Author Topic: tent and pad help  (Read 13894 times)

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Offline billybear

tent and pad help
« on: October 23, 2004, 01:36:38 am »
looking for tent recommendations...will be travelling alone...big guy 6' 220 lbs. probably within april thru oct time frame.  also which sleeping pad and how thick?  looking for comfort/weight tradeoff.  Tour will be approx 1200 miles  thanx in advance.


Offline don quixote

tent and pad help
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2004, 07:34:08 pm »
If you have an REI store nearby, talk to someone in the tent/sleeping bag/pad dept. They are very knowledgeable and have good stuff.

George Olmstead
San Diego, California
don quixote
San Diego

Offline JimF

tent and pad help
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2004, 02:06:07 am »
Take a look at the Big Agnes site ( for both.

Offline Peaks

tent and pad help
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2004, 09:58:22 pm »
Tent recommendations:  Go to an outfitter and try one different tents.  Spread out a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and all the gear that you want inside with you at night and see if you are comfortable with the set up.  
If you are a big guy, my recommendation would be a 2 person tent.  I suspect that a 1 person tent might be a little tight for you.  For what it's worth, I used a 1 person Zoid tent.  I liked the side zipper opening.  It allowed me to reach everywhere inside without crawling in to get to the bottom of the tent.  The Seirra Designs Clip Flashlight is a popular 2 person tent.  You might check that one out also.  My daughter used it on our Northern Tier bike trip this summer.

Which sleeping pad?  Myself, I use a 1 1/2 inch thick 3/4 length Thermarest.  

Offline billybear

tent and pad help
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2004, 04:40:34 pm »
thanx Gentlemen!

Offline dombrosk

tent and pad help
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2004, 07:59:49 pm »

I also like a big tent, and while I looked into smaller ones like the REI Roadster and the smaller Zoids, I just couldn't feel comfortable inside them... at 5' 10' and 175.

I ended up getting a Zoid 2 last spring and toured with it this summer very happily.  You have wide open access from each side, it goes up easily, and the poles fold so short that I can carry it inside one of my rear panniers, along with my pad.

I was willing to get a heavier pad for more comfort (I'm 51 and like comfort more every year) but when I almost napped on a series of pads at the store, the small and light Therm-a-Rest ProLite 3 - Regular really seemed to be the most comfortable for me.

Hope this helps out, I remember finding the tent choice very tough...

   ---Steve Dombrosk

Offline JayH

tent and pad help
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2004, 11:01:01 pm »
If this is a 3-season tour and not stealth camping, I would suggest a tarp tent... I have a henry Shires Cloudburst which is a 2 person tent that can weight as little as 2lbs to 2.5lbs depending on what option you get (sewn-in floor) or a simply groundcloth.   They are also HUGE. My two other tents I use backpacking include a Walrus Zoid 2 (same as the MSR Zoid 2), an MSR Zoid 1, and a Hennessey Hammock and the Cloudburst is the largest tent I have ever seen and the lightest tent I own (besides the Hammock).  It also is very packable, being a lot smaller than the Zoid 2 and a lot lighter.  However, being a large tent, it's not as nice when trying to find a stealth campsite because it needs a large footprint. It also needs to be carefully pitched than say the Zoid 2.0. being large and a single-wall, it is susceptable to a lot of flex if there are crosswinds so you need to pitch it into the wind or bring some guylines to tie down the sides.  

But other than that, mine has worked well for me when bike touring. The only other weaknesses i can think of is the lack of a bathtub floor so no pitching in large puddles and the poles are long, they just about fit inside my panniers (carradice Super Cs)if I put them diagonally.


Offline SWBell

tent and pad help
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2004, 04:30:41 pm »
What about Tent weight?  Any considerations there?  Or maybe some people can post some ideas.  Just courious. I use a 2man tent that is a bit more heavy 7lbs4oz

Offline Peaks

tent and pad help
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2004, 09:18:04 pm »
You should be able to find plenty of two man tents that weigh less than 5 pounds.  

Offline RussellSeaton

tent and pad help
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2004, 01:22:09 am »
Don't skimp on your sleeping pad.  I have and like my Thermarest model that is 78" long and 25" wide and 2" thick.  Its not the lightest they make, but the extra pound or two of weight is immaterial.

Offline janetanorth

tent and pad help
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2004, 12:03:30 pm »
do you plan to spend every night in the tent? anticipate foul weather? have bug concerns? if yes-get a good quality 2 person 3/4 season tent with at least 3 support poles and a fly to the ground. 2 doors are a nice option(think zipper failure)and provide great ventilation. light weight tents can be flimsy and one person tents can be a coffin.
if you plan to stay frequently in motels or with friends then these concerns are less vital.
panniers or trailer? most poles won't fit in a pannier.
ditch the included tent stakes, buy tent nails, and some extras.
get or make a ground cloth. you can pack that and the fly up separately in bad weather, to keep the tent clean(and drier). i also bring a tarp and some bungies for serious weather protection.
i used a thermarest 1 1/2 inch thick X 20 inches wide pad for 7 months of touring. it also didn't fit in a pannier(we had a BOB). i wish it was wider. it would be worth it to get the wider and bigger version to fit your size, esp if you camp every night.
weather above 20 degrees or concerns with colder nights??? a down sleeping bag definitely if chilly, but synthetic if there will be warm, muggy eves. we've had good luck with the mtn hardwear 2nd dimension synthetic(comes in long, on sale currently at REI)and a sierra design down stretchy bag for below 20 degrees.
big agnes has great products, but many work with a pad attached to the bottom of the sleeping bag-not so comfortable if you flop around alot.
one thing i wished i had had on our long tour-a small pillow. there was alot fighting over bath towels and such, and midnight thievery of items we were using instead. i pack one every trip now.
hope this helps.