Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

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on the rocks
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Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by on the rocks »

I appreciate this may be a contentious subject but looking for advice and experience

Needs to be tough and free standing, compact enough not to take up to much of my Rockpool Isel's limited hold space. Weather proof enough to sit out a day or two's rough weather

I'm not tall (5'5") so can live without a massive amount of space but still could do with being able to move around and stash my dry gear

Hilleberg Soulo looks attractive (at a price!) I've heard some of the cheaper competitors are a lot less durable? But folk's real world experience would be useful

Many thanks
Chris Bolton
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Chris Bolton »

A lot depends where you're camping; weather, ground, people about, etc. If it's likely to be raining, flysheet first is good, but there aren't many geodesics that do that, and it won't be freestanding or mostly so. I have two; an Alpkit Kangri which is inner first but very windproof and has a porch at each end, and an Alpkit Tetri, which is outer first and you can leave the inner attached. Both are freestanding apart from the porch(es) and if I can't use pegs I've been able to find a rock, or bury something in the sand. If there are people about who you don't know, (or animals) you may want enough space to put everything inside, somewhere; otherwise you can leave stuff that can stay wet outside or in your boat. The Kangri goes in two home made tapered drybags, and the poles in another (not tapered), the Tetri packs a bit smaller and all goes in one bag (but I have a Rockpool GT which is bigger than the Isel). I like to keep the poles dry as any salt water will start corrosion and that's a potential fracture point.
BobbyR
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by BobbyR »

MSR Hubba NX. Fantastic design. Great MSR warranty. More durable than the ultralight crap around (TerraNova I’m looking at you).
Mark Graham
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Mark Graham »

I debated long and hard between the Hilleberg Soulo and the Akto. I chose the Akto primarily because it's lighter (I also use it for walking and cycling) and because I felt it has a much better ratio of porch space to living space. For a one person tent the porch is very useful but there is still plenty of living space in the inner tent. Although the Akto isn't freestanding it wouldn't take much to pitch it tied to boulders/kayak/sand anchors.
I was convinced when the guy in the shop invited me to try and tear a sample piece of the fly material. I couldn't, even though it had a slot cut in it. He then poked the point of a biro through it. After pulling it out he rubbed the material between his fingers and the hole vanished. Apparently this is due to the fibres being so strong that instead of tearing or breaking they distort around the point. I was impressed but not so impressed that I felt the need to try it on my own tent.
Elliott G
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Elliott G »

Hilleberg Soulo for sure at the top end (you did ask for best) - other options for comfort would be Terra Nova Southern Cross 2 or Helleberg Allak - both 2 person but have two doors and loads of space, all freestanding and outer pitch first.
mcgruff
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by mcgruff »

I've done a lot of camping on the west coast & imountains of Scotland. For years my (solo) tent of choice was a Terra Nova Quasar, a four pole geodesic. In my experience few tent designs can cope with a real force 8 gale, and even stronger gusts spinning off the hills.

These days I've switched to a Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar. It's not free-standing; in fact it's about as far from free-standing as you can get since it's strength relies on being pegged down well (you'll need MSR groundhogs or the Easton nanos on the MLD site). But it's even stronger than the Quasar, much lighter/smaller, and there's more space inside particularly for wet gear.

It also works as a hammock tarp - my standard cycling loadout is a Trailstar plus hammock. If you go exploring sometimes there is flat ground but no trees and sometimes there are trees but no flat ground so it's a very versatile setup. And a hammock is soooooo comfy after a long day :)
Have fun and don't die.
Owen
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Owen »

Is this a tent for something special or just a tent for the odd weekend camping trip?
Why does it need to be free standing?
Why do you think you need a tent that costs the best part of £1000 for camping on the beach in the UK, or are you going further afield?
ChrisJK
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by ChrisJK »

I was hoping to go on a weekend trip last year but never got to do it but in preparation I bought one of these https://highlander-outdoor.com/uk_shop/ ... green.html
For £50. It is a small bag and weighs around 1.5 kg. I can't vouch for it but for a fair weather camp it should suffice.
on the rocks
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by on the rocks »

Thanks Mark, I hadn’t really considered the Akto but having now read the specs and some reviews it does make more sense to me than the Soulo. I have a North Face VE25 which is similar to a Quasar but it is bigger than needed for solo trips and takes up more room than I’d like for week long trips in my low volume Isel. Owen, I have had a number of cheaper one or two person tents, and based on my experience of them I’d want something sturdier for wed and windy conditions
Mark Graham
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Mark Graham »

I've had a variety of cheaper tents over the years. It's been fun to try different designs etc but the only tents I've had that have lasted were a Vango Force 10, bought in 1979 when Vango were still a quality brand, a Phoenix Phreeranger (which was probably the best tent I ever had but is sadly no longer made) and now my Akto.
For the UK and similar or worse conditions I think it's vital to have sufficient porch space to store some kit and to cook. A lot of otherwise decent looking tents simply don't have that.
The Phreeranger had an extended porch that could be opened at either or both ends and a centre panel between them which could be opened top down or bottom up. If the wind came round you just opened the other end. My one fault with the Akto is that the porch can only open from one end.
There's also a big problem with cheaper tents. Apart from the sustainability/landfill issues I am forever finding them abandoned behind beaches or even on the hill.
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Owen »

The Phreeranger is now made by Trekkertent in silnylon. That's what I use.
Mark Graham
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Mark Graham »

Owen wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:17 am
The Phreeranger is now made by Trekkertent in silnylon. That's what I use.
Thanks, I didn't know that. I've just had a look online - it's good but the porch isn't as good as the one on mine was (Phreeranger EB, which stood for extended bell). Great for one, fine for two in a mountain marathon or longer and reasonably light by the standards of the day. The lining of my flysheet eventually delaminated which annoyed my father intensely as he had borrowed the tent for a trip in the Alps and got wet....
A few years ago I met the guys who had been behind Phoenix. They still had the original patterns and had considered getting some more tents made up. I wonder if that is where this incarnation originated, maybe under licence?
Mark Graham
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by Mark Graham »

Mark Graham wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:46 pm
Owen wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:17 am
The Phreeranger is now made by Trekkertent in silnylon. That's what I use.
Thanks, I didn't know that. I've just had a look online - it's good but the porch isn't as good as the one on mine was (Phreeranger EB, which stood for extended bell). Great for one, fine for two in a mountain marathon or longer and reasonably light by the standards of the day. The lining of my flysheet eventually delaminated which annoyed my father intensely as he had borrowed the tent for a trip in the Alps and got wet....
A few years ago I met the guys who had been behind Phoenix. They still had the original patterns and had considered getting some more tents made up. I wonder if that is where this incarnation originated, maybe under licence?
Edit to the above, I've now found the EB version on their website which is exactly what I wanted. It's unavailable at present though, and I can't justify buying another tent anyway! (N + 1 anyone? A rule known by cyclists, probably equally applicable to kayaks where N is the number of tents/bikes/kayaks you currently have and obviously N+1 is the number you really need).
seawolf856
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by seawolf856 »

I've used the Terra Nova Sothern Cross 1 for overnights in the UK including the Scottish islands and I would definitely disagree with BobbyR that Tera Nova tents are 'ultralight crap'! The Southern Cross 1 is VERY small but VERY tough and totally free standing. It pitches in minutes with the inner and footprint attached all ready to go in horrible weather. Mine even withstood a helicopter hovering overhead during a search for some lost kayakers on a Scottish Island (its a long story). The design allows you to sit up inside and although the porch isn't exactly palatial I can stash dry clothes and foot ware in there overnight and with practice I can also cook in there (well, boil a kettle). Anyway, if storage space in your boat is an issue, then this is an absolute little gem of a tent. The small footprint size also makes it easy to find enough space just about anywhere to pitch it and it is less visible. If you think you might be storm bound at any point then I also have paddling buddies who have chosen to go up to the Southern Cross 2 for a bit more porch space and cooking area but the pack size is bigger. Another favourite is the Hilleberg range of tents, one of which was used by a very good mate of mine in Alaska and it was the only tent that remained totally waterproof despite 12 days of torrential Alaskan rain. As you said in your OP, this can be a contentious issue and like everything you ask about sea kayaking gear, will generate loads of different and even contradictory answers.
on the rocks
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by on the rocks »

Thanks Seawolf856
The major criticism (frequently aired on climbing forums) of Terra Nova tents since they shifted the bulk of production overseas has been of poles snapping, and Terra Nova’s response of always blaming this on the user never mind how careful. Maybe these problems have been overstated or temporary, but for many people Terra Nova’s standard response has ruined their previously rock solid reputation. I’ve looked at the TN Southern Cross and it ticks a number of boxes, however I’m minded to spent the extra on a Hilleberg Akto.
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by mcgruff »

You could maybe add a tarp to the setup for some extra storage space or a lunch-time windbreak. The DD Superlight only weighs half a pound.

Although it is possible to create some sturdy tarp pitches, as a rule they don't handle strong winds well.
Have fun and don't die.
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Re: Best single person tent for sea kayaking?

Post by BobbyR »

on the rocks wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:28 pm
Thanks Seawolf856
The major criticism (frequently aired on climbing forums) of Terra Nova tents since they shifted the bulk of production overseas has been of poles snapping, and Terra Nova’s response of always blaming this on the user never mind how careful. Maybe these problems have been overstated or temporary, but for many people Terra Nova’s standard response has ruined their previously rock solid reputation. I’ve looked at the TN Southern Cross and it ticks a number of boxes, however I’m minded to spent the extra on a Hilleberg Akto.
That sounds like a familiar story! In the end I did manage to get my TN Laser Competition 1 repaired (broken pole and snapped guylines) under warranty. But after 2 weeks of rather disappointing use I got rid of it. On a wilderness trip you really want a tent you can trust. I still find it incredible that TN didn’t seal the tent seams on purpose. What is the point of a leaky tent.
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