Tents, tents, tents – too many choices
If there’s one piece of kit that we’ve spent an inordinate amount of time researching, it’s tents. It’s understandable though, because there are a ridiculous number of shelter options on the market. Seeing as how our tent will be our home while we’re on the (dirt) road, we don’t want to go over-the-top trying to be minimalist. On the other hand, since we need to carry it, we can’t afford for it to be too large or heavy either.
In a perfect world our tent would:
- pack small
- be light weight
- have the option to set up freestanding
- be reasonably robust
- have 2 doors
- have a subdued color scheme (not bright orange)
- not be crazy expensive
Here are a few that we have considered:
Reportedly very strong, and popular with some cycle tourers, but expensive, heavy, and not free standing.
Some lighter weight, free-standing options:
All of the above are popular, and would probably do the trick.
Some other lightweight tents popular with bikepackers:
Tarptent Double Moment
Both this tent, and the one below, have options that allow them to be set up freestanding.
Made of Cuban fiber (Dyneema) so very lightweight, but pricey.
And for something different…
Increasing in popularity amongst ultralight hikers and bikepackers are pyramid-style tents. Although these shelters are strong, lightweight, and reportedly have a ton of interior space, they are not freestanding, which is a drawback in situations where you may wish to set up the tent indoors (that occasionally happens while traveling), and can be expensive, especially those made of Cuban fiber. They also don’t come standard with a floor or screen, making them less suitable for wet or buggy regions unless you purchase those options. They are sexy though, in a retro kind of way.
Photo by Cass Gilbert
Which tent will we ultimately choose?
We’re going to hold off on this decision until we can get face to face with some of these. Also, who knows what may come on the market in the next month or two?
Do you have a favorite tent? If so, feel free to post the brand/model/link in the comments. The more, the merrier!