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Solo tent buying advice

3:54 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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5 forum posts

I need to know your thoughts on the best solo tent out there. I know that I'm going to get a lot of "this is the best, because it's the one I own" comments, but all is welcome.

I have spent many hours trying to come up with my own conclusion on which tent is best, but I am beginning to run in circles.

Here is my main criteria in order of importance to me.

1. Weight- Less than 4 lbs.

2. Price- Less than $275

3. Floor Space- I'm 6'0, and do not want to touch the end walls with my feet or head when asleep.

4. Vestibule area- I have a big pack (too big but I like it) that I would like to keep under there as well as muddy boots, and still have room to cook in bad weather.

Thanks for any help ...

4:24 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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415 forum posts

Weighing the pros and cons of products like this can be maddening -- you always end up sacrificing one thing you want to get something else.

Which models stood out in the course of your research? It'd be helpful to know what you've looked at already and let forum readers guide you from there. Could be you've already seen the one you want but just need some encouragement.

5:14 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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311 forum posts

Weighing the pros and cons of products like this can be maddening -- you always end up sacrificing one thing you want to get something else.

Which models stood out in the course of your research? It'd be helpful to know what you've looked at already and let forum readers guide you from there. Could be you've already seen the one you want but just need some encouragement.

Very well put and i will add another view to this.Every body has their own opinion on what they consider "the" solo tent to own.From ultra light tarp tents to 4 season mountaineering tents.Here is were you need to decide what "you" are looking for and what kind of conditions it will be used in.Myself i use the MSR Hubba HP and love it.2lbs 10oz and double wall with very little netting.Here in the Northwest i use this from summer thru winter and from forest to high alpine for 2 years and still love it.If to do over i would get the 2 man for winter use but due to the current finance situation the money is not there at this time.What ever you decide on borrow or rent one if poss to give it a trial run.Also used is a good option if you can find what you want.Let us know what you come up with.ymmv

5:18 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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415 forum posts

I have a friend who has backpacked all over the world with a Hubba, including at 19,000 feet in the Himalaya. Tough little tent.

8:02 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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3,925 forum posts

I use the Golite Shangra-la cone shaped tent. It comes in three parts and is extremely light. See images below. The colors are Bamboo and Evergreen. The Fly and floor can be used together, or any combination of the three. I have all three parts. I am 6' 7" tall and sleep without touching the walls. The floor is 6 sided, the tent stands with either one pole in the middle or you can tie the top to a branch above. There is no vestibule, but by yourself theres no need for one. It has plenty of space for your gear. I can stand on my knee's inside and not touch the top. Go to www.golite.com and look under shelters. There are many tents there called the Shangra-la. I don't remember the model number. The center pole can be substituted with a extendable hiking stick. It has two bug screened vents at the top and reflective tie outs for the stakes. Using the bugnetted floor part or the floor without the bug netting it has clips to hold the floor to the tent. I have used mine for about 10 years. I have had domes and I like this better, mainly because of the lightweightness with the same room inside as a dome.

3:46 a.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
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3,962 forum posts

Hilleberg Akto maybe(search around to find a decent price.)


1:15 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
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5 forum posts

Thanks guys..

First off, I'm not going to need a serious mountaineering tent, and I have no experience with tarp/tents but I do not think I would like one of those. I don't have a great reason, but I lean toward having a freestanding tent. (Please feel free to comment the pros and cons of that)

I live in mid-TN, so most of my backpacking will be done in a mild climate in moderate terrain, but it can be humid in the summer, plus some camping in the Appalachians to the East.

I think the MSR Hubba would be good, but the HP version is a little out of my price range. Same goes for the Akto.

To get to Tom's point, I like some of the Sierra Designs models. Specifically, the Lightning XT1 and the Clip Flashlight 2, although it's not freestanding, I think the extra room vs. weight is sweet. Then there is the Mountain Hardwear Sprite, which I think is an innovative design, just not sure how useful the space is inside. I have also read good things about the Big Agnes Seedhouse, which may be too expensive for me anyway, and the Marmot Eos 1. Bottom line is price will determine a lot. I don't want to skimp and be stuck with an average tent (like the one I'm in now), but I'm not serious enough to pay something outrageous that will not get the use it was made for.

2:23 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
27 reviewer rep
200 forum posts

If you're willing to slightly expand your weight requirements, the Marmot Zonda weighs in at 4lb 8oz with the ground cloth, tent, fly, and accessories. Marmot tents can also be setup sans tent in a ground cloth/fly configuration, and this Zonda-minus-tent configuration weighs in at 3lb 11oz. The primary complaints are that it's too small for two people, but you're planning on carrying it solo anyway.

Backcountry.com is closing theirs out right now @ $202.27, free shipping:


2:51 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
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9 forum posts

i got a MSR HUBBA ROR SALE 225.00 plus shiping the tent has no holes except the one you get in and out of has no tears stains maybe a little dirt from use ima guessn the tent around 2 years old thx and happy campn

you can call me 309-331-4966 or email mntnut@hotmail.com

2:55 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
34 reviewer rep
19 forum posts

I would suggest that you look at some the tents from NEMO Equipment. They have a number of different tents with a lot of attributes you are looking for.

Their handy comparison chart is here:


The main website is http://www.nemoequipment.com/

They are a small company that seems to be innovative and take a lot of pride in their product. When I was selecting a tent (I chose the Morpho AR), I simply called them up and and spoke to them about what I was looking for. They even invited me out to tour the factory, and all I was doing was buying a $300 tent.

3:00 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
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9 forum posts

i have a like new HUBBA for sale 225.00 im in flagstaff az

call me 309-331-4966 jed

5:12 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
26 reviewer rep
241 forum posts

Gary's Golite tent was originally called a Hex.


6:49 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

REI quarter Dome T1


8:57 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
3,925 forum posts

Actually my tent is the Hex, I have had it about 10 years. I think it was called the Hex 3 ? I really like it. When I camp on solid ground I find lil boulders to hold out the tent stake loops. I replaced the original aluminum pin stakes with aluminum T-stakes that don't ben so easily.

9:59 p.m. on March 25, 2010 (EDT)
884 reviewer rep
3,432 forum posts

Welcome Sadler.d,

For use in the Southeast my vote would go to the Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1, 'cause it's the one I chose. Haha

Seriously though, it is well designed to give you some storage inside, and still have a usable vestibule. The inner is mostly mesh which is great for three season use in the Southeast.

I am only 5' 6" so I can't advise on how it would fit you for length.

For winter I still have my eyes on the Hille Akto, but will have to work it into my budget.

I would love to be able to use a minimalist shelter around 2 pounds or so, and have in the past, but due to the amount of rainfall and accompanying wind I always seem to encounter I prefer to just carry the extra 1 to 1.5 lb. of a slightly more substantial solo shelter.

As mentioned above, if at all possible try before you buy.

1:40 a.m. on March 26, 2010 (EDT)
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118 forum posts

I have the REI Quarter Dome T 2 and like it a lot, I bring up my tent because the T 1 has been mentioned as a possible option and I am not sure that the T1 would be a good choice due to its length. I am 5" 10 and it's 80 in. length is ok, but at 6 ft you might want a longer tent, like the T 2 plus if you are interested in the Quarter Dome series.

3:09 a.m. on March 26, 2010 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
1,741 forum posts

I had one of the original Flashlights. A good tent, but I think there are better designs out there now. If money is a consideration, look for a used tent once you pick one. EBay is a good source, so is Craigslist. Use the Craigslist Reader program (I think there is still a free version available) to search all the Craigslists across the country.

The Akto is a winter tent and probably not what you need for where you are. You probably can't go wrong with the REI tents. They have a solo tent with a small vestibule (QuarterDome T1); pretty cheap and reasonably light. I've seen the 2 person model in the store, but never used one.

If you join REI now, they are having a 20% sale on one item for members. That would be $40 off a $200 tent.

6:35 a.m. on March 26, 2010 (EDT)
27 reviewer rep
95 forum posts

I have the Big Agnes Seedhouse 1. I really like it. I shopped around and bought it two years ago for around $150 including the footprint.


12:07 p.m. on March 26, 2010 (EDT)
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5 forum posts

Thanks for the info fellas, I believe I may just take trouthunters advice and try a few out before I buy a new one. If nothing else, it will give me an excuse to go camping more.

1:36 p.m. on April 8, 2010 (EDT)
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11 forum posts

I got an Alps Zephyr 1 for around $100, and found a footprint for $18. The tent is supposed to weigh less than 4 lbs, though packed up with the aluminum stakes it is heavier than that. The footprint weighs another 6 oz or so. This is a great tent, lots of room for 1 person, I even get my pack and boots in there, room to sit up and turn around. Even got my buddy in there also one night in Big Bend NP when there was freezing rain and his tent had a problem. Good ventilation.

April 19, 2014
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