Sammy and Sarah have been using one of our Zhota mountain tents on their 2010 till when bike tour. While not being designed specifically as a bike touring tent this adventurous duo were keen to take the hit on weight for the benefits of space, strength and durability.. important qualities on an endless adventure around the world. We knew the tent would be in for some rough treatment, get weather beaten, stuffed, unstuffed, get coffee spilled on it and probably get attacked by squirrels. It was an ideal opportunity for some real world feedback on the most important addition to our range of camping equipment over the past few years. Over to Sammy and Sarah...
Ever since Alpkit posted the Zhota to Italy for us to collect from a rendez-vous we've been pleased as punch with it. Being larger than our previous 2-man tent we decided to split the components into two halves. Sarah carries the inner and outer and Sammy takes the poles and pegs. For us this weight distribution works perfectly.
The amount of extra room we have now is great. We can comfortably fit ourselves and all twelve of our cycle panniers in the sleeping area, but normally we leave them in either of the vestibule/porch areas so we can swing a cat instead.
The pocket lined inner has been really useful for organising clothes, books & kit overnight. There are six ceiling tags that we attach bungees to, which allow us to 'air dry' our sweaty cycling shorts/tops overnight. (Brilliant addition there folks!). In the right moonlight we've felt as if we are in out own personal planetarium which has given us sweet dreams on a number of occasions.
We've tested the Zhota in many conditions now, thunderstorms - check; dry river beds (to test the free standing option) - check; claustrophobic, confined areas of hidden woodland thoughout the Balkan region - check; and next to the Danube alongside perfect views - check! We've had the Zhota for three months solid now and it hasn't failed us yet.
What else is there to mention?
The poles are nice and strong. Sammy has a habit of breaking things through being too rough, but hopefully these 'colour coded' anodised poles should stand up to his punishment for sometime.
All in all it is a great tent and pretty much perfect for the long cycling tour that we are undertaking.