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Author Topic: Tent Reviews  (Read 51863 times)

RedLeader

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2009 »

went to argos last night and got one of those pro-action jobs for when my hammock isnt suitable(dunno when that`ll be though)

under 20 quid was a reasonable price. i almost bought the last two since they were so cheap but it remains to be seen just how good they are,from a subjective point of view that is.

They're awesome. You wont be sorry!
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suspectmonkey

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2010 »

Hope it's okay to add a few questions to this thread rather than start another tent thread? :)

I'm am currently tentless, and would like to get a new one fairly soon.  Budget is around £100 so that rules out the Hillebergs etc.  Hoping to do the West Highland Way in the spring time so fairly lightweight, quick to put up/take down and enough space for two adults and their rucksacks to stay in without murdering each other!  I suppose 2-3kg is the target weight as it can be split between two people, although I wouldn't rule out using it on solo trips in the future.  I'd also prefer to stick with a fully enclosed tent rather than a bivi or tent.

I was looking at the Vango tents which seem fairly good on paper.  The two in particular that stood out were the Spectre 200 and the Tempest 200.  I see b0ogaloo did a good write up of the Tempest 200 earlier in this thread which was useful. 

Do you think for two adults these tents would be okay for spending a week in, or would it be better going for the 3 person version to give a bit of extra space for kit etc?  Also, the Tempest looks like you could cook in the porch on a stove okay, but not so sure about the Spectre?

I understand all this is fairly subjective so I know I won't get a definitive answer, but any opinions would be very welcome.  It would be better if I could find a shop that has the tents on display to see inside them rather than going by spec sheets on the internet, but that doesnt seem to be an option locally.  If I get something sorted I might end up giving it a test drive on the Lecale Way trip if I can make it :)

Oh, whilst on the subject... what is the Pro Action you all speak of?  Is it still available through Argos?  Ta!
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Nightjar

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2010 »

How about getting a large lightweight tarp say 2m x 3m  some paracord and a few tent pegs, much more room than a tent and lighter as well
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RedLeader

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2010 »

The Vango Banshee is a great tent but has no head room. I'd say the Spectre and Tempest would also be fine. If you're going to be in it for a while then some sort of porch for cooking / wet gear would probably be essential.
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ulsterwalker

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2010 »

If you have bivy bags and don't mind being a bit open to the elements then tarping isn't too bad an idea, however tarping isn't the sort of thing I'd personally do unless the weather is pretty reasonable. It might still be alright in spring but I also wouldn't want to leave myself open to Scottish midges, they are horrible critters.
*just saw you don't wanna tarp, oops

If I were you I'd have a look at the pro action 1 man tent from argos thats still at 15 quid or so, and have a tent each, If you really wanted to you could both squeeze into it, but if not there would be plenty of room in one for yourself and your kit, and you can even cook in the porch if you needed. For the money they are superb, just don't be expecting hilleberg construction! Obviously between the two of you'll be carrying 4kilos of tent which is clearly not the lightest option, but then you will have your own personal space.
After moving to a 1 man tent I don't know if I would go back to sharing, its very nice to have your own space and look after it or not as much as you want, others may disagree though.

As for the 2man I cant really help you, I picked up a lightwave t1 trek at proper bargain price from their clearance section so won't be buying one anytime soon.
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suspectmonkey

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2010 »

I like the idea of a tarp, but I don't think I'm brave enough to face the Scottish midges under one having met them for the first time during the summer.  I know the midges there have a fierce reputation, but it would seem my skin is particularly attractive to them :D

Will keep an eye on the Argos website for the Pro Actions coming back in to stock, at that price I would definately buy one to try it.  If I go the two man route instead though the Tempest 200 seems to be a fairly decent choice.  Seems like a reasonable enough porch so at least if its raining I can still cook okay, and the pack size/weight is also pretty reasonable given you can buy the tent for around £90.
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RedLeader

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2010 »

I tarped a couple of times in Autumn and it was a good experience (made lots of noob mistakes but you live and learn!). We had a night in Donard where the midges were wild - insect repellant definitely lessened the onslaught but if I was bivvying I'd get a mozzie net. You can get one that hangs over your sleeping bag for about £20. I'll be investing in one before the summer comes around!
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ulsterwalker

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2010 »

I can't remember where I read it, I think maybe on OutdoorsMagic, but I'm nearly certain someone said they are all getting sold off dirt cheap before the next version arrives so if you want it you might be best ordering it online, as they may not reappear in the store  :-\ At under 38 pounds delivered its still pretty hard to beat (and no I don't have shares in the Pro Action brand  ;) )

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kendogbaggio

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2010 »

Suspect, check this out, its 30 notes over your budget but it has £50 knocked off the rrp. Looks a cracking wee tent and only weighing in at 2.37kg. I prob should of linked this site to you all earlier but only found it last night, they have a good sale on. I bought http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN34690 for £55, such a bargain and the weight isnt too bad for a 3 season. Heres the tent mate... http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN57280

Regards,

Dave
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There is pleasure in the pathless woods, There is rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea and the music in its roar; I love not man the less, but Nature more

MG1

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2010 »

666 pack has a tadpole they are cracker tent, you could quiz him bout it.It s def well worth the money.
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suspectmonkey

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2010 »

Tried to order the Pro Action but when I put in my postcode for home delivery it comes up as being out of stock.  I've signed up my e-mail address to be notified if they come back in to stock, but if they are selling them off maybe thats the last of them gone?

Thanks for the link Dave, another one to consider!  Seems like a good deal, I don't mind paying a bit over budget if it means I get better value for money.

Another tent I came across that looks fairly similar in design to the Vango Tempest is the Robens Voyager 2.  Its on the website of a local camping shop in Bangor, so hoping they might have it in stock so I can go check it out.  It has a slightly smaller porch, but more head room and a bit of extra length in the inner.  Weight is similar, pack size is slightly bigger but the hydrostatic head is listed as 5000mm compared to 3000mm on the Vango.  Anyone have experience of Robens tents?

I'm probably at risk of what they refer to as paralysis by analysis here ;D
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ulsterwalker

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2010 »

I wouldn't bother anylising hydrostatic heads too much, however this stolen blurb will explain things better than I can

Quote
Going back to basics, hydrostatic head is measured by seeing whether a fabric will withstand a column of water in the lab. A tent rated with a hydrostatic head of 1000mm will withstand a column of water 1000mm high, while one rated to 3000mm will withstand three times that amount, so no surprises there.

Obviously it's pretty unlikely that your tent will ever find itself under a static column of water, but it's not a bad start. You're right to be concerned about fabrics with a static head of 1000mm since this is the minimum value which British Standards classes as waterproof.

One estimate is that a hydrostatic head of 1000mm is equivalent to rain driven by a 35mph wind. The other issue which you've identified is that hydrostatic head will degenerate with use, so the higher the value to begin with, the longer you can expect it to remain effectively waterproof. It's hard to put a time span on that deterioration, as it depends on how often it's used, the conditions it's used in and so on, but for a UK climate, I'd definitely prefer a higher hydrostatic head unless I was committed to camping only in still, dry conditions.

Ideally I'd look for a minimum value of 3000mm, which isn't impossible for a lightweight tent - Terra Nova's Laser for example, has a flysheet fabric which has a head of 4000mm and GoLite's Si-Lite, I believe, 3500mm. And at the very least, I'd want a head of at least 2000mm for peace of mind.

So, basically, unless you use the tent infrequently and in mostly good conditions, I'd look for a fly-sheet with a higher level of waterproofing for the UK.

and also maybe relevant to really high HH

Quote
Hydrostatic head, higher is better... but not really.

I was once told by none other than mountain hardwear's neil grisham, that anything above about 2500mm was pointless on a fly, because it will never rain hard enough to mimic that. Also, higher HH rating is basically achieved by coating the fly with an extra thick layer of DWR finish, which reduces the tear strength of the material considerably.

Thats why cheapo tents often have a HH of something stupid like 10,000mm, while top of the range mountaineering models are nowhere near that.
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RedLeader

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2010 »

I'd never heard of Robens tents. Apparently they're popular in Germany and of reasonable quality.
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Celt_Ginger

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2010 »

That second quote sounds seriously dodgey. it's either completely mis-quoted or made up.
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ulsterwalker

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Re: Tent Reviews
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2010 »

I would say theres some worth in it;
If a hydrostatic head of 1000mm is equivalent to rain driven by a 35mph wind then surely 2500mm is the equivalent to 87.5mph? If there was winds like that you would be pretty crazy to be in the hills and nothing except a top of the range geo is gonna stay up, also a top of the range geo would have a greater hydro head.

As for the DWR and tear strength, there is some truth there,  (taken from titanium goat):
Quote
There are many ways in which fabric is tested for strength, we will be sticking with tongue tear strength, grab tear strength, and
puncture resistance. Below is a description and explanation of what each test is, and the numbers that go with each test and fabric.

Tongue tear strength, is the measurement of force required to continue a rip through a piece of fabric. The test is performed by
dragging a small diameter pin through the fabric, causing a rip, and continuing the tear through the fabric. The tongue tear strength
of Sil-nylon is approximately 13 lbs, while the tongue tear strength for DWR treated nylon is approximately 9 lbs. So if you had a tear
in your sil-nylon tent it would require 13 lbs of force to make it longer, and 9 lbs in a DWR treated tent. These numbers are according
to industry standard testing, But in real world use may not be accurate. Here is how one person in the fabric industry explains it,

"Resistance to tearing in a woven fabric is a complex business depending on many variables. Fortunately it is usually sufficient to look
at only two variables; yarn tenacity (breaking strength), and finish firmness.
Finish firmness, either coating or impregnation, can make things complicated. A firm finish, bonded tightly to the yarns is often
desirable to decrease stretch. But, this type of finish also decreases tear strength.
An important mechanism in resisting tears in fabrics is the movement of individual yarns so as to bunch at the leading edge of the tear
and create a smoothed out reinforced area to stop the tear. This is why cheese cloth is so difficult to tear even though the yarns are
relatively weak. Flyers will also recognize the similarity with the practice of drilling a small hole at the leading edge of a crack in
aluminum aircraft skins."

Silicone impregnation would be considered a firm finish, but most of this is mute seeing as how the grids in ripstop nylon are there to
help keep small rips and tears in check.

Grab tear strength, is the measurement of force required to tear a piece of fabric into two pieces. Grab tear strength is based on the
breaking strength of the individual threads of the fabric working in conjunction with each other. In this case this is measured across a
three inch width piece of fabric. Both Sil-nylon and DWR treated nylon have the same breaking strength of approximately 145+ lbs

As for the cheapo tent and high hydro head, I don't know, but it sounds plausible. Anyways its time for bed!
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