May 30, 2006 at 9:11 am #1218683
is walmart the new place to go for cheap lightweight gear?
see, for instance, this two-person 2 1/2 pound tarp tent for $34
i met a guy over the weekend in the otter creek wilderness who had a little tent that cost $17. it probably weighed a coupla pounds. not bad.May 30, 2006 at 9:21 am #1357144
@just_jeffLocale: Colorado's Front Range
That’s pretty impressive. I’ll be really impressed if it actually weighs 2.5 lbs, though. Sounds like the fleece bag from Bass Pro that’s listed as 8 oz but really weighs 2 lbs (IIRC). Someone gonna buy one and weigh it?May 30, 2006 at 9:25 am #1357145
Methinks it depends on what you are looking for.
For example, I bought a 6-LED headlamp for $16 (1.6 oz net wt.) that I am very happy with.
On the other hand, I would not waste my money on a cheap tent made with “water resistant” (i.e. not waterproof) fabrics and fiber glass poles.
The tarp tent mentioned above looks like a Wengel — a very, very cheap brand. Single wall tents are extremely prone to condensation. Notice that Henry Shries and Six Moon Designs tarptents all feature perimeter vents in addition to smaller vents higher up? This Wengel looks like it has 1 small foot vent plus 2 small vents higher up — no perimeter vents at all. May as well wrap yourself in plastic cellophane and save the $35???May 30, 2006 at 9:28 am #1357146
you people need to get down with the common folks, stop being so damn snotty. you just assume this walmart gear is no good. you don’t know. if that tarp tent is really roomy enough for two people, that 2 1/2 pound weight is great. who says their material isn’t water proof?May 30, 2006 at 9:30 am #1357147
No need to be defensive — it’s not that WalMart equates to cheap. Get beyond the low price and analyze for yourself whether the gear you are looking at is well designed / well made.
As for Wengel, take a drive to WalMart and read the label yourself. Maybe it’s a great tent — but I doubt it for the reasons stated above.May 30, 2006 at 9:37 am #1357148
jeff – you’ll find that people here aren’t so much snotty as they are intolerant of gear that doesn’t work. There are lots of great options that are also very cheap – why waste your time on cheap options that don’t work?
BenMay 30, 2006 at 9:41 am #1357150
with the united Ben’s! :)May 30, 2006 at 9:52 am #1357151
i wouldn’t throw down on this walmart gear unless i knew what i was talking about. for thirty bucks, it doesn’t have to last very long. we don’t have any problems wearing $16 dropstoppers even though they shred a little more with each use.May 30, 2006 at 9:52 am #1357152
Mark LarsonBPL Member
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
Setting aside the issue of “you people” vs. “common folks,” whatever that means… It could be a good tent if it works. I don’t know. Having seen the product on the shelf, I’m not interested in carrying the bulk/volume in order to test it out.
I look at it this way: I shop at WalMart quite a bit, but I invest my hiking-dollar where I can find a better [subjective*] value. For me, that means WalMart provides me with some great hiking clothing, sleeping pads, kitchen/hydration stuff, and occasional sundries. For shelter and sleeping–having looked at the models that WalMart carries and used competitive products–I shop elsewhere.
-MarkMay 30, 2006 at 10:11 am #1357153
jeff – I own the Wenzel tent you’re talking about. It sucks. If this is not the exact model you’re referring to, my apologies – it was enough to sour me on Wenzel gear. No knock agains the company – it’s just not designed with serious users in mind, so it doesn’t work for serious users.
BenMay 30, 2006 at 10:13 am #1357154
I try to avoid Walmart for reasons other than those class-based. I think they’re well documented enough so I won’t go into a dissertation. That being said, I bought an Energizer head lamp there for $13 that works great, provided it doesn’t get turned on accidentally in my pack or pocket.May 30, 2006 at 10:15 am #1357156
jeff – took a closer look – it appears that I have the previous model of the tent you’re referencing.
BenMay 30, 2006 at 10:15 am #1357157
I don’t mean to be picky, but there are some things that just tick me off.
In the Walmart add for the tent described above it says “just stake it out and your all set”.
I’m sorry, but in America we say “just stake it out and you’re all set”. I wonder what country maintains the ads for the Walmart web site.May 30, 2006 at 10:16 am #1357158
Ben – too funny! I totally missed that this time…
BenMay 30, 2006 at 10:48 am #1357159
It actually looks interesting.May 30, 2006 at 11:10 am #1357160
I looked that WalMart listing and they show 2.5 pounds shipping weight and the Wentzel is listed on other sites as 4 pounds shipping weight. There’s little doubt they are the same tent and I’d put my money on the WalMart weight being wrong.
I don’t care who puts their name on a product unless it is spendy and warranty comes into the issue– I’m all for finding less expensive alternatives.
BUT, I’ve painted myself into the “cheap corner” more than once and many times it is easier and less expensive in the long run to buy something that works. Any items that can put you in a life-threatening situation go first on that list.
BUT, fiddling with cheap junk is perfectly acceptable as a past-time— you just need to be honest with yourself. Every once in a while we come up with a nice practical, cheap, solution. If it works, it works.May 30, 2006 at 11:46 am #1357163
There seems to be some confusion regarding the two tents in question. They don’t appear to be the same tent. They look different. The dimensions are different. The weights, if accurate, are different. They don’t even seem to be from the same manufacturer. The Campmor tent is manufactured by Wentzel. The Walmart tent is manufactured by Wenger, one manufacturer of Swiss Army Knives.
Looks like the Walmart/Wenger tent might work in some dry environments with a nice breeze. Now if we could only control the breeze. Would be nice if it had side awnings covering more vents like in the Six Moon Designs single-wall tents.May 30, 2006 at 11:48 am #1357164
@waterloggedwelliesLocale: United Kingdom
I suspect that the Walmart weight isn’t right but sooner or later it is going to happen. We all want more companies to pick up the lightweight philosophy and design better, lighter products and eventualy they will and when companies like Walmart get in on that particular act, the price will come down too.
So, eventually, cheap, lightweight and effective will be the case.
What will we all do then when everyone on the trail says, “So your pack weighs that little, so what, so does everyone elses!!!”
I guess we’ll have all find something else to be fanatical about :-)
ScottMay 30, 2006 at 12:10 pm #1357168
What sometimes happens is that a european manufactured tent gets its specs converted from metric to english. Could the weight have missed conversion and it’s really 2.5kg, not 2.5lb?May 30, 2006 at 12:32 pm #1357171
well, somebody at walmart is thinking about lightweight backpacking and ways to tap into that market, at least. otherwise, they’d never sell a tarp tent that uses a hiking pole. this tent may be shoddy, but it wouldn’t take a genius to check out the best lightweight gear and mass-produce it overseas and then sell it cheap back over here.May 30, 2006 at 1:10 pm #1357172
The tent on the WalMart site is marketed by SwissGear and I’m sure the only thing that is remotely Swiss about their gear is the holes, and that ain’t no cheese :)
There is a Wentzel model that is identical but for the hiking pole/center pole:
Of course they don’t give the weight.
The other tent listed on the Campmor site is a known disaster :)
I don’t have high expectations of any single wall tent in terms of condensation. We get away with a lot with tarps as most are quite “naturally” ventilated. If you add a floor and close the rest of it up, y’all better add some vents.
Looks to me like the newer Wenztel might ventilate okay the front flaps opened a bit. Where cheap tents fall down (pun very much intended) is with stuff like jammed zippers and tie-downs ripping out. You can guarantee you will need to toss the stakes, replace all the guy lines and poles, and seam seal it.
It does look interesting for $28, but you don’t get something for nothing and it’s no Hilleberg. Note that is has a vestibule, which I would consider a fairly advanced feature. It might be good for one summer season and a better-than-no-tent-at-all option. And not on an exposed ridgeline (nothing to flap about there!).May 30, 2006 at 7:09 pm #1357205
Bought six of their trekking poles for $10 each last year for a family river walk trip. They worked fine and I’m sure if I took a minute to spray them with wd40 after the trip then the spring on one out would not have frozen up. Ive used them for other trips with no problems.May 31, 2006 at 11:25 am #1357230
Casey BowdenBPL Member
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
The Wal-Mart SwissGear tent is 2.5 kg, not lbs. The Wal-Mart website is wrong. However, that weight includes a very heavy bag for packing the tent, a trekking pole, and other items that could be removed or replaced.May 31, 2006 at 12:29 pm #1357232
I’ll bet there is a pound of steel stakes just to start with.May 31, 2006 at 1:11 pm #1357236
Casey BowdenBPL Member
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Come on Dale,
Take one for the team and go buy the darn thing. :)
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