The perfect tent

The perfect tent

The search for the perfect tent is like trying to find the holy grail. Here’s a little of what I’ve learned and experienced when trying to find the best wild camping tent. All tents have their positives and negatives but I’ve found that finding the best backpacking tent is like trying to find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Link to the Trail Magazine Best Value Award 2022 Winning Tent – Wild Country Helm Compact 1

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Soto Torch Lighter
Adapter for gas

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20 thoughts on “The perfect tent

  1. I was the same as you, I’ve owned 15 different tents over the years. I then decided I wanted one (as well as keeping my ridge Raider Bivvy), so searched for the “perfect” tent..I don’t think it exists but the closest thing I have got to a perfect tent for me is the Terra Nova – Starlight 1.. Since purchasing that I’ve not craved another tent and it’s done everything I needed to.

  2. Totally agree with the sentiment about the memories being the main takeaway from being in the hills whether hiking or wild camping. Not always great memories – sometimes more of a “learning experience”! – but many a tale to tell afterwards. I caught the love of the hills in the Scouts back in the mid-sixties and have been out there all my life. I’m pretty sure that ANY tent made now would have felt like the perfect tent back then. Having said that I’ve only just reconnected with wild camping in the last year – and I’m five tents in so far…..

  3. A good watch that Paul. I often look back on all the gear I’ve bought over the years and I’m convinced the most expensive is not necessarily the best way to go. Thanks for posting 👍👍

  4. I love my Helm1 and Pioneer2. Not sure I will ever need more than this. I don’t chase lightweight ever, as I would prefer more robust. Although I am 6’3 and 90kgs and an endurance cyclist, so a couple of kgs more doesn’t bother me in the slightest. As long as my pack is 20kgs or under I can walk all day.

    1 tent that is perfect for every condition doesn’t exist in my mind. Good to have a few for every scenario

  5. Hey Paul! You should totally design you own one one day, maybe partner up with terra nova or something. That be quite awesome to see and would attract alot of buyers I am sure of it.
    I got Helm 2 love it but just the weight is a bit annoying when on very long walks so got Lanshan 2 and 1 Plus for my solo stuff with loads of mods etc so I can lower its to the ground etc.
    Anyway hope you get your dream tent one day haha

  6. My fist tent was Hilleberg Akto but it was 4 seasons and bad with ventilations, so i sold it and got MSR Hubba NX solo it was excellent for me but way too small, felt like sleeping in cofin, so i upgrated for 2 person and i cant be even more happy.. So getting comfortable tn is quite a journey of you are passionate about camping like Paul 🙂 Great video and what a story Paul, you really have tried it all 😀

  7. I’ve used a lot of different tents and ended up with two favorite basic designs.
    1. Pyramid: Love the simplicity of design and setup, really good (but not perfect) in high winds (when done right) and can be superlight particularly when used with trekking poles. The disadvantage is that to get a fair amount of room inside they take up a lot of area which to some degree limit where you can set it up.
    2. Two crossed poles free standing. Again, love the simplicity and symmetry of the design and ease of setup. You get the same volume with a lot smaller footprint than a pyramid but need dedicated poles. It’s probably the type I’ve used the most and have this basic type from BD, Marmot and Eureka.
    What I haven’t found yet is the second type with a perfect vestibule design, or at least a design where I can use the door in rain without getting water on the floor. What I’d like is a model where the inner tent is around 50cm shorter than the outer in on end creating a vertical wall on the inner and a small vestibule with the door slightly away from the wall of the inner tent.

  8. And here I am feeling silly for being on my third backpacking tent! But seriously, your broad experience, often with windy wet weather, gives you a good foundation for reviewing tents.

  9. Agreed – it is the experience walking and camping that counts and not the tent. Even when a tent fails the memories of coping is more important than the tent.

  10. Enjoyed your honest take on some of the high end tents. I sometimes think people are scared to give an honest review of these expensive tents due to backlash you receive for having an opinion. Each to their own as far as I’m concerned, it’s your money at the end of the day. For me the dd xl pyramid tent and/or a tarp does the job. And my hot tent in the winter when car camping. Looking at getting a bivvy at the moment to add to my tarp setup. Enjoying the videos 👍

  11. You don’t remember the tent – unless it failed you. It’s still mighty important though, because it encourages you to hunt down that extra adventure that you wouldn’t have chosen had the gear been too complicated, heavy or unreliable.
    Only if you have gear that allows you to take your mind off your gear can you lend your full focus to the experience. Good enough is the key.

  12. Still my go to guy for tips and tricks with wild camping. Always informative and helpful. Cheers Paul

  13. reminds me of a golfing friend of mine Paul, he has gone through so many different golf drivers looking for the perfect one and has now returned to one of the originals after finding some small issue with most of them. So whether its camping, golfing or whatever my advice would be, enjoying the moment is whats important…….love your vlogs by the way…

  14. Paul, you are my go to fella when it comes to this sort of camping. Great information and perfectly delivered message. Thanks for another super video.

  15. Really good video, Paul. Resonates with anyone who has been on the same journey. Your “to-camera” style is absolutely spot on – easy to watch, demonstrating a level of experience that can’t be bought. Nicely done pal 👍🏻

  16. Your scripting is wonderful. It’s so easy to listen to your videos – no wasted words, no awkward phrasing, just smooth transitions and a complete arc from beginning to end. Excellent work, and many thanks for the effort you put in.

  17. Paul, this is your best video in ages. Well, it is for someone like me who’s been following you for so long. Really nice to see the tent journey and your thought process. Appreciate everything you do and hope you’re happy and well 🗻

  18. Great thoughts Paul, thank you. Honest and reflective as always. Just to say too that the Scarp’s corner struts are carbon, not fibreglass. And they’re removable if you want to pack the whole thing down smaller, and tuck the corner struts in a side pocket.

    I’d be interested to hear how the Xmid compares with handling condensation. Overall I prefer the Scarp design with the vertical ends so more room for head and feet if you’re tall. The X-mid might be the most hyped at the moment but there are lots of things I dislike about it still.

    Just to say too that Hilleberg have social media pages dedicated to hunters, so I’d never buy their products. Hunting for sport is despicable and completely unnecessary, and all about having power and control over nature instead of respecting it.

  19. I just had to retire my first “real” tent. So many memories of introducing my daughter to camping! She’s grown and on her own now. I have had many, many other tents come and go, but the memories that came with this one are irreplaceable. 🙂

  20. Great video. The research, hesitant purchase and subsequent testing of each tent along the way is what makes it fun trying to find “the one”. We all know deep inside that the next tent won’t tick ALL the boxes, but damnit we can try! 😁

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