Help with choosing tent

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by mass-klr, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    REI used to rent tents but don't know if they still do that. I bought my first one -- an older model REI Half Dome -- on eBay from a guy that was upgrading to a newer model of the same tent. Price was right, tent was well cared for & perfect, so I figured if I didn't like moto-camping I could still sell the tent for what I paid. I used that tent for years. In fact, I only bought another one to get more headroom. The older REI Half Dome is still a hard tent to beat. Several other mfrs make a similar model.

    Who knows--you may find you like camping enough to do it more. Especially if your equipment holds up & you have a good experience.
    #21
  2. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I usually get out once a year for a week long trip and have found a Coleman Hooligan 2 more than adequate for my needs. It's got space for your gear inside, a vestibule and a rainfly that extends to the ground. It's not the smallest tent around but if you have the space it will serve the occasional 3 season camper well for <$60. If you don't believe me read the reviews on amazon.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. jharrod79

    jharrod79 n00b

    Joined:
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    I did a lot of research before I bought my tent a couple of months ago. Cost and size were the deciding factors for me. I bought the REI Quarter Dome T2. It was about 250 dollars at the local REI store during a sale. When it's in the bag, it fits in the factory BMW GSA panniers with less than a inch to spare. It has two doors, so you don't have to climb over your companion when exiting or entering. It has two vestibules for storing wet gear outside, though they are pretty small. The sides of the tent are almost vertical which makes it feel very large. The only downside that I've found after about twenty nights of camping is the pole set up can be a little tricky since it's one unit.

    If money wasn't a concern, the Big Anges two person tent would have been my first choice.
    #23
  4. mudpi

    mudpi Adventurer

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    I have been told that REI are tree huggers that are making laws to keep adv riding to the roads and out of the woods so I will not support them Campmor is a good place to buy a tent. I have used a Timberline for several years like the idea that you do not need to thread poles. sets up as an a-frame
    #24
  5. VStromTom

    VStromTom Long timer

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    Buy what you want and buy from the place you feel comfortable, but DO NOT ignore the less expensive tents you can find at WalMart and other like outlets. The people who say inexpensive won't work don't know of what they speak. Based on my experience, and many others! Waiting to be pounced upon, I remain a loyal ADV'r!
    #25
  6. Cogswell

    Cogswell Spudly Adventurer

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    Buy decent quality first, get something with a little more room than you think you'll need. If you are stuck in it while raining for a day or two you will be thankful to have enough room for your gear and to move around a little bit too. Last, the fewer number of poles the easier it will be to set up.

    Camping is fun and relaxing if you have the right gear !

    :freaky

    Mike
    #26
  7. duck

    duck Banned

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    I've heard that they don't take kindly to them at national/state parks and such because the tree feels pain when you tie a rope around it or some such eco-nonsense.:evil
    #27
  8. GearHd6

    GearHd6 Been here awhile

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    I have an REI Passage 2 (about $160) that has performed very well for me. It's roomy for just one person but I wouldn't want to have 2 people in it. I have been in some heavy rain with and have had no leaks. Make sure you get the matching ground cloth.
    #28
  9. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    No, buy CHEAP first. Find what you like and don't like about the cheap tent, throw it away then buy the expensive tent that has the features you want.

    Buy the expensive tent first and it doesn't work and you are stuck with your mistake for a long time.

    And do a couple of overnighters first - any new tent and a two week camping holiday is asking for grief.

    Pete
    #29
  10. Got2Moto

    Got2Moto Got2MotoGraphics

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    +1 for Campmor. I have had lots of good dealings with them.

    I purchased this Kelty 2.1 for solo camping about 6 years ago
    using it a few weeks a year in both dry/hot and stormy weather.

    Lots of mesh and a great rain fly with plenty of room for my gear
    including an extra long big Agnes bag.
    And I really like having the two doors.

    Real fast up and down with alum poles and packs away great on
    my 650. (About a 22" long loaf of bread.)

    Plus if I ever will sell it, It wouldn't last much more than a day
    on the ADV flea market re-cooping about 1/2 my investment.

    Now, Pads on the other hand, I've gone through many looking
    for the right one for my older bones. I hate not sleeping soundly.

    Have fun out there! Noth'n like bike camping!


    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. 568V8

    568V8 Ontario Vstrommer

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    I'm a firm believer in buying quality. My Big Agnes 2 man tent is great. But if you're only camping once or twice a year it's better to spend your money on a motel or B&B and save hauling the extra weight of camping gear.
    If the weather forecast guaranteed to be perfect then I suppose just a simple tarp and sleeping bag would make sense.
    #31
  12. Neonguy95

    Neonguy95 Self Sponsored Rider

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    Just went through this while gathering gear for Prudhoe Bay this summer.

    Found 4-5 tents that peaked my interest looked at those I could in town and then started watching reviews on YouTube. People setting them up, talking about them and made my choice from there.

    Ended up with a Rei half dome 2 plus. 160 with free shipping. Packs up small. 22 inches about the size of a loaf of bread. Got the foot as well. One pole setup. Nice and light. About the same as the hubba hubba for 1/2 the price. Lots of good reviews. Setup in less than 5 minutes fits two adults and gear, my wife is super woman but no super model.

    My two cents anyway.

    Sent from Galaxy Note 2
    #32
  13. cchoc

    cchoc Outdoor Photographer

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    I got a Marmot Astral 2P on sale at REI. Fairly roomy and packs down to a reasonable size.
    #33
  14. Smithee

    Smithee F650 Beemerider

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    Bad karma on that. Come back and bite you when you least expect it.

    +1 on Eureka and Kelty tents. I second the advice to get a full fly for rain protection. Tents that attach to the poles with clips instead of pole sleeves are easier to set up and take down.

    Overstock.com has a lot of tents at decent prices. Campmor is another good place to shop.
    #34
  15. cchoc

    cchoc Outdoor Photographer

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    Unethical at best. :nono

    REI does have a great exchange policy, though, and if you have a local store keep your eyes open for a 'scratch and dent' sale where they sell the items that have been returned. You can get some great deals on barely used gear there. They list the reason for return on the price tag, and some of the reasons make you certain some people are shameless - I have seen more than one pair of boots, for example, with almost worn out soles returned as "did not fit".
    #35
  16. GearHd6

    GearHd6 Been here awhile

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    Overstock is also a good choice. I looked there quite a bit but REI's return policy is tough to beat. If you buy it and just don't like the layout or anything about it you can return/exchange it with no problems. I was unsure on what I was going to like so that exchange policy was inviting to me. My Passage 2 worked out good though. I did exchange a few accessories I bought from REI though with no problems.
    #36
  17. Jrjoyce2007

    Jrjoyce2007 ADVenture Addict

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    :deal:deal:deal:deal:deal


    Kelty Gunnison series from REI. just bought my one man on close out for $90. this is a STEAL for a Kelty. Top notch quality. The next tier of tents up is MSR and you find those on Everest and super extremes.


    :deal:deal:deal:deal:deal
    #37
  18. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    Do all these tents have stakes that go into the ground? Or are some of them "free standing" for lack of a better term?
    #38
  19. joeoldbmwrider

    joeoldbmwrider oldjoe

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    #39
  20. Patch

    Patch Been here awhile

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    *almost* all tents come with stakes... usually cheaper tents come with thin crappy pegs that bend into almost unusable shapes the 1st time you use 'em while more expensive tents usually come with stronger (possibly lighter) stakes. Always be sure that you have enough stakes for the tent 'corners' as well as the fly tie-down points and possibly a few extras for pole repair or emergency campfire utensils :D.

    Free-standing tents mean the tent body is supported by a frame/pole structure without any stakes or guy-lines. Great for lifting up and shaking dirt/debris out before packing away and usually what you'll find in a "dome-type" tent. Non-Freestanding means that the tent is supported by tension between the poles, stakes and/or guylines. Either way - you still need stakes for the tent proper and then for the fly (but many use the same stake-point, like the 4-corners of the tent for example will each use the same stake).
    #40