Out within the mountains, as you go about experiencing a number of the most unbelievable sights on our planet, your tent is your private home. It’s a secure spot that permits you to relaxation your legs and recharge your batteries. When confronted with the vagaries of climate, your tent is a cocoon that shields you from the harshest of situations.
This was one thing I used to be made aware of once we went trekking in Kuari Move through the first week of April this 12 months. On the final evening of our trek, on the Tali campsite, we obtained an surprising quantity of snow. We woke as much as essentially the most wondrous winter wonderland however sleeping soundly in our Hillman tents, we had little thought of how a lot it had snowed all through the evening.
Wanting again, I notice that it appeared like a magical scene solely as a result of we had been protected against it. Had there been a tear or worse, if the tent had collapsed from the burden of the snow, I’d, in all probability, be singing a distinct tune about the entire expertise.
Choosing the proper tent for a excessive altitude trek can get a bit overwhelming. There are umpteen issues to be taught, but so little time to grasp all the pieces. To simplify issues, we went straight to the specialists.
We chatted with Apaar Mahajan, founding father of Gipfel tents and producers of the Indiahikes’ Hillman tents, and Ravindra Charan, a Demand Planner with the Trekking and Mountain climbing Division at Decathlon, each avid trekkers with years of solo trekking expertise behind them.
We additionally reached out to Syama Krishna and Vijeet Shaw, Senior Trek Leaders with Indiahikes, who’ve ventured out on mountaineering expeditions many instances.
We additionally spoke to Arjun Majumdar, founding father of Indiahikes, who has been on the forefront of Indian trekking for many years now and has been the first thoughts behind designing our all-weather Hillman tent.
What’s the Proper Tent Design For You?
Over the previous 5-10 years, the market has advanced past the quintessential A-frame tent. Dome tents have turn into common at the same time as specialised designs meant for critical trekkers have began making an look within the Indian market.
Every tent design has its personal set of benefits and drawbacks, and a bit know-how will assist you determine which one is best for you.
What To Look For Whereas Selecting A Tenting Tent For Your Himalayan Trek?
There are simply 6 primary elements for you to bear in mind if you’re shopping for a tent for prime altitude treks. We’ll elaborate every of the factors beneath.
- Tent poles
- Weight of tent
- Worth of tent
1. What sort of seasons are you going to trek in?
The seasonality of a tent refers back to the variety of seasons that the tent has been designed for. In sensible phrases, this interprets to the quantity of precipitation/rain, the severity of winds, and the vary of temperatures the tent is constructed to face up to.
Whereas you’ll discover 1, 2, 3, and 4-season tents out there, solely 3 and 4 season tents are appropriate for a high-altitude trek.
3-season tents are designed to tolerate pretty robust winds, average quantities of rain, and even some quantity of snow. They’ve a superb stability of insulation and air flow and have mesh partitions and vents that assist in air circulation.
4-season tents are designed to deal with the hardest of climate situations, together with hail, excessive winds, and heavy snow. You’ll discover that they function heavy-duty wind and water resistant materials and thicker frames. In addition they are typically larger with bigger vestibules designed to accommodate trekking gear. Airflow in these tents is lesser than that of 3-season tents as the first intention is safety from the weather. They’re additionally, naturally, heavier and dearer than 3-season tents.
Do you know that Indiahikes launched dome tents in 2009 to Indian trekking? After years of experimentation and analysis, we launched custom-made, expedition-quality, 4-season Hillman tents on all treks in 2013.
Until date, with each order, we tweak the design of the tents to higher three elements — scale back the burden, enhance the lifetime of the tents to make it extra environmentally pleasant and make it increasingly weather-proof.
2. How many individuals are you going to trek with?
The capability of a tent refers to how giant a tent is and the way many individuals it will probably accommodate. You will note this translated right into a 1-person, 2-person, 4-person tent, or extra out there.
Earlier than you determine on how large your tent ought to be, it’s essential to ask your self whether or not you see your self trekking primarily alone or together with a associate or group. You additionally must know the way a lot weight you possibly can carry comfortably (we are going to cope with the tent’s weight in only a bit).
“That is so that you’ve area to maintain your backpack and your boots, and have a bit wiggle area for that added consolation issue,” provides Ravindra of Decathlon.
So, does that imply it’s higher to purchase an even bigger tent if extra individuals are trekking collectively?
As a substitute of getting a single larger capability tent, it could be higher to get a number of smaller tents. That approach, if you trek with a bunch of individuals, you possibly can distribute the burden of the tents amongst extra individuals. It additionally affords you extra flexibility on the subject of area for sleeping and baggage.
Nevertheless, in case you are planning to get porter or animal assist, you possibly can think about shopping for a bigger tent too.
One of the best ways to determine if the dimensions of the tent is best for you is to go to a retailer and take a look at out numerous fashions. In case you are procuring on-line, it’s finest to open the tent and pitch it as quickly as you get it and trade it if the dimensions doesn’t go well with you. You don’t wish to be shocked within the mountains!
3. Choosing the proper tent poles
Merely put, tent poles present construction and stability. With out it, your tent would simply be a mass of cloth or worse, taking off with the wind.
A extra budget-friendly choice is fiberglass poles. The draw back is that they don’t carry out as effectively in decrease temperatures and excessive winds.
Metal and carbon poles can be found too however metal is heavy and used solely in larger-sized tents whereas carbon is pricey and located solely in high-end, expedition-style tents.
4. What sort of material do you have to go for?
The material of your tent performs an vital position in defending you from rain and snow. There are just a few elements to think about on the subject of the tent material itself.
1. Polyester vs. Nylon – Most trendy tents are product of polyester, nylon, or a mix of each.
Nylon is lighter, stronger, and really compact when in comparison with polyester.
Polyester, whereas heavier than Nylon, is sturdy, has good stretch capability, and behaves higher underneath moist situations. Additionally, when it comes to value, polyester is much more pocket-friendly.
The place canvas is available in: Nylon and polyester are each extremely inflammable. So any cooking that you just do should be carried out outdoors the tent. At Indiahikes, we select to have canvas tents for our kitchens as they’re the most secure to cook dinner in.
2. Learn the way water-proof your tent is – This refers back to the skill of the material to maintain rain/water from penetrating the within of the tent.
Tent producers obtain this by both giving a PU coating or a silicone coating to the outer layer of the tent and the groundsheet.
Speaking in regards to the variations between the 2 coatings, Apaar of Gipfel explains, “PU coating is heavy but additionally cost-effective. Silicone coating is lighter and doesn’t get ruined by chilly or moisture simply.”
How water resistant your tent material is, relies on the variety of coatings it will get. That is measured in mm. The upper the variety of layers, the higher the water resistance.
Nevertheless, excessive ranges of PU or silicone coatings additionally have an effect on the burden and breathability of the material.
The rain fly of a tent is usually given a DWR (Sturdy Water Repellant) coating that makes water droplets bead up and slide off with out affecting the material.
3. Groundsheets see essentially the most motion – This refers back to the ground of your tent. As you possibly can think about, this floor is inclined to a variety of put on and tear.
4. Plain vs. ripstop weave – The weave of the material can both be plain or ripstop. A ripstop weave does exactly what its identify suggests, i.e., limits the unfold of a rip or tear. In case your tent has a ripstop weave, the material will function a mesh design with small squares within the materials. It’s, nonetheless, dearer than a tent with a plain weave material.
5. Outer-first vs. inner-first design – All trendy high-altitude tents have two layers. The outer layer is often water resistant, and the internal layer is breathable.
Tents can both have an internal first or an outer first design.
In an outer first tent, the internal material or layer is already connected to the outer layer, and also you solely have to attach your poles to the outer material to set it up.
In an inner-first design, the poles are connected to the internal layer, and you’ll have to drape an outer cowl on high.
5. How a lot ought to your tent weigh?
If there was one sentiment that I heard from all our specialists, it was the truth that each gram counts when you find yourself on the market trekking within the mountains.
The burden of a tent shouldn’t be seen in isolation and must be balanced towards different vital elements similar to stability, resistance to the weather, and value.
You additionally should determine if you may be carrying your whole baggage or be offloading some to a porter or animal.
6. Lastly, how a lot do you have to pay?
The value of a tent varies enormously relying on the seasonality, capability, and supplies used.
One of many primary elements to be thought-about whereas deciding upon a price range is to estimate the frequency of utilization.
In case you are planning on utilizing the tent sparingly, it doesn’t make sense to purchase one that’s top-of-the-line. Nevertheless, in case your utilization frequency will likely be excessive, you could be higher off investing in a barely higher-priced tent that may maintain as much as repeated put on and tear.
One other level that must be factored into the value of a tent is the after-sales service and the supply of elements.
12 Greatest Tenting Tents For Excessive Altitude Treks
We have now put collectively an inventory of a number of the hottest tent fashions for various specs and at totally different value factors. We extremely encourage you to do your analysis, learn critiques, and discover totally different manufacturers and fashions earlier than selecting one. Forclaz, Gipfel, Jaqana Tents, Quechua, Gypsy Tents, and Coleman are well-known manufacturers that cope with good high quality trekking and mountain climbing tents in India.
Please be aware that we don’t endorse these manufacturers, however they arrive extremely really useful from our most-experienced group members:
2-person 3-season tent:
2-person 3-season tents that can be utilized for prime AND low altitude trekking:
- Gipfel Fira 2 – Inside first design permits you to use this tent in chilly and heat climate
- Gipfel Proxima 2 – Inside first design, can take heavy rains, outer cowl will be eliminated relying on climate
- Forclaz Trek 900 – Weighs underneath 2 kg, can be utilized in chilly and heat climate
2-person 4-season tent:
- Tethys 2 – A hybrid tent that mixes the options of a dome, tunnel, and geodesic tent, weighs 2.5 kg
How to decide on tents for treks at decrease altitudes
Whereas tenting at decrease altitudes and locations just like the Western Ghats don’t require tents which might be too specialised, they do current a distinct set of challenges. To know this, we spoke to Saini Krishnamurthy, who has carried out over 300 treks in Maharashtra, primarily within the Sahyadris.
“Winds and wind chill play a significant factor within the Sahyadris, particularly within the higher ghats and through the winter season,” says Saini. “In case you are trekking throughout summer season, mosquitoes are an enormous concern,” she continues.
Arjun provides to this. “If I’m trekking within the Western Ghats, I’m going to want a tent that has a variety of air coming in as I’m going to be in humid situations. I’m additionally going to be coping with bugs, so I’ll want a tent that has netting,” he factors out.
Whereas most tenting occurs throughout winter, in case you are heading out into the ghats through the wet season or simply outdoors the wet season, it’s a good suggestion to put money into a dome tent that has a thick groundsheet with excessive waterproofing.
Our tent picks for decrease altitudes:
For summer season tenting
Finances tent for two
Straightforward meeting, pop up tent
For tropical, wet climate
- Gipfel Proxima 2 – Inside first design, can deal with heavy rains, the outer cowl will be eliminated when wanted.
A 3-season, 2-person dome tent is a perfect choose for many trekkers who’re pondering of heading into the Himalayas. With weight being one of the vital elements on a multi-day trek, we strongly advocate a tent that weighs lower than 3 kg (for a 2-person tent).
If that is the primary time you might be shopping for a tent, we advocate you go for a superb high quality, mid-priced trekking tent from a well known model and NOT essentially the most costly mannequin in that section. That is in an effort to take a look at the tent in real-life situations and determine, for your self, its professionals and cons. That can enable you turn into a extra knowledgeable and clever purchaser.