Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Specifically for cycle touring subjects & questions
Vorpal
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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby Vorpal » 9 Oct 2019, 7:42am

What weather conditions do you need it for? Are you looking for a 3 season tent, a 4 season tent, or all-weather expedition tent?

If it were me, I would only look at high end manufacturers, Hilleberg, Helsport, or Black Diamond (there may be one or two others).

If I were buying a tent that that I was going to live in for 18 months, and spend a considerable amount of money on, I would list & rank all of my criteria, then go crawl around some tents & see how I thought different brands/models fulfilled those criteria.

You are picking your home for the next 18 months.

Little things like loops to hang lights, storage nets, etc. can make a big difference when you are using something like that for a long time.
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Chat Noir
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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby Chat Noir » 9 Oct 2019, 10:59am

Interesting post and some good opinions.

Usual factors for cycle touring – weight and packed size of tent, along with living / sleeping space inside, but the major factor on an extended tour will be durability – of fabrics and poles.

Durability will add weight and cost but something that you can’t really compromise on. This will push you away from lightweight tents into more expensive 3 and 4 season products. I’ve used a good lightweight 3 season tent on cycling and mountaineering trips, coping as the high tent in heavy snow and strong winds, but this has never been for more than 1 or 2 nights at a time and I’ve always had robust gear which could have protected me in the event of a major tent failure (and a bivi bag as back-up). This tent has always coped well and will continue to be my lightweight solo tent but it’s only a sleeping compartment (heavyweight tent down at base camp for long term occupancy).

On a long distance ride you’re likely to have plenty of storage on the bike (4 panniers, etc) so weightier tent easier to absorb but still doesn’t need to be above 2 kg or less, as opposed to less than 1 kg when getting really lightweight. These days good 4 season tents pack down pretty small so not really an issue. Which comes round to what is likely to be the second most important factor for you, living space. On lightweight trips, usually not more than 2 or 3 weeks, I’m ok in a tent which offers full weather protection and a warm sleeping compartment but I’m not hanging around in the evening or first thing so happy with what this offers – and is much better than a bivi bag. On a longer trip, and where I may be staying in the same place for several days and nights, or resting up, needing to do some work on the bike and with a full range of weather and seasons, I’d want more than a sleeping compartment, ie reasonable living space, including for storage, cooking and repairs. You will also appreciate the little comforts like decent internal pockets, loops, etc, things that allow you to spread out and personalise things. This would push me into a good quality 4 season tent. Given the number of nights it is planned to be used it will be money well spent, as opposed to getting something for less that won’t cope with repeated use and the wide variations in conditions.

The best place I know for this kind of research is https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/ noting that they don’t cover all brands. Their advice is sound. My own lightweight tent is a Vaude Power Lizard for 1 person which weighs 895 g. Don’t think this version made anymore and prices have shot up but this wouldn't do me for long term camping. I’m needing to get a tent which will cope with some tougher conditions than this will manage, especially very high winds (I’m off to the Andes next month), so I’m looking very carefully at Lightwave products but can’t ignore the quality and reputation of Hilleberg and MSR. Will be interested to see what you get in the end.

Good luck.
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pjclinch
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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby pjclinch » 9 Oct 2019, 12:13pm

Psamathe wrote:As an aside and maybe relevant to the OP, question:

When I got my replacement, a Hilleberg Rogen 2, I did feel the inner bottom was a bit thin and wondered if I should have purchased a footer at the same time. I didn't have any problems with it but am now wondering if for tours beyond a few days if I should be talking a footer with such a tent.

And I'd assume the same question would apply when the trip is RTW.


I'd be interested in some thread drift about how you feel the Rogen stacks up against the Hubba Hubba in terms of space, pitching, ease of use etc. On paper it's my Ideal Light 2-seater but nowhere near stocks one for me to crawl around, and it's purely speculative at this point because my lottery numbers haven't come up...

That aside, I'd think for a RTW a footprint would be a good idea, though I'd check what spec of material the Yellow Label one is. If it's the same as a YL groundsheet I'd maybe have one made up in at least Red if not Black label material. Though having said that, it occurs to me it doesn't really matter if the footprint gets minced, as long as it keeps the groundsheet itself from getting holed.

On the subject of groundsheets getting holes, a freak accident with a dying chair kit a couple of weeks ago punched a small hole in our Kaitum groundsheet. I contacted Hille about how to best affect a DIY repair, expecting to glue a small groundsheet patch in to place, but they suggested stuff called "Tear Aid", self adhesive patch material. It's expensive (£10 for a strip of patches) but easy to use and while we've not tested the patch in anger yet it comes well reviewed and recommended by Big Agnes too. I'd suggest some would be a good addition to a repair kit (not just for the tent).

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby Psamathe » 9 Oct 2019, 12:46pm

pjclinch wrote:
Psamathe wrote:As an aside and maybe relevant to the OP, question:

When I got my replacement, a Hilleberg Rogen 2, I did feel the inner bottom was a bit thin and wondered if I should have purchased a footer at the same time. I didn't have any problems with it but am now wondering if for tours beyond a few days if I should be talking a footer with such a tent.

And I'd assume the same question would apply when the trip is RTW.


I'd be interested in some thread drift about how you feel the Rogen stacks up against the Hubba Hubba in terms of space, pitching, ease of use etc. On paper it's my Ideal Light 2-seater but nowhere near stocks one for me to crawl around, and it's purely speculative at this point because my lottery numbers haven't come up.......

I'm not massively experienced with tents so my personal opinions have limitations. Also, given the Hubba Hubba had failed and I felt I'd had abysmal service from MSR (good service from retailer), etc. I probably had a natural bias in favour of the Rogen. I only had the two pitched together for about an hour (whilst the Hubba Hubba dried after a bit of a wash prior to being returned).

Pitch the Hubba Hubba and Rogen side by side and the Rogen looks bigger and bulkier. Inside I thought Rogen felt more spacious though on paper the inner floor area is virtually identical and the black floor on the Rogen makes it a bit darker inside.

I felt the gap between the inner and fly was bigger on the Rogen (probably contributing to the "looks bigger" on the outside. Before using the Rogen I noted the absence of vents (like the Hubba Hubba has at each end of fly) so wondered about condensation - but it was not an issue or rather, no worse that the Hubba Hubba.

The seams on my MSR leaked in sustained rain (not a disaster but fair amount of water collecting on the inner at the top). Rogen did not leak.

The area under the vestibules is significantly bigger on the Rogen.

The entry "doors" clips to hold the vestibule open on the MSR worked well but on the Rogen I felt the loops on the fly to hold the "doors" open are not correctly positioned and they fall out and start flapping around - or maybe I've not yet worked out how to use them properly.

I think the design of the cross pole arrangement on the Rogen is far superior and more robust that on the MSR. On the MSR the cross pole is fixed to the "main backbone pole" (swivel on the Shield variant) putting stresses into the poles. But on the Rogen the cross pole is in a sleeve in the fly and is not connected to the main support poles. It is tensioned separately so the poles are not stressing each other.

I found pitching better/easier/faster with the Rogen. As the Rogen poles slide into sleeves you do need a fair amount of space to pitch and pack away (i.e. tent floor area plus clearance beyond end for full length poles). I guess it's personal preference but I did not like pitching inner first on the Hubba Hubba (which I had to do in the rain a couple of times and things did get wet - not disastrously). Others have said this is not an issue so opinions vary. The Rogen is the inner and fly together so quick and easy. You can separate them if you want but I've never tried so have no idea how easy it is, particularly if deciding to pack away separately if it's wet. I preferred the Rogen pitching but others may not feel the same negatives about the MSR pitching.

At one campsite I met a German guy who had a black label equivalent of the Rogen (unsure what it was called but it was similar size and pole arrangements). That black label "equivalent" the fly came dramatically closer to the ground (but it has a vent system/cover at the top)..

Saying which I'd chose if purchasing today is meaningless given my experience with the MSR Hubba Hubba - no way would I buy anything MSR but that's based on my personal experience (of several bits of MSR kit failing after beyond "weekend" type use).

Whilst the Rogen is only slightly larger externally, My ideal would be a Hubba Hubba sized Rogen (i.e. slightly smaller) - but I do love the Rogen.

Sorry the above is a bit of random thoughts/points but do ask if I've missed aspects you are interested in (remembering my limited experience).

Ian

Edit: Note to mods: Do feel free to move this (and related?) posts to a seperate thread if you feel it's too soon for the thread to diverge.

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby pjclinch » 9 Oct 2019, 3:39pm

Thanks Ian. No deal breakers in what you say so I suppose I still need the lottery win...

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby robing » 9 Oct 2019, 5:52pm

There was an MSR Elixir 2 erected in my local cotswold and it was huge. Maybe too big for a solo trip. It made me wonder about ease of pitching such a big tent in tighter spots, wild camping etc. Maybe the one man would be more suitable. There's a lot I like about the design of the MSR tents. Free standing so can pitch on any surface, doesn't need pegging. Could even use the inner as a mosquito net if staying in a mosquito infested hotel room in the tropics somewhere.

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby Ant... » 10 Oct 2019, 11:35am

Whatever you get just make sure that its not one where you put the inner up first like my Robens Lodge 2, as if its raining it fills the inside before you can get the outer in position. I asked Robens and their advice was put a tarp up first. Doh what a dim answer.
Also if the inner floor is thin try some pond liner as a footprint really tough and not too heavy. :)

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby Sweep » 10 Oct 2019, 12:04pm

Ant... wrote:Whatever you get just make sure that its not one where you put the inner up first like my Robens Lodge 2, as if its raining it fills the inside before you can get the outer in position. I asked Robens and their advice was put a tarp up first. Doh what a dim answer.
)

In their defence, not a dim answer, though of course you'd have to have a tarp with you and some way to fasten it.
What solution did you expect from them?
Inner and outer first both have their advantages/fans.
Pays your money/takes your own choice.
I love my Lodge2.

Vango Halo is similar shape but outer first.
You can get tougher versions.

edit - Vango Halp Pro
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vango-Halo-Pro ... 7341&psc=1
I maybe rashly bought a Halo 3 XD (XD even tougher than Pro and built for crowds of maurauding hormone fuelled scouts) for less than that - but mine is VERY heavy. I still plan to use it for a short pedal and winter hunkering down somewhere. It feels truly, proverbially, bomb-proof so am confident it will survive the worst.
Last edited by Sweep on 10 Oct 2019, 12:52pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby pjclinch » 10 Oct 2019, 12:10pm

Ant... wrote:Whatever you get just make sure that its not one where you put the inner up first like my Robens Lodge 2, as if its raining it fills the inside before you can get the outer in position.


I don't personally like inner-first pitches but the number of happy users, including in rainy places, suggests it's not the deal breaker it might be. Usually the case that you can lay the fly across the inner as you get the poles in place, which is a bit contrived but does work.

Having said that, it's a non-issue with fly-first or all-in-one, and on those you can also dismount the inner for extra party space, or to e.g. shelter a bike repair out of the rain without damaging or dirtying the inner.

(The Hubba Hubba can go up without the inner using a footprint to anchor the corners, or you could rig up some cords to do the job. Without those you can pitch it fly first... but it's a dreadful faff (I did it once to see if it could be done, haven't bothered since).

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby andrew_s » 10 Oct 2019, 2:27pm

pjclinch wrote:(The Hubba Hubba can go up without the inner using a footprint to anchor the corners, or you could rig up some cords to do the job. Without those you can pitch it fly first... but it's a dreadful faff

Not so much fly first as fly only.
I don't see how you could add the inner without taking the tent down and starting again.

To be fair, the same would apply to an outer first/all in one tent that had been pitched inner only, which is arguably more likely to happen.

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby andrew_s » 10 Oct 2019, 2:29pm

Psamathe wrote:but on the Rogen I felt the loops on the fly to hold the "doors" open are not correctly positioned and they fall out and start flapping around - or maybe I've not yet worked out how to use them properly.

I've found on my Hilleberg that the door loops only work reliably if the door is completely unzipped.

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby Sweep » 10 Oct 2019, 2:34pm

The Halo I linked to above can easily be erected outer first easily and then the inside fastened inside once it is up.

I tried it on my lawn. I was surprised how easy it was as I had the idea that you would sort of obstruct yourself as you gradually put the inner in.

In truth I am unlikely to go round the world but would be inclined to buy a tough mid-price tent which will take patches and repairs.

Take the penalty of a bit of weight - I doubt you'd be racing.

And then if it should totally expire, buy another.

I shouldn't imagine that that would be too hard - unless you are in the proverbial depths of Mongolia.
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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby pjclinch » 10 Oct 2019, 3:20pm

andrew_s wrote:
pjclinch wrote:(The Hubba Hubba can go up without the inner using a footprint to anchor the corners, or you could rig up some cords to do the job. Without those you can pitch it fly first... but it's a dreadful faff

Not so much fly first as fly only.
I don't see how you could add the inner without taking the tent down and starting again.


That's where the "dreadful faff" bit comes in.
We are very much in the realm of "just because you can it doesn't mean you should" (or would).

I mainly posted this as I've previously seen someone suggest it's a goer. It really isn't.

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby robing » 11 Oct 2019, 2:57pm

I've been looking at videos on YouTube of various tents and the MSR Hubba Hubba is coming out on top so far. I love the design and ease of putting up. I've also come across the MSR Freelite, how does that compare?

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Re: Recommend me a tent for a world tour

Postby doodah » 11 Oct 2019, 5:40pm

If your tour starts in the USA, could you arguably get a better tent cheaper there?
It could be ordered online and ready for collection on arrival perhaps.
I have been trying to find a link for you of a couple (Dutch I think) who are currently cycling rtw. I believe they are using a Marmot Limelight tent.

Interesting and informative comments so far on this thread.

Good luck with your trip.

doodah