Author Topic: Tents  (Read 3572 times)

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Offline cyclingacrossmaerica

Tents
« on: April 15, 2013, 06:15:33 pm »
Hi guys,

I am just buying a tent for the TransAm trip. From those who have done some bicycle touring, I was hoping to get a bit of advice. Would this tent be suitable?

http://www.ellis-brigham.com/products/Limelight-2P/1017

It works out as about $290.

I will be travelling with one other person, so we need a 2 man.

I am not sure if this will be inadequate, or if I will be wasting money on expensive equipment which isn't needed! Any guidance would be really appreciated!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Tents
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 07:05:10 pm »
Just as a general rule, I figure a tent advertised for N people actually fits N-1.  If you want a 2 person tent, buy one advertised for 3 people.  Maybe if you're very friendly, and get in right before you go to sleep, don't bring anything extra in, don't need space for glasses, and get out of the tent as soon as you wake up, you can use a 2-person tent; but having tried that, I go with the N-1 rule.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Tents
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 07:32:36 pm »
I agree that unless you're pretty chummy, a 3P tent would be worth the extra weight.

If I look at all the 2P tents at REI in this price range ($220-$235), I find the REI half dome, the Marmot Limelight, the Marmot Earlylight, and the Mountain Hardware Drifter. Two of the other tents are about the same weight (a bit over 2 Kg) and same floor area (32 square feet). The REI half dome is heavier by a half kilogram, but has 6 extra square feet of floor space. All the other tents have more than twice the vestibule area, and more importantly, two doors and two vestibules. I think the two doors and two vestibules will be very much appreciated. All four tents are freestanding.

Offline cyclingacrossmaerica

Re: Tents
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 10:14:59 am »
Thanks for the advice. Very helpful.

I think that I will go for a three man, with two doors. Probably this one:

http://www.ellis-brigham.com/products/Rock-3/237

Its a bit on the heavy side which worries me (Total Weight - 2,9 kg; Trail Weight - 2,63 kg ), but hopefully I'll manage!
 

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Tents
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 10:51:14 pm »
Its a bit on the heavy side which worries me (Total Weight - 2,9 kg; Trail Weight - 2,63 kg ), but hopefully I'll manage!

You can divvy up the tent parts between the two of you to equalize the weight, so it's not one person carrying the tent.

Offline DaveB

Re: Tents
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 08:53:12 am »
You can divvy up the tent parts between the two of you to equalize the weight, so it's not one person carrying the tent.
Or the rider who carries the tent takes less of the other items.

I certainly agree with the N-1 capacity approach to tent sizing or even offer that N/2 is better where N= the advertised number of persons. 

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Tents
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 02:10:32 am »
I agree on the N-1 formula. On all my solo touring I have used 2 person tents. If you do a cross country trip, your tent becomes your home for many weeks and it is nice to have some comfort and space. If, however you do a mix of tenting and lodging/motels etc, you could maybe consider a 1 person tent.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Tents
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 08:47:19 am »
Just another take on this... 
I find that tents are sized fine for me at their rated capacity.  I use a one person tent for me and find no need for more space.  If I am camping with someone I can't get along with in a two person tent, I probably don't want to camp with them in any size tent.

I think that is in part because I find that when I am in the tent I am either sleeping or reading.  Neither of those take much space.  Also I generally bring in only my handlebar bag and what I need to sleep and get dressed in the morning.  The rest stays on in the panniers on the bike unless some of it is hung or in the bear box.

All that is if I take a tent.  More recently I have been mostly cowboy camping when possible, and using a bivy and tarp when I need more protection from the elements.

Offline e46rick

Re: Tents
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 12:01:42 pm »
A tent like many other items is a give and take.  The more you get in terms of comfort and convenience the more weight and bulk you will have to deal with. 

I am fine with the capacity ratings on most tents.  That being said, I usually will only share a tent with my wife and/or my kids.  If I were traveling with anyone else I would likely use a lightweight one person tent.  With a 1P tent you get your own private space plus it's easier to find a clear flat spot to fit the smaller footprint.  Plus, if for some unforeseen reason you and your partner get separated, you still have a complete shelter system.

UL 1P tents can be found at roughly 2 pounds:  https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/FlyCreekUL1

Offline staehpj1

Re: Tents
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 05:31:26 pm »
plus it's easier to find a clear flat spot to fit the smaller footprint.
That can be an issue especially when you get to 3 or 4 person tents.

Offline janetanorth

Re: Tents
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 01:01:25 am »
2 people really need two doors and two vestibules, especially if one door/zipper goes bad and you have to sew it up.
if your trip is less than a month, you could probably get by with squeezing in together with regular discomfort. once you get past 4 weeks you might consider splurging a bit for bigger space.
if your companion is large, snores, flops around or keeps weird hours you might want two small tents.
i'm eyeing the easton kilo 1p.
cheers

Offline DaveB

Re: Tents
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 07:31:55 pm »
2 people really need two doors and two vestibules, especially if one door/zipper goes bad and you have to sew it up.
Even without considering possible structural failures, two people in a two or three-person tent need separate entrances.  Otherwise the person farther from the single door has to crawl over their tent-mate every time they want to go outside or get something from their bike or packs. That will get old fast. 

Offline bogiesan

Re: Tents
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 09:12:19 pm »
You don't REALLY need two doors. I backpacked for a decade with a samll tent for two. We coped just fine.

Your budget of about $300 might buy two, single-person units--maybe not. Good one-perosn tents are in the $200 range.

There are many ultrlight weight alternatives to consider including bivvies and tarps.

Whatever you get, be sure you set it up a few times, spray it with a hose to test the seams and get a feel for what might leak, try setting it up in a heavy wind and try setting it up v-e-r-y quickly and in the dark with headlamps so you know what to expect under adverse conditions. The order of operations in rain-wind-dark is different than erecting it at your leisure.

For instance, you can throw your sleeping bag and panniers into the tent body before it's up if the rain is coming down. You might find out you can rig the fly before the tent body and erect the tent under the protection of the fly.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Tents
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 11:43:58 am »
You don't REALLY need two doors. I backpacked for a decade with a samll tent for two. We coped just fine.
+1
I know that three of us shared a tent on the TA and on a partial SC two of us shared one.  Additionally I have done plenty of canoe camping, and backpacking in shared tents with one door.  At no time did we miss having another door.

As far as needing two vestibules...  You don't NEED one let alone two. 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 11:48:03 am by staehpj1 »

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Tents
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2013, 12:45:10 pm »
The one vs two door tent is definitely a matter of personal preference. To counter staehpj1 and bogiesan's outtake, the first two years that my girlfriend and I toured we had a one door tent. When we started on our four-month long tour in 2011, we switched to a two-door tent with a bit more space. We vastly preferred the two-door tent. Yes, we could have made do with a one door, but it was a lot better when we got two doors. But as they say on the internet, YMMV.