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Comfortable tents


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 37 total)
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  • #3749091
    David N
    BPL Member

    @deejayen

    I just wondered what would be an example of a ‘comfortable’ tent for one person.  I recently read something which described a comfortable tent as being one in which you can change out of wet gear in the vestibule, and carry out tasks such as inflating a mattress without having to have your legs sticking out the tent door.

     

    I know it’s common to use a 2-person tent for solo camping, but even some 2-person tents are a bit cramped for changing and working in.

     

    I suppose there are tents like the Hilleberg ‘GT’ options with an extended porch, but are there any other tents which work well?

     

    I’d be using it when cycle camping, and as I’m in Scotland it’s not uncommon to turn up at camp soaking wet (through rain and sweat).

    I’ve got a few tents including a (now retired) Ultimate Phazor Dome, Macpac Minaret (now mainly used when car camping), a very light Terra Nova (Solar Elite?) and a Macpac Microlight clone.  I’ve been eyeing-up some ultralightweight tents to reduce weight and pack size, but I’m interested in having a little bit more room and comfort – and maybe have the ability to keep my smallish bike (with 20″ wheels) in the tent.

    #3749096
    Chris R
    BPL Member

    @bothwell-voyageur

    Bigger mid with a 1p inner would be my suggestion. Plenty of space to store gear outside the sleeping area and cook out of the rain. Something like a Duomid XL with a solomid XL inner.

    #3749105
    David N
    BPL Member

    @deejayen

    Thanks very much for the suggestion.  I’ve not seen that sort of tent in the flesh.  I’ll look them up!

     

    Do they tend to be somewhat draughty?

    #3749108
    Daryl and Daryl
    BPL Member

    @lyrad1

    Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth

    I can’t lead you to a specific tent but I can describe the features that made it so when I had one many years ago.

    5 feet tall with solid fabric over the mosquito netting

    Height allowed me to stand up in a a crouch while changing out of wet clothes.

    Covering mosquito netting prevented cooling breezes from reaching me.

     

     

    #3749109
    David N
    BPL Member

    @deejayen

    Yes, I think a decent height would make a lot of difference.  Even some of the larger ‘cycle touring’ tents (such as the Hillebergs) have limited headroom.

    #3749112
    Chris R
    BPL Member

    @bothwell-voyageur

    “Do they tend to be somewhat draughty?”

    Potentially but you can pitch them close to the ground to block drafts. I’m probably biased as I’ve spent a fair amount of time tarp camping in Scotland, keeping out of the rain and have a large living space have always been my highest priorities

    #3749330
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    For more info, look at:  https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/what-is-your-go-to-1p-shelter/page/2/

    My two cents were posts of May 11 and 12, on page 2.  Comfort can be pretty subjective, so that thread and many others like it may help with dialing in your own preferences.  But there are a lot of trade-offs to be made, so it can take a while to avoid buying a tent and later wishing you hadn’t.  Good hunting.

     

     

    #3749338
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    The new MSR Freelite comes to mind, but very hard to find. I follow a few Highlanders on YT. Any double wall w outer first set would be criteria for me. A Durston would be great if you can get the bigger interior of the new one. Ray the Scot has used a TT Notch in summer. I would think wind pro would be primary, midges second. Most quality tents handle rain well.

    #3749748
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    “Any double wall w outer first set would be criteria for me.”

    There is another possibility:  Making the vestibules part of the inner tent, and adding a fly over the ceiling of the inner.  A good quality DWR inner ceiling will breathe well, and shed water for the amount of time it takes to pitch the tent and get the fly installed.

    Unless you need hours to pitch due to moving around rocks to hold up a pole supported tent, which can also eventually damage your back.

    #3749757
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    And two years later when the DWR has substantially worn off – then what?

    Cheers

    #3749805
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    I don’t mind sleeping in bivys that my friends call a coffin. I don’t get claustrophobic. What makes a comfortable tent though is ease of getting in and out. I don’t like having to bend down and crawl under the opening, especially in the morning when my back is stiff. My Zpacks Pocket tarp has a low entry and it’s very annoying to me.  If I can enter/exit easily without contorting, I am happy.

    #3749826
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    For us it is a bit different. There are two of us. My wife expects to be able to sit up, with quilt and puffy, and be served a warm dinner (or breakfast). Weather notwithstanding. That requires not only a 2-man tent, but also a vestibule for cooking.
    Which is all much more couth and comfortable.

    Cheers

    #3749855
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    A comfortable tent is one that’s  storm worthy and doesn’t weigh much, so is easy to carry. It’s comfortable on your back.

    I suppose this question would be answered differently if one were hiking on the Olympic peninsula, as opposed to the Sierra. If you’re going to be spending extended hours in your tent, due to poor weather, you’d want more living space. If not, light weight is more important.

    I pretty much used to just sleep in my tent. I didn’t need much space for that.

    #3749857
    bradmacmt
    BPL Member

    @bradmacmt

    Locale: montana

    The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1 is a seriously comfortable 1P…

    #3749890
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    “And two years later when the DWR has substantially worn off – then what?”

    Since the solid ceiling is protected by the WP fly, and the DWR is best quality inner from Extrem Textil, it is not comparable with DWR on, say, a rain jacket.  So it should last much longer.  And there are some excellent DWR sprays from 3M and the Brits.  After that it could be easily replaced; but don’t think it would come to that.

    #3749891
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    “If you’re going to be spending extended hours in your tent, due to poor weather, you’d want more living space.”

    Not a problem.  Get up in the AM, suit up and go no matter the weather.  But for dinner at the end of the day in a dry place, that may have to be in the tent for storms that last from dinner time and go most or all of the night.  So the tent must be equipped for that. And the added space does mean added weight.  For a solo tent, that means for me less than 8 oz, and that is OK.

    Really nasty storms are not a regular occurrence, so some may find it a PITA to carry the added weight for something that may not even happen at all on a shorter trek, or even a longer one if luck and the weather hold.  The answer to that is ‘be prepared.’  If trusting to luck, and don’t carry the added weight, that is a personal choice.  But I’d rather be comfortable, not to mention safe, during a  long storm, and have found there are other ways to cut weight.  The SAR folks have better things to do than lug out folks who make poor choices and are not prepared.  And we have better things to do than risk life or limb due to shelter failure.

    #3749893
    Kevin M
    BPL Member

    @scottish_kev

    As well as space, comfort very much depends on where you live and what the weather is like.

    In a very warm, low humidity place a simple tarp strung up might be very comfortable, or some of the extra ultralight shelters from Big Agnes etc.

    Here in Scotland the weather can be very unpredictable, and it can get very windy and wet without much of any notice, so I tent to go with something that it lightweight, but that can hold up in a decent amount of wind and rain.  For me, while I’ve used true 1p tents plenty of times, these days I’m much happier to go with a compact 2p tent, around the 2-3 pound mark. Something that will hold up in a storm, that will give me room to get my bag and gear in the actual tent body with me, rather than potentially sitting on wet, muddy grass in the vestibule, and where I can comfortably cook in the vestibule and spend a whole night comfortably out of the weather if needed.

    It’s not as compact or lightweight as some tents that are discussed on here, but for practicality and safety in my area I wouldn’t be comfortable going much lighter. I can save weight in other ways, and am happy to take a small weight penalty to know that whatever weather is thrown at me I can always get in out of it and be safe until it passes.

    For me I’ve settled on a Slingfin Portal for my 3 season camping (and their sturdier Crossbow for the snow/winter), but there are quite a few tents that fit the same kind of criteria.

    k

    #3749895
    bradmacmt
    BPL Member

    @bradmacmt

    Locale: montana

    Echoing Kevin M’s comments above, another nicely storm worthy 1P tent is the newest iteration of the MSR Hubba Hubba 1P… it’s got a nice amount of solid interior fabric rather than mesh. It’s been re-worked this year and lightened. To me, it’s got gob’s of room as a 1P:

    https://www.msrgear.com/tents/backpacking-tents/hubba-hubba-1-person-backpacking-tent/11505.html

     

     

    #3749897
    Jeff McWilliams
    BPL Member

    @jjmcwill

    Locale: Midwest

    Brad W – I have a ZPacks Hexamid Twin from around 2012.  It sits in a closet because of how annoyingly low the entry is, and how difficult it is to reach waaaay out from the door to secure or free the extended beak from inside the tent.

    I should probably just let it go on one of the gear forums and be rid of it for good.

    #3749899
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @Jeff McWilliams I feel you. I would for sure put it on gear trade-I am sure it will sell. Doing a reverse limbo each time you want to exit is just plain miserable.

    I don’t know what angle or lens they used or if the pole height is set to 150cm, but this makes it look like a huge door opening. Not that case. 

     

     

    #3749904
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    To be clear, I wasn’t advocating that people carry a cheap bit of crap for a tent. allow me to quote myself:

    “A comfortable tent is one that’s  storm worthy and doesn’t weigh much, so is easy to carry.”

     

     

    #3749919
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Brad W – try the Altaplex tarp. Just 1.5 oz’s more than pocket tarp. Much more headroom.

    #3749920
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @Murali C I saw that. I will probably deal with my pocket tarp for now. Tarp, ground sheet are 9.3oz, 12.3oz with S2S Nano net. Just use it on down and dirty hikes. I just purchased a Notch Li and already enjoy the exit/entry ease.

    #3749935
    W I S N E R !
    BPL Member

    @xnomanx

    For pure comfort/livability and reasonable weight, I don’t think you can beat a large (2 person or more), floorless mid combined with a one person inner.

    I have yet to find a combo that works as well in actual weather. Throw down your pack, set up the mid on top of it, climb in…enough height to change out of wet clothes and muddy boots comfortably and without messing your sleeping area, ample space to cook…and a clean, dry, bug-free inner sanctuary to sleep in.

    #3749980
    Rick Reno
    BPL Member

    @scubahhh

    Locale: White Mountains, mostly.

    TT Notch ticks all the boxes for me.

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