tent (free-standing, inner-only, 1+) recommendations?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
DougieB
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tent (free-standing, inner-only, 1+) recommendations?

Postby DougieB » 7 Dec 2008, 10:00pm

Hi,

I am looking for a free-standing tent (needed for sand or indoors), which can also be pitched inner only. Enough space for 1 plus a couple of panniers, though they'll probably be pillows.

The tent will be used with pegs in the winter up here (Scotland), so needs a waterproof outer and strong enough for high winds.

I have used a North Face Tadpole 23 before, which was ideal. But I was on a motorbike and weight/pack-size wasn't such an issue as on a bicycle. And it fell off the bike, so I don't have it anymore. It's really the pack-size that is the problem with this tent, as it's fairly light. But I think removing the poles and sticking them somewhere on the frame, would solve the pack-size issue? Are there any tried and tested methods for doing this?

Currently I have a North Face Mountain Marathon, which is excellent for wet and cold nights. Except that it needs pegs (a problem in the Sahara).

The previous tents I've seen recommended for cycling all seem to require pegs.

cheers,
Doug

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julk
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Postby julk » 7 Dec 2008, 10:46pm

2 Hiileberg tents are worth a look :-

• Soulo weighing 2.1Kg, £387
• Unna weighing 2Kg, £357
(prices at Alpenstock)

The Soulo is a bit bigger, more room for panniers etc.

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pjclinch
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Postby pjclinch » 8 Dec 2008, 10:55am

I'd second Julk's suggestion. Hillebergs are expensive but IME you get what you pay for with excellent design and construction.

The main differences between Unna and Soulo aren't so much size as the way they're laid out. The Soulo has a porch all the time, the Unna has a bigger inner but you need to unclip part of it if you want covered porch space (for example, for cooking inside in foul weather).

Details at http://www.hilleberg.se/default-e.HTM and http://www.hilleberg.se/Engelsk%20pdf%202009.pdf

Note you'll need some extras to pitch the inners on their own (you can also use the outers on their own). The Alpenstock shop Julk mentions is not only cheaper than most for Hilleberg but they generally have more stock than most (often only Akto and Nallo models are stocked by Hilleberg dealers in the UK) and will be able to get you the extras for inner only pitch more easily than most. Contact them at http://www.alpenstock.co.uk/home.htm

Pete.

DougieB
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Postby DougieB » 8 Dec 2008, 2:31pm

OK, thanks. I'll take a look at them.

Do you guys have any experience with the widgets required to pitch inner only? Ie, how robust, rough size, etc?


cheers,
Doug

MartinBrice
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Postby MartinBrice » 8 Dec 2008, 2:43pm

take a look at the Saunders range - i have the Hilltrek and it sound ideal for what you want.

hamster
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Postby hamster » 8 Dec 2008, 2:44pm

I'd also consider the Terra Nova Voyager. I've had one for 14 years.

AndyB
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Postby AndyB » 8 Dec 2008, 3:01pm

hamster wrote:I'd also consider the Terra Nova Voyager. I've had one for 14 years.


Good call - I've used these and they're great. The superlight version is less than 2kg, and it's on sale for £235 on their website.

DougieB
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Postby DougieB » 8 Dec 2008, 3:22pm

the super light says the seams are not factory sealed. is this just a case of laying it out and rubbing some sort of goo on the seams, to make it waterproof?

cheers

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julk
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Postby julk » 8 Dec 2008, 3:50pm

DougieB wrote:OK, thanks. I'll take a look at them.

Do you guys have any experience with the widgets required to pitch inner only? Ie, how robust, rough size, etc?


cheers,
Doug


Doug,
The Hilleberg inner pitching kit looks like a set of pole end holders and ground straps connecting them. It retails for about £15.

Sorry, I have no direct experience of using them, my camping is UK based and I need the outer in place - even in Summer!

It might be useful to phone Jose Sillitoe (a lady) at Alpenstock 0161-480-3660 for a chat on using a Hilleberg inner only. I have found Jose to be very knowledgeable and helpful.
Julian

hamster
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Postby hamster » 8 Dec 2008, 6:23pm

DougieB wrote:the super light says the seams are not factory sealed. is this just a case of laying it out and rubbing some sort of goo on the seams, to make it waterproof?

cheers


Yes, but frankly the superlite ones are very pared down to get the numbers - the groundsheets are fragile etc. Personally I'd go for the regular one, which at 2.2kg or whatever is scarcely a porker...

jake
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tents

Postby jake » 8 Dec 2008, 7:23pm

In the backpacking world I've only read very good reports about the Super-lite Voyager (1.84 kg). The "old" Voyager is now down to 2.27 kg but, strangely, is £100 dearer than the SL (on Terra Nova's web site). Lightwave make a very good tent IMO (I have their t0 Ultra). They do a number of free-standing, semi-geodesic tents. Try: www.lightwave.uk.com.

DougieB
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Postby DougieB » 8 Dec 2008, 8:29pm

great stuff, thanks. I'll be trawling the websites and trying to find the nearest stockists to have a crawl inside.

do cyclists tend to split the poles and the fabric, for packing on the bike? I'm thinking the tent fabric (and pegs) can be stuff-sacked down to a small size and can live inside a pannier. But the poles don't fit, and may well be easier to strap onto the pannier rack.

I did a 3 week cycle down in France earlier this year, with the Mountain Marathon. And inside its bag, with poles, it was too long for the panniers (Ortlieb). I bungeed it to the top of the pannier rack, but it was easily removable.

I'd prefer to have everything inside the pannier, so when I'm nipping into a shop it's less obvious. I'm not paranoid about security, but the tent on top did seem a little blasé.

cheers,
Doug

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julk
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Postby julk » 8 Dec 2008, 11:44pm

I strap my tent lengthwise on the top of the rear rack, inside a black bag to make it more anonymous.

Never had a problem with it like that.

bikepacker
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Re: tents

Postby bikepacker » 9 Dec 2008, 11:30am

jake wrote:In the backpacking world I've only read very good reports about the Super-lite Voyager (1.84 kg). The "old" Voyager is now down to 2.27 kg but, strangely, is £100 dearer than the SL (on Terra Nova's web site). Lightwave make a very good tent IMO (I have their t0 Ultra). They do a number of free-standing, semi-geodesic tents. Try: www.lightwave.uk.com.


I have seen many problems with lesser quality tents to recommend them to others, including Terra Nova. Some of their products are not what they claim and as a company to deal with, they leave lots to be desired.

I spend about 80 nights a year cycle camping and wouldn't now use anything other than an Hilleberg. Some American friends are raving about the Big Agnes range which are now available in UK.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

rualexander
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Postby rualexander » 9 Dec 2008, 3:03pm

Neither the Saunders Hilltrek, Terra Nova Voyager, or Lightwave tents are true free standing tents, they all need some pegs to peg out the porch area.
The Hilleberg Soulo, Allak, Unna, and Staika are true free standing tents.
I know there are a few other makes of true free standing tent but not many as quality as Hilleberg.
It's not that often that you would absolutely need a true free standing tent, usually its possible to get a couple of pegs in, or tie the porch peg points down with a rock or something.