Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 61
  1. #1
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Gunnar Crosshairs, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,206
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Ultra-light tents for touring

    What brands/models of ultra-light tents are some of you using for loaded touring?

    REI has the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 on sale right now for $270 (about $100 off) and it weighs only 2 lb 2 oz (without the stuff sack), which seems incredibly light. Obviously there are trade-offs with UL tents but for loaded touring it seems those might be compromises many would be willing to take to help lighten your load and volume. From reading the reviews at REI, the Fly Creek is only marginally 2-man but has plenty of room for one person with gear, and it's also very rain, weatherproof. I looked at some of the bagged Fly Creek tents at the local REI the other day, and they are incredibly compact and light weight.

    From reading the descriptions and reviews, the BA Copper Spur UL2 actually seems like a more useful design but it weighs about 1 lb more and is quite a bit more expensive ($400) since it is not on sale.

    REI Outlet also has their 2-man Quarter Dome UL on sale for $205, but it weighs nearly 2 lb more than the BA Fly Creek. Like the Copper Spur, it seems a more useful design than the Fly Creek, but I'm wondering if you are better off accepting the compromises of the smaller, lighter tent to save on weight and volume.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    West Central FL
    My Bikes
    Specialized, Felt, Surly, Masi,Giant
    Posts
    383
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have the BA Fly Creek UL 3 and am very happy with it but can't go wrong with any of the tents you mentioned.
    "It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love". Blazeman, Warrior Poet

    11 Giant Talon 1, 10 Masi 3VC, 08 Long Haul Trucker, 08 Felt Curbside, 99 Specialized Allez

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Vienna, VA
    My Bikes
    Cervelo P3 (retired), Habanero Road, Novara Safari, Batavus Personal Delivery Bike
    Posts
    176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just ordered a new Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2, to replace the one I've used and loved for the last 20 years. I wouldn't even consider buying anything else.

  4. #4
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,612
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I love my Eureka Spitfire 1. It is 2 pounds 9 ounces with lighter MSR Needle stakes. Cost is under $100 if you shop around.

  5. #5
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chapin, SC
    My Bikes
    surly LHT, paris sport fixie, trek 5000, fuji ss
    Posts
    1,396
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Big Agnes tents are very high quality. I have the Seedhouse SL1 for backpacking and and short tours. I use the Seedhouse SL3 for my long tours. It adds lots of roomy-ness for the extra 22 ounces. Both are excellent tents.

  6. #6
    Garlic
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Golden, CO
    My Bikes
    Old REI touring bike
    Posts
    534
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My Tarptent Contrail is 24 ounces, packs small, and cost $200 new. This will be my sixth season using it heavily--I have over 150 nights in it and it's ready for more. It is ultra-reliable. But it is single wall and has a learning curve on pitching and condensation issues.

  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've found every small, light tent I've used made with traditional waterproof flysheet construction had issues with condensation.

    The Epic-canopied Black Diamond tents suffer much less from condensation issues, and are pretty spacious and pack small, but weigh in at about 3 pounds.

    I much prefer a tarp and mosquito net for ventilation and comfort. Most small tents are pretty damp.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    B.C.
    My Bikes
    ritcheys{2** rm blizzard Geo elrick drop frame and acollection of parts bikes in waiting
    Posts
    178
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here we go , Tents. My theory after many comfortable and miserable nites , spent counting "no-see - ums ' and drips ; to achieve that state of nirvana, the PERFECT tent. Sort of like meeting Buddha on the road, grasshopper; there is No perfect tent. Buy the tent for the lousiest worst weather you can imagine, a tenting nightmare.A tent chosen for the occupants size and amount of gear and region of the planet to be visited. Personally, I have a few favourite tents, small self-supporting tents that with the addition of one those ultra-lite tarps , I can set up shelter. The tarp allows one to sit in a dry or shaded area, not restricted to the confines of the tent. Never buy a tent without laying in it is good advice.One final thought, tenting is also Fun and the search for the perfect tent will enrich your life. PS After you have found the perfect tent , then seek the perfect bike!

  9. #9
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,359
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Big Agnes does make good stuff, and that is a good price for that tent.

    However, I do have to point out that something like the Kelty Salida 2 is $160, by the same measure weighs 3 lbs 12oz, and only takes up an extra few cubic inches (mostly due to the poles). So that 1 pound, 10 oz reduction in weight costs you about $100, under the best of circumstances.

    If you plan to use it for backpacking, that might be a little more viable. But I'm not fully convinced this is the best weight reduction for the money, especially if you happen to be capable of reducing your waistline by about 2 pounds.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,612
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    From reading the reviews at REI, the Fly Creek is only marginally 2-man but has plenty of room for one person with gear, and it's also very rain, weatherproof.
    I guess it depends on how much gear you insist on bringing in. I find one man tents to be generally fine, but don't bring much inside other than my handlebar bag, what I need to sleep, and what I will wear in the morning. The Spitfire 1 is big enough that when I have used it for backpacking and it was OK for me and my 60 pound dog. It might be a bit short if you are too much over 6' though.

    When packing ultra light I probably could bring all my gear in if I wanted to. When carrying more I have always left the loaded panniers on the bike. Obviously, food and toiletries go in the bear box or are hung where that is required.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE Tx
    My Bikes
    Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
    Posts
    2,634
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At $100, Eureka Spitfire 1 can't be beat for the money. Not good for anyone much taller than 5'10". Versatile, tough. Side door makes it a step in/step out tent. No crawling.
    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

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    916
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Silicon nylon fabric is super light,
    and a more long lasting waterproof vs coating of Poly
    but does not pass fire resistance, tests,
    as required, in some states..

    Stevenson warmlight , a hand made to a custom spec list,
    in NewHampshire . hoop non freestanding type
    I've put it up in some pretty strong winds ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-16-12 at 07:53 PM.

  13. #13
    It's true, man.
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Texas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale T1000, Inbred SS 29er, Supercaliber 29er, Crescent Mark XX, Burley Rumba Tandem
    Posts
    2,727
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have the quarter dome UL2 and it's acceptable for touring. I wouldn't actually characterize it as "ultralight" (or "2 man" for that matter), but it's quite light, dual-walled and freestanding, as well as easily erected and has side doors, all of which were on my want list.

    My only complaints are that, at 6',1", I have to sleep diagonally so as not to brush the walls with my feet, and I wish the pole sections were 4-5" shorter for more compact packing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    My Bikes
    2010 Scattante CFR, Soma Stanyan, Bruce Gordon R&R
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Weight, compactness and peak height are my main criteria and have found the Black Diamond Lighthouse (rate two person which is just right for me alone) meets my requirements at about three pounds with foot print.
    Sleeping bag, air mattress, pillow pump, tent (sans poles), and foot print all fit into one Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus pannier with some room to spare. And yes I know not everyone uses a foot print/ ground sheet and that some think it is bad to pack tent and sleeping bag together. I intend to use my tent for a long time and don't like a lot of stuff lashed to the rear rack.


    Tent.jpg

    Bruce Gordon Fully Loaded.jpg
    Last edited by SlowAndSlower; 05-16-12 at 02:00 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Baltimore, Md.
    My Bikes
    Salsa Casseroll, Salsa Fargo, Trek Pilot Single Speed.
    Posts
    137
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recently purchased the REI Passage I tent. It's a solo and it has worked well for me. Cheap to at $139. It weighs just shy on 3 lbs with poles.
    I like it because it is freestanding.

  16. #16
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    My Bikes
    BMC Pro Machine SLC01, Specialized Globe, Burley Rock 'N Roll tandem, Calfee Dragonfly tandem.
    Posts
    3,225
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Black Diamond Lighthouse (now) HiLight tent I haven't used it for bike touring, but I have for backpacking. Here I put the waterproofness to the test with a 36 hr. deluge in Lyell Canyon in Yosemite. It is single wall, with breathable eVent fabric. I made it lighter with carbon fiber poles, Ti stakes, and lightweight plastic groundcloth. Not having to deal with a fly is nice, it dries very quickly, and there never has been any condensation. The freestanding aspect is more versatile, as it doesn't need stakes or support. It packs very tight.


    Last edited by Ritterview; 05-16-12 at 02:46 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,298
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hilleberg Akto used to be ultralight but these days, a solo tent at 1.5kg/3.3lbs is merely lightweight.
    It is very quick to pitch with fly and inner connected at all times, incredibly tough and can survive any storm. On the downside, ventilation is a bit limited and it is better suited to cooler, windier climates.
    Pitching on hard ground is more difficult for hoop tents but a couple of logs or boulders can hold everything in place.
    Storage space is OK but I prefer to leave the ortleibs out in all weather. Cooking undercover in heavy rain is a problem. I prefer to keep my stove well away from the material and the flap can become unfurled.

  18. #18
    Seņor Wences jwbnyc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,041
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Eureka SpitFire I

    4005.jpg

    As mentioned usually can be found for about a C note.



    I like the free standing Eureka Backcountry I:

    412VZK8CA5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg



    A little more $, a little more weight, but a great little tent.

  19. #19
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,642
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A bit more than the Eurekas, but Tarp Tent can make a small pack version of the Rainbow that works great for touring

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    353
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    REI Outlet also has their 2-man Quarter Dome UL on sale for $205, but it weighs nearly 2 lb more than the BA Fly Creek. Like the Copper Spur, it seems a more useful design than the Fly Creek, but I'm wondering if you are better off accepting the compromises of the smaller, lighter tent to save on weight and volume.
    I had the Quarter Dome UL but found it cramped at 6', 2". I exchanged it for the Quarter Dome T2 Plus and it's got a ton more room. It's definitely not ultralight but to me comfort in the tent (good sleep) will translate to comfort on the bike. My routine is to read or write for 1/2 hour or so before going to bed each night and there's no way I could do that comfortably in a cramped tent. Conservatively, I'll be spending more than 70 "awake hours" in a tent on a cross country trip and I want to be comfortable. I am looking to cut weight elsewhere. But everybody's different, some people are quite comfortable in small tents.

    If you are looking at the Quarter Dome UL be sure to look at the T2 (plus or non-plus). It's easier to pitch, the walls are more vertical, and it seems like a better designed tent overall.

  21. #21
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    The Black Diamond Lighthouse (now) HiLight tent I haven't used it for bike touring, but I have for backpacking. Here I put the waterproofness to the test with a 36 hr. deluge in Lyell Canyon in Yosemite. It is single wall, with breathable eVent fabric. I made it lighter with carbon fiber poles, Ti stakes, and lightweight plastic groundcloth. Not having to deal with a fly is nice, it dries very quickly, and there never has been any condensation. The freestanding aspect is more versatile, as it doesn't need stakes or support. It packs very tight.


    Those tents aren't Event, but made with a more breathable, non laminated Epic fabric canopy, and they do rock.

    I've put it thru the test both ski mountaineering and bike touring, and they are very roomy, tough in the weather, and pack up very small.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    northern Deep South
    My Bikes
    Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee
    Posts
    1,811
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Go to your local REI, set up the tent, and get in. The Fly Creek UL2 was barely a 1-person tent, IMHO. When I crawled in and lay down, I was counting all the places mosquitoes could bite me through the tent wall; I think the minimum was 3-4 places unless I was curled up in the fetal position.

    Shame, because Big Agnes makes good stuff, and the weight was really, really right! I'll drag around a few more pounds.

    I'm not a fan of single wall tents in the east. It's just too humid, and that means too much condensation.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    West Philly, PA
    Posts
    595
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
    My Tarptent Contrail is 24 ounces, packs small, and cost $200 new. This will be my sixth season using it heavily--I have over 150 nights in it and it's ready for more. It is ultra-reliable. But it is single wall and has a learning curve on pitching and condensation issues.
    Let me second Tarptents. I don't own one, but I know people who do and have camped in them, set them up and taken them down. Great for the weight - maybe better in dryer environments due to condensation, but I don't think it's the end of the world.

    Question about the Contrail - how's the shelter the vestibule provides? I don't currently own a tent (hammock camper on the east coast) but at some point I will and one of my big concerns is cooking/eating in the rain. Is there room for that?

  24. #24
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Gunnar Crosshairs, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,206
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Do the tarp tents have mosquito netting? That is a must, IMHO. Too many bugs in the Eastern US to go without.

    I have looked at solo tents in person and none of them would have enough room for me. I like to keep my gear inside the tent and have a little room to spread out. Two-man tents are ideal for my purposes and not that much heavier. I also like free-standing tents as they are much easier to pitch as well as excellent ventilation. Living in the SE, ventilation is a huge issue. I doubt if I would be bike touring in winter, so I don't need a mountaineering tent designed for low temperatures.

    The Big Agnes Copper Spur 2UL is just about ideal among the tents I have looked at so far. It is a little roomier with more vertical walls and double entry compared to the BA Fly Creek, but I'm not sure it's worth paying $50 more for it. Too bad REI doesn't have them on sale, altho I could get it for 20% off with member sale this weekend.
    Last edited by tarwheel; 05-17-12 at 07:11 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,612
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    Go to your local REI, set up the tent, and get in. The Fly Creek UL2 was barely a 1-person tent, IMHO. When I crawled in and lay down, I was counting all the places mosquitoes could bite me through the tent wall; I think the minimum was 3-4 places unless I was curled up in the fetal position.
    Seriously? To me the Fly Creek UL2 seemed OK for two as long as they don't bring in much gear and absolutely cavernous for one.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •