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Thread: Tent - asking for the impossible?

  1. #1
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    Default Tent - asking for the impossible?

    OK, I'm finally retiring my old tent due to snapped pole and broken zip.

    The only problem is getting a new one I like, so with the list below in mind what do people use/recommend?
    • MUST be low visibility, natural green or similar
    • Must withstand long term rain/snow and serious wind in exposed places. (that's scottish rain, the horizontal stuff)
    • 2 person, I had to enter the last one feet first as I couldn't turn round in it, not good when stuck in the tent due to weather.
    • Light weight, I've been known to walk in the hills and I fancy some routes with pages.
    • Good porch for storing wet gear
    • Reliable!
    Price wise I'll pay whatever I have to, but recent new boat and a new set of montane extremes (that's a clue on the weather conditions it'll get used in) mean I'd look more favourably on a cheaper tent.

    So what's the best tent you've used in the worst conditions? (go on, I know there are some good tales)

  2. #2
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    Eureka Timberline are generally considered to be the best around here. They are used by the boy scouts and US Forest Service. At seven pounds, they may be heavier than what you are looking for, but they are an excellent three season tent.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Eureka-Timberlin...QQcmdZViewItem

    Here is a good price for a four person Eureka Timberline

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Eureka-Timbe...QQcmdZViewItem

    I just bought two. They weigh 4 kg each

    Looks like you can get the same two person tent from Cabella's for $99.00

    http://www.cabelas.com/link-12/pod/0003796.shtml
    Last edited by pierre girard; 25th-August-2006 at 08:31 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Hilleberg Nallo 2

    I've just bought a Hilleberg Nallo 2 which seems to meet your requirements.

    http://www.fieldandtrek.com/shop-Hilleberg.htm

    At 2.1kg you get a lot of room for the weight.

    Features I like:-

    - outer / inner pitch simulaneously - great if its raining
    - poles only go in one side (other end is blocked)
    - lots and lots of ventilation and door opening options
    - small pack size
    - low weight

    I'll be using it for everything from mountain marathons (OMM this year in southern Scotland) to canoeing trips with a bit of hiking thrown in.

    Its expensive but worth it in my opinion. I can't afford to have a tent for every occasion so I bought a tent that will do it all reasonably well.
    The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

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    I have used the North Face Tadpole 23 for the past 22 months without hitch, very light weight, only problem from what you say would be the colour. http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/nf_tadpole.html

    I now use a VE25 Also, however the colour is bright yellow, and weighs over 5KG. The North Face have recently introduced the Tortress 23 as a 4 season tunnel tent with a large porch. Based on my experiences with TNF products I would urge you to go for one of these, they don't get better.

    http://www.gear-zone.co.uk/eshop/The...33---SS06.html
    Other than that I would consider the Hilleberg as mention above or the Terra Nova Quasar series, Ultra Quasar, 3.12kg probably nearly as strong as my VE25 but in green, after the TNF tents this would get my vote.

    http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/epages/t...uct/View/43UQG

    As a cheaper alternative check out the Wild Country Q2, based on the Quasar but cheaper (they are made by Terra Nova)
    http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/epages/t...uct/View/44Q2G

    Good luck in choosing Lee.
    Last edited by LAS247; 25th-August-2006 at 10:43 AM.
    Leone_blanco

  5. #5
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    Default Repairs?

    Have you thought about replacing the poles and getting a new zipper?
    I was inconsolable when my favourite tent (two person, so great with just me and my paddling gear inside it) suddenly went Anno Domini on me in the sun on a long camp - the aluminium poles had been fraying, as they do, and suddenly snapped one day, ripping through the fly sheet.
    But I ordered new poles through Hampton Works, Twyning Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2XZ
    http://www.hampton-works.co.uk/
    and they were better than the original ones.
    Unobtrusive duct tape on the inside of the tears of the fly sheet dealt with the rips.
    And as there was a dodgy zip, after I unwisely lent the tent to a clumsy young friend, I followed the advice in Cliff Jacobson's 'Expedition Canoeing' on zip repairs.
    And the tent is good for many years to come!
    [I did look at a replacement from the manufacturer, EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports), where I have bought practically all my family's various tents over the last thirty years, and I liked particularly the idea of 'more stash room than the average New York apartment' in their EMS Tundra Dome tent
    http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_d...=1156504235006
    but I had other priorities for expenditure....]
    Last edited by Bembe; 25th-August-2006 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Links

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAS247 View Post
    I now use a VE25 Also, however the colour is bright yellow, and weighs over 5KG. The North Face have recently introduced the Tortress 23 as a 4 season tunnel tent with a large porch. Based on my experiences with TNF products I would urge you to go for one of these, they don't get better.

    http://www.gear-zone.co.uk/eshop/The...33---SS06.html
    The link here shows the Fortress 33 as a three parson tent, the Fortress 23 is a 2 person tent.
    Leone_blanco

  7. #7

    Default Anyone got a Fortress?

    Hi Folks

    I'm very close to having to retire my fantastic TNF westwind after 17 years of regular service and a number of multiweek expeditions. Its was strong enough for 4 season mountain use yet small and light enough for mountain marathons.

    I like the Fortress (which seems to be its successor)on paper but haven't seen one yet - I'd be very keen to hear if anyone has experience of this tent.

    Ultra Quasar's that I have seen are very bulky packed. I've just used a Vau De Mark 2 on a trip this summer. I'm not sure what it would be like in a big side on wind, and its not as small packed as the Westwind but it goes up very quick and had lots of internal room.

    Graeme

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    I noticed my local Millets had a set of replacement tent poles.

    They were ~12.00 I think, looked like a composite of some sort - err which I guess is probably obvious now as I think about it.

    I did wonder about getting a set to use with the tarp, as it looks like the summer is now at an end and as I'm still [happily] sleeping on the ground, having yet failed to adapt to an arboreal bed, but there'll be plenty of sticks around.

    Rubbish reply to the original post tho'

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    Cheers as ever for the replies,

    The poles have a short angled section in them, so don't think I can replace them, the old tent was incredibly good for 15 so I put up with the odd problem and don't mind retiring it, paying the prices I'm now looking at I'd like it to be close to perfect.

    For the kind of wind I know I'll end up getting caught in I'd prefer semi or full geodesic as one's I've used in the past were rock solid. The tadpole sums up the problems, lovely looking but I like to be low vis when I'm out (stops landowners noticing me, and doesn't spoil your view if you're out too).

    A quazar would be great but I've been put off seeing three break in the hills, one split seam, one shreded by a broken pole and one burnt down by an MSR explosion (not really a tent fault). I know they're good, just bad experience.

    Been looking round, has anyone used a force 10 Baltoro I've got confidence in any company that can produce something as hard wearing as their old ridge tents, or know what vango hydra 200s are like, both are heavy, but I guess I'll have to lower the bar. I did say I was asking for the impossible!

    Why don't tent manufacturers do all their tents in muted green ?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by saarlak View Post

    Been looking round, has anyone used a force 10 Baltoro I've got confidence in any company that can produce something as hard wearing as their old ridge tents, or know what vango hydra 200s are like, both are heavy, but I guess I'll have to lower the bar. I did say I was asking for the impossible!

    Why don't tent manufacturers do all their tents in muted green ?
    I would stear clear of the Force 10 tents, we use the canvas ridge tents at work and have had no end of problems relaiting to quality issues. Leaking ground sheets (massively) fly sheets ripping on stress points, A pieces falling apart. They were a lot better when Vango made the Force Ten. That is a top notch tent. This may probably be just a bad experience I have had with them but out of 12 new tents all twelve have been replaced, some of them twice. The otheres are now bodged together.
    Leone_blanco

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAS247 View Post
    I would stear clear of the Force 10 tents, we use the canvas ridge tents at work and have had no end of problems relaiting to quality issues. Leaking ground sheets (massively) fly sheets ripping on stress points, A pieces falling apart. They were a lot better when Vango made the Force Ten. That is a top notch tent. This may probably be just a bad experience I have had with them but out of 12 new tents all twelve have been replaced, some of them twice. The otheres are now bodged together.
    I used one of those nylon Vango Force 10 tents last time I was in Woodland Caribou PP, and we had terrible condensation problems. Rain never got in, but we got wet anyway.

  12. #12
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    Default tent...

    Tents...

    If I was rich enough I'd go for a hilleberg. Bombproof design and materials. If it's tough enough for Norwegian special forces it's tough enough for paddling!

    Last year I wanted a lightweight but good 1 person tent for overnights and bought a wildcountry Hoy to replace a Kyam 20 sec tent I bought (stood up to anything but bulky for walking with) A good design, great reputable manufacturer. I tried it first in the snows last winter and the zips popped open when i tensioned the guys. One cold wet night ensued. The supplier replaced the tent. I used it recently for my my step kids and the zip went faulty again... Apparently wild country will now replace it but I've not yet sent it back...

    I usually use tarps if the weather allows in non midgie season but wanted bombproof storm tents for use by the west coast. I bought a new royal marines issue ARCTIC TUNNEL tent for 100, it is heavy 8kg and very bulky but sleeps 4 and is the most stable stormproof tent I've ever used.

    I then decided that I still need a lightweight tent so I bought an AMERICAN, army (USMC ISSUE), EUREKA two man troop tent in camo for 80 of ebay new.
    It has allow poles is geodesic in design, absolutely stromproof design and blends in on estates that are not too keen on camping

    so now I've got two very tough, very secure tents for any conditions for the price of one good commercial one in the uk.

    Woodsmoke
    Expand your mind there's plenty space for it...

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    I bought my Tadpole from here; http://www.cheaptents.com/ the place is in Warrington and gave good service they have a large building with a tent display upstairs. If the Fortress is not on display but in stock they will put it up for you to see. Its probably a bit of a trek for you but if you find your way down here paddling its an option. I dare say any TNF stockist who hold a stock of this will put the tent up for you. Remember also if you are a BCU member Cotswold Outdoor give you a 15% discount.
    Leone_blanco

  14. #14
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    Cheers for the heads up on force 10, I've used the old cotton (?) ridge tents back when I was at school, then years later started working for the people who hired them to the school, and the tents were still going strong, a true classic. Are Vango tents still as good, I have a mate who loves his, but it's also quite old.

    Anyone know a stockist for the Hilleberg dome tents? I only seem to be able to find the tunnel tents (I've had bad experiences with tunnel tents in wind), in the UK.

    Just heard of more zip problems with a Terra Nova (also make wild country) from a workmate, so steering clear.

    I never have these problems picking other kit, just tents.

  15. #15
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    my money would have to go with the hilleberg nallo 2,regrettably these were out of stock when I was buying so I ended up with a northface westwind,a good tent but not really suited to the wet british weather northface have huge problems with condensation so I never use it unless I'm high up and its windy,
    It''s bright orange aswell which isn't very discreet,but a dark green fly is available as an option.

  16. #16
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    For tent repairs try these guys http://www.scottishmountaingear.com/repairs.asp - they just repaired a tear in my Vango Hurricane plus adding a new strap, all for 21!

    Sarrlak wrote: I only seem to be able to find the tunnel tents (I've had bad experiences with tunnel tents in wind), in the UK.
    My 17 year old Hurricane Beta is one of the original - ie tunnel ones, as opposed to the domes which now carry the name. It's survived exposed mountain & coast camps with no problems when guyed out. After 17 years a small tear was acceptable! The Hilleberg Nallos are essentially the same design, so they should be pretty storm proof. I heard from a friend of one sea kayaking trip in the Hebrides where the only tents left standing were Nallos.... The Macpac Minaret is a similar design, but even better vented - another friend swears by hers for high mountain camps.
    Rhod

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    Default Hilleberg, Hilleberg and Hilleberg

    My three choices would be Hilleberg, Hilleberg and Hilleberg.

    It is realy a problem of choosing the model most finely suited to you.
    For porch area compare the Nallo GT and the Keron 2 - the Keron allows entry both ends so no turning round problems. The GT is a 'conservatory' but you may find you still want double entry.
    The Namatj has identical poles so is slightly bigger mid tent and so has even better vents to the rear (making it like the Keron for superb Venting).

    Our Keron 4 lasted 17 years of hard family camping (eg 2 weeks around Orkney on bikes, three years running, with kids climbing through the vents.. ). We regulary slept 5 in it!

    Philip

  18. #18
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    I've had a Hilleberg Nallo and I must say they are fantastic for mountaineering, lightweight, compact and stands up to a very strong wing but you cant stand up in them, if you're a hunchback they're great. I sold mine and bought a Moskeselkatan Arran 5 Tipi and they are brilliant. Lightweight and very robust. If price is an issue go for an Exped Tipi...just as good.

  19. #19
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    [quote=sarlak;13728]The only problem is getting a new one I like, so with the list below in mind what do people use/recommend?
    • MUST be low visibility, natural green or similar
    • Must withstand long term rain/snow and serious wind in exposed places. (that's scottish rain, the horizontal stuff)
    • 2 person, I had to enter the last one feet first as I couldn't turn round in it, not good when stuck in the tent due to weather.
    • Light weight, I've been known to walk in the hills and I fancy some routes with pages.
    • Good porch for storing wet gear
    • Reliable! [\quote]


    Hi Sarlak,

    Have a look at this Vaude Ferret on Ebay. http://search.ebay.co.uk/vaude_W0QQf...fsooZ1QQfsopZ1
    We have the previous model and I can recommend the colour - it's tussock green and almost invisible, the perfect wild camping tent. Yes, I know its a tunnel, but Vaude claim that it will withstand 130 km/h sideways winds. We've camped in ours during days of gales on the Outer Hebrides and it has proved very reliable. The side entrance as well as porch entrance make it really convenient for getting gear and bodies in and out of. An added bonus is to be able to create an awning over the side entrance. Weight may be an issue as it is about 3.2 kg.
    Last edited by Leafletter; 12th-September-2006 at 04:02 PM.

  20. #20
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    Cheers for all the help everyone, can you believe I'm still umming and arring about this, I'm gonna be out for a week, a week on saturday camping at an undecided sea loch and at this rate I'll be sleeping under my boat!

    Sometimes I wonder if I might be indecisive, or maybe I'm not <shruggs>.

    I guess the problem is that as my last one lasted 5 years for 15..... for every 100 I pay I want the new one to last 30+ years (it's just simple maths!!).

  21. #21
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    Default VauDe Mark 2 Tent

    I used a Vaude Mark 2 in Alaska this summer. We had non-stop rain for several days and the tent preformed extremely well. No leaks or condensation of any kind. It's a roomy tent with two good sized vestibules, pitches inner and outer together for speed which is great in poor weather. Plus it won't break the bank. PS it's green.
    Pete

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    Default long life tents

    This is not much help to you but .

    I inherited my vango F10 from my dad he had used it for many years after retiring a blacks icelandic single pole dome tent. I have used it for over 20 years now the only problem i ever encountered was in a storm on rannoch moor the ridge pole was bent to the floor by the wind but it was the only tent left anywhere near upright and tent shaped in a group of 'geo hoopy modern tents' the owners of which had made rude comments about my antique! and were then forced to retract them all

  23. #23
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    Hi,

    The pole/zip issues with Terra Nova tents that folks have mentioned have been mainly on their economy range that go under the trading name of 'Wild Country'. Not at all good, over the last three/four years I have bought around twenty tents from this range and none have been great, but at the price I got what I expected.
    I have also bought over the last 15 years well over 100 tents from Terra Nova including Voyagers, Quasars and Terra Firma's. They have been used and abused by novices and they have been outstanding, on average they are replaced after three years (but they are still serviceable) having spent around 1 and a half years (78 weeks) being erected day in day out, a lot longer than most folk will ever use a tent. Yes we have had a few poles fail, usually through folks falling on the tents, a few have snapped a polebut that is usually bad handling, letting poles snap together chips the hard alloy and causes a fracture and then a longditudinal fracture occurs.

    For those folks with the old Force Ten tents, in stormy conditions it is recommended not to use the ridge pole because it makes the tent to rigid, and the amount of stress bends it!! why don,t folk read instructions?

    Geodesic tents are supposed to move around in the wind, that is part of the inherent design not a fault. If you haven't had a tent flatten out then you haven't been in strong winds or big snow, that is why pyramid tents are still used on many ant/arctic expeditions still today.

    You still need to think about where the wind is likely to come from when pitching modern tents as they are not unbreakable, just lots lighter for similar sizes but they are nowhere near as abrasion resistant as canvas.

    Paul B.

  24. #24
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    Just to update, I ended up getting a Vango Spirit 200, and it's had a fair bit of use.

    It's OK, reasonably quick to put up provided you leave the inner attached, but can be a little fiddly (noticed it when it dropped to -9 a couple of weeks ago) getting the poles into the fly. It's super light for the space inside, after using bivi bags and single person tents for many years I've really noticed how much more scattering of kit I can do. It does suffer really bad condensation when it's wet, I've been reasonably lucky to have only been out in reasonably windy or very cold conditions (both of which sort the problem) with it so far, but on rainy summer days I'll be looking for the most exposed campsite I can find.

    The best thing about it is how stable it is, been out in force 6-7 and inside it's as calm as a tent can be, it may be this that causes the condensation problem. I was worried that a bigger tent might suffer in big winds but it's spot on.

    Can't say I'd recommend it for anyone exept those who only camp in exposed situations, but it's doing it's job and it's not too difficult to deal with it's problems, and when the wind picks up the problems don't seem too bad a payoff.

  25. #25
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    We use a TNF Roadrunner 22, which I have hiked in the Rockies & andes with. Two huge porches & an amazing groundsheet - we woke up once with our boots floating in the porch & we were dry as a bone inside. To reduce condensation when camping in UK, we use a groundsheet to cover the grass in the porches.
    Hugh
    Sunny Cheltenham

    Wind is the devils creation

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