Must have a porch though...
So as the thread title suggests I'm looking for a lightish tent with a porch which is big enough to cook in when the British weather does what it does best. My budget is no more than £200.
How light is lightish? Well 3Kg is the absolute maximum, but preferably more like 2.5Kg. On the porch side of things I'd prefer a fully covered section rather than a front opening jobby if possible, so this probably means a tunnel tent.
All I've really seen so far is the Vango Spirit 200+ which is 2.9Kg according to their new (and flippin' terrible) website.
Are there any other options? As much as I'd love to get a Nallo GT or something there's no way I can justify that price for the amount of use I'd get out of it.
These have good reputation and a good discount here
or this http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN57001
Trouble with both of those is they're front openers, so no matter how hard you try if it's raining and you want to cook you're going to get wet with the door open.
Thanks for the laser large tip twiglegs, I'm always hesistant to buy anything like this without seeing it first so I'll have to consider whether it's worth the trip (if it's even still there!)
.Matt. wrote (see)
Surely not so.... the 3-panel porches like the one on the Macpac linked are very versatile - I've been cooking in assorted Terra Nova porches of that design for over 25 years now and not found cooking in rain any problem. Normally I'd just drop the central door and place the stove out in the porch. If I really need more shelter from one direction then I might leave the central door up and tie back one side of the porch. Your pan lid might get a bit wet but you and the inner shouldn't,
I'm not sure if you can do that with the curve-zip door of the Vango.
Have a look at the Coleman Avior X2. Has porch, plus door at side, weighs 2.5kg. Classed as a 2 person tent but might need to be 'friendly' if carrying a lot of gear, or bigger/taller than 'average'. Can be found for less than £100, usually, got the one I have for £49 in store not having a "sale".
It's been well used, including in winter, plus a trip to climb Jebel Toubkal. Stood up to temps. of -25c and winds of @ 50/60mph, still as good as new!!! Rated as a 3/4 season tent so has exceeded what I expected it to cope with.
Can be erected in one, (inner and outer together). Inner is mostly mesh so if using in very cold conditions I'd take a very warm sleeping bag.
Wait, hang on - so the door on the Minaret has two vertical zips?
There's a (slightly old) review by Jon here on OM - don't know if you've seen it?
Unfortunately The Outdoor Shop have confirmed that the door on the Minaret is a curved zip not a 3 panel, so that option might be out. I'll have to have a think about it because it looks like it's a very good tent for the money other than that.
edit: I asked them a followup query and apparently the door panel does have a peg loop on it, so in theory you can have the door 'closed' (held in place with the peg but unzipped) and then pull back the side panel that the door zips onto. Obviously that only works from one side though!
Hmm, choices choices.
Wild Country Duolite Tourer
The Duolite Tourer is probably a bit overkill although the standard Duolite looks interesting, especially as it has a 3 panel door. The trouble is most reviews of it I can find mention it doesn't pack down well and the rolled size listed for it kind of backs that up and in general the Minaret looks like a better tent apart from the door, not surprising considering the RRP difference.
I'm very tempted to get the Minaret now and there's only one left. Gotta think about it this evening I guess!
Ok, stuff it - I've just bought that last Minaret from The Outdoors Shop
I know I'm probably not going to be pushing it anywhere near its limits in the immediate future, but everything I can find says they more or less live forever so I'm sure I will sooner or later. I've potentially got a chance to use it properly in Feburary which would be a good start.
Vango Spirit 200+?
Nice tent. Used one for a three week trip to Africa with a group of ppl. That was the tent of choice.
Message me, tel ya more about it and links and stuffs.
Thanks malaz18, but I just bought the Minaret! If I was ever doing a lengthy trip like that I'd certainly consider something bigger than what I've just bought, but all I really do is weekend trips and the size (and weight) of the Spirit 200+ was a bit of a concern.
The reason it was my original choice was that I had written off all the shorter, front opening tents due to rain concerns without realising some of them had features to get around it - such as 3 panel doors or, with the Minaret, the ability to quickly pull back the inner.
Of course, I'll have to errect the Minaret as well as I can inside to check I'm happy with the size and everything so it could change yet, but I hope not as it'd be a hassle!
Glad you found what you want matey.
So the Minaret arrived on Monday and I just got around to putting it up today. Well, I say "putting it up" - what I mean is I pitched it inside in case it turned out I didn't like it, so I used string tied through the 4 main peg loops with the other end tied to bricks! Even then, it was simple enough to get it standing on my own.
Obviously it was impossible to tension it properly or even pull it tight, but it was enough to get a quick look and thankfully it's a keeper and seems very well thought out. I particularly like the vents (every single one can be opened or closed from inside the tent) and the huge amount of pocket space. It's also bang on the stated weight and packs down fairly small as well, with a bit of effort.
Regarding the door, as discussed earlier it is a one-zip job so you can only open the front panel or the side panel which the door isn't permanently attached to which, sensibly enough, is the panel on the shorter side of the asymmetrical inner reducing the chance of getting it wet. That side panel does have a loop and toggle to clear it out of the way if you do decide to open it like that, which is nice.
When I actually get a chance to pitch it properly outside (I need to seal the seams anyway) I'll get some pictures and stick them on here, because I couldn't find any for love or money when I was looking into it. Hopefully that'll help someone out in future.
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