Tent with a big porch?

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Blutack
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Tent with a big porch?

Post by Blutack » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:39 pm

Hi everybody, I'm looking for sea kayaking tent recommendations please.

My ideal requirements are:
  • Comfortably sleeps one person (i.e. a normal 2-man size)
  • A large enough porch to cook in and store all my kit in, with only totally dry stuff going into the tent itself
  • Free standing, or at least partially free standing, to enable pitching on rocky or sandy ground
  • Stable enough to survive being wind-bound in exposed places without falling flat or breaking poles
  • Maximum weight 4kg
  • Maximum price £450
So far, the best I've found is the Lightwave Trek G20 XT, but it looks as though it's been discontinued:

Image

Likewise, Mountain Equipment and Terra Nova used to do similar tents, but again it seems not any more.

Any ideas folks? Thanks in advance!

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by BobbyR » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:54 am

I have the 2-person tunnel version of that lightwave tent. Had it around 6/7 years. Nice tent. Very durable. I like that you can also buy the lightweight outer without the porch. Its not free standing though.

I also own a one person terra nova tent which fell apart and leaks. Best avoided.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Backwater » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:39 am

The Vango Omega 250 fits the large porch criteria. Stood up ok to force 7 winds on Mull, but not freestanding. Also top of the weight range at just over 4kg. Not tried getting it into the kayak yet. Coming in around £130 it's great value, but I've only used it twice so not really tested for long term wear and tear. A contender.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:33 am

I currently use an Alpkit Kangri for sea kayaking. Not especially big porches so technically not meeting your spec, but one at each end - I've had over 50 nights seakayaking with it and space hasn't been a problem. So the salty gear goes in the windward end (the drysuit and boots are what I need in the morning, the BA and deck can stay wet in the boat), and the other is exit and cooking (gas only, not enough headroom for liquid fuels!). It's freestanding apart from two pegs for each porch and very wind resistant. It's out of stock this month but expected in Sept; I have no connection with Alpkit other than liking their gear.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Blutack » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:51 pm

Hmmmm, so there's nothing obviously fitting the bill yet then. It seems a shame to have to compromise though, since surely what I'm looking for isn't *that* off the wall? :-)

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Allan Olesen » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:42 pm

There is the Vango Galaxy 300, but it doesn't fit your weight requirement. However, this tent has a very high and large porch where a normal person can stand up. The sleeping compartment is just normal size and height. The tent looks very strange because of this. I came close to buying it but decided for the Vango Omega 350 instead.

Edit: Looking at your original post again, the Galaxy probably doesn't fit many of your requirements.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Blutack » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:37 am

Allan Olesen wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:42 pm
The Vango Galaxy 300..{snip}... has a very high and large porch where a normal person can stand up.
Wow, that one is a large porch with a weeny little tent attached! :-D
Unfortunately I'm not a normal person. Does that mean I'll have to stay sitting down? ;-)

I'm thinking that if I have to compromise, it should probably be on the free-standing aspect, since there are plenty of tunnel tents out there that easily meet my space requirements, such as BobbyR's lightwave tent, or the Vango F10 Xenon pictured below, or the Vango Spirit 200+. Can anybody comment on how good tunnel tents are for sea kayaking though? I'd imagine that they're pretty windproof IF securely pegged down. However, IME that can sometimes be a challenge on sandy beaches or on Scottish headlands where there's only a thin layer of turf over rock.

Image

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by MikeB » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:34 pm

Blutack wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:37 am
Can anybody comment on how good tunnel tents are for sea kayaking though? I'd imagine that they're pretty windproof IF securely pegged down. However, IME that can sometimes be a challenge on sandy beaches or on Scottish headlands where there's only a thin layer of turf over rock.
Some of my friends have the massive Hilleberg Keron 4 GT which is a tunnel tent. They've never had a problem pitching it on any of the Scottish trips I've been on with them. I think you're going to struggle with getting something "freestanding" and with a big porch. Certainly we've been camped in some appalling conditions and in places where the ground has been very poor. My experience is that whenever the ground is bad, there are usually more than enough big boulders around which get used to either hold pegs in, or replace them entirely.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by samouelle » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:32 pm

Have a look at the Kahyam biker tent. One on Ebay at the mo. A bit pricey but well made and compact.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Fozzy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:03 pm

Coleman Tatra 2 3.4kg or Tatra 3 3.75kg.

I used to have the 3 it's got a big porch, is freestanding, pitches outer first or as one. I could put my bike in the porch!

You can buy two for your budget

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Daker » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Unfortunately out of your price range but we have the Terra Nova Quasar ETC which we use for 2 of us on kayak trips and it works well for us.
Its exactly the same inner as the standard, highly respected, Quasar but with 1 extra pole and larger porch.

And, because there is the smaller porch at the other end you have the option to keep kit at one end and use the other for entry.
https://www.simplyhike.co.uk/products/t ... r-etc-tent

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:48 pm

Hilleberg Nallo 2 GT seems to meet all your requirements - except price?

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Jonathan. » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:20 am

Have you considered a tarp?

They're versatile, don't take up a lot of space and offer much more room than the porch of a tent.
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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by PhilAyr » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:14 am

Jonathan. wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:20 am
Have you considered a tarp?

They're versatile, don't take up a lot of space and offer much more room than the porch of a tent.
Hi Jonathan,

A tarp solely as a porch perhaps but not to replace a tent I hope ?

The west coast of Scotland can be a challenge at times even when camping in a tent. However the thought of literally giving an open door invitation to the nasty little blood sucking midges and ticks makes my skin itch !

Regards

Phil

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:02 pm

Thinking out of the box, perhaps use two tents or one tent plus a beach shelter for doing the cooking?
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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Jonathan. » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:18 am

No Phil, I wasn't suggesting using a tarp instead of a tent - though in some places and some climates that might work. And I don't see how a really generously sized porch with no bug net could help with midges.

I'll be interested to hear to what you choose.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by seanr » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:32 pm

I use a Hilleberg Staika - it's exactly what you seem to be after. Used it on expeditions in Norway and Alaska. It's pricey but worth every penny. It is super strong and completely free standing. They occasionally come up on eBay. Well worth the investment.

http://gb.hilleberg.com/EN/tent/black-l ... ts/staika/

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Blutack » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:36 pm

Thanks everybody! I'm still looking at all the options and thinking.

At the moment I'm quite drawn to the Coleman Tatra (thanks Fozzy), as it seems like incredible value for money.

I had considered using a tarp. Actually, my usual kayak camping setup is a hammock and tarp (no tent at all), but this depends on having a couple of trees to hang it from, which is not always possible.

So, subscribing to the mantra of 'any fool can be uncomfortable', I'm thinking small tent, plus big cookable porch with midge net. Then, get comfy and who cares if you get winded in! :-)

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by MikeVeal » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:12 am

Image

?

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Blutack » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:59 am

Sorry, should have said - it needs to fit in the back hatch of a Valley Etain.

Besides, that setup is useless - where would you put the kayaks? :-D

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by MikeVeal » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:24 am

Picky .

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Blutack » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:32 am

OK, if you can find that tent and the wheeled waterproof groundsheet thingy on sale for £450, I'll certainly consider it. Can't say fairer than that, can I?

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Owen » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:23 pm

I use a Vango Halo 200 a bit big for one but plenty of room for two with two fairly big pouches. I use one for wet kit and the other to cook. It wasn't very expensive.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by MikeVeal » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:27 pm

Blutack wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:32 am
OK, if you can find that tent and the wheeled waterproof groundsheet thingy on sale for £450,
That's the big porch. I think it's probably sold separately.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Jim » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:18 pm

Blutack wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:37 am
Allan Olesen wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:42 pm
The Vango Galaxy 300..{snip}... has a very high and large porch where a normal person can stand up.
Wow, that one is a large porch with a weeny little tent attached! :-D
Unfortunately I'm not a normal person. Does that mean I'll have to stay sitting down? ;-)

I'm thinking that if I have to compromise, it should probably be on the free-standing aspect, since there are plenty of tunnel tents out there that easily meet my space requirements, such as BobbyR's lightwave tent, or the Vango F10 Xenon pictured below, or the Vango Spirit 200+. Can anybody comment on how good tunnel tents are for sea kayaking though? I'd imagine that they're pretty windproof IF securely pegged down. However, IME that can sometimes be a challenge on sandy beaches or on Scottish headlands where there's only a thin layer of turf over rock.

Image
I have been using a Spirit 200+ since about 2005 (after I got pinned down on Staffa for 3 days in a bivvy bag....).
Mine came from the Vango factory sale and is a pre-production demo so some of the materials may be slightly different to production.
Overall I like the ease of pitching (4 pegs gets it looking like a tent, the rest are for security) and the generous porch size.

Unfortunately I have broken far too many poles to be happy with the poles. Those pre-bent apex poles were the first to go, followed by the replacement ones - I did away with them, the tent works fine with a smooth curve right over.
Pretty much every pole section has been broken over the years and replaced at first with vango genuine spares, and later with generic grey poles the same diameter (which have actually lasted better). I haven't replaced a pole section for ages, but some of the poles have 4 or more pole sleeves over breaks that I haven't got round to fixing. There is only a short section of the blue and purple poles left to identify them by.
The original external pole sleeves were so torn up by breaking poles that I have sewn webbing sleeves over the top (there are now a couple of spots where the poles come out internally).
As far as using TBS to stiffen the tent in high winds, I find this leads to more pole breakages than not using it, but to be fair many breaks were down to the fabric drying and shrinking - I always leave it looking slack and saggy if damp now.
Oh yes, the groundsheet needs something, re-proofing or replacing maybe.

It is hard to reccommend a tent I have had so many problems with, but the layout does suit me which is why I continue to use it most weekends....

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Allan Olesen » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:50 pm

Jim wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:18 pm
to be fair many breaks were down to the fabric drying and shrinking - I always leave it looking slack and saggy if damp now.
I have seen this advice repeated over and over: Never tension the tent when the fabric is wet. The fabric will shrink when drying.

So I think it would be very hard to blame the tent if you have done just that.

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by StanGuz » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:46 am

Have a look at the Vango Force 10 Titan 200. 1.5kg over your weight target, but half your budget?
What could possibly go wrong......?

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Northern Blue » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:44 am

MikeVeal wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:12 am
Image

?
Now that's my sense of humour :-)

I've never been able to afford a big Porsche though !

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Re: Tent with a big porch?

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:55 pm

Allan Olesen wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:50 pm
Jim wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:18 pm
to be fair many breaks were down to the fabric drying and shrinking - I always leave it looking slack and saggy if damp now.
I have seen this advice repeated over and over: Never tension the tent when the fabric is wet. The fabric will shrink when drying.

So I think it would be very hard to blame the tent if you have done just that.
To clarify I have never actually tensioned it when wet, what I mean is if I am expecting it to get wet (almost always) I peg it down dry with a little slack just to make sure it doesn't re-dry even tighter than when I pitched it. It seems to do that often.

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