I'm new on here and was wondering if I could get some advise on a 2 man tent for trekking in S America? I am heading out there for up to a year and will be doing treks in the Andes all the way from Tierra del Fuego to Ecuador. The main area of concern for me is Patagonia as I will have to carry it the whole time (hopefully use pack mules further north) and the wind down there is meant to be strong and constant! If anyone has any experience down there that would be great. Having done some research it appears to be a straight choice between Hilleberg (I have an akto so know abit about them) and Lightwave who seem to get good write ups, comparable to Hilleberg? Ideally it should be 2.5kgs or less (3kgs is my max) with a decent size porch (2 would be excellent). I have no real preference between tunnel and geo. Any advice on models that may be suitable?
One of the main differences between the Lightwaves and HBs IMHO is the pitching. Hilleberg pitch all-in-one, Lightwaves pitch inner first, so HBs are up quicker and with less faff. You also have the option of unhooking the inner for more party/cooking/workshop space in bad weather. That's enougfh to convince me the HBs are better for my particular preferences though having looked hard at the LWs I'm pretty sure they'd do the job fine and I'd have full confidence in one. With a smoother top profile from the throw-over fly they'd probably be quieter in a real blow than the HBs which is a nice thing, but I'm more interested in easy pitching myself.
Another thing I like about HBs is the possibility of a twin-porch design, not avaialble in the LW range. I use a Kaitum 3, but the Kaitum 2 would fit your specifications pretty well I think. The Nallo or extended porch Nallo GT is a bit lighter, but not so roomy, only one porch and not so well ventilated. Nicer to carry, but not so nice to spend time in, so you have to decide where your priorities lie.
The Kaitum isn't the lightest thing out there, but it should be a fair bit tougher than the really light stuff and it's a palace in terms of usable space, important if there's two of you using it for an extended period. We actually got the 3 man version which is only a little heavier, and has acres of space. While HB list it at 3.1 Kg, mine is actually 3.0 Kg and you might want to consider it if you really want more space, but the 2 person version is already quite generous in that regard.
Very happy with mine. With a priority given to a nice place to live that happens to be usably light I've not seen anything I'd swap it for (and I looked hard at the LW t2 and the Nallo GT as options).
Tom; considering the TN voyager XL as well as it happens. I am kinda leaning towards the Kaitum becuase I get annoyed by sloping roofs touching my sleeping bag (I'm taller than average) and the idea of 2 vertical end walls really appeals to me (and 2 porches will really appeal to my girlfriend; she hates sharing!). Pete how does it deal with a real blow? I can expect to get 40/50+mph winds in Patagonia (although I hope I don't). I would actually be confident with my akto in those winds but that hugs the ground much more than the 2 man tents. I really need to find somewhere I can try out a Kaitum for size.
how does it deal with a real blow?
It's noisy and it wobbleses around quite a bit, but it's not going to be going anywhere (including down or into pieces) as long as you guy it out properly. They've had pretty extensive use (as have Nallos, a very similar order of toughness) in some pretty hostile and windy places so I think you can trust it. We had ours in what I estimate was a Force 7 off the sea on top of the dunes with no shelter and there was no hint of impending failure, despite the swaying (Hilleberg's FAQ actually addresses this aspect of their tunnel design, it's a Feature Not A Bug!).
For getting one to crawl around in, I actually got ours from Alpenstock in Stockport and I know they're happy to pitch stuff for folk. If you're anywhere near Dundee you'd be welcome to come and look at ours. Other UK places listing them (and I don't know how they are for stock or space) are Ultimate Outdoors in Betws y Coed, Lancaster, Skipton and Keswick and Climbers Shop in Ambleside.
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