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Recommendations on tent

Old 09-13-05, 08:21 AM
  #1  
Doug Campbell
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Recommendations on tent

I am looking for a tent for touring. It has to have the following three features: Big enough for me (6'2") and my panniers; be green or some other inconspicuous color; have the poles be removable so that I can wash the tent (the last two are the reasons that I want to replace my current tent). I have been considering the Clip Flashlight and the Big Agnes Seedhouse. Do any of you know if the poles are removable on these tents? Any other recommendations (as small and light as possible)? Thanks.
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Old 09-13-05, 11:33 AM
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Any quality tent will have removeable poles. The Clip Flashlight certainly does.

I an unfamiliar with the Seedhouse, but the Clip Flashlight MUST be staked to the ground. It is not free standing. Although you really should stake any tent, some terrrain is difficult to drive stakes. It's best to toss the cheap stakes that come with a tent and buy high quality bend resistant replacements.

Check rei.com or campmor.com for lots of tents.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:09 PM
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The REI Half Dome is a great tent for the money. It's a "two person" tent, but of course, that's two people that really, really, like each other. You can go smaller and lighter but usually that means either lots more money or not free standing.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:38 PM
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I purchased the Agnes Seedhouse2 tent in July. I have not used it yet. It is lightweight and seems so fragile that I am saving it for lightweight touring only and not camping when I use the car. I set it up in the living room and both my husband, 5'10, 210 pounds and myself 5'5, 175 pounds fit in the tent comfortably. The color is gray and the poles are removable and it is free-standing. It comes with high quality pegs which I would use if you want the tent to be waterproof. I bought mine on E-bay for $212 which includes shipping.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:38 PM
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https://www.hilleberg.com/Catalog/akto_4005083.htm
Will be my next tent. I have a kelty single person tent and it is not much better than a bivy bag, I'm about 6'1. The tent might be fine for someone around 5'6" or shorter.
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Old 09-13-05, 04:23 PM
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Just bought a Hilleberg Akto... Got one at their website, 'display model' for $50 off (of $350).

Besides quality, small size, and design (and that it's green), what I like about it is that it's *not* made in a third world country in order for the company to pay the least possible wages to the people who make it.

Last edited by hujev; 09-14-05 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 09-13-05, 05:25 PM
  #7  
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I am a big fan of Walrus and Mountain Hardware tents - very high quality at fairly reasonable prices. Your local REI may have them, and also carries less expensive models such as the new Sub-Alpine UL. It appears similar to the Clip Flashlight,good for 1-2 people and has a vestibule, weighs 4 lbs. They always have some tents on clearance, too. Lots of choices.
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Old 09-13-05, 06:30 PM
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generally, a hoop tent (think conastoga wagon) will have more head and foot room at the expense of not being free standing. A lot of freestanding lightweight tents are a cramp for the 5' 10" average sleeper( feet or head will brush the wall, getting wet overnight) There are LOTS of quality, relatively inexpensive hoop tents from all the major gear manufacturers (think Kelty, Sierra Designs, Mountain Hardware, MSR-Walrus and Moss tents were both bought up by MSR-, Big Agnes, Hilleberg, etc...try to avoid eureka and coleman even though they do make some good stuff, light tents aren't their forte) and most all will serve you well. Try them out at a store first if at all possible to check on the length/headroom etc... Hillebergs are hella nice but pricy, and Stephenson's Warmlite, also pricey, are absolutely the lightest...

but remember, octogenarians have thru hiked the Appalachian trail sleeping under a shower curtain, whatever you get for shelter will probably work just fine.

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-13-05 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 09-13-05, 09:41 PM
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Love that Hilleberg Akto. They make great tents and that looks about perfect. I will probably get one eventually. This tent is for my travels in England and I will be leaving it there (at my brother's) so I wanted something a little less expensive. I just bought a Clip Flashlight. It was on-sale at Campmor fir $120 and only $5 shipping, couldn't pass it up. Thanks for your input.
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Old 09-14-05, 12:17 AM
  #10  
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I just finished a long tour with my fiancee and am now a HUGE fan of the Sierra Designs Hyperlight AST. It's technically a 2 person tent, but at about 4 pounds, it's incredibly light. It is "free standing", has a really well-sized vestibule (perfect for your stanky shoes) and its odd, diamond/kite shape gives you a ton of space to put your stuff (on either side of you). My fiancee and I are both pretty small, so we probably take up about as much space as you do being over 6' tall ;-). This tent also has a nice and tall high point right at that perfect spot for you to sit up tall.

I worked at REI for a couple of years, so I am familiar with a lot of the backpacking-type tents out there. I used to recommend this one to tall people because there was no other tent that I found that was both in the "ultralight" category, and comfortable (read: long enough or tall enough) for taller people. It also has very muted earth tone colors, so you won't stick out too much. It's a bit more expensive, because it's a Sierra Designs tent, but having just lived in it for nearly 4 weeks, I have no desire to tour with any other tent.

If you're not into that tent, but are still looking for a good ultralight tent, the REI Quarter Dome is also really good (but you'll likely be touching your head and feet to the tent while lying down and probably also when sitting up)
The REI Half Dome is very great (and inexpensive too), as mentioned by "Thor29" above, and will certainly give you more room so you don't touch the sides, it's just a bit heavier.

The Clip Flashlight is a really great tent with lots of head room for sitting up, but it's not free standing, so you have that hassle if you're on hard or soft ground. (And if you don't mind a tent that's not free standing and less expensive than the clip flashlight, check out the REI Roadster tent for 1 person or the Coupe for 2 people...oops, looks like they don't sell the coupe any more, but if you live near an REI, they can definitely check to see if any stores have left overs, which will certainly be VERY INEXPENSIVE).

The Big Agnes Seedhouse that you mentioned looks like a nice tent too...lots of open space. I don't know this tent at all, but just by looking at it, it has a "hub" system in the poles, which is very convenient for setting up the tent, but doesn't allow the poles to break down into small-enough sections. The MSR Hubba & Hubba Hubba have a similar system.

If you're going to be in a really dry climate that's not too hot, one of the Mountain Hardware single-wall tents might do you well too. Or if you just have a huge wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket, the Bibler Ahwanee (now made by Black Diamond) rocks.

In the end, I'd just go for the SD Hyperlight AST.

I swear I don't work for REI, I just know their stuff really well.
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Old 09-14-05, 04:35 AM
  #11  
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Check out a Eureka Zeus Exo 2 as well. Bit of a nasty green, but not too bright (on my computer screen anyways). Seems to fit your other criteria as well. If memory serves ~140$ ish.

I've no experience with this tent, but am also in the beginning phases of looking for a new one.

That Eureka is free standing, single wall. Someone wrote here on the forums that the vents do have to be staked out though to work.
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Old 09-14-05, 08:49 AM
  #12  
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My fiance and I have used the REI half dome on 4 long tours and it's been great. I'm 6'2", she's 5'2" and it fits us fine. I'm not sure it's what I would use if it was just me though since it weighs 5 lbs and there are lighter smaller options. I spent 2 months in Alaska in the original (pre-Clip) SD Flashlight and it was a great tent for one person.
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Old 09-14-05, 09:35 AM
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Here's another vote for the REI Half Dome. Great tent for one or two.
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Old 09-14-05, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hujev
Just bought a Hilleberg Akto... Got one at their website, 'display model' for $50 off (of $350).

Besides quality, small size, and design (and that it's green), what I like about it is that it's not made in a third world country so the company can pay the least possible wages to the people who make it.
That was one of the reasons (made in USA) that would be the deciding factor for me.
It is a shame that more bicycle compontents are not made here.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:02 AM
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Tents made in the USA are pretty rare nowadays. 20-30 years ago a lot of tents were stitched up in Berkeley, but not anymore.

The Hilleberg's are made in Sweden. For other non-developing world manufactured tents,

Integral Designs are made in Canada. Stephenson's Warmlite tents and sleeping bags are made here in the US. An ultralight tent called the PuppyPile (designed for endurance race teams) is stitched here as well.

Bibler MIGHT make some tents in Utah, but since their buyout by Black Diamond, I think most of their line has been offshored to China.

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-14-05 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 09-14-05, 09:33 PM
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Actually, the Hillebergs are now made in Estonia. Estonia is now an EU country, and has European standards of labo(u)r and conditions; however, its still made under cheaper wages than Sweden. 10 years ago I bought the last Wild Country Tristar made in the UK, and then 5 years ago I searched one of the first Eureka Timberline outfitter tents that were made in the US (before being outsourced to China). In my opinion, it's always important to consider the wider implications of what is being bought and manufactured - and not just how much and how cheaply it is available.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:13 AM
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If you want something really lightweight and roomy, you might consider a tarp tent. A tarp tent made from SilNylon combined with a mesh inner bug tent is very roomy, has excellent ventillation, weighs about 2.5 lbs with stakes, and packs into a very small volume. You can suspend the tent between two trees, use downed limbs as tent poles, or take a pair of trekking poles for supports.

I've been using a homemade tarp tent for two years and it makes a great three season tent. It is a bit out of the ordinary, so it's not for everyone. But they do work very well.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:47 AM
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I love my old Northface 'Bullfrog', which was billed as a 3 season 2 man tent (or roomy one man tent, as I am 6'3".) It has since been replaced in the North Face line by such tents as The Talus 23. The nice thing is you can pitch just the rainfly in really warm conditions, or just the tent (which is really well ventilated) in warm but buggy conditions.
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Old 09-16-05, 04:21 AM
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Have you considered a hammock? I switched to a Hennessy about two years ago and have never regretted it. The Hennessys are light (<3lbs.) and don't use any poles. The best reason for using a hammock, though, is that it's comfortable! You don't even need a pad unless it's cold.
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Old 09-16-05, 07:01 AM
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A hammock is a great idea. I was going to suggest a tarp, that's what I've been using. I just use a $3 tarp from the hardware store, some thin nylon rope $5, 4 tent stakes $2, and then a sleeping pad and bag. The tarp, rope, and stakes weigh in at about 1 pound and take up no room really. I can fit them all into my sleeping bag stuff sack. Obviously this wouldn't work well in the dead of winter but I'm not much interested in bike touring that time of the year.

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Old 09-16-05, 07:38 AM
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i have an REI Quarterdome UL. sub 4 pounds dbl wall tent i'm really happy with. might be a little cramped for 6'2" though. the Big Agnes seedhouse Ultralight is nice and gave the REI a run for my money.
the other option i'd consider is a good bivy sack and a silnyl tarp. lots of versatility and ultralight. Integral Designs make the nicest tarps (i think).
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Old 09-18-05, 08:46 PM
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Eureka Backcountry II I have sure enjoyed it. Goes up quick. Can put my panniers in when nessesary. I have used it on two pacific coast rides and I'm glad I choose it. Seems like a lot of other bikers had tents that seemed more high tech. But this has enough room to sit up in and I don't have to stress out putting it up.
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Old 09-19-05, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Palmer
Have you considered a hammock? I switched to a Hennessy about two years ago and have never regretted it. The Hennessys are light (<3lbs.) and don't use any poles. The best reason for using a hammock, though, is that it's comfortable! You don't even need a pad unless it's cold.
I just ordered a Hennessey Ultralight. I've read lots of good things (and a few bad) about them so it's time to try one out. I like the idea of not needing poles or sleeping pad. Currently my tarp tent, net tent, two trekking poles (used as tent poles) and sleeping pad add up to 4.7 lbs. Using the Hennessey Ultralight, at just under 2 lbs, I should save almost 3 lbs. That's certainly worth a try.
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Old 09-19-05, 10:55 PM
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I second the Sierra Designs. I have a ten year old Summer Moon and I love it. It's small, light, and roomy. I'm sure that their products have improved in the last ten years as well.
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Old 09-21-05, 12:31 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by supcom
I just ordered a Hennessey Ultralight. I've read lots of good things (and a few bad) about them so it's time to try one out. I like the idea of not needing poles or sleeping pad. Currently my tarp tent, net tent, two trekking poles (used as tent poles) and sleeping pad add up to 4.7 lbs. Using the Hennessey Ultralight, at just under 2 lbs, I should save almost 3 lbs. That's certainly worth a try.
They are super comfy. I just can't use mine for long treks/tours anymore. Spacious, yet too cramped for me nite after nite. I still use it for weekenders though. Similarly I don't think I could use a bivy or micro/mini solo tent, except for a couple nights.
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