Ultralight Tent on a Budget

NH18T010 T 2 - Ultralight Tent on a Budget

Why spend £400 on a one person ultralight tent when £60 will do?

This was a question that I needed to answer, with Spring heading my way and a solo cycle tour in the planning stage it was time to sort out my gear.

Previously I had taken too much gear with me and all the extra weight it entailed slowed me down. This year I wanted to be light and nimble but still have a couple of options for stealth camping. I love how comfortable my DD Hammock is but carrying a hammock, tent and a bivi was overkill. Stealth camping in the past had involved looking for a small forest or woodland area and setting my hammock up. However out of 6 weeks stealth camping I probably only used my hammock 4 or 5 times. I either pitched a tent to get out of the rain or hit the ground in a bivi bag and slept under the stars. Several times I slept on picnic benches and covered myself up with a tarp.

After the experience of cycling across Europe I have come to the conclusion that if I am caught stealth camping it doesn’t matter what gear I’m using I still got caught. The whole idea of stealth camping is not to get caught. I, therefore, decided to go with an ultralight 1 person tent and have my bivi, which fits in the palm of my hand as a backup. This would save me in the region of 3kg in weight, as I won’t be carrying my hammock, tarp and my Vango Banshee 200 tent.

So I started to do some research which involved a few hours, okay days watching YouTube. Bicycle Touring Pro is the channel which is top of my list as Darren Alff has spent the past 19 years bicycle touring. If Darren doesn’t have the answers then no-one will. Darren’s choice of a tent is the Big Agnus Copper Spur HV UL 1. This is an amazing hard wearing tent however it is way out of my price range. This led to me searching for alternatives, MSR Hubba is similar in both design and unfortunately price.

bicycle touring pro darren alff 634x256 - Ultralight Tent on a Budget

During my research I came across the Naturehike brand, basically a Chinese company who copied the likes of Big Agnus and MSR. The Naturehike Taga 1 was a copy of both the MSR Hubba and the Big Agnus Copper Spur. However this tent was only single skin. This made it ultralight and was a potential alternative to the more expensive brands. I however wanted to have the choice of sleeping under the stars.

I decided to write down my criteria for a tent:-

  • Affordable
  • Ultralight 1 Person
  • Green to blend in
  • Interior headroom, enough to sit up in
  • Free Standing with the option to use guylines (Naturehike don’t recommend this, but it works)
  • Mesh inner so able to use in hot weather without a rain fly (so I can see the stars)
  • Rainfly to protect from poor weather

I came across the Naturehike Cloud UP 1 at a cost of £60, the reviews looked promising although I may have to make a few modifications to the original product. The Naturehike Cloud UP 1 is a copy of the Big Agnus Fly Creek which sells for a little under £350. The Cloud UP 1 met all my criteria so I decided to order one. I ordered the Naturehike from Ebay and luckily it was January and I wasn’t in a rush. This was because the delivery date was going to be 45 days, well China is a long way. I was in fact really pleased when just 2 weeks later my new affordable tent arrived.

Cloud Up 1 Flysheet 300x300 - Ultralight Tent on a Budget

At the time of writing it’s still January and here in the UK, the weather is awful, so as I was itching to check out my new acquisition I set it up indoors. The quality is surprisingly good, the material is stitched seams and feels robust it even came with a footprint to protect the sewn in groundsheet. The aluminium poles are sturdy and the joint which the poles connect to is the new stronger modified version. So far the whole tent exceeds my expectations. I did watch a few review videos on the Naturehike Cloud UP 1 and one reviewer suggested some modifications. He suggested that the rainfly would touch the inner section and in bad weather, this could cause drops of water to flow down into the sleeping area. Also, the poles didn’t attach to the rainfly meaning in high wind the poles can move and again cause water to drip down.

I’m not the best at sewing but have noted these modifications and will make them if i feel the need, especially if i’m getting wet. I will however test the tent in my garden and use Nikwax and seam sealer before I venture out. Speaking of venturing out, I will be joining a few people on a night navigation course in the next week or two and that’s when the tent will get a night out. I will report back on the out come of that trip on my return.

Here is the description and specifications of the Naturehike Cloud UP 1

Cloud UP 1 Ultralight One Man Tent (Upgrade)
This tent using ultralight 20D nylon, 7001 aluminum poles, the best interpretation of the ratio of strength and weight. Whether hiking or mountain climbing, can provide you with a high degree of comfort, security and a sense of space.

  • Waterproof: Fully taped Silicon coated seams;
  • Wind stopper: Reinforced professional pole with bold aluminium pegs;
  • Insect prevention & ventilation:
  • Scientific ventilation system with high-density mesh
  • Insect prevention and breathable.
  • Non free standing

STORAGE 45×Φ12cm
Colour Light Green
Inner tent: PU4000MM Tent fly: PU3000MM
Inner tent: PU3000MM
WEIGHT Tent: 1150g
Pegs & wind rope: 200g
Mat: 120g Tent: 1350g
Pegs & wind rope: 200g
Mat: 120g
MATERIAL Tent fly: 20D nylon coated silicone
Inner tent: 20D nylon coated silicone
B3 breathable mesh
Bottom tent: 20D nylon coated silicone
Poles: 7001 Aluminum
Accessories: Duraflex buckles, aluminium nails Tent fly: 210T polyester
Inner tent: 210T polyester
B3 breathable mesh
Bottom tent: 150D polyester
Poles: 7001 Aluminum
Accessories: Duraflex buckles, aluminium nails

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