Tent buying on a budget..?

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Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:46 pm

I'm for some reason having a really hard time identifying threads already dedicated to this topic...Google is being kind of difficult, too. It seems as if most people have a larger budget than I do!

I'm looking for a tent for myself that can survive the playa and isn't too expensive (definitely under $100...cheap cheap cheap!)

I keep seeing tents that look flimsy or have a lotttt of mesh. I don't mind covering up the mesh with other materials but these are looking rather excessive! Any suggestions? :)
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jackass » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:49 pm

Yard sales and flea markets, that's where you'll find the best ones. Maybe CL too
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:54 pm

Well, I think that's a little risky, being as the Burn is coming up so soon and that's such a hit or miss opportunity. I will search CL, though.

Does a tent like this look like it'll do the trick?
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jackass » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:44 pm

It should, Eureka's a fairly good tent. Don't forget to cover the mesh, blankets and binder clips.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:34 am

Hmm, it looks good to me but I'd reeeeally like to find something cheaper! Why am I so bad at this? :(
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:49 am

What kind of tent do you normally use?
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:40 am

This is my first year so... nothing!
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby illy dilly » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:06 am

I would suggest at minimum a 4 person tent. A 2 person tent will get very old very quick.

I totally understand shopping on a budget, which totally limits your options.
Even with that said, try to find the tallest tent that you can. You will get sick of having to change your pants laying down very very fast!

I'm not sure if I can post a recommendation for a certain tent by a certain manufacturer. So Mods, if this is out of place please feel free to delete it.
My sister has this tent. It has A LOT of mesh around the top, but with a few spring clamps something like these Image then you can attach a sheet pretty easy. This tent is large enough to fit a queen size air mattress and a suitcase or (2) 'rubber maid' storage contains in. Just make sure that if you use an air mattress that you inflate it inside the tent, cause it wont fit through the door when inflated.
http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Sundome-4-Person-Tent-Green/dp/B004J2GUOU/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342709580&sr=1-1&keywords=coleman+sundome+4

Our first year, a camp mate used this tent. He really liked that it had a little "awning" type deal, which if you put a small tarp under, it makes a really good place to take off shoes and really dusty clothes before you get into the main tent area. It also gives you a lil privacy to get undressed out side of your tent, so that you don't track a ton of dirt in.
http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-2000001591-Hooligan-4-Tent/dp/B001TS8OEG/ref=sr_1_7?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342710003&sr=1-7&keywords=4+person+3+season+tent

This is an Amazon search for "4 person 3 season tent" then I refined the search to 50-100 dollars. I think in the price range that your looking, you're going to have a lot of trouble finding something that doesn't have a lot of mesh.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dsporting&field-keywords=4+person+3+season+tent#/ref=sr_nr_p_36_2?rh=n%3A3375251%2Ck%3A4+person+3+season+tent%2Cp_36%3A1253557011&bbn=3375251&keywords=4+person+3+season+tent&ie=UTF8&qid=1342709975&rnid=386589011

We're going through the same thing right now trying to find something for the 2 of us, that is under $250. We're gonna be on Playa for 11 days, so we need to up our game a little. I can't do another week or longer of having to change my close laying down, and hunching around in the tent. Just having to hunch in the tent ends up killing my lower back after a few days.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby illy dilly » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:11 am

CHECK THIS ONE OUT!!!!!!!!
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Gear-10x10-Teepee-Tent/dp/B003C4Z7W2/ref=sr_1_19?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342710003&sr=1-19&keywords=4+person+3+season+tent

Image

It doesn't say what shipping cost though.
Some place around eplaya, there was discussion all about these little 'tee-pee' tents.
I kind of remember people saying to 'reinforce' the center pole. I don't remember how they did it or why they did it.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby SquirrelHead » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:41 am

I have found some great deals on tents through Craigslist. Make sure to open it up and check all the parts to make sure everything is there and in good working order. I had one that I bought without checking that had a missing pole.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:51 am

It is possible to replace missing poles, although I'm not sure about cost.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:19 pm

I suggest bookmarking the recent tent threads and trying to understand all the issues people bring up in general, and more specifically about staking and such. Some people need to pack for flying or ride sharing, some don't. Some need a tent tall enough to jump up & down in, but a backpacking tent can work fine if all you plan to do is sleep and you're not a privacy freak; and they're much better in the wind.

Also, you might start by going to decent outdoor stores eg REI and note what brands and styles suit you, so you can go shop online and compare. Get inside a tent and imagine changing your underwear on a 100-degree day.

All my tents have been from the attic, yard sales or thrift shops. Anything can be made to work, but if you're on your own and don't expect to have much of a windbreak where you camp, a small 2- or 3-man tent with minimal mesh is best. Cheap family type tents do not hold up in direct wind, but small tents from Target or wherever do pretty well. A truck or van can help as a windbreak, along with using all guy line points on the tent.

Shade always helps, but rather than build a large frame structure you can use a lightweight nylon tarp strung between a couple of poles, eg the Kelty "Noah's Tarp", the Kelty Sunshade, or something similar. Or shade mesh strung from poles. Cheap blue tarps are too noisy when the rustle in the wind.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby StevenGoodman » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:25 pm

I have taken something similar to this (although slightly bigger) to Burning Man for the last few years; for other people to use.

http://www.sears.com/texsport-pebble-creek-vestibule-tent/p-00629292000P?prdNo=4

It seems to have held up pretty well, I have had it for about 10 years, and 4 or so trips to BM.

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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:17 pm

Thanks guys, this has been very helpful :D
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby SnowBlind » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:51 am

I've taken cheap Target or Walmart tents out there, and they were fine. They may not last as long as a Springbar, but I've gotten four years out of one, and a campmate has used his for 6 or so and it's still going strong.

Personally, I don't cover up the mesh, because in the morning I want all the airflow I can get. It can get a little dusty inside, but not too bad. Obviously YMMV.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:21 pm

How does this one look?

I like that there's only that one mesh thing to cover up. It seems like there's lots of space, both horizontally and vertically. Though can someone help me out in terms of the seams? Am I looking for something seamless? Or could I maybe cover them with tape or something like that?

Thanks again!
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:46 pm

I bet there's a ton of mesh under that rain fly.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby StevenGoodman » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:10 pm

The Quest Eagle should probably be OK. It does look to have one disadvantage that sometimes gets over looked. Since it only has two poles, it only has two places to put stakes in. This means in heavy wind it is pulling on only two stakes. A 10x10 Springbar (same size) has 16 places to put in stakes.

Try to have some kind of wind block, and load the windward side with heavy stuff like water.

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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:31 pm

StevenGoodman wrote: Since it only has two poles, it only has two places to put stakes in. This means in heavy wind it is pulling on only two stakes. A 10x10 Springbar (same size) has 16 places to put in stakes.

Try to have some kind of wind block, and load the windward side with heavy stuff like water.

Martini Steve

Que?
2 poles means 4 corners. There are also additional places to guy line out from the rain fly then steak that down.

A spring bar is also more like cabin or wall tent.... broad and flat.
Dome tents tend to do really well in bad windy storms.
We've camped pretty far up Matterhorn Peak, near Telluride, CO. When the storms role in, you are IN the clouds. The wind will rock and shack vehicles. We had a large old school green army tent, aka a "wall tent", get knocked down, and ripped off the mountain. It sailed like a kite! The only thing that was left was the ground tarp. Great big broad flat and rigid tents tend to not like wind.
All the dome tents around, even the cheap walmart tents, just get laid flat from the wind. When the gusts stop they spring back up, then get laid flat again, then spring up, then get laid flat. Though, obviously they only stand when using good steaks and guy lines. Its also a great idea to put heave containers like all your costumes or suitcases in your tent. It doesn't hurt to throw a 7 gallon water jug in one corner either.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:58 pm

Well the good thing is, I'll have all of my gear inside the tent to help keep it weighted down. Does that last option seem alright, then? Do you think the mesh will be too difficult to cover? We're hopefully going to have enough cars to create wind barriers around our tents.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby StevenGoodman » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:42 pm

illy dilly wrote:
StevenGoodman wrote: Since it only has two poles, it only has two places to put stakes in. This means in heavy wind it is pulling on only two stakes. A 10x10 Springbar (same size) has 16 places to put in stakes.

Try to have some kind of wind block, and load the windward side with heavy stuff like water.

Martini Steve

Que?
2 poles means 4 corners. There are also additional places to guy line out from the rain fly then steak that down.


Duh, can't count or type!

I would be happier if the Quest Eagle had an extra stake down point on each side. To keep the wind from getting underneath and pulling on the two stakes in the corners facing the wind. But I do think it will work fine.

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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby illy dilly » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:41 pm

Jemma wrote:Well the good thing is, I'll have all of my gear inside the tent to help keep it weighted down. Does that last option seem alright, then? Do you think the mesh will be too difficult to cover? We're hopefully going to have enough cars to create wind barriers around our tents.

I think it sounds like a great tent!

If you use some of these plastic spring clips you can easily attach a sheet over the mesh.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Jemma » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:23 pm

Thanks guys! :D I think I'll get it.
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Re: Tent buying on a budget..?

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:10 pm

That's your average Burning Man tent. Needs help (per all above suggestions).
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