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  1. #1
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    MEC Opera House 2 vs. Big Anges SH 2.

    I'm debating which tent would be best for touring this year. There are two critical factors that will determine which tent to buy

    1. Rainproof - I hate getting wet
    2. Weight - the lighter the better.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1173625743802

    While I like BA Seehouse tent, it's light, compact and likely good for hot summer nights I get the impression it won't hold up in any sort of storm. The floor material seems prone to leaks. Makes for a grat lightweight tend but at the expense of being water proof.

    The Operahouse 2 appears to be much more water proof and only slightly more in weight ( 0.7kg ). It has a nylon fly and a thick floor 10,000 mm. My point of concern is that it doesn't come with a vestuble and the opposite end of the enterance may allow for water to enter? It's not entirely sealed. Do the windows have a zip over?

    Anyway, if any of you have either of the above tents I'd appreciate your comments. The Tarn 2 was also on the list altough I quickly scratched it off after seeing one. The Opera house doesn't require one to seal the seams etc, apparently they've done that for you. Apparently, many of the MEC tents require one to re-seal as the factory doesn't always seal the fly's.

    Jaret.

  2. #2
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I own a Tarn 2 and a BA SH2. The Tarn 2 is more robust and heavier - I use it when sea kayaking where weight isn't as big a deal as on a bike tour. I use the BA SH2 for my bike tours. Very light, but roomy enough for two adults. If you guyed out the BA SH2 I wouldn't be overly worried in a storm. The single hoop isn't going to work well in high winds on its own, but once it is under tension from the guy lines it will be fine. I haven't had any issues with the floors leaking, but I haven't camped in extended rain and I use the optional footprint.

    I haven't tried the MEC Opera House or even seen it setup.

    The thing with MEC is you can grab whichever tent you like better try it and if you aren't happy bring it back and get the other one.
    safe riding - Vik
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  3. #3
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    All the tents you're looking at are quality, so it's a matter of personal choice.

    Relax, you're getting a great tent.

    Also plan on sealing the seems no matter tent you buy-- don't trust the factory. Keeping the seams sealed, cleaning the tent, patching any hole, being careful about setting up on sharp sticks/rocks-- all this maintance keeps your tent in working order for years...

    ...or you can trash a tent in one season.

  4. #4
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    thanks guys. Last summer I was in a rainstorm. Rained from 9pm to about 6 am...really heavy around 12am. I remember swimming shortly after 3am. Keep in mind, the tent was from Canadian Tire and only cost me about $50.00

    What is "guying"?

  5. #5
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson
    What is "guying"?
    You peg out the base of the tent and then you attach cord (guy lines) to various points on the tent and/or fly and peg those guy lines out putting tension on the tent. That will make the structure stronger and able to withstand bad weather. Most tents have quite a few places to attach guy lines called guy points. Use the few at the bottom edge of the fly under normal conditions and add more depending how heinous a storm you are expecting.
    safe riding - Vik
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  6. #6
    sth
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    Turd,

    I am looking to replace my tent this season and have been looking at the different models out there. I will very likely be going with the Tarn2. Why have you decided it was n/g? For the last 15 or so years I have been using a Eureka Summer Wind. Or was it Autum? Either way it is identical in design and size to the Tarn3. It has served me well, is decent in the rain and is roomy for 1 and cosy for 2. It holds up very well in strong wind and has taken a light snow load. It is a bit hot in the sun though. I looked at the others and keep coming back to the Tarn. I have mostly considered the MSR Hubba for its lightness but I think it is just a bit too small and light weight for northern weather. I used to have a very small solo tent that was a real drag in the when the weather set in. If you have to spend time in the tent, out of the weather and before its time to sleep, you will appreciate the room to sit up and move around. The Operahouse put me off because the fly didnt seem to give adequate coverage and I didnt likel the idea of having to buy the vestibule seperately. Give the Tarn another look. And dont spend money on an "official" footprint Buy some poly at the hardware store and cut it to shape.

  7. #7
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    The Tarn 2 seemed like a good tent altough it seemed a little tight inside (so is the opera house) for a 2 person tent and heavyier than the other tents on my list. The MEC employee advised you don't have to seal a Opera House out of the box as they've done a good job with the nylon fly. The polyester fly of the Tarn does require one to seal it.

    During a storm I think the Tarn may hold up better as it's a heavier tent. What I like about the BA SH and Tarn is they fly completely covers the tent. From the pictures, the Opera House seems to leave windows exposed. I'm wondering if water can seep in through the zipper. I'm with you, the fly doesn't seem to give good coverage lthough reaading the spec's, it has excellent water resistance. Better than Tarn 2 and BA SH. Maybe needs a field test.I might hit MEC next week and setup all three tents side by side. The Tarn 2 is a little heavier than the Operahouse, not a big deal but the packaging was a little longer making it stick out farther on my pannier rack. The BA SH is very light, and a small package. I'm wondering if the nylon storage bag can take some beatings. My tent fell off my pannier last year and got ripped. The MEC tents have a thick poly coating on the storage bags.

    I guess I'm splitting hairs. I prefer the BA SH..just want to make sure Idon't get soaked on tour and rip it up. I'm kinda rough with my gear. I read a review on the BA and it was fairly negative ( thread search would find it probably). Apparently this individual had all sorts of problems with zippers leaking, seams leaking etc. Have you guys experienced problems in the rain?

    Thanks for the heads up on returning MEC tents. The seem to have an excellent return policy.

  8. #8
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    Post here when you are going to MEC next weekend and I'll come along too. I'm looking at those very 3 tents for myself and haven't come up with a decision yet. I have the exact same order of favorites too. What I liked about the BA SH is that its a kind of drab green grey which would be WAY better for stealth camping than the bright orange of the MEC Tents.

  9. #9
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiznaz
    Post here when you are going to MEC next weekend and I'll come along too. I'm looking at those very 3 tents for myself and haven't come up with a decision yet. I have the exact same order of favorites too. What I liked about the BA SH is that its a kind of drab green grey which would be WAY better for stealth camping than the bright orange of the MEC Tents.
    +1 on the colour. I have camped in some tall grass near a road in my BA SH2 and on a beach amongst some driftwood. In both cases the BA was almost invisible until you were on top of it.

    I have a Marmot Hypno tent which is red & orange and can be seen from space...lol...huge difference in the stealthiness factors.
    safe riding - Vik
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson
    While I like BA Seehouse tent, it's light, compact and likely good for hot summer nights I get the impression it won't hold up in any sort of storm. The floor material seems prone to leaks. Makes for a grat lightweight tend but at the expense of being water proof.
    I expect it has the same floor as my BA Sarvis, which has been grand in the wet. I got stuck in an incredible downpour last summer in Ireland, and the floor was great. No leaks.

    Not sure what makes you think it would leak. I haven't had a problem. Even when the water pooled under my tent (it rained buckets in a short time) I was toasty and dry.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Turd, did you get your tent?

  12. #12
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    not yet, I haven't had the time to hit MEC. Will probably go over later this week.

    I'll probably go over to Urbane at the same time. I'm thinking the Urbanite would make a good touring bike for the new season. I've been flip flopping between Surly LHT, Urbanite and Bianchi Volple (which I've excluded after this weekend).

  13. #13
    Senior Member hockey's Avatar
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    Me Too!

    I have also been debating the purchase of a new touring tent. I have been looking at the Iota (sierra -1 man) and the SH2 and the Hubba2. I am pretty certain I will go with the SH2. Excellent reviews and will hold 2 in a pinch. Maybe I can get both set up at MEC and decide for myself. I know that I was not impressed with the Tarn2 when I saw it set up.
    Hockey

  14. #14
    Senior Member Prodigy4299's Avatar
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    It sounds like you've already chosen, but I just want to add to this conversation...

    I am a very happy owner of the Opera 2. I have used it for general camping and bike touring and am very happy with it. I have slept in it alone (HUGE!) or with another person (still comfortable). The only thing to keep in kind is to have the fly really tight. Especially on damp nights, that's what makes the difference between an OK sleep and a great night's sleep.

    The tent is a bit bulkier than my previous one, but still fits in my panniers, so that works out well!

    Like someone above said, you're getting a MEC product. I'm certain you'll be satisfied!

  15. #15
    Senior Member hockey's Avatar
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    Thanks Prodigy. I haven't really decided yet. I need to walk through and see these tents set up. Old school but smart school. Thanks for the input.
    Hockey

  16. #16
    sth
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    After reading more of the thread I started to reconsider. I think I am still inclined to choose the Tarn2 but I now am looking at the MSR Hubba. Its lack of roomieness still bugs me but maybe that is no big deal. Does anyone out there own one or use one? What are they like in heavy rain? I still get dont like the Operahouse but I will give it a look if they set one up. The SH1 has a bit more room that the Hubba but it isnt a true free standing tent from what I can see at the back: the rear corners have to be pegged out dont they?

  17. #17
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    One thing to think about sth--- do ever want to drag all your gear into the tent? I like the bigger 2 person models, and might even buy a 3 person because of the room. It's nice to be able stash stuff out of the weather, or even from drunk teenagers in a crappy camping site.

  18. #18
    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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    One tent I am really happy with is a nallo by hilleberg, we had rain sooooooo bad it flooded out the campground and we did not know till morning. These tents are amazing give it look. We had a tarn 3 on the same trip and it let lots of water in, on a number of occasions.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Well, Turd, any news on the tent?

  20. #20
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    Funny you mentioned it... I was at MEC last night talking to the sales staff and the Hubba Hubba was recommened for cycling. It weights more than the BA SH but has 2 VESTUBLES to store your crap. Each vestuble is on opposite sides o the tent.They did recommend buying footprint.

    Apparently they've had some complaints from customers regarding the BA. Some have had leaks and during a heavy storm water caan bounce under the fly through the mesh netting. I'm guess some do a poor job guying the tent. I'm still considering it.

    They also had a Operahouse setup..I think I'll remove it from my list as while it is a good tent, it's won't work for me. If there were a fire sale..I'd probably reconsider. Probably not going to happen.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson
    Funny you mentioned it... I was at MEC last night talking to the sales staff and the Hubba Hubba was recommened for cycling. It weights more than the BA SH but has 2 VESTUBLES to store your crap. Each vestuble is on opposite sides o the tent.They did recommend buying footprint.
    I nearly got the Hubba Hubba!

    [/QUOTE]Apparently they've had some complaints from customers regarding the BA. Some have had leaks and during a heavy storm water caan bounce under the fly through the mesh netting. I'm guess some do a poor job guying the tent. I'm still considering it.[/QUOTE]

    I have the BA Sarvis, and it's not the guying, it is the volume of fly that is the problem. The fly doesn't come down far enough to provide complete protection. If the rain hits the ground and bounces, it can come in. I had it in a big storm and I was okay, but ya, the design isn't 100% for a rainy climate. Those Macpac would prolly be better, as the fly comes down to the ground.

  22. #22
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    FYI, I picked up the MEC Gemini yesterday. They are going like hot cakes. One woman grabbed 5 of them !!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Hey, you got your tent! Did you set it up in the living room last night and sleep in it?

  24. #24
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    I did set it up, minus the fly. Packing the poles will take some getting use to..it was difficult dissasembling them they way I found them..kinda like a rubics cube.

    I also bought a Therma-rest Prolit 4...feels nice..no more blue cushion stuff.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    You are all kitted out! What was it like inside the tent?

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