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One tent for a long tour

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One tent for a long tour

Old 02-08-11, 09:04 PM
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cyclesafe, re: zippers--this alone is worth getting a very good quality tent, for zipper life. Like with outdoor gear in general (or bikes too) spending a bit more money for better quality parts is often cheaper in the long run, not to mention more convienent with not having breakages, or less anyway, and working better overall. I can see being taller would have issues, while I am not that tall, I've always hated being up against a tent wall, so I can appreciate how thats a real factor for you.
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Old 02-08-11, 09:48 PM
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There are no doubt lots of tents that would fit the bill. I just got an Alps Mountaineering Mystique and wouldn't hesitate to take it on a journey such as you described. It's light (about 4.5 pounds), sleeps 2 (it says it sleeps 3 but ...), has two doors, good sized vestibules, a fly that will keep you dry and will withstand lots of wind, and a price that won't break the bank.

Note: Having toured in Central America, I'd just stay in hotels or hostels there. They're cheap and abundant.

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Old 02-08-11, 10:40 PM
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Eureka also makes some pretty tough tents, and are reasonably priced. After almost 20 year of hard use it was replaced with a great Seirra Design 4 season tent. The nice thing about SD tents is they clip to the poles rather than use sleeves. The Eureka tent is still fine except for the pole sleeves. They wore through. It is still OK for car camping, but I won't use in situations where getting a tent pitched in a hurry is critical. Clips are really fast, and in the likely event of having to pitch it in a wind storm while on a bike trip they are easier to use than sleeves..

This was taken in Juntura , Oregon in the summer of 2007. It was 109 degrees F when we rode into town( you see the whole town in this picture). A half hour after the picture was taken a severe wind storm hit, blowing over several of the large cottonwood trees lining the roadside. That and a forest fire blocked the road all night. It was a pretty festive place. Point: do most tents work in hot weather?--Yes, Are they sturdy enough to stand up to severe winds?-- most of the time.

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Old 02-10-11, 01:26 PM
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I quite like the look of this:

I'm in the UK, and tour Europe, so my needs are different, but for me this has everything I need: 5000 head, fly pitch first, self standing, porch, room to sit up, room for gear, and green for wild camping. It's under 2.5 kg, and under 200.

That said, I have an old NorthFace Tadpole that I've been experimenting with stretching a tarp over (it's original fly is blue and too bright for wild camping). It works remarkably well, so I may just go with that. The ground sheet is a bit pourous, but nothing an emergeny blanket footprint won't fix, and save for the fact it's inner pitch first, it meets all my needs. With tarp and inner, it weighs a little over 2kg, which is okay for a two man tent - which I'll be using just for me.
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Old 02-10-11, 09:54 PM
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Doug, I see your point about clips. My old Sierra Designs had three poles, two that feed through "no-gap" sleeves (very fast, no finicking to get them all the way through, sleeves have held up perfectly well over many years) and one last pole with clips.
--get three poles ready, feed 2 thru sleeves lickity split, get ends in eyelets at your end, walk over to other end of poles and with both in one hand extend them up so tent is now standing, insert them into their holes. Then go over and insert 3rd pole into both holes, attach clips, throw tarp over, attach to tent, peg in fly sides and vestibule and its done.
i used to be able to do it in 2-3 mins. My wife remembers our honeymoon and being impressed with that, I had been bike touring the 5 summers before meeting her and had gotten fast at it.

again, day in day out tent erecting and tearing down means a quick and foolproof tent means a lot to me (especially when ones brain and body are fried)
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Old 02-10-11, 11:21 PM
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My wife, younger son, and I spent 4 months on a tour and I had similar questions regarding the best tent to buy. We wanted to take only one tent, but because of many of the reasons Valygrl mentioned regarding tent sharing drawbacks we were very happy we took a 4 person tent for the 3 of us. So, I highly recommend a roomy 3 person tent for you, Chris Pringle.

We ended up buying a Nemo Asashi, which not only has a big floorspace, but also has steep sides and a tall ceiling height. For long term use, these features kept us from going crazy with each other. You have room for sleeping/gear/move around space/playing cards on rainy days/standing up to change clothes/etc. I also liked it because it set up and went down very quickly and easily and when you are setting up and taking down a tent over and over for months at a time, set up ease matters.

2 tents I'd recommend that have these features are the 3 person version of what we brought:
Nemo Losi 3P

and the Sierra Designs Lightning XT3

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Old 02-10-11, 11:53 PM
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I'm reading every single post and weighing out my options.

Gotte: Did you forget to include a picture?
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Old 02-11-11, 02:29 AM
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Do, schoolboy error.

Here it is:


Other than price (but that's just me being cheap), it ticks all the boxes for me (edit, just checked the weight and it's a little heavier than I first thought - 2.65kg, but still pretty close to what I see as ideal. I wouldn't mind carrying a bit more weight for something bombproof).
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Old 02-13-11, 03:42 PM
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I can speak for the high quality and attention to detail of Exped tents. Most of them seem to be expedition quality, 4 season tents but only a little heavier than average 3 season tents. I have a Serius model which I believe is no longer sold in US but may be in YURP. It is a hoop configuration, quick to set up, excellent ventilation, only 6 1/2 lbs for two people, about 35 sq. feet provides plenty of room in the main tent and a large vestibule for gear and a deep green color for stealth.
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Old 02-13-11, 04:32 PM
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Black Diamond Megamid, or Mega Light, its a square floor single center pole teepee tent.
Go-light has one in the same niche with a hex floor.

room for the stuff inside and still room for the Peeps.

Both offer an extra Mozzy net shelter and floor. that is separate, but
you can leave them paired and put them both up at once.
Snow campers dont use that part.. as bugs and frozen are not a combo.

Stake down the floor and erect the center pole ..
It offers variable heights depending on the ventilation needs
around the skirt.

I have a 3 person Steveson Warmlight tunnel tent , door on each end room for stuff a bit less..

But its liner and fly are sewn together , put the 2 stakes on one end, the arch poles in ,
and then in one move, pull itupand put inthe other 2 stakes ..
goodin a strong blow, as the tent stays flat on the ground when you put it together, and
it doesnt leave you like Che' in 'the motorcycle diarys' film, chasing your tent fly spinnaker downwind
when it gets away from you.
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Old 02-14-11, 01:58 AM
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We've been using the Worlds end Rt (3 person 3 season) for several years now and have been happy with it, but at 5.5kgs it might be too heavy for you as its over 10lbs.
I would always go for a tunnel tent (some may disagree) but it has much more space and we always cook inside. No problems in Europe but don't think it a good idea in the US.
Other than the Hilleberg's there is also the Helsport tents like the couple going around the world (for the second time) at www.tour.tk are using.
And for something a bit cheaper you can go for a Nordisk tent. If our tent ever goes out we will go for a Norheim 3 PU green weight (3.7kgs) vs price (300euros) is pretty good.
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Old 02-14-11, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by xilios
but it has much more space and we always cook inside. No problems in Europe but don't think it a good idea in the US.
chuckle....this comment makes me think of the only Dutch phrase I sort of learned (in France from another tourer from Holland one night)-sorry for the spelling, but "Ates Macklan"--in some parts of N. America here, if you camped in that tent, this phrase is what the bears would be saying to each other as they approached your very delicious smelling tent.....
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Old 02-14-11, 10:48 AM
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Whatever you decide, make sure the rainfly goes all the way to the ground and no water will drip onto the sidewalls of the tent, even if it's supposed to be waterproof. I've had a couple tents like this. They were okay in a light shower, but when it poured for a couple of days they leaked and sleeping bags got wet. When you're car camping you can pack it in and go home. When you're on a bicycle tour you'll be miserable! It's worth it to spend some money for something that will stay dry. If you don't, you'll wish you had.
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Old 02-14-11, 11:49 AM
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wise wise words. From having good tents in my life, the sound sleep you get even in a giant rainstorm is worth every $ or ounce or gram more than a cheap tent.
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