General Question

rebbel's avatar

I want to purchase a tent. Any campers/trekkers/hikers out there that can help me make a well thought out decision?

Asked by rebbel (31322points) August 22nd, 2017

I’m a total noob when it comes to camping.
Soon we will visit a place in nature and we want to camp on the beach.
Our desired tent is big enough to house two adults (comfortably), when folded/packed is small (should fit in a suitcase and cabin luggage), doesn’t break the bank, has a floor (from the same material, I guess), a zipped ‘door’, and last but not least (if available) a transparent roof section.
Does this, or something that comes close, exist?
Thanks in advance!

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9 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Look on REI.com

Start with their “Half Dome” Tent; see if it meets what you are looking for. It is a backpacking tent for two – lightweight, small, reasonably priced. If you don;t like that, REI carries enough tents to offer an alternative you will like.

rebbel's avatar

Thank you, @zenvelo, noted!

RocketGuy's avatar

See what you can rent first to get a feel for what features you need or like.

rebbel's avatar

I will research that too, @RocketGuy, thanks!

MrGrimm888's avatar

You said you’re camping on the beach? If that is on sand, you’re going to need really good tent pegs. The pegs that usually come with tents are not good for sand, or very loose soil. The short, smooth pegs will slip right out of sand. I would purchase additional, larger, more aggressive pegs. You should get at least one good one for each corner.

Nail them in at an angle. If the sand is really dry,and loose, you can pour a bucket of water where you plan to put each stake. Or over each peg, after you nailed them in. The water will solidify the sand, making for a better hold. Sometimes you can nail the peg through some green leaves (bigger the better ) and that will also add a better hold.

In addition, make sure you know about the tides where you are camping. You want to be a good distance from where the water will be at high tide. Otherwise you might get washed away.

You might want to get a collapsible shovel. To dig fire pits, and restrooms.

marinelife's avatar

You have listed many of the requirements of a good tent. I would add is fairly easy to set up and take down. I might want a mesh flap for the door so you could get breezes and hear sounds.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I have the REI Half Dome (Half Dome 2 is the current model) and I’m really happy with it. Really nice tent for $200. REI membership is $20 for life. You get a percentage rebate each year and a couple of times a year they have a “20% Off One Item” sale.

The Half Dome is big enough for 2 sleeping, but you won’t want to hang out inside. Maybe playing cards when it’s raining but not much otherwise. If you want something for hanging out, a 4-person would be better. But it’s more to carry, obviously.

While tent shopping ten years ago, I made a spreadsheet and these were the measurements I used for comparisons:

SMALLER IS BETTER
Packed weight
Packed size
Packed volume

BIGGER IS BETTER
Peak height
Floor area
Floor dimensions
Vestibule area

If you will be backpacking or biking, keeping the size down is more important. For car camping, go roomy.

rebbel's avatar

Thank you, guys and gals!
Very valuable information from, what seems to be, experienced Jellies; exactly what i was hoping for!
Due to my budget I am forced to go with a bit cheaper (around 60 dollar) tents, but we have two candidates that look like they match our wishes.
Link
The only thing that ‘bothers’ me is the size of the package, when folded.
A 70+ cm (27 inch) big hula hoop.
Guess I’ll have to check that in odd baggage claim?

Again, thank you all!

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