Author Topic: shelter  (Read 16877 times)

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Offline Dan_E_Boye

« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2005, 10:08:18 pm »
Has anyone had any experience with Big Agnes tents?  I see that they make some solo tents that are roomy and still light.  I saw them at the campmore site that is linked in a previous post.

Offline hshires

« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2006, 02:01:19 pm »
Subject: Tents for touring

(** cross posted to various other bike forums-- apologies for the
duplication to those who subscribe to those lists as well **)

Hello all,

I am the owner/designer of the Tarptent product line. Forgive this
hiker's  intrusion into the bike touring lair but I am looking for a little
feedback  about shelter needs for bike touring. Not having been on a
long bike tour, I would very much like to get a sense of how the shelter
needs of hikers differ from the shelter needs of people doing bike

We get interest from people doing bike tours and one specific request
that comes up is for shorter poles to fit bike panniers--something we
can accommodate now with a special pole order. My understanding is
that most bike panniers will accommodate about a 15" long tent
stuffsack. Is that correct or is there a longer/shorter maximum length?
Do panniers vary much in size and do most bike people doing bike
tours use panniers or do many people opt for trailers?

How important is free-standing vs. fully stakeable without extra poles?
I'm well aware that bikers don't carry trekking poles.

Is ultralight important or is weight, give or take a pound or two, really
not that important?

Do most bike tourers opt for solo shelters or are 2-person shelters
more prevalent/useful?

Do you bring your bikes inside a shelter or just cover them up in the
rain at night or just leave them out (because your shelter wont cover

Are there any other "gotta have" features in the current list of available
shelters and/or are there features that you need (and can't find) to
make your touring shelter work better?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Henry Shires

Offline Peaks

« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2006, 06:40:04 pm »

I've done an AT thru-hike, and have also done a self-supported bike tour across the country.  So, I'll try to answer some of your questions.

In general, because a biker is not carrying the entire load on their back, bikers are not as obsessed with light weight as a long distance hiker.  Other than that, the issues are mainly the same.  Frankly, I used the same tent for my bike trip that I used on the AT.

I've never seen a bike go inside a tent or tarp.  Bikes seem to get left exposed to all the elements.  At best, sometimes someone puts a plastic tarp or cover over the bike.  
When a thru-hiker uses a tarp, they generally use their hiking poles as tent poles.  But a biker does not have hiking poles, so they need tent poles.  

For what it's worth, my tent was a one man tent, and my daughter used a 2 man tent.  

I'd also comment that long distance cyclists are probably a smaller market than self supported long distance hikers.

This message was edited by Peaks on 3-3-06 @ 2:46 PM

Offline hshires

« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2006, 08:47:24 pm »

You're the perfect person to answer.  Thanks very much.  I do get a
sense from other responders that weight is less of an issue for
cyclists. Maybe there really isn't  "bike tour specific" feature that's
missing from today's crop of shelters but I'm all ears if you have any
pet peeves.



Offline wanderingwheel

« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2006, 11:30:24 pm »
The tent that I use depends on whether I am travelling heavy or light.  If I am traveling light, trying to cover too many miles each day, I will carry a bivy sack and only occasionally use it.  

If I am travelling heavy, I am not very concerned about weight because, like Peaks said, a few pounds eiher way doesn't make a huge difference like it does in a backpack.  My heavy tent is a small 2-man, 3+ season, free-standing tent.  I like it because it is very strong and roomy enough for me and all of my panniers (but not my bike).  In general, I much prefer free standing tents.  I strap the tent to my rack so pole length is not a concern.

Solo tourists that I have seen seem to split almost 50/50 between large 1-man and small 2-man tents.  I have never seen anybody bring a bike inside thier tent.  I have seen some people try to incorporate thier bike into the tent structure (both home-made and commercial tents), but I have yet to see one that is stable enough for me.

I think bike tourists have it easy compared to backpackers when it comes to tents because we rarely are trying to shoehorn a tent in between trees on uneven, rocky ground.  We can also carry a more luxurious tent for little penalty.  I don't have to make do with a light weight tent that is overwhelmed by a storm after 5 hours and leaves my feet in a puddle, or that requires 30 minutes of guying and constant checking of the guy wires to ensure that they remain taut.