Tent recommendations please

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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby Dexter » Mon 09 Jan, 2023 8:21 pm

Hey SS23. If you haven't gone with a purchase yet, I'd highly recommend a Tarptent. I grabbed a Stratospire Li blem. Double wall, 2p trekking pole tent. I love having the extra space and use it solo. I came from a 1p tent that was as small as a bivvy bag. I didn't like the fact that you really have no living space on a crap day. You basically had to lay down and go to sleep or stand around in the rain. Also, not enough room for your pack. I have plenty of room in the Stratospire, can use a vestibule for my pack, and the other as the door, and to leave my shoes in, and still loads of room. If me and a friend wanted to play cards in there on a crap afternoon there would be space.

The only downside is that it's not a freestanding tent. I started looking at some various options including the Mont Moondance 1, Nemo Dragonfly 2 and a Big Agnes Copper Spur 2p as a freestanding option for platforms. Coming from a Tarptent I was a little underwhelmed. I guess an ultralight tent is going to have its compromises, but I found the floors to feel super flimsy on both the Nemo and Big Agnes. For double the weight of the Tarptent I was expecting a little more (probably expecting too much to be honest). It's hard to compare to the super light weight of Dyneema. The reason I was considering the Moondance 1 instead of the 2p version is the 1 is actually quite a bit larger. It has that unique shape that gives you a little more living space to the side. Out of the three (non Dyneema) tents I had a look at, that was the most impressive to me.

If I had to buy again from scratch, I think I'd still go a Tarptent. I might be swayed by the Double Rainbow, but it would be a toss up. The Strat has wonderfully huge vestibules. I love having all that space and none of the weight. Fantastic tents. As others have said, go for the Mesh inner and don't hesitate over the Blem. You barely notice the extra seams, and as they say... The seams add extra reinforcement and likely makes the tent stronger than without. Customer service is also top notch. You can buy with confidence.
Last edited by Dexter on Wed 11 Jan, 2023 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby philm » Tue 10 Jan, 2023 11:18 am

Thanks for the details. When you say extra seams are these related to the Blems and the repair of them? I was thinking of the solid inner as I’ll mainly be using it in Tassie. What do you think about the mesh in these conditions?
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby Biggles » Tue 10 Jan, 2023 7:21 pm

Just as an interested bystander to this thread, I wouldn't use a full-mesh inner tent in the wilds of Tasmania — nasty lessons learnt in 2005 in the Great Western Tiers put paid to that idea with a Wilderness Expeditions tent with the majority inner being mesh: warm and sunny one day, then full on cold, wet, hail and then sleet sent me packing and heading back to Deloraine!

So...the full-nylon inner would be assurance against a bad turn of events (weather!) over partial or whole mesh, which will allow wind and potentially rain penetration, in addition to drastically reducing the internal tent temperature. Insulation is another point, additional to providing for a degree of protection from rain (but not necessarily condensation forming inside). No one tent fits all applications (reason why I have three!!).
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby Dexter » Wed 11 Jan, 2023 8:25 am

philm wrote:Thanks for the details. When you say extra seams are these related to the Blems and the repair of them? I was thinking of the solid inner as I’ll mainly be using it in Tassie. What do you think about the mesh in these conditions?


If I were mostly using it in Tassie I think I'd be going a solid inner. I'm mostly using mine in Vic and in warmer months, so mesh made more sense for me - and probably does for most non alpine regions of Aust.
I believe you can order both solid and mesh inners. I'd probably have gone with that if I had enough of a budget... a DCF Tarptent was already a stretch for me.
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby headwerkn » Wed 11 Jan, 2023 9:14 am

Biggles wrote:Just as an interested bystander to this thread, I wouldn't use a full-mesh inner tent in the wilds of Tasmania.


In winter, sure. But during summer I find you want as much ventilation as possible, even at altitude. My first hiking tent was an old Snowgum Storm Shelter, quite a decent if heavy four-season tent, and even with the door liners unzipped we'd often cook in it. Really depends on where you're walking though and your personal tolerances/preferences to cold air around you when sleeping.

We've found the Double Rainbow Li a pretty good balance... in nice weather you can porch it out partially or completely to maintain airflow overnight, when you have to batten down the hatches you can.
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby Biggles » Wed 11 Jan, 2023 9:47 am

headwerkn wrote:
Biggles wrote:Just as an interested bystander to this thread, I wouldn't use a full-mesh inner tent in the wilds of Tasmania.


In winter, sure. But during summer I find you want as much ventilation as possible, even at altitude. My first hiking tent was an old Snowgum Storm Shelter, quite a decent if heavy four-season tent, and even with the door liners unzipped we'd often cook in it. Really depends on where you're walking though and your personal tolerances/preferences to cold air around you when sleeping.

We've found the Double Rainbow Li a pretty good balance... in nice weather you can porch it out partially or completely to maintain airflow overnight, when you have to batten down the hatches you can.



Yes, I have had the Snowgum Storm tent too, recmmended to me long ago by one David Mapleson, who was the franchisee of Snowgum in Bendigo (long gone), and had the misfortune of poor judgement camping in it at Confest (on the Edwards River, NSW), last time from memory in December-January 2012. Roasted, sweaty and sleepless in a Snowgum, so definitely was not ideal for late-December camping in the scorched buff country! :?
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby Nuts » Wed 11 Jan, 2023 10:29 am

SS23, have a look around places like facebook Gearfreak and the like, the brands you mention pop up regularly, often with little use.
Tarptent are good, I'd stick with the sinylon as an early tent. partial mesh or mesh as a single tent for most conditions as mentioned.
Of course ultra-light and 'something that will last' are relative. So too is discretionary income I guess :)
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby rcaffin » Wed 11 Jan, 2023 1:02 pm

Roasted, sweaty and sleepless in a Snowgum, so definitely was not ideal for late-December camping in the scorched buff country! :?

May I very gently suggest that this was a user fault, not a gear fault? Gear does not make decisions; people do. Why persist in a tent which was too hot?

We were going down the Colo one time, through the Colo Gorge upstream of the junction with the Wollemi R, and the day was very hot. Obviously the night was also going to be very hot.
So after pitching our tent, I cleared a spot outside the tent, put my air mat on it, and went to sleep on it. I was still dressed in my walking clothes, with a hoody top, so I was reasonably protected from mosquitoes. I slept quite well until a cool change came though about 3 am. I just moved my airmat inside the tent and went back to sleep.
You don't have to suffer!

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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby TrapGhee12345 » Mon 03 Jul, 2023 9:23 pm

I hade my tent modified my John at Werribee tarps in Melbourne, he made it easier to withstand the cold by reinforcing the sides with a lightweight and waterproof canvas tarp. You can contact him at werribeetarps.com.au
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby farefam » Mon 14 Aug, 2023 5:14 pm

Bit of an old thread, but for my two bits worth....

I think the most important thing in a tent is the compromise between weight and strength. In exposed alpine conditions, sufficient strength is the one thing you really don't want to be without, if you are caught out in a really bad storm. A properly waterproof, bathtub floor is also good to have as it sucks waking up to find that the bottom of your sleeping mattress is wet due to moisture leaking in through the tent floor.

My Macpac Olympus survived wind gusts of >140kph at the top of Precipitous Bluff during the Regatta Day storm. So big tick for strength and a tick for roominess and a fully waterproof floor as well. However at over 3 kilograms, now that I am older it is too heavy and rather too bulky for me now to carry on anything other than short walks. It is far too bulky for packrafting trips unless I am not having to walk in to the river first.

For most packrafting trips and for long hikes I have used a Tarptent Scarp 1 for several years now. It is significantly lighter (about 1.5 kilograms), packs much smaller, but it is still quite roomy for 1 person and in its usual single-hoop configuration, it is strong enough to withstand high Tasmanian winds (even in winds that were strong enough to pull a couple of pegs out of the sandy ground during the night). The only downsides are that the lighter weight, thinner floor is easier to puncture than the Olympus and that in windy conditions the fly does flap around a bit if you can't adjust it fully tight (noisy, but manageable with earplugs). Overall I am very happy with the service it has given me and intend to keep using it either until it drops or I drop! By the way, unless you plan to camp in blizzard conditions, or unless you want to set it up as a freestanding tent (only in very sheltered conditions), there is probably no need to order the optional crossing tent poles, which weigh an extra 440 grams. I bought them when I purchased my tent, but have never ended up using them in 4 season Tassie conditions, as when pitched correctly the tent is strong enough without them. However, now that I think about it, I might use the crossing poles when I next walk along the Bibbulmun track, so that I can pitch the tent free-standing inside the shelter huts. Do carry a tent pole repair sleeve though, as the 9mm single hoop tent pole is fairly narrow gauge and it can be broken if you are clumsy getting in and out of the tent and push too hard against it (so far I have managed to do that twice, which was entirely my own stupid fault).

Note that with the poor exchange rate, anything made in the USA is very expensive these days. But for half the weight and bulk of the OIympus, the Scarp1 was worth every dollar spent.
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Re: Tent recommendations please

Postby farefam » Sat 14 Oct, 2023 1:35 am

Talk about jinxing myself with a social media post. I spoke too soon, as I managed to lose my much loved Scarp1 tent a few weeks ago when it slipped off the side of my packrafting pack. I had stupidly forgotten to thread the top strap of the pack through the loop of the tent bag (which I otherwise always do to prevent just such a thing from happening). Despite two reasonably thorough searches, the karri-marri forest scrub was far too thick to have any realistic chance of finding it.

But to back up the recommendation from my post above, I chose to replace it with a new Scarp1 tent. Over $800 due to the lousy exchange rate plus the bank's international transaction fee. Thank goodness I got 8 years use out of my last one. It would have been 15 or 20 years had it not been for a moment of carelessness.
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