Touring - Tents for giants
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My old tent weighs 14 pounds and is not completely rainproof, but its sleeping compartment has a massive length of 290 cm, so I was willing to put up with its shortcomings in other areas. However, it has developed a mold problem during the very wet winter, so now it's time for me to buy a new tent.
I have found that the "Exped Vela II Extreme" suits my needs well with its 255 cm length. However, in Europe it's very expensive. I was hoping to take advantage of the low dollar rate, and import it from the US, but I have not been able to find a store that stocks it.
Can anyone point me to an online store in the US that sells this Exped tent, or do you have any tips for other tents that can accomodate an extremely tall individual? Or maybe one of you is selling such a tent? I would prefer a 2-person tent. I'm 6'8 and would need at least 240 cm / 95 inches of usable length. I'm hoping to spend no more than 300 dollars.
When shopping for tents, it's quite clear that my height is a handicap. :)
05-17-08, 12:47 PM
05-17-08, 01:03 PM
Did not see many outlets for Exed tents, but here are a few tents that may work:
1. Eureka SpitFire 2 - Tent ($140)
129x70" (327x178cm), 4 pounds 8 oz (2.2 kgs)
2. Eureka Zeus 3 Classic Tent ($200)
95x78" (241x198cm), 6 pounds (2.7kgs)
3. Kelty Gunnison 2.1 ($180)
92 x 58" long (233x147cm), 5 pounds 9 oz (2.6kgs)
4. Black Diamond Mirage 2 Tent ($280)
94 x 58" (239x147cm), 4 pounds 6 oz (2.05 kgs)
5. Mountain Hardwear Light Wedge 3 Tent ($210)
Length = 96" (244cm)
6. Marmot Swallow 2 Tent - 2008 ($300)
Length = 93" (236cm)
7. Sierra Designs Meteor Light CD Tent - 2007 ($200)
Length = 96"
8. Sierra Designs Meteor Light 2 Tent - 2008 ($240)
Length = 96"
9. The North Face Dyad 22 Tent - 2008 ($200)
Length = 94"
Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I'll be going through them and hopefully I'll find something that suits me. I have a new bike coming in, and without a proper tent I'll be stranded anyway. So thanks again for the help.
05-18-08, 09:25 AM
Have you considered Hennessey Hammocks (http://www.hennessyhammock.com/comparisonchart.html)? They have four "over 6ft" models ranging from 274cm to 285cm in length. You could send them an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking what would be best for someone of your super tallness.
05-18-08, 10:59 AM
I have similar problems, though I'm only 6'4". My first bike touring tent was an old Eureka Timberline that they used to sell in a larger size - the floor was 5' x 8'. It was great for one person and it didn't leak. However, it was also quite heavy, and I broke a lot of spokes on that first tour. I vowed to lighten my load.
My next tent was a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight. It was very cramped. I could only sit up in one spot and when I lied on my back reading the top of my head was pushed up against the end of the tent. But it was much lighter. It also didn't have very good ventilation, which was a problem when I went in during the afternoon to hide out from mosquitoes. It was like a sauna bath. Finally, on my last tour, in a rainstorm, it leaked around my feet, and I decided it was time to look for something else.
My next tent was a Eureka Backcountry 1. This is 8' long so I can lie on my back with a bit of room to spare. It weighs about the same as the Clip Flashlight. The fly goes all the way to the ground so I think it won't leak. The ventilation is okay. However, it's extremely narrow. I like to read on my side in bed, and I discovered this was nearly impossible.
So I just bought another tent. It's an L. L. Bean Microlight 2-person. It's also 8' long. It's design is a lot like the Clip Flashlight, except that the tent body is all mesh. This should give it good ventilation when I'm hiding from mosquitoes, and keep the weight down (it weighs just an ounce or two more than the Clip Flashlight.) The fly comes down to the ground so I'm hoping it doesn't leak. It's wider so I think I'll be able to read on my side, and I'm hoping there will be room for my panniers under the end ("vestibule"). I haven't even set it up yet, so I have no practical experience. I'm hoping to take it for a spin on Memorial Day.
The Clip Flashlight and the L. L. Bean tent aren't freestanding. The Backcountry 1 is. In all my years of touring I've never needed a freestanding tent, but if you think you might, bear that in mind.
I've looked at the Spitfire 2 that someone else mentioned. If neither the Backcountry 1 or L. L. Bean Microlight 2 works for me, I may try the Spitfire next. (I'm always on a quest for the "perfect" setup.)
In my search for long tents, I have tried out a number of different makes. One thing most have in common, is that although the stated length may be 8', the usable length is a lot shorter due to the sloping roof. So I think a long tunnel tent would be great, but the long ones I have found are either expensive or heavy.
Anyway, I went ahead and ordered a Squall 2 from Tarptent. It was pretty cheap in my view, so I thought I'd give it a try. The length and width looks good, and an added bonus for me is that I will be able to sit up in the opening to do my cooking and some woodcarving. Also, I will have shaved about 12 pounds off my load.
I'll try it and post a report about how it suits a really tall person. It'll be a week or so.
I hike with a guy who is 6'6" tall. he has an older Kelty that looks identical to this one but his is called someting else? they must have remnamed it. still, for a tall fellow it is a good tent. and the $160 msrp aint bad. you might find it cheaper.
OK, it was the Kelty Windfoil. found these reviews. most commont on the room to weight ratio. and good for tall folks.
Ok, I have now had time to test the Tarptent Squall 2, and I can report that it is indeed a tent suitable for very tall persons. I (6'8'') am able to stretch out unhindered while lying down, and there are several inches of space left at both ends. Also good room for me to sit upright in the entrance. I am very happy with this tent.
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