The 2015 Tent Thread

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by mick chopps, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    I've some generic questions about tents for the touring guru's and didn't want to start a new thread or hijack anyone else's particular tent thread.
    Firstly, is a legit 4 season tent really necessary for Aus BC alpine conditions? I was given some advice recently that camping on Stirling for example wouldn't require a 4 season tent, would this be accurate or folly? Keeping in mind I don't intend on heading out in a torrential downpour and anything remotely like it. If it wasn't really necessary for Stirling could the same be said for the likes of Bogong, High Plains, Main Range?
    Secondly, size? Is a smaller tent a better option for retaining heat? Would I be better served with a smaller tent and store gear in the vestibule or something larger with gear stored inside? What gear would absolutely need to be stored inside? Boot liners? shell jacket/pants? insulation layers?
    Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    The difference between 3 and 4 season is the inner (in most cases). A 4 season has a solid inner, 3 has mesh. Blown snow, or spindrift, can come straight through the mesh of a 3 season, as can fine sand and dust. In good conditions a 3 season is fine. Sometimes if I take a lighter 3 season, and conditions are not as expected, I bury the edges of the fly, to stop the spindrift coming in, of course then I suffer the condensation.
     
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  3. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    If planning on camping on MR or Bogong, it's best to have a beast that can stand up to 100 kph winds, so good poles and strong storm guy points are tent features to look for.
     
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  4. Gamera MC

    Gamera MC Active Member

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    Just to tag onto this and what @tele-whippet & @telecrag mentioned. Are there any preferences on tent styles/ constructions? Geodesic, freestanding etc any traps for noobs to watch out for?
     
    #4 Gamera MC, Jun 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  5. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    My total bomber has 4 poles, sort of a more braced tunnel. I like poles that cross over, look for a pole design that makes sense in terms of taking it. I prefer sleeved, though they are a pain to set up, and and are not multi pitch (able to set fly, then inner), but they can take anything.

    General rule for me, anything that retails here for under say $500 is likely a recreational tent.
     
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  6. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Always worth a tent thread mick
    Imo 3 season ok if sheltered and sensibly located. My mate takes one but reckons its cold and it looks pretty flimsy next to mine. Its great to not worry about the weather blowing up outside
     
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  7. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    There was a pretty informative tent thread a few years back, worth digging up
     
  8. firstlight

    firstlight Active Member

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    From my experience go with the best tent you can.
    Got blown off the ridge @ 2am near seamans Hut a few years ago and busted up my Exped tent.
    Same trip a mate lost his whole tent with everything in it. made for an interesting 3 days! below is a few shots of the conditions
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The above tent was a Macpac
    Dig out was every 2 hrs
    The term 4 season is probably more a 3 season these days.

    What I've found from my experience is you get what you pay for.
    Buy a tent designed for high wing and one that has steep sides for snow shedding.
    I currently use a single wall Nemo Tenshi or a North Face Assult 2 for trips.
    We have Mountain Hardwear Trangos for the guiding company. They are bulletproof.

    [​IMG]

    When I went back to Exped with my busted tent they said its "4 season" not "Expedition" and there was no warranty.
    I wouldn't risk heading out with anything less that a 4 season tent that has good reviews.

    The other main concern is rain and washing away snow pegs. this would also be a factor to keep in mind for a bomb proof shelter.
    Have a read here for some more tips
    http://www.mrbc.com.au/blog/a-little-article-about-mrbc-on-splitboardcom

    My 2c
     
    #8 firstlight, Jun 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
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  9. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    ^^^ location,location...
     
  10. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    My bomber is 'Expedition'. Have had a few nights where others tents have failed, but not that old puppy. Mind you I have gone through some serious weather in my 3 season too. Good design ftw.
     
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  11. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    If there wasn't a hut, no one in their right mind would camp on that ridge near Seaman's. We were getting stuff ripped out of our hands and blown away, then it would settle on the ground a couple of hundred metres below in the lee of the ridge, where it was almost calm!
     
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  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    Go for a design with minimum flat faces on top. Getting up during the night to scrape snow off sucks.
     
  13. Bloke

    Bloke Dedicated Member

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    You can get by with three season tent if the conditions aren't too bad. If conditions are iffy (i.e. unclear what you will get then it is risky). Aside from the points TC made about the inner, It needs to be strong enough to withstand high winds and a 3 season tent in many cases probably isn't. However, you can mitigate the wind to a certain extent by making a wise choice as to where you set up. Don't rush it and put some thought into where the prevailing winds are coming from etc - if you choose a spot largely out of the wind then it becomes moot.

    On size, the less you carry the better, so no probs squishing stuff into the vestibule. You can even dump key stuff in the tent and leave the bag outside.
     
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  14. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    The wrinkle is anticipating the conditions.
     
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  15. weerab

    weerab Dedicated Member
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    Macpac describe their Minaret as being suitable for mountaineering. Must admit I have my doubts.
     
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  16. Gamera MC

    Gamera MC Active Member

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    Another thing I'd ask your opinions on: do you prefer to take a '2 man' tent for yourself, or for example take 1 '3 man' for 2 people to share? Obviously it would depend on numbers and how well you know your companions etc. But for comfort/practicality Is the every man for himself approach best (i.e some room for yourself and to lay out your gear if necessary ? )
     
  17. hpsauce

    hpsauce Dedicated Member

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    I have very few doubts.
    Unless some good snow falls.....then would need a good pitch and a shake now and then to avoid sag.
     
  18. Bloke

    Bloke Dedicated Member

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    Personal preference I guess, and depends how far you have to go. For me, there's as many berths as there are people on the trip. If you don't want to snuggle up with your touring buddy, then time for a new touring buddy :D
     
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  19. hpsauce

    hpsauce Dedicated Member

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    ......Macpac in pic above is an olympus. Even better! extra pole, bigger, but still tunnel.
     
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    Anything that gets snow on it is best left in a vestibule or the pack if necessary. Snow brought inside the tent is likely to melt and produce the well known soggy bum syndrome.
    What size tent? A close fit can make a bit of a difference to warmth and wind-blocking but on the flip side it's not unknown to be tent-bound in a blow for up to several days and having room to spread out a bit is a plus then.
    If there's two of you a tent with two vestibules is a must. Even if you're solo, it's a plus as one can take your gear and the other is your access and cookery nook.
     
    #20 Ziggy, Jun 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
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  21. firstlight

    firstlight Active Member

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    Add 1 to the capacity they are stating for nothing more than comfort if the weather turns. Even the Trango 3 is a squish with two with all your gear.
    Remember its not normal camping. You need to air and dry things, keep stuff dry and cook in the vestibule sometimes.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So if cooking and eating in the vestibule you have to make sure all your gear is out of the bad weather.
    [​IMG]
    My 2 man tent is great for one with all my gear being able to be aired and not having to worry about keeping everything packed and out in the vestibule.
    You will have to do it a few time to see what works.
    These thoughts are based on the tent being left in the same location for multiple days. If doing a traverse style trip a light weight quick setup will work better as you don't want to unpack every day
     
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  22. Bloke

    Bloke Dedicated Member

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    Of course tent plus snowcave is the ultimate set up :thumbs:
     
  23. DJM

    DJM Dedicated Member
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    I remember a group that set up the tent near Seaman's a few years ago, then built a cave and slept in it. The tent and contents were nowhere to be seen the following morning, presumably somewhere around twin valleys. :)

    I have buried my tent and extra gear a few times while riding in windy conditions...don't forget to log it. This one time.....(at band camp) I heard snow pegs flying away in the wind on a warm spring night. Thankfully they were not from my tent!

    @weerab - The minaret is 20 something years old now and back in the day were considered an ok lightweight option. Plenty of good tents have been designed since that era though.

    I agree with @piolet about location. Makes all the difference and in some cases a big fck off snow wall helps. By snow wall I don't mean those ridiculous well cut lego walls everyone likes to make....Just a pile of snow to deflect some of the wind.
     
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  24. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Nah cutting bricks and building walls is fun! LOL
    In lieu of good skiing, at least
     
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  25. Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member
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    what tent do you have Telecrag?
     
  26. Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member
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    Same question, what tent is that Firstlight?

    Tanx in advance. I ask as my Olympus poles were lost and i gave the outer anf fly to someone on this forum a few years back. Need a tent for this winter - hopefully. On a side note i got given a $200 voucher to a notorious retail discounter, any thoughts on this:
    http://www.kathmandu.com.au/north-s...s&kpid=40505&gclid=CPKE5MO6qsYCFQWXvQodyioBlg

    With the current sale i can get it for $300. I assume they've copied the design
     
  27. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    A 20 something year old Eureka expedition, its heavy, but cannot be killed, its like the terminator. Then a Betamid. Its kinda cool, and once saved me as I carry an extra pole so I can leave it half up for a day, so I had a spare pole when I gummied a full pack fall over and snapped one. A Zoid I think its called, MSR, its cozy, and has taken a bit, wouldn't want to be in it during a blizzard, and a Mont Mooniesomething.
     
  28. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Looks like my Eureka Tanuki.
     
  29. Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member
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    yep
     
  30. Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member
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    Thanks Telecrag
     
  31. StuckinQld

    StuckinQld Active Member

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    Tagging along here, as our north face nebula from 2001 has sadly passed away, and we are looking for a new tent. Any other brands/models out there that people rate highly?
     
  32. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Hilleberg gets rave reviews for their tunnel varieties. I have a similar exped 3 man tunnel with massive vestibule. Epic internal proportions and sheltered cooking/dining in for 3 at least probably 4.
    Integral pitch is fast and simple. Needs to be well guyed and has a large footprint.
    I love it.
     
  33. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    I was just going to rate the Hillebergs. I have a Nallo 2 GT.

    The GT vestibule is awesome for snowcamping as it's almost as big as the tent again.

    Great for gear storage, setup area, cooking, etc.

    They have a 'more beefy' version of the hallo (Kaitum?)

    Wonderfully featured and well thought out tents.
     
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  34. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    ^^^ yeah its that extended vestibule which adds so much use to that style
    Love em
     
  35. AndrewA

    AndrewA Active Member

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    I've a Hilleberg Nallo 2GT and 3GT. I really prefer the 3GT for 2 of us , just to have some space to spread out, esp in the snow. Not entirely sure why I bought the 2GT - in hindsight would have preferred a Namadj or however it is spelt.

    A
     
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  36. Feders

    Feders Active Member

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    I have a Salewa Sierra Leone 2 person 4 season tent which has good vestibules and comfy for two sleeping opposite directions. Great for sitting up chatting - using your own vestibule to organise your gear and to go pee :oops:
    Was pretty reasonable $$ too for what you get. And it can be used for warmer weather, as it has vents you can open to vent the inside when humidity is higher.
    Haven't been in it in extreme winds though ? But imagine it would fair well.
     
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  37. Chaeron

    Chaeron Active Member
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    We've frequently camped on our Otways property in high winds/ blizzard-like conditions (95km/h plus) in our Sierra Leone II and it has mostly stood up well - suffered a bent pole though once - slightly too high and round to classify as a true 4 season w.rt. snow loading. i.m.o While the dual vestibules are OK storage-wise there's no way you could cook in it. It manages condensation well though. I like it so much I've reconditioned it twice (floor seams & fly seams) but got myself an old style Exped Andromeda for the snow - the decent size vestibule & tunnel profile makes all the difference in more extreme conditions.
     
    #37 Chaeron, Jun 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
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  38. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    In my dotage, weight is also important
    Back in the day I'd lug my 3.6 kg voluminous Macpac Olympus around, today I prefer my smaller 1.8 kg Mont Bell Stellar Ridge 2.
    The right sort of light is right!
    [​IMG]
     
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  39. firstlight

    firstlight Active Member

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    Tent in these pics is a Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 on a MRBC tour last year
    [​IMG]
     
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  40. The Bush Patrol

    The Bush Patrol Active Member
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    3 season ok if not too windy as I have done a number of times but coming back from a ski to find your tent contents covered in 4 inches of spin drift is a bit of a frown. They are cold. Poles may keep you awake wondering at night if its blowing. Wouldn't buy single skin for OZ if only buying one tent for all due to condensation. Bibler bomb shelter springs to mind & also so called breathable skins as after a few too many single malts you may awake with icicles touching your nose.
    Macpac hemi 4 for me. Just because I like big heavy stuff. But split between mates I think is still lighter than individual tents.
    Think we had 12-13 in it one night for wiskey & BS.
    Hillies look nice with large vestibules. As do many other modern tents. I like Macpac because they are made for southern hemisphere conditions & bomb proof ( now with improved pole design) & popular on Everest too.
    A lot of price difference & also size. Do you ski with others that wear XXL & as so 3 men in 4 man tent is the go.
     
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  41. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Good Point. I'm 6'1 so not particularly oversized but I find it gets cosy fast when close to the rated capacity. Hence 2 in my 3 man for me.
    A particular storm in a very cosy WE 2nd arrow had me buying my current tent immediately after. The 2nd arrow is a very good tent but damn its small.
    I guess the folks at the other end of the spectrum will find comfort easier.
     
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  42. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    They've had that design for decades. I used one but never in the snow. I liked the space. It's a lot of tent for $300. It's heavier than newer designs and it needs quite a long level spot for a clean pitch. If you can live with those go for it.
     
  43. davidg

    davidg Addicted Member
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    +1 for the Hillebergs. I have a Nallo 3G. Very light, large vestibule and really versatile. Ive used mine for snowcamping as well as lightweight overnight trips with just the fly and a ground mat. If you want a really large vestibule for long multiday trips then the 3GT would probably be worth looking at. They are a bit exxy but i got mine on sale for about $500 from memory.
     
  44. StuckinQld

    StuckinQld Active Member

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    Do the Hillebergs have any Australian distributors?
     
  45. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Active Member

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    Just a few general observations
    Everything is a compromise, bigger is better for comfort in a storm, sometimes you can get tent bound for a day or two, bigger means heavier
    The more poles the stronger the tent, more poles equals heavier.
    Are you packing up each morning and moving or staying in one place for a few days and doing runs?
    I have a Minaret for solo use and it is still a very good tent; an old Fairydown Plateau [ similar to the North Star in the link] and it's as squeeze for 2 plus gear but a very strong and proven design, until it destructed last season I carried also a Megamid for day tripping as an emergency shelter
    Are you using a rucksack or a pulk to move your gear?
    Above the snowline in winter a 4 season tent is in my opinion the minimum and an Expedition rated desirable but I've used 3 season tents with careful planning and placement but I was lucky with the weather each time.
    I have friends with a Hilleberg and the extended vestibule is well worth the extra dollars and weight
    I have also used the Megamid and a good quality bivvysac when weight was my main concern so I don't have a problem with strong single skin shelters
     
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  46. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    PP in Jindy seems to stock them and a Tassie guy sells via gumtree.
     
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  47. davidg

    davidg Addicted Member
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    Bought mine from online from Moontrail who are a pleasure to deal with. Pretty sure PP sell them but lol'd when i saw the price diff. That was a few years ago but i doubt it has changed dramatically.
     
  48. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    @mick chopps ... I guess your questions raise the larger matter of what's needed to safely tour. Can I make the suggestion that you hook up with some experienced folk and see how they do it. There's a lot more than just tent purchase important though that is.
     
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  49. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    To safely tour, the number one bit of kit? Common sense, good judgement, and knowledge of your environment. But you can get by with just the first, and a good tent, haha.
     
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  50. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    :thumbs:
    Salient advice I suspect.
    Our first (likely first few) sojourn will be to the relatively safe confines of Mt Stirling with huts and Ski Patrol close at hand. Experienced heads will no doubt be called on for tours to more remote or exposed locations.
     
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