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  1. #1
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    Tent advice for solo touring.

    Hi, I am fairly new to touring and wanted to pick up my first tent. I have narrowed down to two possible choices and was looking for recommendations.

    Currenlty I am looking at the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 and the Mountain Hardware Ghisallo. At first I am looking to do tours that cover under a week but eventually I might want to do some longer rides so I want something durable, also I am going to Africa at the end of the year for the Peace Corps and want something usable in that environment as well. If there are any other tents you think would be a lot better than these two and not extremely expensive I am open to other recommendations as well.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member KLW2's Avatar
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    The REI Quarter Dome is one of the really well reviewed and rated tents...also on sale at REI now for $150.00

  3. #3
    Rider
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    I like the Seedhouse, but it is a little too small for my taste. I'm 6'1". Part of what I didn't like was entering from the end instead of the side.

    The tent I've been using for the last two years is the Eureka Backcountry 1. It's a side entry tent and roomy inside, enough for me and all of my equipment. It's not as lightweight as the Seedhouse, but it's still under 4 pounds. And to top it off, it's pretty inexpensive at around $100-120.

    Jerry

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    Here's my thoughts:
    Might be worth considering a 2-man tent - will give you space to keep your gear inside (don't have to open up when inside to get at things, which may be desirable if there's mosquitos for example).
    Worth getting a tent that will pitch inner only - Africa will be hot and you may not always want the cover on.

    Another option is the MSR hubba (or HP version) for one-person or the hubba hubba which is the 2-person version. This is a similar design the the Seedhouse SL1 or SL2 (2person). Either of these would be my ideal first choice.

    Then there's also the Helion 2 from Mountain Hardware (I'm getting this one - got a good deal).

    Another free-standing tent to consider is the Northface Tadpole.

    There are lots of other options that aren't free-standing but I haven't really looked into them (Northface Mica, Terra-Nova Voyager, Vaude Hogan/Taurus).

    I'm not convinced by the Ghisallo - the zip to the bike-vestibule side is tiny and probably not useful - so anything you might need from your panniers will have to go on the other side.
    Would be interesting to hear from someone who has actually used this though.

  5. #5
    Acetone Man
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    Stay away from the Ghisallo. There was a thread about it a while back and the universal consensus here and on the reviews at REI is that it sucks.

    Take a look at the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight. Reasonably light, reasonably cheap, reasonably roomy=unreasonable value.

  6. #6
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    The mains reason I was looking at the Ghisallo was I wanted to have better security for my bike especially when I am in Africa. Would I be able to fit myself and my bike confortable into a 2 person big anges? If not are there other tents that Icould look at for this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bats's Avatar
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    I have the Seedhouse SL1 and love it. I am 5'4'', so it is a great fit. There is just enough room for me and my panniers. The vestibule is small, but I've never had any problems getting in or out even in torrential downpours.

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    You couldn't pry my REI Half Dome out of my hands. The size is perfect for me with some of my gear inside. I can personally attest to its waterproof abilities. It sets up quickly and easily (no pole sleeves) and has been very sturdy for me.

    Every time I use it I marvel at the small features they got right.

  9. #9
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    I have a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 that I use for touring. There isn't that much weight difference between the 1 and 2, and the 2 is worth the extra space. My big beef regarding this tent is the entry and egress, and the stupid vestibule flap that ends up being pointless when it's wet out because flops in and gets anything in the vestibule wet when you open the tent. In retrospect, I would prefer a side entry tent like the REI Half or Quarter dome.

  10. #10
    Gordon P
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    I tried a Mountain Hardware ultralight tent and there were 3 things I did not like about it. 1) colour 2) it leaked as the seams delaminated and 3) it had a stowage area that when used fell on my head! I returned it. I now have the MSR Hubba and I really hate the orange colour and after only 2 nights of use I still do not have an opinion. I will be taking it on a 17 day tour next week so I will provide a report when I return.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Blue Roads's Avatar
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    Consider Stephenson's Warmlite tents. Excellent quality and very lightweight. Unfortunately, not inexpensive.

    Stephenson tents are the lightest most storm resistant tents you can find in the world. Featuring an aerodynamic design to reduce wind load stress to the tent. Easy to setup and take down.

    Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
    - Master Yoda

  12. #12
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Roads View Post
    Consider Stephenson's Warmlite tents. Excellent quality and very lightweight. Unfortunately, not inexpensive.




    That is for sure! Damn nice tents though.
    Save 15% on your first order at Hammer Nutrition!!

    2010 Giant TCR SL 3
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  13. #13
    Senior Member ezdoesit's Avatar
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    Hi,
    This is the only tent I use and it is bomb proof I have been in unbelievable rain storms and have kept dry while others got wet in their tent.
    Hope this helps you out.

    http://cascadedesigns.com/MSR/Tents/.../Hubba/product

  14. #14
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Take a look at the Eureka Spitfire model. I have used this inexpensive tent for 4 years. It's been deployed at least 125 times and is still in very good condition. I especially appreciate the peak height, side entry, extensive use of mesh, and subdued color. The 2 person model is plenty large enough for one and lots of gear. You should have no trouble finding this tent for $120 or less.

    http://www.eurekatent.com/p-59-spitf...FRLoxgodjFNoGQ

  15. #15
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I watch Sierra Trading Post for deals. Beyond their price discounts, you can find additional savings deals on their site or via email. I bought the Marmot Titan 2 person 3 season tent from them. I got it for around $110 with a coupon. Nice tent. And like any tent two person means 1, three person means 2 small people, and so on. One person tent is sized for about 1/2 of a person.

  16. #16
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtclifford View Post
    The mains reason I was looking at the Ghisallo was I wanted to have better security for my bike especially when I am in Africa. Would I be able to fit myself and my bike confortable into a 2 person big anges? If not are there other tents that Icould look at for this.
    Huh? How is a tent going to provide security? Even if you just want to keep your bike out of sight, I can`t imagine dragging one into any backpacking tent I`ve seen before. You`d almost have to get a big family sized tent to do that easilly. Your call, but personally I wouldn`t try it with a lightweight tent- even if you find one that fits on paper, it would take the utmost care to manage without tearing something. If you`re going to be living in one place with the Peace Corps and not moving around all the time, maybe get a great big cabin tent from Walmart for a hundred to a hundred fifty Dollars and another little tent for packing around with you?

  17. #17
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    The Seedhouse SL2 has been making the rounds at Steep and Cheap for the last few days for $170. That might be worth setting up an email feed to keep an eye on.

  18. #18
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    i use a hubba hubba. if you want security, consider bringing a u-lock or a decent cable lock

  19. #19
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    You can get lightweight and room for a bike if you're willing to give up a floor. Check out the Black Diamond Megamid.

    As for the comment about a $170 Seedhouse SL2 at Steep and Cheap, that piece of false information keeps surfacing again and again. It's not a Seedhouse SL2. It's a Seedhouse 2. At $170, it's a pretty good deal, but not the great deal that a Seedhouse SL2 would be at that price.

  20. #20
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    Do a search for Seedhouse SL1. I don't like it. Big Agnes makes outstanding tents, but that one isn't one of them. I'd go for the Copper Spur UL1 or Emerald Mountain SL1.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtclifford View Post
    ...I am looking at the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1...
    I use the SL2 even solo because it gives just a bit of extra room for not much extra weight...Even then, the SL2 is small for two people. When I bought it, it was among the lightest of the two-person tents. The Seedhouse is self-supporting but it really can't be used that way in most circumstance I encounter since it relies on being staked out for ventilation and also to be effective in a driving rain. This requires a bit of extra time setting up and breaking down. If you don't do this the fly will get very wet from body condensation overnight and rain will probably drip into the main tent. Also, staking out the fly makes the vestibule at the front of the tent useful since otherwise it just flops into the tent opening.

    Generally, I am reasonably satisfied with this tent taking into account its light weight.

  22. #22
    Forever CLYDE ! cyberpep's Avatar
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    WOW, tents seem to be a very personal choice. For what it's worth I have owned a few tents in my life and even some mentioned so far, I currently use a MARMOT LIMELIGHT 2. All have worked well.
    For me the most important item is room, consider a 2 man tent, more room and not a lot more weight.
    If you are stealth camping get a dark tent with no reflectors.
    Happy Touring!
    Last edited by cyberpep; 05-25-09 at 04:34 PM.
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  23. #23
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    i have the big agnes seedhouse you are considering. i just used it for a 5 day bike trip. if you are going to be traveling by yourself, i would say it is a good tent for solo touring. it packs small, it is is pretty dang light, and despite what people say, if you put up the rain fly there is a fair amount of space for your panniers. personally that has never been a concern of mine, because my panniers are waterproof so i just leave them outside.

    one of my favorite things about this tent is that it is a good light green color. with very little reflective material. so it is great for stealth camping, if you're going to be doing that.

  24. #24
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    get a 2-person, self-supporting tent. make sure the vestibule works for you.
    to be able to get the bike inside with you would take a L A R G E tent ... maybe just take the front wheel in with you, and cover the bike with a tarp (which you could also rig up as a rain cover so you can cook outside in wet weather (would require trees/tall things to tie off too), so you can have your bike under cover in wet weather, so you can pack your bike up under cover and ride off on a rainy morning, etc.

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