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Comfort vs Weight

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Comfort vs Weight

Old 06-23-19, 01:08 AM
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Comfort vs Weight

I hope I didn't mess up. I bought an Alps Chos 3 tent. It is actually a 3 person tent so 2 people comfortably and by myself in a mansion. It weighs about 6lbs. I talked myself into it accepting the extra weight to have a little more comfort. Just kind of curious what other people give up weight to have comfort. I may do the same with the sleep pad. Intex makes a twin mattress with built in foot pump. Its almost 8 inches thick but also weighs about 8lbs. I'm not sure I am ready to do that, but its only $20 so it would probably be worth trying. I guess the worst that could happen is I'd have an extra mattress for the camper.
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Old 06-23-19, 03:00 AM
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We also use a 3 person tent for 2 of us and we have never regretted it. Two entrances and two foyers.
I wouldn't carry a mattress that heavy and you get used to sleeping on a lighter mattress.
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Old 06-23-19, 03:46 AM
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6 pounds isn't so bad for a tent. depends on your personal preferences. i didn't want to live in a bivy for more than a day or two. i'd draw the line at the mattress though. a simple ridge rest was good enough.

i drug a similar 3-human tent around nz and oz for 18 months, didn't regret the extra living space. considering my (over)load, it didn't add much percentage-wise to the total.

i wanted something with mesh netting to keep out the skeeters and snakes and tarantulas, some hangie things on the ceiling, enough room for me (6'2") to stretch out without rubbing against the walls and sit up without bumping the ceiling, and plenty of space to spread stuff all my gear during a 3-day downpour.

....with a large foyer for cooking during thunderstorms.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:03 AM
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It is a personal preference, but I don't equate a bigger heavier tent with more comfort. If I am in the tent I am usually sleeping, reading, or lying quietly. None of those require much space and I am not inclined to bring much gear inside. I have used a variety of shelter options over the years ranging from fairly heavy to a 6 ounce bug bivy and 7 ounce tarp and I don't think I'd ever consider taking more than a lightweight backpacking tent (somewhere around 3 pounds would probably be my limit).

WRT to sleeping pads, your preferences may be different, but I have found my Thermarest xLite to be the most comfortable pad I have tried. Since it is also among the lightest I have tried it seems like an easy choice for me.

On the other hand while on tour I consider two main types of comfort... on the bike and off the bike. On the bike can actually be the bigger deal and I find it is facilitated by carrying a lighter load.

Again this is all personal preference, but after a lot of trial and error and a lot of tinkering with ever lighter loads I don't think I'd ever go back to schlepping heavy loads after experiencing the joy of touring on a bike very lightly loaded with ultralight back backing gear. And to be clear my reason isn't because it is some Spartan exercise it is for COMFORT on the bike.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:59 AM
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We all need to decide what kind of trip we want to go on, then pack accordingly. If you want to go on a camping trip, pack for a camping trip. If you pack for a cycling trip, that load will probably be lighter.

And there's nothing wrong with doing a bit of both. Many of us have multiple kits for different seasons, climates, companions, interests.

I'll cycle to a trail head to join a volunteer trail crew, and that's a way different kind of trip.
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Old 06-23-19, 08:32 AM
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I pack uber light. Not counting water I try to keep my Osprey Exos 38 pack below 20 pounds for 4-5 days.
My Big Agnes Ultra Fly Creek 1 tent is a little more than a pound with footprint - the 2 man is only a few ounces more - should have went with that.
marmot plasma 20 sleeping bag is less than 1.5 pounds
Klimat pad is 17 ounces. Comfortable for my 200 lbs carcass and reliable for 4-5 years
pack is about 2 pounds
and so on...

I generally pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where summer temps run 40s at night to 80s during the day.
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Old 06-23-19, 09:11 AM
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I would not want a 1 person tent that is super light but you have to leave the tent to sit up,
and put your shoes on..
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Old 06-23-19, 09:15 AM
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You have the tent so use it for a while. I wouldn't lug a 8lb mattress ever though.

You can look at comfort in two ways. The comfort of pedaling the weight around all day or the comfort of sleeping at night.

For myself, I am pedaling between 8-14 hours a day so comfort on the bike is pretty important and excess weight reduces that. I am also keenly aware of my comfort level then.

I am in my tent for only about 8 hours and am unconscious for most of that. How big it is doesn't matter as long as it is adequate. If awake I am either reading a book or listening to an ipod. My sleep comfort comes from a bag and mat.

If you spend more time camping and less time riding YMMV but one should not discount the importance of comfort while riding. This current idea puts you at 14lb's of gear and you don't yet have panniers, a sleeping bag, clothes, cookset, food, water, personal items etc...
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Old 06-23-19, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I would not want a 1 person tent that is super light but you have to leave the tent to sit up,
and put your shoes on..
Wrong.

I can store two panniers, helmet, my shoes and sit up/dress all in the tent.




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Old 06-23-19, 10:01 AM
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I'm not talking about your favorite find. , but virtual bivvy bags, with hoops just to keep the fabric off your face..
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Old 06-23-19, 02:25 PM
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Then say bivy sac not one man tent.
I own both and they are not remotely the same.
It's like saying I would not want to tour on a folding bike because they are awkward, and by folding bike, I mean unicycle.

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Old 06-23-19, 06:34 PM
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Two person tent for additional space for my stuff is worth packing it along. Collapsible camp chair for relaxed sitting in camp is worth packing it along. You do what works for you in order to have a more enjoyable trip.
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Old 06-23-19, 07:00 PM
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I own a two man tent that is nice and spacey for me, tight fit for two people and really no room for panniers inside, well, a bit but not much room for panniers.
We also own a 3 person tent that works great for 2 people, and its in that 6.5lb range, its a well made tent, 2 doors, 2 good vestibules etc and was very reasonably priced for a good tent.
I have carried this tent on my bike, and while it weighs 2lbs more than the smaller 2 person tent, having the nice living space for 2 people is great, especially night after night.

for being on my own, the 2 person tent is nice, but I probably should have just bought a small, but useable 1 person tent that are like the one Happy shows--just to save some weight and tent bag size. There are numerous of them on the market, you can sit up in them and have room for stuff, but some of the lighter ones are mucho expensive.
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Old 06-23-19, 08:01 PM
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It really depends on how much time you spend in one. I used to have (well still do) a two man that was good and roomy for one, and not to heavy and if I were on an easier mileage trip or a trip that I expected a lot of rain on I might take it. The extra room does help when drying things.

Courses for horses.

In other news:

I was planning a trip from Jasper to Radium this week and then along Hwy 3 but had a change in plans. Instead I am doing hub and spokes from home. If I had gone I would have been passing through the Columbia Icefield today and they just got 25cm of snow with another 10cm predicted before the storm stops. Would have had a summer bag, one man tent and only cycling clothes on 700x32 Gatorskins.

Whew!

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Old 06-23-19, 08:17 PM
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I like the Thermarest products. My old one still self-inflates and rolls down fine. IIRC, it weighs just at 1 pound.

You can check them out at backcountry.com
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Old 06-23-19, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
It really depends on how much time you spend in one. I used to have (well still do) a two man that was good and roomy for one, and not to heavy and if I were on an easier mileage trip or a trip that I expected a lot of rain on I might take it. The extra room does help when drying things.

Courses for horses.

In other news:

I was planning a trip from Jasper to Radium this week and then along Hwy 3 but had a change in plans. Instead I am doing hub and spokes from home. If I had gone I would have been passing through the Columbia Icefield today and they just got 25cm of snow with another 10cm predicted before the storm stops. Would have had a summer bag, one man tent and only cycling clothes on 700x32 Gatorskins.

Whew!
Thanks for the update. My trip from Calgary to Vancouver has been delayed because of this wet weather we're having in W. Canada. I was supposed to leave on Tuesday and most of my gear for clothes is meant for 5 +. Might have to reconsider my gear and tires as well (which means more weight).
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Old 06-23-19, 11:45 PM
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I carry a 2 man tent for myself and my dog, it suits perfectly for that task, has 2 doors and vestibules, one vestibule I put my bags under and zipped it up from out side, unless it is heavy rain, then it all comes in. The dogs bed is in with me, as well as his sleeping bag, which I bring only in the cooler months. I cook in bad weather in the other vestibule, the tent can handle high winds, heavy rain and snow. It does weigh 2.7kg, but I love the comfort of it. Actually I love have the gear I bring for that extra comfort. I only tour no more then 6 hours per day, as I like to enjoy the place I will be staying at. Bicycle touring for me is more for the camping aspect, then the ride, although I enjoy both. It is up to the individual, if you want extra comfort take the gear. Sure their are ultralighters out there, but even those will understand that everyone else are just doing their own thing. Unless you want to spend 12 hours a day doing marathon rides, up hill and down dale, making as much distance as you can, then yes you would go light, but otherwise most if not all tours are a sedate holiday, and that is what my trips are. I don't want to exhaust myself on a trip. I just want a casual trip and get there and relax. I f that is what you want to do, take as much or as little gear as you want and are capable of carrying.
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Old 06-24-19, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I wouldn't lug a 8lb mattress ever though.
I'd agree with that. That said sleeping pad comfort can be pretty important for most people so choose carefully. I like the Thermarest NeoAir family, but you might consider others from Exped, Sea to Summit, Big Agnes, Nemo, and REI as well. Weight and comfort should both be factors in your choice IMO. In this case I find some of the lighter choices to also be more comfortable.
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Old 06-24-19, 05:42 AM
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I have definitely decided against the 8lb sleeping pad. I wanted at least a 2 person tent and the weight difference between the 2 and 3 person was very small so I went big. Some really good points about comfort while on the bike that I wasn't really considering. I usually only do about a week at a time right now but want to get a good pack set started. I retire in 5 years and will be doing coast to coast, so I consider all the small tours as practice runs. They are usually short days so bike comfort wasn't an issue. 4 to 5 hours a day. I want a good camp chair but haven't looked into them much.
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Old 06-24-19, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by b_young View Post
I have definitely decided against the 8lb sleeping pad. I wanted at least a 2 person tent and the weight difference between the 2 and 3 person was very small so I went big. Some really good points about comfort while on the bike that I wasn't really considering. I usually only do about a week at a time right now but want to get a good pack set started. I retire in 5 years and will be doing coast to coast, so I consider all the small tours as practice runs. They are usually short days so bike comfort wasn't an issue. 4 to 5 hours a day. I want a good camp chair but haven't looked into them much.
good decision on the mat.

as for chairs, I have seriously thought of getting one, and have looked at some in stores over the years. Like everything, there are lots out there, and some are not much more than a pound or two. I know for me, if I were to be camping every night where there were no picnic tables, my back gets sore from squatting or sitting on a low log, so for me it would be worth carrying the extra weight so that my back wouldnt be sore.

in large, well stocked outdoor stores, they usually have several models, and some are more comfortable for me--specifically how it supports , or doesnt, my lower back.

the prices vary also, and the nicer ones arent cheap, and thas why Ive never gotten one, as I really didnt need it yet.

the main thing is that there are some smart, compact designs out there--as always, its balancing cost and functionality.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:36 AM
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How much does 6-12 beers weigh? I'm generally not going on a tour on a bike anywhere remote without that packed somewhere.

I go on bike tours to have fun, not to set records or speed from one place to another. Those things may be fun to others, they aren't to me, so a few pounds here or there don't really concern me.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:49 AM
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I use a hammock, which is likely lighter and packs smaller than a 3-person tent, and no mattress or sleeping pad is required. I find it very comfortable to sleep in, but not perfect to lounge in. You can just sit on it, but if you're hiding from bugs, you need to be inside and laying down. However, with a decent sized tarp, I can have ample room to move around, and I even bring my bike under the tarp overnight. There are lighter options, but for comfortable sleeping, the hammock is best for me. You can perform some wardrobe changes inside the hammock, but it's far from ideal. I prefer popping into a restroom if there's one handy and there are other people around, otherwise I just make a quick change in the open or standing under the tarp.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:53 AM
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This is my chair: https://www.rei.com/product/877258/r...flexlite-chair
I don't take it "touring," but I do take it "bike camping." The difference being how much time I expect to spend in camp. It' a good comfort-to-weight balance, although I have a much bulkier and more comfortable chair to use around town if I don't need to be carrying a lot of camping gear in addition to the chair.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:13 AM
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it is easier to find a flat spot if the tent footprint is smaller, especially when looking for a stealth camping spot.
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Old 06-24-19, 10:15 AM
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Some other thoughts about wanting comfort is that it can be a slippery slope as well. I'm not arguing against taking something that gives a person joy but when we start valuing comfort in camp too much we can forget that we also need to schlep all that comfort around wherever we go. If you choose comfort in tents, sleeping systems, cooking gear, clothing, recreation devices etc... without a counter consideration of "can I do without this for a time" you will pay for that in discomfort pedaling.

That discomfort then impacts your tour decisions. You choose shorter routes, less mileage per day, fewer hills etc... or in the case of one former member, an e motor to haul his multiple sleeping systems, four gps units, extra battery packs, trailer and jumbo sized SS thermos.

I'm robably a little more spartan than most but I also like the stoic sensability. My home, where I spend the majority of my life, is very comfortable, with all the amenities that I constantly find I have to clean or maintain and I find getting a way for a week or two or three provides a chance to bring things back to simplicity. I only have a few things to care for, a couple of activities to perform and one "job" as it were - pedaling down the road and taking pictures.

It also depends where you are touring. Currently I spend my time in western Canada which is sparsely populated and with services and attractions far apart. For me it makes sense to do at least 100km's per day if I want to optimize my vacation time and complete routes. To do that I need to go lighter. If I were touring Europe or Japan or the NE US I might be more content to do less mileage because of the dense population and availability of attractions/services. Doing 100km a day in GB (for example) seems counter intuitive as one would miss so many stops of interest.

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