Gear review - Tent


What I expect from a good tent (tent manufacturers please take note):

- A tent needs to be free standing, meaning I need to be able to set up up without putting pegs into the ground. I had it several times that I had to set up my tent on pavement, not great but sometimes you have no choice. Tunnel tents need to have pegs otherwise they won't stay up, so they are out for me.

- A tent needs to be a 3-person tent. If I travel alone or with my wife, a 3-person tent offers enough room to spread out your gear. It also allows you to sit out a day of heavy rain, without getting claustrophobic.

- A tent needs to be able to be set up without the rain fly. In really hot weather you don't want to fry in your tent. The inner tent must has mosquito screen, but still needs to allows for some privacy, so not mosquito screen all over

- A tent needs to have a large vestibule, at least when the rain fly is on. A vestibule lets you store dirty boots and wet rain gear that you don't want to put in your tent but also don't want to leave outside. 

- A tent needs to be able to be set up in a few minutes by one person. If it rains you want to be able to set up your tent as quickly as possible, so that it doesn't get soaked before it's up.

- A tent needs to have a build in waterproof floor with at least 5cm / 2" high side walls. I don't want to fumble around with a tarp under the tent, which in a heavy rain will allow water to run over it and flood your tent.

- A tent needs to be affordable. If you use your tent regularly you will eventually get small punctures and tears. If your tent cost a fortune, then you will hesitate to replace it with a new one and spend another fortune.

- A tent needs to be available in an inconspicuous color, like green, brown, or grey. I don't like camoflage tents, but also don't want an orange one. Sometimes I camp rough and for safety, I don't want be be seen easily.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Aldi (Adventuridge)   double wall tent   3 persons   5.25kg   20x65cm   Euro 29.95

I bought this tent, even though my old tent (see below) was still in good conditions. The reason why I bought it is that it has a vestibule, which is clearly missing on my old tent. A large vestibule is a important part of a tent, as I learned on my travels by motorcycle.

The Aldi-tent is cheap, but the quality is really good. It is water proof, and the only problem I had with it was a torn rubber band in the tent poles while putting it up for the first time, and bend poles after a weekend in more than 35C heat. In both cases I got a entire set of poles for free as a replacement. The poles are made of fiber glass which is a little heavier than aluminium, and it can't handle heat as well, but don't forget: The tent costs Euro 30, not Euro 300!

The original stakes are quite weak, therefore I made stronger ones from 6mm stainless steel. They are much heavier than the originals, but one can actually use a hammer to pound them into the ground.

A double wall tent has a clear advantage; In summer one can just put up the inner tent. The web lets in even a small wind to cool things down, but no mosquitoes. The web is tight enough to give at least a little privacy. If it rains one of course puts the rain fly over the tent, but also when it is cold, as the warm air stays under the rain fly.

The vestibule is important to me, because there one can put the boots, the wet rain gear, the camping stove, and also the dirty panniers, if one wants to ride a day without them.

I think a 3 person tent should be the first choice, even for single travelers, since one has enough space to spread out the luggage in the tent, and one can comfortably sit out a day of monsoon rain. For safety reasons I can only advice against cocking inside the tent, or the vestibule, even if one is tempted to do it on a rainy day.

Conclusion: I absolutely recommend the Aldi-tent from Adventuridge. Good quality for a very low price, what else do you want.

A similar Iglu-Double-Wall-Tent 3 Persons is available at Amazon.de.

  

 
 

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Aldi (Adventuridge)   double wall tent   3 persons   5,5kg   20x65cm   (about 1995)

This was my first tent, bought before I owned a motorcycle. As a first tent it of course shouldn't be expensive, since I didn't know how often I would use it at all. In the end I used it over many years, and on many motorcycle trips. The tent poles at the entrance still show the camping site stickers from Iceland. I still have the tent as a "reserve tent', and it is still usable, no problem.

A similar Dome Tent 3 Persons is available at Amazon.de.