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Discussion Starter #1
one and two person lightweight backpacking tents

i am looking to purchase a lightweight, small and packable tent... one or two person. there are sooo many options on the market, so i am looking for E-ples opinions on their experiences.

do any of you own these?
any likes / dislikes?
any winners?
losers?

thanks for any assistance.. i will be purchasing over the winter, for next spring / summer / fall.
 

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REI Tents

I had/have REI 2, 3 and 4 person tents and been very happy with all of them. The REI Sierra Dome 2 tent (comfortable for 1) is on sale for $100 http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/781041 and the REI Taj 3 (comfortable for 2 or 1 with gear) is on sale for $170 http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/767270. I had over 150 bike camping nights in my Taj when I gave it to my son earlier this year (and replaced it with another tent from REI). For single backpacking I'd go with the Sierra Dome. For a couple split the Taj (fly / footprint and tent) between you. I recommend you get the footprint at the same time.
 

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I prefer a rain fly the covers the entire tent and creates a vestibule at the door/s. The vestibule gives a dry place to keep anything dry that you may not want or have room for inside the tent like muddy boots or a pack. Both of my two person tents have two doors because I don't like crawling over a tent mate or being crawled over in the middle of the night when nature calls. I am also a big fan of symmetrical designs because it keeps everything easy to set up in the dark or rain (or both).

I have an older version of the MSR Hubba-Hubba that I love dearly for it's space, light pack weight, and ease of setup. Since the poles are all in one piece there is nothing to misplace or forget, and the pole that runs across the top of the tent pushes the walls out for more interior volume and keeps the doorways from dripping inside the tent when open. It is a tighter fit for two, but a very spacious one person tent. This is by far my favorite tent and I still find myself using it as a benchmark for all the new tent designs that we see at trade shows and in catalogs.


The tent that I consistently lend out to friends that need a tent for the weekend is a Kelty Gunnison 2.1 More floor space than the Hubba-Hubba but it does not use the "spreader" pole across the center so all four sides taper up to the peak. The fabrics are heavier in this tent as well, which is not a bad thing in terms of durability and completely understandable at the price difference. I think that I use this tent less frequently simply because I am less familiar with it, not because it has let me down in any way. It has certainly stood up to some pretty heavy storms without any drama.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i have been eyeing the MSR tents throughout my search, as they get outstanding reviews. the packed length of 20", and the weight are ok for what i need.


thanks for the input so far!

r
 

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MSR ones are pretty sweet....Me and my wife have a Big Agnus Emerald Mountian.... they make a 1, 2, and 3 person version.... We have the 3 and use it for back packing... It's super light weight and is tough as nails...
 

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I have a 12-15 y.o. version of this Eureka Apex XT. The XT vs the regular Apex has the 2 vestibules. Simple 2 pole w/full coverage fly.

Yep, like BCE says, 2 doors & vestibules to keep the muddy stinky stuff outside 'cause all these tents are very close quarters.



http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28104
 

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I think Moontrail is a good online retailer for making comparisons of tents
http://www.moontrail.com/home.php?cat=303
Over the years I've bought more Kelty tents and tarps than anyone else. But Sierra Designs is equally good. My latest is a Mtn Hardware (a 2 1/2 man). MSR may be a notch up. Moontrail also has some good European designs.

If cost conscious, look at last years models at Campmor, REI Outlet, REI sales, and if you know what you are looking for, Sierra Trading Post.

Note that retailers like REI have buyer reviews (a la Amazon).
 

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I have a 12-15 y.o. version of this Eureka Apex XT. The XT vs the regular Apex has the 2 vestibules. Simple 2 pole w/full coverage fly.

Yep, like BCE says, 2 doors & vestibules to keep the muddy stinky stuff outside 'cause all these tents are very close quarters.



http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28104
I too have an Eureka Apex... I've had it approx 10 years as well and absolutely love it. Easy set up, and very lightweight when considering the space available inside for being a 2 person tent.
 

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The Kelty has 1 door & 1 vestibule, unlike the 2 doors & 2 vestibules on the Eureka & the one's BCE posted. With 2 people it's worth the cost & weight.
 

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Whoa, 4 lbs. 10 oz., nice. That one looks like my beloved but discontinued Creekside II, only lighter.
The Teton 2 is a great tent for the budget and the weight, especially if you are using it for a 1 + space trip. The fly is not what I would call full coverage as the end walls of the tent are exposed due to the arch in the cut of the fly. It is kind of a hybrid single/double wall design that helps to save weight, but if anything is touching the exposed wall when there is moisture outside..... it is going to wick water through like any single wall tent. Probably not a real big deal until you put two people in it as is has a very generous 90" length that should make avoiding contact easy as a solo tent.



The Teton, Grand Mesa, and Gunnison Models, from Kelty are some the tents that I always go to when outfitting Boy Scout troops. They are very affordable in all of their variations, light enough to backpack with (especially when splitting the load) but durable enough to take the abuse that scouts can dish out. As a former scout, that says allot about their quality .
 

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The 'arch cut' on the end of the fly of the Kelty might reduce condensation. Full cover flys, when zipped up all the way, tend to trap moist air from the occupants, which condenses on the underside of the fly. Things like polyester for the fly, and vents in the fly can help. In PNW conditions (extended light rain) I like to rig a tarp over a tent, so I can leave the fly unzipped, allowing more ventilation.
 

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I have used several tents over the years for motorcycle camping - the demands are similar to backpacking, weight and space are at a premium.

The best tent I have found to date is the in Nemo AR http://www.nemoequipment.com/nemo09-morpho-tent



Instead of poles it has inflatable air chambers, I thought it might be a gimmick but the system really works and is super sturdy and durable. By far the fastest setup tent I have ever had and it can be done by one person in minutes. Biggest downside is it is not a free standing tent.

If you want to go more conventional then I would look at Big Agnes. Their gear is very good as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
outstanding info and input.
i have worked about 52 hours in the last 72 hours, so i need to digest this stuff later on.

i appreciate the info given.

this great site and the people here never disappoint.

thanks again.
 

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Just updated to the site... we were able to acquire some of last years MSR Mutha Hubba 3-person tents and we are clearing them out at $317.97. That is approx $82 in savings on a tent that has garnered multiple awards over it's lifetime. I try to not clutter the forum with pricing and details of every deal that we run, but this one seemed especially timely given the thread.

Click the link for more details..........................

 
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