Jun 16, 2013 at 4:54 am #1304264
I am looking for advice for a lightweight tent for all year use in the Scottish Highlands. I also intend to do the Pyrenean Haute Route later this year for 3 weeks and am trying to get all my gear to fit in a 40 litre backpack and the 10kg carry on limit the airlines apply.
I prefer to camp high up in the hills and make dawn summits, but am often in very exposed terrain, no trees and very little natural cover. Ferocious winds, lashing rain and millions of highly aggressive midgies come with the territory, which makes cooking outside an extremely frustrating excercise, and a decent vestibule necessary. Winters here were mild for many years but the last few have been harsh, with heavy snowfalls and blizzard conditions.
I started using a Vango Tempest 200, which has an excellent ventilation system and very little condensation. At 2.7kg though it is just too heavy. I then switched to a Hilleberg Akto, which has stood up well to some horrendous conditions, but condensation is more of an issue.
The problem I have with these tents though is getting a good nights sleep. In high winds there is a lot of flapping and flattening of the tent. I have used semi-geodesic tents in the past and find that they move a lot less and I sleep better, but there is a weight penalty. I have also tried tarp type shelters but they are not for me, just not enough protection from all the stuff the Scottish climate can throw at you. Limited space for pitching and options for staking out often complicate the issue also.
I guess what I am really asking is if there is a lightwieght tent (say 1 to 1.5kg which I can rely on in these conditions and doesnt move about too much or am I being unrealistic?Jun 16, 2013 at 5:19 am #1997090
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I have an original Tarptent Moment WITH the lengthwise crossing pole moved inside, under the canopy.
This pole arrangement gives a lot of support to the canopy, reversing the normal catenary cut with no problems.
But as a single wall tent it is purely a 3 season affair – NOT for winter
I'd recommend the newer Moment DW (Double Wall). Yeah, It's like an Akto with narrower, triangular fly ends. An internal crossing pole is easier to do with the Moment DW than with mine.
**Velcro cable ties sewn inside at the factory reinforcements for the outer crossing pole attatchments helps to hold that pole in place inside.
Plus the Moment DW has two vestibules and two doors. The main vestibule is plenty large for cooking, with the high point of the tent where you need it, right by the door, so you can sit and cook.
For high wind situations I'd recommend pre-made TripTease guy lines with Line Loc tensioners and small plastic snap hooks to quickly attatch them to the mail pole tie-out points. Ask for the additional small snap hooks gratis when you order the tent.
And you can ask Henry Shires to have 4 additional hem loops sewn to the fly for use in really high winds.Jun 16, 2013 at 5:33 am #1997091
Thanks for that Eric.
I wasnt sure if the Tarptent Moment would be up to the conditions, but didnt realise that it could be braced like that and that it is now double walled. I will have a good look at this tent now.
MarcJun 16, 2013 at 5:56 am #1997095
Jennifer MitolBPL Member
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
I bought one of these for my dad and boy is it a bomber tent. With that cross pole and good guying I'm not sure what it couldn't take.Jun 16, 2013 at 6:06 am #1997096
posting on a phone as at work.
Mld Trailstars and Duominds are very popular as are tarptent Scarps and Hillie Unna/Soulos in Scotland.Jun 16, 2013 at 10:18 am #1997148
@ljamesbLocale: London UK, Greenville USA
Have you considered the nitro 200 from Vango? For your locale, who better to buy from than a Scottish company like Vango.
These are incredibly underrated tents in my opinion. Only 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) for a four season tent with all the features of a Hilleberg Nallo(5.4 pounds)? Really quite amazing in my opinion. I have slept in a friend's one of these tents before and they are just absolutely top notch both in build quality and design with very good attention to detail. We were high up on a peak in very high winds and the tent was solid as anything.
It is a tunnel tent so there will be some flapping in strong winds though so apologies for not helping with that problem.
I am not completely sure about this as I have not had a great deal setting the tent up myself, but I am 90% certain that the tent can be set up outer only, inner only, outer first or inner first – just like a hilleberg Nallo. This means you can detach the inner to create a giant sheltered space or use the inner only in very good weather. Each morning in bad weather we would unclip the inner and pack it up first, then cook, eat sort out gear etc using the large interior space provided by the outer. When we were ready we would then go outside into the pouring rain and take down the outer.
The list price is £430, but you can find them on ebay for £200 new as an auction.Jun 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm #1997190
Yes, I have had several Vangos and they have all performed far in excess of what I was expecting of them. Definately an underrated brand. I have not had experience of the Nitro, but I am thinking that it may flatten out as it is basically 2 hoops.
Having a tent where the poles cross each other seems the way to go. The Hillebergs have a great reputation, but they are heavy. I suppose they dont want to take any chances with their reputation (and justifying their high cost) by risking lighter weight designs.
I wasnt familiar with the Mountain Laurel Designs range, but that Trailstar looks like it could have been designed specifically for our wind battered islands. My problem with these type for where I go are the size of the footprint and getting enough stakes in the ground.
The Tarptent Moment is an intelligent design and will probably suit my needs for most of the year. I think it might be a bit chilly and open to spindrift in the depths of winter though. I might be best just getting another tent specifically for winter use.Jun 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm #1997193
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I forgot to mention that the Moment DW will have the option of a ripstop inner tent around July or August. Originally it only had a mesh inner tent. I'm soon selling my original Moment and getting the DW model with the ripstop inner so I can use it as a solo winter tent. I already have a modded "winterized Scarp 2. I've posted photos of
those mods on BPL as well.
If you use "search" here on BPL for my Moment mods you can see how I ran the crossing pole inside the tent, With the DW model it is much easier to do inside the separate fly. It may require only a bit of pole shortening, which is very easy to do with a small pipe cutter and some pliers.Jun 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm #1997199
I do like the like the look of Moment Dw Eric, but have an ss1 already (with both inners)Jun 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm #1997206
Thanks for that Eric, the mods and the fabric inner would certainly make it more viable.
It looks like the the Moment would be fairly simple to set up and take down in high winds? This is usually when I have the poles split (4 this winter), all when taking down the tent (but maybe this is because they have been weakened overnight).Jun 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm #1997209
What wind speeds where you out in when you got split poles?Jun 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm #1997213
I dont the exact wind speeds, but these were conditions where it was hard to stand upright and walk forward into the wind.
I avoid exposed areas if these conditions are forecast, the problem is that the weather changes so rapidly here, and there are huge local variations, it's a bit of a lottery at the best of times. A forecast for light rain showers can easily turn into blizzards, 100 mph gusts and visibility of a few feet, all in just a few minutes.
Shredded tents and couples sitting completely naked in their cars with the heating on trying to dry themselves and their stuff out is not an uncommon sight.Jun 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm #1997215
That sounds rough as f**k, the worst I have ever encountered back home in Ireland was 75mph or so (measured with an anemometer)
and that pulverised my buddies tent and we ended up sleeping under the flysheet of mine.Jun 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm #1997224
75 mph in a tent sounds scary. I have never been to Ireland but I would imagine it gets the same storms we get rolling in from the Atlantic, especially on the west coast.
I65 mph was recorded at the weather station in the Cairngorms winter 2011, and 100mph is frequently recorded on the west coast and on the peaks. I think I will invest in an anemometer to get a better idea of what the tent is being subjected to. I am thinking that a summit assault type tent may also be a worthwhile investment, especially as the weather patterns seem to be varying more violently these days.Jun 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm #1997228
Yep, the weather in Ireland is fairly brutal but Scotland is further north and the mountains are 1000 feet higher,, so can even be more extreme.
I really liked my Hilleberg Soulo but the lack of length p****d me off so so changed it for an Unna, its not as stong but still a bunker.
My current line up (for use in US and back home) are the below, I am hoping they would cover me for most eventualities,.
I have had a Crux X2 storm in the past and loved it immensely but it was too heavy for solo use and too small for 2.
Hilleberg Kaitum 3
Tarp Tent Stratopshire 1,Jun 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm #1997230
Oh. Might be worth checking out ukclimbing or outdoorsmagic if your not already a member.Jun 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm #1997233
Thanks Stephen, I am not a member of those sites but I will check them out.
I have been tempted by the Unna, but this would mean losing weight from the pack elsewhere (which means getting a lighter backpack, sleeping system, stove …. you know how these things go!)Jun 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm #1997238
I hear you mate.
During winter back home I don't get too bothered about the weight of my shelter and getting a good night sleep and not having to bail out is worth the extra kilo.Jun 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm #1997324
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
The review of the Vango tunnel tent looks good; however, Vango's rep was not helped by a review of its Helium 200 here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/vango_helium_superlite200_review
Early degradation of the inner fabric, severe sagging and other issues. The severe sagging suggests to me that the outer fabric was not a high quality high HH fabric.
With the new Moment, please note the 19 square foot floor area. Many looking for less than a 2 person tent still want more than that + more headroom.
If you're looking for a tent with crossing poles, I don't think there is much out there in the range between one and two person tents, ultralight and secure in high winds unless you're willing to do some serious modifications. A number of posters here gravitated toward one of the UL Big Agnes tents until something better comes along.
This winter I bought a One Planet Goondie solo and plan to replace the heavy floor with a larger area one in 30 den high HH silnylon + lighter poles; but it is too early to say how it will turn out. Expensive too, especially with the exchange rate currently favoring AU over the US. But you might enjoy reading the thorough review at: http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8031Jun 17, 2013 at 1:27 am #1997345
Stuart RBPL Member
I am looking for advice for a lightweight tent for all year use in the Scottish Highlands
Simply does not exist. No lightweight tent is going to withstand winter gales, IMHO.
So, if you want a lightweight (sub 1kg) tent for the summer, you are going to need a more robust (heavier) tent for the winter. Crux make bomb-proof tents, also consider Lightwave, for example. On the other hand, there are loads of lightweight tents to choose from, some better than others. There are plenty of reviews on this site. A lightweight tent (or even a tarp) will be perfectly adequate for the Pyrenean Haute Route.Jun 17, 2013 at 4:20 am #1997351
Thanks to everyone for the advice.
I think I will try the Tarptent Moment, with the modifications Eric suggested, that should be ok for most situations.
I might also try modifying one of the tents I already have. I started using hiking poles recently and am thinking there might be some way to use them for beefing up/bracing a tent, either internally or externally. Not quite sure how to do it yet, but it may be worth some experimentation.Jun 17, 2013 at 8:53 am #1997393
Ross LBPL Member
@rossLocale: Beautiful BC
Another option for a solo lightweight tent is the 2 3/4 lb (ncluding stakes) Stephensons Warmlite 2C. Roomy for one and bomber in the wind. Only a couple of concerns really in that you have to exercise caution when assembling the pole set and some people complain about getting snow or rain in the vestibule when the door is left open. (doesn't bother me though). Check out the video in the attached review for an idea of real world wind performance.Jun 17, 2013 at 10:33 am #1997430
Thanks, those Stephenson's are weird looking, very different, but seem to be effective. There was very little movement of the fabric between the 2 poles in the strong winds. Impressive.Jun 17, 2013 at 10:53 am #1997438
The rogue, and BPL member, "Diplomatic Mike" (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/profile.html?u=MikefaeDundee) was selling a Stephenson's Warmlite a bit ago for a great price, don't know if he sold it or not. If you're interested you might want to send him a PM. And he's over your way.Jun 17, 2013 at 10:59 am #1997441
Ross LBPL Member
@rossLocale: Beautiful BC
The key to proper set up of a Warmlite is to use strong holding stakes like MSR Groundhogs and applying lots of fabric tension between the front and rear of the tent. (and of course topping off the stakes with good sized boulders for insurance). This tent is not for everyone, but it does work and probably has forty years of proven history. I use my 2C predominately above treeline in exposed terrain.
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