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Old 03-13-2008, 01:34 AM
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Question Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Thinking about doing some float trips with overnight camping.

It's been years since I've purchased any "modern camping equipment", so I thought I would ask you folks for some info on packable sleeping bags such as synthetic fibers-vs-natural fibers....what's better nowdays? any recommendations as far as brands?

What about dome tents? I'm thinking a 3 person with an attatched vestibule would be about right for the dog, wife, and myself.

Any info would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

On sleeping bags, the materials are getting lighter and more compressible all the time, both synthetic and natural. Down is still the warmest material per its weight, but it also loses insulative value when wet, much moreso than synthetics. A "Cat's Meow" bag from The North Face is a great bag that isn't all that expensive. Kelty is making good bags for the money, as is Slumberjack.

For Tents, Eureka would be a ideal for a high quality and not too pricey tent. Kelty's offerings are similar. Sierra Designs makes tents that are a step up in quality, durability, lightness and price. One thing to consider is whether the tent has fiberglass or aluminum poles. Both work perfectly well and will last, but aluminum will be a step up in lightness and price. (more of an issue for backpacking than float trips, but worth considering)

Campmor.com has a great selection of both, and some good deals too.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Hi fyshstykr,

Oh boy, I love tents and tent camping. I have used many tents over the years and there are a few features you want to look for.

If you are going to do some serious camping or may get into a survival mode you need a good 4 season, expedition tent. The 4 season tents have better construction and uses better materials in most cases. Most 4 season tents use sleeves for the tent poles and they are much stronger than the hanger type. They also have a third or fourth tent pole for added strength. A 4 season tent is designed for snow loading and are way stronger than a 3 season tent. They are more weather proof but this can be a problem with summer camping. When they are buttoned up with the fly on you don't get very good ventilation. The floors are made with heavier material. Any tent should have a bathtub style floor.

A 3 season tent will have lighter poles and usually only use 2 poles. They use hangers instead of sleeves to support the tent rods. With a dog you may find that a 3 person tent is not large enough. If you check out the tents at Campmor look at the specs for head rood, and floor space. Tape out the floor space on some surface and sit in it with your wife. See how small the area is. A three person tent is really a two person tent with some gear storage. Make sure your wife knows she won't be able to stand up. If she wants to stand you will be looking at different tents.

The Eureka Autumn Wind may be a tent for you to consider. It has the third tent pole but uses hangers for the poles. They rate this a 3-man tent.

Aluminum poles are the best choice and available in 3 or 4 season tents.

Frank

A 4 season tent you might look at is the Eureka K@ XT Tent. You can see the sleeves used for the poles.

Eureka K@ XT Tent
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Frank nailed everything on the head. I have done a lot of tent camping during my fishing and hunting excursions. I have a expendition type tent (three man which it isn't) that has served me well, it is close to over 12 years old. Unfortuntely, the main zipper gave out. Cons; you can't stand up in it. A little heavy to pack. Pros; handle snow with no problem. Wind doesn't faze it. My dog is a labrador and it sleeps all over the place including myself in the tent.

My second tent is a 10 X 10 Coleman Dome tent that is even older than my little tent. It also has done well. Unfortantely, the zipper is showing signs of giving up the ghost. It has sleeves but the newer models have hangers. Cons; too heavy for packing, you need to stake it down. Pros; I can stand up in it. Large enough for myself, wife and three kids. The dog fits well, too. Unzip every window and have a nice place to sit in.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Hi fyshstykr,

The picture in my other post did not work so here is some pictures of the Eureka Autumn Wind tent. You can see the third pole that will add stability in the wind. It uses hangers instead of sleeves but it is a 3 season tent. You can see how little ventilation you will get with the rain fly on. If it is not raining real hard you can leave the vestibule open for more ventilation.

Frank

Eureka Autumn Wind
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
On sleeping bags, the materials are getting lighter and more compressible all the time, both synthetic and natural. Down is still the warmest material per its weight, but it also loses insulative value when wet, much moreso than synthetics. A "Cat's Meow" bag from The North Face is a great bag that isn't all that expensive. Kelty is making good bags for the money, as is Slumberjack. I've been leaning toward artificial fibers. Is there enough difference in warmth to warrant going with natural down? I don't think we would be using them for any less than 25 degrees.

For Tents, Eureka would be a ideal for a high quality and not too pricey tent. Kelty's offerings are similar. Sierra Designs makes tents that are a step up in quality, durability, lightness and price. One thing to consider is whether the tent has fiberglass or aluminum poles. Both work perfectly well and will last, but aluminum will be a step up in lightness and price. (more of an issue for backpacking than float trips, but worth considering)
Yes good point for overall weight, aluminum or fiberglass probably won't be a big concern where we will float in.

Campmor.com has a great selection of both, and some good deals too.
I will take a look at their products, I've been lookin at R.E.I.'s stuff a bit also.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
Hi fyshstykr,

Oh boy, I love tents and tent camping. I have used many tents over the years and there are a few features you want to look for.

If you are going to do some serious camping or may get into a survival mode you need a good 4 season, expedition tent. The 4 season tents have better construction and uses better materials in most cases. Most 4 season tents use sleeves for the tent poles and they are much stronger than the hanger type. They also have a third or fourth tent pole for added strength. A 4 season tent is designed for snow loading and are way stronger than a 3 season tent. They are more weather proof but this can be a problem with summer camping. When they are buttoned up with the fly on you don't get very good ventilation. The floors are made with heavier material. Any tent should have a bathtub style floor.Never noticed the "sleeve"-vs-"hanger" thing till I read this, I will look for the sleeve type.
I have seen the bathtub style bottom, that really looks like the way to go.

I would like to have the open top option for viewing the stars, and that way the Bears can see what their gettin before opening the package. lol


A 3 season tent will have lighter poles and usually only use 2 poles. They use hangers instead of sleeves to support the tent rods. With a dog you may find that a 3 person tent is not large enough. If you check out the tents at Campmor look at the specs for head rood, and floor space. Tape out the floor space on some surface and sit in it with your wife. See how small the area is. A three person tent is really a two person tent with some gear storage. Make sure your wife knows she won't be able to stand up. If she wants to stand you will be looking at different tents.
A 4 person would probably fit our needs much better, especially when the dog likes to lay crossways between us.
The Eureka Autumn Wind may be a tent for you to consider. It has the third tent pole but uses hangers for the poles. They rate this a 3-man tent.

Aluminum poles are the best choice and available in 3 or 4 season tents.

Frank

A 4 season tent you might look at is the Eureka K@ XT Tent. You can see the sleeves used for the poles.

Eureka K@ XT Tent
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucha View Post
Frank nailed everything on the head. I have done a lot of tent camping during my fishing and hunting excursions. I have a expendition type tent (three man which it isn't) that has served me well, it is close to over 12 years old. Unfortuntely, the main zipper gave out. Cons; you can't stand up in it. A little heavy to pack. Pros; handle snow with no problem. Wind doesn't faze it. My dog is a labrador and it sleeps all over the place including myself in the tent.Why do them "Crazy Critterz" do that?? Mine's a lab Retriever cross that would crawl in the bag with me if I let her.

My second tent is a 10 X 10 Coleman Dome tent that is even older than my little tent. It also has done well. Unfortantely, the zipper is showing signs of giving up the ghost. It has sleeves but the newer models have hangers. Cons; too heavy for packing, you need to stake it down. Pros; I can stand up in it. Large enough for myself, wife and three kids. The dog fits well, too. Unzip every window and have a nice place to sit in.
Thanks for all the idea's folks.
Will make a purchase in a couple months, so if you think of anything else let me know.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Not trying to argue, just throwing out some other aspects of hangers.

Tents that use hangers/clips generally go up quite a bit quicker than those with sleeves, cuz there's no threading involved. Just lay out the ground cloth, flop the tent out on it, assemble the frame, clip the tent to it, stake it out, and throw on the fly. Sleeves are indeed stronger, but if the tents not going to be used when its snowin for real, hangers might be more practical.

This one uses both and might suit your needs quite well, 4-man with a vestibule- Sierra Designs: Tents: Bedouin 4
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?

Nice, thanks for the link too.
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