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Expedition tents
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Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Expedition tents on 02/19/2012 01:43:17 MST Print View

I've been reading up lately on expedition tents. Not that I'm planning to summit Everest or take a dog team to the north pole, but I've been enjoying reading about beefy tents. Everyone seems to have their favorites. I've heard a lot of people sing the praises of Hilleberg quality. But then you see videos of their tunnel tents collapsing under strong winds. MSR, Integral Designs, MEC, Mountain Hardware, and TNF also have their fans.

One company that I haven't found very much about at all is Helsport. It could be because they don't seem to have a US retailer/ distributor. They have some really nice looking tents, and appear to be in the Hilleberg price range, if not slightly higher. But from the few reviews I have found, their durability seems like it might be a little less than Hillebergs.

If anybody has experience with the expedition tents from these companies, I'd love to hear it. Also, feel free to add info on companies that I missed.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Expedition tents on 02/19/2012 02:29:10 MST Print View

.Sorry for trying to help,I saw that you were new here and a lot of new members don't know how to do searches here.The trip report was so that you could get in contact with the member who made the trip report,he has first hand knowledge of the helsport tents and the other link someone gave firsthand knowledge of owning a heslport tent and why he didn't like it.Yes you have come off as rude,but it's not my problem,sorry again.

Edited by annapurna on 02/19/2012 15:25:54 MST.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
links on 02/19/2012 12:14:38 MST Print View

Anna, I'm trying to think of how to say this without coming across rude.

I can also type "tent" into the search function. Neither of your two links had anything to do with expedition tents (the title of my thread). The first one very briefly made mention of tents that could be used in 4 seasons, although none of those listed were expedition tents.

The second link you must have searched the word "Helsport". And although it was a fun trip report to read (with cool pictures), it had nothing to do with expedition tents either, and in fact he didn't even write a review of the 2 man lightweight Helsport that he used (which was not an expedition tent).

I'm really hoping to hear from folks who have experience with expedition tents and which ones they chose, why, and how they held up. Perhaps this is the wrong forum to be asking these questions, but that is why I put it in the Moutaineering subforum.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Expedition tents on 02/19/2012 13:26:28 MST Print View

There a 'Survey and Tutorial on Tunnel Tents' coming fairly soon. Yes, it is in the pipeline!


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Expedition tents on 02/19/2012 13:35:07 MST Print View

The North Face Mountain 25, which is almost the same as a VE-25.

On one expedition, there were six tent teams, of which four were TNF.


Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Re: Re: Expedition tents on 02/19/2012 14:21:19 MST Print View

That's great news Roger! I've got my eye on a Hilleberg tunnel tent (not telling which one because I want it to still be in stock). Haha. I'd love to read a survey and review on tunnel tents. My thinking on expedition tents (with zero personal experience of course), is that the same things that make them good for polar expeditions, peak summiting, etc., also would make for a tent that you could get many years of good use out of. Be it backpacking, winter camping, desert winds, whatever. If it's made sturdy enough to go to the poles, it should last the average user for a very long time.

Bob, I too have been reading a lot of great reviews about TNF's expedition tents. I guess they have a big following for good reason. From what I've been seeing, you have two styles to choose from in expedition tents; basecamp (built for heavy winds and snow dome style), or mobile (lighter weight, more living space, less snow and wind tunnel tents). Maybe someone with firsthand knowlege could let me know if these generalizations are correct or not.

stephan q
(khumbukat) - F
"Expedition tents" on 02/19/2012 14:40:09 MST Print View

We've only been to a few high camps, but the VE-25/clone seems to be the must trusted design in general. There are always other design types, but they are the minority. The 4 pole dome is hard to beat for mountaineering.
The lightest, proven design seems to be the Bibler I-tent type.

ADBC stephan.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Expedition tents on 02/19/2012 15:01:30 MST Print View

I agree with Stephan that 4-pole dome tents are the best when you need something bombproof, especially if that size (3-4 person) fits in with your requirements. The slightly smaller versions of those hold two people.

By the way, Stephan, that is a great photo of Ama Dablam.


Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: links on 02/19/2012 15:27:33 MST Print View

Amended my post above.

Stephan Doyle
Re: Expedition tents on 02/19/2012 16:14:07 MST Print View

There is also the wedge design, depending on your activity.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Links on 02/19/2012 17:22:22 MST Print View

"Sorry for trying to help,I saw that you were new here and a lot of new members don't know how to do searches here."

Hi Anna, I guessed that you had made that assumption. I am new here and you see that time and again on internet forums where people assume that someone doesn't bother to search, and then post a link or two with no firsthand knowledge and often to unrelated links. You didn't even write a response, simply links. I found it rude as well, although I wasn't going to go there.

If you were trying to be helpful and thought I didn't know how to use the search function you could have pointed it out to me. The way it came across was the standard "annoyed with new people asking questions" response. Maybe I took it wrong.

Edited by Jedi5150 on 02/19/2012 18:27:35 MST.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Re: "Expedition tents" on 02/19/2012 18:29:27 MST Print View

Stephan, thanks for the info. I love the photo! I was going to ask where it was but Bob answered it for me. :)

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: "Expedition tents" on 02/19/2012 22:38:09 MST Print View

or you could just be polite and moved on if it was not helpful,instead of long rude statements.I would have PM'd you but you are not set up.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: "Expedition tents" on 02/20/2012 09:36:21 MST Print View

Doug -Welcome to the BPL forums, the people here as knowledgeable, friendly and have a lot of practical experience. As a new member you may not be familiar with the personalities here and I believe you may have misunderstood Anna's intent. The search capability on BPL is notoriously poor and has been a long standing complaint from the members. Over a period of years Anna has assisted both new and long term members with researching issues within BPL and with other internet sites, she is very competent at it. Anna is one of the good people on the forums and I'm sure meant no negative implication in her original post.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Expedition tents" on 02/20/2012 18:09:25 MST Print View

Thanks for the info Ron. I appreciate the head's up.
-Edited. I'll leave it at that.

Edited by Jedi5150 on 02/20/2012 18:11:10 MST.

Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
What's an Expedition? on 02/21/2012 13:41:06 MST Print View

Depends on what you mean by "expedition."

If an "expedition" involves porters or Sherpas to carry your gear, something like the VE24 is good, particularly in base camp or other fixed camps.

If an "expedition" means self-supported alpine style climbing, then the overwhelming choice is a single wall, 2-pole tent such as the Black Diamond Firstlight, Bibler I tent, Integral Designs MK III, or Rab Summit Extreme.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: What's an Expedition? on 02/21/2012 14:21:39 MST Print View

The term "expedition" is used by outfitters who wish to charge more for their trips.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "Expedition tents" on 02/21/2012 17:20:10 MST Print View

"We've only been to a few high camps"

Wow! Ama Dablam base camp has gotten a bit more crowded in the last 20 years. :(

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Hilleberg on 02/23/2012 14:45:35 MST Print View

I've got an appointment in a couple weeks to check out some Hilleberg tents in Seattle. :)

They may be totally overkill for my purposes (backpacking, camping, and motorcycle touring), but I've got my mind set on one. Now I just have to narrow it down between a couple of styles. (Leaning towards the Nammatj GT, Staika, and Saivo.)

stephen jennings
(obi96) - F

Locale: Deep in the Green Mountains
exp tent on 04/01/2012 23:21:50 MDT Print View

My Fav is the Mountain Hardware Trango 3.1. It's roomy, expensive, bullet proof and not too heavy if you split it up.
NEMO also makes some interesting tents.