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  1. #1
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    Whose Tent Do You Use?

    Having toured with an REI SoloLite for the last two years, I'm ready to upgrade to something a little longer with a lot more head room. Standing at 5'9", my feet get wet at the bottom and my head is millimeters from the vestible.

    Which brand of tent do you use on tours? What are the pros and cons?

  2. #2
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    For a light weight two person capability we use a Sierra Designs Clip 2 CD Tent. It works very well as far as keeping us dry, and is light enough. It is a three season tent. We cannot bring our equipment indoors though. When I travel by myself, it works much better in that respect. We should have purchased a Clip 3, then we would have more room for us and our equipment.

    http://store.yahoo.com/msoutdoor/sierdesclip3.html


    For SAG tours (when we have equipment sagged) we have gone to a much larger tent.....5 person! It's an Eddie Bauer setup that we purchased at Target! With the cover off it is almost a full screened cover. With the cover over the top it is rain proof, and has kept us dry so far. With this tent we can put a double air mattress, all of our gear and our tandem inside of it and have room left over to stretch our legs! It looks something like on the site below:

    http://www.target.com/common/catalog...ush&navCount=7
    2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm

    Naked Carbon Weave Aegis Aro Svelte, Purpleen Cannondale RT3000 Tandem, Orange Santana Triplet, Surly Long Haul Trucker

    So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 4th Century B.C.E.



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  3. #3
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    My current tent is a Mtn Hardwear ThruHiker which is allegedly for 2 persons but i find it adequate for just 1.
    http://www.mountainhardwear.com/tent...on/000170.html

    The tent has been in use for 2 years, but I've put it up and taken it down perhaps a bit over 200 times which equals 10 years of use.
    The fly was getting some scars near the poles and the front pole bent as well as the extra floor was getting worn, so when a dog chewed away the vestibule i knew it was about time for a new tent.
    Had to wait for the new season as when I called a number of shops in October nobody was thinking about selling tents.. I was pointed to a slightly larger version of the Thru Hiker , the Muir Trail
    http://www.mountainhardwear.com/tent...le/000352.html

    which may very likely become my next tent..

    Ivana
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  4. #4
    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    I use a Haglofs Genius 3/4, the biggest tent off the Genius series, darn heavy (4 kg) but so well equiped for bad wheater.
    Up to 12 storm lines,snowflaps, 4 bows instead of the usual 2, a super logic way to set up the tent and the possibility to set up the outer tent first and then the inner tent.

    www.haglofs.se

    You can choose for the lighter ones like the 2/0 or 2/3
    I also like Mtn harwear like Ivana said, i think they make execellent outdoor gear and they really have a smarthinking about their products.
    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

  5. #5
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    Had an R E I clipper for while- light weight roomy easy to pitch and depitch.
    had some design flaws thogh every time it rained i got wet even with seam seal use. Last year they fixed the desigh problem but addded a window in the rain fly. I don like seee through windows in a tent. I used a North Face Tallus last timmout , again light weight roomy but a little more involved to pitch. I had some
    trouble getting in and out of it due to the way the doors ae designed and the fact that i dont bend well the tent kept me dry most every time it rained. I am still looking for the perfect tent. If you find one let me know.
    catfiah

  6. #6
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Whose tent do I use?

    Ummm... My own!
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  7. #7
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    Good answer Chris

  8. #8
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    I could tell you, but that would be indescreet.

    I really like Macpac tents from NewZealand. The microlight is popular with solo tourists in the UK. Like all their kit, it's simple, tough and effectve, as well as being one of the lightest tents in its class.

  9. #9
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    As said before, it seems I'm steering towards bigger tents..

    It all started with a largish 4 tent pole no-name tent or rather a Nomad tent. Quality was OK, but weight too much!

    I then went to the other extreme and used an Eureka Gossamer for 5 months in Australia and NZ. That's when I discovered how important it is for lazy people like me (and you?) to have a self-standing tent.. Australian soil is hard as a rock and I didn't fancy spending 10 minutes each night hammering too soft pegs into the rocky soil. So I used the panniers to keep the tent somewhat erect, which resulted in a few floods once it rained, so that I always had to be on the lookout for rain.

    The Mtn Hardwear Thru Hiker was a nice in-between tent for its size and weight.. and probably I'll end up buying it's larger brother the Muir Trail because that tent seems to be a bit sturdier again and has the option to close those windows.. I like them but sometimes you want a bit of darkness, like in Scandinavian summers.. where :sleep: without light can be a rare commodity ...

    Ivana
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  10. #10
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    I have measured my time in tents in months per year over the last 30 years or so, I would say currently there are two manufactures to look at The North Face or the USA, a bit on the heavy side, but great in snow, and Terra Nova of the UK, marginally lighter, better made and designed for the worst of the UK weather where as you all know it rains every day.

    There are other very good makes including Macpac of NZ and Mountain Equipment of the USA and a few others, but if you use the TNF and TN tents as a base line to compare other against.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I used a Moss tent that I mooched from a friend last summer. It was pretty good and light and roomy for one - possible, but tight for two.

    You know, though, I am wondering about the true need of a full fledged tent. I am thinking about just carrying a big tarp and some rope, and rigging up a shelter. 80% of the time, you don't need a shelter. For the other 20%. I think a tarpeline lean-two would work.

    Has anybody tried using a simple tarp instead of a pre-fab tent with poles?
    Mike

  12. #12
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    I sure like the VauDe M87. It's heavy, (almost 9 pounds) but it is classed as a 3 person, 3 season tent. I just like the huge vestibule so I can close everything up when I leave, and don't have to drag all the dirt into the sleeping area.

  13. #13
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    I have a Sierra Design Clp Flashlight CD '2-man'- not completely sure i got the name right - i've had it for 3 years or so already...

    but it's really light (i think a 2-3lbs) and supposedly fits 2 people. I had it on a week-long bike tour and for 1 person it's great. for 1 it's pretty roomy and you can bring some gear in the tent...

    but with 2 people you can hardly take off your socks or roll over... and i just wouldn't want to be so chummy with anyone i don't otherwise enjoy sleeping with(my girlfriend)

    I've also had it on shorter trips and it barely fits 2 if the other person is my girlfriend... i must say if it were more than a few days i would be too cramped -

    that said, i found the tent great for solo-bike trip... although it's also not freestanding like my big tent so you have to find a place where you can get at least 4 stakes in the ground...

    it's pretty rain-worthy and if it's warm and you are sure enough to chance it w/o the fly then it's _really_ light!

    pretty decent wind-flow although with the fly it would be a little hot in a real summer (>85F at night) but then you probably don't need the fly anyway...

    if you're going solo, i would recommend this tent or try some kind of tarp which i have never tried but have heard good reports if the weather is decent (i.e. not rainy season or area)

    for 2 people touring, i would go a little bigger since adding another pound is less important with 2 people...

  14. #14
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    The quest is over. I went ahead and got the Sierra Designs 2-man clip flashlight. My husband and I crawled in and promptly decided that it would be perfect for solo touring. It was a little too tight for two adults. We'll take our 3-man Sierra Designs tent for the first two weeks when he'll be with me. I'll use the 2-man tent for the rest of the journey, sans husband.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions. I couldn't beat the weight, room, or price (REI dividend!). I was enamoured with the idea of a tarp but was concerned about protection from mosquitoes in the northern country. Anyone have any experience with open air tents in bug country?

  15. #15
    Honorable Member beowoulfe's Avatar
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    I was in my Sierra Clip Flashlight-2 a few years ago in Arkansas. The most beautiful campsite you can imagine, bubbling brook a few yards away, no other campers, pristine environment. During the night the heavens opened up with a deluge. There was lightning and thunder and copius amounts of rain. You can't really sleep during all that.

    At one point I put my hand out of my sleeping bag to check on conditions, and found the floor of the tent even with the top of my bag. I rose up and looked out into the vestibule and my flip flops were awash. I was in a flood plain! After minutes of thought, I got out of the tent in the rain and undid the stakes. I lifted tent and contents up to higher ground and restaked.

    The only thing that got wet was me!!

    This is one good tent!!
    Greenspeed GTO 1027

  16. #16
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    I use an L.L. Bean 2 person dome tent. It is a little heavy for bicycle touring but I really don't care - I want a tent with plenty of room inside. I am over 6 feet tall (1.7 meters or so?) and this tent fits me well.

    So far I have used this tent on more than a dozen weekend tours and once on RAGBRAI (a 7 day cross-IOWA tour) and the tent is holding up well. My only complaint is the cheap plastic tent stakes are easy to break.

  17. #17
    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
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    I just use a little $30 Coleman 2-person dome tent. (I don't get to camp often enough to justify the expense of a really good tent.) Fits nicely strapped on a backpack when it's all folded up, opens to be 6'x6' and 4" tall, which is fine when it doesn't RAIN ALL BLASTED WEEK which is what happened on my last camping trip.

  18. #18
    In Banff, AB Dwagenheim's Avatar
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    Holy cow, have you seen the MSR Velo? Seems a bit heavy, but for two people, and to fit 2 bikes in the vestibule, not bad. But I'd like to see that in person to believe it.

    I have a North Face Talus and an MSR Zoid 2. Haven't tried either yet with cycling, but I will have some comments come late may.

    Dave
    www.cyclingtheamericas.org
    Prudoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina by bike...eventually. (2/3 done!)
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  19. #19
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    I was hesitating between a Mountain Hardwear Thru Hiker and a Muir Trail.
    Eventually, I had no choice left when I was leaving for a weekend of camping and still didn't have a tent..
    There are just a hand ful of sales points for MHW tents and they don't carry all of them, so it became a Thru Hiker again.

    I'm pleased with it, but there are a few gripes
    - they didn't include a foot print like with the first tent, so I'll need to take the trouble to order & pay extra
    - they changed the colour into boring light green, which is an excellent colour for forests but not all too exciting.
    - they changed the floor from boring and easy-to-find-objects-on grey into hard-to-find-anything dark blue.
    - the former strong elastic loops for holding the fly-vestible have changed into fabric fasteners which take more time

    Good points are that the material seems to have become lighter (and as strong I hope) and that the large hook at the corner which needs to hold 2 poles now comes with a metal buckle to keep the poles inside.

    Still a satisified customer though...

    Ivana
    vehicular cyclist : commuter - tourist - randonneur

  20. #20
    Mur
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    Put me down for endorsing the Sierra Design's Clip Flashlite. I have had one for 12 years and it is very good. Wouldn't leave on a trip without one.

    Mur

  21. #21
    Senior Member Goatbiker's Avatar
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    Just bought my first tent for anything other than car camping. It is the R.E.I. Half-Dome 2 Plus.

    Doesn't seem big enough for anything but 2 very chummy people, or one person and the bike bags. It weights 5+ lbs with the fly. A "clip-style, has 2 poles that break to 20 inch lengths.

    Backpacker Magazine chose it as their Best Tent of 2002, according to the sales poop.

    Have not given it a "first test". $149.00 (US).

    Tom
    Goatbiking. "It's not the size of the hills you climb, it's what you smell like when you're done". So sez my wife.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  22. #22
    In Banff, AB Dwagenheim's Avatar
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    North Face Talus. Its been great for me so far. I've become an expert in pitching it in a hurry to avoid either rain or mosquito swarms. It retails for about 200 bucks and its roomy enough to keep you from going crazy and light enough not to weigh you down too much.

    Dave
    www.cyclingtheamericas.org
    Prudoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina by bike...eventually. (2/3 done!)
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  23. #23
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    is anyone here familiar with clark jungle hammocks?

    this isnt an endorsement, but something ive become interested in. i was wondering if anyone had any experience with these, or if they have any opinions after browsing the site a bit. i'm attracted to it b/c it seems like a good light-weight option, but i'm a bit concerned about where my stuff will go......

    anyone have an opinion?

    www.junglehammock.com

    -rob

  24. #24
    Mur
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    surreal: it looks great to me. Now if you could just pack a couple of trees with you, pitching it would be no problem.

    Mur

  25. #25
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    haha, good point about the trees, mur. i'd have to ride verrrrry far west or north to run outta trees, though. the east coast f the usa is loaded with the things....for now. =)

    -rob

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