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  1. #1
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    which tent and sleeping bag would you use for Iceland?

    Hi All,

    I really need a tour where it is desolate, beautiful, not touristy, tough, scenic and cold. I've done lots of tours in scotland with wild camping in summer/autumn, temps down to minus 11. I've camped in winter in Lake district but none of it really tested me or my equipment.

    I did want to get to Scotland this winter bicycle to camp at bases of mountains and see stunning winter scenery but due to work, family accident wasn't possible and it has not been really cold enough. Camping at the Lake District at christmas though raining and extremely windy was just like scotland in a bad storm in winter.

    I might sound a little bonkers to some, but to summarise it is just like going to Mars somewhere like Scotland in winter (or somewhere remote), compare to England it is like going to another planet.

    So decided on Iceland for aug/sep for six weeks. That should give enough toughness to satisfy me. Have been before in 2007 but was inexperienced. Wrong kit etc. Since then done lots of tours mostly in Scotland in hilly windy, rainy terrain at all times of year (except winter!)

    I have a selection of tents and sleeping bags to take but can't decide, some are for winter use, some free standing, some heavy, some light.

    The tents are

    1) Terra Nova Laser Large 2 - http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/tents-an...-space-2-tent/

    3.3 kilo, plenty of space, 3 season, not great in winds, large.

    2) Golite sl5 (outer only) http://www.golite.com/Shangri-La-5-Tent-P46714.aspx
    with Terra Nova Solar Competition and tarp
    http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/tents-an...r-competition- 1-tent/

    Total weight 2.7 kilos, two tents effectively, very flexible, normal tent pitching, but can use the competition seperately free standing. Takes longer to setup, small living space but have used this combination for 3 months in scotland and worked well but in bad weather up there at durness had to peg the Golite 5 down really well, add extra guy lines and it just survived. Its zip went so for a while I just used the solar competion so it is like taking a spare tent.

    3) - Coleman phad x 3 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coleman-Phad.../dp/B000PEN1VG
    With groundsheet 4 kilos, heavy, but completely free standing but poles not overly strong.
    Would it survive an icelandic storm? Bought to test out winter camping (rather than waste money if did not like).
    Hard to put up in wet windy conditions.

    4) - Finally could not resist, a hilleberg nallo 4 gt for winter. a little big, but figured in winter would need plenty of space.
    http://www.hilleberg.com/home/produc...o/nallo4gt.php

    With groundsheet about 4 kilos, you really can put these up in the cold, wet and windy with gloves on. They go up
    easily. Need say nothing else about it except no free standing. Problem in Iceland wild camping?

    I think 1 would be unsuitable but which to take out of 2,3,4?

    Sleeping Bags

    1) - I have a western mountaineering alpin lite, 900g good to -5c but no water proof shell. Would not work with option two
    above if get heavy condensation

    http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm? section=products&page=sleeping%20bags&cat=ExtremeLite%20Series&ContentId=28

    2) Western Mountaineering Kodiak, 1.2 kilos -19c low (though given its size probably lower than that) and water proof
    outershell. Probably over kill but for 300g more it is water proof and more resilient if down gets damp (more of it so can
    get damp for longer).

    http://www.westernmountaineering.com...s&ContentId=38

    Bike is an easy one, Dawes super galaxy, tubus logo rack, dynamo with usb charge, spa handbuilt wheels. Cooker is Primus omnilite ti, small and light and runs on most fuels.

    Got down jacket. So only quandary is which tent and sleeping bag would you take? I'm probably favouring the Hilleberg (option 4) and Kodiak Sleeping bag (option 2). However this is largely influenced in that I have not had a good old freeze your b?ll??ks off tour and want to use this equipment! But is this overkill?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Regards

    Steve

  2. #2
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    I'll be in Iceland the last two weeks of August touring the ring road, albeit in a car. I always chat up cyclists, so maybe we'll run into each other.

    It sounds very much to me that you know what you are doing. My understanding is that Iceland in Summer is wet, wet, wet. In Reykjavik I was told that it rained last year every day. So with temps well above freezing and lots of precipitation, I'd tend toward taking the Hilleberg and the Kodiak at the cost of 300g for the latter. I have an Allak and an overfilled 900-fill Feathered Friends Merlin good to 20F and those are for sure what I would take.

    It would be good to also take some sort of light synthetic-insulated jacket that can get wet and still keep you warm - for on the bike and also when you are setting up your tent in the rain. Montbell makes several good models. But you probably already know that. Oh, and I assume you have some good waterproofs for on the bike?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    I'll be in Iceland the last two weeks of August touring the ring road, albeit in a car. I always chat up cyclists, so maybe we'll run into each other.

    It sounds very much to me that you know what you are doing. My understanding is that Iceland in Summer is wet, wet, wet. In Reykjavik I was told that it rained last year every day. So with temps well above freezing and lots of precipitation, I'd tend toward taking the Hilleberg and the Kodiak at the cost of 300g for the latter. I have an Allak and an overfilled 900-fill Feathered Friends Merlin good to 20F and those are for sure what I would take.

    It would be good to also take some sort of light synthetic-insulated jacket that can get wet and still keep you warm - for on the bike and also when you are setting up your tent in the rain. Montbell makes several good models. But you probably already know that. Oh, and I assume you have some good waterproofs for on the bike?
    Yes got good waterproofs. Like the idea of light synthetic-insulated jacket that can get wet and still keep me warm, I've had the problems of kit wet in winter and not being able to dry out, so such an option would be good. Thanks. I'll look out for an american accent saying hi.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    We were in Iceland in early September, and it was cool and windy. The temperatures were in the -3C range with winds 40 KPH and rain. Most cyclists ended up taking the bus at some time during their ride just because of the winds. I have a 4-season Sierra Designs tent that I use for mountaineering. It is great in the wind, free standing , and weighs a little less than 2.7 kgs. I have also used an Eureka expedition tent that was a little heavier, but just as good in the mountains. A good 4-season tent would serve you well for many types of adventures. However, I've only used my lightweight freestanding 3-season tent for bike tours. It does remarkably well in high winds.

    Not Iceland. But in high winds even free standing tents need extra guying down.


    We were on our way back from 3 months in Europe, and were totally unprepared for the climate. Our light weight summer bags were rated at 8C, and we ended up wearing almost every layer of clothes that we had. I'd recommend a warm bag, which might be your -5C, and a tent that will withstand high winds. You will also sleep much warmer in a tent than under a tarp.

    We were only there for 3 days, and just finishing up over 4800 kilometers of riding with much of the last month in the rain. We took a vote and decided to leave our bikes in their boxes and rented a car. I know, we are wimps

    I think of the conversation I had with a couple of other cyclists we met at the airport when I asked them if they enjoyed their tour of Iceland. One of the young men said, " I wouldn't call it enjoyable, more like memorable."

    It is a beautiful country, and the people are great. Enjoy!

    Watching the Northern Lights outside of Keflavic.


    There are a lot of places where wild camping is not going to be easy, and a long way between suitable camp spots.
    Last edited by Doug64; 02-23-14 at 01:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member spacemanz's Avatar
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    Wow, this thread makes me appreciate the "tropical" weather around Seattle, LOL. I'm just gearing up myself, and besides recently discovering a Marmot coat & gloves (I guess Marmot was like the first company to use Gore-Tex, back in the early '70s), I also grabbed a newer sleeping bag & bivy sack. My bag is an ALPS Mountaineering +20F bag, which is plenty for my needs, and packs really well & light (just over 3 pounds), even for being a long. I also grabbed a used (?)but like new bivy sack, made by REI, that's not Gore-Tex, so the breathability/condensation is questionable yet, but it's a pretty decent looking cover I think, for in moderately heavy rain. There's a mesh breathing area around your face, that won't be waterproof, but if a person uses good sense, it'll still help a lot. But I suspect a Gore-Tex bivy will be a future purchase. Hey, I was born on December the 12th, so I've always been a nutty winter person.

  6. #6
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    have a look at Exped's tents as well (Suiss brand), they have great 4 season tents, quality-wise you can expect something along the lines of Terra Nova and Hilleberg but less expensive

    I've got my eye on the Orion, very strong tent with lots of space: http://www.exped.com/netherlands-bel...n-ii-extreme-2
    check out this little wind test, bomb proof! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI-BQUDlPxo

    My sleeping bag is a Marmot Never Summer, easily warm enough for -10C or less, it's hard to do better for the price

  7. #7
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    Take small tent that has a good carcass (doesnt always need to be strapped down), because the land there is full of rocks and its really hard to build a tent properly.
    A good, thick mattress is what you definitely want to take with you.
    As for the sleeping bag - i never suggest to take down sleeping bags to places where 6 out of 7 its gonna be raining. Synthetic is just as good and it will be warm even if its wet.

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