Tents

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Tents

Postby kaysee » April 23rd, 2012, 3:37 pm

I'm looking for a tent to camp out in on a few bike trips this summer. I only need a one person tent, but as I'm looking around, I notice that I can get a 3-4 person tent for equal or less than the cost of some of the one person tent.

So I'm wondering what the pros and cons would be between a single and a 3-4 person tent in the $30-40 price range. Not too worried about weight, but is packing size a huge difference? I'm also wondering if maybe a 3 person tent wouldn't hold heat as well as a smaller one person tent?
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Re: Tents

Postby c0nsumer » April 23rd, 2012, 3:39 pm

Are you looking to use the tent a lot, and are you going to be carrying it in a car or on a bike?

I use an el-cheapo 4 person tent with an air mattress in it for car camping and for the ~12 trips I've gone on it's been great. I would NOT want to carry it in a pack or on a bike, though. It's also large enough that it gets somewhat cool in it at night, but as I've usually got an air mattress and nice, thick blanket in the tent with me that's not a problem.
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Re: Tents

Postby kaysee » April 23rd, 2012, 3:53 pm

Not planning on carrying it with me at all. Just packing it in the car for nightly use. I'd say I plan on using it about 4 weekends this year.

So you do think that a smaller tent would be warmer than the large one with only one person using it?
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Re: Tents

Postby c0nsumer » April 23rd, 2012, 3:56 pm

kaysee wrote:Not planning on carrying it with me at all. Just packing it in the car for nightly use. I'd say I plan on using it about 4 weekends this year.


That's about the use my tent sees. Thus I have a $40-ish one from Costco that's been treated with NikWax Tent Proof or whatever it's called.

kaysee wrote:So you do think that a smaller tent would be warmer than the large one with only one person using it?


Yes, it will, but how much that matters is variable. If it's going to be 70F out when camping and you like a blanket on you, it might not be a bad idea to bring one. Or whatever works for you...
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Re: Tents

Postby dauber76 » April 23rd, 2012, 4:02 pm

Just something to keep in mind, when they say a 2 person tent, they mean two people, not 2 people and gear.

If your car is always close by, you can probably get by with a smaller tent.
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Re: Tents

Postby ramiam764 » April 23rd, 2012, 5:59 pm

REI Quarter Dome (lifetime guarantee on all rei products)
http://www.rei.com/product/827783/rei-q ... me-t1-tent

with a 20% off when available for rei members even better price:icon_thumleft:

or if looking for a less expensive option
http://www.rei.com/product/827809/rei-passage-1-tent
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Re: Tents

Postby Askel » April 24th, 2012, 6:22 am

Do not buy a $30-$40 tent. I've camped with numerous people who've tried such things. When the weather turns bad, they have a miserable, miserable night.

If you don't care about weight, I'd highly recommend the Eureka Timberline series. My two man has been so good to me over the last 12 years, I haven't had the opportunity to try anything else. And it sees a lot of use. Easily 20 or more nights a year.

Don't count on the tent to hold much heat. If it's holding a lot, it's probably not breathing well and you're going to have some condensation build up issues.
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Re: Tents

Postby SteveF » April 24th, 2012, 6:36 am

For car camping where weight isn't much of an issue, always double the size/person. If you're camping alone get at least a 2 person tent. For 2 people, a 4-person. Unless you really like to cuddle.

I have a Eureka Timberline 4-person tent that I've used since the mid-80's. It's a classic, A-frame tent, very durable and practical-a solid choice. As I get older, I'm looking for a slightly bigger dome tent that will be a little easier to stand up and move around in. So think about what you need and what you want (and what you want to spend) and go from there. Google search and online stores often have user reviews that can be useful, too.
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Re: Tents

Postby kaysee » April 24th, 2012, 9:51 am

Thanks for the info. I guess I'm just wondering why a one person tent and a larger 4 person tent are then same price. It seems obvious to buy more tent for the price, but I can't help feeling like there is a trade off or some sort of catch.
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Re: Tents

Postby c0nsumer » April 24th, 2012, 9:52 am

kaysee wrote:Thanks for the info. I guess I'm just wondering why a one person tent and a larger 4 person tent are then same price. It seems obvious to buy more tent for the price, but I can't help feeling like there is a trade off or some sort of catch.


Probably because most of the cost in making a tent is labor, marketing, shipping, etc. Also, the small tents are probably made to be ultralight, which means they do require some more specialized materials, design, etc.
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Tents

Postby BigMike » April 24th, 2012, 10:58 am

Most of the difference for my tents is the weight and waterproof. My two person is an msr and weighs just under three lbs and is pretty much bombproof if I get stuck in a storm in the backcountry. But for car camping I got a basic 4 person Kelty for the extra space and comfort. But I doubt I would rely on it in a bad storm. But they have a large price difference. I wouldn't go to cheap and end up waking up soaking wet and cold.
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Re: Tents

Postby Roy » May 19th, 2012, 7:20 am

For car camping, go with the largest tent you can afford and are able put up by yourself. Buy a cheap tarp to use as a Fly. A Fly will make a cheap tent into a deluxe tent. Just bring poles and rope to extend the fly over the "front door".
Standing up in a tent is always better then squatting. Sitting in a fold up chair under a Fly while watching it rain will be nicer then squatting in a small wet tent. Get a large air mattress, with a battery inflator. If you have room in the car, pack a nice clean folding table for food preparation. Add a shelter over your kitchen. (helps keep rain leaves and dirt out of food)
At a minimun a 1 person tent = a 4 person tent when car camping.

When campping in remote areas, check with the locals about Bears and how to Bear proff your food.

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