Author Topic: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?  (Read 697 times)

whitehorse

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Hello
What sort of weights are the tents you use for multi day walking trips? I've got a lovely vango scimitar tent, but it's almost 3kg. Going on the 20% of your body weight guide, that gives me 11kg max to carry and I'm wondering if the tent is going to swallow up too much of the weight.
I'm a bit reluctant to buy another tent as it's another expense, and I do love the space and the porch in the one I have, but if it's going to make walking a misery by having to carry extra weight I might rethink!
I'm not planning any winter trips, but hoping to get out from next spring (probably May) and do a few longer walks.


Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #1 on: 12:07:34, 25/10/20 »
The only way to find out is to try it on a walk. You could take an extra 3 litres of water with you and if it is too much, you can always pour the water away to reduce your load. That might save you the cost of a new tent, when you already have one that would do the job.


I have never been one to worry too much about backpack weight. When I was younger I hiked in the Alps with a pack that was 25%+ of my body weight. I was walking up to 20 miles a day and at altitude with quite a lot of height gain. My pack weight didnít bother me and by the end of 2 weeks it seemed much lighter than at the start. Everyone is different.

Little Foot

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #2 on: 13:28:42, 25/10/20 »
Iíve an Osprey 58L Kestrel which is 1.8kg. The tent I used was the same weight. I also had to carry some of my sonís gear, as well as my own. Not sure how much it all weighed but I went on a 3 day trip and was fine. Iím a short woman (at 5ft), but also heavy, if that helps you judge.

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #3 on: 13:57:20, 25/10/20 »
My new Phoxx2 (£62 online at millets) weighs 2.1kg, the Phoxx1 is a tad lighter at 1.6kg, but having tried them both out for size physically a few days back there was no way id be comfy in the smaller one.  The extra 1/2kg is worth it to me for the greater space
Whilst quite a few tents aimed at 'backpackers' are circa 3kg, i think thats a bit heavy personally, i set myself a 2kg limit when trying them out.
Great suggestion to add the extra weight as water and go for a trial hike though  O0
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

windyrigg

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #4 on: 14:24:17, 25/10/20 »
My old Vango 2 person tent is 2kg, cant remember  which model. If I had a 3kg tent I would have to pack all the kit in the bag and try it. Can you skip any other un-essentials (or every un-essential!)?  For a spring/summer wild camp I might just take the flysheet and leave the inner at home. I share your reluctance to buy a new piece of kit for every variation on a camping trip!

ninthace

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #5 on: 16:34:57, 25/10/20 »
Bigfoot Mike has the right idea.  Suck it and see.
Solvitur Ambulando

fernman

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #6 on: 18:30:39, 25/10/20 »
Short answer to OP: Yes.

A number of current tents including mine weigh half that. My old predecessor was 2.1kg, which was still only two thirds of the weight of yours.

Never mind all the 20% of your body weight stuff, you want to carry the least amount of weight possible so that your walk is more enjoyable, not so much that you dread picking your pack up and getting it on after each stop.

whitehorse

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #7 on: 21:23:26, 25/10/20 »
Many thanks for all the replies  :)
It sounds like it is on the heavy side, but great suggestion to have a trial run or two with the equivalent weight of water. It will decide it won't it?
It will also make me stricter on what to take/what not to take when I feel the weight! I always have a tendency to overpack and think of every eventuality so I need a new mindset....

richardh1905

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #8 on: 12:18:38, 26/10/20 »
I carried a 3.3kg 2 man tent recently, and that was only on a short one night wild camping trip with my son - I certainly noticed the weight difference!


As to whether 3kg is too heavy, that ultimately is for you to decide. A friend of mine once borrowed my old Vango Force 10 MK4, and did a coast to coast walk across the north of Scotland with his two teenage children - it weighed 7kg when dry!


The idea of a test walk is a good one.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

NeilC

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #9 on: 16:11:54, 27/10/20 »
It's the weight of your overall pack that matters, so it depends on what else you're carrying.
I think many of use are carrying tents at or just under 2KG so you're really only talking a kilo extra . I reckon my winter pack weight is a kilo heavier than my summer one it's OK.
If I'm backpacking somewhere dry I could be carrying a good couple of litres of water more than on say Dartmoor. So a kilo isn't a stopper.

Also depends on your fitness levels. I've been with fitter mates who stride up hills with ease carrying a mishmash of crap kit in an big old rucksack and don't moan like I do! When I think about the kit I used to carry in the 80's......I didn't even bother weighing anything but I'm pretty sure those cotton tents weighted a bit.

Not sure about a formula of 20% of your bodyweight. Doesn't make sense to me. I'm a little overweight right now. I could carry MORE if I lost weight, not less.

I'd give it a go and see personally.

Stube

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #10 on: 18:38:52, 27/10/20 »
In the 60's I hiked with a 3kg tent (fly only) - it was the lightest available! You noticed it.If your existing tent is for two then you could split it and share the load, otherwise I'd stay below 2 kg preferably 1.5kg.

The weight of food/ water for a multiday trip will be much more than your tent unless you intend to rely solely on pubs and cafťs. You can reduce the amount of water carried by useing a filter to treat water in streams/troughs you pass. A filter is certainly cheaper than a new tent.

A lot depends on how well your rucksack fits you and the weight distrubution therein.For example I always carry my tents externally strapped in front of the top pocket - it reduces the degree you have to lean forward to get your centre of gravity over your hips. My LDP pack is easier to carry than my daypack which generally weighs about as third as much.
When I was getting back into long distance walking after a forty year layoff, I trained useing a rucksack filled with litre bottles of water on various daywalks. If the weight ever got too much I just emptied a bottle or two.


Birdman

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #11 on: 15:20:02, 28/10/20 »
I have regularly carried 35%+ of my body weight (in those cases more than half of it would be food and water) and still enjoyed it immensely. Actually, these were always the best walks because it meant I was going somewhere remote and adventurous.


3kg for a tent is very heavy by today's standard (unless it is a real mountaineering tent, able to withstand strong winds and snow loading). The two tents that I'm using are 1.2kg and 1.7kg, depending on where I go. They have been in pretty rough weather but wouldn't survive gale-force winds.


If you don't want to spend more money, well, does the ~1.5kg you could possibly save on a tent really make that much difference? I personally don't think so. It is all in your head. In my opinion, there is way to much emphasis on pack weight in outdoor discussions. Of course low weight is nicer, so you should make some effort to keep weight down. But there are other things that are more important for how much you are going to enjoy your adventure.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Warbler

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Re: Is 3kg going to be too heavy for a backpacking tent?
« Reply #12 on: 16:09:04, 28/10/20 »
Like a couple of others have suggested, give it a go with your present tent and see how you get on.


My Vango Tempest 2 weighs in at about 2.7kg (I think) and I've done 4 multi-day walks with it, without too much pain. It's spacious, easy to pitch and has kept me dry on some very wet nights. I'd find it difficult to justify spending £200+ on a lightweight tent considering the usage it would get.