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Old 06-09-2009, 11:31 PM   #1
Rambeezi
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Recommend 2-person tent and sleeping bag for sport touring/camping.

Or please tell what you are using and your experience with packing a tent and sleeping bag (among other items) for a 2~3 day camping trip.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:37 AM   #2
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I use a 15 degree bag
http://www.trails.com/gear/p/marmot/...-sleeping-bag/

Depending where you are going and how much you are planning to camp in the future you may consider what a lot of people say, buy a 15 degree (or warmer) bag, you can always stick a leg out or just use the bag to cover instead of getting inside and closing the bag completely. The idea is if your best defense is a 25, 35 or 45 degree bag you are going to end up buying another one at some point any ways.

This one is also 15 from the same company, lighter and probly packs smaller but is more expensive. For back packing super light and for mountaineering super light and super warm is important, but for motorcycle or car camping weight is not the primary concern -- IMHO.
http://www.amazon.com/Marmot-Helium-.../dp/B001AQO31U

I had a 25 degree The North Face one and it was border line usable at 45 degrees, it was synthetic as well and it lost loft after a short time.

There are no standards across manufacturers on how the temperature rating is calculated, so one brand's 25 may be the equivalent to another brand's 30 or 40 degree bag.

Do your research on Synthetic Vs. Goose Down, you will prefer one or the other depending on the type of camping you are doing. When you find a couple of models you like go to the store, pull them out of the bag and get inside, make sure your elbows fit, make sure you can operate zippers -- you don't want to fight a stuck zipper at 3am int he morning after a bathroom trip.



2 person tent
I have this one which sets up in a snap, only two poles. very light weight and enough room for 2 people --except if you are over 6' 5" or something like that.
http://www.trailspace.com/gear/marmot/earlylight-2p/

I also have this one
http://marmot.com/spring_2008/equipm...ry/swallow_2p/
much stronger, 3 poles, warmer than the other one and is a solid tent under driving rain and strong wind. It has considerable more room than the other one although it's still considered a 2P tent.

Both are very well made, Marmot pays attention to detail and I have never had any failures with material or function.

Keep in mind no tent is perfect, I would not take the swallow to Death Valley or other warm place like that. And I would not take the early light2 to a mountaineering trip.

Ultimately you have to go to the the store and set up a couple of tents you like and see materials, functionality etc. consider it a short test drive.

Good luck!
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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I forgot to mention, sleeping bag liners are a nice option that offers additional flexibility. They make your sleeping bag warmer --when you use them-- and they keep the bag from getting dirty so you wash the liner only. They come in various materials.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:59 AM   #4
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Are you looking for a 2-person tent for just yourself, or are there going to be 2 people in the tent? If 2 people, are you two 'close', or just friends? Is this something you think you'll be doing a lot of in the future, or just once a year type deal? Where are you camping? Cold? Hot? We'll need a bit more info to steer you in the right direction.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:25 AM   #5
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A two-person tent, IMHO, is good for one person. They (the manufacturers) go with minimum, and you should be thinking maximum. If you're planning on camping with two, get a three-person tent. Somethings need to be inside the tent at night and need the room. If it's just you, a two-person tent should be fine.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:38 PM   #6
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Thank you for all the feedback! This is probably something I will do a few times a year and I already have a couple of trips planned for this Summer (Nor. Cal/Oregon and Sierra Nevada). As Razel stated I want a 2 person tent just for me. I have a 4 person tent and numerous sleeping bags, camping gear, etc. but they are not motorcycle pack/load friendly. So basically I'm looking for something I can pack lightly on a motorcycle for one person (and of course offer good protection/warmth).
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:49 PM   #7
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I've been using an REI Quater Dome 2-person on and off for the last few years. It sets up quick, packs small, and I like that it's all mesh without the fly so you can stare at the stars.

http://www.rei.com/product/761893

If you have a lot of gear you want to bring into the tent with you, you'll find even a 2-person will be too small. That's why I've started using a Eureka Timberline Outfitter 4. It doesn't pack 'that' much bigger, and you gain so much more room. Plus, if you're caught in bad weather, you'll be spending quite a bit of time in your shelter. Being cooped up in a 2 man that you cant even sit up in sucks.

http://www.eurekatent.com/p-65-timbe...er-4-tent.aspx

Bag wise, I've stuck with my Kelty Lightyear 25 down filled for several years. I don't know if they still make this in down anymore, but mine stuffs smaller than a football and is more than warm enough for me down below freezing. Over the years, I'm finding I like a lot of room to move around in my sleep, so I've started using rectangular bags. The Big Agnes Park series bags are pretty decent, but they are designed specifically for sleeping pads. The bottom of the bag has no insulation; instead they provide a sleeve for a pad so you never roll off in the middle of the night. I use the Buffalo in the summer and go back to the Kelty when it's really cold.

http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Bag/BuffaloPark

Pad wise, I never go without my Exped Downmat 9 DLX. Packs a little bigger than my sleeping bag, but well worth it.

http://www.rei.com/product/780366

If you already have a lot of gear laying around, I would really suggest you not focus too much on pack size. If you want to enjoy your road trips, you need to get a good nights rest. Instead of packing uber light, invest in a nice tail bag or luggage system. I put all my camp gear (tent, sleeping bag, pad, chair, tarp, Jetboil, food, and more) in a single medium sized bag.

http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...e-p-16405.html


You may also want to look around the Equipment section on the Adventure Rider forum for hours and hours of good reviews by hard core moto-campers.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=6

Cheers!
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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Finder, thank you very much!! You have given me a lot of good info!! You make a good point about the ability to sit up in the tent (among your other excellent points too)!! Thank you again sir!!
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:40 AM   #9
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I used to swear by down bags, but I needed to rethink that when I was in the high Arctic. We were hundreds of miles from any civilization, in a very cold environment with no available fuel to burn (other than gas for stoves) and no way of radioing for help. The bags we had needed to function wet or dry and it really ruled out down. It wasn't a matter of comfort; it was a matter of survival.

I found that the synthetic bags were plenty comfortable, the weight was reasonable and with a compression sack, I could get them almost as small as my down bags.

If the bags you currently have are a little too bulky, would a compression sack be a possibility? If so, you might not need to get another bag (unless you're dying to).
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:26 AM   #10
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I agree that a synth bag is the right choice for a really challenging environment like the Arctic, or for environments where it's likely to rain a great deal without access to a dryer to dry a down bag out, or you're going canoeing or kayaking with the bag. Down is tough to get dry once it's wet.

For me, though, a down bag with a silk liner (mine is the 20 degree REI Sub Kilo model) is so much more convenient and long-lasting (down has better longevity than synth fills) that I take the risk of getting the bag wet. The small pack size is good as well, not to mention the lower weight. If you do get down, make sure it's at least 600 fill power.

As sleeping pads go, I'm hooked on Thermarests. They're air filled via a valve at one end, so bring a patch kit if you use one. You might consider a larger one than you'd take backpacking, since weight is less of an issue. Mine: http://www.rei.com/product/734496

As for tents, I heartily agree that you're going to want a 2-person tent for yourself, and you will want something tall enough to sit up in. That rules out the "tunnel style" varieties, which tend to have two hooped poles, one near the feet and one near the shoulders. A little more weight and size is worth not waking up screaming claustrophobically in the middle of the night--ask me how I know! Also, you are going to want something that is freestanding--i.e. doesn't need stakes to pitch, but relies on its pole configuration to hold it up. When you're so exhausted that you end up pitching that tent in a dark parking lot in the middle of Wyoming, or are camping on slickrock in Utah, you'll appreciate this feature.

A full rain fly is necessary, of course, especially if it has a large vestibule--the space between the rain fly and the tent itself. This is often a good place to stow boots and gear.

A footprint that fits the tent (or one that you've cut from thin vinyl yardage or an old shower curtain) without sticking out past the sides is a very good idea for tent longevity and less dampness, too.

Aluminum poles are a must in a tent. Anything with fiberglass poles is crap; those poles will snap and splinter at the worst possible time.

Also, buy some seam sealer, set that tent up outside, and seal the seams (especially the ones between the floor and the sides). Helps it to not leak in the rain.

The REI Quarterdome is a solid choice; I like Sierra Designs tents, too. I've got an old 2-person Sierra Designs Night Watch tent that has been all over the US and Europe, has survived weeklong rainstorms with barely a leak, has been taken snow camping, survived horrible windstorms, sets up in 7 minutes, and is plenty roomy. Sierra Designs tents at REI: http://www.rei.com/search?search=sie...kpacking+Tents


I also have a Mountainsmith Boundary 2-person tent that is less well-built, but just fine for the job most of the time. Sometimes I even camp in it with my sweetie, but it's a tight fit for both of us! That one is no longer available, though.
Mountainsmith tent, bike and aforementioned sweetie:


The MSR Hubba Hubba tent has a good reputation as well, if you're looking for a tent with lots of ventilation--it's all mesh. http://www.rei.com/product/781511
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:13 PM   #11
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If space is at a premium, I'd recommend:

Bivy sack + thermarest + Down bag (because they pack smaller) for you.
Hefty bags to keep your stuff dry (from condensation).

Most of the time a tent is unnecessary (unless you're expecting significant rain). They take up extra space, and are more effort to put up and repack.

Last edited by mlm; 06-11-2009 at 12:20 PM.. Reason: Added links
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:25 PM   #12
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Hell, you can just get a nice suit to keep the bugs out, and use one of those mini demo tents...
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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Thanks again everyone!! Not only do I need to purchase tent and sleeping bag (already have a few Thermarests) but now I will need a new keyboard and monitor ....or at least a monitor/keyboard-soda-removal-kit after seeing the picture above!! Good one Finder!


Quote:
Aluminum poles are a must in a tent. Anything with fiberglass poles is crap; those poles will snap and splinter at the worst possible time.
Thank you Nemo. I see options for both aluminum and fibreglass/composite poles but did not know the pros/cons. Before reading your post I was siding towards fiberglass/composite based on weight but I think a few ounces/grams of weight in favor of strength is the better choice.

I would like to add that yes I will require a tent (MLM). Though I plan not to run into any rains (though it could and will happen occassionally) but the places I plan on going this Summer will have heavy fogs and condensation so water proof-ness is a must too.
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Last edited by Rambeezi; 06-11-2009 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:10 PM   #14
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I just picked up a 2 person bivy tent and mummy type sleeping bag at Sports Authority 2 weeks ago. for $30 each.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:17 PM   #15
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just checked it online price is back to $39
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