Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
imported post

For those that aren't aware, I have been an avid 'outdoors man' for years andhave enjoyedbackpacking, canoe tripping and motorcycle/car touring/camping for most of my life. Bargain Basement 'gear' just doesn't cut it with me as my life may depend on quality(not necessarily expensive!) gear to keep me safe and comfortable when I'm miles away from the nearest human, so no Walmart/Kmart offerings find their way home with me.

I have been contacted by various members for advice on camping gear and I thought that I would just post a review of a great tent that is of generous size, reasonable price and doesn't take up a lot of room while packed on your bike.

My Backpacking tent/shelter although extremely light and compact for a 2 man tent, is just not big enough to easily change in/out of my riding gear.

My regular car camping tent is a bit too much for motorcycle touring, without a trailer. It is rather bulky/heavy and doesn't have 2 protected vestibules like it's smaller sibling belowhas.









MEC's Wanderer 2, A 2 man - 3 season tent.


It's been around for ages and it's a well proven and honed design, with lots of features and good ideas. I think it's a steal at only $207.00CDN



While a little bulky/heavy to be termed a true backpacking tent, it isn't so bad when split between 2. It's also ideal for canoe tripping, motorcycle touring and even car camping.

It has a fairly generous amount of floor space for a 2 person tent, with 3.4sq.m/36.6sq.' and 2 large vestibules that fully protect the inner tent during downpours.



The full coverage fly is made of 75-denier polyester taffeta, polyurethane-coated for waterproofness to 2000mm. and all seams are factory taped/sealed.
The floor is made of MEC's HT-Seal™, polyurethane-coated for waterproofness to 10,000mm.


It has 2 full vestibules, which open in a variety of ways and has 2 hooded vents, to help expel condensation.


I also bought it's custom made
footprint which is a bargain for just $17.00CDN


I have found it very roomy when used by myself and I would imagine it fits 2 people without being 'squished', as is the case with most 2 man tents. It has very good headroom and the slant of the walls is such that it allows lots of elbow room.

Overall, I'd rate this tent as better than any Sierra Designs/REI/Kelty tent I've ever owned and I've owned a lot of tents over the years. I currently own 4 other tents, as I've sold off a few of the ones I don't use much anymore.

Here is a little slide-show, that shows the tent and it's features.(Click on the 'Show Info' tab on the upper right}

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dusty-boots/sets/72157618562830003/show/

Dusty
 

·
Forum Diplomat
Joined
·
7,368 Posts
imported post

Good review, Dusty..... Red and I have been snoring in a Eureka 4-person Timberline for years now..... I probably should look around some at newer or at least different offering. So far, the A-framed Eureka has met our needs fairly well...... In your opinion, are there marked advantages of the MEC over our old Eureka?
 

Attachments

·
Lost on this *****
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
imported post

You sure know how to sell, Dusty:dude:

If I was in the market for a tent, I'd go for that one in a heart beat just because I know that you wouldn't steer anybody wrong. Your da man when it comes to camp gear.

I have the same tent as CJ because he and others made the recommendation and I don't regret it at all. I thought it was a goner when golf ball size hall started pelting the devil out of it at Mt. Rushmore. But she held steady with no scares what so ever. Looking forward to putting it to use in Utah, come Sept.;)

I don't have the vestable for it though. Thinking I should look into it, and maybe the footprint. Although a piece of plastic does the trick.
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
imported post

Cousin Jack wrote:
In your opinion, are there marked advantages of the MEC over our old Eureka?
CJ, if that tent you're happy withis serving you well and is still in good shape(waterproofing, flysheet not degraded due to UV rays) I'd stick with your trusty tent. Just like the ole' saying - 'don't mess with it, if it don't need fixin'.


As for a 'comparison' CJ, lets compare apples to apples -

Comparing the 2 man Wanderer 2, to theEureka 2 man Timberline XT, the Wanderer 2 has more headroom(not just in the centre portion of the tent)and because of it's dome design, more overall'usable living space.' The Timberline has 38sq' vs the Wanderer's 36.6 sq', but due to the tent designs, the Wanderer has more usable interior floor space.

The Wanderer 2 poles are slightly shorter(22" vs 24") when packed, making them a bit easier for packing

The Wanderer 2 is heavier, but it also includes 2 larger vestibules.

The Wanderer 2 has a heavier/thicker polyurethanecoating(waterproofing) on both the floor and the rainfly.

Is probably quicker to set up, due to the fewer number of poles that need to be assembled and attached together. Fewer parts to loose.

The 2 man Eureka XT is about $4.87US cheaper, at today's exchange rate, but once you add theoptional extra vestibule @ $39.99 and their not so custom 'floor saver' footprint @ $9.99(really just a cut down polyethylene tarp, without grommets)that brings the total to - $229.88US

The Wanderer 2 retails for $184.77US, including the 2 vestibulesand the option custom fit footprint(much better quality!) is $15.77US, for a total of - $200.54US

If it were my money, I know which tent I'd be buying. ;)
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
imported post

Winger77 wrote:
I don't have the vestable for it though. Thinking I should look into it, and maybe the footprint. Although a piece of plastic does the trick.

That's the beauty of having 2 vestibules on the Wanderer. You can store all your gear in one and use the other as a protected entrance/exit to your tent, without fear of getting the inner tent wet in a down pour.



The foot print helps to save premature 'wear n tear' on the tent's floor. A wise investment, although in your case Dave, the plastic is just as good as what Eureka offers as a 'footprint'. :cooldevil:.

The thing I like about the Wanderer 2's footprint is that it is custom made for it and besides extending into one of the tent's vestibules, has attachment points that fit on the bottom of the poles, which lets you set up just the fly and the footprint if it's raining out and then set up the inner tent, under the protection of the fly.











Dusty
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,772 Posts
imported post

Why in da heck did I have to make camp next to you at Calhoun, when you had all that extra room ??? :cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1: :gunhead:
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
257 Posts
imported post

I have the Big Agnes Emerald Mountain 3 and love it. My lady & I spent 12 hours in it once during a huge storm in North Florida. The tent never leaked nor did we experience any condensation. It was developed for backpacking and is considered a 3 season ultralight intended to house three adults.

Everything, the tent, the rain fly, thefoot print, the poles, stakes and guy lines all compress into a neat little bag which fits into the bottom of one saddle bagon my '86 1200I; andI have plenty ofroom to stow other equipment with it. I can have it up in under ten minutes.It is a bit pricey butI have seen it on line for $250. As soon as I figure out how to post photo's I will.
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
imported post

While I'm sure the BA Emerald 3 is a fine tent, I don't care for an all mesh body tent, as condensation can drip down into the inner tent.

This happened to me while backpacking up in the Cathedrals in Southern BC, in early Septand 6" of wet, heavy snow fell. The next 3 days saw temps a degree above/below freezing and it was either snowing, or raining. The fly built up with condensation, despite having the vestibule open and dripped down inside the tent, through the mesh, making everything damp inside. :X

The Wanderer 2 also comes in a mesh version but I stayed away from that, due to my previous experiences with a full mesh bodied tent.



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
115 Posts
imported post

That's a nice tent dusty. I have REI 4 and 6 person tents, very similar build to your MEC. and a little one man MSR tent for packing and biking. (it says two man but really...)

I like REI for the lifetime warranty, but this tent is pretty nice. The REI half dome 2 tent only has one vestibule without the floor. I might have to get one of these MECs.



edit: opps I was wrong the REI also has two vestibules.
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
imported post

MEC has a very similar return policy as REI and very good quality, as well

One of my buds has the REI Half dome and although a nice tent with2 doors/vestibules, the vestibules are not near as large and the interior height/floor space isn't as great, as well.



My backpacking tent is a 2 man (ya ... I know!) Double Rainbow, made by TarpTent

It packs incredibly small, weighs 1135g, has 2 doors/vestibules and is great for that purpose

Here it is set up at Moores Point, along the Lake Chelan Lakeshore Trail, which Cousin Jack and pals, just hiked.





and here it is in 'travel mode', packed up in the gray/black compression sac. That's a 1 litre drink bottle for size comparison!







The Wanderer 2 is a much more comfortable tent for motorcycle touring and packs down fairly small as well, with the aid of a compression stuff sac.








Dusty
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
90 Posts
imported post

nice tents but pricey

made a trip to Alaska in 2007, bought a $200 tent for the trip because i was worried we might camp in the rain a lot, only camped in the rain one nite, the $200 tent was nice for the trip but since then whenever i go camping i take my 10 year old 7x7 $25 Kmart tent, it packs and sets up easier, only real drawback is if it rains it sometimes leaks a little
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
imported post

My main tent is a plastic one about two inches by three inches and has a magnetic strip built in. The label says Best Western. :cheeky1:

I do carry the smallest back packer and sleeping bag I could find just in case.

However I have been thinking of a tent with a few more options. I just can't find one with a hot shower.

I don't like to ride with external luggage but gave in a little by keeping my dirty laundry in a knapsack strapped to the back seat. It needed the air.

Seriously though I wouldn't mind seeing three photos of your bike Dusty. One with the gear spread out on the ground, one with it stowed but lids open and the third ready to roll.
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
imported post

nobbie wrote:
Seriously though I wouldn't mind seeing three photos of your bike Dusty. One with the gear spread out on the ground, one with it stowed but lids open and the third ready to roll.



Patience, Grasshopper..... and you shall be rewarded. :D

My Bud and I are going on a nice little 15 day trip. Leaving June 17 and arriving back on July 1st to catch the Canada DayFireworks display out over Okanagan Lake, here in Penticton.
I'll take some shots for you on different ways I canpack the bike and do another little 'slideshow presentation'. ;)


Current thought is that I'll most likely be employing 2 trunk rack bags, one on the Pylon Seat, which will hold all my camping equipment and the other will hold my heated clothing, rain suit, bike cover and assortment of gloves, so they will be easy to get to. I might compact everything into the bike's bags, but I would like room for lots of souvenirs. We'll see. :baffled:



Our route will take us through the gamut of weather conditions, due to elevation profiles, as we'll be heading throughGlacier/Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph Highway/Bighorns/Yellowstone/Grand Tetons/Ketchum/Lolo Pass and up into the Idaho Panhandle, before spending our last night at Bonaparte Lake, east of Tonasket, WA

Here's the 1st leg of the trip from MapQuest (Google maps won't plot over the Beartooth Pass)

http://www.mapquest.com/mq/7-C69YL3qIBzIYTjk8a0yr

and the 2nd leg: http://tinyurl.com/plcuyb

for a total of over 2800 miles. We are looking forward to it, as we'll be covering a lot of Destination Highways and primo scenery. :cool:



Dusty
 

·
Lost on this *****
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
imported post

Hey Dusty,,,,,,, that looks like a great run you have planned out. Glad your taking advantage of being retired. Sure wish I didn't pass up the Tetons :(I should have just told the boss I had a flat tire:cooldevil:Oh well, maybe I'll scheem up something while at Montrose.

I really like your trunk bag too, but there are other items I'll be needing and I figure I did fine on the last trip with what I have.

I'm always looking forward to seeing "what Dusty has been up to".

You have yourself a super duper trip Ken.
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
imported post

Thanks, Dave!

I bought the 2nd trunk rack bag primarily for the Montrose trip, to store my heated liners etc, as I figure by Sept it'll be getting a little cool for just a mesh jacket, especially in the mornings at altitude. Last Sept/Oct, I got pretty tired of riding 10-12 hours in temps that were in the 30's and feeling 'bulky' with all the layers on. This way I plan to eliminate a lot of 'layers' and keep warm. ;)

This trip will be a good 'shake down' run to get things 'dialed in' and the bag is cheap enough that if I don't need it, no big deal, I'll have a spare. :baffled:



Ken
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
59,118 Posts
imported post

nobbie wrote:
My main tent is a plastic one about two inches by three inches and has a magnetic strip built in. The label says Best Western. :cheeky1:

I do carry the smallest back packer and sleeping bag I could find just in case.

However I have been thinking of a tent with a few more options. I just can't find one with a hot shower.

I don't like to ride with external luggage but gave in a little by keeping my dirty laundry in a knapsack strapped to the back seat. It needed the air.

Seriously though I wouldn't mind seeing three photos of your bike Dusty. One with the gear spread out on the ground, one with it stowed but lids open and the third ready to roll.


I'm with you, Best West.. They don't make a matters thick enough to soften that hard ground.......:waving: :waving: :waving:
 

·
Just another ORF!
Joined
·
8,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
imported post

Foodman wrote:
I'm with you, Best West.. They don't make a matters thick enough to soften that hard ground.......:waving: :waving: :waving:

My air mattress is farthicker than my wallet ! :D

Different people have different travel 'modes'. At this stage of my life, I'm stillmore comfortable camping, than staying in a stuffy overpriced motel/hotel night after night, while on the road.

Having said that, I do use motels when I have to make 'time' on a trip, but when the pace is more relaxed, I'll choose to camp. :waving:



Dusty
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
imported post

Dusty Boots wrote:
Having said that, I do use motels when I have to make 'time' on a trip, but when the pace is more relaxed, I'll choose to camp. :waving:

Dusty
I have also found that if you are travelling alone and camp you meet a lot of people. Less so when you are in a group.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top