A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
ianmcdaid
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Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 8:53pm

Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby ianmcdaid » 25 Aug 2020, 5:39pm

I've just bought a Vango F1 Xenon UL 2+

https://www.vango.co.uk/gb/camping-equi ... -ul-2.html

Best tent I've ever owned. Light, quick and easy to put up! Its so easy to put away, none of that hassle squeezing air out. I carry this on my own but its definitely a 2 man tent. Don't pay the £410 on the Vango website.

I got mine price matched to an Amazon price of £250:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vango-Xenon-Te ... %2B&sr=8-1

Mr.Benton
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Location: North Yorkshire and soon to be Worcestershire

Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby Mr.Benton » 25 Aug 2020, 8:56pm

I used the slightly smaller version, the Xenon UL2 when I was cycle touring in Chile at the beginning of the year. It is essentially the same tent as recommended by ianmcdaid but without the massive porch.
The tent is excellent.

https://www.vango.co.uk/gb/camping-equi ... -ul-2.html

I purchased mine from go outdoors.

KTHSullivan
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Location: Wind Swept Lincolnshire

Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby KTHSullivan » 26 Aug 2020, 11:33am

I would tend to shy away from the more diaphanous examples on the market. Although they are undoubtedly well engineered and capable most of the derivatives are aimed at the overseas market where the weather is somewhat more predictable than Scotland. As mentioned by a few above the upper price band Vango and Force 10 tents offer quite good performance at a reasonable price point.
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. :lol:

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pjclinch
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Re: Tent help!

Postby pjclinch » 26 Aug 2020, 12:55pm

matt2matt2002 wrote:Buy cheap, buy twice. But then if you're only going once. Buy cheap.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX2 for me.
Not cheap. I camp a lot.


The problem there is that even if it's safe to assume expensive = good, good needs to be in your particular context of "good". So while you can spend, say, a grand+ on a top-end bunker-class tent you can use for an unsupported ski tour across Antarctica, if what you need is something that's very light with a compact pitching footprint then that's money down the drain. And even where you're buying in to the right niche there can be design details that just don't work for some campers.

I think the Hubba Hubbas are good tents (we have one) but I don't think they're great tents: we're looking to replace ours with something that addresses a few issues we have with it (not things that are bad, just things we'd like done differently, like all-in-one pitch, dismountable inner, thicker groundsheet, more guying points, bit more space for two, even if it means a little more weight), but that's the sort of thing you only really find out by using them in practice. I think a first tent is fairly likely to get replaced, even if it's an expensive, high quality, well regarded item.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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pjclinch
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Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby pjclinch » 26 Aug 2020, 12:58pm

KTHSullivan wrote:I would tend to shy away from the more diaphanous examples on the market. Although they are undoubtedly well engineered and capable most of the derivatives are aimed at the overseas market where the weather is somewhat more predictable than Scotland. As mentioned by a few above the upper price band Vango and Force 10 tents offer quite good performance at a reasonable price point.


It's perhaps worth noting that the very lightweight Terra Nova Laser Comp was used by Steve Parry to do a winter round of all the Munros, often camping high. Light and crisp-packety is not necessarily the same as "weak". To some degree you can throw money at the problem for more strength at the same weight.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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pjclinch
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Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby pjclinch » 26 Aug 2020, 1:01pm

If at all possible see if you can have a crawl around pitched examples in person. It really is the best way to decide if the space works for you. If that's not possible then consider ordering several items, pitching at home (indoors if possible, if not possible use a plastic sheet outside on a dry day and use your own pegs) and sending back the ones that don't make the cut.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

willem jongman
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Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby willem jongman » 26 Aug 2020, 1:13pm

A tent should indeed match the purpose for which it will be used. For a trip in Scotland (i.e. quite cold and wet) I would always prefer a Scandinavian style outer first tent. And for two people I would almost always choose a three person tent: those hardly weigh more than the two person models, and provide a lot more comfort. In fact, many tents advertised as for two people are not really fit for that purpose. I am known for prefering lightweight gear, but here a few hundred grams more can give a lot more comfort, and all the more so in the cold and wet. Equally, places like Norway or Scotland can be unforgiving, so I would avoid the very lightest and most fragile gear. Helsport, for example, advertise their Pro series as four season, but the same designs in their Superlight series as three season.

KTHSullivan
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Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby KTHSullivan » 26 Aug 2020, 2:15pm

willem jongman wrote:A tent should indeed match the purpose for which it will be used. For a trip in Scotland (i.e. quite cold and wet) I would always prefer a Scandinavian style outer first tent. And for two people I would almost always choose a three person tent: those hardly weigh more than the two person models, and provide a lot more comfort. In fact, many tents advertised as for two people are not really fit for that purpose. I am known for prefering lightweight gear, but here a few hundred grams more can give a lot more comfort, and all the more so in the cold and wet. Equally, places like Norway or Scotland can be unforgiving, so I would avoid the very lightest and most fragile gear. Helsport, for example, advertise their Pro series as four season, but the same designs in their Superlight series as three season.


+1 A small amount of weight penalty = a significant increase in comfort. Many of the superlight designs assume, rightly or wrongly that the user will be carrying it on there back; where different considerations are the priority.
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. :lol:

willem jongman
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Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby willem jongman » 26 Aug 2020, 2:25pm

I do like superlight, but a slightly larger tent does not carry much of a weight premium. So our tents for two are three person models, and my solo tent is a Helsport Superlight 2 (not that you would like to use it for two people unless in exceptional circumstances like mountain walking).
Last edited by willem jongman on 26 Aug 2020, 8:08pm, edited 1 time in total.

gloomyandy
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Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby gloomyandy » 26 Aug 2020, 8:01pm

willem jongman wrote:For a trip in Scotland (i.e. quite cold and wet)


Depending upon which part of Scotland, I'd put windy at the top of my list! On my first trip to the Hebrides I spent a few sleepless nights wondering if my (then new) tent (a Terra Nova Voyager) was going to survive the battering it was getting. Since then there have been many more (often stronger) windy nights, but all have been good. Having seen what the wind can do to other tents (I once woke up at Sligachan to find my tent one of the very few to still be in one piece), it is not something I'd want to experience!

willem jongman
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Re: A tent for Scotland : August : bikepacking : 2 man/lightweight

Postby willem jongman » 26 Aug 2020, 8:07pm

Indeed.