on them, despite my always using a footprint or groundsheet beneath. Intense sun, high winds, hail and snow all seem to take their toll sooner rather than later. Packing a tent wet and riding all day is what really does them in; mold and mildew can start quickly and causes the urethane rubber coating to rot. I always let the tent dry when and as I can (witness 30+ years with the bivy!), but I won't delay a daybreak start to do so, and sometimes it has rained for days on-end, meaning the tent never fully dries for a week or so at a time.

The Coleman has already proven to be completely waterproof when pitched with the fly. In heavy rains driven by high winds, some light misting of rain can be driven ender the edge of the fly, but not enough to wet me as yet.

My Dutch friend chose a Tatonka Alaska 3-person tent for his "luxury item", and won't be without it for solo tours despite a weight of 4.5-5kg. It is large enough to easily house his bicycle in the front vestibule, and I certainly enjoyed using it when we toured together in Europe, and I was able to pitch it quickly alone, as was he. Sleeping soundly at night makes a tremendous difference toward feeling happy and well the next day and all the days to follow on a long tour. Looked at that way, a 5kg tent is a pretty reasonable weight.

Richard's right -- Hilleberg is a name that rightly comes to light in many adventure tourists' journals, and their tents are built for stout while still being remarkably light for their sturdiness. I don't think you'd ever go wrong with one, but they are expensive, as might be expected of a high-quality, well-conceived, long-lasting design. That said, there are less expensive tents that have worked well, and it pays to examine your needs in light of the range of offerings and try a few owned by friends, if possible. Pitching the models yourself is a great way to gain insight, and a night in the backyard can reveal niggles and advantages unseen in the manufacturers' descriptions.

In the end, "best" is what's best for you. Polling others and asking what works for them greatly shortens the list of what might work for you. Overall quality is one thing, but so is the ease with which it can be pitched, weight, packaged size, and overall volume and livability.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: 6527richardm on February 06, 2012, 11:13:12 PM
Dan

As always thanks for your helpful reply you are right that ultimately it comes down what is best for each individual i like your idea of buying 3 when they were cheap and at that price you can live without them lasting another 30 years. The Hilleberg appeals in some ways because you do get what you pay for but on the other side the extra cost could go towards funding another trip so one I will have to ponder.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on February 06, 2012, 11:53:21 PM
have to say as the owner of the hilleberg akto if i had seen it pitched before i bought it (i didn't web buy) i would never have bought it,way  to small for me and i'm only a little fella ;D ;D
i bought another tent for 120 euro off a guy on another cycling site 2 man mountain hardware spear and imho its a far better tent than the akto ,well not so much better but loads and loads room which i find much  better. and it keeps out the rain .
looks like the vango 300.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: in4 on February 07, 2012, 10:42:32 AM
I use one of these Mountain Equipment tents. http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/index.cfm/product/dragonfly-2xt/fuseaction/products.detail/code/72110194?cm_mmc=Google-_-GoogleBase-_-GoogleBase-_-72110194

I was fortunate to get it for a good price but that aside I'd have bought it anyway. It is a two man and has a great extension. It is very easy to put up and is relatively light weight. I think we easily get caught on the horns of a dilemma i.e. weight versus comfort. I am prepared to ride with a 3kg tent as it is a tent and not a crisp packet; it is of some substance and affords me a level of comfort. The thought of trying to stretch out in a glorified piece of cling film whilst winds from the devil's own b** howl around outside is most unappealing.

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Fred A-M on February 07, 2012, 10:54:55 AM
I'd recommend the Hilleberg Nallo which has served me well - I was fortuitous enough to get one in a closing down sale reduced by 40% some years back.

Although a two man tent, I justified this over the Atko because of the extra space you get to store stuff and it weights just over 2Kg  - for me the Atko would have just been too small, especially with 4 unpacked panniers - it also means that I can use it as a 2 man with my better half for non-cycle touring.   Had I not stumbled across the Nallo at discounted price, I would have bought a Terra Nova Voyager which is even lighter, and significantly cheaper, though still a bit on the pricey side.   
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: julk on February 07, 2012, 11:05:10 AM
Richard,
You have some interesting choices to make amongst how much to pay, what tent features, living space and overall weight is acceptable.
As a general point, Scandinavian tents are made for a harsh climate and perform well in Scotland!

I have several Hilleberg tents (and a large family), the lighter Nallo has a slightly less robust nature and fewer useful facilities like entrances and ventilation points. That said it is the tent of choice for lightweight cycle camping amongst my sons.
If you will be camping in any weather then definitely go for a size larger than the occupants, eg 2 man for just yourself.
Multiple entrances pay dividends when the weather changes and what was pitched facing down wind is facing heavy rain later, the downside being extra weight and cost.
Pitching inner first is a bad idea in the british weather, outer with inner attached is quicker and the inside stays dry.
Use of a footprint adds weight but extends the life of the tent built in groundsheet and on a muddy pitch keeps the tent cleaner.
Having the inner height to sit up is a bonus when living in the tent for any length of time, sleeping mats with chair conversion kits are a boon.

My favourites amongst my Hillebergs are a Stalon Combi 2 (no longer made) and a Nammatj GT 3.

I have recently purchased a Helsport Ringstind Light 2, a Norwegian tent, similar to the Hilleberg Akto, but that bit larger for extra comfort.
It is lighter than any of my existing tents and I am looking forward to trying it out this year.
Julian.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: stutho on February 07, 2012, 12:16:42 PM
After 18 Years of VERY Hard use my Terra Nova Ultra Quasar finally needed to be replaced.  I have never counted the number of nights that I have used this tent but I would guess that It would add up to at least a solid year  including many nights on the side of a mountain with the wind blowing a hooley!  (I am a Scout leader and a Schools Expedition Leader so my kit gets used a lot!)  Without any hesitation I went and  bought the same tent again.

However my needs are slightly different to you.  I have toured with my Quasar and it is a great tent for that too but... it is a bit too much tent.  It is designed with very high winds in mind so is heaver that a lot of tents of the same size (3.12kg 2.5 man).  If I was choosing  a tent sole for bicycle touring I would probably go for either:

A variant of  Terra Nova Voyager Tent, there are a few, the lightest being the superlight at (1.95kg) but I would probably go with the XL (2.43kg)

Or

as others have mentioned a Hilleberg Nallo 2 (2.3kg) or  Nallo 2GT(2.7kg)

Not directly relevant to you but I also own a Terra Nova Laser (0.72kg  1 man)  I use this when going fast and light but I wouldn't recommend this tent to anyone unless minimum weight is their only priority.  I understand that Terra Nova how have a version of the laser down at 0.56kg!!!!  My Gortex coat weighs more than that!

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: freddered on February 07, 2012, 03:54:51 PM
Both the Nallo 2GT and Vango Spirit 200+ have a large vestibule useful in Scotland during bad weather. The inner tent has a fly screen to protect against those midges! Not sure what the Nallo 2GT has.

I've been contemplating the Vango Spirit 200+ (+ = vestibule) for about 3 years.  You can pick old stock up for less than £200 right now (winter) and it seems like a lot of tent for that price (£170 in some places).

I'm very interested in reviews of the Vango.

There's no way I'm getting a touring tent without such a vestibule, they make life so much more bearable if you are stuck in bad weather.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 07, 2012, 04:55:13 PM
There's also livability, the ways you'll most likely be using a tent, who you'll be traveling with and where you'll place it...

Consider is how much time you will likely be spending in the tent. If you tend to layover several days in storms, then it is well worth having some extra interior room to do so. If, however, you use the tent only for sleeping and are the type to get out and ride through bad weather (me), then you can get by with a considerably smaller tent. Other posters raise an equally important point -- will you often be bringing all your bags inside, or just your handlebar bag, leaving the rest on the bike as a kind of bureau chest? This will partly depend on where you are touring. I can leave my bags outside and exposed because I often camp in the wild/wilderness (and winch the food-containing bags high into a tree in Bear Country. The bike-mounted alarm wakens and alerts me if something is bothering the locked bike and its mounted gear). Around people, I'd feel far more comfortable with the bags inside to deter theft and reduce opportunities for pilferage. In that case, some extra room is very welcome. I can just fit everything but the bike inside, though it is crowded. For a night at a time, it is fine, but people vary in how much room they prefer or require. A few of my friends "size-up" by one person-rating when getting a tent -- two people often have more stuff than one in proportion to tent size, so the couples I know tend to favor 3-person tents to ensure they can bring all their bags inside as well. Tall friends often go up a size and sleep diagonally to get the length they require. You want to also watch the slope of the inner tent's roof and sides so there is a little room between them and your bag to prevent wetting-out from condensation. Ventilation is important to prevent condensation in the first place.

Though a delicate subject, a surprising number of people camping in colder conditions prefer to toilet inside using a jar ("pee bottle") as a receptacle for that purpose (label it to prevent accidental drinking by companions; I've seen it happen). That can require a bit more room to maneuver inside the tent, especially for couples and can be wakeful for both. I have always gotten out and away from the tent to do my business, and consider the view of the night sky to be an added bonus when camping. I've seen meteor showers and the eyes of wild animals I never would have seen otherwise. It is a great way to notice early changes in the weather, and has changed a few start times for me as a result, meaning I could pack and break camp in the dry instead of the wet.

A one-person tent provides me with some additional options for ledge camping, where there often is no room for something larger, and being solo means I can move my little domicile away from snoring companions. This is one reason why I bought extras -- if friends don't have tents of their own, I can take a spare, and we can each have the freedom to wiggle and thrash, snore, and adjust ventilation individually. Some folks are territorial and others tend to expand their holdings in the night till the other is squeezed into a corner. Not everyone sleeps the same way, and even an issue like "too hot" or "too cold" or "more" or "less" ventilation can make a difference toward <ahem> interpersonal harmony over the course of a tour.

Bottom line: Ya gotta sleep or things don't go well. Whatever it takes to accomplish that is well worthwhile.

I am scared to death to cook anything in a tent, having spent some time in the healthcare field and seen the results of tent-fire mishaps. I cook outside, no matter the weather. Other folks feel far more comfortable with the idea, and think nothing of brewing a pot of tea or even a meal beneath the vestibule while warmly enconced in a warm sleeping bag inside the tent. To each his own, but cooking habits are better accommodated in some tents than others, so your own preferences are worth considering.

More and more (tunnel) tents are coming with side entries instead of end-entries.  I lived for years with my end-entry bivy, but it got old, winching myself in and out inchworm-style on my elbows and heels and was tough when it was wet and muddy or snow was on the ground. The side-entry on my new tent is terrific -- I just roll in and out and can even go sitting-to-standing if I wish. Unfortunately, it is a different "handedness" than my sleeping bag's zipper, but is still convenient and rarely matters in the warmer months when I use the bag as an open quilt or duvet in the tent. A double entry can be a real convenience when camping with a companion; one person doesn't have to crawl over the other to enter or leave the tent.

Stakes vs. freestanding is another issue. Freestanding tents can be pitched on any surface, though stakes are needed to secure them in wind. Staked tents can require some extra care in choosing a pitch, and are not well-suited for hard surfaces like pavement or concrete. I can secure mine stakeless using my loaded panniers and the bike as deadmen, and also bring along titanium needle stakes for when the desert playa is just too hard for the wider alu stakes I need and use in damp, loose forest duff and pastures. Staked tents require a bit more forethought than freestanding, but it is still possible to use them in a variety of places. When I camped at parks in Canada years ago, one had to remember nails and a hammer -- the tent sites were usually wooden platforms! Closely related is the matter of lines. I prefer fewer to more, as they seem to tangle unless extra care is taken. On the other hand, lines add a lot of versatility. Rock in the way? Just shift that line a few centimeters either way and it is no longer a problem. I get by adding short little lines to my staking tabs. Sometimes you have to personalize a tent.

Finally, consider amenities. A small loop to hang a flashlight adds greatly to livability, though it is easy to add your own or simply use an LED headlight. Mesh wall cubbies or a gear loft help organize small items, prevent loss, and get them off the floor, increasing effective living space. I added glow-in-the dark zipper pulls to mine so I no longer fumble trying to remember where I parked the double-zip. I'd suggest trying the zippers on any tent you're considering. A rough-runner tends to get worse, even with the application of bar soap or lubricants, while smooth-running zippers seem less likely to snag and catch over time and are a bit more dirt-tolerant.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Pavel on February 07, 2012, 07:20:24 PM
Tents are a journey for me and thus far I'm not sure I've picked the right set of compromises.  I started out, as always, with dreaming big.  I feel that the bike wheels, the tent and the sleeping bags should be where money is spent.  Well, you could add a Rohloff to that list now.  I did compromise on the tents however.  It was not that I did not think a Hilleberg would likely be the best/toughest tent but rather I thought that I'd be best off experimenting on a cheaper scale first to see which factors are the important ones here where I live.

The hilleberg seems the toughest in terrible wind.  I live in the Southeast of the USA however and winds are rarely any kind of factor.  heat and humidity are.  So I looked for a tent which had netting all the way down as much as possible.  I also thought that a shorter set of poles may be desirable. 

Then I was a tent on sale, a Kelty Grand Messa II for ninety dollars.  Bingo - I thought.  The tent is nice because of the simple way it is put up in about two minutes.  It has enough headroom so that I could sit up and being two a two man tent means that I can sit up without the netting touching each side of my cheek.  It was great for the first week.  Then I realized that the sleeping bag I had was too confining for my six foot frame and so I went out to REI and bought a "long" size bad and mattress. Now all of a sudden I was touching my feet to the wall and my head was pressing into the front.  North Carolina is beautiful at the coast.  I did however notice that they don't seem to play around with any breaking of the rules out on the outer banks however.  There are warnings of $5000 fines if you are caught sleeping on other than campgrounds.  What was I doing?  Stealth camping.  Nervous stealth camping.  On the second night I stole into a closed deserted campground under a full moon.  That is when I noticed that under the glow of a full moon - the white fabric of my tent glowed better than neon yellow!  Strike two.  My 11 year old daughter now has that tent.

So now I wanted a longer tent and one that has colours that dont' advertise. I chose a Big agnes copper spur two.  it has a full 90 inches of space front to back so I have room to spare and my bag does not get soaked with dew.  It has a door on either side for good cross ventilation as well as a ventilation flap so all of a sudden there are no drops on the inside in the morning waiting to shower me and wake me up real fast.  Nice!  The color is a light green/beige with semi-subtle orange trim - not perfect but a welcome improvement.  I didn't like it however.  Here I need to ask a question of those more experienced in stealth camping than I.  Do you find the width of a tent a major factor and a hindrance when you look for a spot to sneak some sleep?  I don't know, but I imagine that a narrow tent must be a great advantage.  What I don't like in the copper spur is the fact that it is almost as wide as it is long.

So my next tent was a big agnes seedhouse sl2.  It is the best color - a muted light green and it, being a front entry tent, is the nice and narrow for its two man size.  It is ok to sit up in, but just ok.  I imagine it will be nice a cool, or as cool as can be, short of using a hamock,  here in our steam-bath summers. It however missing the same thing as all of the tents I've had so far have missed and that is a large vestibule which you can cook under.  Dan's post has me a bit more concerned that before about cooking now after reading it.  The current tents I have can simply not be cooked in at all while heeding any modicum of safety sense.  I thought that cooking under a vestibule such as the one under a Nalo GT would work fine though with a bit of care.  I've not been stuck under rain at all yet, much less three days worth.  What do you all do under conditions such as three days of steady rain?  I can't imagine cooking outside in it.  Do you use tarps ... or vestibules.  In other words am I going to have to spend more money for a tunnel tent and how are tunnel tents in hot, hot, humid, humid, HUMID weather?  Hmmm.

I'm grateful for threads such as these.  I know that I may be with the wrong gear ... but I'm no quite sure if different gear or different techniques are called for. It is nice to have the guidance of the experienced here.

Cheers.

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 07, 2012, 07:44:40 PM
Quote
Here I need to ask a question of those more experienced in stealth camping than I.  Do you find the width of a tent a major factor and a hindrance when you look for a spot to sneak some sleep?  I don't know, but I imagine that a narrow tent must be a great advantage.
Yes; a major reason why I chose a 1-person tent -- narrower profile and less bulk to be noticed. I also chose a tent that is spring-leaf green on all faces but for the head end, which is black.  Allows me to rotate the tent for the lowest visibility to passersby. Another reason for choosing a matte black Sherpa!

I usually have a fixed amount of time for a given trip, so if I stay tent-bound, some part of the trip must be deleted and that doesn't have much appeal. If the weather turns bad, I still ride; often right out of the storm system into better conditions. Cooking takes place in the rain in rain gear; rain fills my cook-pots for me. Otherwise, I get by on energy bars till the weather improves or I reach improvised shelter, like a park kiosk, overhanging tree, or a bridge underpass where I can cook in relative shelter. When it is really bad out in the open and the winds are too high to ride, I get off the bike, sit on my sit pad, and huddle with my hood up, head bent, and hands up my sleeves till it gets better. It always has, though it can sometimes take 2-3 hours. Then, I get back on the bike and ride till I need to make camp again.

I'm guessing there are as many ways to do this as there are people to do it. As for the pics, I don't mind tight, confined places; all tents look alike with my eyes closed.  :D

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: stutho on February 07, 2012, 11:32:43 PM
I wild / stealth camp a lot.  Size of tent does make a difference however the most important factor is colour.  All my tents are forest green. 

If you expect to be wild camping most of the time then I would take a serious look at tarp camping or alternately using a tarp and hammock.  Using a tarp is FAR more versatile than using a tent but it does take a bit more practice.  Personally I love using a tarp and hammock the addition of the hammock means even more practice but far more comfort than any tent.  Note you will need trees!

I have a few different tarps some are DPM colour which when pitched correctly are all but invisible from 50m.  However I would NEVER travel outside western Europe with DPM.  I have heard a few horror storeys of travels being arrested as just because they had a DPM rucksack (aka they must be a spy!)       
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: stutho on February 07, 2012, 11:40:31 PM
Moderate mode on
This topic seams to be branching. Its not a problem but I will split it into a new topic if there some more replies on Stealth /  Wild  camping
Moderate mode off
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Pavel on February 07, 2012, 11:54:26 PM
I want to stealth camp and like the adventure of it as well as the fact that I can save a lot of money.  I too feel that a skinny tent is the way to go and have that in the big agnes seedhouse sl2 but I simply wonder how bad it would be in a three day downpour to not have a nice and large vestibule.  I had a Hennessy hammock for a while but gave it to my ex-girlfriend because I found that during my travels that I could never find a combination of good tree and good "out of sight".  

Stealth camping should be some kind of "Human rights" thing .... don't you think? :)  

When I went on my trip down Cape Hatteras I hooked up with two guys for several days.  One had been on the road for 13 months and he was hauling around a five foot cross for Jesus.  The other guy was on the road for five months, cycling for charity to raise money through his church to create wells in Africa.  We took a lot of chances in stealth camping where there were signs stating that there were $5000 dollar fines should we be caught.  Perhaps I should change my order of a Yellow Nomad to a stealth Matte Black one while I can.  Seriously.  Should I, I wonder?  That Tonka Yellow looks fabulous in my opinion but I wonder if Black is simply not in my better interests?  When I lived in South Africa in the late 70's I had a tonka Yellow Peugeot.  That bike was like the first love of my life.  I cyclend insane distances to insane places and slept, mostly, on the beach.  Ahhh, the folly of youth.  When I saw Yellow as an option I took it as an omen and jumped at the chance.  Now ..... I wonder.  Any advice here?
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Pavel on February 07, 2012, 11:55:26 PM
Ooops.  Back to topic.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: 6527richardm on February 09, 2012, 07:30:21 PM
Thanks everyone for your helpful comments I now have a lot to think about. I am still tempted for the Hilleberg but need to decide which one. Then again part of me thinks if i spend a bit less on the tent then I could tour for longer but sometimes it can be false economy as I end up buying the better item later.  I also would not really have thought so much about colour.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 09, 2012, 08:01:12 PM
You're welcome, Richard!

Do please let us know what you end up with, and how you like it initially and over time. None of our tents last forever, so it is always good to hear of others' experience to keep in mind when we need to buy a replacement.

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Pavel on February 09, 2012, 09:58:13 PM
Yes .. let us know.  This thread has been helpful to me.  It is nice to have others to bounce ideas off of.  I am thinking of adding a Hilleberg to my tent choices later on.  I like the Kaitum or Nalo GT tents.  I imagine that I will take my seedhouse most of the time when I go on short trips but what I feel insecure about is the lack of space for cooking or anything else for that matter should I go somewhere for several weeks and have to spend say ... three days cooped up while it rains heavily.
I like some of the ideas and tips by dan and am going to try to experiment.  I'd like to add a good tarp and try to see how that works out instead of vestibule but stringing up a hammock while I had one made me aware that I really need to learn much more about knots and all those little things that separate the well versed from ... me! :)

One of the things that I don't like about any of my tents is that it seems that I could not pitch any of them in a downpour.  The Nalo GT and Kaitum GT as well as several others have that kind of situation in mind.  Do many of you find that valuable ... or how do you get by if you need to pitch a tent in the rain?

If people hike with the two man Hillebergs ... I imagine that they must be ok as far as carrying on a bike, right?

I also realy like the idea of a vestibule under which you can keep all your bags and the bike too if necessary.  Any thoughts on how useful/useless is a vestibule the size of a small garage?

I'm not crazy about not having a free-standing tent and of course there is the price which requires a second mortgage but once I get past those two things it really does strike me that I should have gone the hilleberg way in the first place.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 09, 2012, 11:53:36 PM
Hi Pavel,

At the risk of stating the obvious, one gets faster with practice! Practice-pitching any tent makes the process more familiar and quicker anytime or in the rain, and there is much to be said for a pre-trip backyard pitch before starting each touring season. Besides keeping one's hand in, it also lets one do a pre-trip check for damage, zipper roughage, or the need for some minor seam re-sealing -- always worthwhile before finding out on a trip. Of course, the tent should have been clean and dry before putting it away after the last use.

When talking about pitching tents in the rain, the ideal would be a single-wall tent (as with the three-ply Gore-Tex nexus on my old bivy) or a double-wall where either the inner tent and outer fly are pre-attached or where you can pitch the fly first and then hang the inner tent from it in the dry. For awhile, I owned a Nemo GoGo that allowed one to quickly stake it while closed, then enter in a downpour and inflate the airbeams (no poles) that supported it while sheltered inside. Unfortunately, it did not work out for a variety of reasons, including extremely poor ventilation that made the interior so wet as to make having it pointless. The waterproof-breathable coating on the inside flaked off with the first pitch and got worse from there, so back it went with a detailed report.

I now have a double-wall tent (mesh inner and detachable waterproof fly; inner pitches first) that has worked well when pitched in heavy downpours, but it requires some advance planning and thought. Once practiced, it is a simple process; practice helps make it fast. Speed helps to keep it workably dry.

When I pack the tent, the fly goes in the carry sack first, followed by the inner tent in its own dry sack so it will remain dry and separate from a possibly wet fly. It also makes for faster pitching. Poles and stakes go in the same sack, each in their own little bags to prevent them poking holes in the tent.

If it is pouring, I draw out the inner compartment first and drape it over my neck and shoulders, bottom-side up so it will stay dry and off the muddy-wet ground. I just turn to my left and right to insert the head and foot poles in their sleeves, and pre-attach the footprint (I made it; it uses nylon d-rings to capture the base of the poles and is tensioned by them). Before placing it on the ground, I have the fly at the ready, along with the three stakes needed for a fast-pitch. I then flip the inner tent over, stake it, and throw the fly across the top, securing it at each corner. The tent is now pitched and dry, and I can place the rest of the stakes and tension the single line with no hurry. Before entering, I place my closed-cell foam sit-pad on the ground and kneel on it as I reach inside and mop up any few drops of water that managed to enter the tent. When I do enter, the rain jacket and pants and shoes stay in the vestibule, ready to don when I need to leave. The interior of the tent is Where Everything Must Remain Dry. With little if any effort, it does. Adequate ventilation is key as well to prevent condensation.

Next task is to place the dry sack containing the down bag, air pillow, silk liner, and self-inflating pad inside the tent and open it there so everything will remain dry. Packing to leave is pretty much the reverse, with the furnishings packed while they are inside the tent. I pull the stakes and single line so the tent is collapsed, and reach beneath the fly to extract and package the poles. I then slip off the footprint, drape the inner tent upside-down across my neck and shoulders, and quickly stuff it into the bottom of the carry sack. At that point, I can relax and take my time stuffing and packaging the fly separately in its dry sack, folding the footprint, and packaging the lot with stakes and poles. It takes far less time do than describe; I usually have a pitched tent, complete with fly and dry interior in only a few minutes unless it is blowing a gale as well.

As for keeping the bike inside...this seemed to be a more common desire for the Dutch and German tourists I've spoken with than for folks from other countries. My Dutch friend specifically purchased his 3-person Tatonka Alaska 3 tent  ( http://intranet.tatonka.com/infosys/php/artinfoe.php?2569_Alaska%203 ) because it is large enough to hold his bike in the unfloored front vestibule, but he has never used it for that purpose. Except for Mountain Hardwear's 1-person Ghisallo tent (which has a "bicycle garage" under the fly at the cost of some interior width; apparently discontinued from the current lineup. Pic here: http://www.norwaysports.com/mountain-hardwear-ghisallo-1-superlight-one-person-tent/ ), getting a tent large enough to hold a bike means a larger, heavier tent and a bigger packed load as well. Some people I know have tried to cover their bikes with plastic or nylon sacks intended to serve as standalone bike garages. Everyone I know who did this gave up on the idea for a number of reasons -- the bike blew over, the sack got as wet inside from condensation as if the bike had been outside, or it was a nightmare to deploy and repackage. My bike stays outside at night, with various means to ensure it will still be there in the morning. I lock it. I set the alarm. I tie a clear monofilament fishline tether from the bike to the base of my tent pole so the tent will shake if the bike is bothered. I usually only bring the handlebar bag into the tent with me when wild-camping. If necessary, the panniers can be placed in the side vestibule. Everything stays in the bags till I need it; others with larger tents often prefer to unpack everything so it is ready-to-hand.

As for lines, my tent only has one; the double-hooped Gore-Tex bivy had four. I never mess with knots, which can freeze shut and are a mess to undo if your hands are wet and cold. Instead, I use Clamcleat® CL266 Mini Line-Loks® that auto-release with a sharp tug and only when I want them to. Mine are glow-in-the-dark so I won't trip over the line at night. See: http://www.clamcleat.com/cleats/cleats.asp?menuid=7 Available from many vendors, for example: http://www.bearpawwd.com/fabrics_misc/fabrics_misc.html , bottom of page.

As a last suggestion...if you have the option, buy or make a footprint for your tent. The idea of a footprint is it fits 2-3 inches inside the outline of the tent and protects the floor from sharp objects and abrasion. If you use Tyvek, plastic, or a tarp as a ground cloth, be sure it is tucked well under the tent or it will quickly catch and funnel rainwater under the tent, which is not only cold, but increases the possibility of leaks from below.

Or, you could just use a Jardine-style tarp and ground sheet and call it good. You could surely pitch it in the rain, you'd be dry inside and have plenty of the ventilation you need for use in your climate, and it is simple and versatile at once.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Relayer on February 10, 2012, 10:22:46 AM

My Dutch friend chose a Tatonka Alaska 3-person tent for his "luxury item", and won't be without it for solo tours despite a weight of 4.5-5kg. It is large enough to easily house his bicycle in the front vestibule, and I certainly enjoyed using it when we toured together in Europe, and I was able to pitch it quickly alone, as was he. Sleeping soundly at night makes a tremendous difference toward feeling happy and well the next day and all the days to follow on a long tour. Looked at that way, a 5kg tent is a pretty reasonable weight.

...

In the end, "best" is what's best for you. Polling others and asking what works for them greatly shortens the list of what might work for you. Overall quality is one thing, but so is the ease with which it can be pitched, weight, packaged size, and overall volume and livability.

Best,

Dan.

Dan

Are there any disadvantages in carrying a 5kg tent other than needing stronger legs?  I would imagine packing it in a dry bag and placing directly on top of the rear rack without any problem, but I feel compelled to ask what is probably a very silly question i.e. does the volume or weight of the packed tent mean compromises in other kit you can carry? are there risks of strain on luggage, racks, or even the bicycle?   

Reason I ask is this thread has given me a good deal of food for thought.  I have done some camping by car, but not cycle camping.  I have a Vango Hydra 200 tent which has been stored in the loft for a few years now, we have moved on to bigger (but not better) tents in recent years.  From what I have been able to ascertain the Hydra weighs about 4kg and I have often wondered if that was feasible for cycle camping but have been doubtful given the usual advice for Hillebergs etc weighing 2kg or less. 

The Hydra is a 2 person tent with a small vestibule, the flysheet goes up first and the inner hangs from that, no problems in heavy rain.  In fact, once in the New Forest there was a cloudburst and pools of water started to form around and under the tent, so I took everything out of the tent except sleeping bags/mats, unhooked the pegs, lifted the tent as was, carried it off and plonked it down on a piece of ground which wasn't flooding ... viola!

Given that I like the Hydra very much I would be intrigued to take it out of retirement and try it out on a bike sometime, if Mrs Relayer (who does not cycle) could be persuaded to let me go off camping on my own.

Richard, good luck with your tent buying, I hope you get a great tent and some even greater tours.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: julk on February 10, 2012, 11:41:16 AM
I have been doing my recent cycle camping with a 4kg Hilleberg, I like my space and comfort.
Just lose 2kgs of body weight and you are up there with the lighter weight campers :D
I carry it in an Ortlieb sack strapped on top of the rear carrier, resting on a foam gardening kneeling mat to avoid conflict with the pannier hooks.
I also find the kneeling mat very useful when camping for kneeling or sitting on grass.

This year I have purchased a lighter tent - under 2 kgs, but I seem to have gained a couple of kilos over Christmas as compensation.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 10, 2012, 05:36:17 PM
Relayer,

Let's take a look at each concern in turn...

Quote
Are there any disadvantages in carrying a 5kg tent other than needing stronger legs?
Absolutely not! In fact, there is a compelling advantage to carrying a larger tent -- the interior volume goes up faster than the weight (so long as construction is similar). A larger tent is less weighty for the same volume than, say, a couple 1-person tents, and you have the added convenience of extra space for a pair of people and even for each one.

My friend's Tatonka Alaska 3 is within a centimeter or two of the length of my '89 Honda Civic automobile -- even larger if you count the lines. We filled the bulk of a car-tenting pitch at a "campings" outside Ghent. You can see from the interior shots, the screened sleeping compartment ends at the side doorway. All the rest is unfloored vestibule (we used a groundsheet that made a floor for it), with a second door in the end. The interior shots also reveal another Truth about tent capacity -- at full rated occupancy, there isn't much room. A third person would have had to reverse their bag and smell our feet in stereo while we all punched and kicked each other with every change of position. Ew. For two, the sleeping compartment was roomy and the vestibule ginormous, big enough to easily hold a bike. Two bikes with care, I think. We left the bikes outside and used the vestibule to hold all our gear and to prepare food (cooked outside on a well-mannered butane cartridge stove while sitting partly-sheltered in the doorway!) and pack under shelter. I could easily kneel in the tent, which made it easy to change clothing. I soon came to consider it a small "campings huis", rather than a tent.

My friend carried this tent on his solo tour from the Rotterdam area to Santiago de Campostela and back last Spring and it served him well.

The carry-weight of a large tent can be shared. One of the great advantages of touring with someone else is you can split your load among your shared gear, each carrying less than you would alone. On our BE and NL tours, my friend carried the tent and stove, while I carried the tools and food. We each carried our own personal items, like clothing and sleeping bags/pads. Carried weight was pretty equal for each of us. When you go solo, you've got to carry 100% of everything, which is one reason why I have opted to go for a smaller, lighter tent. Because I rarely have a partner, I wish to make things as light as I can 'cos I have to carry it all. Setup and takedown of a big tent is so much easier with a second person to tension it out and do their share, especially if conditions are miserable. On the post above where I mentioned "wearing" the tent as I set it up and take it down...that is one of the adaptations I've evolved to do it alone. Working with a second person, a large tent erects and stows in a fraction of the time it would take a single person to do the job.

Quote
I would imagine packing it in a dry bag and placing directly on top of the rear rack without any problem
<nods> Pretty much, as you can see in the accompanying photos. I probably would have used Arno webbing straps to secure it rather than the x-pattern of bungees my friend used, but it worked well. He has a Tubus Cargo rack on his lovely Avaghon Series 26 bike, and it rode fine.

You do raise an interesting point few people seem to consider, and that's putting the tent in a dry sack. I have come to think it is better to put the inner sleeping compartment in a dry sack, leaving the outer fly to breathe in a permeable sack to prevent mold and mildew if the tent has to be packed wet. If it gets rained-on in transit, it is none the worse for wear. In recent years, I've devoted a lot of thought to what should/needs to be kept dry and what can/needs to be allowed to breathe, and have concluded so long as the inner tent remains dry, the fly is probably best allowed to dry on its own rather than steam in a waterproof sack. <-- As with most things, there is no "one right way", and everyone packs differently. Some prefer to place the tent inside a pannier. I prefer my sleep system (bag, pad, pillow and silk liner) in one dry sack atop the rear rack (un/packing it in the dry tent). My tent also rides atop the rear rack, but in its own sack. My friend prefers to carry his bag and pad and liner in a single Ortlieb front roll-top pannier dedicated to that purpose. Either/any way works as well; it is up to preference, convenience, and personal quirks. When trying something new, I carry a little hand-drawn map showing the new address of moved items so I can find them until I learn where they live.

A large tent can weigh a lot -- even more if stowed soaking wet -- so like any load, it pays to use care in placing and securing it. So long as you have a sturdy rack and handling isn't affected adversely and the overall load can remain balanced, there isn't a problem. There is where it can be helpful to use front panniers as well to better balance the load fore-aft, but they add their own weight as well as that of a front rack to carry them. They are also an added expense.

Quote
I feel compelled to ask what is probably a very silly question i.e. does the volume or weight of the packed tent mean compromises in other kit you can carry?
Not a silly question, but a very good one! The answer is "yes it can". As with anything extra you carry in either volume or mass, the space and weight require at least a redistribution of the rest of your load and some care in securing it...securely. In the case of using a large tent and traveling as a pair, the problems are minimized -- except for personal items, just split up the shared overall load. I saw a number of paired cyclists in Belgium who did it this way: One person took the big tent atop his rear rack. The other took two sleeping bags atop hers. They each carried their own pads. Pretty much the same individual load as two of me would take, each carrying a 1-person tent. The difference is they could share the space and had greater overall volume to live in and store their stuff.

Quote
are there risks of strain on luggage, racks, or even the bicycle?
I agree completely with Julian here. Bicycles themselves can carry enormous loads (think: cargo bikes in India); the downside is there is more weight to haul (not very noticeable on the flat once rolling and at speed; you'll be wishing for a winch or windlass on 20%+ grades) and handling can suffer. As for the bike, so long as you have quality kit and overall weight (including youself; you're also cargo to the bike) is secure and not excessive (common sense), the bike will likely do fine. I agree with Andy Blance that rough roads make a difference to parts life, longevity, and handling when carrying enormous loads, but as a practical matter, you'll likely do fine on reasonably smooth roads. In the case of Little Tent versus Big Tent, we're talking a difference of only a couple-three kg, and that's generally not enough to make much difference. Julian's right -- Christmas-season goodies can account for that (me!).  :P

Of course you can always go solo and take a large tent as well. No harm done. So long as you have room for your other basics -- sleeping bag and pad, clothing and tools, food and maybe a stove and pots to cook it, you're set. On a short trip, you'll have plenty of room for those. What really kills space is the extra stores of food and water when traveling self-supported in the back-of-beyond. If you'll be reasonably near shops and resupply, you'll be fine with carrying the bulk and weight of a bigger tent. Too often, we get hung-up on having the "perfect tool" for the job right off the bat, when simply using what we already have can make it possible to camp and learn what would work better. It can save making an expensive mistake. I started out with a bright yellow plastic tube tent that cost me USD$8. Sure, it had deficits and I quickly learned what they were, but the thing is...I was outside, bike-camping(!) and having the time of my life. The first "real" tour I took, I went with a friend to Washington State's rainy San Juan Islands. Before leaving, we seam-sealed the bottom portion of his "waterproof" single-wall 2-person tent and he promised to do the rest, but forgot. He remembered forgetting during a night-long thunderstorm when the top leaked and the bottom held water fine. We had to unzip the door to let water out as the world turned the same Safety Orange color as the tent with every lightning flash. And, y'know what? Though temporarily miserable it was lot of fun. We got dry and lived through it; the memories have remained as bright as the tent color and I can still laugh at our naivete. Mt. St. Helens was erupting, we got lost while hiking and came back to find crows and squirrels had eaten all our food (foolishly left in the open atop the picnic table), and the weather was horrible. As Gilbert K. Chesterton said, "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered". So long as it isn't life-threatening and no one gets hurt, it's fine. Makes for good stories, too.

Here's another way to look at this whole issue -- deciding what to take is a matter of gaining experience and preference through experimentation, and that's what overnighters, weekend trips, and the backyard are for. ;) Each of those shortens the learning curve for what works for you, and can substitute for any number of longer trips where you might have discovered the need for improvement on Night 1 of 30 scheduled for the trip. Yes, I stick to the proven setups for Big Trips and Expeditions, but I got to know what works in those situations by playing around. If you take an overnighter and not everything works...it's not the end of the world. Take that lovely (it is!) Hydra out of retirement and give it a whirl. You'll likely have a lot of fun and discover it may not be the answer for Everything, but could be just the ticket for some trips where you want to treat yourself to a little extra space...say in the rainy Fall or Spring shoulder-seasons when the weather is unsettled and you're more likely to be staying in it, or for trips where the formal campsite is central to a destination, say where you'll be using it as a base to explore the local sites or hike out from. One of the things I so enjoy about cycle-camping is it gives me a chance to once again be the kid who played in homemade "Forts". I firmly believe Play is central to learning, and this stuff should be fun, right?

As a side note...perhaps Mrs. Relayer might be interested in cycle-camping with you if a particular trip could be tailored to address her needs. That might be a different trip than you'd take on your own, but could still be fun. I helped plan a trip for a pair of friends where one did not cycle-camp, and they had a wonderful time. They car-topped the bikes to within 8 miles of their camp one evening, then rode just that far and stayed overnight in a large tent the carried. My friend took care to choose a campsite close to a good restaurant, and they changed onto nice clothes to eat. Next night they kept the tent stowed and made it all the way to a B&B another 10 miles away and spent the day sightseeing and window-shopping on foot. Return trip was to the first campground, but with an afternoon at a nearby spa, then on to the car for the drive home. Best trip ever, they both declared. The biking was at once central and incidental to the overall experience. As for camping on one's own, check-in calls during the day and a goodnight call to the spouse can do wonders toward making it possible.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: philb0412 on February 10, 2012, 06:35:54 PM
I have deliberated over my tent choices for my ride to China (and back) for a long while. I decided on a Vango / Force 10 Helium 200, a 2 man tent. It is very lightweight at only 1.3 kg. I see it as a roomy 1 man tent, with enough room for panniers inside and in the vestibule. At £160 I think it was quite a bargain. I am also taking a DD Hammocks tarpaulin, weighing only 650 grams (plus a few more for lines and pegs) I will use this to have extra living space. If I don't feel like cycling in the rain, or heat and I don't want to be confined to my tent, but will have a large living area.

I am hoping a lightweight tent, plus a trap combination will work out well for me. As I will be camping, usually stealth, I wanted to have a comfortable yet lightweight 'house'. I think this will give me plenty of options for shelter in all conditions for £200 and at around 2.2 kg. However as it is winter and am working as many hours as possible to save up I haven't managed to try either of them, and hopefully the tent will pass the longevity test.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 10, 2012, 06:39:37 PM
Phil,

This sounds like an ideal setup to me, and the tarp adds a great deal of versatility for little extra weight.

Please, keep us in the loop as you progress toward departure.

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: il padrone on February 11, 2012, 05:29:39 AM
I have been using two-man tents for many years, even when travelling/camping on my own. I'd looked at some 1-man tens but they always semed to lack a useable vestibule and feel 'coffin-like' when I tried them out by getting inside. However a couple of years ago I saw a friend's new tent - one I'd never heard of before here in Australia. I decided to buy one a bit later and have used it a lot.

It is the Exped Vela 1 and I really love using it. Weight at 1.8kg (with everything) is very respectably light. It is really quick to pitch, being a mutli-pitch design which can be disassembled fly-last, so great in wet conditions. The inner tent is actually almost 2.5m long leaving room for my handlebar bag and helmet at the head end. With the sleeping mat down there is also a triangular area to my left thet can take my clothes and other bits (or a small pannier). I didn't need to bring panniers inside however as the vestbule is HUGE - big enough to  shelter my 6 panniers on my outback tour and still leave room to get in and out. In an emergency there is room for another person to sleep in the vestibule.


(http://inlinethumb29.webshots.com/19036/2910250100074746151S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2910250100074746151DettzW)(http://www.google.com.au/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.moontrail.com/details/exped/vela-I/vela-I-dims.jpg&sa=X&ei=w-w1T4bXFY6imQXl6KiiAg&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNFcREJd0INOjQ30KZnK1f4wVS-M-A)


It pitches with just a few pegs if you wish (2 min) and has a very good profile for windy nights. It is Swiss-made and being that, all the tent features and bits are organised with great precision - right down to the stuff-sacks for the tent guy-lines, and the pole/peg bag with its seperate zippered and labelled compartments for poles, pegs and accessories.  :o ;D

(http://inlinethumb46.webshots.com/46125/2903546150074746151S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2903546150074746151oQFaUt)


Video of the setting up here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BViEhVoNMDo&feature=player_detailpage)

If you're quick it can be set up in under 2 minutes

The features of the tent are detailed here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0C2X2dmtYTI)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 11, 2012, 06:43:15 AM
My! What a wonderful tent, Pete! Looking at it initially, I was a bit concerned the head- and foot ends might come down enough to wet-out a sleeping bag at either end, but your nice diagram and link to the video show a nicely boxed inner tent and plenty of room in the inner tent. Extremely versatile, too. A good one, for sure! I'm glad you shared this, and I'll keep it in the back of my mind as a possible future replacement once mine bite the dust.

I like having the taller hoop at the head end of mine, but seeing yours in action, a central location is also nice and makes possible some configurations that wouldn't be possible otherwise. Boy, that vestibule is a gem, and the fly retracts for entry-exit as if by magic with that little windowblind-like red cord.

Back for another look at the video and supporting material you included; great post!

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Relayer on February 11, 2012, 09:50:48 AM
Thanks Dan and Julian for the very helpful replies.

Altogether this thread has really got my enthusiasm for camping going again, and more than a little desire to try out cycle camping sometime.  I can't wait for springtime and I will definitely give the Hydra an airing, one way or another, this year. 
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mylesau on February 11, 2012, 03:08:20 PM
A little to the side or perhaps above the topic :P

I was a tent person, and still have one, but am sold on hammock camping.  They offer 2 stories of living space and allow you to sleep 'with' your bike...  I've never had a problem finding trees, posts or something to string up from.  I've no doubt I could use it as a bivy if I every really had to.

I've had it pour rain all night with about 6 inches of water flowing under me - glad I wasn't in a tent that night...  The photo on the side of the hill doesn't show the real slope - I could not have slept comfortably in a tent in that location.

Not knocking tents, but my preference goes to the hammock now - great for 'stealth' camping in the bush/scrub etc.

(http://i634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/th_2009-12-28_141806.jpg) (http://s634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/?action=view&current=2009-12-28_141806.jpg)

(http://i634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/th_Mountain.jpg) (http://s634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/?action=view&current=Mountain.jpg)

(http://i634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/th_BicycleAndHammock.jpg) (http://s634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/?action=view&current=BicycleAndHammock.jpg)

(http://i634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/th_2010-04-05_170325.jpg) (http://s634.photobucket.com/albums/uu65/mylesau/Hammock/?action=view&current=2010-04-05_170325.jpg)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 11, 2012, 04:27:12 PM
Hi Myles,

I'm really intrigued by your hammock-tent solution; it really does allow for many possibilities beyond a tent, especially with the amount of water you encountered. What a fine-looking camp! I especially like Picture No. 3, where there is a "garage" for you and the bike.

Myles...as a hammock user, perhaps you can answer a couple questions that have always intrigued me...

1) Is it hard to enter and leave the hammock, especially when wet? Is there a special technique, or is it one of those things that becomes obvious when you have and use a hammock?

2) Do you sleep "flat" inside, or is there a parabolic arc, as with a regular hammock? If it is flat inside...how is that possible? Is there a suspended sub-floor of some sort?

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mylesau on February 11, 2012, 04:56:28 PM
1) Is it hard to enter and leave the hammock, especially when wet? Is there a special technique, or is it one of those things that becomes obvious when you have and use a hammock?
No not at all.  You simply sit down in it and then swing your legs up.  It makes a very good seat and allows you to cook etc. whilst sitting down - very comfortable.  I have a full tarp over the hammock so it offers much more dry living space when it's raining than a typical low tent (you can stand up).  My hammock, a Warbonnet Blackbird (http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/blackbirds.php) (highly recommended), has bug netting over the top, which zips up completely to keep out  all the creepy crawlies.

2) Do you sleep "flat" inside, or is there a parabolic arc, as with a regular hammock? If it is flat inside...how is that possible? Is there a suspended sub-floor of some sort?
Yes you do sleep very flat.  The key to it is that you lie diagonally, not lengthways.  No sub-floor required.  You do need either a foam mat or what is called an under-quilt (a bit like a sleeping bag) to keep your butt/back warm.

Be very careful with the following links - once you start reading about hammocks you may get hooked!

Just Jeff's Hammock overview (http://www.tothewoods.net/HammockCamping.html) - a starter.

Hammock Forums (http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=8936) - there is so much information here that it will truly make your head hurt!!!  All very good guys and a huge amount of information re everything hammock.

Shugemery's youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery) - a real character, offering some very good video's of all things hammocks and a few other bits and pieces.  Shug is an entertainer by trade, so some of his videos are a bit off the wall, but good value :)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: stutho on February 11, 2012, 08:13:36 PM
mylesau,

I too now love to hammock, I use DD hammock and tarp  I was just wondering what tarp you were using and how much weight you total system comes to.  Mine is a little heavy

Hammock inc. suspension 1kg
Tarp 0.75kg
 
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mylesau on February 12, 2012, 02:33:09 AM
I too now love to hammock, I use DD hammock and tarp  I was just wondering what tarp you were using and how much weight you total system comes to.  Mine is a little heavy

I ordered my tarp from Brandon, known as the Warbonnet guy on the Hammock Forum, to go with my hammock.  He doesn't make the exact same one any more or has changed the name, it is very similar to the Edge Tarp (http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/tarps.php), but mine was a little larger I think.

I'm not big on weighing things much any more - have everything down to where I want it.

Taking the weights off the Warbonnet site:

Hammock: 765 grams (includes suspension system - straps - much quicker/easier and protect the tree)
Tarp: 285 grams (add Spectra lines - next to nothing, and a couple of pegs)
Top and Bottom Quilts: 600 grams x 2 - Jacks R Better - Hudson River (http://www.jacksrbetter.com/Rectangular%20Quilts.htm#Hudson River)

So complete, with very cosy sleeping quilts - 2.25 kg plus pegs.

I don't take both quilts in Australia - just one plus a silk sheet.  I bought two quilts for when I'm in New Zealand - they are good for well below 0 Celsius.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 12, 2012, 07:57:23 AM
Finally found a couple videos of my USD$60 1-person tent (closeout price; full retail was about USD$149 as I recall). It is possible to get a good, well-made inexpensive tent, though it is a real rarity in the marketplace, especially with quality zippers, seamless floor, taped seams, no-see-'em mesh and high-quality shock-corded alu poles. In response to those who have contacted me, a number of these are still available on the 'Net and US eBay for around USD$75-$100 new with shipping included.

I'm not the guy in the video and he doesn't tension it properly in his demo (wrinkles, strain), but it gives the general idea. It is not "lopsided" as the reviewer says, but intentionally asymmetrical to ensure a large side vestibule. Very easy entry-exit. It is not clear from the videos, but when the fly is open, the inner tent is still covered. The fly can be half-zipped for ventilation while it is raining. Vestibule is unfloored and spacious. Room for my helmet in the tail cone, HB bag by my head, rear panniers go in the side vestibule with ease, leaving plenty of room to roll in/out of the tent's full-length side entry.

Coleman Xponent Dakota 1 (made with uprated specs for Dick's Sporting Goods chain)
Video: Quick view of this tent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgefQesrd7o
Video: Install the rainfly and easily slip inside: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xCDSwSKrjI

Similar-design competitors:
- Black Wolf Mantis 1: http://www.blackwolf.com.au/product-details.php?product_id=138&category_id=2&refine=fHx8Nnx8QnwxdG8y
- Gelert Solo 1 (very inexpensive, but beware; its fiberglass poles have been known to crack): http://www.gelert.com/products/solo_tent

It is fascinating to learn more about tent alternatives like hammocks and, of course, tarps. I have spent some time looking at ways to use a trailer as the base for a shelter as well as for hauling gear. Several people locally have done so, but none was really successful as a tent alternative.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: AndrewC on February 12, 2012, 01:32:53 PM
I've had a Hilleberg Akto for about 10 years, during which time I think I've spent nearly a year living in it, including 2 x 4 week trips.  It's durable, pleasant to live in and pretty bombproof. I've many friends with Nallo's who are also happy with their tents.

However, the Akto is quite low and when sitting down I need to crane my neck. As I get older this has become more & more uncomfortable, so it's been retired.

For a _very_ windy 2 week tour of Northern Scotland I used an MSR Hubba HP, which performed very well. My review is here http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=48829.0 (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=48829.0)

I also use a Golite Shangri-La 3 which I reviewed here. http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=36550.0 (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=36550.0)  I've recently bought the 3/4 groundsheet and separate insect net from Oookworks, but have only used the tent with the groundheet for 2 nights in January, so haven't formed a proper opinion of it yet.?
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: energyman on February 13, 2012, 10:40:31 PM
Nallo GT or nothing !
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on February 13, 2012, 11:53:39 PM
ok great tent but man way to expensive :o :o
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Pavel on February 17, 2012, 06:28:35 PM
ok great tent but man way to expensive :o :o

The Thorn bike ... expensive next to my fuji touring lemon!  I think I will save my pennies for a Nalo GT.  At the rate my pennies are a rolling in, that means I may have their new improved 2018 models  :D.

Quality lingers long after the pain of price disappears!

Edit ... I knew I got that quote wrong.  I looked it up and it is by John Ruskin (was he a Thorn aficionado?)

“The bitterness of poor quality Lingers long after The sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Relayer on February 18, 2012, 09:47:42 AM
Pavel, I like your version much better, now added as my signature   :D
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: pedalende73 on March 08, 2012, 10:21:42 PM
I was told the Hilleberg was an expensive alternative due to what you really get, so I was looking around some time and ended up with Exped Orion Extreme.
My requirements were: good height, freestanding, durable, good ventilation and not at least, green colour.
After some weekend-trips so far in winter/spring-conditions I must say I am very satisfied. Just noticed one thing: if you are taller than 190 centimeters the length of the innertent will maybe not fullfill your needs.

Happy camping :-)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on March 08, 2012, 10:29:44 PM
this tent gets a fantastic review and thumbs up from a lad inthe fell club  very experience tourer and tent dweller  ;D ;DHelsport Fjellheimen 2 camp tent. looks class. and a lot less money than the nallo gt2.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on March 09, 2012, 12:03:13 AM
Ooh! Nice call, jags. Their whole line of Norwegian-made tents look good. The Helsport Ringstind 1 and 2 look nice if one is in the market for something fairly minimal... See: http://www.helsport.no/en/product/TENTS/PRO/Ringstind%20Light I like thier "skirt ventilation system" that includes a tunnel-shaped air vent at the foot to minimize condensation. Nice vestibule, too.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: il padrone on April 04, 2012, 12:51:30 AM
That Ringstind is very much like the Hilleberg Akto in design. Both of which bear a great similarity in concept to my Exped Vela 1, which I don't expect to be swapping out of any time soon  :)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: richie thornger on April 04, 2012, 08:42:33 AM
Ah! the great tent debarcle. Well the postman should be arriving with my new one this morning and I can tell you if I've made a terrible mistake or not.
On my last tour I had a Quechua Ultralight T2. Although known for the pop up tents this was not such a beast. The perfect size for me, I even managed a week with the other half with this tent, but even the Quechua website recommends for 2 small people or a bit of a squash. I'm only replacing it because I had four, 5 year olds having a disco in it and this seemed to be it's breaking point.
This tent was definitely for the stealth camping set. Nice Large Front Vestibule for a 1 man, that could hold all 4 panniers. Although I would tend to take 3 panniers in the tent with me and use them as support if sleeping on a slope. Not a freestanding tent, and inner outer type pitching, outer first and could leave the inner attached. Vestibule at the front of the tent. 2kg and packed up so small you could fit it in a small ortlieb pannier. Add to this I picked it up from Decathlon for £59.99  66% cheaper than usual.(at the time)
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/t2-ultralight-pro-tent-id_6539976.html
I like to camp in strange places, so small tent width is high on the list for me. I camped in the bushes in Vienna and various other urban spots and ledges that you just can't fit a wider footprint tent into. This of course comes at a cost. Not much room.
My only reason for changing from this when it broke was that it was not freestanding.

I ordered an MSR Hubba last week (£157 from LD Mountain Supplies).
http://www.ldmountaincentre.com/product.aspx?id=4116
Wow the price has gone back up. That's made me happy. I think we need a thread on ways to buy things at a discount.
The Hubba is definitely a 2/3 season tent as it only has a mesh inner. I've seen so many out and about on my tours I just had to try one for myself. MSR now do an "HP" range of Hubbas. More geared for a Northern European climate, the Inner is not mesh.
Hubba = 1 person, Hubba Hubba 2 person, Mother Hubba 3 person.
I will report back on how it performs in the garden . The weather has dropped 20 degrees in the last week in the UK, so I can give it a cold test.
You can also buy an additional "gear shed" that tacks on to the side of the Hubba range of tents.
I'm considering this for more room, but with the convenience of a stealth tent when I need it.
The Hubba weighs 1.4kg the newer versions are in green as opposed to the older yellow.
They only have 1 octopus pole, which I'm intrigued to play with.
Back later...

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on April 04, 2012, 05:40:03 PM
What a great review of your Quechua UT2, Richie, and a fine tent it is (was, for you), too! One I've long admired as a fellow ledge-camper who prizes a small footprint and stealthiness above other characteristics.

As for the Hubba, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The reports on it are outstandingly good, and I have seen (and crawled into) it myself. I like the side-entry/side-vestibule concept, and having moved in that direction from an end-entry...well, there's no going back for me. Rolling in and out is an incredible luxury in a very small tent/bivy compared to rowing in and out through the mud using one's heels, elbows, and shoulder blades.

Here's a photo/description of the Gear Shed. See:
http://www.rei.com/product/810203/msr-gear-shed-vestibule-for-hubba-or-hubba-hubba-tent

Basically, it is an add-on vestibule that extends the tent considerably at little extra weight/bulk. If one took a larger footprint/ground cloth, I can see it being possible to lay crosswise to the usual orientation and get another person inside. Great for storing extra gear or for extended camp use. An excellent choice, I think.

Looking forward to your Hubba user reports.

Best,

Dan.

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: kickingcones on April 13, 2012, 01:39:59 AM
I'd forgotten how heavy bicyclists tend to go. I've been doing ultralight backpacking for the past 14 years, so it is surprising seeing what kinds of shelters non-UL people use these days.

Big +1 on the Warbonnet Hammock.

Have any of you looked at these shelter offerings?

http://tarptent.com (http://tarptent.com) (a genius shelter designer. I love my Notch shelter)

http://mountainlaureldesigns.com (http://mountainlaureldesigns.com) (also a genius shelter designer. Check out the Solomid, the Duomid, and the Trailstar. A lot of people claim the Trailstar as one of the most stable shelters out there in very heavy winds. I have all three shelters. The Solomid is the one I use for bad weather all year round)

http://gossamergear.com (http://gossamergear.com) (I have the The One. Unbelievably light shelter with all the necessities)

http://sixmoonsdesigns.com (http://sixmoondesigns.com)

http://lightheartgear.com (http://lightheartgear.com)

http://zpacks.com (http://zpacks.com) (The Hexamid has a cult following among UL backpackers)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on April 13, 2012, 02:07:40 AM
Quote
I'd forgotten how heavy bicyclists tend to go
Yep. It is easy -- probably far too easy -- to think of the bicycle as pack-mule for extended back-country solo tours away from resupply. I employ one named "Sherpa" to help me carry stuff. That kinda says something about the mindset.  ;)

My Gore-Tex Early Winters Pocket Hotel bivy from the late-1970s weighed 1kg all-up with stakes, poles, and stuff sacks, which wasn't too bad back in the day. Now I'm carrying two week's canned food from a rural store and 16.5 liters of water and a winter-weight down bag for -15C shoulder-season nights, the difference between 1kg and 1.3kg doesn't seem to matter so much. :P I'll sometimes pack a second pad for camping on ice or snow. As the total load weight increases, each additional kg is a smaller percentage of the whole. Hey! It's like discovering anti-gravity.  ;) Carry enough stuff, and each additional item is almost free!  :D Ultralight? What's that? ;D

All kidding aside, I do try to keep weight down when possible. I've got a tiny meths-fueled Pocket Kitchen and sometimes sleep in a mylar survival bag on a scrap of foam or Reflectix mylar-coated bubble wrap on the odd summer night's bike trek to the Cascades, but the longer tours are different. I love my Ortliebs, but they aren't the lightest panniers in the world. They make up for it by being dead-reliable, tough, and waterproof.

Yours is an excellent list of superb ultralight shelters. Regardless, of weight, they'd be a pleasure to own and sleep in and are amazing examples of good design. I've long admired photos of your GG "The One", pitched and ready in a picture-perfect camp. It just looks so "right" in your photos and is really nice, Miguel. I admire it a great deal. Your injection of ultralight options is most welcome, and opens up a new spectrum for people to consider. The BPL forum is a great resource, as well ( http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/index.html ).

I love tents in any and all forms, and especially the solo-occupancy models. I think it goes back to a childhood when I happily constructed "forts" of all varieties in the backyard. Even before that, a blanket over a card table created a world of....wait for it...Adventure!

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: il padrone on April 13, 2012, 04:22:55 AM
Another thing about the slightly heavier non-UL tents is lifespan.

I don't fancy buying a new tent every other year. My favourite tent has a tough 10,000mm waterhead floor, that will last many years. I've seen two cheaper tents with light floors leak water through after 2-3 years.

Many of those UL tents have fly fabric as floor material.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: kickingcones on April 13, 2012, 08:26:12 AM
I'm not going to try to advocate UL on this site. Too much work ;^)  But my tarps and lightweight shelters, like The One, have been going strong for about 5 to 10 years, and see no signs of giving up the ghost yet. There are a lot of misconceptions about UL that people who have never tried it have. This is coming from someone who used to be heavier and traveled by bicycle around Europe for 6 months, camping everyday in a TNF expedition geodesic dome and then a Tatonka Arctis 2. So I've seen and appreciate both sides of the fence. Just trying to offer other ideas and choices. To each their own.

That being said, one of the reasons that getting a shelter that be set up with as few stakes as possible is that when bicycling you often end up on surfaces where it's hard to get a stake in, like roadsides, hard campgrounds, and rock. So something like the Hubba (which I'm planning to get solely for bicycle travel) might work better.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: il padrone on April 13, 2012, 09:37:54 AM
Fully loaded bikes ready to depart Maree, South Australia. We were packing food for 6-7 days and about 15L of water each. Ultralight was not so high on our priorities  ;)

(http://inlinethumb40.webshots.com/49063/2672914210074746151S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2672914210074746151dVVyQC)


The riding terrain was somewhat lacking in climbs however.

(http://inlinethumb09.webshots.com/28104/2140601730074746151S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2140601730074746151pHVBCn)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: kickingcones on April 13, 2012, 10:35:34 AM
Hmm... those photos don't do much to convince me, I'm afraid. :^)

Andrew Skurka walked his 6-month, Alaska-Yukon 4,678 miles unsupported adventure in 2010 using all ultralight gear. His shelter was a Mountain Laurel Designs Solomid.

http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/alaska-yukon-expedition/ (http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/alaska-yukon-expedition/)

http://vimeo.com/14702142 (http://vimeo.com/14702142)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: il padrone on April 13, 2012, 10:59:57 AM
Six months eh??

This is all getting rather off-topic, but anyway, we didn't have the luxury of a big $$$$ National Geographic sponsorship. We were out for 3 months and truly self-sufficient (supplies from local towns - and in northern SA this can get a fair bit rudimentary). I can only assume that Andrew had organised food drops for much of his six month epic. He only seems to be carrying a small sized pack.

My point anyway was that, with a load on the bike approaching 40kgs, a 300g saving on the tent was immaterial - probabbly the equivalent to one lunch. My warm, durable Exped Vela 1 tent (with a closed cell mat underneath for extra thorn protection) was more important. Just my 2c  ;)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: kickingcones on April 13, 2012, 01:04:08 PM
Before I get terribly off topic, let me just clear up one thing: Skurka was not sponsored by National Geographic. They simply did an article on him. Skurka has always paid for everything himself on all his big journeys and he is by no means rich. He probably lives more frugally than anyone on this forum, including me. Now that the expedition is over NG is interested in him big time, so he will probably get sponsorship from here on.

His gear is not really that expensive. Probably much cheaper than all the gear you used on your trip. I personally have much of the same gear he does. One of the tenets of UL is to make everything as simple and practical and safe as possible, so a lot of thought goes into every item that is bought. Where something is not needed it is not brought. His pack is actually, for a UL hiker, extremely large. As a UL hiker I have never carried such a large pack, even on my week-long walks in the wilderness, with no resupplies. He carried enough food for two weeks in one go at some points, buying most of his supplies locally in towns along the way, or sending himself boxes of his stuff to towns he passed through, or, in the extreme wilderness, a few times had food drops. What he did was truly extraordinary. Very few people, anywhere in the world, have ever accomplished what he did on that trip, especially in such a remote area.

My point is not to win this conversation... just to say that UL can be used for very serious expeditions. You don't need to go heavy or super durable to make it work (though there is nothing wrong or inferior with that either). The more I've tried it, the more I've learned that a lot of what I take on a trip is dictated by my expectations. As Skurka told me once, "Don't pack your fears."

Now, to get back on topic, among UL backpackers, the floorless pyramid-type shelter is becoming more and more accepted as the ideal all-around, year-round shelter. Tarps are lighter and full-on tents are a little more convenient, but with a little ingenuity a pyramid can be pitched anywhere and can withstand most weather. It is ideal for strong winds and snow loads. Because of its tapered shape it can take winds from any direction. The Solomid, for instance, uses two trekking poles pitched in an inverted "V" inside the shelter, and the poles act to counter the larger sides of the shelter being bowed in by the wind. The pyramid can also be pitched high or low to control airflow or to get better views or more privacy. And because of its floorless design, it doesn't depend so much on even ground underneath and in the snow you can dig a pit under the shelter to make a bigger interior, create a seat to dangle your legs in, or have a cold trap to hold inflowing cold air. Floorless shelters are also great for when your shoes are caked in mud or when you have a dog... no worries about the claws ruining the tent floor.

Since someone mentioned the GoLite Shangri La 3 earlier (Andrew?) I assume at least some of you know about all this already, so I think I'll stop from coming across as a know-it-all and refrain from hogging this thread.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on April 13, 2012, 02:48:13 PM
Hmm... those photos don't do much to convince me, I'm afraid. :^)

Andrew Skurka walked his 6-month, Alaska-Yukon 4,678 miles unsupported adventure in 2010 using all ultralight gear. His shelter was a Mountain Laurel Designs Solomid.

http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/alaska-yukon-expedition/ (http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/alaska-yukon-expedition/)

http://vimeo.com/14702142 (http://vimeo.com/14702142)
just watched that vimeo great stuff altogether no idea how that guy or any ul trekker can cope with all nature has to throw at them , but fair play to you guys  guess you dont mind hardship  8) me well i need all the creature comforts i can take to keep warn cozy and well fed..ok i'm admit it i'm a fair weather tourer . thanks for all the links on different shelters not that i would ever get one but great to see what you guys are using. ;)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mylesau on April 14, 2012, 06:55:28 AM
I think you have the 'right' approach kickingcones.  I doubt a cyclist needs to take UL to extremes, but carting excess weight just wears on the bike and the bones...the further you go the lighter you want to be...

I can easily manage to go 10 days with less than 20kg of gear (including spares and tools), food and a bit more than a full days ration of water.  Having only to source water gives you a much greater range for your travels and carrying less weight makes your range stretch even further :)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on April 14, 2012, 12:37:43 PM
I think you have the 'right' approach kickingcones.  I doubt a cyclist needs to take UL to extremes, but carting excess weight just wears on the bike and the bones...the further you go the lighter you want to be...

I can easily manage to go 10 days with less than 20kg of gear (including spares and tools), food and a bit more than a full days ration of water.  Having only to source water gives you a much greater range for your travels and carrying less weight makes your range stretch even further :)
Yeah me too but then again i ride tour on tarmac most of these lads are adventure cyclists, a tarp or your bubble wrap  aint going to be much use if you get caught in a violent storm . ;D
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: kickingcones on April 14, 2012, 02:29:32 PM
I think you're referring to the SUL contingent ("super-ultralight"). I don't know anyone who uses bubble wrap for their sleeping mat. Most UL's these days use things like the Exped Synmat UL 7... Pretty luxurious. As to tarps, a lot of it depends on your skills. Tarps can handle full-on tropical storms if you know how to pitch them. Most people today don't have those kinds of outdoor skills anymore. Most UL'ers don't want to deal with that level of learning, either, so they stick with shaped shelters and lightweight tents. Going UL is quite comfortable and not the extremist image that so many people imagine. We are not out there to suffer, but rather by going lightweight can go further and more comfortably at the same speed as before without the suffering. Of course bicycles can take a lot more weight, but bikepackers who go cross country are trying as much as possible to reduce their loads, hence the popularity of bikepacks made by Revelate Designs and Carousel Designs.

Out there in the wilds everyone has the same needs for safety and protection, so with experience and trial and error UL travelers have discovered what works and doesn't. The shelters I have mentioned work in most places. Perhaps not Everest or Denali, but the neither would the other tents mentioned here. I've sat out, in my UL shelters, typhoons in the mountains here in Japan, so though I didn't get much sleep, I can vouch for their effectiveness. (though I wouldn't recommend sitting out typhoons in most non-bomber tents).
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Znook on June 26, 2013, 05:11:27 PM
Some interesting tent choices listed here, and some great comments made about them. Thanks guys.

As I'm currently researching into this aspect of touring any more additional info would be appreciated.

My best,
Robbie (who wonders how kickingcones got on with the MSR...)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: John Saxby on June 26, 2013, 08:22:07 PM
Hi Robbie, and welcome.  Just a couple of observations on the excellent info earlier in the thread.  So much depends on the conditions in which you're using your tent, and your personal  preferences. Stating the obvious, maybe, but here's an example of how these issues play out:

I live in Eastern Ontario, on the edge of the Canadian Shield -- sublime scenery and water, an outdoor paradise in all four seasons, which we sometimes get within a day or two.  But, there are bugs, so for two-three months of the year (most of the summer), and if you go into the bush on a 2-wheeler, or hiking, or by canoe, anything without an inner mesh tent is a recipe for serious discomfort.  (Parks Canada just rediscovered the 200-year-old diary of a director of the Northwest Trading Company, written on his trek from Montreal to Winnipeg in the summer of 1821, to explain to his suppliers the merger with the Hudson's Bay Company: his entries for June were almost entirely about mozzies.  He didn't have a mesh inner tent.)

Other times, other places, you can have other tent configurations.  I often use my MSR Hubba Hubba without the inner, where there are no bugs.

In a related vein:  I prefer the Hubba Hubba to one-person tents.  Palatial for one, OK for two, and on a bike, the kg-per-person ratio for the Hubba-Hubba is OK.  (And gets better if there are no bugs, and you leave the inner at home.)

I rarely go anywhere without a lightweight large nylon-silicone tarp ("Siltarp" brand).  This is often the first thing to rig in camp:  it gives shelter against wind and rain.  I use it cycling, hiking, canoeing, and camping by motorcycle.  You can rig it so that you don't need a tent (so long as there are no bugs...)  You might enjoy Colin Fletcher's series, "The Complete Walker"  -- for years he trekked all over, using as shelter only a tarp made from a big sheet of translucent plastic.

Last consideration is that I do only 3-season camping, so the combination of Hubba Hubba + tarp works just fine. I use similar gear for all my camping, tweaked for the different modes of transport.  And, my trips tend to be, say, 3 days to 4-5 weeks, not really long ones.  Maybe / maybe, had I known about Tarptent products before I bought my Hubba Hubba, I'd have bought a Tartptent -- I like the idea of being able to pitch a tent in the rain.  But, I'd still use my Siltarp, which is so useful.

So it comes down to judgment calls, which will differ according to what you're doing, and where.  And some experimentation, so that you get to know both your own preferences (which will change, of course), and your gear.

Hope this is helpful, and enjoy!

John

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: StuntPilot on February 15, 2015, 02:42:47 PM
Reviving an old thread here ... just seen a suitable 2 person tent new from Exped. I am a fan of Exped quality and service
having purchased their downbeat and stuff-sacks.

This tent looks a good alternative to the Hilleberg Nallo 2 GT that many cyclists recommend. The Exped Cetus II is cheaper and weighs only 2kg! Worth a look for those still looking for a 2 person cycle touring home ...

http://www.exped.com/en/product-category/tents/cetus-ii-ul
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: John Saxby on February 15, 2015, 04:23:14 PM
Thanks for this, Richard -- interesting option, with a lot of space for gear, and reasonable weight too.  I'll stick with my current Hubba Hubba for a while yet, though at just over 2 kg it starts to feel heavy.

Some useful comments and sources on this thread, for sure. This winter, I've offloaded some older Sierra Design tents (one- and 2-3-person), old and well-used but still in good condition, plus an enormous heavy and strong 4-5 person Eureka, from family canoeing days. (The latter I gave to my neighbours, now starting camping/canoeing/etc with their two youngsters.)  Acres of space liberated on basement shelves.

The replacement one-person, this coming spring will be a DW Moment Tarptent (working on the assumption that there will be a spring: right now, it's -25 outside my window, with a windchill of -35, bright & sunny but too cold for me to go skiing or skating.)  This, after some serious consideration of The Weight Question, prompted by legs that don't get any younger and hills that don't get any gentler, it seems. New approach to TWQ includes a lighter sleeping bag, ditto tent, maybe ditto mattress, smaller tarp, and on some trips at least, drybags instead of rear panniers.  First reports by mid-summer.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: leftpoole on February 16, 2015, 09:40:36 AM
These should get some thinking started!


http://www.pbase.com/leftpoole/tents


John (who also has a Force Ten Helium Carbon and a Macpac Microlight and a Nordisk Telemark UL!
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: StuntPilot on February 16, 2015, 11:48:31 AM
Some good tents there. I replaced my ageing Vango Spirit 200+ with the Nitro Lite 200+ (same as your Nitro Lite but with a porch area). The Nitro Lite 200 (or 200+) is a good option too. Well made and light in relation to its space. Ideal for cycle touring.

The Tarptent DW Moment is a great single tent choice. I have the Double Rainbow which gives a bit more room for panniers and touring gear etc. Weighs just over a Kilo too! Worth considering if you need a bit more space. Its a 3 season + tent and stands up to strong winds well. I use the Double Rainbow for one or two person walking trips mainly.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: leftpoole on February 17, 2015, 10:42:24 AM
Tents! Along with my Stoves they are an expensive time consuming luxury. And, all for one (me!), oh dear.
But, of course the pleasure of waking up and turning on the stove (which one?) and that morning cup of tea
makes it all worthwhile.
Lying there sipping and thinking about life, then peeping out the door and seeing the grass, trees and the morning birds pecking the ground for worms or whatever.
Suddenly, if on a Campsite over there slightly out of sight behind a tree. What do I see?
A tent of interest. Up out of bed, dressed with haste and a wander over to look closely.
Oh dear it is a tent that looks good, I do not have one of those. I wonder how much it weighs? I wonder how much it costs?
Where can I find one?
Oh look, the occupant is getting out, must casually chat.
"Good morning", "good morning, nice day", "yes, about your tent........? And so it goes.
Enjoy what you have. Enjoy life. Enjoy health.
Without my own health life is very difficult, but I enjoy Thorn bikes, Camping and the outdoors.
I wish everyone well as I continue my own battle with Health.
All the best,
John......................Thinking about why I 'only' have two sleepings bags? Down, best quality, but what if I have an accident with one of them? Oh dear.....
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 18, 2015, 08:09:57 AM
Quote
Thinking about why I 'only' have two sleepings bags?
Um...four of those here, John.

Thanks for so nicely capturing the beauty and joys of camping in your little narration -- spot-on for me!

All the best,

Dan. (...who is wishing you better for the morrow)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: leftpoole on February 18, 2015, 01:06:29 PM
Updated today, all of my tents now showing. I have N+ 1 tents!

http://www.pbase.com/leftpoole/tents


Regards,
John
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on February 19, 2015, 07:33:45 AM
Quote
I have N+ 1 tents!
Brilliant!

 ;D

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: StuntPilot on March 17, 2017, 01:29:49 PM
I have just seen that MSR have launched two cycle touring specific tents called the Tour 1 and Tour 2. They are basically the Hubba with a gear shed and the Hubba Hubba with a gear shed. Interestingly the tent poles are now external to the fly allowing the tent to be put up in bad conditions without getting wet. As a Hubba Hubba fan, this could be even better for poor weather cycle touring.

Details here ...

https://www.msrgear.com/ie/tents/hubba-tour-1
https://www.msrgear.com/ie/tents/hubba-tour-2

And a good review with some photographs here ...

https://www.pannier.cc/journal/introducing-the-msr-hubba-tour-tent
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on March 17, 2017, 02:37:32 PM
What do you think about this tent, i am eyeing about it since a few months and today i can buy this tent for 600 euros.. i don't know if it's what i need really, it seems very huge! 
 
http://www.fjallraven.com/abisko-dome-2
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on March 17, 2017, 02:42:05 PM
Very nice but 600 wow i'd keep shopping.

anto.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on March 17, 2017, 03:21:07 PM
Hi jags,

Do you mean the tent even for 6OO euros, it is too expensive !?
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: julk on March 17, 2017, 03:25:21 PM
I used to have N+ 2 tents, but some have now gone away as offspring have ‘borrowed’ them permanently.
My favourite remaining brands are Hilleberg and Helsport.
Julian
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on March 17, 2017, 03:34:58 PM
I love the Hilleberg Allak tent but it is really to expensive for a tent in my eyes, even the hilleberg Soulo,it seems great !

About Helsport, there are the Riensfjell pro and Reinsfjell superlight for 2kg, splendide tent also !

I doubt, it's difficult to choose the perfect tent for its needs 

I don't know if i want a solo with one abside or a two persons with two absides for more space and comfort..
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on March 17, 2017, 03:59:23 PM
A gently contrarian view:

It is possible to carry a tent that is to big! On my 2008 European tour, I did the Dutch and Belgian portion with a Dutch friend using his new tent, a Tatonka Alaska 3 DLX: http://www.tatonka.com/en/Tents-Tarps/3-Person-Tents/Alaska-3-DLX/2584?colorid=208

It was incredibly roomy and could have likely housed two bikes in the generous vestibule, though we didn't try. Trouble is the thing required 4.3m in length alone by the time the lines were stretched out. It was wide, too. Even at Natuurkampeerterrein ("natural" campsites), we struggled to find pitches large enough for it.

In stark contrast, I use one-person tenst with minimal line extension for ledge camping in places where there's often just enough space for the tent and bike lined up end-to-end, side-by side, or in an "L"-shape. Point is, there's not always a lot of room to pitch a big tent, so that can be a consideration.

Silly as it might sound, I cut up an old tarp to the dimension of one tent I considered, just so I could actually see how much room it took and what shape. It was a *lot* bigger than it looked in the diagram! ??? Though I wanted it very much (or thought I did), it simply wouldn't have worked for the size and kind of wild campsites I use most often. My tent use is a little different from others, too. I use mine only for sleeping and typically ride through bad weather instead of waiting it out. That makes a huge difference for use and requirements.

Just something to think about.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on March 17, 2017, 04:11:59 PM
Julio to me 600 is a lot of money for any tent I don't care what label is on it.I'd safely say if you shopped around you would pick one up at half the price.the hilli nallo 2 is  lovely tent I toured with a friend from the uk he uses the nallo I use the mountain hardware.looks a lot like the nallo but  bit bulkier not a lot of difference in weight but its a lot less money.keep hunting julio.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mickeg on March 17, 2017, 04:40:21 PM
After carrying a tent that was either too small for both me and my stuff or carrying a tent that was too heavy, I finally decided to buy the Big Agnes Scout Plus.  It is a two person tent with vestibule that is designed for ultra light backpacking.  No poles included, instead you are supposed to use two walking (or trekking) poles.  And it is a single wall tent to cut weight.  I got lucky and got an older version of it on a clearance price for better than half off.

I had a decades old A frame tent in storage that I have not used for decades, I robbed some of the poles from that to cut to length for this new tent since when I am cycling I am not carrying any trekking poles.

Reviews on line indicated that some people hated it, the single wall design meant that in humid conditions it was prone to having a lot of moisture buildup on the inside of the roof in the tent.  But that was pretty much the only complaint I saw on line by other users.  I was hoping that with one person in the tent instead of two that excess moisture would not be too much of a problem since I plan to use it as a solo tent.

I used it for my most recent trip, two weeks of cycle touring in hot humid conditions in South Florida.  Worked great except there were two foggy mornings where there certainly was a lot of moisture built up on the inside of the tent roof that would rain down on me if I bumped the tent.  If there were two people in the tent so that both people would have the roof lower above them, I am sure it would have been harder to avoid getting wet from the wet ceiling, but for me as a solo it was more of an irritant than a serious problem.  Alone, I could do almost everything I needed to do inside the tent without touching the wet ceiling.

The other problem is that it is not a self supporting tent.  Usually that is not a problem, but it certainly was inconvenient when I had to set up the tent on a wood platform in a wetlands area where tent pegs would not work.  I had some spare cord that I had to cut for extra lines to try to deal with an inability to put in stakes.  And I stuck some twigs between the planking. 

Weight - 1035 grams, the poles that I cut to use with it are 280 grams.  (I measured these numbers, might differ from published specs.)  I did not buy the footprint, thus weight does not include that.

Bottom line - I really liked the tent and probably will use it for most future cycle touring. 

I looked thru my photos and only found one good photo of the tent, it is on the platform that I cited above.  There was a roof over the platform, so most of the tent is in shade, but unfortunately I do not have other good photos to show.


I have just seen that MSR have launched two cycle touring specific tents called the Tour 1 and Tour 2. They are basically the Hubba with a gear shed and the Hubba Hubba with a gear shed. Interestingly the tent poles are now external to the fly allowing the tent to be put up in bad conditions without getting wet. As a Hubba Hubba fan, this could be even better for poor weather cycle touring.

Details here ...

https://www.msrgear.com/ie/tents/hubba-tour-1
https://www.msrgear.com/ie/tents/hubba-tour-2

And a good review with some photographs here ...

https://www.pannier.cc/journal/introducing-the-msr-hubba-tour-tent

A couple years ago REI (major USA camping goods retailer) bundled a Hubba Hubba with a separate gear shed similar to that.  I ordered one, but when I went to pick it up it was quite heavy.  They had advertised the total weight with the gear shed but they cited a weight that was specific to the tent without gear shed.  I chose to return it without even opening the box.

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on March 17, 2017, 04:49:51 PM
You're right jags, i'm never spend this money for a tent, my last i bought it 150 euros (50% discount)

If i compare the Fjallraven with the Hubba Hubba, even at 600 euros it's two time the price of H.Hubba.

And as you said 300 euros it's also money for a tent..

Hi Dan ! tell me.. when you use your solo tent, where do you stock your Ortlieb panniers, i think you don't have enough space for stock them inside.. isn't it ?

Fine your tent Mickeg ! but as well, i undecided if i choose a superlight tent like yours or more heavy for the durability ..
Big Agnes, Tarptent, MSR H.Hubba are superlight but that means too fragile ..
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on March 17, 2017, 05:40:41 PM
Julien,

Don't forget to check the archives for tent discussions. It is an evergreen topic because it is so much fun. Be sure to check out this thread:
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=9905.0
Quote
Hi Dan ! tell me.. when you use your solo tent, where do you stock your Ortlieb panniers, i think you don't have enough space for stock them inside.. isn't it ?
There's always room in my tent for my helmet at the foot of my sleeping bag, and for my handlebar bag by my head. The vestibule has enough room to hold all four of my panniers. I used it to conceal all my panniers while sightseeing away from the campings owned by friends in Belgium. Photos below.

I sometimes place the bags inside the vestibule at night. With my full-zip side entry, I just move one bag to get in and out easily. They remain under cover, dry and accessible if I need something from them and the tent has enough room for me to sit fully upright and easily change clothes inside. When wild camping alone in the middle of nowhere and theft or animals are not a problem, I leave the panniers on my upright bike and use it like I would a bureau or armoire.

All best wishes for finding the ideal tent for your needs, Julien. I am eagerly looking forward to your choice.

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: leftpoole on March 19, 2017, 10:52:42 AM
Julio to me 600 is a lot of money for any tent I don't care what label is on it.I'd safely say if you shopped around you would pick one up at half the price.the hilli nallo 2 is  lovely tent I toured with a friend from the uk he uses the nallo I use the mountain hardware.looks a lot like the nallo but  bit bulkier not a lot of difference in weight but its a lot less money.keep hunting julio.

The Nallo 2 material would withstand far greater wind/storm than almost any other tent. Constant complaints about Hilleberg are rather annoying. Hilleberg are manufactured to a very very high specification . It is all a matter of personal opinion regarding size etc but quality is not able to be copied! A Hilleberg nallo is I believe now up to £835!
John
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: bobs on March 19, 2017, 01:07:23 PM
+1
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: bobs on March 19, 2017, 05:22:09 PM
You pays your money  and takes your chance.  I'm too old for camping so prefer hostels or b&b.

Bob
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: RST Scout on March 19, 2017, 05:44:21 PM
£800+ is way too much for me as well but I'll agree with Bob, youth hostels are looking good ;)

Janet
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: DAntrim on March 19, 2017, 09:27:07 PM
I've been using the Mini Peak II for the last year. It is very roomy for solo use and have not needed to seal the seams, though it is recommended. I purchased the tarp pole to go with it as it is designed to be used with a walking pole.

http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/shelters-1/WF126.html (http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/shelters-1/WF126.html).

Carlos
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on July 23, 2017, 03:18:18 PM
Hi all !

I found my tent :)
It was a difficult choice to find my tent because any tent is perfect.. finally i choose a good compromise i think.

My criteria was:

Enought space inside for one or two persons
An abside enought spacious to cook and store my stuff
A light tent for use with my bike or for trekking
A tent where i could use only the double roof as a tarp (bad weather) or only the interior room (good weather)
Full freestanding

I bought it new with 50% discount so 321 euros and i planning to buy the footprint separately (40e)

and curiously i broke down for a Vaude Hogan sul xt 2-3p

http://www.exxpozed.com/vaude-hogan-sul-xt-2-3p.html#



Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: in4 on July 24, 2017, 12:17:01 AM
Oops! I missed out the SUL bit there.

I'll leave this link up anyway as a reference point for Vaude tents; I used to have one too and was very pleased with it. I now have a ME Dragonfly XT. Fabulous tent but perhaps a tad too heavy for a solo tour; unless I head for sunny climes only and dispense with the fly, and cross my fingers.

Incidentally, I've been sleeping in a tent these past six weeks, in NT Oz. The dry season is a camper's delight and my morning view of a lagoon is a terrible hardship to endure.  ;) The gentle purr of a trangia boiling water for the first tea of the day. Ah, simple pleasures.


Further reading and endorsement of said tent.
https://northernwalker.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/long-term-review-vaude-hogan-xt-the-final-word/
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on July 24, 2017, 12:55:08 AM
No it is not this model .. mine is the version 2017 super-ultra-light (sul)

http://www.oppad.nl/?uitrusting=test-vaude-hogan-sul-xt-2-3p-2017
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on July 24, 2017, 10:51:22 PM
great tent  but man is it expensive  :o
still say no more if your happy thats all that counts. 8)

happy camping.

jags.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on July 25, 2017, 03:04:07 AM
great tent  but man is it expensive  :o
still say no more if your happy thats all that counts. 8)

happy camping.

jags.

Thanks but i bought my tent half price so 321 euros bargain jags ! 😉
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on July 25, 2017, 03:35:04 AM
What a lovely tent, Julien! All best wishes for many happy times with it; looking forward about hearing how it works for you.

Congratulations on a successful end to a long search!

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on July 25, 2017, 07:53:44 PM
great tent  but man is it expensive  :o
still say no more if your happy thats all that counts. 8)

happy camping.

jags.

Thanks but i bought my tent half price so 321 euros bargain jags ! 😉

for sure best of luck with it.

jags
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on July 29, 2017, 12:30:00 PM
Thanks to you

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2010.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/198)

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2011.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/199)

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2012.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/200)

Bag size with footprint inside : 50x16 cm
2.6 kg

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2013.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/201)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on July 29, 2017, 03:35:46 PM
Well done enjoy your camping you certainly
Have a class tent to keep you from any bad weather will u cook in it .

Anto.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: RST Scout on September 10, 2017, 09:54:02 PM
That is one nice tent, Julian. It's strangely similar to a Chinese tent that I got recently. The NatureHike Cloud UP 2 is very well made but it doesn't have the large porch, however it weighs in at around 1.8Kg - £72 with free footprint. I also got a Vango Omega 250 which is ginormous with a large porch that I can get Scout into but it's 4.19Kg :(  My requirements are a little different to most folks as I have my dog, Hamish (and his trailer!), to consider. I've had both up on the lawn but not yet used them for real. I'm now worried about all the weight to be loaded on to a Thorn RST and my ability to propel the whole thing........ and don't even talk to me about getting it all on a train ??? ::)


Janet
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on September 10, 2017, 10:22:08 PM
i have a nature hike cloud up 2  haven't used it as yet but yeah it's probably as good as any other tent ,mind u i'm no tent expert but sure if it keeps out wind and rain  jobs a good one  ;)


anto.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: RST Scout on September 11, 2017, 07:38:52 PM
Anto, have you seen the review of the Cloud on YouTube? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17XT1P3Ipd8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOhHpiZ9_oA
The reviewer gives some good tips for getting round a problem with the design.

Janet
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on September 11, 2017, 08:15:47 PM
cheers Janet i'll pop over there now.
wife away on holidays so im here alone totally fed up :'( :'( :'(
 so utube here i come.

anto.
thanks.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jags on September 11, 2017, 09:23:57 PM
Yes seen it I also made the improvement,s  rather have my mountain hardware t ho.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on September 24, 2017, 02:52:09 PM
Hi all,

I've a question for americans only ..  :)

About the Tarptent double rainbow : http://www.tarptent.com/double-rainbow.html

How much does it cost for you ? (shipping included)

In France we can get this tent for 435 e  (520 $)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: horizon on September 24, 2017, 03:15:17 PM
Quote
Danneaux wrote: My Dutch friend chose a Tatonka Alaska 3-person tent for his "luxury item", and won't be without it for solo tours despite a weight of 4.5-5kg. It is large enough to easily house his bicycle in the front vestibule, and I certainly enjoyed using it when we toured together in Europe, and I was able to pitch it quickly alone, as was he. Sleeping soundly at night makes a tremendous difference toward feeling happy and well the next day and all the days to follow on a long tour. Looked at that way, a 5kg tent is a pretty reasonable weight.

That's a little heretical these days but I happen to agree with it. I also have a 1.5kg tent for faster journeys but those 12 hours spent in the tent are worth carrying the weight for.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on September 24, 2017, 03:55:51 PM
Quote
I've a question for americans only ..
Hi Julien!

PM sent.

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: John Saxby on September 24, 2017, 04:06:33 PM
Quote
How much does it cost for you ? (shipping included)

Julio,

The price of my Tarptent DW Moment (one-person) was similar to that of the Dual Rainbow: USD 290 plus a few extras, plus USD 20 shipping to Canada.

Since then, the US Postal Service has jacked up its rates for parcels to Canada, so much so that I rarely get larger items from the States these days, even with the slightly-better exchange rates now in place.

A couple of observations on Tarptents, from my experience:

1)    I've found them to be very well made and well designed. The DW Moment, for example, offers excellent space for weight, the best of any tent I've had.

2)    If you expect to use the tent for tours longer than a few weeks, or if you're big and/or long, then I'd invest in the extra space.  I'm about 1.8 metres tall, and 83-85 kg.  My DW Moment is fine for me for tours of up to a month. For a longer period, I'd opt for something larger.  An example: I met up with a French fellow on my two-week tour of Eastern Ontario earlier this month. He was using a larger 2-person tent (by Vaude, I think), as he was on a Vancouver-to-Newfoundland trip, nearly 3 months; and, he was taller than me, 1.86 metres.

3)    I was doubtful about the Rainbow's single-wall construction, because of (i) condensation; and (ii) bugs. Both are problems where I live; neither was much of a problem on my monthlong trip in the Rocky Mtns and the Pacific Northwest last summer.  You could handle bugs by buying the Rainbow's optional internal liner.  I don't know about answers for condensation with the Rainbow. The DW Moment has very good ventilation from both ends, and ventilation is  also aided by the internal liner, which allows me to open at least one side vestibule at night. Also bear in mind that with the Rainbow, you have to purchase the alu or carbon support poles. (Or use your own trekking poles.)

4)    The one aspect of pitching the tent, which I have found is often fiddly, is this:  My DW Moment uses a single hoop pole (similar to the Rainbow Dual, as I look at the photos of the Rainbow.)  I have found it less-than-easy to thread the hoop pole quickly into its tube when pitching the tent; and also to take it out when taking the tent down.  My hoop pole (anodized alu) binds on the tube, especially if the pole or the nylon fabric is damp, so that this single operation can take me a few minutes.  Maybe a more spacious tube would help?

Hope that's helpful, and good luck.

John
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mickeg on September 24, 2017, 06:00:07 PM
Above on page 6 in the middle of the page I described my new Big Agnes Scout Plus tent.

Soon after that I found another fantastic clearance price on the Big Agnes Super Scout tent.  That is a very similar design, it is a single wall tent designed to use two trekking poles instead of providing tent poles with it.  But the Super Scout has a enourmous vestibule.  Super Scout weighs a bit more at 1320 grams than the Scout Plus which is 1035 grams.  And as I noted above, I had to cut my own poles.  But this thing can be used to store massive amounts of gear.  The vestibule is about 7 feet or about 2 meters long.

I am keeping both tents, I will decide on future trips which tent to use based on how much space I anticipate having for the tent, is the extra ~~300 grams of weight a concern, potential for wind as I suspect that the Scout Plus (described and pictured on page 6) will hold up better in wind, etc. 

Big Agnes still makes the Scout Plus with a different color, but they appear to have discontinued the Super Scout.  And they make one without a vestibule but I would never buy that one.  As I noted in my previous post on page 6, these are single wall tents with potential for significant interior condensation.  I would never suggest either of these tents for two people for that reason, but as a solo where I can stay in the middle taller part of the tent, it works ok. 

It is a tradeoff between condensation in a single wall tent or using a heavier double wall tent that is more bulky when packed.  I still have my older double wall tents and expect at times to use them instead where weight is not an issue.

A couple photos of the Super Scout.  There are two tents in the first two photos, I am referring to the tent with a light gray roof that is much longer than the other dome shaped tent.  The third photo, I am looking out the tent door towards the vestibule where I have a bunch of gear scattered about.  I added a clothesline in the vestibule by adding a line to two existing sewn-in loops, I have a few items hanging from the line in the second and third photos.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: Danneaux on September 25, 2017, 01:40:07 AM
Goodness! I realize I seem to be at the extremes here...

For over 30 years, my father and I each used Early Winters Pocket Hotel 3-layer single-wall GoreTex bivy-tents...24in/0.6m high at the entry, 19in/0.48m in the middle and the foot section like a sock, weight complete with stakes at 1kg each. Dad used his right up till he was 74 years old. Said getting in and out of the low little tent kept him limber. He was age 90 in the photos below.

In 2010, I upgraded to a larger 1-person Coleman eXponent [sic] Dakota 1 tent with side entry. Luxury, as I could at last sit up at the waist while inside and didn't need to crawl in and out on my back. I bought mine (three at the price) for USD$60 each on a half-price closeout sale. Good quality with polyester floor and fly and DAC aluminum poles.

The small tents work for me because I only use them for sleeping. If it is daylight and raining, I'm usually riding or standing around outside doing something like cooking. I can just store all my bags in the side vestibule of the Coleman when the fly is rigged. See: http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=3942.msg90686#msg90686

Both were a real contrast to my Dutch pal's Tatonka Alaska 3 DLX we used together on a 2008 tour of Netherlands and Belgium. That tunnel tent had a vestibule nearly as large as the sleeping compartment and measured 14.5ft/4.4m long. Current cost is a tick over 700€.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on September 25, 2017, 04:04:58 PM

Julio,

 Also bear in mind that with the Rainbow, you have to purchase the alu or carbon support poles. (Or use your own trekking poles.)

John


John,

To buy the alu or carbon support poles is only if i want to have a freestanding tent, but it's not essential i think..

On the other hand, i need to apply this : http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/practical/LC103.html

To sealing seams ...

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mickeg on September 25, 2017, 04:44:21 PM
Goodness! I realize I seem to be at the extremes here...

For over 30 years, my father and I each used Early Winters Pocket Hotel 3-layer single-wall GoreTex bivy-tents...24in/0.6m high at the entry, 19in/0.48m in the middle and the foot section like a sock, weight complete with stakes at 1kg each. ...

I never used a bivy, but I would not say you are at extremes.  I used to use a couple different one person tents that I could not get my gear into.  But after a lot of camping at campgrounds where people are wandering about, I decided I really need to get my gear more under cover.

First photo is a one person tent (2070 grams), small vestibule that I can get a good amount of gear into, but it still is pretty tight.  The photo is from a trip where we had vehicle support to haul gear, so my bike lacks racks in the photo.  Second photo (1670 grams), the vestibule is too small for more than two panniers.

I still have the tents in the photos, but expect to only use them where I have no potential theft concerns.

***

There is mention of trekking poles for putting up tents, above.  I bought a long 11mm aluminum pole (on Ebay, shipped from China, took a month) and cut it into several poles of the correct lengths to substitute for poles for my new Big Agnes tents that are considered trekking pole tents.  For biking that is the way to go, I can fold the pole to a pannier friendly length.  I also bought some trekking pole rubber tips that fit over that 11mm pole to put on the ends.  Works great.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on September 26, 2017, 03:46:11 PM
Where it was on the first photo ? lovely landscape   ;)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mickeg on September 26, 2017, 03:59:47 PM
Where it was on the first photo ? lovely landscape   ;)

If the question is about my photo in the post above yours, that was on the White Rim trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on March 07, 2018, 11:04:36 PM
Thanks to you

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2010.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/198)

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2011.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/199)

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2012.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/200)

Bag size with footprint inside : 50x16 cm
2.6 kg

(https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/07/93/69/th/img_2013.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/201)


On reflection and also as i found my dream tent finally i sold the Vaude tent for a Hilleberg Soulo. Yes my
ex Vaude was a litlle to big only for me, i mean it's more simple to find a small place than a large place to install the tent in wild bivouac..

I found a good deal some weeks ago, and bought this tent 40% discount. i already love it !

(https://i62.servimg.com/u/f62/19/07/93/69/th/img_2018.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/219)

What i like, the footprint can stay in place with the roof top only.
The interior room can be installed when you're safe inside.

(https://i62.servimg.com/u/f62/19/07/93/69/th/img_2019.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/220)

(https://i62.servimg.com/u/f62/19/07/93/69/th/img_2020.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/221)

No regrets   :)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: rualexander on March 08, 2018, 07:02:04 PM
I didn't like my Soulo, sold it on and got a Nallo 2.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on March 08, 2018, 08:38:07 PM
Can you tell me why you didn't like the Soulo ? 
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: rualexander on March 08, 2018, 09:00:24 PM
A few things bothered me about it julio.
Having also had a Hilleberg Stalon (no longer available) for 20 years, I was used to having pole sleeves and the ease of pitching by just pushing the poles through the sleeves.
The Soulo uses the clips which take time and are a bit fiddly, and there's the extra faff of the extra roof panel.
I thought the entrance zip was in the wrong place, it would have been better in the corner between the main body and the vestibule.
Whilst its a freestanding tent, in reality you need to peg it out to stop it blowing away when you aren't inside it, but i didn't like the guyline system.
It would be better if the entrance was on the smaller end of the vestibule, as it is on the larger end there's less space for gear and keeping it protected from the weather.
For a 1 person tent it is quite heavy.

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: PH on March 09, 2018, 12:55:47 PM
I wrote this on another thread in 2009, nine years and around 20 nights a year later, I don't think I've changed my opinion one bit. Time has reinforced my opinion that it has the best door design of any tent I've seen.  Sitting, or sleeping with them wide open (With the full mesh of the inner doors exposed) has been the highlight of some of my camping.
Quote
After not camping for 22 years I started again three years ago. I've been amazed at how much better tents are now.  Even the £80 Coleman I started with was better than the top range stuff from the 80s.
After trying a few tents my criteria was;
Two door for organisation
No permanent mesh, the Coleman could get draughty.
Sleep across the door, I find this far better for getting in and out and it gives more accessible porch space.
Less flappy than the tunnel tents I tried (including Hilliberg)
I bought a Terra Nova Solar 2.2, after 26 nights in it I'm well pleased.   The flatter roof and steep ends mean there's more usable space than the floor plan would suggest.  The two porches are great, I keep all the stuff in one and use the other as the entrance, which means I don't have to bring much into the inner tent.
it's not perfect, rain can form a pool on the flat roof (though that's never been a problem)  Pitching inner first takes more planning when done in the rain.  I takes careful adjustment to minimise condensation.
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1951.msg9070#msg9070

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3704/9763303985_55e0876075.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/fSKu8k)Fugeres campsite (https://flic.kr/p/fSKu8k) by Paul (https://www.flickr.com/photos/phbike/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on October 16, 2019, 09:37:48 PM
Hi all,

I found a very interesting 3 seasons tent, even if i keep my Hilleberg Soulo with me for winter time, i bought a new ultralight tent and very small once folded, i used it this summer in mountain hike, i love it !

Big Agnès Copper Spur Bikepacking hv ul1

(https://i.servimg.com/u/f93/19/07/93/69/th/p1160810.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/271)

https://backpackinglight.dk/tents/one-person-tent/big-agnes-copper-spur-hv-ul-1-bikepack-grayorange-2019

Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: in4 on October 17, 2019, 12:14:41 AM
Thanks for posting Julio. How tall are you and did you find the tent  big enough for you?
Thanks
Ian
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on October 17, 2019, 07:37:46 AM
The tent is big in length, widely enough for me, i'm 175 cm tall.
As well, the space inside is well designed..
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: mickeg on October 17, 2019, 01:52:59 PM
There are several different tents in the Copper Spur series of tents.

Some of them are popular with backpackers due to the light weight.

Right now I have too many tents, need to shed some of my older ones that I have not used in years and likely never will.
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: PH on October 17, 2019, 11:49:15 PM
Nice looking tent julio and it's amazing what you can get for the weight.  But having had one US style tent with lots of mesh and a fly that didn't go down to the ground i wouldn't consider another for UK conditions, which is most of my camping. 
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: jul on November 23, 2021, 12:18:19 PM
A feedback about my Big Agnes..

No tent is perfect..

What i don't like :
-floor is not waterproof !!   ::) crazy for a tent at 350 euros
-no possible to attach the inner room with the tarp during assembly (when it rain for ex..)

What i like :
-interior space, it is tall in length
-light weight
-possible to use only the tarp with the footprint (in option)
-sleep only with the inner room is fantastic (can see stars)
 
But in first place, the length hoops, takes up little space in a bag (for that it is called Bikepacking tent

I miss the floor of my Soulo Hilleberg, very robust and real waterproof

So i'm looking for new tent as the Big Agnes but with a robust and waterproof floor, not sure that it exists

(https://i.servimg.com/u/f93/19/07/93/69/th/img_2117.jpg) (https://servimg.com/view/19079369/420)
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: in4 on November 23, 2021, 01:03:58 PM
Following this journey with interest. So many choices, reviews, opinions around. The Hubba Hubba NX is mentioned a lot, as are various Hilleberg ones. For me it’s been a case of deciding which are the  essential features I want according to when and where I intend to ride. I’ve decided I’d like a free standing two-person tent. Three season with a semi-mesh inner that can be used without the fly ( stargazing not exhibitionism) but also for warm clement nights. Id like to sit up comfortable in the tent. I’m 179cm and don’t like the caving sensation!
I also want opposing two door entry/exit. Green colour for Special Ops work and DAC poles that fold reasonably small. I’ve read that Tyvek is a great product to make your own footprint with, so that’s something I’d also like.

Fussy so and so then 😉
Title: Re: Best Touring Tent
Post by: John Saxby on November 24, 2021, 07:54:39 PM
This is always an enjoyable topic, full of nooks & crannies, and a raftload of swings-and-roundabouts and 'orses-for-courses. So much depends on personal taste/habit/obsession, and on where and when we're touring, hence weather.

A few notes:

1)  Ian, you might look at this item: https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/dragonfly/ (https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/dragonfly/)  I just bought one from our local outdoors store, Bushtukah (a nice homage by its owners to 'Strayan, which I reckon not many of its customers recognize.)  Be advised that NEMO's products are in high demand, and several models are listed as "out of stock".

2)   My purchase is a bit of an act of faith that my arthritic hips will relent enough to let me use it next summer.  I bought the Dragonfly 2 P tent (rather than the 1P) because it has about 5cms extra headroom than my otherwise excellent Tarptent Moment DW, and is generally roomier.  The D'fly 2P is advertised as a 2-person tent, but when I erected it in the store, I saw that it would be suitable only for two very slender persons who like to be very close to each other:  interior width is just 45", and that's at the wide end.  I'm 20" across at the shoulders, so it's nice'n'roomy tent for me alone.

     It weighs 50 oz all-in (all weights & measures US-mode).  That's about 3 oz/85 gms more than my Tarptent with the optional-but-extremely-useful end-to-end crossing pole; essentially, the same weight. 

3)   Julio, my Tarptent Moment has a very sturdy floor, Julio. The maker does not recommend a groundsheet, unless you're using the tent in very rough conditions. I do use a groundsheet which I cut to size from an ultralight space blanket -- weight is maybe 30 gms.

4)   As a habit acquired from long paddling practice, I almost always carry a small Nikasil tarp, approx 6' x 8' & 400 gms. (US, sometimes Canajan measurements).

5)   Come spring, I plan to sell my Tarptent and (likely) my 2-person Hubba Hubba-mit-footprint.  Both vgc condition, no scrapes or tears.