I appreciate you can only review what you're given, but it's a shame you weren't able to review any of the Big Agnes tents in the review. My Seedhouse is by far the best tent I've ever used without question.
> ... it's a shame you weren't able to review any of the Big Agnes tents in the review. My Seedhouse is by far the best tent I've ever used without question.
So you don't need to see a review of it, then...
Those with experience living with 10d and 20d fabric tents: how long have they lasted? I'm tempted by the weight savings but can't justify spending big money on a tent if it won't last at least 100 nights' use. 10d groundsheets and similar sound like a recipe for disaster if going out in all weathers.
The review would be useful, I have the Seedhouse too and think it's great, but i don't know any better. If the review said it was terrible compared to the others I might consider another brand when upgrading.
Sorry for the delayed reply.
We approached Vango time and time again, as we really wanted to include them within the review, but for reasons beyond our control (i.e. they never got back to us) we never got anything through. In terms of some of the others, part of it comes down to availability, as some of the more specialist brands don't have widespread distribution throughout the UK.
In addition to that I can't overstate the amount of time it took to research + write this review. I only reviewed one tent (the Lightwave t20 trail) and it obvioulsy took a good number of outings to formulate an opinion, then a load more time to research, then probably a full day (possibly more) to write about in a legible form that covered all the necessary points. Dan reviewed the vast majority and it took a huge toll on his time, which in turn had a knock-on impact to other reviews + articles on UKH, and the thought of adding more probably sends a shiver down his spine (not least because of the knock-on impact it would have on other reviews + articles for UKH).
Hopefully that provides a bit of context anyhow.
The only thing I've used consistently with a 20d fabric is the Terra Nova Laser Comp, but it's worth noting that this only gets brought out a couple of times a year at most - hence is still in remarkably good condition. The use is also what I'd describe as 'light' as it tends to be during mountain marathons where you're getting in and staying in, with limited amounts of kit stashed and an emaciated runner not taking up too much space beside you.
Can't begin to fathom how a 10d groundsheet would actually work in the UK, as more often than not there's something that's going to catch on it - particularly if you're off out in the rough stuff. I'd also be highly suspicious of its waterproofing for the very same reason. Maybe it'd be alright for those first few uses, but maybe not after it's generated a hole or two (which I'd imagine it would pretty quickly).
Thanks Rob. Yeah, for events and superlight stuff I don't mind using something really thin as it's not really expected to last that long, but for most of my trips which are either weekends carrying 30-35 litres of kit or week long trips with maybe 50 litres (so lightweight rather than gram obsessive) a 2.3 kg 2-person tent that lasts 100 nights is a better bet than a 1.5 kg 2-person tent that'll last 20 nights before it leaks like a sieve.
A lot of modern tent developments seem to be driven by the USA market where it basically doesn't rain, and they certainly don't camp in saturated ming like you have to fairly often in the UK. I think I'll stick with the extra weight knowing the tent will stay waterproof that bit longer...
Well done to you and particulary Dan. I think it's impossible to review every single tent and you guys also need review and do a lot of other stuff.
However, I think the UKC model of taking whatever it can get for free is flawed. Sometimes reviews have been missing best in class products because the manufacturer doesn't want to send it to UKC. Perhaps it wants to publicise its latest product instead or simply has nothing to gain (but something to lose) at that point.
Also they likely want to market the mid to upper tier stuff due to that stuff being anchor points for lower proced products and generally likely to be better reviewed. Good expensive gear is generally better received than average cheap gear. This means that some of these group comparisons aren't grounded by a budget option which asks the question of: what does tripple the price get you exactly?
The reviews on ukc done are very good, the quality of writing and testing is certainty there. The next level is buying an item because the manufacturer won't send it to you and the review wouldn't be as good without it.
I'm really flummoxed by the "inside first" pitching tents. Doesn't that mean that you can't pitch these in the rain? Pitching a tent in the rain is unpleasant to begin with but what good is a tent if the inner floor is all wet after you pitched it? I get that it means you can use the inner tent as a flysheet for hot weatherbut it feels kind of limiting for a tent.
How do you deal with having to change your layers underneath your shell when it's raining and there is no shelter? Presumably you settle for getting a little wet for a few seconds whilst you take your shell off then put it back on. Not really any different pitching a tent that goes inner first.
Yep, my 'inner pitch first' tents are semi-geodesic; you just slide the poles through sleeves or clip them to hooks on the inner, bring the structure upright, and then pop the fly on. Takes a couple of minutes. If it's really hammering, you can always drape the fly over the inner whilst you're inserting the poles. I've never found it a problem, and I've never understood the prejudice against inner pitch first.
I agree. I pitched an inner-first tent the other night in heavy rain plus wind, which made it pretty much impossible to just drape the flysheet over while I assembled the poles and inner. It was hard to get the pegs in and it was dark too, which is obviously a bit slower, so by the time I had it all done the inner was literally soaked through. Luckily I had a blanket to sponge up the worst of the puddles inside.
It's not often as bad as that of course, and personally I tend to go camping when the forecast is OK anyway. I don't find inner-first to be a deal breaker if the tent is otherwise good, but it's impossible not to consider it a big drawback for use in wetter climates. Once in a while you will definitely be caught out.
I think it's a popular design because: 1. not everywhere is as wet as Britain, and 2. it is reputedly easier to make a taut and stable structure if the poles are underneath the fly rather than integrated into it.
For what it's worth I have never once, in 40+ years of camping, felt the need to pitch a tent either as just the inner or just the fly, so for me a tent that goes up all in a one-er is a lot better than one that can be pitched in various less useful configurations.