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What's the most comfortable tent for $50?

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What's the most comfortable tent for $50?

Old 08-30-07, 02:00 AM
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What's the most comfortable tent for $50?

Do I sound crazy for thinking I can get away with spending so little on a tent? I've discovered two tents, both under 5 lb and under $50: the Texsport Knollwood (https://www.campingstation.com/knollw...tent-p-43.html) and the Bike-n-Hike Vestibule (https://www.ourcampsite.com/01166.html). Unfortunately, the latter got a review saying it leaks (,339,00.html). Do y'all know of any others I could get for $50 or under (new or used)?

Edit: I found another tent, much closer to $50 than the others, but I recognize the name Coleman (https://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/3...Solo-Tent.html).
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Old 08-30-07, 05:19 AM
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I have never paid more than 50 for a tent, and I've always been satisfied. I for one see no reason to spend hundreds for a simple tent.
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Old 08-30-07, 11:08 AM
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Boy! this topic can generate a lot of heat....

The most important criteria is "what you're gonna use it for". If you're planning on months-long tours, in my mind it's paramount to get a tent that will keep you dry, and one you can sit up and move around in. Being out for weeks on end, you're inevitably going to spend a few days holed up avoiding bad weather.

Of course, other things are important too (ventilation, ease of setup, weight, etc) but waterproof and adequate situp height are on the top of my list. If you're only looking at weekend tours, then these are not your top criteria.

So -- without ever seeing those three tents in person, I'll give my opinion on those three tents. Keep in mind, i'm assuming you're planning on long tours. The Bike-n-Hike looks like the best design: a fly with complete coverage that goes all the way to the ground; a high peak so you can sit up and change clothes or read a book. I have no idea of the quality, in fact the taffeta material and fiberglass poles speak of low cost/low quality -- but then, that's what you get in a $35 tent (hey, notice that the website says "currently unavailable"....)

The Knollwood has a joke of a fly. If you ever get caught in a rainstorm, make sure you're carrying a snorkel. The Coleman has a good fly design, but it looks too claustrophobic to be stuck in there during waking hours.

Those are the three you mentioned..... there are a ton of good choices, though maybe not in the <$50 range. I have a Sierra Design Flashlight that has served me well, and it's ideal in almost all respects. Do a search on this board for "tents" -- you'll find lots of recommendations and reviews. Focus on your needs (especially if <$50 is one of them) and compare. You're not crazy to try to keep it under $50, but after 2 months on the road, you'll probably be checking out tents in the >$100 range.

-- Mark

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Old 08-30-07, 11:27 AM
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I just looked at the first one. The fly doesn't cover the low angle zippered entry door. It's called a bivy shelter, it is a tent, it's designed for 2 people, weighs 3 pounds, and is made of heavy duty taffeta. There seem to be a lot of contradictions.

One reason to pay extra is to get the reputation of a reputable manufacturer. In this day, getting a cheap tent should be possible. We used to get these world famous tents and they didn't have a fly at all and worked pretty well, all things considered. I do get a little concerned when I see companies trying to pull off complex designs for a few bucks. More than likely the manufacturer does not understand the details and are just copying stuff.

On the cheap, I would personally make a tent, which can be as easy as a plastic tarp. Or a qaulity tarp like RayJardine.com sells kits for, though altogether you are pushing 100.
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Old 08-30-07, 12:16 PM
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You could probably buy a big blue tarp, a mosquito net hat, some cord and aluminum stakes for under $50. With the right pitching technique, I bet that setup would serve well as a shelter.

I'd love to see photos of some dirt cheap shelters that work well even though I'm willing to dish out $$ for a brand name tent.
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Old 09-01-07, 08:47 AM
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Don't take this personally, but $50 tents are trash. Don't throw away good money on bad product.

Here's a darn good tent for twice that much.


The deal with this tent is that I've used one, know lots of other folks who have used it, so it's field tested and generally liked. Who knows with those other cheaper tents.

I understand the urge to keep the costs of your gear low, but honestly, it takes around $200 to get a set of camping gear that isn't too heavy and is sturdy enough that it won't fall apart. Good camping gear is money well spent in the long run.
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