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Which Tent to get

Old 11-30-10, 07:58 AM
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Which Tent to get

I am new to touring and was thinking about getting a tent. It will be occupied by one person, and used in temps at or above freezing.

I saw this one and wondering what you though Topeak Bikamper Tent?
https://www.rei.com/product/732405
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Old 11-30-10, 08:22 AM
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This has come up quite a few times and I think the general opinion is that the Bikamper is not the best answer.

Do you really want your bike to be part of the tent? I know that I often want to ride to the store or a restaurant after camp is pitched. Also what if you want to do as we did in Yosemite and stay the same place for several days using our bikes to get around.

Won't you be likely to want to use the tent on trips other than bike trips? I know it has alternate ways of pitching other than using the bike but they look kludgey.

Probably best to get a back packing tent. MSR and Big Agnes models are popular. Eureka makes OK tents mostly at cheaper than average prices. Something to consider especially if the budget is tight.
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Old 11-30-10, 10:21 AM
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Get a tent that will easily accommodate your height (plus bag loft top and bottom) and width for sleeping on your side in both directions - without touching the tent. If you are over 6', you might find that a tent designated for two people may be more suitable. Beyond that, you generally get what you pay for with most variables in the realm of "personal preference".

I really don't know what problem the Topeak tent solves.
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Old 11-30-10, 10:36 AM
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I've never bike camped, but I've done back-pack and vehicular camping like a SOB for the past 5 years .

My wife and I bought a Kelty 2-person tent for $149 last year and it is the single most easy to set-up, and most practical and durable tent I've used. It lays low to the ground during winds, which is really nice for Eastern Shore camping. It has been through the ringer and given us no problems.

The only issue is it's size - a 2-person tent really is a 1-person, but all tent folks will tell you that .

There's probably a lot of other brands that make great tents too. Just get a good quality one - cheap tents are the pits.
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Old 11-30-10, 10:39 AM
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Winter tents may need to withstand heavy winds as well as rain.
You need a generous vestibule for storing gear and possibly for cooking, although this is quite difficult in a solo tent.
My Hilleberg Akto is rated for heavy conditions and I can confirm that it survives gale force winds.

The Bikecamper is more of a summer shelter and the flysheet would be ripped off by gales.
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Old 11-30-10, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
This has come up quite a few times and I think the general opinion is that the Bikamper is not the best answer.

Do you really want your bike to be part of the tent? I know that I often want to ride to the store or a restaurant after camp is pitched. Also what if you want to do as we did in Yosemite and stay the same place for several days using our bikes to get around.
I don't think it's even a good answer for the reason noted above.
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Old 11-30-10, 03:05 PM
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I agree with previous comments that this tent design has serious drawbacks. I usually end up using my bike after setting up camp in the evening - sometimes just to explore the area around the campground and other times to ride to a nearby restaurant or grocery store. This tent weighs just as much as my Sierra Designs Clip-Flashlight, has less room, and far less versatility. Plenty of lightweight backpacking tents that would make better choices.
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Old 11-30-10, 03:31 PM
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I have an MSR Hubba Hubba which I like for an all around tent, plenty of room, not too heavy. I am considering the Hilleberg Solo as I believe when raining it will provide more protection. I think for me a free standing tent is the way to go, a tunnel type tent might be a problem to secure in rocky areas. The above mentioned Akto, a tunnel type tent is even lighter, but in addition to it being a tunnel tent, Its head room is about 2 inches less. I like to be able to sit up easily. A youtube search will provide plenty of examples of all three. The down side of any Hilleberg is it's expense, pricey. There are many positive reviews on REI's half dome as well.
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Old 11-30-10, 03:56 PM
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The Bikamper tent is more of a gimmick than something really useful. Bunch of trouble and looks really weird. Will look even weirder in a 30 mph wind.

Decide whether you want a freestanding or stake down tent, realizing even the free standing tents need staking in windy weather. Dome or tunnel. Solo or duo. Consider vestibule size, length, peak height, one or two doors, weight. Single or double wall. If wild camping, color of the fly.

I've been very satisfied with my Eureka Spitfire 1 solo tent for the last 5 years and 150 pitches. Still going strong. The duo version is identical in design but has twice as much floor space. A lot of cyclists don't mind the extra weight and bulk of a 2 man tent, preferring the extra space, especially nice to have when the weather turns nasty, and for 12 hour nights in the winter. I use the Spitfire 2 for winter camping even tho it takes up twice the pannier space as my 1.

Don't forget a footprint for whatever you decide on. Protects the tent floor and helps keep ground water out.

Last edited by Cyclebum; 11-30-10 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 11-30-10, 04:43 PM
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i have the hilleberg akto ,it's a brilliant tent if your moving on every day.
but if your camped in the one area for any amount of time imho it's just that bit to small.
if i had the bucks (i don't) i would buy without hesitation the hilleberg nallo gt2 all you could ever want in a tent.
but it is expensive but then again you get what you pay for.
good luck hope you get what your looking for.
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Old 11-30-10, 05:07 PM
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I have to agree with other commenters, having your bike be part of the tent seems like a silly and useless idea. I can't think of any benefits to that.

There are lots of great 1-person, ultra-light tents available at almost any camping store. How much you are willing to spend is the real question, but I found a great 1-person weighing in at about 2 lbs 11 ounces for about the same price as the one you linked to.
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Old 11-30-10, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty5329
I have to agree with other commenters, having your bike be part of the tent seems like a silly and useless idea. I can't think of any benefits to that.

There are lots of great 1-person, ultra-light tents available at almost any camping store. How much you are willing to spend is the real question, but I found a great 1-person weighing in at about 2 lbs 11 ounces for about the same price as the one you linked to.
So please tell me the tent that you found?
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Old 11-30-10, 06:04 PM
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Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 or Fly Creek UL2. Two person tent means you can hole up in bad weather for as long as you have food. 1 lb. 11 to 3 lbs. 6, depending on model and what you take with you.
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Old 11-30-10, 06:20 PM
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I used a one person tent for 12 nights this past summer. The weather was always good and I was happy with my gear left outside with my bike. However, I began to wonder what it would be like in the rain. No space inside for gear, and the vestibule is also the door, so I couldn't keep much gear there.

I sold the one person tent and bought a 2 person tent.
End of Story.
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Old 11-30-10, 06:40 PM
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I don't know if this was the exact one, but it was something along these lines. Sierra designs light year tent
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Old 12-01-10, 09:16 AM
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My tent search always balanced light weight with comfort. My first bike touring tent was comfortable but too heavy. My second (Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2) was a bit confining (I'm 6'4") but much lighter. I liked it a lot and took it on several long tours. However, when it leaked in a downpour I decided to see if I could find something better. I bought a Eureka Backcountry 1. It had a footprint like a coffin. It was light, watertight, and had some nice features. Unfortunately, it was too narrow. I couldn't read on my side. That was a deal-breaker for me; I read every night on tour.

Then I discovered L. L. Bean's Microlight 2. It seems perfect for me. It's light, well-ventilated, and water-tight. It's a little bigger than the Clip Flashlight, so there's more room to stretch out, more foot room, and room to put clothes and gear on both side of me when I sleep.

I have Ortlieb panniers which are absolutely waterproof, so I just leave them outside at night, even in the rain. It gives me lots more room inside.
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Old 12-01-10, 08:15 PM
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Hope it isn't a thread killer but I own a Hennesy Hammock.
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Old 12-01-10, 08:53 PM
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get the Eureka Backcountry 1. It's a backpacking tent at $130, $115 if you use froogle.com. It weighs a little less than 4 pounds and fits one at 8x3'.

Here's a thread I posted earlier about it.
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...o-tents-please!

The thread has a lot of great information, comparing two very similar backpacking tents.
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Old 12-01-10, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
I've been very satisfied with my Eureka Spitfire 1 solo tent for the last 5 years and 150 pitches. Still going strong. The duo version is identical in design but has twice as much floor space. A lot of cyclists don't mind the extra weight and bulk of a 2 man tent, preferring the extra space, especially nice to have when the weather turns nasty, and for 12 hour nights in the winter. I use the Spitfire 2 for winter camping even tho it takes up twice the pannier space as my 1.
Just bought the Spitfire 2. A good tent and reasonable price. Although the pegs will probably need upgrading.
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Old 12-01-10, 11:39 PM
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I have spent enough days tent bound by bad weather to appreciate a roomy quality tent. I frequenty travel solo and use a 2 person tent. The extra room is well worth a pound or two on the road. It is really nice to be able to sit up and have gear inside. Buy the best tent you can afford.
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Old 12-02-10, 12:49 AM
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When weight allowances allow I use a 4 person Eureka Timberline. It is heavy, but boy is the space nice to have. The older I get the more I appreciate the room. Over the years I've also discovered I carry less food, resupply along the route more often, and cut elsewhere to be able to have this luxury as often as I can. The tent is well proven and robust but there are probably more modern designs out there these days.
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Old 12-02-10, 04:41 AM
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Depending on the campsite, I often leave the Ortleibs outside my solo Hilleberg Akto.
They can function as night-time reflective identifyers to help me find the tent and to prevent people driving near the tent. They also stop people tripping over guylines.
Where I think security may be an issue I have pulled all 4 panniers into the vestibule but it is cramped and inconvenient, esp in the rain. You always want a larger tent to be inside of and a smaller tent to carry.
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Old 12-02-10, 06:50 AM
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Everyone is different, but... I really don't see the need to bring much into the tent at night whether it rains or not. Stuff for sleeping, book or Kindle, handlebar bag with all theft worthy stuff, and clothes for the morning.

Whether it rains or not, if I am in the tent I am probably either sleeping, getting ready to sleep, reading, or getting ready to get out of the tent and break camp. None of that requires much space. Rainy days I might read or sleep in for a while, but I never have spent the day in the tent on tour preferring to ride in the rain rather than sit around in the tent all day.

Given all of that, a light tent is a no brainer for me as a solo tent is fine. I have used my Fling (a two man tent) with two of us and also solo, but did not find the extra space to be a big plus when solo. I do find the more bivy type designs OK, but barely.
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Old 12-02-10, 08:42 AM
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I currently use a TNF Tadpole ~4+lbs. I am switching to a TarpTent possibly the Moment, still trying to decide. It goes @ 1.5lbs, decent size and great for inclement weather. Here are all of Tarp tent models
https://www.tarptent.com/products.html

EDIT: I'm also thinking TT Contrail model
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Old 12-02-10, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Given all of that, a light tent is a no brainer for me as a solo tent is fine.
Agreed. When solo I usually use my bivy-style Eureka Solitaire even though I also have 2- and 4-man tents and find it gives me plenty of room to sleep or read although it can be a bit cramped while getting dressed. I always take my panniers into the tent overnight so I don't have to decide just what items I might want within reach. I'm only 6', so the Solitaire gives me plenty of room for the panniers.
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