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Thread: Self supporting tents?

  1. #1
    Mini Goon Philx123's Avatar
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    Are there any tents out there which are self supporting? I'm looking for something which is small, lightweight and which you can pitch for wild camping with the minimum fuss, but, most of all, is self supporting - almost like a pop-up tent, but without the big packing profile.
    I'm interested for cycle touring and general camping in the wilds, but also in places where pitching the tent I've got now, which is good - small and lightweight, but which requires guy ropes to keep it up, can be problematic (gullies, sand dunes, shingle etc).

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    There are loads...

    Hilleberg Unna and Soulo to start the ball rolling at the expensive end of the market, assuming you want it for one. If you want it for 2 or more there are stacks of them from most manufacturers.

    Do note that self supporting tents generally need guying as well if you're going to be taking heavy flak. You can get sand pegs or use bags full of sand/snow/pebbles or guy onto prominent rocks, but don't assume that just because you don't need guys for it to stand up in calm weather it'll stay like that in a real blow.

    Pete.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    The first (mostly) self-supporting tent I had was a North Face Tadpole. I took it to the North Pennines and got ready to pitch it on a windswept moorland. It was neat the way you could thread three poles into its sleeves, and the thing was virtually complete, apart from the flapping door end. The other neat thing was being able to position it exactly where you wanted, on the most level and comfortable bit of ground... then turn round to grab the pegs...

    Yeah... I turned back and the tent was boucing and rolling away across the moor. I'm sure it would be going to this day, except it got stopped by a fence... mercifully free of barbed wire!

    Put something heavy in the tent until you get it pegged down!

  4. #4
    Mini Goon Philx123's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. Any other suggestions, perhaps at the not so expensive end?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    What's your budget?

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Bedouin's Avatar
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    I have the larger version of the Tadpole... The Big Fat Frog. Its the American version so the inner is completely mesh. Took it out last weekend to see how it performed and was pleasantly surprised. O.K its not a bunker tent but it coped pretty damn well.



  7. #7
    ‹bermensch
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    Many of the of the Vaude tents are self supporting, the build quality is good and yet they're not too expensive or heavy.

  8. #8
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip Smith 4 View Post
    ...the not so expensive end?
    Well... I'm finished using my old Tadpole. It's seen a lot of use, but is still serviceable. The only 'weak' part is the groundsheet, which isn't fully waterproof any more. Provided you put an impermeable plastic sheet on the ground beneath it, then it's fine.

    A snip at £30 including postage and packing... and I can't say fairer than that guv'nor.

    Put it this way... at that price you can afford to kick it around a bit on your travels, and if you really like it, you can get a proper one later!

  9. #9
    ‹bermensch R_Mac's Avatar
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    What about the MSR Hubba HP, self supporting apart from the porch. The problem is that apart from the Hilleberg ones mentioned by Peter and the MSR it's difficult to get a light self supporting solo tent asquite a fewneed at least 3 poles which pushes the weight up.

    The Wild Country Sololite might be worth considering, it isn't as free standing asPeter's suggestions, basically it'll stay up but needs the corners and porch pegged out. Obviously a compromise but not too expensive. That said if you're prepared to compromise on some pegging than you could do much worse than Paddy's TNF Tadpole, I'd snap it up if I were you.

  10. #10
    Initiate
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    Generally they are called "free standing" .Of those many (the US versions) tend to have the inner (called tent over there) "freestanding" however you need to peg the fly down to keep it there and or off the inner.A basic cross pole design (like some Black Diamond tents) is freestanding with two poles only, but that means no vestibule. You need a third pole to get that too. Since I look after Tarptent in Australia, I would suggest looking at the Moment.That stands up with 2 pegs only , has a dry entry with a protected vestibule and goes up in a minute. For strong winds another two pegs and two guylines would be recommended.I made a pole with shorter sections (15") for a mate of mine for his bike and kayaking trips, so packaged is 15 1/2 " long and about 4" wide (uncompressed)This is a video of the set up...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWZQKivY2SAIf you are in a high humidity area , there is a 'liner" avaliable ($30) that is a partial double wall inner. Covers the top and some of the sides so that you don't brush against wet walls.http://www.tarptent.com/moment.html






    Ignore the external pole. It is for some snow loading. With that extra (external pole) it becomes "freestanding" in the sense that you can move it around and will keep the shape. And this sorts of contradicts my 3 pole requirement comment...But of course you still need to peg it down. Without that extra pole (std set up) it is still very fast to move from one spot to another because it takes longer to insert the pole in the sleeve than to peg it down. (see video)

    Franco

  11. #11
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    If you get Paddy's old Tadpole you can always get Scottish Mountain Gear or a similar outfit to replace the groundsheet with a waterproof one. I guess it'll more than double the cost, but given the cost you'd still have a fair deal.

    Pete.

  12. #12
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    Here a small but bombproof coffin suited for five seasons (you know when you should worry about not being snowed in for the obvious reasons)....

    I'm talking about a Wechsel pathfinder. http://www.wechsel-tents.de/en/produ...ts/pathfinder/. Two versions a PU version or a silnylon version. For the fifth season you can order extra snowflaps on the silnylon version. It prevents spindrift... A tad cheaper than Hilleberg and no stake needed to stand up, only to prevent being blown away. But ofcourse there might be a weight penalty compared to the souloif you go for the PU (and even more cheaper) version.


  13. #13
    Mini Goon Philx123's Avatar
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    Paddy, PM'd you.

  14. #14
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Phil... ditto.

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