|First night in the Tracker 3VD - at Morawa|
You may ask what expertise we have to review a tent. No technical knowledge, but a huge amount of camping over the last ten years or so. We have completed a long trip of at least nine weeks (the longest being seven months) every second year, as well as many weekends and short trips (up to three weeks).
We have actually used seven different lightweight dome tents during this period. Four of these were three man tents and three were four man tents. We used the three man tents for single nights and when travelling on the bikes without the trailer. When I tow the trailer we take the four man tent for the additional comfort.
|Outdoor Equipped 3EV - at Kiama|
All the tents have been good in the wet, but with excessive use, have gradually deteriorated under the intense UV of the bright Australian sunlight. The biggest issue has been the tents collapsing in the wind.
During our ten week 2016 trip the Outdoor Equipped 3EV tent sprung a leak in the floor; the floor perforated along one of the fold lines. As it was during the New South Wales floods we had to purchase a new tent very quickly. The guy ropes on this tent were attached quite high up, and in wind the tent caved in below the guy attachments.
|Outdoor Connection Escape 3 Plus - at Nagambie|
We were in Wangaratta, where there are a couple of camping stores, so we had a little bit of choice. We decided on the Outdoor Connection Escape 3 Plus since we have a four man Bedarra model from the same manufacturer. The Bedarra has been an excellent tent and has seen a lot of use, is great in all conditions and we have never had any issues with it.
The Escape 3 Plus was an issue immediately, when we arrived at the campsite on the afternoon of purchasing the tent we found no poles in the package (we thought it seemed light). Luckily we hadn’t gone far and the retailer had another tent in stock with poles. Our main issue with the tent was that the fly just never seemed to fit correctly. The guy ropes were attached lower than with the previous tent, but it then collapsed above the guys when windy.
In September 2017, while on a trip to Albany in South Western Australia we visited Trailblazers camping store (just to get out of the rain). They had the Roman Tracker 3VD Tent on display. It is a geodesic design and on careful inspection looked perfect for us. So back home, I did some internet research, and we decided that we should swap tents. We sold the Escape 3 Plus via the internet and then phoned our preferred local store, Compleat Angler and Camping World Rockingham, for a price. They didn’t stock this model tent but got back to us with a great price (matching internet retailers) so once again they got our custom.
|Tracker 3VD - showing the guy ropes - at Kalbarri|
After the first trip of five nights we are extremely happy with the Tracker 3VD. We put it up three times over the five nights, getting a little quicker each time. Since there are five poles (reinforced durawrap) it takes longer to put up and take down. We also thought the poles were stiffer than on the other three man tents. There are also eight guy ropes, one on each corner, two for the vestibule and one at the centre of each side. We didn’t deploy the side guys every night.
Although we had no severe weather to fully test the tent, we had showers one night and moderate wind (approximately 15 knots on the tent). The tent was very rigid and of course water tight (with 3000mm waterproofing, which is better than most dome tents).
There is only a vestibule at one end, but this is large for a three man tent. In fact it is quite a stretch to close the vestibule zips from within the inner tent. The shoulders of the inner tent are generous which creates good internal volume and thus feels larger than the other three man domes we have owned. The advertising for the tracker 3VD talks about “Roman's unique CROSSFLOW ventilation” but this probably just means it has fly windows on both sides, just like most dome tents. The side and rear windows on the inner tent don’t have material covers, so there is a lot of ventilation. Maybe too much if it gets very cold.
We also liked the colour and thought it was a good looking tent. Travelling on motorcycles we thought that, at 6.5kg, it may be a little heavy, but we found the weight was not an issue.
• Flysheet: 210T Waterproofed 3000mm, PU coated
• Flysheet with tape sealed seams
• Inner: Breathable Polyester
• Floor: Heavy Duty 12x12 PE with welded seams
• Reinforced Durawrap tent frame poles
• No-See-Um mesh to provide a Bug Proof Zone
• Geodesic frame system for maximum stability
• Extra large “D” door with door-in-door zips
• Roman's unique CROSSFLOW ventilation
• Reinforced guy rope points with fitted ropes
• Roof vents to expel hot air
• UV protection on fly
• Features durable carry bag
• Pegs and rope included
• Weight: 6.5kg
• Dimensions: 215 x 195 x 125cm
|Roman Diamantina 4VD - at Jindabyne, Another Geodesic tent|
The term geodesic is a mathematical one. A ‘geodesic’ line is the shortest route between two points on earth. It’s used to describe a tent where the poles criss-cross over the surface, intersecting to form triangles. This distributes the stress across the structure, making it the most stable type of tent for extreme weather conditions. If you climb Everest, chances are that you will want to take a geodesic tent with you.
2006 - Oz Trail 3P
2007 - Kathmandu Basecamp Retreat 100
2008 - Roman Diamantina 4VD
2012 - Outdoor Connection Bedarra (family tent)
2012 - Outdoor Equipped 3EV
2016 - Outdoor Connection Escape 3 Plus Dome Tent2017 - Roman Tracker 3VD Tent by Companion Brands
|Kathmandu Basecamp Retreat 100 - at Lake St Clair|
|Oz Trail 3P - at Wagin|