Tents and bags?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Steve Watkin, Sep 15, 2003.

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  1. Steve Watkin

    Steve Watkin Guest

    Recommendations please for L/W 2 man tents and good warm and light sleeping bags. Just come back
    from a wonderful week on Mull but the camping gear that I took with me was far too heavy. So I need
    to buy better (lighter) gear for my next trip!
     
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  2. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    "Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Recommendations please for L/W 2 man tents and good warm and light
    sleeping
    > bags. Just come back from a wonderful week on Mull but the camping gear that I took with me was
    > far too heavy. So I need to buy better (lighter) gear for my next trip!
    >

    I'd recommend a trip to your local camp shop, followed by a visit to see your bank manager. ;)
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    For a lightweight tent I would recommend a Saunders Spacepacker (any version). They are light (less
    than 2kg) have 2 massive porches, a large inner tent and are very stable in high winds. More info at
    www.robertsaunders.co.uk

    If you call Saunders they often have ex display tents at massive discounts,
    i.e. £299 down to £195. I got mine this way and have had no problems.

    For a sleeping bag it depends if you want synthetic or down. For summer I use a down Mountain
    Equipment Dewline. It's a down bag and packs to around 20cm x 14cm. Temp to minus 5 c. It doesn't
    have a zip but that does keep the weight down. Price, around £150. For winter I have a ME Snowline.
    Same make and group but it will go to minus 20 c.

    Cheers

    Andy

    Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Recommendations please for L/W 2 man tents and good warm and light
    sleeping
    > bags. Just come back from a wonderful week on Mull but the camping gear that I took with me was
    > far too heavy. So I need to buy better (lighter) gear for my next trip!
     
  4. Niv

    Niv Guest

    Vango do some lightweight 2 man tents; I've got a 1 man job, quite neat, but not cheap.

    Niv.

    "Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Recommendations please for L/W 2 man tents and good warm and light
    sleeping
    > bags. Just come back from a wonderful week on Mull but the camping gear that I took with me was
    > far too heavy. So I need to buy better (lighter) gear for my next trip!
     
  5. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    "Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Recommendations please for L/W 2 man tents and good warm and light sleeping bags. Just come back
    > from a wonderful week on Mull but the camping gear that I took with me was far too heavy. So I
    > need to buy better (lighter) gear for my next trip!

    We have an extremely nice Vaude Hogan tent. It's several years old, extremely lightweight, very easy
    to erect and pack, not greatly affected by wind, adequately roomy for two. It wasn't cheap but was
    well worth the money.

    <URL: http://www.gear-zone.co.uk/eshop/VauDe-Hogan-Tent.html >

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    Anagram: I'm soon broke.
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Andy Laycock wrote:
    > For a lightweight tent I would recommend a Saunders Spacepacker (any version). They are light
    > (less than 2kg)=20

    Some more detail needed here: the only one that is under 2 Kg is the=20 Spacepacker Mk1. The
    Spacepacker plus is roomier, and heavier, and the=20 Mk 2 versions of each are heavier than their
    respective Mk 1s (the Mk2s=20 have bigger porches and a polyester fly, which makes them cheaper
    and=20 gives them better long term UV characteristics but at the expense of=20 weight and probably
    tear strength).

    > have 2 massive porches, a large inner tent and are very stable in high winds. More info at
    > www.robertsaunders.co.uk

    As the owner of a Spacepacker I can't let "large inner tent" stand: it's =

    as big as it needs to be, but no bigger. The Spacepacker Plus gives=20 more inner room, but is
    still hardly gargantuan on the inner stakes.=20 Also the case that the standard Spacepacker isn't a
    great tent for tall=20 people. I'd be hesitant to recommend it to anyone over 5'10" without=20
    their trying it first, as stretched out on your back you'll have the=20 slope of the inner wall
    over your face.

    But lest we think I'm putting the thing down here, I own one (a standard =

    Spacepacker Mk1) because for my money it's the best combination of=20 usable space and general
    usability you can get for 2 non-tall people=20 under 2 Kg. My Dad has a Mk1 Plus and I'd rate that
    at the slightly=20 higher weight as well.

    > If you call Saunders they often have ex display tents at massive discou=
    nts,
    > i.e. =A3299 down to =A3195. I got mine this way and have had no problem=
    s.

    Also note that Saunders do "sale or return", so you can pitch it on a=20 plastic sheet with an old
    set of pegs to see if you like it, and if not=20 they'll take it back. Costs you postage, but it's a
    fair investment=20 you're making so IMHO worth it if you can't find one pitched at a dealer =

    or show (getting a bit late for summer shows now though) or campsite.

    My first Spacepacker got stolen in a burglary a few years ago. Looking=20 around I couldn't see
    anything I'd sooner buy for the same job (I have a =

    Saunders Snowcat and a Hilleberg Tarra for different jobs, but if weight =

    and bulk are issues the Spacepacker gets the job), and a friend recently =

    came to the same conclusion. Others to look at would include the Hilleberg Nallo (slightly
    over 2 Kg, =

    only 1 door rather than the SP's 4 and 1 porch rather than 2, but=20 peerless manufacture and
    roomier inner, and still a good size porch).

    > For a sleeping bag it depends if you want synthetic or down. For summer=
    I
    > use a down Mountain Equipment Dewline. It's a down bag and packs to aro=
    und
    > 20cm x 14cm. Temp to minus 5 c. It doesn't have a zip but that does kee=
    p the
    > weight down. Price, around =A3150. For winter I have a ME Snowline. Sam=
    e make
    > and group but it will go to minus 20 c.

    Andy and I clearly think on similar lines... I have a Dewline too, but=20 for two a pair of bags
    with matching L/R zips would be nice (assuming=20 it's it's a partner on your 2 person expedition)
    and the Dewline won't=20 do that. Rather than the Snowline, I use the next one down the range=20
    which is the Lightline, still rated to -12C which I think is fair with=20 all the bits done up and
    some warm clothes inside (slept in a snow cave=20 in Norway back in March, cold enough to freeze a
    bottle of juice solid=20 overnight, I still had plenty of reserve clothes I wasn't using). You'd =

    be unlucky to need that sort of power on a cycle tour, and it comes with =

    either L or R zip so you can join two up. I used to have an Iceline=20 (next up from the Snowline)
    and sold it because it was too hot for UK=20 use for me, even in winter, but if you or partner are
    the sort that can=20 be cold in a sauna then worth a look (sold it to someone who sleeps very =

    cold, and they think it's great). Mountain Equipment make other down bags and AFAICT they're all
    good.=20 The above are in their "Extreme" range, which will pack smaller and be=20 lighter at the
    same effectiveness than the others, but they do a range=20 with elasticated mid-sections that let
    you move your knees about rather=20 more easily, so if you like to thrash about and can spare a few
    grammes, =

    well worth a look. Other "you can't really go wrong" brands for down are Rab and PHD.

    I prefer down to synthetics: packs smaller and weighs less at any given=20 effect. Costs a lot more,
    but lasts practically indefinitely if well=20 cared for, where even the best synthetics will lose a
    lot of their loft=20 after a few years, so the cost does even out in the longer term. You=20 mustn't
    get it wet, but then you really don't want to get *any* sleeping =

    bag wet. Put it in a waterproof bag (separate dry bag if you don't have =

    waterproof panniers) and it won't get wet, end of problem.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    news:[email protected]...
    > For a lightweight tent I would recommend a Saunders Spacepacker (any version). They are light
    > (less than 2kg) have 2 massive porches, a large inner tent and are very stable in high winds. More
    > info at www.robertsaunders.co.uk

    Seconded Peter Clinch's comments : if you're tall, you want the plus.

    On pits:

    > It doesn't have a zip but that does keep the weight down.

    I like to be able to stick my feet out a lot of the time, so no zip is a no-no.

    cheers, clive
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Guest

    "Peter Clinch" wrote ...

    I prefer down to synthetics: packs smaller and weighs less at any given effect. Costs a lot more,
    but lasts practically indefinitely if well cared for, where even the best synthetics will lose a lot
    of their loft after a few years, so the cost does even out in the longer term. You mustn't get it
    wet, but then you really don't want to get *any* sleeping bag wet. Put it in a waterproof bag
    (separate dry bag if you don't have waterproof panniers) and it won't get wet, end of problem.

    Pete.

    It's true that you don't want to get *any* sleeping bag wet, but a wet synthetic bag will dry out
    far more quickly than a wet down bag, and will retain some insulating value while a wet down bag
    will be worse than worthless. Down also loses it's loft when it gets dirty (body oils, etc.) and
    should not be dry cleaned. Washing and drying a down bag is a rather time consuming process,
    compared to washing a synthetic bag.

    I use a lightweight down bag with a separate silk liner that I remove and wash after each trip,
    and I am *very* careful not to let the bag get wet. As Pete pointed out, the extra durability,
    comfort, light weight, and compressibility more than offset the extra expense and care required by
    a down bag.
    --
    mark
     
  9. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    mark wrote:

    > Down also loses it's loft when it gets dirty (body oils, etc.) and should not be dry cleaned.
    > Washing and drying a down bag is a rather time consuming process, compared to washing a
    > synthetic bag.

    This is true. See http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/downcare.htm for more details, but use
    it with a liner and/or send it to Franklins every couple of years and it's not actually a problem.
    To wash a synthetic bag, chuck it in washing machine and that's it. If you envisage lots and lots of
    grime then synth may well be better...

    > I use a lightweight down bag with a separate silk liner that I remove and wash after each trip,
    > and I am *very* careful not to let the bag get wet. As Pete pointed out, the extra durability,
    > comfort, light weight, and compressibility more than offset the extra expense and care required by
    > a down bag.

    I've not used synthetics for years now, so will have to report second hand, but People Who Know
    (Chris Townsend, for example) also report that down is also comfortable over a greater
    temperature range, so you tend not to overcook quite so badly in a bag that's warmer than you
    need on a given occasion.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  10. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    Peter Clinch <[email protected]> writes:

    > mark wrote:
    >
    > > Down also loses it's loft when it gets dirty (body oils, etc.) and should not be dry cleaned.
    > > Washing and drying a down bag is a rather time consuming process, compared to washing a
    > > synthetic bag.
    >
    > This is true. See http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/downcare.htm for more details, but
    > use it with a liner and/or send it to Franklins every couple of years and it's not actually a
    > problem. To wash a synthetic bag, chuck it in washing machine and that's it. If you envisage lots
    > and lots of grime then synth may well be better...

    Also if you envisage any sort of small boat use synthetic is better, unfortunately. Keeping things
    100% dry in a small boat is tricky, and down bags like salt water even less than they like fresh.
    Yes, I know this is a cycling group, but I know for certain I'm not the only person here who cycles
    and sails, and I suspect there are kayakers here also.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    Anagram: I'm soon broke.
     
  11. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

    > Also if you envisage any sort of small boat use synthetic is better, unfortunately. Keeping things
    > 100% dry in a small boat is tricky, and down bags like salt water even less than they like fresh.
    > Yes, I know this is a cycling group, but I know for certain I'm not the only person here who
    > cycles and sails, and I suspect there are kayakers here also.

    There are indeed: I'm a sea kayaker, and I choose down bags when I'm sea kayaking. I manage to keep
    them dry, and the packability still puts them way ahead for me, so I'd debate the "any sort of small
    boat use" for synthetic superiority. Last time I went sailing was a fairly benign jaunt around the
    Ionian where there was no danger of wet bedding. Hardly the Minch, but it does come under some kind
    of small boat use.

    Keeping bags dry really isn't as tricky as some people think. Dry bag to stow it in for travel, and
    unpack for sleeping in dry places. If you're really concerned a lightweight cover like the Rab one
    will do for the odd stormbound night in a gale and not force you to cart around twice the bulk and
    150% of the weight the rest of the time.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  12. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Guest

    Steve Watkin wrote:

    >Recommendations please for L/W 2 man tents and good warm and light sleeping bags. Just come back
    >from a wonderful week on Mull but the camping gear that I took with me was far too heavy. So I need
    >to buy better (lighter) gear for my next trip!

    For my aborted Land's End to John O'Groats, and completed Raid Pyreneen rides I took a Mountain
    Hardwear 'Approach' tent. At 4 lb 12 oz it's pretty light, the fabric is hard wearing, and it keeps
    out the most vicious storms the Pyrenees can muster.

    Condensation was a serious problem in the very hot and still air we had mid August - meaning the
    tent wouldn't dry until 10am, or it had to be packed damp.
    --
    remove remove to reply
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > Also if you envisage any sort of small boat use synthetic is better, unfortunately. Keeping things
    > 100% dry in a small boat is tricky, and down bags like salt water even less than they like fresh.
    > Yes, I know this is a cycling group, but I know for certain I'm not the only person here who
    > cycles and sails, and I suspect there are kayakers here also.

    I'm a dinghy sailor and have been taking my Dewline sailing (and swimming a few times) for years. It
    has never got wet. Just have to be sensible and pack it properly.

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  14. "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Simon Brooke wrote:
    >
    > > Also if you envisage any sort of small boat use synthetic is better, unfortunately. Keeping
    > > things 100% dry in a small boat is tricky, and down bags like salt water even less than they
    > > like fresh. Yes, I know this is a cycling group, but I know for certain I'm not the only person
    > > here who cycles and sails, and I suspect there are kayakers here also.
    >
    > There are indeed: I'm a sea kayaker, and I choose down bags when I'm sea kayaking. I manage to
    > keep them dry, and the packability still puts them way ahead for me, so I'd debate the "any sort
    > of small boat use" for synthetic superiority. Last time I went sailing was a fairly benign jaunt
    > around the Ionian where there was no danger of wet bedding. Hardly the Minch, but it does come
    > under some kind of small boat use.
    >
    > Keeping bags dry really isn't as tricky as some people think. Dry bag to stow it in for travel,
    > and unpack for sleeping in dry places. If you're really concerned a lightweight cover like the Rab
    > one will do for the odd stormbound night in a gale and not force you to cart around twice the bulk
    > and 150% of the weight the rest of the time.
    >

    I sail a lot, cruising and racing and I would definitely use synthetics for a boat bag. Why? Well
    easy to keep your bag dry when it's packed; not always so easy in use - particularly in the normal
    northern european climate. It only needs salt water on it once to get damp and stay damp as the salt
    will absorb water from the atmosphere and your bag is clammy for the rest of the trip. Salt water
    gets below easily once peple are wearing oilies and if the weather is bad and you are standing
    watches it is only to easy to get your bag damp , if not wet from the general activity of both
    yourself and other crew members. What I can really recommend if you are faced with a wet bunk is
    Musto's fluffy Polartec blankets - warm and comfy when wet!
     
  15. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    > > Also if you envisage any sort of small boat use synthetic is better, unfortunately. Keeping
    > > things 100% dry in a small boat is tricky, and down bags like salt water even less than they
    > > like fresh. Yes, I know this is a cycling group, but I know for certain I'm not the only person
    > > here who cycles and sails, and I suspect there are kayakers here also.
    >
    > I'm a dinghy sailor and have been taking my Dewline sailing (and swimming a few times) for years.
    > It has never got wet. Just have to be sensible and pack it properly.

    Yup, but when _you're_ wet and you get into a dry bag the bag gets wet. And if you can undress and
    dry yourself completely in a lightweight two man tent, or in a small boat cabin, before getting into
    your bag on a day when it's raining stairrods and very item of clothing you've got is saturated,
    you're a better man than I am.

    Not that I don't agree that down bags are better - they are very much better, _if_ you can keep them
    dry. But I have synthetic ones because, in my experience, under real conditions in Scotland, they
    _will_ get damp.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    Anagram: I'm soon broke.
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > Yup, but when _you're_ wet and you get into a dry bag the bag gets wet. And if you can undress and
    > dry yourself completely in a lightweight two man tent, or in a small boat cabin, before getting
    > into your bag on a day when it's raining stairrods and very item of clothing you've got is
    > saturated, you're a better man than I am.

    My trick especially when backpacking is to pack a set of dry clothes in with my sleeping bag. When I
    have got my tent up I take off my waterproofs and the clothes. Put them in the porch and put on a
    set I will only wear in the tent after I have dried off a little. Getting in a sleeping bag when wet
    isn't the best idea in the world. Nor do I put my socks in the bottom of the bag to dry them out a
    little, like I know some people do. When it comes to the morning it's back on with the other
    clothes. If you wear good waterproofs your clothes shouldn't become that wet, and you'll soon warm
    up when your doing something. If it's really wet I use a bigger stuff sack and leave my bag inside
    my gore-tex bivvy bag. This gives it a better chance of staying dry esp. in the tent and it makes it
    a little warmer if its cold. It's all in the preparation. I spent 3 weeks walking round Norway when
    it threw it down quite a lot and I never had a wet bag and always had a dry set of clothes.

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  17. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

    > Yup, but when _you're_ wet and you get into a dry bag the bag gets wet. And if you can undress and
    > dry yourself completely in a lightweight two man tent, or in a small boat cabin, before getting
    > into your bag on a day when it's raining stairrods and very item of clothing you've got is
    > saturated, you're a better man than I am.

    Don't know about the boat cabin, but in the tent the same thing that allows me to travel with a dry
    bag also means I always have dry clothes and a towel (or if the towel's got wet drying things, I can
    use the dry clothes if I have to). And a good two man tent has plenty of room to get dry in, if it's
    a decent one.

    > Not that I don't agree that down bags are better - they are very much better, _if_ you can keep
    > them dry. But I have synthetic ones because, in my experience, under real conditions in Scotland,
    > they _will_ get damp.

    Chris Townsend did a backpacking tour taking in all of the Munros in one go not too long ago. It
    took him months, and it rained on over half the days. He had a *one* man tent, and a down sleeping
    bag. It never got wet. Sounds like real Scottish conditions to me!

    Also we need to clarify what we mean by "damp". Modern bags often have highly water-resistant shells
    (not waterproof, as the seams aren't taped), but these will keep the down free of water even with
    spills and drips about in a fair quantity. I've been using down in Scotland since the late 80s for
    mountaineering, and since 2000 for sea kayaking. Last time I got a bag wet was about 12 years ago
    (and learning from my mistakes, current procedures it wouldn't get wet if I was in a similar
    situation again). I'll defer to others' experience for small boat cabins, but for camping if you
    know it mustn't get wet then it won't get wet if you put your mind to it. Otherwise I wouldn't use
    down bags because I'd keep on getting no sleep from soaking down bags...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
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