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Old 02-24-2014, 01:52 PM   #16
Road Hound
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I use a Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 degree semi rectangular bag, with an Exped downmat 7. It's by far the best sleeping I've ever had. The mat has a built in pump and the down provides great insulation. I'm a big fan of REI tents, been using the half dome 2 for several years and it's been a wonderful tent. Good Luck with your choice and have a great trip, the west is amazing.
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #17
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I have a 2 man Kelty, bought off the ADV flea market. Does a great job, I have a Big Agnes air pad and 25 year old North Face Blue Kazoo down bag.

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Old 02-25-2014, 04:51 PM   #18
Dark Helmet
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+1 on the REI Halfdome. I use a Big Agnes air pad that works great and packs small and a Mountain Hardware 35 degree bag. This will be my kit for the TAT this year.

I can fit the tent, sleeping bag, pad, water bag, cooking kit and Kermit chair plus some odds and ends in a large Ortlieb bag on the top rack. Kermit won't go on the TAT though. Have a three legged stool that packs much smaller for that.

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Old 02-25-2014, 05:18 PM   #19
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Location: Prescott, Arkansas, USA
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Not a camper ! Yet.

Preparing for a trip this summer. I bought the Marmot Limelight 3 person tent on sale for 200 bucks from REI. From the time it was delivered by UPS I had it set up in our den in 5 minutes. EASY. Still researching bags, but I'm leaning heavily toward the Big Agnes Whisky Park, which is big enough that I can move around in, coupled with Big Agnes Q Core pad. On the tents and bags YouTube is a pretty good place to review your selections.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:19 PM   #20
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I've got a 2 man Kelty just like AteamNM a few posts up. Plenty of room for gear on the inside, plus with the rainfly up there is a covered area outside the tent for muddy boots, etc. Look for backpacking tents as they'll take up the least amount of room in your gear and are relatively lightweight.

Get something rated for at at least 10 degrees colder than the coldest night you'd expect. You can always open up the bag or tent if you get too hot. I've had a Kelty 3 season mummy rated for 25 degrees for about 8 years now, and it's been great for anything above freezing.

I've always used Thermarest self-inflating pads. They can be a little pricey (~$100), but they pack up extremely small and do a pretty good job of cushioning uneven ground. There are cheaper alternatives but they are going to take up a lot more space.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:55 AM   #21
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+1K on the good advice already given:
1) Yer gonna want a 2-man tent, lotsa good options here
2) The self-inflating air mattresses are worth their weight in gold if you want a good night's sleep (I love my Thermarest)
3) Make sure yer bag is rated well below the coldest temps you'll be camping in

I started my motorcycle camping adventures only knowing about #3. I woulda had more fun and slept a lot better if I had known about the first and learn, I suppose.

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Old 02-27-2014, 09:20 AM   #22
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Another Big Agnes faithful here! I love their stuff, and their customer service is second to none, ask me how I know! I have an Elk Park -20*/Dual Core BA pad, and a Walrus 2 person tent. If I wanted to get even smaller, I have a single pole bivy that packs very small, but it's small, and I only use it for back packing.

Great advice on the bag temp rating. What people tend to think is the rating is comfort at that's not! It means you will survive, but you wont be sleeping! You will be a cold SOB at the temp rating of your bag! I plan on a 15* Big Agnes bag in the near future, as the -20* rarely even gets zipped! LOL!!
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:07 AM   #23
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Thanks for the replies, looks like a consensus on the Big Agnes products. A two man tent so you can store your gear next to you is what I will be looking for.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:26 AM   #24
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I had a Eureka Timberline for over 20 years. Alaska to Guatemala and moto camping. It sucked and leaked, there were holes in the floor, holes in the net; it was old.

Just a few thoughts on tents. Do you want to be able to sit up inside and even nearly stand up? I have a $8 dollar 3-legged stool that I can sit on inside my tent. Do you need a free standing tent versus one that requires stakes. Star gazing? Are the tent poles too long to fit in a bag or a pannier? Does the tent have a vestibule which is good to store muddy boots and wet crap. Is weight a real consideration? A four pound tent is not as roomy/comfortable as a bigger and maybe more accommodating/versatile, yet heavier. If you back pack and camp then a smaller and more lighter tent maybe a better fit. What bike will you be using? On my KLR I carry whatever I want within reason (beer). My DRZ requires smaller and less crap.

North Face, Marmot, Kelty, Big Agnes, Eureka and a host of others will serve you well. IMHO Big Agnes is excellent customer service, innovative and very techy. But also pretty high end $$$.

Lastly, there is a mentality to buy up. Get a tent and then realize you want something different. Then you buy again and again. I love these folks as I buy at a major discount -used- from those guys. Then there is the mentality that this is the tent forever, spend the money up front and buy a tent that will exceed your expectations. Or is this a tent one you will use a few times per year? And of course the most important consideration besides price is how does it look? If the color/design does not appeal to you, then you will never 'love' it. Cruise eBay and Amazon as well as this flea market for great deals. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:29 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by AteamNM View Post
I have a 2 man Kelty, bought off the ADV flea market. Does a great job, I have a Big Agnes air pad and 25 year old North Face Blue Kazoo down bag.

Does the dog mind the compression bag? LOL!!
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:08 PM   #26
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I use the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-man tent because it's light. I STRONGLY recommend the LuxuryLite cot personally instead of a pad as in my situation, the pad was too big. The cot works better. The pic below includes the pad which took up way too much space. The cot rolls up to about the size of a thermos. Don't forget your JetBoil if your a coffee addict.

Weight & bulk are definitely NOT your friend.

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Old 02-28-2014, 06:01 AM   #27
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: London
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I have two tents I use a north ridge semi geodistic tent which I use whilst biking as can be pitched on hard ground.
The other is a Vango Banshee 200 which is tiny and used as a very compact alternative but the North ridge sphinx is big enough as well.

I use a small sleeping bag, it is non branded but if it is in the summer months I just use a sleeping bag liner.

Sleeping matt I use a self inflating 3/4 matt saves room and keeps you warm/comfy enough as the main part of your body is on the soft part.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:23 PM   #28
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Whatever tent you buy. BEFORE your trip, hose it down with water to test its water resistance. My friend bought a brand new Big Agnes, and it leaked bad. He exchanged that tent for the same model, and it didn't leak.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:43 PM   #29
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I don't like cots, 'cause I get cold from the cool air underneath. Even with a sleeping pad, I still notice a difference. I have an Exped Downmat 9, which was the best $189 I ever spent on camping gear. I'm a side sleeper, and I feel just as warm and comfortable on it as I do at home. And they fit in a Big Agnes bag, too.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:27 PM   #30
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Decision time for me too. I used a Eureka tent on the last trip to AK, worked great, but THINK I need a freestanding tent. Looking at the Kelty Trail Ridge 2, the Eureka Apex 2XT and the Eureka Inntorest 2. Price on the Apex is good, but the tent is heavy. The Inntorest is lighter, but only 40 inches in height inside, but green for stealthiness. Then the Kelty is priced between the two, has a 45 inch height, etc. Just need to see one before I pull the trigger.

Switched to a Thermarest pad this year. Looking at a new bag, actually had the thought of getting a down comforter to use a bag / cover. But those are about as many $$ as a cheap down bag, if not more

Anyone have experience with the Kelty tents and down bags?
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