Testing out the Tent in the Garden

Of course, to be a true slow cyclist you don’t have to go very far!  Before going away to France I put my tent up in my friend’s garden.  The food and wine was so good I got head-spin and did not get much sleep.  This is why I rarely drink on holiday – I really don’t need to!

This was also when I discovered that my seat post was wobbly and the wrong height so it was good to iron out these little niggles.  On my return home I started to gather all my kit for the panniers together to be weighed, sorted and re-weighed to hone it down to absolute essentials.

My tent is the huge one on the left. It is called F10 Xenon UL2+ which means that it is essentially a two person tent. I suffer from claustrophobia but I find this tent large enough. It’s extremely comfortable for one. My female cycle touring friends call it “the palace”! It’s certainly spacious enough for two to share: I shared it for two weeks with my daughter when we went to South West France and we got along just fine 🙂 On that trip we experienced five severe all-night downpours and the tent stayed bone dry.

In may ways, this tent has felt really secure for me. I’ve never been in danger of snapping the poles. That’s a minor a miracle for me! Also I seem to get away with using 6 lightweight pegs to make it sturdy and spacious. Lots of people take plastic mallets with them to get their pegs in, especially in hot countries where the ground is free of grass and dry. With this tent I’ve never needed one and the process of putting it up and taking it down is quick and easy.

The design is lightweight and packs up efficiently, fitting neatly on a back rack. I’ve read some great reviews about this tent and the only criticism is about the lightweight fabric being a bit on the fragile side for long term use.

Alternatives are moon or coffin-shaped. Sorry I can be unkind about tents sometimes 😉 Some tents are so tiny they give me the hysterical giggles. It’s actually because it gives me the shivers to see people folding themselves up to get in or out of them.

I’m hoping to add some links soon for you to browse. Any comments on this topic are most welcome.

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