tent recommendations?

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  • #10813
    Jill Thompson

    Could anyone recommend a good, budget conscious 1 – 2 man tent for kayak camping?  I’ve been seeing ones with quite a bit of mesh that I hear let in a lot of sand on windy nights.  Any help would be much appreciated.


    Jill Thompson

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #11138
    Nick Heath

    These are good suggestions.  I like the fly to extend close to the ground. This results in less wind-borne dust etc than with a higher cut, but the bad trade-off is more sweating/dripping – hence the use of mesh has become more common.

    I like gear to last forever, but it doesn’t.  With some tents the zipper fails early but can be replaced. My last couple of tents died when the fly’s waterproofing layer became porous or peeled off. The same thing happens to floors too, but that doesn’t bother me as much. You can’t fix it and usually the manufacturer will not sell a replacement or give a warranty replacement for  the fly – except MEC might with their brand – they replaced my Wanderer fly when the annoying zipper jamming design was changed to a more sensible design, even tho it was still in good shape.

    Compact packing size and good metal poles are important but light weight is not an issue for kayaking. MEC is a good bet overall but MSR, Sierra Designs etc are worth considering, although usually more costly.

    Jill Thompson

    Thanks everyone for all your tips and advice.  Very helpful and much appreciated!


    Inge Zegel

    And don’t forget, MEC club night is coming up, May 5th. You’ll get 10% off any item in stock!

    Don’t forget to RSVP with Karen Hartner by May 2nd if you want to take advantage of this offer.


    Anja Pakendorf

    For ground sheets.   Make your own out of KITE weight TYVEK.   Sells on Amazon for $5.50 per yard  ( 4ft wide) .   I bought 6 yards w shipping of  $13 to make two ground sheets for my tents.    Google do it yourself  TYVEK ground sheet.     Note…the TYVEK you see on houses is different…stiffer & heavier & noisier.

    Anja Pakendorf

    Jil ! I hear you load and clear…been searching for that ultimate tent for years.


    Buy a 2 person tent.  1 persons are too small.


    Consider side entry over front entry…side entry much much easier to get out of…especially if you share the tent.


    MEC wanderer 2..used to be tull fabric..7lb good quality.  Does not pack down as little as a lightweight tent though


    MEC Volt 2…see if you can find the older version…all fabric.  The new one has mesh I think.   2 side entry vestibule.  A fairly low tent. Only reason I did not buy was bc it is not ultralight weight   (under 3 lb.) I think it was 3 1/2 or so.


    For a Mesh tent that is good quality reasonable price roomy 3 season….check out the REI  quarter dome….was my second choice by 2 ounces.   You might even score an older version for a bargain on REI outlet still….weight difference….if you only kayak then you won’t care about a 4 Oz weight reduction…  you might even like the 1/2 dome…slightly bigger.    If you are a new REI member you get 20% off your first purchase.


    Stay away from too cheap rents….those black poles that you see on a lot of the Coleman tents will snap in high winds.  Often the fly is only partialike as well.  Plus they are heavy.


    ..unfortunately there are not that many options out there.  To keep sand out you need a full fabric tent……I camp on the desert as well and can tell you that even small amounts of mesh will let in sand …a lot of it in a full blown 60mph sandstorm.

    4 season tents are usually full fabric…but they are heavy. ..up to 11 lb and expensive.  Also often front entry.  I have one…a Hilleberg nano  at 5Lb but it’s not free standing.  MEC Carries a few others.  One feature of 4 season tents is that the vestibule while great is in the front….which makes getting out of the tent a bit awkward….reason they are like that is that they take up less space than tents with side vestibule and are more aerodynamic


    Mesh inners  . ..personally not much problem up here in either snow or beach….important to have a full fly.  You can always bury the fly in the sand or so  if really needed.sacrifice breathability though.


    So in the end I bought the copper spur 2 for we reasons….I climb so every ounce matters.  , roomy and good for 3 seasons….OK for some snow and higher winds.  The floor is frightfully thin.   Make a good ground sheet.





    Karin Hartner

    Hi Jill

    I saw the Camper 2 at MEC the other day–it looks good! Re the mesh–we really don’t camp on sand that much but if you do–just keep the fly on….



    Harold beat me too it–I was going to suggest the Wanderer 2 as well. Great affordable kayaking tent.

    Harald Riffel

    Hi Jill:

    For two people, one of the best kayaking tents, in my opinion, is the Wanderer 2 from MEC.  Two doors, huge vestibules.  Spacious and versatile.

    For one person, the Wanderer 2 is a bit much, so a smaller tent such as the MEC Camper 2 would be better.  Smaller footprint and vestibules (and packed size!), but still comfy for one person.

    For camping in cooler weather (like the outer coast), a non-mesh inner tent is warmer.  The all-mesh inner tents allow more air movement and are great for warmer temps, like the Okanagan, or down in the States.  But as you mentioned, wind-blown sand can be an issue.

    Other brands with a similar configuration would do as well.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but buy from a reputable Outdoor store, and stay away(!!!) from Cdn Tire, Walmart etc.



    Clark Perry-Bater

    Check out the MEC Camper 2 tent -$199. http://www.mec.ca/shop/?q=camper%202%20tent I have the Camper 4. It’s a good basic 4-person tent, not too much mesh. I think the Camper 2 is pretty light to haul around.

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