winter camping on tour

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indy
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winter camping on tour

Postby indy » 13 Feb 2013, 11:23am

Was wondering what people use in terms of tent & sleeping bag at this time of year while out cycle touring.

Peoblem I'm currently having is finding a good cycle compatible storm proof tent and sleeping bag that that will deal with temps down to -10.

I have suitable backpacking gear but getting a 2.2kg down bag to fit into pannier is a problem.

Thoughts appreciated.

bretonbikes
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby bretonbikes » 13 Feb 2013, 11:47am

As with all things it depends a bit on budget - a 2.2 kg down bag can pack pretty small, but it depends on the quality of the bag and down. I've used a Mountain Equipment bag for the last 20 years that will certainly cope with those temperatures and packs smaller than a rugby ball (being topical:-), but it was nearly £200 back then. As for tents there's a mass of things to consider. A small tent with the ability to zip-up vents will get warmer as you build up a 'fug' but at the cost of a lot of condensation. My personal choice is a larger tent but with vents closed - you'll get less condensation and also being large it's easier to avoid wet walls. I've just written this test - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... -test.html - which is a cracking tent and not expensive, though rather luxurious for just one, but the cheaper tent will allow more to be spent on the bag!

Storms and -10 though... Sounds like a fun cycling holiday:-)

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pjclinch
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby pjclinch » 13 Feb 2013, 1:52pm

Sleeping bag... depends how cold you tend to get but I seem fairly average in that regard and I find an ME Lightline (550g high quality down plus a technical shell) does me all through the year. The rating figures for the current model are Comfort Limit -5 C and Extreme (i.e., will keep you alive but you won't sleep because you'll be shivering too hard) -22 C with a "sleep zone" of +10 to -9 C (colder than -5, add fleece pyjamas!), so something with similar specs would probably be okay (my wife uses a Rab Q600 that has broadly similar performance and weight/bulk).

Whatever bag you go for it'll not be as good as it says unless you ally it with a decent mat. I've moved from Thermarest's self-inflating ones to their NeoAir range. You have to supply far more puff but they compact much smaller, which is handy on a bike, and I find it more comfortable to sleep on too. So far I've only used an original NeoAir in summer as the insulation value isn't particularly high, but the new XTherm model has a better insulation rating than most of the self inflating range and while it's expensive I'd say it's the ideal tool for this particular job.

Tent... I'm a fan of Hillebergs which are reasonably light, more than reasonably strong for their weight and sensibly comfortable to live in. The 4 season ones are all designed with extended sessions in Arctic Scandinavia in mind. It helps to sit down and have a stiff drink to hand before you look at the prices, but I've not regretted paying them. I think it's always a good idea to crawl around a tent if you can rather than just rely on paper specs: you get a much better sense of how much real, usable space is available, and you also get an idea of how easy it is to pitch (Hillies are built with one design consideration being a single camper should be able to pitch it quickly in a storm while wearing mittens). There are quite a few stockists for their most popular models (Nallo 2 person tunnel and Akto solo single hoop) so you should be able to see one go up "in the flesh". If you're in shouting distance of Stockport the Alpenstock http://www.alpenstock.co.uk/ have a very good range and believe in getting things pitched for prospective customers. Plenty of stuff from other makes too.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

jags
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby jags » 13 Feb 2013, 4:35pm

bretonbikes wrote:As with all things it depends a bit on budget - a 2.2 kg down bag can pack pretty small, but it depends on the quality of the bag and down. I've used a Mountain Equipment bag for the last 20 years that will certainly cope with those temperatures and packs smaller than a rugby ball (being topical:-), but it was nearly £200 back then. As for tents there's a mass of things to consider. A small tent with the ability to zip-up vents will get warmer as you build up a 'fug' but at the cost of a lot of condensation. My personal choice is a larger tent but with vents closed - you'll get less condensation and also being large it's easier to avoid wet walls. I've just written this test - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... -test.html - which is a cracking tent and not expensive, though rather luxurious for just one, but the cheaper tent will allow more to be spent on the bag!

Storms and -10 though... Sounds like a fun cycling holiday:-)

brilliant review on a tent i've never seen before thanks for that just gone to the top of my wish list.
cheers
jags.

bretonbikes
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby bretonbikes » 13 Feb 2013, 4:40pm

jags wrote:
bretonbikes wrote:As with all things it depends a bit on budget - a 2.2 kg down bag can pack pretty small, but it depends on the quality of the bag and down. I've used a Mountain Equipment bag for the last 20 years that will certainly cope with those temperatures and packs smaller than a rugby ball (being topical:-), but it was nearly £200 back then. As for tents there's a mass of things to consider. A small tent with the ability to zip-up vents will get warmer as you build up a 'fug' but at the cost of a lot of condensation. My personal choice is a larger tent but with vents closed - you'll get less condensation and also being large it's easier to avoid wet walls. I've just written this test - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... -test.html - which is a cracking tent and not expensive, though rather luxurious for just one, but the cheaper tent will allow more to be spent on the bag!

Storms and -10 though... Sounds like a fun cycling holiday:-)

brilliant review on a tent i've never seen before thanks for that just gone to the top of my wish list.
cheers
jags.


Thanks - I've a couple more reviews coming up of the tents we use, but that is by some distance the stand-out.

jags
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby jags » 13 Feb 2013, 11:28pm

just curious but how much would my 100% perfect Hilleberg Akto be worth only used about 10 times comes with groundsheet.i dont like it as i find it to small would concider selling if i got a good price. :wink:

phil parker
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby phil parker » 14 Feb 2013, 4:56pm

jags wrote:just curious but how much would my 100% perfect Hilleberg Akto be worth only used about 10 times comes with groundsheet.i dont like it as i find it to small would concider selling if i got a good price. :wink:


They tend to go for £200 - £240 depending...

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Dean
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby Dean » 14 Feb 2013, 5:00pm

They tend to go for £250+ on eBay, last I checked.

jags
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby jags » 14 Feb 2013, 6:38pm

Thanks lads i want to buy a tent i'm really happy with, i dont do a lot of camping to be honest but when i do i like to have loads of room easy pitch storm proof.i like the look of robens 2 tent i think it would suit me .

indy
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby indy » 15 Feb 2013, 5:35pm

pjclinch wrote:Tent... I'm a fan of Hillebergs which are reasonably light, more than reasonably strong for their weight and sensibly comfortable to live in. The 4 season ones are all designed with extended sessions in Arctic Scandinavia in mind. It helps to sit down.......


Some great advice there PJ but wanted to take you up on the tents. Its hard not to see buying a Hilleberg tent for UK usage as a bit like buying a £500 mountain jacket to walk the dog round the park on a rainy day. Yes it'll get the job done unless you've got oodles of money its a bit OTT.

Having a quick look at The North Face (the peoples outdoor company) website they do a tent called a VE 25. Reading the notes the tent seems to be just as bomb proof as the Hilleberg equivalent but with a £200 cheaper street price.

Anyway back on track not looking to buy a full on mountain tent.
Like the versatility of a 3 man tent but wondering about the practicalities when its only me.
At £230 TNF Tadpole looks good as do Lightwave tents but right on my budget limit.

Anyone have anything good/bad to say about Rab or Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags?

Finally should I bite the bullet dump down and get synthetic?

indy
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby indy » 15 Feb 2013, 5:39pm

bretonbikes wrote:Storms and -10 though... Sounds like a fun cycling holiday:-)


Was thinking more along the lines of the sorts of weather we've had over the past couple of weeks. Strong winds, sub zero temps with snow and sleet

boblo
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby boblo » 15 Feb 2013, 6:29pm

RAB make great sleeping bags. Their RAB 500 down bag is probably good to around -5 or -6 °C without spending all night tossing and turning. I had the Mountain Equipment Lightline equivalent and used that to -7°C without losing any toes. I've since gone a bit upmarket with a fancy PHD but that is many £££'s and difficult to justify unless you're really into 'it'.
Last edited by boblo on 17 Feb 2013, 10:29am, edited 2 times in total.

welshwoodsman
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby welshwoodsman » 17 Feb 2013, 8:26am

I cycled up the Brecon Beacons for an overnighter in the snow a few weeks ago. I used my new wild country aspect 1 that I bought directly from terra nova website for £60 posted. It performed admirably in the wind overnight. The inside was frozen in the morning :D . I used a mountain equipment helium sleeping bag with a fleece liner. Slept like toast all night. Although it was a bit of a shock going out into the wind in the morning, -14c with windchill :?
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee4 ... 3aa54e.jpg
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee4 ... 48f946.jpg

phil parker
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby phil parker » 17 Feb 2013, 9:08am

welshwoodsman wrote:I cycled up the Brecon Beacons for an overnighter in the snow a few weeks ago. I used my new wild country aspect 1 that I bought directly from terra nova website for £60 posted. It performed admirably in the wind overnight. The inside was frozen in the morning :D . I used a mountain equipment helium sleeping bag with a fleece liner. Slept like toast all night. Although it was a bit of a shock going out into the wind in the morning, -14c with windchill :?
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee4 ... 3aa54e.jpg
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee4 ... 48f946.jpg


Do you always lie your bike down on the right hand side?

welshwoodsman
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Re: winter camping on tour

Postby welshwoodsman » 17 Feb 2013, 9:23am

Never thought about it. Why? Drivetrain in muck?
My new click stand came yesterday :) ,it never has to lie down again.