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Which tent to buy

Jim Dandy

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Does anybody have an opinion on which tent to buy. First time buyer. Never been camping. All this talk about going to the MOA rally in Wi. has me fired up to give it a try.

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Yes as you can see from the thread that 1bmwfan would be a good person to ask since he just did a bunch of research on it.

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Check this link . This is the very same tent my wife and I have used for the last five years. It's held up great, never leaked and has some great features. The front door is huge and the zip down window equally huge. At the rear is a nice vestibule with a tent pole to support it so it won't sag when it gets rainy or just a heavy dew in the morning.

These were discontinued three years ago and listed just under $300. Since they're no longer made, I bought a second one as a backup.

We've had several tents over the years and this particular model is the best we've found. The pack size is 20x5 and works great for motorcycle camping.


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My recommendation would be to visit several sporting goods stores as well as researching types and costs on line. Then buy the one that seems to fit you the best. If you're going to store a lot of gear inside the tent, consider a 3 person tent vs. two person. Also, consider pack size/weight if you're going to pack it on your bike. I'd also recommend spending a little more for the aluminum poles (instead of fiberglass). And get some decent stakes instead of the cheapies that come with most tents. My $.02 FWIW.

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Too much good info and not enough discriminating factors! An overwhleming amount of choices.


Here is the approach I take:


1. How much room do you want/need at camp?


A one man tent or bivy is very small - you in and all your gear out. But it fits the bike easily for packing/riding. Two man tent for one person and gear is the motorcyclist norm. Many older geezers, like myself, go for a 3-4 man and live it up. A bit more effort to load the bike for a great payoff at camp.


2. What weather do you wish to survive?


Rain or blowing rain and wind (as in summer thunderstorms) indicate a need for a 3 season tent with good guy lines and a full coverage fly as well as factory taped seams (which you might wish to seam seal yourself anyway).


Colder weather suggests a single wall, 4 season tent.


Milder permits a 3 season without a full fly - ala' Coleman, Wal-Mart, etc.


3. Cost/price/economics.


If money is an object, then shop Wal-Mart for Coleman, Dick's for their brands or similar box stores. And be happy with a fully functional tent that may or may not survive the weather you encounter.


If money is no object then shop REI/EMS/HTO and other specialty stores as well as Sierra Traders and Campmor. Virtually all the makers you see are reputable. From Eureka at the lower end to MSR, Black Diamond/Bibler, and what not at the higher end.


Generally, aluminum or carbon fiber pole sections are superior to fiberglass. The debate between clips or sleeves is endless and probably less a factor for you. Pack weight and pack size determine where and how the rig goes on the bike.


That's tents.


Don't forget, bags, pads, stoves, chairs, hammocks, coffee press, pots pans and showers!!!

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Having said all that I recommend:


Eureka Pinnacle Pass 2XTA or 3 XTA or the older yet same design Apex 2XTA/3XTA. $80-150 depending on source. Full fly, 2 vestibules/doors, weather secure, good price to function ratio. Smallish pole sections fit in panniers.



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Hey everybody, thanks for all the good info. You have been most helpful. I have already ordered a Kermit chair and a Eureka tent. Wow, this site is most helpful.

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