Which is the best tent in the world? As of now, I’m looking at three options in choosing the right tent for my Europe leg of my walk around the world on The World Photo Tour. Below I offer some details on each of them, each presented with their pros and cons. The order is random. Feel free to share your experience or advice.
I am not looking at buying a 3 season tent reasoning that I’ll only be travelling in spring-summer time across Europe.
A one man tent would be OK-ish. Yes, I know, where one will fit, two will do as well – I’m thinking of always having my backpack inside the tent at night, don’t think too far! :) – but there are some one man tents that will just not do.
Out of all the items I shall carry with me, when thinking about the tent, weight comes second, protection from all the strongest types of weather comes first.
The ideal tent does not exist. Of course, I’d like to have a tent that will keep me warm at -50 °C and cool at +40 °C, a tent that would weight no more than 1 kilogram and a tent that could be erected in no more than one minute even in the strongest wind, all at the same time. But such a tent does not exist.
After much consideration, the options I am looking at are as follows.
1. KingCamp KT3001 Expedition 2-Person Tent
This guy is sure to be a winner in all sorts of situations. Listen to this: erected dimensions of 70+220 x 140 x 100 cm – plenty of space! Packaged size of 43 x 19 cm, PU waterproof coating of 5.000 mm, taped seams on flysheet and floor as well, floor PU waterproof coating of 10.000 mm, 5 8,5 mm poles, 21 aluminium pegs, 8 wind proof ropes, adjustable snow flap, large vestibule for equipment. It is ideal for what I want. The only two downsides – the times it would take to have it erected – this is serious business when you’re trying to camp in the middle of a blizzard, and the weight: 4,9 kilograms. Price: 225 €. Producer: Irish company – Ishka Sports.
2. Marmot Grid 2-Person Tent
This one has a fast storm-pitch system, being easy to set up, it is spacious as it is stable – the semi geodesic external pole configuration is a bless. Hydrostatic head of 5.000 mm. Rip stop nylon flysheet. 56 x 19 cm packed, 230 x 120 x 105 cm erected. Weights 2.7 kilos. Very stable and specifically designed for the fickle weather in Northern Europe. It pitches outer first or as a single unit so erecting and keeping dry in a downpour should not represent problem. Price: 199 £. Producer: Marmot. Two downsides – the dodgy rear vent and the front guyline. Big plus: the fly can be pitched first then the inner tent attached. Helps keeping the water out when pitching in heavy rain.
3. Vango Force 10 Helium 200 2-Person Tent
Light. Very light. That is, ahem, 1,3 kilograms! And still strong, they say. As well, this hybrid tunnel design tent comes with the possibility of first pitching the fly sheet and then attaching the inner from inside, as I said, ideal for what may come.Very low condensation is a plus. A small porch is a minus. Otherwise, everything seems to compete the Hilleberg Akto pretty well, at almost half the price. 40 x 12 cm packed, 270 x 120 x 90 cm erected. The main downside: there is little headroom, at 90 cm it’s the least spacious in height out of all three tents mentioned here. Price: 188 £. Producer: Vango.
It’s between these three that I have to chose for now. And it is a tough choice, not price-wise, as these tents cost all about the same amount of money, but thinking that this will be my home for such a long time, the choice is hard enough. Sometimes I am day-dreaming and puppy-dog-eyes drooling at a MSR Asgard Expedition Tent or even a Terra Nova Heavy Duty Quasar Tent, but for the moment I need to decide on one of these three options, and now it’s price-wise. Until a brick of money will come crashing through my window in the middle of the night, one of these three will do. But still, which one? In the following days I’ll probably be annoying the hell out of some outdoor shop assistants.