Buying a Tent

I’ve been looking to buy a new tent for camping, especially backpacking. Bought a cheap Metro Oasis tent last year, and while it is lightweight, it provides really poor ventilation making the inside very humid. It is also not terribly sturdy and I wouldn’t take it anywhere but lower elevation campgrounds.

I’ve been looking at local shops but not that impressed with what I’ve seen.

After a lot of search online I have narrowed it down to two:

  1. Light Wedge 2 by Mountain Equipment Hardware. Good surface area (35 square feet) and garanteed watertight. Excellent customer reviews on weather resistance. Weight 2.4 kilos. Good size vestibule for storing gear. Very good ventilation. This would be a great tent if you have a partner who you don’t mind sleeping in the same tent with as you both can take some of the weight in your packs and it provides a pretty cozy sleeping area.

Price: US$210 plus about $50 shipping.
trailspace.com/gear/mountain … t-wedge-2/

  1. Dyad 22 from North Face. Smaller surface area (32 square feet) but half the weight (1.22 kilos) and well able to stand up to heavy rains and wind. Good ventilation too. Looks a lot like my old tent which I recently gave to Mr He. I loved that tent despite it’s small size and I’m sure I would love this one too. Good for solo hikes or bike trips or when you hike with partners you don’t want to share a tent with (like Irishstu).

The new North Face shop on Roosevelt Rd will get this tent iin next month so I can really look at it before buying, one big advantage over the other. The price is NT9900 which is just a little more than what it would cost to buy and ship a NF tent to Taiwan (and you can’t have them ship it which is a hassle).

thenorthface.com/opencms/ope … model=AM5W

Does anyone have any favorite tents they’d like to mention?

I do, but you won’t be carrying it… :smiling_imp:

The thing to make sure of in Taiwan is whatever tent you end up looking at be sure it has a waterproof, I repeat the word ‘waterproof’ ground sheet and at least three supporting poles if it’s a dome style tent. The wind gets up a lot at times, especially when camped on the coast which I found out to my dismay after getting my tent out and realizing that it only has two. It flopped from side to side all night and there wasn’t even a typhoon. The ground sheet I made sure of however and it is totally waterproof, not one of those woven plastic cassette tape sort of ground sheets which are water resistant up to an extent, but then start leaking.
Another thing to make sure of in bad weather is not just sinking the tent pegs into the soft grass, but weighing them down with heavy rocks, otherwise when the wind and heavy rain pick up, you’ll end up floating down the road.

[quote=“sulavaca”]The thing to make sure of in Taiwan is whatever tent you end up looking at be sure it has a waterproof, I repeat the word ‘waterproof’ ground sheet and at least three supporting poles if it’s a dome style tent. The wind gets up a lot at times, especially when camped on the coast which I found out to my dismay after getting my tent out and realizing that it only has two. It flopped from side to side all night and there wasn’t even a typhoon. The ground sheet I made sure of however and it is totally waterproof, not one of those woven plastic cassette tape sort of ground sheets which are water resistant up to an extent, but then start leaking.
Another thing to make sure of in bad weather is not just sinking the tent pegs into the soft grass, but weighing them down with heavy rocks, otherwise when the wind and heavy rain pick up, you’ll end up floating down the road.[/quote]

So anything you would recommend?

Nice tent MJB, but yeah, I’m not carrying that on the Batonguan Traversing Trail next month.

There are 8 pages of tents listed here on Yahoo.
Not sure if any of them are suitable or not.

[quote=“Muzha Man”]
So anything you would recommend?
Nice tent MJB, but yeah, I’m not carrying that on the Batonguan Traversing Trail next month.[/quote]

Sorry MM…Was just playing around. I actually found my solo shooter tent on that yahoo auction page…It’s worth a look.

This is what I used last weekend on a fairly muggy, still evening and it was ok. Aluminum poles ( a must for any decent tent in the wind), pitches tight and has excellent weather protection. Vestibule is enough for shoes and thats about it. Only downside is that summer camping could get warm with the two smallish vents front and rear.

I’m fairly big and can sleep in it no issue, but it is a one man tent. Weighs pretty much nothing. I paid 2,400NT in a camping store in Linkou about 2 years ago.

Cheap, reasonable quality option…Take a look.

These were some of my original choices for a lightweight solo tent, but wasn’t able to buy them in Taiwan. Kelty makes some of the best tents on the market for the money, with very innovative designs and a 40+ year tent-making history.

Maybe somebody could ship one over to you…They are really nice. That damn Yurt I put up for fun is also a Kelty product and is extremely well made. While camping down in Kenting we experienced some pretty heavy, protracted rain and wind. Some tents were blown away entirely, but the huge Kelty, despite being very exposed didn’t even sway.

[quote=“MJB”][quote=“Muzha Man”]
So anything you would recommend?
Nice tent MJB, but yeah, I’m not carrying that on the Batonguan Traversing Trail next month.[/quote]

Sorry MM…Was just playing around. I actually found my solo shooter tent on that yahoo auction page…It’s worth a look.

This is what I used last weekend on a fairly muggy, still evening and it was ok. Aluminum poles ( a must for any decent tent in the wind), pitches tight and has excellent weather protection. Vestibule is enough for shoes and thats about it. Only downside is that summer camping could get warm with the two smallish vents front and rear.

I’m fairly big and can sleep in it no issue, but it is a one man tent. Weighs pretty much nothing. I paid 2,400NT in a camping store in Linkou about 2 years ago.

Cheap, reasonable quality option…Take a look.

Sorry for the earlier pic…Just love to show that monster tent. :blush:[/quote]

It’s a great looking tent, no doubt. Reminds me of the army tent we had when I was a kid. Three rooms that thing had: two bedrooms and a kitchen area. felt like I was in a M.A.S.H. episode every time we went out.

I have a similar one-man jobby to the Rhino above. I do find it very humid inside and a bit flimsy though which is why I am willing to pay for a top-quality tent. The one I gave to Mr He recently I had for 20 years. It saw me through the Yukon, Banff, the Queen Charlottes, southern British Columbia, and a bit of Taiwan. I want something for the next 20 years and that I can trust in the high mountains. A tent I could live in for a day or two if a storm came up.

Not to be a snob or anything, but, when I was a kid, my grandfather owned a big camping store, and we had the biggest, baddest tent on the whole estate, and it would draw many an ooh and ah when we pitched it in a prominent position within a campground.

It had three bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a sizeable living room, a foyer, and a covered porch.

Piddly little toy tents can be fun, though, of course.

I would’ve thought you’d stay in a pup tent.

I have been out of the camping and walking scene for some time now and I’m sure tents have come a long way since back when, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what brand they are as long as they do the job. You’ll need to know how many birth you require, then the weight you can manage and the size of stored tent you can deal with. Also Taiwan is a little different in weather to many places I have camped in.

When it rains here is hammers it down so nothing but the best waterproof tent will do with a high sill line that you will trip over getting into your tent but will keep the water out as it gets deep. You may also want to look for a light coloured tent as the sun in the morning will bake whoever is inside a black or dark green one. Light colours help a little but still aren’t a total solution to the heat. Try looking for a tent with big ventilation slits or flaps in it that have a good deal of overlap so again the rain can’t force its way in with the help of a little wind. Your ideal tent will also have a fair sized “porch” area outside of the main sleep area which will be at minimum two or three feet in size, but enough area to put your smelly wet clothes, cooking equipment and other unwanteds out of nose and sight, perhaps at times even a bicycle that might otherwise get stolen if locked up outside. The better ventilated porch area can also help keep the wind away if cooking with a stove, but of course there are safety concerns with cooking under the cover of a tent so be careful and don’t do what my friend did with his brand new MSR tent and cook bacon inside which will spit and drip down the walls as a fatty mess.

Some tents also come with a short strip of string on the inside of the sleeping area which can be used to tie a torch/flashlight to the inner roof. Although this can be stitched on by hand really this simple thing is perhaps one of the most useful tools at night when reading and playing a game to pass the time, even when playing drinking or stripping games with your hairy friends.
The above MSR tent 10 years ago would boast being the best tent ever made and I wouldn’t be surprised if it still is, but Taiwan rarely has snow to encounter and the ventilation in a tent like this is not the best, as it is designed for warmth not the opposite.

Key words to find a good tent for Taiwan.

  1. Rigidity (to cope with high wind. More poles, more rigid)
  2. Waterproof, high sill line.
  3. Breathable, ventilation
  4. Anchor points (to keep it on one place when the rain and wind keeps up.)
  5. Ease of use (minimum three poles, but take it out in the shop and see what it takes to get the thing up.)

Another thing to ask when purchasing is about the spares. If the tent is expensive then try and find out if you can purchase additional poles, guide lines, etc. Also take a look at the anchoring points and think about how easy or difficult they may be to restitch. Anchoring points I have personally never had a problem with as I use my tents fairly lightly, but some can be impossible to fix or repair and get spares for. This may not be important for some, but when I think of traveling way, way out into no man’s land I tend to wonder about how easily I can maintain my equipment myself.

Maybe this one HERE would be a reasonable example of a two man tent. Or HERE for one that I’m now seriously contemplating.

[quote=“MJB”]I do, but you won’t be carrying it… :smiling_imp:

[/quote]

I like the look of that for packing into the car and sleeping the family in. May I ask the details. Weight, usefulness, price, where to get it etc?

[quote=“sulavaca”][quote=“MJB”]I do, but you won’t be carrying it… :smiling_imp:

[/quote]

I like the look of that for packing into the car and sleeping the family in. May I ask the details. Weight, usefulness, price, where to get it etc?[/quote]

You sure? It’s American after all…Just kidding.

Weight: About 12kgs Most of that is the very high quality aluminum poles.

Set up: About 30 minutes bag to fly once you get used to it. The tent pitches very, very taut.

Usefulness: Weather protection is the best of any large tent I’ve ever seen. The frame design means that the harder the wind blows, the stiffer the frame becomes. Also very aerodynamic with the fly down. The front vestibule is huge, enough so for two people to sit out with a small table completely protected from the elements.

Perhaps this will give a sense of scale…With the Rodeo parked next to it. It is a big tent.

Price: Retails for around 4 to 500US depending on the market.

Availability: US only.

Summary: I’d have bought the next size down, but REI had a huge sale in the US and offered them at a blow out price of 299.99US. My friend’s sister hand-carried it in for me. Most tents claim 4 but can actually sleep two. This one claims seven but can actually do 8.

Size is manageable, and the partition wall is a nice touch, giving your kids that little bit of independence…“Hey, this is MY door ok?”

[quote=“MJB”]
You sure? It’s American after all…Just kidding… Most tents claim 4 but can actually sleep two. This one claims seven but can actually do 8.[/quote]

That’s because everything in the U.S. comes with cheese and chicken. Sold in Europe that tent will sleep an entire family of 12 grateful Polish builders!
:wink: Just kidding

Great info and a whopping great tent it is. I’ll need a second wife and another couple of kids before I can use it, but thanks for the information. I’ll keep it in mind for a car carried tent that we could keep our bikes in if we comes to go touring.

Looking around on amazon.com and came across this tent, which has gotten some really good reviews:

amazon.com/Columbia-Ridge-7- … 899&sr=8-8

Don’t know what size you’re looking for, but for the price, the brand, and the reviews, it seems like a good tent.
By the way, a buddy once ordered from amazon and had it shipped to Taiwan with no problem. At 15 pounds it might be a bit pricy on the shipping. Just make sure and get your address in pinyin exact.

sorry if this ended up in the wrong froum.

I am thinking of buying a new and good tent. Ventilation is important, and so is general quality. I have had 2 colemans, they are great tents, however they both wore out.

My mother in law got herself a very airy rhino brand tent, it’s OK, but miss all the details of the coleman.

What I have been thinking about is this one:

ch3.com.tw/turbo301.htm

At NT$12k a bit pricey, and I don’t really know, if I buy something great made in Taiwan or a locally developed dud.

Forget about it, quality should be your only consideration. :slight_smile:

The North Face Trailhead 6 - NT$15,300
thenorthface.com/catalog/sc- … ead-6.html
Johnny Outdoor Specialty Shop, No 319, Sec. 1 Jhongshan E. Rd., Jhongli City

Snow Peak Amenity Dome - NT$15,660
snowpeak.com
snowpeak.com.tw/sp_page/podu … em=SDE-001

Outwell Montana - 4099 DKK
outwell.dk
campingpriser.dk/shop/outwel … 1788p.html

I like the snow peak, however it’s too low. I like to stand when I change clothes etc.

Tunnel tents like the outwell - well, theya re good, however hard to set up.

North face would be good, a bit big, but OK.

What do you have now?

I"m still using the old Metroasis 6-person, though years of pitching on rough terrain and constant UV exposure have just about rendered it useless. I guess you could say I’m leaning toward purchasing the Trailhead 6. Sadly, there really isn’t much choice when it comes to large 7001 or DAC supported tents.

One issue I have with high end imported tents is that they seem very enclosed. I fear that with such a shell around me, I will get very hot when camping in warm weather.

I liked the old coleman, as it was very airy, however I can’t get bits for it, and the small poles keeping the awnings up break whenever given a chance.

Last weekend, I went to Sun Moon lake using my mother in law’s rhino brand tent. It’s not a great tent, however it is fairly airy, and that’s a good thing.

http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?page=king-pine-dome-tent&categoryId=53083&storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&parentCategory=500106&cat4=1096&shop_method=pp&feat=1096-sub2&np=Y
I bought one of these…heavy but I love it. Used it for 6 years in Taiwan. Lifetime return policy.