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Thread: small packing tent vs bivvy

  1. #1
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    small packing tent vs bivvy

    Kiaora
    I'm after a shelter that packs down small as the main criteria other than cost. I'm llooking mostly in the up to $300 range.
    Has anybody had any experience with the Macpac sololight? That looks similar to what I think I'm looking for, a little bit expensive but along the right tracks.
    I started off thinking bivi bag and fly was the way to go but have slowly progressed to thinking maybe just a small tent would be good.
    Any recommendations for cheap, small tents?
    Cheers
    Tom

  2. #2
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    i had a cheap macpac a while back to sleep in. bought a $30 warehouse job just to keep the pack etc undercover and ended up sleeping in the warehouse tent as it leaked less.
    just my own experience but at the end of the day what you pay for the name may reduce the quality of the actual product
    Cordite likes this.

  3. #3
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    Got a wee Kathmandu that works well can't recall name. Depends what and where you go but I'd opt for a tent. If inspiring down you can stay in bed comfortably, bivies suck in the rain if your in it for anything other than sleep
    Cordite likes this.

  4. #4
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    Before I got the dog I was quite happy with a fly in the right conditions. A couple of trips ago we had taken the fly for a light weight trip and the weather wasn't what it was ment to be and had low cloud for 3 days going through our fly, everything was wet. A good tent is hard to beat in strong wind and rain. Not used the Macpac Sololight but I do have 3 other Macpac tents Olympus "best in strong wind and snow but heavy" Minaret "good all round tent with just enough room for me, the dog and a pack gear inside" Micolight is ok in low wind,rain solo missions without the dog.

  5. #5
    Member chainsaw's Avatar
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    cheap & good tend not to go together. A decent tent is a much better option in terms of weather/rain/wind etc and if you are careful in your choice it wont weigh anymore than a bivy & fly. There are some good deals that come up 2nd hand from time to time. Need to be patient. I picked a 2nd had MSR Hubahuba 2 man for $400 a couple of years back - had been used 3 times by owners who then decided they did not like the outdoor tramping life. I know that's a bit above your budget but you wont regret buying quality.
    tikka and hotsoup like this.

  6. #6
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    I have a bivy bag and a msr Carbon reflex 1 man...... The msr gets used 90% of the time


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    Dont waste your time chasing every last fps, it doesnt matter in the real world, it wont make a difference, all it will do is cause head aches and frustrations. And dont listen to silly old cunts

  7. #7
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
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    Lightweight (good quality) tent is going to win hands diwn over a bivvy bag or tarp everytime. Try spend 3 or 4 days caught out in some shit weather with only a tarp or a bivvy bag and you will know exactly what I mean. I run a Terra Nova Solar Competition and it comes in at under 1kg ready to go, even lighter if you left the inner and only took the tarp, but at 1kg theres no need to leave anything behind. You can cook in it (if you have too) theres just enough room to keep your pack and boots in the vestibule, you dont get wind chill, you dont have rain coming in the side when the wind changes, you can get in and out without ending up with a wet sleeping bag, the list goes on

  8. #8
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    Tents for me too. Have had them in torrential rain and always dry. Doesn't move the warm air you create around you away so fast too.
    There are only three types of people in this world. Those that can count, and those that can't!

  9. #9
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    Freedom atom mate, great units and can use fly only in spring summer
    davhope likes this.

  10. #10
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    if compactness is the main criteria, then absolutely nothing beats a lightweight tarp and splash/bug bivy.

    Borah gear do a combo that is a small tarp and lightweight bivy that is like $140 us. The whole setup with pegs and lines is about 5-600 grams and can be compressed to bugger all bigger than a can of beer. There isnt a tent that even comes close to that.
    I have one that i use for on the fly overnighters. For that use its great, but I wouldn't want to spend much time under it in foul weather (its small), and I wouldn't use it outside the bush.

    If you can only ave 1 shelter a tent is more versatile, but personally I like a big tarp in the bush for a bit of extra usable space and use the smaller borah setup for hunting bush on the fly.

  11. #11
    More pills and Powder!! burtonator's Avatar
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    I bought one of these and also the 3 person one and have been quite impressed with the tent quality
    they also just sell bivvys
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/bran...2-9ece9146651a
    Life is the art of drawing without an eraser

  12. #12
    Huk
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    I use a freedom mono enough room for you ,rifle ,pack in vestibule for overnighters if a few days out have stonycreek siltarp over top

  13. #13
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonetropo View Post
    i had a cheap macpac a while back to sleep in. bought a $30 warehouse job just to keep the pack etc undercover and ended up sleeping in the warehouse tent as it leaked less.
    just my own experience but at the end of the day what you pay for the name may reduce the quality of the actual product
    there is wee light flys that fit over those simple warehouse pup tents...sure makes them super weatherproof.

  14. #14
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    cheers for the input everybody, much appreciated.
    still not sold on what tent I'll buy but definitely feeling more like I will be getting a tent than a bivvy set up.. Especially after my last trip a weekend or two ago into the Ruahines on the worst weekend of the year so far.
    If it was going to be real wet I'd probably add in a cheap fly I guess for a bit of outdoor shelter.
    Danny and Huk like this.

  15. #15
    Member Danny's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's been covered here yet but most of the decent brands have the option of using just the fly anyway if the weather was looking ok.
    I've got an older Bubba Bubba which can be used either way but I cannot see me ever risking the fly only especially during this half of the year.


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    Dan M

 

 

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