Help! Light weight touring tents

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Iain_Bike, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Iain_Bike

    Iain_Bike New Member

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    Can anyone recommend a bomb proof light weight touring tent?

    I'm planning a trip though Asia and was wondering if there is a classic light weight, tried and tested touring tent people swear by?

    Any help advise or tips would be most appreciated.
     
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  2. katimacat

    katimacat New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm going to be doing some touring too, and i am trying to find a good tent too. so far i found the MSR hubba hubba tent: Minimum weight is 1.8kg, packaged weight is 2kg 2 persons

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_...57&PRODUCT<>prd_id=746081&bmUID=1093294380444

    or the MSR MicroZoid Tent: Minimum weight is 1.34kg, packaged weight is 1.5kg and it is a 1 person tent

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_...57&PRODUCT<>prd_id=337175&bmUID=1093294380442

    i hope other people have some recommendations. good luck in your search!

    Catherine
     
  3. EmmCeeBee

    EmmCeeBee New Member

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    Where are you headed in Asia? I lived in Southeast Asia for 3 1/2 years, and although I cycled locally, I never did tent-touring. But from my experience I can offer some tips.

    Keep in mind, I'm talking about Southeast Asia -- where I'd suspect most people would head for a cycling tour anyway. Sunny, warm, beaches, all the stuff that gets you outdoors. This is Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia. If you're headed for North Asia, this might not apply. Climate in China/Korea/Japan can be cold and severe, just like the northern temperate zones of North America and Europe.

    It rains. A lot. There is a "dry season" and a "wet season", but there's little difference between the two. In the dry season, it only rains twice a day; in the wet season, it rains 5 or 6 times. There's bugs. A lot. There are no campgrounds. Other than Thailand, I never knew locals to go tent camping, and even there it was only a few adventurous college-age students. So you're going to do a lot of improvizational camping -- no facilities, no privacy, no campground company.

    Your tent has to be chosen for all this. Make sure the floor is as waterproof as a boat, and the fly will hold up under a deluge. The fly should cover all the way to within 2" of the ground. High quality no-seeum netting and good ventilation. Enough room to sit up and move around -- if it's raining, or just because of the mosquitos, you'll be spending a lot of time in the tent, you don't want one with a low ceiling. I'm a believer in 3-season tents for all conditions (except winter, of course), but if you know for a fact that you'll never get north of Hong Kong or above 1000m, then a 2-season could do. A 3-season tent will need good design for ventilation, I'd stay away from ones that have mesh right above the floor panels, or a low zipper -- a sure way to let heavy rains in.

    In my mind the most important things to look for are: high roof crown (room to sit up and change clothes), waterproof (floor and fly are critical here), and low weight.

    I've been using a Sierra Design Clip Flashlight for years. Actually, I have two of them: a 2-person (with 2 poles) that I use for touring, and a 3-person (wth 3 poles) that I use for backpacking. Even the 2-person is roomy with 2 people, it has a high crown, and we've never been wet in it -- though I didn't use it in the Asian monsoons. The 3-person is actually a 4-season tent, it's one of my most prized possessions. They don't make that one anymore..... I got both these tents more than 15 years ago, they still make the 2-person tent; although it's changed a bit, it still looks as rugged as ever. If I had to replace my tent, I wouldn't hesitate to get another Clip Flashlight.

    Two things about this tent: it's not freestanding (it has to be staked at the corners). But in 15 years, I've never found that a problem. A couple times I used rocks to anchor the corners, but no big deal. The other thing I notice about the recent design, the front zipper goes down quite low. On soggy ground, water might get in..... So I'd make sure that end of the tent is on high ground. But if you take a look at the fly, you'll see it covers the entire tent all the way to the ground -- an excellent design.

    http://www.backcountry.com/store/SDS0067.html?AFC=CJDataFeed&AID=10281785&PID=1187977&ATT=AD-082304

    Hope this helps.

    -- Mark
     
  4. Lars Jensen

    Lars Jensen New Member

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    I'm touring around with either of two options. I have a "The North Face, Roadrunner 23" tent which is really lightweight and easy to get up even you're alone and in the dark. I love it
    http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?productId=274

    Another option that is even more lightweight is, a hammock. Hennesey Hammock is a really cool product, weigh nothing and takes 5 min to set up - so convinient. That is, if there is two trees :)
    http://www.hennessyhammock.com/

    (dont judge on the website layout *grin*)
     
  5. Pedaling Pete

    Pedaling Pete New Member

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    Spent a year touring S.E. Asia during three trips. I agree with most of what Mark wrote in his reply. But during my last trip from Singapore to Kunming I sent my MHW Trinity(now exchanged for a Akto:http://www.backcountry-equipment.com/tents/hilleberg_akto.php. Maker of the best tents, period!) tent home and bought a Siam-Hammock.
    Reason for this is that it is to humid and warm to be able to get any sleep with the rainfly on. I was also overrun by ants and bugs almost every time I made camp! :eek:
    http://www.siamhammock.com/
    A hammock is less conspicuous, cheep, very lightweight/packsize and versatile(used as mosquito net indoors, can be placed on the ground to, se link for lots of more info!).
    Also guesthouses are plenty and cheep...! :p
     
  6. jboalick

    jboalick New Member

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  7. Erick L

    Erick L New Member

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    This is the definition of the Sierra Design Clip Flashlight. It is what I use. The design has been copied by a few manufacturers. The MSR Zoïd serie seem to be popular as well. Eureka's one-person tents are also popular among cyclists.
     
  8. Bikerbill98

    Bikerbill98 New Member

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    The hell with weight! When I tour I take what is comfortable. I'm 6'2" and I'm not going to spend a month or two on my knees in a nylon coffin. I suggest you get something with a waterproof bottom and plenty of room. My tent, whcih I haul around, is 10x10 and I can stand up in it and if needed play cards with five buddies. You've not in a race and the bike has plenty of gears. I've never had a problem. Of course, I get a lot of looks, but boy do I travel in comfort. The hammock idea is worth considering too, given the conditions.
     
  9. jboalick

    jboalick New Member

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    I agree about being trapped in a small tent. I decided that the squall was good for me. It is a nice large size for one person (like me)but I am 5'8 and it can sleep two plus it weighs only about 4 oz. more than their one man tent. If you aren't obsessed about weight and want some features in your tent then I think any of the tents discussed seem good. I had a sierra designs clip flashlight for about 10 years and it was a nice tent. The small one man tent(Clip flashlight CD)I would get if I did not have my dog. I had a rei quarter dome for about a month before I traded it for my tarp tent and it was a nice tent too. I just saw the REI roadster 1 man tent is on sale at REI and it looks nice. I think that as long as you get something that is a good brand name like people are talking about you will be happy. You can also check out http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Tents/
    for reviews of people who have tried out some of the tents you are talking about.-Good Luck :)
     
  10. KnoxGardner

    KnoxGardner New Member

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    I just took an REI Roadster on a bike tour across Europe for the summer. It was a very rainy summer there. I would definitely not want it in SE Asia. The tent was leaking a bit right from the start around the fly grommets. By the end of the trip (about 60 nights of camping) it was leaking around all the floor seams. I do not consider this "bad" considering it is a cheap tent and I suppose 60 nights is a lot of use, but I guess I would like a bit more "natural life" out of my next tent.

    It was sure light (though I ended up carrying a mallet for the stakes and of course replaced them all with something sturdier). If you have to "live in your tent" you might want to consider something different and slightly larger. As the days got shorter, I started to feel a bit cramped up in this tent as it was so small and you really can't sit up in it very well. Luckily, with biking you are so exhausted at the end of the day, you spend most of your tent time sleeping. I would hate to spend a whole day in this tent looking at rain and or bugs.

    Every single night, all 60 of them, somebody in camp would come up to me and comment on how small my tent was. It pretty much amazed everyone.
     
  11. Dr.Hairybiker

    Dr.Hairybiker New Member

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    I agree with you. I tour with what is considered a four man tent. It's not as big as yours, but it's big enough for myself and the girlfreind, all our gear and uncramped sleeping. It might weigh an extra 2 pounds or so over a lightweight "touring" tent. I can find other areas to cut down on weight. Better to be comfortable at night and get some good rest if you ask me, than obsessing over a couple pounds of weight savings.
     
  12. photojtn

    photojtn New Member

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    Check out Kelty, they just came out with a new 2 man tent ultra small hardly no weight and under $100.00.
     
  13. dirty burger

    dirty burger New Member

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    my partner and i are currently 7 months into our world tour. having worked in an outdoor equipment shop one of our favourite pastimes is rating our gear and wondering how we could improve on it. we are currently using the MSR zoid 2 and absolutely love it. it is very light and packs down well. it is also very inconspicuous and brilliantly ventilated as the inner is practically all mesh. it is always a compromise if you go small and light because it is quite cramped and not perfect in poor weather. for this reason we have decided to step up in size and buy the MSR velo. we are very pleased with MSR but feel a bit more vestibule space is required for such a long trip. we are also going to get the footprint for extra durability.
     
  14. nun

    nun New Member

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    Try a Tarp Tent

    http://www.tarptent.com/index.html
     
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