So, I’ve been working away for the past 18 months and the poor blog has been set to one side. There has been a lot of saving and planning going on as Deirdre and I are about to embark on a 3 month cycle tour of Japan! I now have everything organised and thought I would try to pop up a quick post or two about the preparations.
Firstly, I wanted to show off this tent which I am quite taken by. I looked at loads of tents but could not beat this Quechua Ultralight for features and value. We all want our tents to be strong, weatherproof, palatial, weigh nothing, and not cost as much as our first car. Let’s see how this one stacks up:
- Strong – 9.6mm DAC featherlite NSL poles. Has been tested at all angles to be stable in 70 km/h winds.
- Weatherproof – 40 denier polyester fly with both PU and silicone coating, 75 denier groundsheet. Tested in the field and in lab up to 200L per square metre per hour… for 4 hours (tropical rain conditions… I know what wet season in Bali is like and this sounds reasonable: we could get 2 inches of flooding in 30 minutes)!
- Palatial – 215cm long, 180/140cm wide, 95cm tall living area with 2 square metre porch. This is a good 3 person tent. There are decent 2 person tents but for three months use, the extra space will be very much appreciated.
- Weigh nothing – not so hot here… 2.6 kg… but this is still very competitive for a 3 person tent and weight is not so critical for a bike tour as a long distance hike. To save a significant amount of weight (20%…eg. 500g) for similar size I would have to spend about 3 times the money, which brings me to…
- Price – £149 when I bought it (£159 currently). This is fantastic value for such a well specced tent. You really are looking at £400-500 for anything significantly better… and how many of those have…
- Special feature – rear can be lifted in good weather to give panoramic window! I love this.
The first tent I bought had a slight nick in one of the guy lines. I enquired about a replacement line and Decathlon were very quick to just swap the whole tent for me (2 year guarantee). It comes in a wide-mouth stuff sack and a zipped bag with straps around it.
The 2 pole design is very simple to set up by yourself. The whole tent pitches as one (inner and outer together – they can be detached though for airing). The poles are held in their respective positions by elastic loops when stored so there is no guessing which goes where when you unpack… simply open them out and slide the large plastic ball-end up the sleeve until it reaches the reinforced end pocket, then clip the smaller metal ball-end into the plastic retainer. The pegs are lightweight v-stakes which look decent but you will need to thread your own loops (I have some dyneema) to help extraction. There are 10 stakes in total including the guys.
Packing away is the reverse and, like all tents, if you remember the way it unfolded you will not have much trouble getting it back into the bag. It is a little difficult to get the air out of this tent though when rolling up… the fold sequence seems to trap the openings deep inside so there is no handy port for the air to escape.
Overall, I am very impressed with the Quickhiker Ultralight 3 and look forward to putting it through its paces over the coming months. I will update later in the autumn with a proper review.