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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 3 Sep 2005
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Columbia Tents ?

Has anyone used a tent made by the Columbia brand ?
I am looking at a 2-3 person tent ,seems good value at $150 [cdn ]but who knows ?
Or is there a better alternative in this price range ?

Regards
Roger

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Old 7 Sep 2005
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Roger,
not used Columbia, but they make reasonable gear - with everything though if it is cheap it aint going to perform as well or for as long as MOST - but not all - more expensive, Hopefully better made gear.
The North Face, Vaude,Coleman are well made and reasonably priced, or one from MEC in this price range would be fine - especially as there aftersales service is so good.
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Old 7 Sep 2005
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Price should probably be low on the list of "features". You don't specify what model you are talking about, how you would use it, so its almost impossible for anyone else to confirm its suitability.

Cheap gear - especially a tent - isn't worth the price, as well as the weight for hauling it around if it doesn't perform properly when required. In the case of a tent, it should hopefully keep you and your other gear dry in the extreme condition.
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Old 7 Sep 2005
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Thanks for the replies ,point taken about the cheapness .
It's not easy getting hold of good gear when you live so far away from the large towns and ordering blind from a catalogue is not my favourite way to do business .
But what I'm trying to do is to get an idea of the better brands and the ones to avoid .I've heard good things about MEC ,I've always been a bit dissapointed with Coleman stuff [haven't tried their tents though ,but probably will give them a miss ].
Any recommendations for a good quality free-standing 2-3 person tent would be very welcome !
Best Regards
Dodger
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Old 8 Sep 2005
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The problem with outdoor gear is striking a balance between cost and quality. I would agree to a point with the sentiment that good gear costs money but it's very easy to spend big bucks on something you don't need. To give you an example I have a one man mountain tent that cost 300 UK pounds. Its a phenomenal tent but unessecary for bike touring. For that I use a 3 season 2 man tent which cost 100 UK pounds. Its more than adequate for camping in the valley in summer, it's also put up with some quite hefty winds and heavy rain.
Don't spend good money on something you don't need.
I would suggest that as long as you go for a well known brand with a good wind shedding design and with Aluminium poles (avoid fibre glass) then it will be fine for most uses.
matt
ps- I believe columbia stuff is pretty good, not high end, but solid well priced kit.
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Old 8 Sep 2005
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Try <a href=http://www.rei.com/>REI</a>
They have articles on selecting gear - things to consider when choosing - as well as a wide assortment of several different brands.
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Old 8 Sep 2005
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In fact, for a fairly decent, 2-person, 3-season, reasonably priced tent, I can recommend the REI Half Dome:

http://www.rei.com/product/47943133.htm

I've used this tent for over 100 days of MC camping the past several years - its held up well with no problems, easy to set up, roomy with two side entrances with vestibules that are big enough to enclose 41liter Touratech Zega Cases (when my riding gear is wet, gear goes up on top of the cases, keeping it out of the tent, up off the ground.

Its a popular tent among the MC crowd here in Washington (where wet is the word).

Those are some of the features I look for in a tent, and I didn't even mention the price - $160.00 - and if you buy regularly from REI, take out a membership and you get a 10% member dividend end of the year (good for buying more stuff).

[This message has been edited by quastdog (edited 12 January 2006).]
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Old 9 Sep 2005
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Thanks for the info qaustdog , there's nothing more valuable than advice given from experience .
Does REI have an outlet in Canada ?
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