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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Tent weight, is 2.5kg too heavy?

    I was looking in the camping shop today, and noticed a nice tent, a vango Tempest 200:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002ZDMLO...SIN=B002ZDMLO8

    it's got a porch which is big enough for panniers, shoes etc, is green which is good for wild camping, is fly pitch first, which I like, and is good and sturdy. It gets really good write ups, and is in my price range. I can sit up in it, and there's plenty of room. the only downside is the weight. It's 2.5 kg, which is about 600 g heavier than my present tent - a North face tadpole.
    I like the Tadpole, but mine is old now, and the groundsheet leaks, so it needs a footprint (more weight and messing about), and it's blue, so not so good for wild camping. It's also three poles which is a bit more messing about (though it's free standing, which is great). Bit the main drawback, other than it leaking, is that it's inner pitch first, which I've never liked.

    So how much does your tent weigh, and is 2.5 kg too much for you (I know it's all subjective, but just interested, really)

    Thanks

    Phil

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Cannot have space without weight. , hoop types worked for me , as they go up in a stiff breeze,
    fly first or sewn so it's just 1 piece. stick in an anchor stake , insert poles ,
    then pull tent up and set end stakes at same time. staying flat on the ground while being assembled
    helped a lot..
    I use polyethylene sheet for the footprint, cheap and as light as the stuff you choose
    Drycleaning covering like thin or vapor barrier , building trades, thick.

  3. #3
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    Will you be using it solo or with someone else? The tents I use for solo bike touring are 1.1 and 1.8 kg, non-freestanding. I usually take the lighter one even though it doesn't have enough headroom for me to sit up. Also have a 2.3 kg freestanding tent but haven't used it for cycle touring.

    2.5kg seems a little on the high side to me if you'll be using it solo. I'm surprised that it weighs that much since usually non-freestanding designs are lighter.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ocho's Avatar
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    To each his own but I have set my limit for a solo tent used for bike packing at ~3 lbs. or 1.3kg if you prefer. And thats pushing it, to me.
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  5. #5
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    My tent is about 2.5 kg also, two man, and free standing. I can use it when I tour with my wife, or I can use it alone.

  6. #6
    Crazyguyonabike
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    2.5 kg is about 5.5 lbs. That is on the heavy side for a solo tent, but it's certainly doable if it has all the features you want. It really depends on what you need from the tent, where you are going, the climate, how long the trip is, etc. If you're going on a summer trip in areas where you know you probably won't encounter any extreme cold or stormy weather, then a very lightweight tent is probably a better option. Why carry the extra weight if you don't have to? But perhaps you are going on a trip in the Spring or Autumn, in areas where it might get nasty (e.g. the Rockies or Yellowstone), or if you just want the extra space, or whatever, then a heavier tent can work for you. Every tent is a compromise, you just have to work out what compromises you're comfortable with. What's that saying? Something like "light weight, high performance, low cost - pick any two". So for many people, their absolute no-compromise criteria is the low weight, and that determines which tent they take. But others like to have a tent that will see them through rough weather, or give them more space, and they end up with a different tent. I think regardless of your preferences, you probably don't want a super heavy tent on a bike tour, but 5.5. lbs isn't insanely heavy. I just bought a Hilleberg Soulo (4.5 lbs) which I will probably use for solo trips, and an Allak (7 lbs) which I plan on using when touring with my wife. Both are heavier than what many people would care to stand, but I like the fact that these tents are strong, freestanding, and will stand up to just about any weather that I would care to be out in. I would probably take something lighter and more airy if I was going anywhere very hot and very humid, though - you always have to figure into the equation where the tent will be used.

    Neil

  7. #7
    tip
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    The tent that I'm going to use is borderline 3.5 kg or around 7 lbs. The difference is, its a tent that I already own. Unfortunately, I just can't justify putting down some serious $$$ to save 3-4 pounds right now. I say go for it.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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  9. #9
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    i reckon the only time weight matters is when your climbing,i use the hilleberg akto pretty light tent but not a lot of room in it,i bought second hand a mountain hardware spear 2 man tent couple months back ,way heaver than the akto but twice as much room .but twice as heavy.
    now i know for a fact when i load my bike up the only time i will be punished for carrying the extra weight is when i'm climbing a hill other than that the extra weight is not an issue.
    i had this mad idea a while ago to get myself a custom frame as light as possible and change to 700c wheels .but to be honest i'm glad i was talked out of it , at the end of the day it's the pilot that makes the difference ,
    so i would advise to go for that tent to hell with the extra weight you wont notice it if you stay on flat roads which of course is impossible, but think of how happy you will be at the end of a hard cycling day stretched out in you Hugh tent .

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotte View Post
    I was looking in the camping shop today, and noticed a nice tent, a vango Tempest 200:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002ZDMLO...SIN=B002ZDMLO8
    it's got a porch which is big enough for panniers, shoes etc, is green which is good for wild camping, is fly pitch first, which I like, and is good and sturdy. It gets really good write ups, and is in my price range. I can sit up in it, and there's plenty of room. the only downside is the weight. It's 2.5 kg, which is about 600 g heavier than my present tent - a North face tadpole.I like the Tadpole, but mine is old now, and the groundsheet leaks, so it needs a footprint (more weight and messing about), and it's blue, so not so good for wild camping. It's also three poles which is a bit more messing about (though it's free standing, which is great). Bit the main drawback, other than it leaking, is that it's inner pitch first, which I've never liked.So how much does your tent weigh, and is 2.5 kg too much for you (I know it's all subjective, but just interested, really)Thanks
    Phil
    I think you would be very happy with that tent.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, chaps. Prathmann, yes it's for solo. I do have another tent, which is only 1.5 kg, really easy to put up, beautifully small, but the trouble is, I have certain issues with it. For one, it's side opening, which I really don't like, and there's precious little porch, but mainly, after I've zipped it up and I lay there staring at the inner about a foot away from my face, I can't help thinking this must be what it's like to be six feet under. There isn't any joy to it. I tried the Vango tempest instore and it felt like I had space to live, rather than space to exist.
    I think a lot of the weight is die to its sturdyness. it's something like 3000 head, so bombproof, and I do like the idea of having a tent that can cope with anything. I've had tents in the past where I've woken up with the sides slapping me in the face when the wind's picked up, or where when the heavens have opened and I've woken up with creeping damp from the feet end of my sleeping bag. I may never tour in any real extremes, but I live in the UK, which while a pretty moderate climate on the whole, can really pull some bad weather out of the bag at the drop of a hat, and I do like the idea of a tent which keeps me dry and won't have me out in all weathers lashing down flysheets.

  12. #12
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    I have been looking at tents for awhile, but still haven't bought one. I'm leaning towards the REI Quarter Dome T2, which is a 2 person tent. Minimum weight is just under 4 lbs, but that doesn't include a footprint. It seems very similar to the MSR Hubba Hubba. The MSR Hubba (1 person) is a min weight of just under 3 lbs, again without a footprint. Not sure what a footprint weights, but probably 8 to 12 oz.

    Things I want in a tent:
    I want it to be a tent with a zipper and ventilation to let air in and keep bugs out
    I want a footprint and a fly
    I want to be able to sit up comfortably
    I want a vestibule large enough so that I'm not stepping right out into the weather

    With those criteria in mind, I don't see how I can get a lighter weight tent anywhere.

    I could get all this in a 1 person tent, but even though I really make an effort to conserve weight, the extra pound for all the extra interior space is a tradeoff that I am more than happy to make.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    The Vango looks to be a nice tent. Large enough for you and gear. Little on the heavy side, but as you mentioned, should translate to durability and strength. Doesn't seem to be available in the US.

    I tend to be more concerned about bulk and utility than weight. Slow going up, fast coming down.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    It really all just depends on your style of touring. Some shoot for pure comfort, while others go for light. My current solo tent weighs .56kg, and I made it myself so it only cost about $70. It has enough room for me + my gear, and I have a rain cover for my bike which stays right up against the tent.

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I have 2 tents that I tour with, the heavier one tops out around 4kg (9#), but that is for a Eureka Timberline 4 with annex fly and vestibule. It is my bad weather tent, I primarily use it late or early in the season when I run the risk of being stuck inside for a couple of days. My smallest tent weighs in around 1.7kg (~3.75#) It is strictly for solo use and I would hate to be cooped up in it for a full day. It is some version of the Coleman Exponent Inyo.

    Everybody is going to have their favorites, I worry less about weight and more about utility and comfort.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    That's a good looking tent. It's floorspace is adequate for 2 people so when traveling with someone, your tent weight is only 1.25 kgs per person. This is very good. I used a Eureka Timberline for nearly 30 years until the floor wore out. It is an excellent, inexpensive two person tent that is still available. I replaced it with a one person Marmot Eclipse which I had for 6 years. It was excellent when the weather was good but I could not bring my gear inside if it rained. I sold it last year and purchased a two person MSR Hubba Hubba. It weighs 2.5 kgs total. It is made with a little more finesse than the Eureka Timberline and the price reflects this.

    I'm convinced that there is no 'perfect' tent. Go with the one you've picked and forgetaboutit.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Personally i don't think it's too heavy. However, if I was on a touring time trial (surely an oxymoron, yes?), or going up and down mountains all day for all of my tours, maybe yes. I also agree that I'm more convinced that bulk is a more important factor -at least to a point -compared to weight. I like to have a tent that I can pack in a pannier (if I leave the bike locked up, I like to take just one pannier with me if I feel the need to -usually containing my most expensive items: tent, sleeping bag, mat and stove -the other pannier has my clothes and dirty smelly laundry in -surely a good theft deterrent, and more easily replaceable for me).

    Having said that, I would also prefer a freestanding tent.....but I 100% agree with what skilsaw posted:


    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    I'm convinced that there is no 'perfect' tent. Go with the one you've picked and forgetaboutit.

  18. #18
    djb
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    I used to tour with a 7lb tent, 2 person, just cuz thats what I had. I too prefer room to sit up if caught in a rainy day and want to take a break, but all in all, Iused it cuz thats what I had.

    I would look for a lighter one now if touring on my own, but this old tent still works well for my wife and I so would still be useable. I am however really impressed with how small, lighter tent designs are often in the 3-4 lb range.

  19. #19
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    i'd probably get shot for trying to tour with a 6lb, 6oz rated 3 man tent - for a solo trip!

    i got the big agnes slide mountain for a closeout sale of 334 USD a year ago, but that was in anticipation of having some extra room with the girlfriend. now that there's no girlfriend, and i bought over the tent from her, i could always share room with a decent camper. but i admit, if i had a lighter 2 man tent, i'd definitely prefer to use it instead, will be much easier to pack up i suppose!

    oh yes, big agnes is closing the same tent for USD 240 now *groans* and the 2P version for what, about USD 220, a decent deal i think. for my upcoming tour, i'm even doing an excel spreadsheet just to calculate the combined weight of all my kit. but no, i'm no weightweenie, nor sucker for punishment :-D
    Last edited by sehsuan; 02-04-11 at 10:29 PM.

  20. #20
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    pack light and freeze at night. Or you can haul the tent if it makes you comfortable. Don't get wrapped around the axle over Kg or so... it's not gonna make a huge difference. If you prefer a spacious tent to a bivy and the stars: go for it. I prefer a bivy. But then again, I've lived out of a bivy for months on end and learned to love it. It's all in what makes your tour enjoyable...

  21. #21
    Crazyguyonabike
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    Quote Originally Posted by cld_hrtd View Post
    I prefer a bivy. But then again, I've lived out of a bivy for months on end and learned to love it.
    Could you please expand on this? I have thought about using a bivy on tour, in fact I got an Integral Designs Salathe, but it just seems very constrictive for anything but short term use. You can't really stretch out and spread your legs apart, which I find I want to do after a sweaty day in the saddle. And it's difficult to change your clothes with any privacy in campground situations. I like the lightness and simplicity of it, though, I just see it getting old quickly on a longer trip. How do you make it work?

  22. #22
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sehsuan View Post
    oh yes, big agnes is closing the same tent for USD 240 now *groans* and the 2P version for what, about USD 220, a decent deal i think. for my upcoming tour, i'm even doing an excel spreadsheet just to calculate the combined weight of all my kit. but no, i'm no weightweenie, nor sucker for punishment :-D
    Where do you see this close-out?

  23. #23
    Member psmiffy's Avatar
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    within reason - no - If it moves it goes

  24. #24
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Wow, that sounds cool. Got any pictures?


    Quote Originally Posted by skyzo View Post
    It really all just depends on your style of touring. Some shoot for pure comfort, while others go for light. My current solo tent weighs .56kg, and I made it myself so it only cost about $70. It has enough room for me + my gear, and I have a rain cover for my bike which stays right up against the tent.

  25. #25
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by sehsuan View Post
    i'd probably get shot for trying to tour with a 6lb, 6oz rated 3 man tent - for a solo trip!
    sehsuan--I did not clearly write in my post, but I did travel alone with my nearly 7 lb tent--I was single and thats the tent I had, was always hoping to meet a partner who would like outdoor stuff, and while I eventually did and she loves campiing, I bike toured carrying my heavy 2 or 3 person tent just because thats what I had....

    yes, I was very careful of the total weight of my load, so I went very minimalist on all the rest of stuff, but in the end it worked out, so I too would recommend not getting too worked up over a tents weight.

    however, your TOTAL loaded weight is important, super super important if in hilly and mountainous terrain.

    like I said, if I were to tour solo again with tent, I would pick up a lighter one as there are so many good choices out there, with good designs that would work well in rain, but would easily be half the weight of my old tent. (and from what I have seen, there are ones that are fairly light and not super expensive too)

    personally, I prefer an ample spaced tent for being more comfy, having all my panniers in the tent with me, able to sit up etc. For me thats worth some more weight than something that weighs nothing but isnt fun to be in if you wait out a super rainy day or are sick etc.

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