Author Topic: Best Touring Tent  (Read 20329 times)

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #15 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.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 10:20:48 PM by Danneaux »

stutho

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 850
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #16 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!)       

stutho

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 850
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #17 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

Pavel

  • Guest
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #18 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?

Pavel

  • Guest
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2012, 11:55:26 PM »
Ooops.  Back to topic.

6527richardm

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #20 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.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #21 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.

Pavel

  • Guest
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #22 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.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #23 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.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 08:04:39 AM by Danneaux »

Relayer

  • Guest
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #24 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.

julk

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 883
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #25 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.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #26 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.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 05:16:28 AM by Danneaux »

philb0412

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #27 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.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #28 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.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 04:13:10 AM by Danneaux »

il padrone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
Re: Best Touring Tent
« Reply #29 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.





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




Video of the setting up here

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

The features of the tent are detailed here
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 06:30:12 AM by il padrone »