An option for a backpacking beginner?30th May 2009
The Met Office’s long-term forecast for the next few months looks drier, hotter and sunnier than the summers of last year and the year before. While hot sunny days may not be the most suitable for all day walking and that point is uppermost in my mind with the weather that we are getting now (previous wanderings on such days have left me feeling well rough), such conditions might be just the thing for becoming more independent regarding overnight accommodation. After all, stormy weather probably doesn’t make starting out camping any easier.
When thoughts turn to shelter experimentation, the backpacker’s stalwarts that are the Hilleberg Akto or Terra Nova Laser Competition come to mind. While you are getting value for money as many believe, the cost of their acquisition can appear to be overkill for someone starting out backpacking, especially in these times when the need for frugality has been brought home very firmly to us. It is for that reason that the Coleman Kraz X1 caught my eye when I saw its test review on OUTDOORSmagic.com. For one thing, a price of just under £60 would be an attention magnet enough, though various web emporia that I have explored are charging in the region of £70-90. The weight does not seem so excessive either at around 1.6 kg and the review itself was positive in tone too. Not wanting to spend too much of my cash at one sitting, I’ll keep the Coleman in mind should my independent backpacking ambitions ever become reality. After that, who knows where it might lead?
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It looks very good for the price and comes from a reputable company. This will be first on my list of cheap tents that I suggest to beginners who ask for a good all-round compromise of price, weight and likely performance. The weight is surprisingly good actually, only 0.1kg heavier than an Akto.