We review a lot of racing products that will help you get across the finish line faster, more efficiently and safer, but there is an element to racing that we often forget about and that is keeping the rider comfortable between races. That’s just as important as running the right gearing on your bike. For any BMXer a pit tent (also known as an instant canopy or gazebo) is a must whether it’s trying to escape from the scorching sun during the summer or keeping dry during the wet winter or anything in between. Not only does it offer protection from the elements but helps reserve some space around the track for you and your friends to call your own for the day.
After a few years of heavy use the generic bmxultra.com team pit tent was starting to fall apart. Some of the arms had started to bend from heavy winds, one of the bases of the legs had fallen off and gone AWOL, even the cover was starting to show signs of aging with fading, small holes and leaks. I knew it was time to upgrade so I had been looking around for the best tent on the market, one that’s built to last. When a strong wind finally finished the tent off recently it was time to bite the bullet.
Over the years I had built up a list of requirements/expectations:
- No more than 2 people to set up and take down
- Alloy frame for weight (those tents can be heavy to lug around and get in and out of the car)
- Fit in the back of a small hatch back car with a bike
- Wheels on the bottom of the bag to make it easier to get around
- Strong enough to handle the harshest winds or even just people who walk up and hang their weight off one of the cross members, you would be surprised about the number of people who do that
- Safe (don’t want to catch fingers and anything when setting up or packing away)
- A bag with pockets to keep tent pegs and a hammer so you aren’t always trying to find them
The only obvious solution was one of Altegra’s 3m x 3m offerings:
- Heavy Duty Aluminium 50mm
- ProLite Aluminium 40mm
- Premium Steel
So why Altegra? Altegra is a company that has been supporting BMX for a number of years now, they are based right here in Melbourne, Australia, their service is second to none and you can actually purchase spare parts and accessories for your pit tent. Not only did they have the extact tent I was looking for, according to my requirements, they had a few choices that would suit various budgets.
After thinking about it for a while I decided to go all out and purchase the Heavy Duty Aluminium 50mm, the strongest tent that Altegra has to offer which, by the way, comes with a 2 year warranty. The Premium Steel was a nice price but a little heavy and I didn’t want to be lugging around a heavy tent when I could pay extra and get a stronger one from Aluminium and save a few kilos. The ProLite sounded like it would do the trick, but since there wasn’t much of a price difference between the two aluminium options I went all out and selected the Heavy Duty Aluminium. These tents are so strong and sturdy a fully grown adult could hang their full weight from it without effecting the tent frame.
The Altegra Pit Tent is very easy to put up by just two adults, out of the box the fittings are firm but loosen up over time so it just gets easier. Actually Altegra have some great step by step set up and packing up instructions on their website. The hardest part of the assembly is putting the canopy top on correctly, which isn’t difficult at all but can take a minute or two to work out for the first time. I like the idea of removing the top for storage and putting it in it’s own pocket on the bag, it means that the top will last longer because it’s not as likely to be packed away wet or get caught up in the frame and tear in transit.
You can customise your Altegra Pit Tent with various wall options and accessories, you can even have your tent digitally or screen printed, check out the website for the details.
Six colours available for all sizes, walls and frame options. (White only on 3m x 3m x 3m)
If you are looking for a Pit Tent check out Altegra, if you are thinking they might be out of your price range consider that they will out last any competitive canopy, if you have problems with the tent spare parts are available so it’s unlikely that you will ever need to go and buy another new tent.
|Value for money:||5/5|
- Yes you will find cheaper tents, but you won’t find a quality tent that’s light weight and built to last or better value for money, the handy carry bag has it all, wheels, reinforced base for the feet, carry handles, pocket for tent pegs and ropes and a pocket for the canopy.
- Light enough to pick up and put in the back of the car and assemble with just two people
- A well thought out design that will protect you from the elements for many years to come
- Altegra tents are well finished off, there are no sharp edges to look out for and the canopy top is a great fit with strong stitching. The hex shaped legs sure look strong as heck
For more information check out www.altegra.com.au
Reviewed by Shane Jenkins 28 January 2009
Posted in: Reviews