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Lightweight tent for touring

haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,934
edited February 2018 in Road buying advice
Possibly the wrong section or forum but I was wondering what tents you guys use for touring? I was going to replace the pole the GF snapped on my Vango Zenith but it turns out it's been eaten by mice in the garage. It was a decent tent and 2.1kg (I think) for the price was decent. Having carried 2 people's stuff round the NC500 last summer I am going much lighter weight for the next trip.

Budget of about £350 but could stretch for something really nice. So far I like this:
MSR Freelite 2- 1.2kg
https://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mounta ... lsrc=aw.ds

or this Vango force ten at 1.33kg
http://www.uttings.co.uk/p127884-vango- ... pQxAahl_Zs

There is better info on the MSR on other sites but that is the cheapest place about, it is currently winning out of the two. There is also an Alpkit Ordos 2 for about £230 but it gets mixed reviews. I've looked at some other very very light tents which get silly pricewise and probably are too much of a compromise for durability but I haven't got any experience with anything other than the cheaper vangos really

Does anyone have any other suggestions before I click buy?

I should say it will also be used for hiking and things but so long as it's light and waterproof I doubt it makes much difference

Cheers

Posts

  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,391
    I use Terra Nova and Hilleberg lightweight tents for cycle touring but they are really expensive now. Wild Country, the lower cost arm of Terra Nova, do some great versions using lower cost materials than the top end TN models. For example, the Zephyros gets very good reviews.

    https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/p/wild- ... lsrc=aw.ds
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,101
    Mercia Man wrote:
    I use Terra Nova and Hilleberg lightweight tents for cycle touring but they are really expensive now. Wild Country, the lower cost arm of Terra Nova, do some great versions using lower cost materials than the top end TN models. For example, the Zephyros gets very good reviews.

    https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/p/wild- ... lsrc=aw.ds

    Plus one for this. Wild Country tents usually great value for what they cost.
  • luv2rideluv2ride Posts: 2,362
    MrB123 wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:
    I use Terra Nova and Hilleberg lightweight tents for cycle touring but they are really expensive now. Wild Country, the lower cost arm of Terra Nova, do some great versions using lower cost materials than the top end TN models. For example, the Zephyros gets very good reviews.

    https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/p/wild- ... lsrc=aw.ds

    Plus one for this. Wild Country tents usually great value for what they cost.
    I was looking at the Zephyros but the pack length seems quite long. I got one of these for £111 at the weekend: https://www.blacks.co.uk/equipment/1649 ... lsrc=aw.ds
    Poles only 36cm long, and tent packs down 40cm x 14cm so fits in the handle bar bag with room to spare. 1.7kg too. Small vestibule though...
    Scott Solace 10 disc - Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 disc - Scott CR1 SL - Pinnacle Arkose X 650b - Pinnacle Arkose 1x11 "monster cross" - Specialized Singlecross...& an Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 4 string...
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,934
    That Wild Country looks much like my Vango but lighter, probably a good bet. Not so bothered about the pack length as it usually sits length ways along the top of my rear rack.

    I definitely shouldn't have started looking at Terra Nova/Hilleberg stuff, spending a grand on a tent is just the sort of stupid thing I would do :lol:

    Terra Nova superlite voyager looks quite nice and not too expensive though:
    http://www.uttings.co.uk/p100548-terra- ... pW_l6hl_Zs
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,101
    HaydenM wrote:
    That Wild Country looks much like my Vango but lighter, probably a good bet. Not so bothered about the pack length as it usually sits length ways along the top of my rear rack.

    I definitely shouldn't have started looking at Terra Nova/Hilleberg stuff, spending a grand on a tent is just the sort of stupid thing I would do :lol:

    Terra Nova superlite voyager looks quite nice and not too expensive though:
    http://www.uttings.co.uk/p100548-terra- ... pW_l6hl_Zs

    They are a good tent if you can stretch to it. Quite a bit more roomy than some of the other options mentioned on here.
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,934
    It looks like it's a bit more robust/could weather a good storm better than some too, it'll get a bit of a beating in Scotland mostly. Do you think it's worth adding the ~300g and ~£60 over that MSR I like? I'm liking the idea of durability and the weight will be lost in the mix to some extent
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,101
    HaydenM wrote:
    It looks like it's a bit more robust/could weather a good storm better than some too, it'll get a bit of a beating in Scotland mostly. Do you think it's worth adding the ~300g and ~£60 over that MSR I like? I'm liking the idea of durability and the weight will be lost in the mix to some extent

    Can't comment on the MSR but the Terra Novas really are top quality kit that will provide many years' service. As I said, the Voyagers feel like a proper tent inside rather than some of the superlight tents which are pretty cramped.
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,934
    Thanks for your help! I'll probably do what I always do and either get something super cheap, ruin it and regret it, or spend way too much and get something nice that I didn't really need :wink:
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,934
    Another thought, the 3 man version of that Freelight MSR is less than 1.5kg. Realistically it's going to mostly be just me in it for touring, the GF isn't so keen, so a 2 man tent would give me loads of space. That said, seeing as the weight is still acceptable would you go for a 3 man tent and live in luxury? On the wet nights of the NC500 I did struggle fitting all the kit in the vestibule and pretty much everything got damp because of the lack of space.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    When I did my tour to Nordkapp, I used a one man Nordisk Svalbard and my mate a generous two man REI Half Dome. His tent was much better designed and executed but I preferred the compact warmer cosiness of mine. I would in future make sure I had more porch space though.

    I'd like to replace the Svalbard but my main problem is internal height. Nordisks are a little taller inside than the likes of the Zephyros (the designer is a tall man!) and it makes all the difference so I rule a lot of options out by default.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,934
    Good point, warmth for one in a three man tent might not be great. I'm 5'5" (and so is the GF) so space isn't often an issue. I think our main problem on the NC500 was kit space once all the panniers and clothes were soaked. We might have fared better if we weren't soaked, cold, knackered and unhappy (hence why the GF isn't so keen), I should have been more organised with kit that was needed overnight and thrown the rest in an orange emergency bag outside or something. Easier said than done, I wonder whether the 3 man might give me loads of space to get organised.

    The two man has 2 proper vestibules though so I might not have that issue
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,391
    I would personally avoid the MSR Freelite as it has a mainly mesh inner tent - fine for hot and dry conditions in the USA but not so suitable for damp and windy Europe. Terra Nova and Hilleberg tents are designed for European conditions and have lightweight nylon inner s with mesh ventilation panels. They are expensive but the design and construction quality are excellent and the cost is worth it in the long term if you have the budget and spend a lot of time on camping trips.

    One tip: Those "toothpick" titanium pegs as standard from TN are useless for anything other than a lawn. Get some bigger titanium pegs from Alpkit. Also a footprint is advisable to protect and supplement the lightweight groundsheet. I have made my own by cutting plastic fertilizer or dog food sacks to shape and joining the bits with duct tape.

    That TN Voyager Superlight looks a good roomy and sturdy tent for cycle camping. I have the Solar 2 which weighs just over a kilo, fits into a pannier, copes with extreme weather and is really simple to pitch. Only really suitable for solo camping. For trips with my wife and car camping, I have a Hilleberg Nallo 3 which weighs around 2kg and gives vast space with its tunnel design.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    HaydenM wrote:
    The two man has 2 proper vestibules though so I might not have that issue

    That is a good thing - enables the pannier bags to be kept in one porch (which is useful - you can load them from within the tent on wet days and keep them in the tent if you are going out on an out and return day trip without them getting in the way) and the other left available for access, cooking etc if need be.

    Tent pegs - my Nordisk came with lovely Y section alloy pegs which I barely used. Normal cheap wire tent pegs proved far more useful.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,934
    Some good advice. I see what you mean about the MSR Mercia Man, I think I might be getting too hung up on weight and not build quality. I don't know whether the weight saving will be enough to appreciate all day riding. I do like the design in terms of doors and vestibules though so I might look for something similar but heavier built.

    For car camping we have a converted camper van now which is partly tempting me to go with the super light MSR just because it doesn't need to perform those duties too. We actually have a decathlon double skin pop up tent which is surprisingly fantastic and hard wearing if we need it too, but the pack shape makes it useless for anything other than car camping

    Thanks for the help!
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