Author Topic: Tents for one......and a dog.  (Read 1915 times)

Man wae a dug

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Tents for one......and a dog.
« on: 14:19:50, 23/09/19 »
I've been looking into tents but have to concede I am completely flummoxed by the range, terminology and where it fits into my requirements.
I'm thinking winter might be the best time to make this purchase as stores try and shift old stock to make way for new so thought it prudent to ask folks on here for a wee bit of advice on the subject.


Ideally I want a cheap, strong and lightweight tent with enough room for both my dog and I. I'm well aware all 3 might not be achievable and I'll probably need to make allowances. It will mostly be used in Southern Uplands (wild), campsites (Arran and the likes) and be future proof to undertake the West Highland Way.


I've spotted a few I think might fit the bill but as I say I'd be buying blind with no previous experience or knowledge to draw on. As such, understanding the styles, materials and waterproof capabilities (I though it was measured as HH ?) are like learning a new language.


What I'm looking for is a tent that will be suitable for the following:


Be robust enough to stand up to Scottish weather (3 seasons, so that'll be heatwaves and snowstorms really! lol ) .....and midges! Sturdy enough that I wont be constantly worrying about getting wet or blown away!
Have a porch with room to store kit and dry off my dog.
Not be obscenely heavy. I think around 2Kilo (prefrably less) would be ok for carrying, bearing in mind I'd be carrying food, water etc for dog as well.....ultimately on WHW (then if successful the EHW) but mostly on 2 day hikes.
Have enough room for inside for both of us; I'm 6'1" around 17 Stone and the dog's medium sized.
Be easy to pitch (I think outer and inner together is best here? or at a stretch outer first?) on campsite and in the wild.
Be under £500 absolute max. I would far rather it was nearer £300 (so I can get a better sleeping system) but would stretch for something in the 'spectacular' area. It really would have to tick ALL the boxes for that money.


To reiterate: I would be far, far more comfortable spending nearer £300 if I can and would accept a compromise on weight here more readily than on sturdiness. But, if nearer £500 got me a MUCH, MUCH better option that would last better then I could save a few more pennies if required.


So do i need a tunnel or dome or semi-dome? One man or two? what waterproof rating do I need? free standing (whatever that means)? What makes should I be looking at and what should I avoid?


Here are the ones that have been popping up in my research that I think might be suitable. Does anyone have any experience with these or opinions based on their specs (for what I need)? Or do you have better suggestions that would fit my needs ? What reputable online stores should I be looking at?Again, any advice is most welcome.


These are ones that I've come across and noticed they get mentioned a lot:


Vaude Taurus UL 2
Big Angus Copper Spur
MSR (hubba bubba and elixirs? )
Terra Nova (Southern cross? )
Tarp Tent Scarp 1
Nordisk Halland LW2
F10 Xenon UL2


Thanks.
Be ye man or bairn or wumman
Be ye gaun or be ye comin
For Scotlands pride no Scotlands shame
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richardh1905

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #1 on: 15:32:55, 23/09/19 »

A lot to take in there!


If you are 6'1 and 17 stone, and have a dog, you might be better off going for a 2 man. Not all 1 man tents are the same in this respect though, so do your research. Do watch out for the length of the sleeping area - sometimes tent inners slope down making the last few inches unusable - look for vertical or near vertical ends to the inner. Not a problem for 5'6 me!


As for dome, semi geodesic or tunnel - I would say that good design and quality workmanship are more important. Tunnels are very simple to put up, but do rely upon getting the end pegs in solidly, whereas domes are self supporting which can be useful if you are finding it difficult to get the pegs in. Don't worry about waterproof ratings, it is just a number obtained under artificial conditions.


Avoid single skin tents (drip coffins), and tents with too much mesh on the inner: draughty and let in water if the fly touches the inner (report of the Hubba Hubba doing this on this forum recently). Ideally you should be able to control the amount of ventilation - I like a double layer mesh/solid door.


I'm in the market for an all season wild camping tent myself - I've pretty much decided upon the Nordisk Svalbard SI (Silicon nylon), a super tough tunnel tent, but I think that it would not be big enough for you and your dog - in particular, the porch is small. The Southern Cross looks like a good all rounder, tough and very easy to pitch, but I baulk at the price - especially if you were to go for the 2 man. Perhaps take a closer look at the one man version?


Happy tent hunting!


« Last Edit: 19:44:57, 23/09/19 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #2 on: 15:35:06, 23/09/19 »
..continued...


Fly first or both together does have an advantage in wet weather. Having said that, I'm going for an inner first, but one that is very easy to pitch.


As for footprints - I'm not going to bother.

gunwharfman

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #3 on: 16:49:12, 23/09/19 »
I agree with Richard. I'm also in the market for a new tent, I don't have a dog and I am not inspired by the stuff that's out there. I have a Marmot Pulsar 1p bought in 2014, it's very roomy for one, easy to erect, I can sit upright in it but its no longer made. My problem is that I cannot find anything that matches it or surpasses it.

I think if I had a dog I'd buy a 2 person tent with a door either side.

Have you had a look at www.outdoorgearlab.com, I find it very useful and wish the UK had a site like it.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #4 on: 16:54:08, 23/09/19 »
I would buy a 2 person tent anyway, if you are a larger walker. I have had 2 sleeping I n the 2 person tent, but it was quite snug, even though my wife is under 5 feet tall. It was a perfect size for one camping in the Alps. I imagine that a medium sized dog combined with someone over 6 feet tall would make quite a tight fit in a 1 person tent.


Also, I would assume tents are similar to camera tripods: light, strong and cheap - pick any 2 from 3.

mow1701

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #5 on: 19:39:31, 23/09/19 »
A roomy one person might be Luxe Minipeak II or even hexpeak Got  spacious inners with large porches for gear and dog? Backpackinglight website

taxino8

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #6 on: 19:45:13, 23/09/19 »

richardh1905

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #7 on: 19:50:13, 23/09/19 »
Not a bad suggestion Taxino8 - although I have no experience of the Cairngorm.


Also take a look at the Helm 2 from Wild Country, Man wae a dug. Do take a close look at the inner length, though.

Man wae a dug

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #8 on: 19:51:41, 23/09/19 »
@Richardh1905 - Yeah, the Southern Cross looks to be perfect for my needs, but it's a bit rich for me I reckon. The one man would be too much of a squeeze unfortunately. I'm thinking (if I've done my research correctly) that tunnels are ok if the winds blowing the right way and give more room whereas dome/geodesic will be more stable all round but perhaps not as roomy? 
I'm after fly first or together as I figured if the fly was wet and still raining I could pack the inside away separately whilst still under the fly, I'm assuming that would be possible anyway.
The Nordisk tents look good.
Ignore the HH? Is that not a reliable template to judge them on?

@gunwharfman - I don't think I've come across that site yet, I'll give it a look. Thanks.  The door either side was one of the things that drew me to the Southern Cross, it would be very handy, gear one side and dog dried/cooking at other.

@bigfoot_Mike - Yeah, I reckon 2 person is the way to go; although the Scarp 1 was pretty big for a 1 person. Might get away with that but I can't find any and the site I saw it on has none in stock. :( 
Pick any 2 from 3, absolutely, it's just trying to get that balance right. I'm leaning toward taking the extra weight for the stability, just not sure what weight limit I should try to aim for.


@mow1701  & taxino8 -  I'll have a wee look at them, thanks.



I came across the F10 Makalu 2 as well, it looks pretty sturdy and I could probably manage with the porch, It comes in just under 2.5Kg though (so I'm thinking nearer 2.6 or 2.7 in reality), which is a wee bit heavier than the others, but maybe more stable? 
I know it's a tricky one to answer, everybody is different, but is that a reasonable weight to be carrying (alongside other kit) or way too heavy do you think?  I don't think I'd mind a bit of extra weight for a lot more stability and I could get that for nearer the £300 mark.

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Be ye gaun or be ye comin
For Scotlands pride no Scotlands shame
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taxino8

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #9 on: 19:52:27, 23/09/19 »
Not a bad suggestion Taxino8 - although I have no experience of the Cairngorm.


Also take a look at the Helm 2 from Wild Country, Man wae a dug.
I have the Banshee Pro 300 and for the money itís a very good tent but just a bit heavier but the quality of Vango is always very good.

richardh1905

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #10 on: 20:11:26, 23/09/19 »
Ignore the HH? Is that not a reliable template to judge them on?


Not in my humble opinion. It is based upon a laboratory test that bears no relation to conditions experienced on the hill. In particular, it gives no indication of how a fabric might behave once it has been folded up dozens of times, and is a bit worn.

richardh1905

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #11 on: 20:12:43, 23/09/19 »
@Richardh1905 - Yeah, the Southern Cross looks to be perfect for my needs, but it's a bit rich for me I reckon.


As I said, do take a look at the Wild Country Helm 2 - the poor man's Southern Cross. I was tempted by the Helm 1, but then I spotted the Svalbard.

Man wae a dug

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #12 on: 21:21:39, 23/09/19 »
@richardh1905 - I'll assume that they're all going to keep the water out then, and if the HH number is higher I'll look on it as insurance. The Helm 2 has been shortlisted. I do like the look of it, decent price and space; the weight might well be worth the trade off. Thanks for pointing me in the direction.
I'm assuming there'll be a trickle down in technology from the SC and I'm quite content to own the poor mans version if it does all I want it to do. lol.



I wasn't too keen on the Luxe or Hexpeak (I'm sure there's nothing wrong with the tents mind you). Had a look at the Vango banshee and F10 Helium (Helium and Xenon are interesting options worht considering) as well but so far I think my options could well be a choice between a cheaper (heavier) dome/geodesic type one, a more expensive (but lighter) tunnel or the F10 Makele.   I appreciate the heads up on them though.

I'm drawn toward a dome/geodesic type, I just think they might be more stable. And I'm assuming they'll be free standing (?) which could be a benefit when not in a campsite?  :-\


Again, thanks for the advice and if anybody else has any opinions I'd be extremely grateful.





Be ye man or bairn or wumman
Be ye gaun or be ye comin
For Scotlands pride no Scotlands shame
Gether yer litter and tak it hame!

richardh1905

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #13 on: 21:31:26, 23/09/19 »
I'm drawn toward a dome/geodesic type, I just think they might be more stable. And I'm assuming they'll be free standing (?) which could be a benefit when not in a campsite?  :-\

In my experience I have the most trouble getting pegs in on a campsite, ground can be rock hard, rather than when wild camping. Depends where you go, I suppose.


Regarding HH - any tent from a decent manufacturer will be waterproof enough. If you buy a silicon nylon tent, sealing the seams is recommended though (seems a bit lazy of the manufacturers not to do this themselves).

Man wae a dug

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Re: Tents for one......and a dog.
« Reply #14 on: 21:43:59, 23/09/19 »
Regards silicon nylon,  I'll keep that in mind........then come back and ask how to do it! :) The Helm 2 is Stormtex. Another reason to buy it.... :)


Would it be worthwhile getting the footprint do you think? Maybe for the wild camping?  :-\
Be ye man or bairn or wumman
Be ye gaun or be ye comin
For Scotlands pride no Scotlands shame
Gether yer litter and tak it hame!