Back packing tents

2:20 p.m. on July 15, 2005 (EDT)

I am going backpacking in Yosemite NP later this summer. I am looking for good light weight tent that can hold 2 people. Does anyone have any sugestions?

Also has anyone heard anything good about these tents Mountain Hardwear-Airjet 2, Kelty, Inc.-Flight and Sierra Designs-Lightning?

thanks for the Help

12:40 a.m. on July 16, 2005 (EDT)
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Jeremy, There are dozens of lightweight summer tents available. I'm not familiar with the models you mention. I have an old Sierra Designs Flashlight so I can recommend that brand for quality. Are you anywhere near a large outdoors store such as REI or Adventure 16? If so, visiting one of them will be a good chance to see a variety of tents in person. Trying to buy a tent based solely on a picture is tough, I know, I've done it-twice. Here's an online dealer with a lot of tents to compare
Also, you might go to The Lightweight Backpacker website. It has forums like this one where you can ask the same question. It's oriented towards the ultralight school of backpacking, but the members are pretty knowledgeable about all kinds of gear.
My only advice-it may be tempting to buy a dirt cheap tent (not the brands you mention)but if money is a concern, you'd be better off buying a quality tent off eBay than some discount brand of dubious design and manufacture.

9:39 a.m. on July 18, 2005 (EDT)

thank for the info Tom

9:19 a.m. on July 21, 2005 (EDT)
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Jeremy: has the Mountain Hardwear Mountain Wing 2 Tent on sale for $159.95. This might be what your looking for. Very light -under 6 lbs.

Great mail order company if you don't know about them. Top notch customer service.

- Steven

2:58 p.m. on July 23, 2005 (EDT)

a.k.a. Dean Z

Read my review on the REI Half Dome. It's a great tent.

4:02 p.m. on July 23, 2005 (EDT)
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391 forum posts

For moderate weather such as you will experience, I like the tarp tent type of shelter. My favourite is probably the Kifaru "Paratipi" which is expensive, but, worth it. If, you cannot/do not want to spend the bux, I have recently examined the "Seedhouse" by Big Agnes at the M.E.C. main store in Vancouver and like it very much.

As others have said, there are lots of good 3 season tents out there, Mountain Hardware tents also impress me and Black Diamond has some very light sylnylon models as well. My favourite overall tent and bag maker is Integral Designs of Calgary, AB., but, their tents may be a bit beyond your budget....they will handle anything you will ever encounter though.

9:10 a.m. on July 24, 2005 (EDT)
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a few weeks ago i bought a waypoint 2 by mountain hardware from campmor. thats pretty much the lightest 2 person tent out there. pretty roomy too, i shared it with a 6'3" person and im 5'8". only didsadvantage so far is that the inside of the tent collects a lot of moisture so bring a towel to wipe it down.

9:57 p.m. on July 24, 2005 (EDT)
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I agree with Kutenay. The Big Agnes seedhouse Superlight tent is supremo. It hovers around 3.5 lbs with fly and stakes and is really small to pack. I have been using one for over a year now and it's the lightest most easy to set up tent I have ever had. Any 1 person tent not under 4lbs these days is not considered ultralight. I bought mine here:

word to the wise. The 2 person is less than a pound heavier but it has the extra room. I have considered getting the 2 person just for the extra space and for my smelly dog who keeps trying to spoon with me in the smaller seedhouse SL1. LOL

2:26 p.m. on July 26, 2005 (EDT)
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I am a longtime mountaineer, and I require a tent which is light, but good for even the worst weather. I suggest you look into the Sierra Designs HyperlightAST (see review in Shop for a good price on Ebay (new only). I bought mine for only $170.

12:19 a.m. on July 27, 2005 (EDT)
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For that type of use, I consider the Integral Designs singlewall tents, especially the MKI long to be the very best choice. The combination of design features, extremely high quality, small "footprint" and total dependability in the most horrific weather make them my first choice for serious mountain camps.

I have a Bibler which is a good tent, but, I.D. is better and they are worth the substantial cost if you really require lifesaving quality in very extreme conditions.

5:50 p.m. on July 31, 2005 (EDT)

My personal favorite, and a great buy, is the REI Half-Dome Plus 2. Lightweight (for a double wall tent), two doors and nice size vestibules, had it in everything from snowstorm to high mountain desert to east coast high humidity to tornadic winds and it holds up great. Easy to pitch and plenty of room. Of course, if you really want lightweight, there are a number of single wall tents that are lighter, but be prepared for that "indoor rainforest" sensation if you use them in environments where condensation is a problem.

10:39 p.m. on August 2, 2005 (EDT)
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Regarging you querie about backpacking tents: My 15 year old son goes backpacking with the Boy Scouts and he has a used REI Half Dome Plus 2 that I purchased for him at a REI scratch and dent sale. It's a great tent that will easily fit two boy scouts or my son and I when we go backpacking together without the Boy Scouts. My personal two man tent is the Mountain Hardware Light Wedge Three. It fits two adults comfortably. It's kinda heavy for a backpacking tent at 7+ pounds but with the tent weight divided between two people it it is really manageable. I used the Light Wedge 3 on a 60 mile trek in New Mexico and it proved to be an exceptional tent in wind and pouring rain.

I also own a MSR Zoid tent for solo trips. The MSR Zoid solo tent is totally bomb proof and weighs in at slightly less than 3 pounds.

5:47 p.m. on August 22, 2005 (EDT)
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I've been poking around for a lightweight, 2 person backpacking tent for about a year now and surprisingly enough, have found the L.L. Bean "Light Stuff 2" to be the top competitor. For the size, peak height, biiig vestibule, freestanding, coming in at a full packed weight of 5lbs 8oz (split it with a buddy and that's pretty darn light), and at $175.00 it's a bargain. The new REI Sub-Alpine UL is pretty competitive, but with a vestibule that's half the size and ~$75 more, I went with L.L. Bean. Bulletproof reviews wherever I've found them too. Footprint is sold separately though at $25 more.

6:34 p.m. on August 22, 2005 (EDT)
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Having just gotten back from a 5 week cross-continent trek with a lot of camping/climbing/backpacking, I missed the start of this thread. But, if it isn't too late --

All 3 brands are good quality. You can safely choose among them on the basis of footprint (what is the best shape for you and your partner), headroom (do you need to both be sitting up at once, is it ok to have headroom just at one end, etc), and vestibule space (how much do you need, or are you willing to set your packs outside with a plastic garbage bag over them?)

Someone mentioned the SD Flashlight. Over the years, there have been 2 Flashlights. Superficially, they are similar, but there are some important differences (I've had both). The older one, the Sleeve Flashlight, is significantly lighter(3.5 pounds with the needed pegs), has less mesh on the body (less ventilation, but less splash in a heavy rain under the fly), is a bit harder to set up (thread the poles through the sleeves), and has no real vestibule. It lasted me about 10 years of lots of backpacking, including some snow camping in storms. The newer version, the Clip Flashlight, is much easier to set up (clips are a lot faster), has a real vestibule that is somewhat usable, and is better ventilated (strip of mesh all the way around, better pullouts for the fly). The Clip, though, is much heavier (5-3/4 pound, including the much larger number of pegs needed for proper pitching), lets snow blow in in a strong wind (in fairness, it isn't a 4 season tent, but storms happen, even in August in the mountains).

For real light weight, as suggested, try a tarp tent (simple version, like just pitching a SilTarp from Integral Designs, less than a pound for lots of room for 2, or more fancy type like a Megamid, under 3 pounds for the superlight version that can sleep up to 4, or 2 with plenty of room.

Basic rule - to get light weight, you generally have to give up room, or go with a tarp that has no floor.

Another basic rule - quality costs (you get what you pay for). REI and EMS tents may be cheap, but they are cheaply constructed. ID, Bibler, MtnHW, SD may be expensive, but they stand up well. My Bibler El Dorado has been through heavy blizzards, as has my Sierra Designs Stretch Dome (not yet for my MtnHW Trango 3.1, but I just got it before our May-June Alaska trip and had good weather). I have had REI tents and the Scout troop I used to be SM of has the REI Half Dome mentioned - they don't have the quality of the top makers, but they are cheap and moderately light.

1:08 p.m. on September 18, 2005 (EDT)
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Definatley never ever buy one of those wal-mart cheapies.. they belong in the trash.. kelty makes some great stuff.. i love my kelty tent

June 20, 2018
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