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Choosing a New Tent. By Ben Wilkinson

October 14, 2021

Choosing a New Tent. By Ben Wilkinson

Choosing a new tent is one of those moments that calls for serious research. It's a big decision, and a potentially risky one, if you get it wrong you may have to live with the consequences for a long time. I live in Tasmania and love exploring wilderness Alpine regions, especially winter camping.

So, my non-negotiables in a tent are it being waterproof, that's #1, then weight and space. Ok, looks play a part, but they are a bonus :)

This was my first experience with a Mont tent of any type and straight up I can say it was a good one. My previous tent was 2.5kg, which is about 1kg more than I would like and when I first looked at the Mont Moondance 1 FN I wondered where the extra weight and size had gone? Would this be a detriment, especially if I had to spend a couple of days bunkered down in the rain? Because it sucks being stuck in a cramped tent while it rains! However, I was impressed with its size and weight.

For me, it was the side vestibule that made a huge difference, my old tent had a front porch and I hadn't realised how uncomfortable this made things.

Surprisingly though, I felt like I had as much, if not more room than my old tent. It's not the overall footprint but the layout that I found beneficial. There was more room than I expected of a 1 person tent; it isn't a 1 person coffin like the others I looked at. For me, it was the side vestibule that made a huge difference, my old tent had a front porch and I hadn't realised how uncomfortable this made things. Having side access also made climbing in and out at night for a bathroom break much easier :) My sleeping bag zips down the side and so does the tent, so throwing a leg out was far easier than trying to drag myself forward as I did in the old one. Sometimes it's the small things you don't consider that make a difference.

One of the most important things to understand when buying a tent is its capability to keep you dry! If you go into remote locations that are prone to cold temperatures or quick changes in conditions, you need the security of a safe shelter that will keep you dry and secure. The nights spent in the Moondance were perfectly dry and cosy, while outside was very moist, no rain but everything was soaked the next morning, apart from me.

I had read about the Full Nylon (FN) being seam-sealed and waterproof but we all know that water is a destructive force and it will get in if it can. Yeah, sure, the grass inside the vestibule was damp and the outside of the fly was soaked but I didn't experience any condensation or moisture inside. Well done to the Mont team for going a bit further with the seam work and materials they used, because packing up a wet tent is never on anyone's wish list but sleeping in a dry one always is!

By Ben Wilkinson of Wilkography.com, Wilkography Facebook, Wilkography Instagram

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