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  #1  
Old 5 Mar 2008
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Questions of tents?

, Bonjour, 'allo, greetings etc...

Tenting. Couple of questions for all you lovely people out there?

1) Comedy tents - Spiderman, Barbie etc. Are theses tents any good beyond the festival circuit? Or are they just comedy value?
2) Carrying on from the above, theses tents which can be thrown into the air and spring into shape, again any good?
3) What size of tent is appropriate? E.g I am 6ft tall. With my bags etc would i be better purchasing a 2 man or 3 man tent? Also considering there may be occasions when i am not in there on my own...
4) Finances dictate that 1 summer and 1 winter tent are not applicable. 1 tent, all weathers for UK and hopefully european travel. Any suggestions?
5) Roll mats. Which are better inflatable or foam?

Any answers appreciated....

Merci + au revoir

Matt
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  #2  
Old 5 Mar 2008
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1. Comedy tents tend to be single skin for mud lovers
2. Quechua 2-second and similar are OKish but don't pack to a size that's suitable for a bike. Very useful if your brakes failed as you could deploy the air brake.
3. Think of where you would put your wet gear as well.

Kevin Sanders did a good write up a few months ago on camping equipment for Motorcycle Sport and Leisure magazine and he recommended bikers to concentrate on the sort of gear that trekkers would use. Trekkers have the same requirements--the need for lightweight and small pack size, plus the need to store wet gear, etc.

Amongst the best tents are Vaude (VAUDE-The Spirit of Mountain Sports - Official UK Vaude website) but they are expensive. I currently use the Gelert Mongoose (Mongoose 2 - Gelert) but it doesn't have the large porch area that you need for wet gear storage.

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Old 5 Mar 2008
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So again...

...and maybe someone should start a special "tent only questions page" soon!! GRANT - can you hear me???!!!

Anyway....what you definitely want is a tent with aluminum poles 7001! They can withstand very strong winds and storms without breaking! Because GB and the rest of Europe can be pretty wet I recommend a 10.ooo mm "rain-barrier" for the floor. As was already mentioned VAUDE are very good, you might also want to see this page: Rejka Outgear. It's the place where I got my tent something like 6 years ago and despite very extensive use it is still doing fine! Never had any problems, had to use it even during typhoons and torrential rains. Another option would be the North Face tent series. It all comes down to these questions: how much money do you want to spend, when and how long do you want to use the tent and are you satisfied with less? If I can help you with anything, please let me know - I think (guess and hope) I can call myself a "veteran camper and outdoor enthusiast"! Mails also directly to klausdort(at)web.de.

Have fun shopping and enjoy riding your bike!!
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  #4  
Old 5 Mar 2008
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look at hillibergs

just bought a hilliberg nallo3 gt. going to use it for the stans/mongolia next year. it is the rolls royce of tents and unfortunately this is reflected in the price. it is however big and the porch of the gt model is huge. they are also tough as nails being standard tents on many expeditions into knarly places. i reckon the nallo2 gt could the the ideal tent. we only got the 3 person version cos we had to endure a microtent for 8 months in sth america and couldnt resist the luxury of a big tent.
Hilleberg link to manufacturers site
ALPENSTOCK - The In Place For The Outdoors link to a uk shop that discounts tents 15%, we used them and they were very efficient
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  #5  
Old 5 Mar 2008
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I have a north face mountain marathon tent (http://www.thenorthface.com/download...tions-A131.pdf : PDF), which I'll happily sell to anyone who wants it. used for probably 20 to 30 days, but in vgc. very small pack size, and great tent, but I need a free standing inner only tent.

I think for non europe camping a free standing tent is essential. it means you can camp in a forecourt, sand, driveway, etc and not have the limitation of putting pegs into the ground. Inner only pitching is also a good thing for wild camping.

cheers,
Doug
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Old 5 Mar 2008
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Tents, eh?

It's quite difficult to strike a good balance between cost and performance. 'Comedy' tents? Well I suppose it depends on how you funny you think it'd be waking up at 3am with a soaking wet sleeping bag that isn't due to an over-ingestion of tequila.
Pop ups? Hmm, no personal experience but most modern tents are pretty simple to put up so I'd pay more attention to things like internal space, weight, pack size, quality of materials etc.
Size? I use a smallish 2 man when on my own and riding a bike. A little extra weight is not really much of an issue when you're not actually carrying the thing yourself. If you envisage company then I'd go for a three man. A good sized porch for wet kit is a nice thing to have too.
As to using a tent year round? Well, it's often just as bog awful in summer here as it is in winter, so I'd always go for a good quality tent with aluminium poles (fibreglass poles should be avoided at all costs, they shatter).
What brands to go for? Well, the aforementioned Hilleberg are about as good as they come but are NOT cheap. A little cheaper but still good quality are The North Face, Mountain Hardwear and (my personal favourite) Macpac. Macpac are a kiwi company make superb quality tents at very reasonable prices. A little cheaper, but still worth a look are Coleman, Vango and (my favourite in this range!) Wild Country.

Inflatable matresses are definately MUCH more comfortable than the foam ones, but they do carry the risk of puncture. However, the risk is fairly small and they can be fixed. Definately worth the extra money. See alpkit.com for cheap ones, although Thermarest are the originals and many say the best.

Matt
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Old 5 Mar 2008
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There is little of value that i can add to the, most people have said it all above. As for the 2second tents, the biggest issue with these are that when folded they are flat but are a circle about 90cm D. Which could be very hard to pack on a bike. I use a small 2 man hiking tent.. North face tadpole 23 and slickrock. Both excelent tents and the Tadpole can be used in Uk 4 seasons.
There is only one point here that i think is worth mentioning. IMHO the way to go iscompletely freestanding inner! I have seen all to often tents that need to be pegged out to stand, become useless if the ground is just wrong i.e hard as a rock or way too soft. A tent that needs pegging may need several differnt types of pegs to deal with hard soil, rock, mud, sand. Where as with a freestanding the worst that can happen is that your vesibule, is limp.. not ideal but better then no tent at all...

For example.. I was in Paris a while back, and staying in the campground near the city centre (sorry cantr remember the name.) But the ground was so hard that non-free standing tents could not be pitched, and many people ended up sleeping with out a tent.. and as thier gear was exposed, several people woke up to find things had gone walkabout. Off piste this is true too, and great when your mates beg you to come into your tent cus thiers wont go up and it is wet out !!!!
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Old 5 Mar 2008
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If you're looking at sleeping mats - give this a little look - short video about the EXPED Downmat

EXPED Downmat Review

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  #9  
Old 5 Mar 2008
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ive got a quechco 2-second tent and its fine for car camping but not for bike camping. in fact its got some features superior to my vango and khyam tents,
plenty of room, but its only the one room, so no storage.
pops right up but its not stable in a really strong wind, and it packs too big and heavy to put on the bike.
black inner tent so you get a great nights sleep and lie in but its a bit like a pitch black cave, even in the day, and it gets warm in there.
massive opening, almost one end of the tent!

its a good tent but i wouldnt bother if i had to hike or ride with it
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Old 6 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattcbf600 View Post
If you're looking at sleeping mats - give this a little look - short video about the EXPED Downmat
Enjoyed your mat and Trangia videos. The bag-pump of the Exped mat is really ingenious.
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  #11  
Old 6 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
There is only one point here that i think is worth mentioning. IMHO the way to go iscompletely freestanding inner! I have seen all to often tents that need to be pegged out to stand, become useless if the ground is just wrong i.e hard as a rock or way too soft. A tent that needs pegging may need several differnt types of pegs to deal with hard soil, rock, mud, sand. Where as with a freestanding the worst that can happen is that your vesibule, is limp.. not ideal but better then no tent at all...

For example.. I was in Paris a while back, and staying in the campground near the city centre (sorry cantr remember the name.) But the ground was so hard that non-free standing tents could not be pitched, and many people ended up sleeping with out a tent.. and as thier gear was exposed, several people woke up to find things had gone walkabout. Off piste this is true too, and great when your mates beg you to come into your tent cus thiers wont go up and it is wet out !!!!
This is very good advice.. I use a very cheap dome tent I can put up anywhere, and carry it in one hand to plonk down exactly where i want it. Also i use a demountable camp bed, it keeps me off the ground and being supported at the sides means i dont roll off it during the night. To my mind much better than matresses or mats. ( no chance of puncture)
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Old 7 Mar 2008
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Tents..

A lot of great info been given already..
I would say you are looking at a 3 season, semi or fully geodesic tent, though semi's or at least semi self standing tend to be more rugged in their build.

I use myself an Exped Orion, great tent, but not the cheapest, but if your serious it will last you a long time. I can also recommend vaude's range of tents highly.. fast to pitch in most cases and roomy.

Being 6'3" myself, I have had no problems with them. Both exped and vaude I sell through my shop (see the Gearpac link below) however, the tents are due in anytime now.. (march arrival).

As for sleeping mats, yes, the exped down and foam filled mats are great. The foam are a bit cheaper out of the two. If your only really doing summer travel and sticking to europe the foam mats are great, the down however are brilliant if your going any where cold and snowy.. lol.

As for hard ground, yes lots of modern campsites now days use a gravel drainage blanket under their pitches to promote grass growth and water drainage, the problem is, it can be hard packed after a while and then ordinary pegs tend to bend.. so these for me are always essential to add to your peg bag..
Exped V stake Tent Pegs Gearpac.com Expedition Equipment and Travel Gear

I have had mine own set, with my orion for two years, and havent managed to bend a single one yet, despite clouting them with rocks and mallets.
There are also, in the interests of fairness, other makers and styles out there, but for me these are top, hence why I sell them.

As for comedy and pop up tents, most are single walled and prolonged usage will lead to condensation problems.. and damp and smelly gear.

If you plan to rider abroad regularly and camp, invest in a quality tent and take care of it, and it will take care of you for many years.

As for a seperate tent thread,, prob a great plan..lol..
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Last edited by JohnW_Gearpac; 7 Mar 2008 at 13:14.
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Old 7 Mar 2008
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Geodyic???

Thanks guys and gals. Great info and links there. Will let you know what i get... Cheers

Matt
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Old 8 Mar 2008
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Oz, I've used a Nallo GT-2 for a couple of seasons and the quality is great. However, the number one thing for a tent is that it is 100% waterproof 100% of the time and mine isn't! The lightweight silicon-nylon material lets a fine mist in under very hard/thunderstorm conditions. The sleeping area that has the inner tent in has never got wet but the porch area has a fine mist over everything. This season I'm reproofing it with nikasil. Mine may just be a one off but get it pitched in some serious rain to check it out before you go.
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Old 8 Mar 2008
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hi matt,
im only in fareham, and ive a self inflating mat going spare if you want it, i cant get on with it. was waiting for the weather to improve before i put it on ebay.

i cant remember the name of the place now, but on the old A3 waterlooville/london road theres a big caravan/motorhome dealer that has a lot of tents pitched indoors you can look at, and cotswold camping in hedge end village usually has some 'high end' tents out, and if you want spangly titanium gear go and look in snow+rock, port solent, but get a bank loan first!
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