… Are In Tents!
2 person Robens Raptor (Robbie).
The Robens Raptor tent is a free-standing design with an additional lateral pole for added stability in poor weather conditions. The tent has two doorways, one either side of the tent, allowing entry/exit from both sides of the tent and large porch areas for cooking (yes .. I know its against the rules to cook in the porch but most people do at some point!) and gear storage. Ideal for three season usage, the tent is quick and easy to pitch with a weight of 3.4kg and packsize of 44x18cm.
I had been very happy setting up and sleeping solo in this tent and therefore spent a lot of time considering the sense of getting a smaller, more lightweight tent when the one I had was still perfectly decent. There had been occasions of feeling that the footprint of the tent was larger than I wanted and that this made ‘stealth camping’ more tricky at times coupled with consideration that the amount of weight and the space to carry things is obviously limited and every space save and weight shaved off is potentially space for more food! Having a 2 person tent was wonderful and felt palacial when I needed to sit out wind and rain but this level of comfort just wasn’t necessary … and that was the bottom line.
So Robbie went in a different direction to me when we met a Ukrainian couple on Barda, the Caspian Sea container ship we all used to enter Kazakhstan. Their tent had broken and they were enroute to China and beyond … A chance encounter which ended up being very positive for all.
MSR Hubba HP (Stan)
Ultralight and freestanding, the solo Hubba HP tent has solid fabric walls rather than mesh which offers protection for unexpected early-season snowfalls or persistent freezing winds. The Hubba HP tent holds its own in more serious 3-season conditions, yet still weighs in at well under 3 lbs (1.36kg). That’s half the weight of Robbie and a gain of aproximately 2 weeks worth of porridge oats (1.5kg)!! The tent has been used in the Taklamakan Desert in December (down to -20° and horrific freezing winds with the Alpkit and Lestre Sleeping bags plus jackets and full layer clothing) and Mongolia in March (similar temperatures).
I have not had to deal with lots of snow but have had stong wind conditions to content with in desert areas and so am confident that the structure of the tent can withstand a lot of adverse conditions.
I recently used the Nikwax Solarproof concentrate on the tent which has revitilised its waterproof properties so I can now happily spent time watching the rain bead on the outside and ‘race’ raindrops down the flysheet!
The bottom line … I’m very happy with the MSR and the weight and space saving has been important at times however I do miss the space that the Robens gave me. It is not possible to have everything and I am happier to compromise levels of comfort over the extra breakfasts and snacks that this has given me.