Author Topic: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents  (Read 861 times)

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #15 on: 19:03:55, 26/05/20 »
The Tarptent Aeon does look beautiful but my problem with many of the US tent 'cottage' companies are that they are designed for a somewhat stable US continental weather system which seems to focus on protecting you from a bit of precip and maybe a light bug net, very few of them seem bomb proof.  The import fees are also brutal, as I found out when I picked up a MLD Trailstar (which is perhaps the definition of a front entry 'tent'!)


As for pitching the Tatonka, I'd pitch it small end first - I did manage to stick up the Svalbard up on the top of a breezy hill for practice and it seems bomb proof due to the profile being quite small and aerodynamic in the wind if you pitch it at a tangent, although I've yet to do an overnighter on a windy top to see how the noise/experience is.  The main annoyance is the lack of a door tie back, but I knew that in advance and used one of the clothes pegs I would have brought to dry spare socks on my pack.


My experience with single 'side entrance' tents like the Akto and Enan are that in high winds you end up turning the tent 30-40 degrees to avoid getting out directly in to the wind/being able to cook properly, in which case you've expanded the tent profile and end up taking more force on the tent as a while. The downside is this makes it more noisy (and the Akto in particular is incredibly noisy in a gale) however the strength is more from the fabric strength and good poles than anything else.  [/size]For two person tents like the MSR Hubba the profile is similar regardless of how you turn the tent so it matters less (you can still use at least one door even if the wind changes direction), however most of those I wouldn't describe as 4-season unless they've got a fairly sturdy frame (which won't be light).   

Of course if you want a true Scottish winter shelter you might as well bring a snow shovel and leave your tent at home ;)

Best all rounder is probably the Scarp 1 with extra poles but it's fairly spendy, as are the other options that are light yet strong enough to do well in a storm.  If I was buying another tent it'd either be a Trekkertent Stealth 1.5 or a Hilleberg Unna, leaning towards the Unna for cozy 2-person use for when I'm next able to go camping in Finland.  The Trekkertent in particular is made for UK conditions (though doesn't seem especially storm proof) and worth a look, it's super light.






richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #16 on: 20:45:04, 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.


Thanks Owen - have looked at Tarptents but baulk at ordering from the States. Not at all keen on a mesh roofed inner either - why suffer drips for the sake of a few grams.

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #17 on: 20:48:45, 26/05/20 »
As for pitching the Tatonka, I'd pitch it small end first - I did manage to stick up the Svalbard up on the top of a breezy hill for practice and it seems bomb proof due to the profile being quite small and aerodynamic in the wind if you pitch it at a tangent, although I've yet to do an overnighter on a windy top to see how the noise/experience is.  The main annoyance is the lack of a door tie back, but I knew that in advance and used one of the clothes pegs I would have brought to dry spare socks on my pack.

My experience with single 'side entrance' tents like the Akto and Enan are that in high winds you end up turning the tent 30-40 degrees to avoid getting out directly in to the wind/being able to cook properly, in which case you've expanded the tent profile and end up taking more force on the tent as a while. The downside is this makes it more noisy (and the Akto in particular is incredibly noisy in a gale) however the strength is more from the fabric strength and good poles than anything else.  [/size]For two person tents like the MSR Hubba the profile is similar regardless of how you turn the tent so it matters less (you can still use at least one door even if the wind changes direction), however most of those I wouldn't describe as 4-season unless they've got a fairly sturdy frame (which won't be light).   

Of course if you want a true Scottish winter shelter you might as well bring a snow shovel and leave your tent at home ;)

Best all rounder is probably the Scarp 1 with extra poles but it's fairly spendy, as are the other options that are light yet strong enough to do well in a storm.  If I was buying another tent it'd either be a Trekkertent Stealth 1.5 or a Hilleberg Unna, leaning towards the Unna for cozy 2-person use for when I'm next able to go camping in Finland.  The Trekkertent in particular is made for UK conditions (though doesn't seem especially storm proof) and worth a look, it's super light.


Thanks for the reply, forgot. Interesting point about having to pitch the tent at an angle. And I do like the look of the Scarp in some respects, but not the 'spendy' bit! Similar in some respects to the Terra Nova Southern Cross 1, but that is way too spendy!


Have to say that the Svalbard is still my favourite.

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #18 on: 20:51:11, 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?


I've not had too much of a problem making a brew in a front entry tent, to be honest, April. Even in my tiny vintage Saunders Jetpacker, which is not much more than coffin sized!


Edit - must give the Jetpacker a try in the back garden soon - if I can squeeze into it!  :D

archaeoroutes

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #19 on: 22:13:21, 26/05/20 »
I avoid tunnel tents if at all possible. Just not strong enough in my experience. Semi-geodesic for normal wild camping, fully geodesic for when I'm expecting to have to sit out storms in the mountains.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #20 on: 22:52:28, 26/05/20 »
I avoid tunnel tents if at all possible. Just not strong enough in my experience. Semi-geodesic for normal wild camping, fully geodesic for when I'm expecting to have to sit out storms in the mountains.


Fair point. Depends to a large extent on the design, size and quality of the tent - I've had a rubbish night in a semi geodesic on what was just a moderately windy night on an Orkney clifftop, conditions that my small tunnel was fine with.

richardh1905

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Re: Front Entry v Side Entry tunnel tents
« Reply #21 on: 09:13:20, 27/05/20 »
As for pitching the Tatonka, I'd pitch it small end first - I did manage to stick up the Svalbard up on the top of a breezy hill for practice and it seems bomb proof due to the profile being quite small and aerodynamic in the wind if you pitch it at a tangent, although I've yet to do an overnighter on a windy top to see how the noise/experience is.  The main annoyance is the lack of a door tie back, but I knew that in advance and used one of the clothes pegs I would have brought to dry spare socks on my pack.

Thank you for your mini-review of the Svalbard, encouraging. It struck me as being a particularly bomb proof little tent - I say little but going off the measurements, it does appear to have a fair bit of room for a one person tent, certainly a little wider and taller than the Tatonka.


Regarding the door tie-back, from the list of features on the Nordisk website:

"Easy tuck-away storage pocket for inner doors & fly sheet door"

Is this not practical to use? Not that this would be a deal breaker - I'm sure that a little thoughtful work with a needle, thread and a bit of cord would pay dividends.

Look forward to reading a full review once you get out on the hill with it!  O0