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  1. #1
    King of Typos rickyhmltn's Avatar
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    First time tourer

    Hey guys/gals,

    I'm thinking about doing a small tour to start with. I'll be going a fairly short distance 200 miles or less. I need to go light as possible. What kind of one person tent would you recommend? As far as food (meals) there is a small town about every 30 miles or so eating meals and getting water shouldn't be a big issue. Cyclists come through here sometimes and churches usually are good about letting them tent/camp with shelter on the "porch" of the church. I'll be taking some snacks and such but any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Goes to 11. striknein's Avatar
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    Eureka Solitaire is light and cheap, but it's _very_ cramped. Might be a good throwaway if you're on the fence about touring as a lifestyle choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Tent. I say long enough for up to about 5'10" person. Others say I'm too conervative with that. Enjoy.
    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

  4. #4
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Tent. I say long enough for up to about 5'10" person. Others say I'm too conervative with that. Enjoy.
    +1 for the Eureka Spitfire 1. Personally I think it is OK for much taller folks than 5'10", but that depends on how far into the tapered ends you are willing to have your head and feet. It is 9' long but tapers to a point at each end. Some pretty tall guys find it fine and some not so tall ones complain. BTW, I find it roomy enough to share with my 60 pound dog when we go backpacking. I love this tent!

    The solitaire Is super cheap and super small. I like a number of things about it. I would probably avoid it though. The reasons?
    1. Quite a few reviewers complained of broken poles
    2. It isn't all that light for it's size, the much roomier Spitfire weighs only 3 ounces more and if you take the minimum stakes needed to pitch it the Spitfire actually weighs less.
    3. It needs a lot (12 I think) of stakes to pitch properly


    Most of my complaints would be resolved if they had a quality set of poles for this tent. I actually own one and do not use it. It will suffice if you are looking to go as cheap as possible. I do like a lot of things about this design, but think they blew it when they went with the fiberglass poles. That wouldn't be quite as bad except the design requires a very tight bend in the poles.

  5. #5
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    A Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2 person is really light and too small for two "normal" sized people. It won't break the bank either. The Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1 is a nice choice too. Not too crazy about how it pinches in below the chest area tho. I am 5'11" and about the max size for any 1 person tent I have tried. In the past I used a Walrus 1, an MSR 1 person, and a Slumberjack 1 person, all of which are no longer manufactured.

    Let us know what you pick. One person tents are hard to come by all of a sudden.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Let us know what you pick. One person tents are hard to come by all of a sudden.
    What we really need is a selection of 1.5 person tents. 25 sq ft range. That's one reason I've converted the fly on my Spitfire 1 to a single wall tent.
    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

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Some are so small you have to get out to put your shoes on.

    a rather low tunnel, a little bigger than a Bivvy bag.

    have a bit more $ to spend , these are well considered
    http://hilleberg.se/product/akto
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-16-11 at 03:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Some are so small you have to get out to put your shoes on.
    That comment kind of surprised me. It would never occur to me to put on or take off shoes in the tent regardless of amount of room. I typically step out of my shoes going in and step into them going out. Alternately, with a side door, I might sit with my feet outside the door and do up my shoes before standing to exit the tent.

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    What we really need is a selection of 1.5 person tents. 25 sq ft range. That's one reason I've converted the fly on my Spitfire 1 to a single wall tent.
    I suspect that may be a common preference, but... I find the Spitfire 1 to be just about perfect in size for my preferences. I understand this is an individual preference thing and some like sprawling space or want to bring more gear inside. I figure that if I can bring in my handlebar bag with my most theft worth stuff, the stuff I need to sleep, and what I need to get dressed in the morning that is plenty of space.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    That comment kind of surprised me. It would never occur to me to put on or take off shoes in the tent regardless of amount of room. I typically step out of my shoes going in and step into them going out. Alternately, with a side door, I might sit with my feet outside the door and do up my shoes before standing to exit the tent.
    +1 No wearing shoes in the tent here.

  11. #11
    Goes to 11. striknein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Some are so small you have to get out to put your shoes on.

    have a bit more $ to spend , these are well considered
    http://hilleberg.se/product/akto
    A bit? That tent sells for over 400 bucks anywhere in the US you're lucky enough to find one. Kind of excessive for a "first time" tourer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
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  12. #12
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    While I respect Pete's experience and dedication to light weight, I disagree with him on tent sizing. I think the real capacity of any tent is one less than the manufacturer's stated capacity. So a 2-person tent is a good size for one person, but if you need a tent for 2, buy one made for 3.

    Some of that may be because I'm tall and wide. :/ But there's other reasons, too; dressing, storage space for things you don't want to leave out (e.g. camera, wallet, glasses), reading, and just hiding out from mosquitos. I'd hate to be in a bivy sack on a warm night when mosquitos are biting through the tent, with no room for an air gap to my skin!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Some are so small you have to get out to put your shoes on.

    have a bit more $ to spend , these are well considered
    http://hilleberg.se/product/akto
    yes this is a super 4 season tent i have one i can pitch it in about 5 minutes expensive but you get what you pay for .

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    What we really need is a selection of 1.5 person tents. 25 sq ft range. That's one reason I've converted the fly on my Spitfire 1 to a single wall tent.
    I don't see any shortage of them at REI. They've got 15 one person tents listed...9 if you don't include bivys. The REI Passage 1 is a great bargain right now if you are an REI member at 30% off the $119 price. A little tight and a little portly but cheap. On the other end of the scale is the Big Agnes Fly Creek ($300) that weighs a feathery 2 lbs (packed weight) and has a couple of square feet more space. The BA Lynx Pass is in between the two in weight and cost but the same size as the Fly Creek.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Tansy's Avatar
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    Alps Mountaineering Zenith/Zephyr 1 person. It's bigger than most one man tents, neutral colored, and has a full length rainfly. I'm 5'4", true, but I have plenty of room to bring my gear in at night and can comfortable change my clothes in side the tent, so I'd think for a larger, taller person it would still be fairly roomy. It's cheap, too. They come up often on Steepandcheap.com. I got mine for $90, and the normal price isn't much more.

    Before this tent, I used a Coleman Dakota Exponent 1. It's smaller, about the size of the Eureka Solitaire, but with a better configuration. The rainfly is not attached to the tent wall, so you can pack it seperately when wet. Instead of the tube-shaped eureka tent, this one is higher up front so you can sit up, and the side opens instead of the front, so it's easier to get in and out of. Think they sell for around $50. It goes by another name, too, but it's the same tent.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world.


  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    And what if it's raining out, and you have no more tent
    than a butterfly in the silk cocoon?...


    Adding .. Ultra Light..
    Henneseey Hammocks have their fans , http://hennessyhammock.com/
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-16-11 at 03:47 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jdswitters's Avatar
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    A word on tents, cheap and light is great because most of the time you dont really need a tent, it is just to give you a sense of privacy and security. When you "need" the tent, weight isn't such an issue. I was looking at my very portly 16 year old mountain hardware tent that hasn't seen much action in a few years. I put it on the back of the bike and it was blown away by how big it was compared to the sights I see on the other touring bikes here. So I opened it up in my living room with thoughts of taking pictures and seeing if I could sell it. And then I remembered why I bought it. Because I can tie it down in basically a hurricane while wearing mittens. This was important to me after a night spent on Longs peak with a cheap light tent because I didn't want to backpack any more than I had to. So for my first camping tour I will be bringing along the MH tent as I will be the KATY in the spring. No hills, weight penalty isn't a big deal, still not sure where it will live on the bike.

    compromises, what are your compromises?
    Torker Graduate, 288 rods a day without pub detours.

  18. #18
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    I haven't personally used the Tarptent Sublite, but it weighs like 20 freaking ounces. Well, plus poles, so maybe 25 at the very maximum. I've slept in other tarp tents and helped set them up/take them down and they are really easy to work with, really comfortable...and so freaking light. I'd look into it. I don't have a tent and I used a hammock (there's lots more options than just Hennessy too) but when I'm out in places with no trees I'll probably get a Sublite.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I don't see any shortage of them at REI. They've got 15 one person tents listed...9 if you don't include bivys.
    Check the square footage. Very few solo in the 25 sq ft range. Most 18-20. Reasonable minimum needed for two people is 30 sq ft. Manufacturer's make their small tents for the backpacking dudes, not for touring cyclists.
    Last edited by Cyclebum; 12-17-11 at 09:44 AM.
    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

  20. #20
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I don't see any shortage of them at REI. They've got 15 one person tents listed...9 if you don't include bivys.
    Yeah, I guess I didn't completely type out my thought. There is a shortage, in my opinion, of one person tents that are mid-range price/quality, well thought out, and fit anyone over my size (5'10"). I have owned several brands and models over the years. I just want 2 hoops, clips not pole sleeves, enough length to put my arms over my head elbows bent, have my feet not touch the mesh down there (mosquito food) and my head not touch the fabric at the head end (condensation issue). I can live with almost any other issues particular to tiny tents. So when I look for one man tents, I don't see many good choices anymore - for me.

    Currently I am using an MSR one person tent that is no longer available. Not perfect by my standards, but darn close.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  21. #21
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    I bought an Akto for my big 8 week tour, mainly to resist the stormy weather of a Norwegian September. Previously I have used a tiny Gelhert Solo tent which was very cheap and quite good enough for summer touring. I originally bought it because I couldn't find a hotel room for my first night and it cost less to buy than a room. I ended up using it every night for 2 weeks in N Spain and the following year for 2 weeks in the French Pyrenees. I could probably get another few weeks of use before it gets worn or ripped too much.

    Tents this size really are very small. You cant sit upright and you need to be quite slim and flexible to dress inside the tent. The larger Akto is big enough to live in but the Solo is really too small.

    The Solo was incredibly cheap, superb value and when the fibre glass pole split at the end (ductape field repair), the Gelhert sent me a new, improved pole for free.

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Check the square footage. Very few solo in the 25 sq ft range. Most 18-20. Reasonable minimum needed for two people is 30 sq ft. Manufacturer's make their small tents for the backpacking dudes, not for touring cyclists.
    I've owned a Big Agnes Seedhouse 1 and I have a Fly Creek. Both have 22 square feet of space. The Lynx Pass is about the same size. Neither is terribly cramped for me and I'm not a small guy. But I also don't take anything into my tent but me, my bag, my pad and the next day's clothes. My gear can stay outside and because I live in bear country,my food stays out of my tent...usually far out of my tent.

    I also have a Seedhouse SL2 two person tent and it's very comfortable for me and my (rather petite) wife. If my daughter would didn't try to sleep sideways in the tent there'd be room for me too.
    Stuart Black
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  23. #23
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Yeah, I guess I didn't completely type out my thought. There is a shortage, in my opinion, of one person tents that are mid-range price/quality, well thought out, and fit anyone over my size (5'10"). I have owned several brands and models over the years. I just want 2 hoops, clips not pole sleeves, enough length to put my arms over my head elbows bent, have my feet not touch the mesh down there (mosquito food) and my head not touch the fabric at the head end (condensation issue). I can live with almost any other issues particular to tiny tents. So when I look for one man tents, I don't see many good choices anymore - for me.

    Currently I am using an MSR one person tent that is no longer available. Not perfect by my standards, but darn close.
    Check Big Agnes. All of their single tents are 90" long, have 22 square ft of floor space, have a good height on them, use clips on the poles and are freestanding (the Fly Creek isn't as freestanding as the other). They are all well thought out and designed tents that just happen to not weigh much.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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