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Thread: Need advice on Tents

  1. #16
    I've had both and clips are for me. Much easier set up and just as strong for any conditions I would ever camp in. I was recently looking for a tent with much the same requirements as you mention and bought the Mountain Hardwear Hammerhead 2. It has a good clip system. Quality aluminum poles, dual vestibules, available footprint, excellent ventilation, doors on the two sides, and has a good amount of mesh for warm weather camping. Not on the cheap side, but it will last me a very long time and you do get what you pay for.

  2. #17
    I've only used tents with sleeves, I don't have any issues with them. you have to push rather than pull the poles out, I thought they would be easier than clips?

  3. #18
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fly Over Land
    I am on my second REI Half Dome tent. The first had sleeves and fiberglass poles. The new half dome is the cheaper of the two models available. It has clips and metal poles with shock cords that hold them together. Once you are accustomed to either one they are no big deal. I have been in heavy storms with both and the stood (or should I say learned up to) the force of the winds well.

    Your concern should be on the bottom not the poles / clips /or sleeves. My first tent required normal maintenance with seam sealer and the bottom wore well. I had my first half dome for 20 years and traveled the world with it. It also survived camping children camping trips. After heavy use the bottom finally was not worth repairing. The fabric was breaking down from age and use. I picked the new one because I could not decided what I wanted to up grade to and this seemed to be a new model of a familiar friend. Wrong. I solo camp from a R1150R, no backpacking or canoe camping any more with it. After two seasons with it I don‘«÷t think I will obtain any longevity because the floor is of poor quality to stand up to the demands of motorcycle camping.

    I looked at the Half Dome HC or what ever it is. Things were tight at the time and I did not part with the extra $70.00 for it at that time. The two things that were different in my observation were ventilation and floor. I travel north so ventilation is not the same issue as if I were camping in the west and southwest. The floor is what I am kicking myself about.

    Foot print size
    Pole quality
    Head room for sitting/ changing

    In order these are my key items. After that the rest seems to fall in line.

    I like the REI Half Dome very much. The HC(?) has a better floor I think. If you go with it go with the upgrade.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

  4. #19
    Don't forget your towel
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Bainbridge Island WA
    While the concern for longevity in a tent appeals to the Cheap B#stard in me I don't think the theoretical lifespan of clips-vs-sleeves should be a deciding factor. How many times do you really think that tent is going to be deployed every year? Buy a medium quality tent that meets your needs from a good manufacturer and I suspect you'll get bored with it before actually wearing it out from normal use. I've got an old eurka timberline that's got more nights than I can remember on it and the only thing it hasn't stood up to is a squirrel that chewed it's way in one day.

    Having tried other tents along the way, the most important factors (for me)are weather proofness, internal size and how useful the vestibule area/rain fly is for keeping the rain off when you open the door to get out.


  5. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    I am currently using a Sierra Designs Omega. Clips, aluminum poles, will stand up to any weather. I got it because the Kelty I was using (sleeves) would take any weather except snow and I was doing some snow camping at the time. Downside to the Omega is poor ventilation in hot weather. Tents are all compromise, single walls are lighter and pack smaller but tend to accumulate condensation in cool weather. The more mesh, better ventilation and more opportunity for wind driven rain to find a way in. Less mesh, more weather resistant but less air flow and gets stuffy inside.

    Pick a quality brand that is designed the worst weather you are willing to camp in and it should give you many years of service. I wouldn't make a decision based on clips or sleeves, both are trade offs and, I think, balance out.

    First thing you need to do when you get it is throw away the cheap little things they send as tent stakes and get a set of Moss Groundhog stakes. They are around $3.00 each and worth it. When you stake a tent with them the tent fabric will rip before the stake will pull out and the stakes are almost indestructable. A few years ago we pulled into an OK state park after sunset with about 4 inches of snow on the ground. While setting up, 1 stake was hard to drive, but we were in a 4x4 and carrying a 3 lb. shop hammer and were able to set the stake and get the tent up. The next morning when breaking camp we found we had driven the stake into a concrete and asphalt RV pad. It took help from a tire iron to get it out, but the stake was not damaged.

  6. #21
    Rally Rat paulsibek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    near Los Angeles

    Choice is between

    Cheap tents that you can throw away after they die in a couple of years or an expensive tent like North Face or Bibler that you are stuck with when the new models come out.

    Try a Coleman, best of both worlds and has both clips and sleeve :>)

    I have 3, 2 7x7's and a 9x7 that I bought in a grocery store last week for $39.

    I don't believe that I've paid more than $49 and only replaced that tent because the new version had more windows and I am claustrophobic.

    I spent a fall night on Mt. Pinos, 9,000+ feet in a 10x10 in a wind storm that I was SURE would destroy the Coleman, the wind was 50+. The tent held up no problem, no damage.

    3 years ago in my brand new 7x7 I was in an amazing rain storm in Death Valley, had not yet taken the tent out of the box and set it up like you are supposed to before you go camping and it stayed bone dry. To my amazement.

    The new Coleman's have nice features that rival the Kelty's, North Face etc. and are cheap. I doubt I'll switch based on my experiences.

  7. #22
    Rally Rat RGVILLA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Rural Valley, PA
    I found a $58 large two man, don't remember the brand name, at the Sierra outlet store website, has enough room for me another person and all our gear. a rain fly, poles with shock cord and clips, mesh on both sides and is large enough that I have to kneel to tie my headlamp to the top for a lantern at night. I sprayed the tent and fly with stay dry and don't get wet or clammy in humid weather. The stakes were cheapie aluminum but I can upgrade those. I can set it up by myself in less than five minutes and have used it for two years maybe 10 times. It is a little on the heavy side, maybe six or seven pounds but fits nicely in my waterproof sealine bag. You can probably find much higher quality tents at REI etc. but do you really need to spend that much money? I'm a loyal REI member and purchased a Gerry two man backpacking tent in 1972 that i still use, for backpacking. I don't worry about the weight on the BMW. Check out the Sierra outlet and campmore outlet stores online, as well as REI, decide on what you are going to use the tent for and have fun camping!

  8. #23
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Thanks again for everyone's advice. Although I haven't shelled out the $$$$ yet, I have decided on getting the REI Half Dome 2 HC. I think I'll wait a few weeks to see if REI has an end of summer sale.

    FWIW, I liked the tent because:
    * It's longer than most in it's class at 90", which is important since I'm 6'1".
    * It has a decent width at 54".
    * Two entries and two vestibules with ample area.
    * Wasn't too expensive at $169. (yeah, I know there are some cheaper)
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  9. #24
    I wound up buying a Kelty Gunnison4 and it is a nice setup with stacks of room for me and all the gear and another person too. The prices are a great compromise between the Coleman and others, quality is good, it goes up fast and packs quickly too.

  10. #25
    Rally Rat Mar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    St. Louis
    I use a Eureka Backcountry 2. The price was reasonable ($130 or thereabouts) and it stood up well to the winds at this year's Iowa Rally. It doesn't have a vestibule but if I have wet things I designate a corner of the tent for them.

    See and scroll down a bit for a photo and my review.
    Marilyn Roberts
    R nineT, R1200R, R100 Mystic

  11. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Temecula, California
    58 the Costco/Sam's club special..I got a 4 main tent that rolls tight and weighs almost nothing for $28.00. I do like the open top (loose the rain cover...unless poor weather is expected) Next year I'll buy a new one.

    Spend your extra $'s on a good pad and bag, you sleep much better.

    Have been camping for 36 years..and still love it.


  12. #27
    Registered User ORCHARDRT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Nashville, IN Brown County

    Tent poles and mirrors

    The part I don't like about the tents is how to pack the poles. On nearly any 3-4 folk tent, The poles stick out and block the mirrors on the RT. I was almost ready, and still might, try to get the taller mirrors that look over your arm instead of under your arm. Any solutions from the group? Oh I prefer clips.

    04 RT (2)
    99 FLHR
    Sold the honda

  13. #28
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    State of Confusion
    I added GS mirrors to my RT to get better visibility. I bought a pair used from someone who had put LT mirrors on their GS... best $20 I have spent.

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  14. #29
    Rally Rat boofer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Landstad, Wiscowson
    I have an AirZone poles. Always carry my Cycle Pump with me anyway, so why not an inflatable tent? Fold, stuff, or roll it, to fit wherever I want to pack it. AND it can be set-up with the rain fly completely connected.

  15. #30
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Sounds like you already made up your mind... my thinking is as follows:
    To your questions about clips or sleeves: I think that is personal preference, the difference is minor.
    I actually have 3 different tents and I take the tent depending on the situation:
    1. I have a Hillary Tent that I bought at Sears unsale for about $40; it is free standing and has the poles build in. I take this tent when I go by myself. I don't need a vestibule, since I am by myself and it is a 2 man tent. It is bullet proof and withstood the rain soacking at the MOA rally in Charleston, Virginia.
    2. I have a Kelty, 2 man tent with 2 vestibules that I bought unsale for $120; it has sleeves and clips, it is a 3 season tent. I take it when I go camping with my son and it withstood the winds and rain at the MOA rally in Lima with no problems.
    3. I have a cheap Sears tent that I bought for $40; but it is 5 man tent and I use it on Family camping trips. It get's the least amount of use, but it is good to have around.

    Enjoy your search, I can strongly recommend free standig tents, I like vestibules and floor savers are vital for the longgevity. Buy unsale at the end of the season... you can save a lot of money!!! My food for thought...
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

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