light weight 4 person tent

11:55 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Has any one used a Mountainsmith?  I am thinking about the Genesee 4.  It is my two boys, my wife and myself.  When we camp it is almost always the four of us.  I currently have Gunnison 4.1 which I feel is great but I'm getting old and I want to cut down on the weight. The Genesee at 6 lbs 8 ounce is a bit more than 2 pounds lighter than my Kelty.  Are Mountainsmith tents any good?  Price is very crucial for me, under $200 would be ideal.  Does anyone have any insight or other suggestions?

1:29 a.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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You don't mention the age of your children; are they or your wife carrying anything?  Just a thought.

Ed

8:51 a.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a few questions to add to Ed's for clarification purposes.

1) What type of climates do you encounter as well as what seasons do you camp in? The reason that I ask this is because it can be the deciding factor of whether you need a model with a full fly or not. Which in turn has alot to do with weight.

2) Is it necessary that the tent be brand new? You can pick up a really nice lightweight slightly used model from the classified section here, Craigslist, etc. as well as from different manufacturers directly. Alot of companies have returns that they will resale at a substantial discount with small signs of wear & tear which is usually nothing more than a little dirt or a cosmetic blem that has nothing to do with function. Typically they are in great shape. Sometimes people return tents just because it didn't suit their needs. Also check REI. They have regular sales on products like this. Also I would suggest looking into last seasons model, that has been slightly redisigned(they changed the color scheme so it knocks a chunk of money off the price.)

3) Would you consider a discontinued model? Alot of companies have models that are no longer being produced but there are still tents out there in stock that have yet to find a home. This doesn't necessarily mean that it is a bad design with less than acceptable durability/function.

4) What is the weight limit for what you consider light?

9:57 a.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the quick responses.  My kids are middle school age and do carry their own weight.  I prefer a full fly because I hike in NH and it seems like it has rained on at least half of our trips. I am not against used tents but in checking ebay either the four person tents are not light or are very expensive.  I REALLY need to keep it under $200 and that only if I can cut 2 pounds off of my 8.5 pound Gunnison.  I realize that rules out the really good stuff so I'm trying to find a reasonable compromise.  Thanks again.

10:24 a.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Have you considered two 2 person tents? It could quite possibly be alot easier and give ya a bit of flexibility as far as where you can set camp(smaller footprint.) Plus there is the privacy factor. Not to mention the kids will get older and this will also give them the option of going out later on down the road and not having to take a larger tent. With 2 tents you can get the weight you desire easily. Split 2 tents up between 4 of ya and its around 3lbs a piece(could be lighter depending on model specs.)There are many benefits to multiple smaller tents.

10:44 a.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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High Peak has pretty good feedback. Here is one below and for under $150 ya get 2. I posted a link below.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000L3Y3MM/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/182-6097574-3625811

Not saying this is the model for you just an example. There are all kinds of brands/models out there.

Eureka Apex(factory 2nd)

http://www.eurekacampingctr.com/eureka/product.asp?s_id=0&prod_name=APEX+2XT+FG+A&pf_id=PAAAIAADMJMDDNDE&dept_id=3070

Eureka Mountain Pass 2xte/return(I own this model and its a very solid tent, my review is on Trailspace)

<

http://www.eurekacampingctr.com/eureka/product.asp?s_id=0&prod_name=MOUNTAIN+PASS+2XTE+B&pf_id=PAAAIACDEJNJKOHN&dept_id=3070

Other companies off blems/returns as well.

6:11 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Mountainsmith makes good gear, the tents are new so I think it will be hard to get a review about them. 6.5 for a 4 man tent is good...

You can find few ideas at backcountry outlet

http://www.departmentofgoods.com/3-season-tents

some good tents here, and you may be able to find reviews about some of them, but I don't know if any will be that light as the Genesee

7:32 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Just checked out the specs On the Genesee the floor is 7'x8' this only gives 4 people 2' wide for sleeping area. Plus the dome design has sloping walls, giving even less room. Getting 2 2 man tents for under $200 might be a problem. Though there are some on the market, they might not be the highest of quality. But it can be done. I buy many lower cost tents that last me for years. But I like to modify stuff. :) For max room in a two man tent go for a design like TNF tadpole. The 3 poles bring the sides nearly straight up. The design of the tent is very important for roominess. Of course water proofing might be another story. Seam seal and spray the fly once or twice a year.

7:56 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Getting 2 2 man tents for under $200 actually isn't that hard. The Eureka Mountain Pass is a good tent($83 if I remember right,) plus there were a plethora of others. Just have to look around for sales. I found Coleman Hooligan 2P for under $50 a pop with full flys. Took me about ten minutes. :)

http://www.google.com/m/products/detail?gl=us&client=ms-android-verizon&q=coleman+hooligan+tent&hl=en&bl=/m?hl%3Den%26gl%3Dus%26client%3Dms-android-verizon%26source%3Dandroid-browser-type%26action%3Ddevloc%26q%3Dcoleman%2Bhooligan%2Btent&source=search&channel=products&cid=4506186832189625674&ptab=c&ei=rH2OTbD1J6LplweNmaPoAQ&ved=0CBsQ8wIwAQ

8:18 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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But we are talking about lowering weight too. The Hooligan is 6+ Lbs. v trec might have to have the kids carry a heavier load. But as kids grow these things will happen.

8:37 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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3lbs per person might not be that bad.

8:53 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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And I agree that two tents is the way to go at this time.

11:34 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Great ideas!  Thanks much.  Guess I need to rethink this thing, maybe.

11:19 a.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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No problem v trek, just go with the best possible option that works for you. Everyones needs and preferences are different. I just thought this option would give ya more flexibility compared to one large shelter.

Another benefit with 2 shelters compared to one is if one of the tents fail in a storm(it happens) you still have another shelter to get into the and sit out the deluge. You can stay dry & safe and plan out your escape. Not saying this will happen but it can. Another piece of logic that I go by... Hope for the best and expect the worst, you will never be let down. Happy hiking- Rick

2:31 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Hooligan 2, and it is a pretty nice tent.  It is a little on the heavy side though. Campmor lists the packed weight at 8 lbs 1 oz, and I think that is accurate.  The fiberglass pole, heavy duty floor, and sturdy mesh really make the weight add up.  Also, the walls slope in pretty agressively because of the single pole design.  A brow pole to stretch out the top would've been a great design feature, but they didn't do anything like that. 

It's almost as heavy as your Gunnison, and it has less headroom and floor space.  If I were looking to reduce weight, I would keep looking, because I think there are better options out there. 

 

With all that said, I'm getting rid of mine (practically new) because I just bought a BA Burn Ridge.  I'd sell the Hooligan 2 cheap, but shipping would probably add up fast enough to not make it very cost effective for the buyer. 

6:58 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey v trek, Gary's got a Eureka Timberline 2 tent for sale here for $60

7:18 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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10:10 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Eureka Timberline but  its not a 4 person tent. For $60

11:13 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks Gary but it's not what I'm looking for.  If I do go with a couple of two mans they need to be ultra-light.  I really do apprecaite everyones input!

11:58 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Golite makes a tent that is very light. And sleeps 5 people. Checkout their Shangri-la 5 tents.

Shangri-La 5

orangedot.gif

2 lbs. 14 oz. | 1.30 kg

type: 5 person

$350.00



Shangri-la-5-green.jpg
Shangri-la-5.jpg

10:49 a.m. on March 29, 2011 (EDT)
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The Coleman Cadence doesn't look bad, but you should note that they are not free-standing.  If staking down is going to be a problem, you might want to keep looking. 

If you go to Campmor (or similar site), and do a tent search, there are actually a lot of 2 person tents that are available for just over $100, and many that are under. 

What conditions are you going to be using the tents in?

5:08 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Gary- The Shangri-la is a great idea, it is light and roomy but, it's more than I wanted to spend. 

kykcamper- now that you mention it I would rather have free-standing.  I have gotten use to my Gunnison and I don't ever bother to even guy out the fly and I've had no problems with rain or wind yet.  It seems to me that most of the 2 man tents under $100 are heavier than I want a 2 man to be. 

I think I've decided to stick with my Gunnison until my kids start asking for their "own space".  Then I'll start my seemingly vain search for an inexpensive ultralight tent.  In the mean time I'll keep my eyes open just in case that deal of the century pops up.  Thanks for the help y'all.

6:39 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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V trek- theres a Henry shires 2 person cloud burst for sale here in the classifieds for $150. No floor but nothing a piece of 3 mil plastic couldn't fix..They posted 3 pictures of it and it's under Backpacking/climbing/ hiking yardsale...it might be worth a look...Good Luck...Weight is listed for it as well...

7:47 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Good for you V trek. The kids will tell you when they are ready to move out of your tent. I didnt mean to be pushy. But I do remember my kids. And around that age they all wanted their own tents. Its coming soon! :)

10:40 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Okay, so I was giving this one 4-man tent or two 2-man tents some serious thought.  Then I found and bought a Eureka Zues for $60.  I didn't know anything about it but it looked pretty good, weighed less than four pounds and the price seemed reasonable.  I have now found out that they have a prettyy bad condensation problem so I may regret that.  But..., then I found a MSR Missing Link (3 pounds 5 ounces in carry pack) in awesome condition.  It was only $50!!!  We are taking both tents out this weekend for two nights so I'll see if my investments have paid off. 

9:36 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice shopping!!!

1:42 p.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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The REI half dome 4 weighs a bit over 7 lbs.  Not the lightest 4 person tent, but divided 3 or 4 ways it's pretty light.  If you're on a budget, it's a good choice.  If you're willing to spend more, there are lighter tents out there. 

7:33 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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The Vapor is a great little tent.  It has an incredible amount of room for one (my first night) and plenty of room for two (son #1 joined me the second night because son #2 wanted to try sleeping solo) plus both packs stored in one corner.  It was a damp area and we had a small amount of rain, as well as a small amount of wind, but I got no condensation.  Although the awning is small my two boys (13+14) and I were able to sit inside with the door open and eat lunch during a light rain.  It was nice.  It's early to be positive but I think I'm going to be pleased with this tent!

The Eureka Zeus Exo 2 is a cool looking tent and sets up easy.  My boys had enough room for two but they did get some condensation on one side (my son did mention that he ran his hand across the wall (who knows why) during the night).  Next trip I will stake out the sides a bit higher off the ground (maybe to a tree trunk or something) to see if I can keep it dry.  Any suggestions?

7:56 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Check this one out for comparisons sake

http://www.tarptent.com/hogback.html

11:31 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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I just realized I called the tent vapor, it is in actaullity the MSR Missing Link.

11:33 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the link Callahan but that baby is wayyyy out of my price range.  I'm sure it would be sweet though.

11:54 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2- 4lb/8oz. Dual entrance/dual vestibule- $101.00(list $170)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000MAOEB4/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/186-4266237-3871648

1:33 a.m. on May 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi V Teck,

Found these and I'm thinking of buy them myself.   I haven't read any reivews about them but good price and resonable warranty.  And UL as well.  Please let us know what you decide.  Have fun!!

 

http://www.appytrails.com/at_four_man.html

 

Mark V   $119.95

Specifications:
Sleeping capacity: 5 (see chart)
Average minimum weight:
1 lbs. 11 oz.
Weight with stuffsack: 1 lbs. 11.7 oz.
Weight of stakes and stuffsack: 3.2 oz.
Weight of poles: 10.7 oz.
Floor dimensions: 137 x
112 inches

Floor area: 70 + square feet
Height: 6 feet
Vestibule
area: included

Floor fabric: none; requires groundcloth

Pole
material: Aluminum

Pole: Four section pole, plus rear tensioning
rod.

Packed size: 4.75 x 9 inches

Fire
resistant to CAPI-84 standards

 

Mark III       $99.95

* Single-wall design boasts
low weight, while its single center pole architecture creates a stable and tight
structure

* As a
backpacking style tent, full vestibule space is built in.

* The
fabric is ideal for single-wall tents, not water repellent but water proof
coated polyester, T185.            

* Only
one tent pole, light and compact, and also lessening the need to carry weight by
having the options of mounting using cord or pole found at site or hiking pole.

*
Tensioned fabric makes the tent quiet in heavy winds.             

*
Stuffsack slightly oversized for ease of stuffing. Compression instructions
included.

* Comes
with stakes, stake bag, guylines, stuff sack, instruction/care card, information
sheet

* All
seams factory sealed

*
Average minimum weight specification is based on tent only


Specifications:
Sleeping capacity: 3 (see chart - this model
requires setup with rope in order to sleep 3, otherwise 2 with
equipment)
Average minimum weight: 1 lbs. 2.7 oz.
Weight with stuffsack:
1 lbs. 3.3 oz.
Weight of stakes and stuffsack: 3.2 oz.
Weight of pole
set: 4.4 oz.

Floor area: 52.9 square feet

Floor
dimensions:  91 by 120 inches
Height: 3.5feet
Vestibule area:
included

Floor fabric: none; requires groundcloth

Pole material:
Aluminum

Pole: Three section pole, plus rear tensioning
rod.

Packed size: 4.75 x 6.5 inches

Fire
resistant to CAPI-84 standards

 

10:41 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman,

Thanks for the link.  My wife does go with me at times so I NEED something with an attached floor.  I appreciate it though. Hope it works out great for ya.

vtrek

10:05 p.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh , thanks for the link and the update on the zephyr.  That certainly is a good price. 

10:17 p.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh , thanks for the link and the update on the zephyr.  That certainly is a good price. 

 

No problem. I was kinda considering snagging one up to have as a back up or for when someone wants to go with me and gear is a problem on their end.

I was thinking for what you were looking for this might be perfect. Its a good price(under your $200 mark for 2.) Plus its pretty light(sub 5lbs,) free standing, full fly, aluminum frame, dual entrance/dual vestibule, free ship.... blah blah blah. :)

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