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Two person tent for solo tour?

Old 05-26-22, 04:39 PM
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Two person tent for solo tour?

Has anybody found that when touring and/or camping solo they prefer to have a two person tent despite the weight/size trade off? I'm looking to buy a new tent this week and can't think up reasons I'd need bigger than a one person, but there's always something to learn.
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Old 05-26-22, 04:45 PM
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Go bigger. Easier to keep stuff inside during inclement weather.
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Old 05-26-22, 04:53 PM
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Long haul, I'd keep it as light as possible, but for a week or weekend I'd go bigger for comfort.
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Old 05-26-22, 05:17 PM
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You can get two man tents that are light and compact. That being said, I bought a Passage One tent by REI for use when I don't want to use the Warbonnet Blackbird hammock. It was on sale. The price was just too good to pass up. I can strap the poles to the top tube of the bike, and the rest can be put in its stuff sack and a dry bag, remaining fairly compact.

I just used it on a motorcycle trip. I was able to put my 40L Ortlieb duffle inside, along with my large tank bag. It has a bit more room inside than many single person tents. My bicycle touring gear fits inside even better. My Ortlieb Back Roller bags fit inside nicely, along with my handlebar bag, though I generally leave my bags attached to the bike and bring in only the handlebar bag. A saddlebag also fits in the vestibule.

Two man tents simply give you a bit more room, and that is nice. When looking, be sure to compare the floor space, not just the description, one person tent vs two person tent. One reason I opted for the Passage 1, is that the floor space does not taper at one end, so if gives you more room than those that taper. I generally use my hammock on tour, but on my last tour my wife came to spend the weekend with me. I had her bring out three person Coleman tent. It's huge. It gave us plenty of room though, and I kept it for the remainder of the tour since I was potentially going to wait out some bad weather, hail, heavy thunderstorms, high winds, and temperatures in the mid to upper 40s. It weighs 11 pounds, but it was nice to have the extra room to lounge in.

Generally speaking, go bigger if you have any doubts. You are not hiking, carrying the tent on your back. Better to have the tent a little bigger and have the extra room, than have it be too small for your liking. Whatever you get, try it out before taking it on a tour.
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Old 05-26-22, 06:06 PM
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I use a NEMO Hornet which is nominally 2 person, but they will need to be petite, and very friendly. It is pretty light, sets easily and is gratifyingly waterproof. The extra room is nice for, as Steve mentioned, keeping the gear dry. Also for keeping the gear from being mauled by night time plunder bunnies.
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Old 05-26-22, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
night time plunder bunnies.
Coons?
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Old 05-26-22, 06:43 PM
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Individual choice, but I don't bring anything in that I don't need for sleeping or getting dressed in the morning. I pretty much spend any time in the tent sleeping or reading. So for me a solo tent was always fine. These days I have gone to a hoop-less bivy and tarp though.

Some folks want a lot of sprawling room and/or bring in all their stuff. That is likely to mean a bigger tent.
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Old 05-26-22, 06:58 PM
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I like to be able to pack up everything in my panniers inside the tent while it is raining outside, then the only thing that I have to pack up while outside in the rain is the tent itself. Two person tent is the way to go. That said, there are light weight two person tents and heavy ones. I used to use a heavy one, but now use a very light weight one.

This one tips the scale at 1565 grams with poles and extra stakes, that is 3.45 pounds.



Photo above is overlooking the Bay of Fundy. This provincial park had some hike in sites that were just beautiful.

That replaced one that was almost twice the weight. I still use it for canoe trips but the photo below was the last bike trip for that tent six years ago.



I have also bike toured with a solo tent, I might do that on shorter trips if there is a reason to do so, but for longer trips where it is my home away from home, I don't want to deprive myself.

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Old 05-26-22, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I like to be able to pack up everything in my panniers inside the tent while it is raining outside, then the only thing that I have to pack up while outside in the rain is the tent itself.
That is the great thing about my hammock. My gear, including the bike, can be on a tarp under the hammock and rainfly. When it is raining, I can pack everything up under the rainfly. I can pack away the sleeping bag, and hammock without anything getting wet. The bike is basically ready to go before I take down the rainfly. It is quickly stashed on the bike and I'm on my way.
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Old 05-26-22, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post



.

I have also bike toured with a solo tent, I might do that on shorter trips if there is a reason to do so, but for longer trips where it is my home away from home, I don't want to deprive myself.
Oh, and nice setup. What tent is that?
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Old 05-26-22, 07:24 PM
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Wow... Just noticed that tents have quadrupled in price over the two past years...

Makes me rethink the Tarp and Mosquito net challenge...

Originally Posted by phughes View Post
That is the great thing about my hammock. My gear, including the bike, can be on a tarp under the hammock and rain fly...
Yep... the hammock is on that list of proven gear. Only thing is it has a fairly long learning curve but once ya get it down its a real gem...
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Old 05-26-22, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Oh, and nice setup. What tent is that?
Big Agnes Scout Plus. No longer made. Single wall tent, so it gets a lot of condensation on the ceiling, but if I sleep in the middle there is enough height for me to get up without rubbing on a wet ceiling. Trekking pole tent, but I cut tent poles to bring with it, I cut them short enough to fit in a front pannier. The listed weight on that tent is a bit over 2 pounds, but my poles, a plastic ground sheet, etc, push teh weight up to the weight I listed in my previous post.

More info on it here. I have the older version.
https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/revie...scout-plus-ul2

It is not a free standing tent. I had to jam twigs in between the planks below to substitute for stakes.



Photo above was at a state park, I do not recall which, in the Florida Keys, they had some hike in sites in the mangrove.
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Old 05-26-22, 07:47 PM
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Two person tent for me, a freestanding ALPS Meramac 2. Not the lightest but it cost less than $100. Nice to have the space inside for gear, for moving around and for sitting up and changing duds.
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Old 05-26-22, 08:23 PM
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Here is a proven tent used in Central Texas effectively. It has even been proven with our Boy Scout Troop and that's saying allot cause they tear up equipment like crazy. It has room for two or one with a full pack inside. They come in at just under four pounds and can handle light rain and mosquitoes. I replace the steel stakes with aluminum and also use a thin plastic ground cover just to keep the bottom clean. I don't know of anyone who has used this tent in Cold Country. At less than 50 USD its worth a try...


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Old 05-26-22, 08:36 PM
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Beware: there is no regulation over what tent companies can claim/ as to what a tent company classifies their tent is suitable for how many people. For instance: I have a 2 meter x 2 meter (80" x 80") tent that claims to be for four people. Would you believe two short people.
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Old 05-26-22, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
Coons?
Also known as trash pandas.
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Old 05-26-22, 08:55 PM
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For me, # of people + 1 when it comes to tents. My newest is a 2P that is 2.75 lbs. BA Fly Creek HV UL 2. Can’t wait to try it out soon. I gladly trade a full water bottle’s worth of weight (or less) for the extra room considering considering I’m 6’2” tall with broad shoulders.

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Old 05-26-22, 09:21 PM
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Another thread where everyone suggests what they already own.

I have an Altaplex & a Duplex for my ultralight backpacking adventures. My 7 day backpacking setup weighs 16lb total weight...with food! I even went on 1 trip where I spent 4 days in the Altaplex reading books next to my backpack & cooking in the vestibule while the wind & rainstorm raged on. Did not get wet. Not a single drip inside the tent.

I wouldn't hesitate to use any ultralight backpacking gear on a bike trip. The weight & build quality requirements are higher than anything intended to be carried by a vehicle.

4 pound tents made of nylon? Wow, you guys. Just wow.

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Old 05-26-22, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
For me, # of people + 1 when it comes to tents.
Couldn't agree more, that's what has worked for me and I will gladly tote that extra 1 lb. for comfort.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:56 PM
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And as long as we are discussing comfort, my two words are chamber pot. Leave the tent when you are ready.
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Old 05-26-22, 10:22 PM
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I used a bivy tent for a very short period of time. Made me rather claustrophobic. 2 man is good for sleeping space and gear
If you take the same model tents for 1 person vs 2, you will see the weight difference is minimal. Usually the frame materials are the same, it's only an extra yard or 2 of fabric.
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Old 05-27-22, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I used a bivy tent for a very short period of time. Made me rather claustrophobic. 2 man is good for sleeping space and gear
If you take the same model tents for 1 person vs 2, you will see the weight difference is minimal. Usually the frame materials are the same, it's only an extra yard or 2 of fabric.
A woman on my cross country group tour started out with a little bivy-like tent like those shown above. We jokingly called it “the coffin.” We were headed west to east. She replaced it with a 2P in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Old 05-27-22, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
A woman on my cross country group tour started out with a little bivy-like tent like those shown above. We jokingly called it “the coffin.” We were headed west to east. She replaced it with a 2P in Fargo, North Dakota.
Just a note to clarify... When I mentioned that I use a hoopless bivy I am referring to something very different than these things folks often call bivys. Mine are almost more of a baggy sleeping bag cover. I use either of the following:
  • Borah side zip - 7 ounces
  • Ti Goat Ptramigan Bug Bivy - 5.3 ounces
I choose which one to take depending on the expected weather and bugs. When it is hot and buggy the bug bivy is nice. Otherwise I use the regular bivy and cowboy camp when it isn't needed. I always carry a tarp with them, but don't always pitch it. I have used a little half tarp (MLD Dog Tarp 4.9oz.) that only covered the upper half of the bivy where the mesh was. I switched to a little larger tarp (Integral Designs Siltarp1 7 oz.), and a larger yet one (Sea2Summit Escapist M 6'6" x 8'6" - 12.3 oz.). All three worked with different advantages.

The half tarp would have been a bit of a pain for a rainy tour. It worked fine when/where I used it.

The Siltarp 1 was a bit nicer to use. It kept the bivy drier and could be pitched a bit higher. If it was wet and blowing it did still need to be pitched pretty low. So not much headroom in real bad weather.

The Escapist allows for higher pitching and still staying dry in blowing wet weather. That means you can sit up even in the worst weather and still have no rain blowing in. It comes at the price of a bit of weight.

BTW, I have used light 2 man tents, but mosly because they were what I had. They are nice if you need them to suffice for solo and for trips with a companion. I never really found that extra space around me really added comfort when sleeping and the weight certainly didn't when riding.

As far as tents go I still like my old Eureka Spitfire 1 when/if I should choose to take a tent (I have not done so in quite a while, but certainly might on a canoe trip or something). It is fairly light at 2 pounds 9 ounces with a few MSR needle stakes instead of the steel ones it came with. When I bought it they could be found new for under $100. I am sure you can find lighter tents these days, but I doubt you can find many good bargains like that. It is roomy enough that I could bring in some gear or let my large, but well behaved dog sleep with me. I could point where she should sleep and she'd settle there for the night. She would only keep me awake if the coyotes were close by and yipping or in recent years she developed thunderstorm anxiety. I don't backpack with her anymore in her advanced years though so the storms have not been an issue for camping. It is sad to leave her home but even short walks are often at her limit these days.
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Old 05-27-22, 06:47 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
For me, # of people + 1 when it comes to tents. ... I gladly trade a full water bottle’s worth of weight (or less) for the extra room considering considering I’m 6’2” tall with broad shoulders.
Yep, and for the same reason on the body size. I don't like sleeping up against the walls of the tent -- too wet if it rained last night and the dew condensed, and it's no fun getting bit by mosquitoes if it was warm and you stuck a foot or hand out of the sleeping bag and rested it up against the tent wall. Plus I like to have a bit of space to wiggle while pulling on bike shorts the next morning. So with all due respect to bivy fans, no thank you.

If I were 5'2" and weighed 95 pounds like my niece, I might consider a one person tent. Or a two person if her King Charles spaniel came along.
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Old 05-27-22, 07:51 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
Beware: there is no regulation over what tent companies can claim/ as to what a tent company classifies their tent is suitable for how many people. For instance: I have a 2 meter x 2 meter (80" x 80") tent that claims to be for four people. Would you believe two short people.
Back when I was last tent shopping the better companies like REI had plan views of the tents they sold, not just the ones they made, with adult sleeping bags laid down in various arrangements. We ended up getting a big square tent for 4, to contain two people and two bikes laid down one on top of the other. At least with a dimensioned picture you can use your own judgement, even if no standards exist. Other gear was ind of sparse because the tour was sagged. My cousin, a veteran of many RAGBRAIs, used a 4-man just for herself. She also has a reading light and a little loungey chair to read in. Home away from home, when not on the bike!
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