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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 5 Jul 2009
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Thumbs up First impressions of a low cost tent for bike travellers

My dad recently decided to have a go at bike traveller with camping instead of B&Bs.

So he went out and bought a stack of stuff. I advised him as best I could, knowing that the reality of camping might actually put him off. So it was a fine line between buying kit that would make camping more enjoyable (ease of use, comfort), and not breaking the bank in case camping was not his cup of tea after all.

So as tents go, we opted for a Decathlon own brand Quechua T2 Ultralight.

At £80, I think it is a great buy.

Pros:

Light at 3kg
Spacious (for onw person and kit, but not for 2 people)
Relatively quick to erect, once used to it.
Packs really small (40 long and about 16 across)
For a dome tent it is surpisingly sturdy. (I leant on his tent and my own geodesic that was 3 x the cost and they seemed similarly resistant to flex)

Cons:

Small for two people
Small for tall people
Only one entrance
No mesh doors
Limited ability to close off the vents (you can either prop them open with a velcro foam support, or let the flop, but they are still a little open)

So if you do not plan to go to really extreme places in terms of weather, and want to save money and space and weight, then I would give this tent some real consideration!

So far, camping seems to have met with approval!
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  #2  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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I bought a £15 single skin tent from Tesco 3 years ago.. The design is the same as the one in your link.

I have used it for all the HU meetings, wild camps and other trips and it's kept me just as dry and cosey as the people with £300 tents !!

Sure, the pegs are cheap and it doesnt look as cool but it works.. I bought some heavy duty pegs for £3 off Ebay and now I would happy use it RTW.... It's been battered by heavy rain and high winds with no problems.. I probably wouldnt use it for Mountaineering but it is more than adequate..

Their tents cost TWENTY times more than mine... I wonder if it will last 20x as long ! I doubt it......

Just my 2p worth
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  #3  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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I use expensive tents (Black Diamond, Hilleberg). The question is not, "Will it last 20x longer than a cheap one?" The question is, "What are the likely consequences should my tent fail....in high winds with rain, possibly snow, in a strange country where I don't speak the language and where help is a long, long way off?"

I once had a tent collapse under snowloading with me inside. This can be: a. exceedingly uncomfortable or b. fatal (due to suffocation). After that, I started paying closer attention.

Not everyone needs an expensive tent, and not all expensive tents are in any respect worth what they cost. But when you need quality, only quality will serve.

Mileage varies.

Mark
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  #4  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
I use expensive tents (Black Diamond, Hilleberg). The question is not, "Will it last 20x longer than a cheap one?" The question is, "What are the likely consequences should my tent fail....in high winds with rain, possibly snow, in a strange country where I don't speak the language and where help is a long, long way off?"

I once had a tent collapse under snowloading with me inside. This can be: a. exceedingly uncomfortable or b. fatal (due to suffocation). After that, I started paying closer attention.

Not everyone needs an expensive tent, and not all expensive tents are in any respect worth what they cost. But when you need quality, only quality will serve.

Mileage varies.

Mark
Agreed.. You wouldnt go crossing Mongolia with a cheap supermarket tent but 9/10 people will never need the strength and design that their super expensive tents can provide...


I had an "all bells & whistles" £250 tent and it was no better made than some a FRACTION of the price. They just put a fancy name on it and some colourful guide ropes and charge you £££££££££££££s more.

I'm not saying that your expensive tents arn't worth their cost, but for most travellers, money is best saved for gas
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  #5  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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I've bought all sorts of things from Decathlon and never had a poblem with any of them whether it's the boots I bought 13 years ago and wear for at least half a year every year, the sundry fleeces, shorts, shirts, trousers, the 2 Seconds pop up tent I bought for festivals/car camping/kipping in people's gardens after bbqs, or the Ultralight Pro I got for bike (and bicycle) camping 6 years ago.

There just seems to be something about Decathlon's own brand products, they're inexpensive, no nonsense things and the only reason I can see for them being cheaper is their lack of "brand" and their buying power. Certainly Decathlon is first port of call for everyone I know in France when they want reasonable sports/camping/cycling/outdoor gear. The service has always been good, the staff generally seem to be young people keen on their chosen department who use the products themselves, and they'll even put up with you testing every sleeping bag and popping-up every pop up tent on their shop floor without complaint.

Well worth it IMHO.
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  #6  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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After looking around for a cheapish tent recently I opted for the T2 Ultralight from Decathlon also.

I've only used it for 1 wet weekend in the lake district so far, but I liked it, it held up to the wind and rain and was easy to erect.

I've added a groundsheet for extra protection and so I can erect the flysheet first if its raining.


Nick.
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  #7  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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Another advantage of the T2 Ultralight is that, the morning after you get stupidly drunk and break one of the poles of the tent when trying to get inside..



.. you're probably only a short ride from the nearest Decathlon, where you'll find a ridiculously cheap spare part. Absolutely my favourite shop in the world, but boy did my head hurt that day.

--Mike
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  #8  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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I agree, decathlon is worthy gear, often, ive looked at brand name models and dec models next to them in the shop, and gone for the dec model. Often 3 times less expensive and still lasting long. I'm interested in the T2 ultralight, for biking its perfect me's calling.

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  #9  
Old 7 Jul 2009
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My 15 euro supermarket dome tent has served me well for the last five years. It has survived torrential thunderstorms in the Pyrenees and ice in Northern France and Germany. It paid for itself after the first nights use, as most B&b's are double or more its price.
From choice I only camp in good weaher and my priorities are:=
It has to be insect proof but well ventilated.
It has to be able to be erected and used without pegs.
It has to be waterproof.

I would like some kind of awning for cooking, and the overlap shown on the decathlon tent would stop any wetness entering when you open the door. Which is probably my tents only failing.
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  #10  
Old 13 Jul 2009
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Vango Alpha 200?

Long time lurker, first time poster.....

Thought I'd add that I use an Vango Alph 200, which has been superb. It has stood up to gales on the Atlantic coast in Cornwall, and served well throught Morocco last October.

It was £29.99 from the internet, weighs about 3kg, packs up nice and small, and is quick to pitch.

Fair enough, at 6ft tall, my head touches both ends, but that's not the fault of the tent.

I'd like to replace it, but my criteria were that it should be 2 man size, light weight, and stand up on it's own for pitching in the desert. I was prepared to pay as much as necessary for those attributes, but the Alpha was the only one which fitted the bill. It is sheer coincidence that it was only £29.99.

In short, Vango Alpha 200 is great.

B
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  #11  
Old 15 Jul 2009
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My wife and I have actually tried a cheap 25€ tent which held up quite alright up until one of the poles snapped in two in the middle of the night. After that we bought a 100€ McKinley tent (Dakota II) and have been quite happy with it ever since. Didn't really see no need to get anything more expensive than that and it actually did stay completely dry during two weeks of non-stop rain at the Baltic Sea in 2006.
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  #12  
Old 25 Jul 2009
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If anyones thinking of buying a ultralight pro, decathlon have a sale on at the moment and i just picked one up for £59 down from £79.

Stephen
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  #13  
Old 28 Jul 2009
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I was thinking about getting one of these.

Outdoor Megastore Vango Shadow 200+ Lightweight Tent

Fairly new product but has anyone got any experience of them or even seen one to comment?

I've already got a Vango Banshee which is a great little tent with a good level of waterproofing, alloy poles, etc, but very small. Vango tents are other similar priced tents are fine for me. £300+ on a tent is overkill for my needs.
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  #14  
Old 28 Jul 2009
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not seen one Craig but looking at the specs... "3000mm hydrostatic head protection" for me is too low.
If that tent is going to be your home on the road & you need to rely on it in all weathers, it has to be really waterproof with a 10,000 mm hydrostatic head protection. I loathe soggy sleeping bags!
Just my 2 pence!
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  #15  
Old 28 Jul 2009
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3rd tent

Hi there, last year I bought a Khyam Z1 one man tent in a sale for 40 quid. excellent tent or so I thought. In reality there are no pockets to put anything like keys or in my case glasses. Most important. Also quickly discovered that there is no room inside to store equipment such as helmets or boots or in my case soft luggae. ( I cant afford fixed secure hard luggage, it is soft with pacsafes for now)

I then discovered my GF wanted to come with me so I bought a Khyam Calgary 2 man tent, again in a sale for 25 quid. Great tent but not enough room for gear.

I finally settled on a Vango Omega 250. It cost a 100 quid but has loads of space for equipment takes no longer to put up and pack down than the other two and weighs less and packs smaller into the bargain. I guess whatever tent you buy you will find something better in the end.

Incidentally I have discovered it is the same with stoves, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and just about everything to do with camping. You buy what you can afford and then discover why expensive gear is just that, expensive. Getting it right is trial and error and costs a fortune! Best of luck.
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