Although I am new to adventure riding and even riding in general, a tent is like you castle and comfort is usually paramount if you will be spending any significant time inside. I have been doing outdoor activities requiring me to bring my own shelter since I was about 10 or 11. In the Marines I realized I could survive anywhere without comfortable shelter. After I got out I used a bivy for many years. Even in the snow in high alpine areas down to - degree F. But I was just surviving. There was no comfort other than being warm and dry. I switched from that mindset some years latter when my girlfriend wanted to get an actual tent. Once I got used to the comfort and function of the tent I would certainly never go back.
All that said, I've used cheap, expensive, small, large and any other type of tent in just about every condition. My conclusions are as follows:
- Cheap tents work but not as good as quality tents and there are no quality cheap tents, period.
- Get a tent large enough to keep you, the people you will have in the tent, and all the gear you need to keep dry or safe.
- You will always appreciate extra room, realistically, and you will never appreciate less room while in the tent.
- If you will spend any amount of time in anything wet, and you likely will, get the best waterproof tent you can.
- Get a tent that can be set up while in a storm and will remain dry.
- Get a proven tent design that isn't to complicated to setup when you're tired, sick, frustrated, etc...
- You will likely need more than one tent if you have more than one type of main activity you want to use it for.
There are any number of tent makers that make a quality tent for all types of different environments and uses. The tent maker I prefer for everything I have come across is Hilleberg. They cost, but it is a lifetime tent you can pass if you desire and it just simply won't let you down.