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  1. Default Tent, how's this?

    First tent, plan to try camping in the summer and depending how it goes use it frequently on my trips.

    What do you think of this tent?


    I would be sleeping 2 in the tent but I'm not the smallest guy so I figure a 3 person tent is the way to go.


    And for sleeping bags, are mummy or rectangle preferred?
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-19-2009 at 03:08 AM. Reason: link format

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,066

    Default sundome

    I've actually been using a similar, but larger, coleman sundome tent for the past couple years. Its held up pretty well, and it is very easy to set up. I'm not sure that its the best tent I've ever had, but its a good basic choice to get you started.

    I agree that going with a 3 person tent will make a lot of sense. The people ratings must assume that you can lay down side by side with no space in between. I think my tent is rated at 8 people, and trying to fit anymore than 4 adults would almost require people to sleep on top of each other.

    Unless you are looking into cold weather gear, I think a basic rectangle tent should suit you just fine for summer camping.

  3. #3

    Default

    Doesn't look a bad tent. One feature which I like but hadn't considered before was the ability to open the sides right up for ventilation (like my current tent (seen without the fly sheet). I now wouldn't buy another tent without it. The ability not to fit the outer fly sheet if you choose not to is also an added bonus when it is hot... trust me on that!! The only issue you might have with that type of tent (ie a tent without a full size outer fly sheet and seperate inner tent) is sometimes it can be prone to a bit of condensation on the inside so if you roll over in the night and touch the 'wall' you could get the odd drip... but you soon learn not to touch the wall!

    When it comes to sleeping bags it comes down to personal preference. Mummy sleeping bags are warmer but, if I am honest, mine drove me insane until I finally got used to being in the thing. Now I wouldn't go back to the old style one if you paid me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default

    I have a little 7’ x 7’ Coleman tent that is very similar to the Sundome. It’s real easy to set up, just as Michael says, and has held up just fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Looks a bit like my little tent... great tent. I have a threeman, just for little me! lol Must admit, I do prefer to have one with the full fly, right down to the ground. They are better at keeping out the rain.

    Your link to the tent, also shows a tent light. I have one of those, and regret buying the thing. It is too heavy for a small tent, it just hangs and pulls the tent down. Tried putting it on the seams / over the loops which hold the canes... all to no avail.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    Doesn't look a bad tent. One feature which I like but hadn't considered before was the ability to open the sides right up for ventilation (like my current tent (seen without the fly sheet). I now wouldn't buy another tent without it. The ability not to fit the outer fly sheet if you choose not to is also an added bonus when it is hot... trust me on that!! The only issue you might have with that type of tent (ie a tent without a full size outer fly sheet and seperate inner tent) is sometimes it can be prone to a bit of condensation on the inside so if you roll over in the night and touch the 'wall' you could get the odd drip... but you soon learn not to touch the wall!

    When it comes to sleeping bags it comes down to personal preference. Mummy sleeping bags are warmer but, if I am honest, mine drove me insane until I finally got used to being in the thing. Now I wouldn't go back to the old style one if you paid me.
    That tent looks pretty good. Do you have a link to it so I can check it out?

  7. #7

    Default

    I actually picked it up at an outdoor store in New Zealand and I can't remember what is even called... I will try and dig out the bag (it is at the back of the garage now sadly - my trip is obviously well and truly over!!) and see what it is called and get back to you.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZionsWrath View Post
    First tent, plan to try camping in the summer and depending how it goes use it frequently on my trips.

    What do you think of this tent?


    I would be sleeping 2 in the tent but I'm not the smallest guy so I figure a 3 person tent is the way to go.


    And for sleeping bags, are mummy or rectangle preferred?
    First, congrats on having the good sense to try camping on short trips before you head out on a lengthy gig. I never understand why people think it's a good idea to make their first camping experience 5-weeks long! You'll learn a good bit about how to camp, what to pack, and your own personal comfort level through those short trips, and you'll be able to make good decisions for a longer trip.

    It's a decent tent. I've owned Colemans before, and they're a lot of bang for the buck. It's a good, moderately priced line. I would never buy anything except the dome-style tent. They go up so easily and can be set up on sand or rock without any difficulty. I've had good luck buying tents on ebay -- excellent prices! Since our kids are as big as we are now, we currently are enjoying a three-room multi-dome tent by Swiss Gear; I'm pretty sure it cost about $50 on ebay (brand new).

    You're right to figure a little big for the tent. When they say it sleeps three, they mean that three sleeping bags will lay side-by-side with no space for equipment anywhere. In reality, a three-person tent is the MINIMUM size for two people who want to be comfortable, or who plan to camp for any time at all.

    Sleeping bags. There's room for lots of personal perference here, and -- again -- I suggest that once you've become knowledgeable about what's out there, you hit ebay.

    Shape:

    Rectangular is most comfortable because you have the most space to move around. It also allows you to zip two identical bags together; the reasons being obvious. Rectangular bags are also heavier (more fabric, more filler -- that comes with a weight cost), and the allow your body heat to escape via the wide open shoulder area in winter. Cheaper bags are almost always rectangular.

    Mummy bags taper at the foot and have a drawstring to close up around your face. This smaller design means that your body heat is held closer to you, and you stay warmer -- if you plan to camp in winter, that is. Mummy bags are smaller to pack, lighter to carry.

    Other shape options: Semi-mummies (which is what I personally have) are kind of in-between; they aren't as boxy as the rectangle, nor are they as tight-fitting as the true mummies. Some mummies have extra space in the foot. The nicer bags are available in regular, tall, and short; it's wise to choose a bag that fits your body size.

    Sleeping bag filler: If you're looking at anything other than the cheapest Kmart bags, you have two basic options -- Down or a polyester-hollifill blend. Different qualities are available in each option, but these are the biggest pros /cons:

    A down bag is exceedingly warm for its size and weight. It will last forever if you take good care of it. If it gets wet, however, it is 100% useless; you cannot wash it in your machine at home. When you lie down on it, your body weight will compact it completely, making a sleeping pad underneath the bag absolutely essential. Finally, down is expensive.

    A poly-fill bag is considerably larger and will take up more space in your car; however, despite its size, it will not be all that heavy. It retains some warmth when wet, and it can be washed (gently) in a large machine -- don't dry it though. It does not completely compact under your weight, though you probably want a sleeping pad anyway. A good bag isn't all that expensive, and it will last a very long time if cared for well. My Coleman poly-fill bag was my 15th birthday present, and I know it cost $90 in 1982. I've cared for it like a baby, and it has never left me cold. A good investment, it is still in excellent condition.

    Temp rating: You didn't know to ask this, but I'll throw it in. When you look at sleeping bags, they'll be rated by the temperature at which they can be expected to perform well. You could buy a 40 degree bag, which would be useful only in summer; you could buy a -15 degree bag, which would take you into the cold, cold weather; or you could buy something in between. When the manufacturer gives a rating, it means the temperature at which an average-sized male would be comfortable in that bag, and it assumes he is also using a sleep mat and is in a tent. You know whether you personally are hot or cold natured. Personally, I love my 0-degree bag. In summer I sleep with it unzipped, and in winter I zip it up tight and pull the drawstring around my head.

    Extra features worth paying for:

    Double-zipper; be sure your zipper has "two heads". You should be able to zip it the normal, expected way, and you should also be able to unzip an area at the foot. This lets you get a little cool air on your feet, or it allows you to stick your feet out and walk around in your bag.

    A sewn-in baffle that runs the length of the zipper. You don't want that cold zipper touching your bare butt, nor do you want to feel the tiny zaps of cold air coming through the little zipper holes.

    Two-panel construction. This means that your bag is essentially two layers -- that is, two layers on top of you, two layers underneath you. If you had only one layer, there'd be little cold spots where the needle left holes in the fabric. With two layers, those little holes don't line up, and you stay warmer. You should have plenty of baffles in your bag though: that is, you should have plenty of stitching to hold the stuffing in place. You don't want your stuffing moving around feely, leaving thin spots that'll leave you cold.

    Extra stuffing in the foot -- you know whether you're cold natured and whether you'd see this as a blessing, or an extra weight to carry.

    Most nice bags will have these features. Expect to pay $100-150 for a nice bag on sale (or on ebay).

    Finally -- I'm sure you want me to stop writing -- don't neglect a sleep pad. They aren't just for comfort. They also insulate you from the cold ground, keeping you warmer.

    I like the Therma-rest type mattresses, though mine is a nicer brand -- it's about twice the thickness of a Therma-rest, and I cannot remember the name. Oh, what IS that name? It's not common at all. I bought one for every member of my family at Sam's years and years ago. These are the Cadillacs of the mattress world -- they are 90% as comfortable as my own bed at home. The downside is that they're both bulky and heavy, and they're a pain to roll up.

    The other good choice is a closed-cell foam mat. These are something akin to a kindergarten nap mat, but they're not half bad. Choose one with ridges or an egg-crate design. These are often available in full-length or knee-length. Very inexpensive, they'll do the job, though not with the comfort of the Therma-rest type stuff.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Wow!! Mrs Pete,

    That is the most comprehensive list of suggestions for sleeping bags and mats I have ever read. I cannot but agree, a quality sleeping bag well cared for, is a good investment. My goose down triple wall sleeping bag was bought 2nd hand (though almost new) some 30 years ago, and is still in excellent condition. Took it in to have it professionally rejuvinated recently. It will now do me for another 30 years. LOL

  10. Default

    There is an outdoors company called Eureka in the US and Canada thats makes a tent similiar to UKCraigs. I actually have one... it is called the Pinnacle 3A. Without the rain cover, it is pretty much a mosquito net with poles. So easy to set up and very light if you like hikes. Also, I would check ebay for one... thats where I grabbed mine for a fraction of the price.

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