Author Topic: Touring Tent Talk  (Read 23846 times)

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Offline shorecycler

Touring Tent Talk
« on: November 01, 2010, 12:12:21 am »
Going coast to coast this upcoming summer via Transamerica Trail to Western Express and I was wonder what everyone thinks of the Topeak Bikamper. To me it seems like its a great idea to not have to carry any tent poles and worry about them breaking and the fact that it partially covers your bike is a plus. Does anyone have any experience with it? If so, how roomy is it? Its not that im claustrophobic but being that its going to be my room for a few months I was thinking id like to have some space and not have to sleep coffin style. My second option would be the Kelty Gunison 2.1 found here in the Adv. Cycling store. Whats up?
Enjoy the Ride!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 08:28:46 am »
I have no first hand experience with the Bikamper, but it looks like a poor design and it has gotten poor reviews from the folks I have heard of who tried it.

The fact that you can't use your bike once you set it up seems like a real handicap.  I know that I often want to set up camp and ride to a store, diner, or whatever in the evening.  Also what happens when you wind up somewhere that you want to spend a few days.  You either have to take the tent down or not have use of the bike.

Offline shorecycler

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 10:02:09 am »
Thats a very valid argument against, these are things that I didn't even think of when I first came across it. Thanks for the incite
Enjoy the Ride!

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 11:39:17 am »
The EXP version of the Bikamper doesn't use the bicycle as part of the structure. 
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Offline paddleboy17

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 01:05:37 pm »
I have concerns about how well either tent would do in a storm.  Also infalting inner tubes in the EXP version of the tent sounds like a pain in the rear.

I think I will just stay with a more conventional tent.
Danno

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2010, 01:10:00 pm »
Agreed.  In reading reviews of the Bikamper EXP, it sounds like sticking with a name brand tent will result in a much more enjoyable and versatile experience.  The Bikamper sounds mostly like a barely glorified bivy.
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Offline shorecycler

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2010, 07:06:00 pm »
Suggestions/success stories with certain gear? I'm open for anything that will enhance my trip in any way. What kind of sleeping mats do you tourists out there prefer?
Enjoy the Ride!

CyclesafeSr

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Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2010, 08:13:03 pm »
NeoAir by Thermorest.  Packs small and very light.  Nothing else like it out there.  Pricey though, and not suitable for ground temps below about 25F.  YMMV.

If you're over 6' you'll most likely want a 2 person tent.  A dome tent can be used where you can't stake.  You get what you pay for.

Look at hammocks too, but don't expect to be able to set them up everywhere.

Offline aggie

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2010, 08:26:18 pm »
You may want to check out the tents at REI.  They have a pretty good selection and a mostly knowledgeable staff.  If one isn't near you, you can go online to see what the have.  I'm sure there are some other online suppliers that have a good selection.  Once you think you have found a good one you can always check this forum to see if any members have used it and what they think.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2010, 01:21:00 pm »
Suggestions/success stories with certain gear? I'm open for anything that will enhance my trip in any way. What kind of sleeping mats do you tourists out there prefer?

I have a Big Agnes SeedHouse.  It is what I would call a generous solo.  I was originally interested in an MSR Hubba, but my shoulders are too wide.  I guess it comes down to how small of a tent are you willing to crawl into.  Cross ventilation in warm weather, and sturdyness in a storm are important too.  Although it is a little bulky and heavy, the REI 2 person quarterdome looks pretty interesting.

As for a mat, I have a 1" thick mummy pad from Thermarest.  In the past I used a  1/2" thick 3/4 pad from Thermarest.  The mummy pad is just as compact, and a lot more comfortable. 
Danno

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2010, 02:27:40 pm »
I use those blue, seven-dollar, closed-cell foam pads from Wal Mart. No problem whatsoever.
I use a 10 by 12 poly tarp strung between trees or set up like an A with poles. Again, no problem except mosquitos, but in winter they are not a big problem. In summer, well, bug juice and coils work really well, and if you don't want to be covered in a chemical irritant, you had better get a good brand of tent. Most of the time there is no need of an overhead shelter, but when there is a need it can really get serious. I cannot afford all that expensive gear, and if I could I probably would buy it and use it. You asked. I told. On cold winter nights I would bundle up, get in the bag, and fold the tarp over the top of me. It works.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2010, 10:13:19 pm »
Most of the time there is no need of an overhead shelter, but when there is a need it can really get serious.

Depends where you camp.  In the Appalachians, I've learned to make sure the rain fly is ready to go up quickly.  It's sort of like the "foot-down" sensor at traffic lights; somehow the weather seems to know where somebody's a good target for a soaking, and "not a cloud in the sky" evenings turn into pop-up thunderstorms in a few hours.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2010, 05:25:27 am »
Most of the time there is no need of an overhead shelter, but when there is a need it can really get serious.

Depends where you camp.  In the Appalachians, I've learned to make sure the rain fly is ready to go up quickly.  It's sort of like the "foot-down" sensor at traffic lights; somehow the weather seems to know where somebody's a good target for a soaking, and "not a cloud in the sky" evenings turn into pop-up thunderstorms in a few hours.


Yes, quite true. In quite a few places what I said about overhead shelter does not apply, in the state of Washington for one example. Unless the weatherman assures me there will be no rain I put up the shelter. It is easy to do and protects from midnight surprises. In fact, on my last ST run, Dec. 7, 2009---Jan.30, 2010 rain was a major hindrance through Florida, AL, and LA. Once in  TX it let up. There wasn't much after that, but there was some. In the Alps it can rain daily for weeks for hours a day. Same in the UK. It depends on where you are  and the time of year. Which form of shelter one chooses is one thing. But do have shelter. Don't go without some way of shedding the elements. As long as it keeps you dry, warm, safe, and comfortable it's good.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 07:53:10 am »
Suggestions/success stories with certain gear? I'm open for anything that will enhance my trip in any way. What kind of sleeping mats do you tourists out there prefer?
I am a cheapskate and most of my gear is fairly inexpensive, but I do feel like the splurge on a NeoAir medium pad was well worth it.

I personally try to find gear that is inexpensive and lightweight while still adequately durable and functional.  Strangely I actually find that I prefer cheaper stuff in many cases even if you take price out of the equation.

What I avoid like the plague is stuff that is both expensive and heavy.  Things like Beckman or Arkel Panniers and Surly Nice Racks are in that category for me.

I do not find I need a lot of space in the tent, I am generally sleeping or maybe reading when I am there and neither require much room.  My panniers and gear stay on the bike at night so not much needs to come inside.

Offline cyclocamping

Re: Touring Tent Talk
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2010, 04:19:33 pm »
Here is a pretty comprehensive article that you might find useful:

How to choose a bicycle touring tent?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 05:51:28 pm by cyclocamping »
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