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3-season, 1+ person tent for Australia
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Jonathan Pratt
3-season, 1+ person tent for Australia on 01/18/2012 18:02:10 MST Print View

I'm looking for advice on choosing 3-season, 1+ person tent for Australian conditions. I'm based in Victoria and will be using the tent with my 2 year old son - hence the 1+.

Conditions to consider:
1. Bugs, spiders, snakes and mosquitos
2. Tent over tarp as our son is too young to stay in one spot at night!
3. 3 season but needs to handle heavy sustained rain and high winds
4. Looking for light as possible within budget - I now have both our kits to carry

I've been looking at:

1. Terra Nova Competition 1
2. BA Fly Creek 1 or 2 UL
3. Trailstar with some sort of bug inner

All and any suggestions welcome. Franco and Roger especially with your tent and Australian experience...


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
3-season, 1+ person tent for Australia on 01/18/2012 18:56:57 MST Print View

hi Jonathan,
If you ask Franco you will end up with a Tarptent.
But you could be looking at the Rainbow or the Strato Spire 1 if you use trekking poles...
(this morning I shot a comparison video between the SS1, the Notch and the Contrail. It will be on YouTube later, on "francodarioli" )

Jonathan Pratt
3-season, 1+ person tent for Australia on 01/18/2012 20:38:04 MST Print View

Thanks Franco. I was hoping you'd come back with Tarptent ideas - left them off my list on purpose!

Happy to look at Tarptent - excellent designs, great reviews etc. But, how do they handle our extreme heat days, downpours and unforgiving ground?

I'm not a walking pole user - pure leg power and need hands free to stop son from running off. Would the Moment have enough room for now? Like the design, simplicity of set up and similarities to the Terra Nova Comp 1.

I'm aiming to get overnighters in first with our son, whilst using the tent solo for longer trips. All gear would be stored outside or in the vestibule. Inside two short mats and bags. I'm 6ft or 181cm and would like to be able to sit up inside and cook sitting the vestibule on wet nights.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
3-season, 1+ person tent for Australia on 01/18/2012 21:44:21 MST Print View

Since you are in Melbourne you can always pop in at my place and have a look. (Port Melbourne)
I don't sell them but you are welcome to play with them...
You can contact me at
I would suggest the Rainbow...

Karen Kennedy
(karenk) - MLife

Locale: NE NSW - Australian subtropics
Oz Tent on 01/19/2012 01:00:58 MST Print View

No pun intended - not referring to one of those enormous car camping tents!

I'm a fan of Tarptent designs, have several. Just christened a SS2 and I'm very impressed - would recommend the SS1 if you're interested in a hot weather setup. The SS gives you the option of setting up just the inner net tent. They're also roomy and airy - I found the Double Rainbow a little stuffy with 2 inhabitants on a warm night. Don't worry about trekking poles, just use tarp poles - not much weight penalty.

Good luck with you search for the perfect tent!


Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Plenty of room and airy on 01/19/2012 05:22:18 MST Print View

Hi Jonathon

My experience with kids is that you need something reasonably spacious and airy - I assume you will not be pushing the limits with them for a few years. I think you are likely to be better with a Tarptent or perhaps something like a Hubba Hubba or REI Quarter dome - generally equivalent to the BA. The Terra Novas have poor ventilation (they are a product for UK type climate after all) - I have a Laser Comp I which I use occasionally but it is not my first choice for most of my walking (Snowies).

Warning - they grow remarkably quickly so make sure you have enough room!

Simone Zmood
(sim1oz) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
Oz tents on 01/19/2012 07:10:31 MST Print View

We've only had two hiking tents to date so i cant give you many comparisons, just let you know that we are happy with our choices. We got two tarptents - the Hogback and a Double Rainbow. My husband is 185cm (6ft2) and we have the length in both to have our packs inside with us. We chose the Hogback for use with our 2 teens and the internal space, especially height, is fabulous. Our 13yo son is growing rapidly so we need space! I liked the freestanding aspect of the DR and it's rain/shade porches, though It's not as spacious inside as the scarp 2 would be (the Hogback has the same profile as the Scarps and is effectively a Scarp 4). If you are considering Tarptents, then also think about some of the new ones just out. Take up Franco's offer for a look!

We've used both in Victoria in a range of weather and locations, most recently the Beeripmo Trail and Lerdederg Gorge . It's rained on every overnight walk we've been on in the last couple of months and so far they've done a good job. The ventilation seems to be working as we haven't had any condensation drips. The full enclosures with lots of mesh for bug protection has worked well - hubby is a mozzie magnet. If we have a warm night with no forecast rain I'd probably leave the fly open on either tent so there's lots of ventilation through the mesh.

Kids grow quickly so I think you are better off getting a 2-person tent. Young kids also take up more space relative to their size than we expect because they wriggle about so much. Since you'll be carrying for two, lightweight will be an important consideration.

Jonathan Pratt
Oz tents on 01/19/2012 21:33:05 MST Print View

Lots of TT fans here in Victoria and Australia!

Thanks Franco, Mark, Simone and Karen for your comments. I was dreaming that we'd get away with a 1+ tent for now. Then get our son to carry my old hooped bivi for himself!

I'm going to take Franco up on his kind offer to view the Rainbow and possibly the SS1/2.

Any other non-TT tents fit the description worth considering for balance?

Thanks again and happy hiking.