Author Topic: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents  (Read 860 times)

richardh1905

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Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« on: 10:52:05, 26/05/20 »
I currently have a cheapo front entry tunnel tent, and have been looking to replace this, as I have lost confidence in it for rough weather wild camping after a pole breakage. I'm taking my time about it, as no need to rush right now!


My favourite is another front entry tunnel tent (Nordisk Svalbard SI), a tough all rounder, but I have come across a side entry tunnel tent that temps me, the Tatonka Koli or Kyrkja. I'm also considering the Wild Country Helm 1, not a tunnel tent I know, but side entry nonetheless.


I instinctively prefer front entry, but this is because that is what I know. The only disadvantage that I can see is that it is perhaps not as easy to put your boots on in the morning, but the tents that I am looking at do have adequate room for me to sit up in (important).

vghikers

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #1 on: 12:08:11, 26/05/20 »
Quote
I instinctively prefer front entry, but this is because that is what I know.

Just so, a familiar setup always sits well in the mind. Our first tent was front entry and we loved it, until we bought a side entry one and it was vastly better in every aspect of tent routine. It was much easier to do everything with our stuff at our sides rather than behind our heads where we had to swivel awkwardly round 180  just to access it, even then it was at our feet requiring more bodily manoeuvres to actually do anything with it.

You have easy access to all your stuff from your normal lying position, no manoeuvres required.

gunwharfman

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #2 on: 13:13:26, 26/05/20 »
I have always bought a side entry tent, I find that for me, being older and nowadays being less supple I believe it to be easier to get in and out of than a front entry tent. I've tried a front entry tent and crawling in with my head at the far end and my feet at the entrance end meant that as I tried to get out I had to make two or three bottom shuffles, then stand up, then when I need to take my stuff out of the tent I then had to spend time my time, getting down on my knees, moving forwards, moving backwards, the hands and knees position, in short not my idea of fun and for a comfort point of view, for me, difficult. I do appreciate that I may have organised myself wrongly, should I have gone into the tent feet first, rolled over onto my face in the morning and crawled out on my hands and knees?

I'm lucky, my side entry tent is easy to get in and out of most time, but it all depends on the door shape as well, some are not so easy, for example, my Zephros One is not as easy to get in and out of. I have a well-practised routine to get out, I unzip my door, I sit upright and then swivel my legs through the door, I unzip my outer tent (my zip can stick if I pull too fast and too hard) I then put my socks and boots on, lean on my left elbow, bump my bottom out over the door 'lip' and stand up. Then adjust my clothing. I always try to be discrete as I dress, tuck my top in, tighten my belt, make sure I remember my fly, etc.

Sonatine

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #3 on: 14:18:25, 26/05/20 »
Side entry for me, I find them easy to get in, and if I spend some time in the tent, lying on my side starting out at the view is preferable to lying on my front. As with many of these things, it's going to be a personal choice.

BuzyG

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #4 on: 14:21:35, 26/05/20 »
There are some amazing bits of kit out there now it would seem.  I took a look at those you listed and that led me to finding this one,  Not cheap, but very simple clever design.


https://www.tarptent.com/product/aeon-li/#tab-id-2


I can not really comment on the use having not camped under the stars for many years. This one is as light as the emergency bivi I carry though. Which has me thinking.

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #5 on: 15:01:07, 26/05/20 »
Thank you for the replies. I have a question - which way around would you pitch a tent such as the Tatonka? I would imagine head end into the wind, as opposed to tail end into the wind with the traditional front entry tunnel design.

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #6 on: 15:01:53, 26/05/20 »
There are some amazing bits of kit out there now it would seem.  I took a look at those you listed and that led me to finding this one,  Not cheap, but very simple clever design.


https://www.tarptent.com/product/aeon-li/#tab-id-2


I can not really comment on the use having not camped under the stars for many years. This one is as light as the emergency bivi I carry though. Which has me thinking.


Tarptent do some very nice kit - but way too much mesh on the aeon inner for my liking.

BuzyG

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #7 on: 15:27:13, 26/05/20 »

Tarptent do some very nice kit - but way too much mesh on the aeon inner for my liking.

There is no inner as such.  That is all of it. I presume you mean by the porch.

Sonatine

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #8 on: 15:35:58, 26/05/20 »
Thank you for the replies. I have a question - which way around would you pitch a tent such as the Tatonka? I would imagine head end into the wind, as opposed to tail end into the wind with the traditional front entry tunnel design.


Tail end surely? Stops the weather blowing in when you open the door.

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #9 on: 16:02:42, 26/05/20 »
There is no inner as such.  That is all of it. I presume you mean by the porch.

Ah, single skin then.


I should have gone to Specsavers.

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #10 on: 16:04:34, 26/05/20 »

Tail end surely? Stops the weather blowing in when you open the door.


That would be true for the front entry tunnels. But the Tatonka models look as if you would pitch them head end into the wind.

Sonatine

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #11 on: 17:35:23, 26/05/20 »

That would be true for the front entry tunnels. But the Tatonka models look as if you would pitch them head end into the wind.


It still looks like tail to wind to me, the photos distort the size perhaps, have a look at the sizing picture; looks like longer tail to sweep wind off to me. Surely a tent wouldn't be designed to be door into the wind though? Happy to be proven wrong!

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #12 on: 17:40:22, 26/05/20 »
Sorry perhaps I should be more specific - by tail I mean small hoop or foot end.

Owen

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #13 on: 17:56:04, 26/05/20 »
With most side opening tent you can have your head either way. So it's door away from the wind.


I have a Tarptent Notch which has a bit more room that the Aeon and that is very confined. Wouldn't like to sit out a storm in an Aeon. The inners on all Tarptent's are mesh, you can get them with the bottom half made of solid fabric for extra cost. The problem I found with these inners is the drips, they come straight through the mesh onto your sleeping bag.


Tarptent's have to be ordered from California, once they arrive in the UK you have to pay an extra 20% tax + a handling fee.


With an end entry tent you get a small vestibule at one end, some have a door at both ends. On side entry tent you get a vestibule the length of the side and often one either side.

April

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #14 on: 18:36:13, 26/05/20 »
I've only ever had side entry tents for wild camping. I imagine I would find it a bit awkward boiling water for brews or food with a front entry tent. I suppose it is what you get used to maybe? We can roll open both doors on our MSR's, both side entry tents and enjoy the view from inside the tent if it's cold or windy. I would imagine it would be a more restricted view from a front entry tent?
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