Tent Reviews: Jack Wolfskin Tundra III RT
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1 Reviews of the Tundra III RT
By: Future Traveller Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2006 Rating:
1st Review Here - Will include as much as possible.
JACK WOLFSKIN TUNDRA 3 RT (2006)
Purchased Cotswold Southampton 07/07
Line Clearance - £189.99
1. Background & Usage:
I was looking for a tent I could multitask with, firstly solo motorcycle touring (up to 14 days), secondly weekending with my girlfriend and thirdly as a festival refuge tent.
I researched widely and decided a 3 man would be the right size, ok for two and very nice for one plus all the gubbins that goes with the bike, Helmet, leathers, boots, panniers, rucksack, cookset etc
Cotswold staff in Southampton where very helpful and assisted in pitching this and my vango alternative side by side in store so I could assess and make an informed purchase, very good customer service indeed.
I could use more space but don't need to, it would just be extra junk really. 3 Man simplicity and space, no windows, frills or extra niceties.
I trawled round researching the web, forums and many camping and outdoor centres and remained impressed with the build quality of the JW tents and some of the neat design ideas, for example:
The tent is a pitch as one OR fly first design but I have only ever taken the inner tent out to clean it and then rehung it and stored the tent, it goes up just as easy with it in. Keeps the inner dry at all times.
The poles are preshaped DAC aluminium and are very light, smooth and strong. Much nicer to use than fibre glass. No snagging. Because they do not have open ends the poles are secured flange and grommet style, not pin and ring, this feels a much nicer solution to holding tension in the poles.
The three pole sleeves are of a sturdy black polycotton material and are continuous and flush to the outer (no dangling)
Both ends of the tent have short vertical walls which helps to give a usable wall angle (steepens the slope) and makes a nice usable flat wall to arrange low items along without touching anything, particularly the outer in the unlined vestibule. To be frank, these low walls just give a tad more length to the bedroom inner but make the vestibule end seem bigger and more usable.
Usage Tally: limited but testing: as follows
Aug 07 - Cornwall 7 Days Moto Camp 2 up, 2 Campsites, 1 friends field - Hot & sunny start, 2 day Cornish storm in midweek! Damp end
August 07 - Nurburgring Germany 7 Nights Moto Camp, Very Hot, Then Very Wet & Cold - Field Behind layby, Dover 1 Night! Very Wet, exhausted, but snug and happy.
May 08 - Isle of man TT races 7 nights mixed conditions, some rain but no storms.
July 08 - Larmer Tree Festival - 4 Nights, hot, sunny.
June 09 - Brecon Moto camping 4 days - Rain Rain Rain
July 09 - Larmer Tree Festival - 4 Nights - Wet Windy, mudfest.
July 10 - Larmer Tree Festival 4 Nights - Mixed but warm.
1. Construction and Build Quality:
Very well thought out design and good quality materials and worksmanship throughout. Not sure of the flysheet material or HH values but very sturdy and rain resistant.
My example does not have a fitted groundsheet throughout (it was an optional extra for £80) only a bathtub style inner bedroom tent and the SIG in this is quite thin. After some dampness issues I have resolved a pennytech groundcloth solution (see waterproofing comments later)
2. Ease of Pitching/Stiking:
Very simple and light - Max ten minutes to have up, stable and shelterable, 20 mins to fully up and in perfect adjustment. Striking the same and goes back in bag easily with spare space.
Does require the two end guy points to be used for full stability and these two guyropes are not supplied as standard, it's an oversight but fixed for a pound so no bother to me.
Lay the whole tent out, check the door is zipped closed, check the 10 tension straps are loosened right off, stake the 2 rear corner straps (just to ensure it cant blow away on a gust) then fit all three poles in the sleeves (all 3 are the same so no confusion.) You have to push the poles into a reinforced canvas slot on the back side of the tent then just gather all three hoops together and walk the whole tent forward, ensuring each section is tight before positioning the next. Guy the vestibule end vent line to hold the tunnel up. Check everything is in a nice straight line then stake the front corners and work back staking the remaining canvas tabs. Then go round and pull the adjustment straps to bring the lower edge of the outer down to your required level, I like to leave an inch gap to aid ventilation, but if it blows rain under you can tighten further and pull the lower right down hard to the ground to seal it off. Peg the reinforced tab on largest panel and adjust again for tightness. The door should unzip easily if all is pitched square and tight. Nice, strong, simple and functional pitching method, well thought through JW. Oher than the two end ones the actual guyropes aren't needed except as protection in very windy conditions and this is nice because you dont get tripped over so much in busy campsites.
3. Liveability :
Like all synthetic tents is does get very hot on sunny days. This is the older single entrance version (2010 model has 2nd door into bedroom area) and with the inner in place it doesn't ventilate particularly well. There are two small mesh, roofed vents, one at either end of the tent, these are supported on strong effective velcro tabbed stalks, again nicely finished in cotton canvas material (as pole sleeves). The inner tent has a double skin door, a mesh one and the outer one that is of the same poly material as the rest of the inner. With both doors closed the inner hardly ventilates and gets hot with the mesh door only it's better and by dropping the inner down and using the mesh door on the outer it can be made quite tolerable, I have also run this tent without the inner as a storage and or 'escape for peace and quiet' refuge at other festivals and camp outs but dont count these in the tally as I did not sleep in it those times
Waterproofness of the outer (one piece outer - no separate flysheet) is excellent, the material is strong and feels light yet unrippable. Had issues with ground water seeping up through the thin bathtub groundsheet of the inner bedroom tent. Was a sloping pitch and water ran under the tent, bathtub sat in this all night and leaked up. Solved this by constructing an extra groundsheet from a knackered tent that friend was binning at the end of a wet n windy Larmer Tree 09. I cut the Coarse PVC bathtub of that two man dome and fastened it to the clips that hold the inner tent to the 2nd and third pole mounts. The original bedroom now sits inside this new groundsheet which does not quite reach the inside of the outer tent, so no leakage issues and it's worked perfectly - no water ingress since. I leave this attached to and pitch the whole thing as one, no probs and it all still goes in the bag.
Two pinholes in vestibule, probably from grit, twigs etc when packing away, have patched with strong clear tent mend patch and allowed to cure for 24 hours as instructions, no leaks, no probs.
Have fashioned a porch from two discarded porch poles, removed bent sections and have 2 x 2 section poles which I fit into strong canvas loops sewed to door bottom as standard, stable and shady when guyed but a liability when windy. These 4 pole sections also still fit in the bag! Packed weight with my mods is 6.1kg including pegs and repair kit. Acceptable for size and quality when moto camping, nothing at all in the car.
Overall I'm very happy with this, older version of the Tundra 3. I'm not keen on the 2nd door on the new model, it's just an extra zip to leak, or break, is directly over the inner bedroom (not that my one, single outer door has ever leaked but if it did at least I'd sleep dry)and must weaken the inherent smoothness and stability of the tunnel tent design. Probably improves ventilation a lot though. Trade off, wet or hot?
This is my first tunnel tent and with the additions I have made and the use of a pvc backed picnic blanket in the vestibule I can sleep, sit, change and stretch out to my hearts content.
I seam sealed it on the inside when I first got it and have always dried and cleaned it as soon as possible on returning home. I wipe the poles with WD40 and use a dilute solution of Nikwx TekWash in a garden sprayer to coat all over the outer once a year, I wash this straight off with a hose and leave to air dry before storing. I also wipe over the inside of the bathtub and the underneath of the second bathtub with the TekWash but just leave it on there to dry. I expect to get a minimum another 3 years of similar light but intensive use from this tent and will count that as very good value for money.
Highly recommended 9.5 really but go and see for yourself, they are very nice quality tents.
Now to save for the family Cabanon and a Kifaru and Stove
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At home on the tundra, the taiga or the pampas, this wind stable tunnel tent is suitable for 2-3 persons.
It has a generous vestibule area with a second entrance at the side and the new feature of a removable groundsheet. Additional details include 2 windows and 2 air vents, 4 internal storage pouches for small items of kit and loops to hang a drying line or lamp.
* Window 2
* Persons 3
* Doors 2
* Inner Tent Measurements 1 [L X W X H] ca. 225 x 155/105 x 105 cm
* Packing Size ca. 58 x 25 cm
* Weight Add. 5300 + 650 (FLOOR SAVER) g
... there may be more info on their website
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