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 Page 1 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 77
Author
Alpine Tents - Advice please
bbaston
16/02/2008
9:27:52 PM
Greetings

I am looking for a 2 person 4 season tent for general mountaineering in NZ. I am wanting to stay away from the heavy Macpac tents.

Have been looking at the Mountain Hardwear EV2 and others. Does anyone have any advice they can offer please. I have found that you NEED a vestibule (may as well bivvy and not carry a heavy tent) but any advice is welcome

Cheers
Brad

Sabu
16/02/2008
9:31:40 PM
I'm looking at the Northstar v3 from Kathmandu. 2 person 4 season at 2.95kg. Can't say i have much experience with alpine tents though.
bbaston
16/02/2008
9:34:48 PM
heya
cheers but i just have my doubts with Kathmandu, i think they can be great for some stuff, but even they dont market themselves for technical gear.
I worked for them for a bit, and they seem good tents, but how many kathmandu tents do u see in the snow

JamesMc
16/02/2008
10:55:59 PM
Macpac tents are heavy because they are strong. Do you want an alpine tent that isn't strong?

I have a Kathmandu tent. It's one of the worst tents I have ever owned - now only used for car camping.

JamesMc

Macciza
17/02/2008
12:03:44 AM
Mountain Hardware is pretty good stuff - and if Ed puts his name to it, you'd expect it to perform!
If you have that much to spend I'm not sure what difference others will offer in performance/price.
Maybe try the NZAC forums or AussieMountaineers network . . .
james
17/02/2008
2:01:47 AM
Bibler tents are awesome, strong as, no condensation. Expensive though.

the Mountain Hardware Spire 2 is very light & looks real strong, not very roomy though.

Capt_mulch
17/02/2008
7:32:47 AM
I have a Macpac Olympus, and weighing in around 3.5kg (depending what type of tent pegs you take), it is a bit heavy. On the positive side, they are a tough and well designed tent, and putting them up is a five minute job. They are also meant to be 'easy' to put up in high winds, due to their design. Another nice thing is that if you are tall (I'm 6'2" old school), you will find it has plenty of leg room.

One thing to did annoy me with it was that you have to seal the seams of the fly yourself - the tent comes with a tube of Silnet silicone goop. This means that you have to remove the fly from the rest of the tent, then pitch it inside out on your lounge room floor. On reading the instructions it says to 'apply liberally'. If you are a first time seam sealer like me, you will apply liberally and run out of Silnet two thirds of the way through the job. Getting another tube of Silnet was not a problem, but with all the stuffing around I was starting to mumble nasty things about my Kiwi heritage (and had to put up with extended complaints from my better half about the smell). Again on the positive side, I literally got to know my tent inside out, I had learned to seal seams, and when I had a winge to the Macpac online feedback site, they sent me a nice email and said they would review the instructions (no sign of a free Macpac product as compensation though!!).

Tough tent, a bit heavy, a bit expensive, but I expect to still have it in ten years time.

Just before Christmas I bought a one man lightweight tent from GoLite Trig 1 from backcountrygear.com - they usually retail around USD$180. It weighs in at around 1kg, but poles are not supplied (you only need small ones, but the idea is to use trekking poles / sticks / trees instead of poles).



These are really great tents - they are almost like a bivy bag on steroids. The whole fly / floor / sides are all integrated into one unit. They also pack down to a really small unit when rolled up. They would do as four season tent, though if the weather got really bad I would want to be in the Macpac Olympus.


sliamese
17/02/2008
7:39:13 AM
if you want a comfy place for a base camp type situation you want a big olympus! theres not much stuff to do in NZ where you would want to be carrying a big comfy tent tho! a bibler I-beam is the go! shared warmth compared to a bivy-bag and nice and light! i think a small tent or bivy-bags would be fine in NZ. you dont really go out camping or anything in those mountains!
qman
17/02/2008
9:19:21 AM
minarets are a much lighter much more compact macpac and very strong alpine

some of the mt hardward tents are good.

Sabu
17/02/2008
11:02:00 AM
On 16/02/2008 JamesMc wrote:
>I have a Kathmandu tent. It's one of the worst tents I have ever owned
>- now only used for car camping.
How come?

wallwombat
17/02/2008
5:25:42 PM

The Wilderness Equipment 2nd Arrow Silicon looks pretty good and is only 2.3 kg. It's rated for extreme conditions and Wilderness Equipment have always made bomber gear. It's $570 which is pretty good for that kind of tent.

JamesMc
17/02/2008
7:42:52 PM
On 17/02/2008 Sabu wrote:
>On 16/02/2008 JamesMc wrote:
>>I have a Kathmandu tent. It's one of the worst tents I have ever owned
>>- now only used for car camping.
>How come?

It's a Mountain, four hoop Wildcountry Quasar copy.

The things I don't like about it are:
1. The fly is polyester. This means that any tears in it run incredibly easily. It has had three substantial (ie half metre long) tears. Now these may be due to rough handling, but they are the only significant tent tears I have had in over 30 years of bushwalking etc. (Note the they may have changed the materials since I bought it about 6 years or so ago.)

2. The floor is too thin, so you need an additional ground sheet underneath to avoid destroying it. Now that's common with many tents, especially American tents designed for camping on lawns, but not Macpac. If you have a Macpac tent, you don't need to carry the weight of an extra floor.

3. In spite of the inadequate floor it's incredibly heavy. This is due both to the heavy fly, and large size of the tent. The large size is nice, but it doesn't justify the weight.

I now have a Macpac Minaret, which is a much better tent. I use it as a one person tent on easy trips where weight doesn't matter, and as a tight two person tent on big / hard trips where weight is critical. It's four years old, has been looked after well, and looks like new. The Kathmandu Mountain is just used for car camping.


JamesMc

Andrew_M
17/02/2008
9:29:56 PM
Why so down on Macpac tents?The EV2 looks looks pretty funky but since you are asking specifically about a tent for NZ maybe it's not the best option. I've got a few tents and the minaret is definitely a great little tent for NZ conditions.

My minaret comes in at a shade over 2kg which is a couple of hundred grams less than the quoted weight and makes it about the same as the EV2. True, it's not too roomy and the vestibule isn't huge, but it's really solid. Particularly the rugged seam-sealed tub floor...a lot of Seppo tents apparently aren't seam sealed and as someone else mentioned the floors can be pretty damn flimsy. Another really big plus for the minaret is the modular way that you can pitch it, particularly the ability to hang the inner off the inside of the fly which means that you can pack the whole thing up in pounding west coast rain and keep everything including the inner dry, only packing the sodden fly at the last minute.

Also, the MH EV2 looks like a single skin design(?) Don't forget that while single skin tents are great for cold dry conditions, like the high altitude expds Mr Ed would be using it for, but a lot of the time in NZ you can just be sodden for days on end. A double wall tent works OK under these conditions...if you can't find a good bivy rock that is...


Sabu
17/02/2008
11:06:48 PM
On 17/02/2008 JamesMc wrote:
>The things I don't like about it are:
>1. The fly is polyester. This means that any tears in it run incredibly
>easily. It has had three substantial (ie half metre long) tears. Now
>these may be due to rough handling, but they are the only significant tent
>tears I have had in over 30 years of bushwalking etc. (Note the they may
>have changed the materials since I bought it about 6 years or so ago.)
>
>2. The floor is too thin, so you need an additional ground sheet underneath
>to avoid destroying it. Now that's common with many tents, especially
>American tents designed for camping on lawns, but not Macpac. If you have
>a Macpac tent, you don't need to carry the weight of an extra floor.
>
>3. In spite of the inadequate floor it's incredibly heavy. This is due
>both to the heavy fly, and large size of the tent. The large size is nice,
>but it doesn't justify the weight.
>
>I now have a Macpac Minaret, which is a much better tent. I use it as
>a one person tent on easy trips where weight doesn't matter, and as a tight
>two person tent on big / hard trips where weight is critical. It's four
>years old, has been looked after well, and looks like new. The Kathmandu
>Mountain is just used for car camping.

Yea thanks, after your comment i did some research (i.e. i found an excuse to spend the entire day looking at tents on the internet!) and found similar problems, so while i still like the northstar's look, something like a Minaret would be a better choice. I'm eyeing it off for 2 person 4 season snow stuff and lightweight cragging. Not a huge fan of the tunnel designs but im sure i'll forgive it once the performance i heard about comes through!

Out of interest does anyone know how the Second Arrow compares to the Minaret?

Sorry bbaston i seem to have hijacked your thread! Have you looked at the MSR Fury (double wall) or Dragontail (single wall), i came across those and they appear to suit the more serious alpine requirements.
cheers

JBM
18/02/2008
10:43:18 AM
Right, after some prodding to respond I've finally gotten around to sitting down and hammering out my .02c

A bit of background, first.

1) I own, have owned or have expedition experience with the following tents:
-Bibler Fitzroy
-Bibler Bombshelter
-Bibler Tempest
-Marmot Area 51
-Vango Spirit 200+
-WE Dart 1
-The North Face VE25
-MacPac Minaret
-MacPac Olympus
-Marmot Thor

2) I've used these tents in true mountaineering settings both at base camp and a hgh camps up to 5700m. I've also used these tents in winter settings backcounty in New Zealand on ice climbing trips to Bush Stream and Wye Creek.


So, that being the context of my experience - if you can afford the $$$ and you are really going to use this tent in true mountaineering settings (you should stay in huts in NZ anyway), then get yourself a Bibler Fitzroy or Tempest.

These tents are a little heavier than some of the others, but they are well worth the weight in providing you additional security in the hills.

I've slept for 10 days in an Olympus with one other and it was one of the more claustrophobic and noisy experiences I've had in hills. Tunnel tents are noisy!

Conversely, I've lived in a bibler fitzroy for 5 weeks and was quite comfortable, dry and warm. I've had my fitzroy for 8 years now and it has been through some serious use in NZ (winter), mulitple trips to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, the rockies of NA and some shit weather on Kossie. It's still going strong but I have recently added a Tempest to my quiver because I like the attached vestibules.

If you are really worried about weight - get yourself an Eldorado - but they are not as strong as the geodesic dome designs.

That said, if you are going to use a bibler for anything else other than mountaineering or heavy duty winter camping -they are overkill.

Cheers,

Brad


wallwombat
18/02/2008
10:49:26 AM
A hell of a lot of people can't afford a Macpac tent , let alone a Bibler.

Do you have any constructive advice for people who would be looking at spending $600 on a alpine tent, tops?

ado_m
18/02/2008
10:58:24 AM
I have a Silewa Ultralight that I use for cross country skiing. It weighs bugger all, perhaps about 2kg. I've had it in blizzard conditions, and it stood up no problems with about 6 inches of ice and sleet on it. I've had it in all conditions for about a year, and so far no signs of wear. Costs about $500-$600 depending on the discount you can wrangle.

Pros: It's super light, bright yellow, great design, good vestibule space. Good for summer hiking, can pitch without fly.

Cons: The fly and floor are very very thin, and I'm careful not to pitch on rocks etc. The zips get snagged routinely unless you're careful. It has only four guy lines, but they seem to do the trick. It can't be integral / fly first pitched, and can be a pain to put up in high winds. I wouldn't 100% rely on the tent given how light it is. If you want something to bash around, perhaps a sturdier tent is better.


JBM
18/02/2008
11:06:02 AM
On 18/02/2008 wallwombat wrote:
>A hell of a lot of people can't afford a Macpac tent , let alone a Bibler.
>
>
>Do you have any constructive advice for people who would be looking at
>spending $600 on a alpine tent, tops?

Sure - buy it from overseas:
http://www.bivouac.co.nz/Bivouac/Tents/Tramping_Tents.htm

The exped tents are pretty good - check out the serius extreme II.

Also, typically the tunnel tents will be less than the dome tents. But when you buy one, get a 3 person if you are using it of two as the inners have a tendency to hang down a bit from the fly and creat a bit of claustrophobia.

My vango spirit 200+ is a good tent and I think I found it here in Oz for about $499. With tunnel tents, you have to think a bit more about how you set them up - ie point the foot into the likely direction of the wind, tuck them behind big rocks, etc. The also are not as strong in extreme snowloading conditions.

That said, they do offer a bit more variety in how you set them up - with our without inner, etc.

Lastly, one other option would be a black diamon Megamid. If you now how to set these up, they are bomber.

Cheers,

Brad
qman
18/02/2008
11:11:30 AM
macpac also do a cheaper series of tents that include one called the nautalis which is very good. maybe 2.5kg and $500. approx

wallwombat
18/02/2008
11:29:31 AM
JBM, that is an excellent link. Cheers for that.

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