Dont take this seriously….because i dont !!

New tent bargain

I have been considering a new tent for solo backpacking trips with a lightweight theme. My current tent the NF Tadpole 23 is a great tent but it weights 2.2kg so is a little heavy on the lightweight front.

So after careful consideration and months of checking the internet for bargains I have decided to buy a North Face Mountain Marathon tent. Yes shock horror I have overlooked the all conquering Atko and Laser Comp. My reasons are simple, I don’t want to be a sheep, every Tom, Dick and Harry has these iconic tents and quite frankly they are way overpriced especially the Atko. Far enough the Atko is a better tent, and the laser comp is lighter but frankly I don’t give a rats arse for the sake of amazing construction or an amount of weight that I have shit bigger than

I have bagged a quality tent for £70, don’t be fooled by all the hype surrounding other tents, they are all the same when you look at the components and for some reason lightweight means more expensive……go figure.

Anyway I cant think of a valid argument why I should have spent £225 on a lasercomp or £320+ on the Atko. It’s funny isnt isn’t, recently I have seen walking poles for over £100, an inflatable lilo for over £110 and  coats for over £300 and yet I have managed to buy a new tent for £70 delivered to my door. My crusade to stick two fingers up at outdoor pricing goes on……………….dont be a mug !!!

Update April 2010

I used the tent on its first National Trail – Wolds Way. 4 nights varied conditions. The tent itself is low to the ground so wind is never going to be a problem but changing clothes inside the tent is a struggle for the larger man. I found the tent really easy to erect once I got the hang of it, the shape of the tent is confusing at first. Leave the inner attached to the outer and you have no worries about getting the inside wet when its raining. One of the main plus points is the ability to unpeg the inner and create more space inside, I found this extremely useful for cooking.  The weight saving on my NF tadpole was noticable and I have plenty of extra room inside my pack. Inside there is bags of floor space. All in all, very pleased so far the real test awaits in May and 200+ miles across Scotland.

Update June 2010

Well the tent survived the TGO challenge. The tent did not fail me, although I think I may have taken the title for the smallest tent on the challenge. Pitching has now become a doddle, you can actually pitch the tent extremely quickly with just 2 pegs, get inside and out the rain, then finish your pitch once its eased off. For the price I paid I am extremely happy with its performance. It does has its downsides though, mainly the height of the tent, its so close to the floor you can’t sit up. I didn’t find it a problem but I was  jealous of the height of some of the other tents on the challenge. Great tent at this price, but there are far better tents out there, trying to find one at this price will be the real challenge !!


16 responses

  1. Oh wow, big statement on the Laser Comp, it’s nearly twice as heavy 😉 But it must be for midgets, and a funny shape, the foot end measurement is 244cm wide, the left side is 109cm, so not even four foot, yet only half of the right side is 124cm! You are gonna have fun fitting in that 😀

    March 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

  2. ukmase

    Yes somehow i think the measurements on the picture are wrong, either that or is was measured in the 4th dimension. There is actually ample room for me.

    Certainly is a big statement but for the past year everybody has become fixated on these 2 tents, i saw a recent TGO challenge picture and it was ridiclous LC’s and Atko’s as far as the eye can see. I am not arguing that these tents are lighter, but when you factor in the price…..are they really 4 times better than this NF tent ?

    Its all about the dollar mate, i am really sick to death with crazy prices for outdoor grear.

    March 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

  3. Prices are nuts, my local bike shop wanted £55 for a Rocket Ron tyre, so £110 for the bike, these are bike tyres ffs!!! Bit of googling and the pair delivered was £60! Exact same product. Then the LBS complain that they aren’t making money, well I wonder why!

    Is it better than an LC or Akto, doubt it, but as I once declared as the argument winner before, my tent is RED!!!

    March 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

  4. ukmase

    Bloody Nora, £110 for bike wheels.

    I wont have any LC v Atko crap on this blog……take it outside please lol

    March 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

  5. Wurz

    Red tents rule. The fact that it’s an Akto was clearly second to this when I bought it!

    Prices are crazy, have you seen how much sacs are now, golites pushing close to a ton, for which you can get something with some extras on it. Back to tents I think the new vaude is better than a laser C but then it’s £300!

    March 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

  6. ukmase

    I reckon the materials on a tent amount to about £50-60 max. I may be wrong but i dont think i would be far away with that estimation.

    Everything is crazy price wise these days. People are losing sight of things and getting sucked into all this hype created by magazines and the recent increase in people taking up outdoor pusuits. Lets put this into perspective a minute, this new tent weighs 1.35kg and its £230 cheaper than the Vaude you mention. So unless i am contending in an ultra elite mountain marathon where half a kilo counts then why go and blow my hard earned cash on the Vaude or LC. I can pitch it on foreign soil with the money saved.

    It may sound like my being a tight arse and believe me i’m not, but its all getting a little silly nowwith pricing and its not letting up.

    March 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

  7. I just bought an Arcteryx hoody, stupid money, but I love it and my other one looks like new after over 2 years of regular use. So sometimes I don’t mind, but Salomon XA’s now over £100, GoreTex jackets you need a mortgage for, Haglofs prices making Arcteryx look cheap, and most outdoor shops stocking fleece!
    Your tent was a bargain, and let’s be honest, my Laser Comp does the same job, Wurz’s Akto does the same. The only difference is yours is a crazy shape based on those dimensions 😀

    March 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

  8. ukmase

    If the dimensions are right i will be sleeping like an egyption not walking like one !

    March 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

  9. What I love about those dimensions, is even if they aren’t in cm whatever measurement they are, they don’t make sense. Must have been Friday afternoon when they drew the floorplan!!

    March 23, 2010 at 9:22 pm

  10. Phil Walker

    I recently managed to bend the poles on my Sololite….. I’ll tell you abouit that sometime Mase ;0)

    Upshot was, new pole set. The tent which was new, cost me £75 off a guy on UKC. New pole set? £68 plus delivery :-O

    In the end they managed to dig me out a set form a demo tent for £30, which was a little more respectable. Lesson learned on that trip…….!

    Just goes to show, even after you bought the kit, they re still ripping you off. And dont get me started on Terra Novas customer service…… terrible.

    April 14, 2010 at 6:48 am

  11. ukmase

    T-dude’s tent is in for a re-fit after its stag attack on the Cape Wrath trail, wonder what he will have to pay.

    £30 is livable as you say, £68 is taking the piss.

    This new tent i intially didnt like when it arrived, but after 4 days of using it i am very impressed with the whole setup. More to come after its been propery tested on the TGO challenge. I shall know if its a winner after this. No point in reviewing a tent without giving it a good thrashing first.

    April 14, 2010 at 7:38 am

  12. I couldn’t agree more with your views on pricing. Lighter items are getting more expensive when you would expect the opposite.
    They are ripping us off. But they know that we have to have that piece of gear. So they put a high price on it and wait and see how the market reacts.
    Maybe the TGO challenge should have a year where the gear has to be budgeted within certain monetary boundaries.
    IE:- £100 for tent. £50 rucksack. £50 Boots or shoes. £50 sleeping bag etc etc.
    It’s magazines that can make a huge difference. But they would probably say they only print what the manufacturers release. And round in circles we go again.

    June 8, 2010 at 6:27 am

  13. I invested in the Neo-Air and its a fine piece of kit, light and folds away ever so small. For me there are still issues with it which i won’t bore you with. I don’t use it all the time. I sometimes use a piece of silver roof insulation which is about 6mm thick and i can get about 6 mats out of a roll costing around £20 from the local DIY store. Its insulating properties are great and also very lightweight.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

  14. Ali

    does anyone know the make+model of the green tent in the background in the bottom pic? thanks.

    April 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    • ukmase

      It’s a lightwave T2 ultra I think, porch is great.

      April 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      • Ali

        that’s what caught my eye, thanks!

        April 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm

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