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Old 03-12-06, 02:40 PM   #1
mr bill
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anyone wanna help me pick out a tent?

First, let me give you the basic details of my tour. I'm gonna start off in aberdeen at the end of june, ride south, get to the mainland, then head north through belgium, netherlands, germany and poland. then i'm gonna start heading south through czech republic, maybe slovakia, austria, switzerland and italy. the timetable is quite loose, but i want to get south before the weather up north gets real bad. so hopefully that'll give you some idea of what i need.

I was looking at these tents:

http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ry_rn=40003461

http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ry_rn=40003461

http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ry_rn=40003461

The last two seem to be technically too long packed for my panniers (ortlieb sport packer plus). The website where i bought the panniers says that they are 15.7 inches high, whereas the last two tents listed are packed at 16 and 20 inches respectively. I bet I could squeeze the 16 incher in there, but not the 20 incher. So for that I would probably have to just strap the tent to my rear rack, right? How do those of you who strap the tent to your rear rack feel about that option?

and if you guys have any other suggestions in this price range (300 is pretty much my upper limit i think), let me know.

Anyway, any general input is welcome. I'm pretty inexperienced with regards to tent buying, so just feel free to give me your thoughts. and if you know of any other online stores that are great for buying this sort of thing, let me know...
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Old 03-12-06, 04:39 PM   #2
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I did a search ("Search The Forums" link at the top of the page) and came up with these threads that discuss tents options...

Recommendations on tent

Tent Recommendations

Tent for Stealth Camping

Tarp Touring

Also, campmor.com sells outdoor equipment.
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Old 03-12-06, 07:13 PM   #3
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Check out Arkel panniers.

They have a GT-54 model. The are asymmetrical, in that they are not both identital. One side has a tube to take tent and poles. I just measured mine and the tube is 24 inches long.

I just the tube for a sleeping mat because I use a hammock. If you are open to thinking 'outside of the tent', I would suggest you check this out.

I have a few ideas and pictures on my journals also.
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Old 03-12-06, 07:43 PM   #4
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Those are three very different tents. Each would have its advantages and disadvantages.

The first is a single wall test. That means there is no rainfly. Instead you have a single layer of material that is waterproof. Single wall tents tend to suffer from poor ventilation and can have condensation problems in humid climates. But, the tent you listed is quite lightweight.

The second tent is lightweight, has a removable rain fly, and is reasonably lightweight. With the rainfly removed, the tent has lots of netting for ventilation. However, the tapered design may make you feel a bit cramped after a while. You will only be able to sit up next to the door. This tent would perform very well in storms and winds, especially if you pitch it so the narrow end is into the wind. Note that unlike the two other tents you list, this tent is not freestanding. You must stake it to the ground.

The third tent is a general purpose tent that is designed for cooler temperatures. It's the heaviest tent, but is not particularly well ventilated since it's designed for use in higher and cooler elevations. REI makes similar shaped tents with much greater ventilation (the Half Dome is one example) that would probably be a better choice. This tent would probably be too hot in lower elevations in summer.

Don't be too concerned about the packing length of a tent. The poles are what determine the length of the tent stuff sack. Typically, bike tourers strap the poles to the top of their rear rack or in pole sleeves on a rear pannier and pack the rest of the tent separately.
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Old 03-13-06, 11:09 PM   #5
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I hve the big agnes seedhouse 1.
It's the perfect size for me and it packs up small and is really light.
if you're looking for more room, try the seed 2
and campmor has great prices

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226
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Old 03-14-06, 12:31 AM   #6
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I'm a big fan of this tent: Black Diamond Megamid , although not many people seem to agree with me. The Mega Light looks good, too, although I've only read the catalog description. The The floorless pyramid design takes a little care in selecting a site and has to be pitched properly, but it's extremely lightweight and very sturdy for it's weight. I cook inside mine in bad weather, which is very risky in a more conventional tent. Mosquitoes are not as big a problem as I first feared, just pitch the tent close to the ground and the little critters usually aren't smart enough to fly under the edges.
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Old 03-14-06, 01:35 AM   #7
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i second the comments on the single walled tents, the condensation would be an issue ...

i had a tunnel style tent but found that being a bit bigger it became somewhat cramped and it wasn't really tall enough to sit up in ... a dome style tent gives you more room to move about in ...

i prefer to take a two man tent even when touring on my own, this gives me more room to spread out and also to keep my panniers inside at night ... the extra weight is pretty minimal for the advantages you gain ...

two things you shouldn't skimp on when touring is your tent and your sleeping bag ... that is what keeps you warm and dry at night when you are done biking ...

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Old 03-15-06, 02:15 AM   #8
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Your first choice, the Black Diamond / Bibler FirstLight is a great tent. I have one. If you agree that all tents are a compromise (weight / size / convenience of erection / waterproofness / long life / breatheability / noise in the wind, etc.) you have to decide what works for you.

I draw the line right at about 3 pounds + or - and I had a single wall tent before when I was a backpacker. Firstlight is not treated to be flame retardant and REI will not ship it to certain states - and they mean that. MN is one such state but I ordered directly from Black Diamond in Salt Lake City and they had no problem shipping it to me in MN. I simply was not able to use my REI dividend and accomapnying discount that year on the tent which meant that I paid full price. I am not worried that the tent might be more prone to burn or melt. I do not cook in my tent or in the vestibule. Cheers.

My next choices would have been Big Agnes Seedhouse SuperLight and perhaps the REI Chryssalis - both of which use rain flys. Possibly REI Half-Dome Ultra Light.
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Old 03-15-06, 08:28 AM   #9
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I have an Epic canopied Black Diamond Lighthouse (similar to the Firstlight but with a side door, a little awning, and a window for cross venting). I've used it steadily as my main tent since buying it over a year ago.

These BD tents are very light, pack up very small, and provide excellent floor space and headroom. They work great in summer conditions and winter too, but may not be the most storm proof tents, they have a slight moisture issue-

The Epic canopy tends to "sweat" in heavy rains; I've taken to pitching my (bike protecting & cooktarp) siltarp over the tent during foul storms.
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Old 03-15-06, 08:35 AM   #10
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Hilleberg Atko. I bet it'l be the last tent you buy.
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Old 03-15-06, 11:48 AM   #11
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how do you guys feel aobut the REI quarter dome UL tent?
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Old 03-15-06, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr bill
how do you guys feel aobut the REI quarter dome UL tent?
It looks like a fine tent. REI makes good stuff.
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Old 03-16-06, 12:58 AM   #13
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I just got a great deal on eBay for an MSR Zoid 2 tent. While I haven't gone touring with it yet, I'm confident it will keep me happy during my ride along the Rhein river. It's light and sets up quickly.

cheers!
chris
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Old 03-16-06, 04:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakboy
Hilleberg Atko. I bet it'l be the last tent you buy.
+1......superb tent for all conditions.
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