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  1. #1
    Senior Member RedRider2009's Avatar
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    How Big is Your Tent?

    Just out of curiosity, when you tour solo, what size tent do you bring? I am really new to touring, just gone on a quick 1 nighters to get a taste of it. I now have 3 tents, a one man tent, and (2) 2 person tents. What would you find most useful on a tour? One of the 2 person tents has a gigantic vestibule too!

  2. #2
    Senior Member gavtatu's Avatar
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    how big is mine...no bigger than it need to be !
    depends how much you wanna carry, what degree of luxury you want, and the weather i guess.
    i just use a small tarp for my mostly summer trips.

  3. #3
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I use my Big Agnes SL3 (39 sq ft floor) for long tours. I can bring all my equipment inside on rain days and "piddle around" in comfort.

    When I do short bicycle camping trips, I travel fast and light and use my Big Agnes SL1 (22 sq ft floor). On some of these trips I just carry a tarp to really go light.

  4. #4
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    I bike toured with a Eureka Solitaire in Ireland in '98. I now have a Golite 4+ now that I can park my bike under if I wanted to. And it doesn't weight any more than my old Solitaire!
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I solo tour with my Eureka 2 man Backcountry. It is very nice for one, and when I go with my wife, she can fit, too. If I went with a smaller 1 man tent I could probably save about 2 lbs. I would rather have the larger tent.

  6. #6
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    2-man big agnes emerald mountain, solo or with my wife. Actually 2 men would have to be very comfortable with each other to share that tent IMO. It is great with one person, a bit tight with two, but it works. Kind of wish I had the 3-man version when it's me and my wife, but then I would need a different tent for backpacking whereas the 2-man can do double duty.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  7. #7
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    I am touring in Vermont and they have 3-sided lean-to's, raised wood floor, and roof - so no tent for me on this next trip!
    I am carrying bug netting to sleep under (strung from the ceiling) and a (Silnylon) tarp to tie across the opening to block wind, if necessary.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skyzo's Avatar
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    For summer tours, just a homemade silnylon tarp and bivy. Same setup I use for backpacking. Entire setup weighs less than a pound

  9. #9
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    I suspect like most tourers I have a two person tent. It's a Kelty Grand Mesa 2. I found it at a good price. I've tested it in some very severe conditions already...very high winds, and horizontal rains! It stayed up (I didn't fly away), and it never leaked a drop. I previously used a Sierra Clip 2 which never failed me. The only problem with it was it was not freestanding. The Kelty has a bit more room, it has plenty enough room for me and all of my gear. I can also get dressed with much more comfort than my Sierra, at my age being a contortionist is getting more and more difficult! My Ketly is also less than a pound heavier than the Sierra. It isn't a bright orange color either, so if I have to stealth camp, I can do so a little less brightly!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Lighter is better to my way of thinking, so I will take my Eureka Spitfire 1 (solo) in the future. It is quite adequate for me. I typically am either reading or sleeping if I am in the tent so I don't require much space. I only take in my handlebar bag, whatever I need to sleep, and clothes for the morning. The rest stays in my panniers and the panniers stay on the bike.

    I have used my MSR Fling (two person tent) both solo and with my adult daughter. It was fine for two and bigger than necessary for one.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I modified a BD megamid for bike touring, but it was not quite the right answer.bigtentproject7.jpg


    packingup.jpgi'm a big fan of the 'less is more' tarp touring setup camotarpsnow.jpg-that WAS a bike (and ski) trip -,cleelumstealth.jpg but i do primarily short tours.stealthtaylorriver1.jpg



    For a cross country tour i would pack freestanding lightweight tent like the Black Diamond LighthouseItentshot06.jpg, or perhaps a Golite Shangri-La pyramid biketentgolite1.jpgand mosquito liner.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-05-11 at 01:25 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Spent a lot of time in my North Face Slikrock, which was a small, hybrid 2P. You would have to be VERY close friends to sleep two in that thing. That was destroyed in the Bircher Fire of '00. Used the MSR Hubba Hubba a few weeks ago. Adquate space for me and my 4 panniers inside. (It was raining heavily one night.) If I were to go solo for multi weeks starting tomorrow, I would probably take my SD Velox 3. The packed weight is no more than 1.5 lbs. above that of the Hubba Hubba. That's nothing when you consider that the comboned weight of my bike and body alone is at least 240 lbs. A Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 would be nice, but I cannot justify the expense in my mind.

  13. #13
    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    I used a solo ultralight tent from Six Moon Designs I picked up used from Backpackinglite.com. 27 oz(1.68lb), packs quite small, single wall design with small vestibule large enough for panniers or to cook in, single carbon fiber pole, 6 stakes. Great UL solo tent.

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  14. #14
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    Ive used 2 small solo tent. First was a Gelhert Solo (some-one elses review and pics here). Its very cheap and very small, insufficient headroom but I could fit a pannier under the fly each side.
    For a longer tour I used Hilleberg Akto, a bit more room and still standing after some really harsh Atlantic storms with horizontal rain.

    There is no single best solution. Tarps give no privacy in campgrounds and are useless in major storms. Tents are hard to pitch on rocky, rooty, steep woodland, hammocks need 2 trees.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
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    I have a one person ultra-light tent. If I ever tour with a pretty female companion (hope springs eternal), in that case I would consider buying a larger tent expressly for that purpose.

  16. #16
    BWF
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    Tarps do a good job at protecting from the direct impact of falling rain, but are near useless at protecting from the secondary impact of pooling ground water. You have to be clever at finding the perfect spot to pitch to not get running ground water in a hard rain. It sounds easier to accomplish than it actually is. A better solution is a small 1-person tent for solo use. I also have the Lunar Solo by Six Moon Designs that 'MTBMaven' posted a picture of above. It is light, has some room to bring panniers inside, has room to sit up inside, and performs well in typical 3-season weather conditions. Touring solo, I would not consider bringing a 2-person tent, as it adds unnecessary weight to your overall rig.

  17. #17
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    I have a couple 2-man tents, one 4-man, and one solo. Usually use the solo tent (Eureka Solitaire) for bike touring. It's a little cramped while getting dressed in the morning but I figure that only takes a couple minutes and in exchange I'm carrying less weight for quite a few hours. If I anticipated the tour involving several days of bad weather that would keep me stuck inside the tent then I'd take one of the two-man tents.

  18. #18
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRider2009 View Post
    Just out of curiosity, when you tour solo, what size tent do you bring?


    Big Agnes SL2 Seedhouse....nice and light, but fairly roomy for two normal sized adults.
    safe riding - Vik
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  19. #19
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    7 X 5 Coleman

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  20. #20
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWF View Post
    Tarps do a good job at protecting from the direct impact of falling rain, but are near useless at protecting from the secondary impact of pooling ground water. You have to be clever at finding the perfect spot to pitch to not get running ground water in a hard rain. It sounds easier to accomplish than it actually is.

    .....yes, and really clever to make a bathtub floor out of ones' groundcloth and some sticks, rocks, etc.




    They do present less than ideal privacy at a campground, if i'm touring to campgrounds i will often bring the lighthouse for privacy.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-05-11 at 11:53 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  21. #21
    Senior Member RedRider2009's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all of the insight and opinions!

    Well, I think I have ruled out the solo tent... it is 1/2pound less than my smaller 2 person--REI Sololite vs The North Face Tadpole. Packed size is really quite similar. Now choosing between the Tadpole and the North Face Big Fat Frog is the next decision hahahaha. There is about a 1 pound weight difference, packed size is a bit larger for the big fat frog; however, the gigantic vestibule was the reason I bought it. I am pretty sure, if I removed my front wheel, I could fit my bike in the vestibule. Otherwise, a Burley Nomad trailer without the boom, would probably fit inside. The Nomad will be a purchase in the near future, my BOB trailer is not meeting my expectations at this point.

  22. #22
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    I toured 12 nights last year with a 1P Marmot Eclipse. Great in good weather. No room for anything other than a sleeping mat, sleeping bag, and 1 person.
    Sold it and bought a 2P MSR Hubba hubba. Leaving on a 2 week solo trip with it on Saturday.

    For 2 people, I use a 3P MEC Nunatak 4 season tent. Heavier (double weight of Hubba Hubba), but a bomb proof bunker in a storm.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Tents are as personal it seems as saddles, thus the huge variety. There is no perfect tent.

    I do fine in my 18 sq ft Eureka Spitfire 1, loving its peak height and that I can step into and out of it. Too small for most. Shame they don't make a 25 sq ft version.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  24. #24
    Senior Member clayton c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
    I used a solo ultralight tent from Six Moon Designs I picked up used from Backpackinglite.com. 27 oz(1.68lb), packs quite small, single wall design with small vestibule large enough for panniers or to cook in, single carbon fiber pole, 6 stakes. Great UL solo tent.


    Man, I'm liking this.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Sevenson tunnel type 3 person is double ended,
    so Room for more sit up in there
    panniers and such inside,
    Hoped for Companion GF , but no relationship happened,

    it for sale , Iim losing mobility, ,some couple may like it.

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