Need a new tent-UGH

4:38 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm sorry to even post this but this site is the ONLY site I really refer to as being reliable.  I'm in the market for a new backpacking tent.  I had an old REI which is just, well, old and crusty.  I also have an old Sierra Designs which also is very old and crusty.  So, I hit my local shop(s) and was amazed by all the new bells and whistles and of course lightness the new "stuff" has to offer.  Now, I have no idea what to go for.  I know, next question will probably "what and where am I going to use the tent the most?"  Well, I guess I'm looking for "the one" to do it all.  I want a 2 person tent thats not cramped for 2, so maybe I should go with a 3 person tent.  I want a tent I wont have a problem complaining about how heavy it is to carry in a backpack.  I want a tent in the summer it will shed a downpour but also be light a airy if its really hot out. I want a tent I could also do some Fall camping and possible winter camping in VT.  I'm not going to be hiking up Mt Everest anytime soon.  I'm willing to spend the money to get something really good.  I've been reading a lot of good articles on Nemo but I just cant find any dealers near me who actually have them so I can crawl around and feel the actual fabric.  Marmot has some good products and there is an REI near my house along with Campmor who personally I think is better than REI as far as selection.  Without opening a can of worms (I know nice try here) is there one brand out there that anyone can just point me to?  Thanks for your time.

5:43 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I would say "CAN O WORMS OPENED"

With that being said I would first start by scrollong thru the gear selection section and the beginner section as there have been alot of topics on this very subject.  I would whole hardedly agree with you that you need a three person tent for two people unless you are conjoined twins or your backpacking partner is a mummy,  then, maybe a two man tent would work.  It seems that when tent manufactures rate tents they forget that when we go backpacking we have this thing called gear which also needs to go in the tent with us.  After reading all the topics on new tents you can find I bet we all could answer you questions better depending on which tents tickle your fancy.  As I collect tents I know I have my favorites as do other so I hesitate to recomend any until you have more specific questions.  Don't forget to check out Ebay and Craigslist in your search.  I don't know why people like to to pay full price for new or used tents but they do.  If you want to save money the deals are out there.  Don't forget vintage tents.  If it was a great tent last year it will be a great tent today.  Good luck and have fun tent shopping.

6:09 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Can-o-worms as in garbage can-o-worms. 

Try Alps Mountaineering. Lots of great tents. I know REI has carried them in the past. I've got a Zephyr 3. Don't think I'd recommend it for Winter in VT but its good for summer in FL.  The inner tent is all mesh. The fly is full coverage with venting near the top. It also made out of polyester and doesn't sag if it gets wet (I understand nylon does but I've never had a nylon fly).

Don't know how much your previous tents weighed but there are probably 4-man tents that only weigh a little more.

Check on http://www.geartrade.com for some good deals also.

6:40 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks guys.  Yeah its a real maze out there.  All the manufacturers are all almost cookie cutter with their designs.  One brand comes out with one design and they all seem to follow.  I like all the North Face stuff, almost just considering pulling the trigger on a VE 25 and just call it a day.  Other than the weight issue it just seems to be the one goto tent no one ever talks badly about except the weight issue.  The Nemo stuff looks interesting but like I said, living in NJ good luck finding anyone around here that actually carriers them to climb into and check out.  REI of course I have no problem with.  Personally I think I'd rather spend the extra money and just get something really bullet proof.  Big Agnes are all over the place. UUGGHHHH!!!!!  My Sierra Designs has been a great tent, I dont even know the model/name of it its so old.  Had vents I could close off up top, winter storms were never an issue.  Sort of like the new Marmot bomber tent I saw, cant think of the name, where the vents up top can open, close.  Mountainhardware, ah a little much.  Let me search around some more here.  Thanks again,

7:02 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I just purchased two new tents. One is a Six Moon Designs Trekker UL solo that I'm going to use for thru hiking. The other is the Big Agnes Copper Spur 2p. This tent meets and exceeds everything you talked about above and is also pretty darn light weight. The point is there are a whole bunch of very good tents out there. I agree w/you, you really need to try um on though. Thats why I like REI.

M

7:08 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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My opinion, and only mine.  I feel that old TNF tents were cutting edge tents in past decades but no longer even close.  I think you can get way more tent for your money, both used and new, other than the North face VE-25.  With that beings said I own about 8 TNF tents so I don't have anything against them.  I went to the Seattle TNF store last week and now belive they should change the name to the TNF Boutique.  The vast amout of items in the store was urban clothing that has nothing to do with the outdoor's other than the fact that we have to wear clothing outdoors.  They had two tents displayed.  I guess even there not very impressed with there vast aray of tents.  I've been riding motorcyles for years and see a parallel with Harley Davidson and The North Face.  My friends and I now call the Harley shop, "The Harley Boutique". 

Ask me how I really feel. ;-}>

8:02 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I miss my old TNF "Big Frog" tent.   Its capacity was listed as 2-3, meaning, "snug but do-able for 3" and "spacious for 2+dog+gear".   It looks like TNF now offers the Big Fat Frog as a similar replacement, but it's got a weird, poled vestibule that I'd need to see in person.   Their Tadpole tent was okay, but cramped with 2, and forget about letting the dog inside.

For the past couple of years I've gotten away with using either my hammock/tarp setup, or an LL Bean 4-person dome tent for car-camping, but I think I'll also start looking for a new 2-3 person, lightweight backpacking tent.    Sadly, my only experience is with TNF or Sierra Designs, I'll defer to you guys for info/reviews of all those "other" brands that dot the landscape these days.

KD

8:53 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Check out Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 3. What kind of winter camping are you considering? If its with heavy/wet snow I would def look at a 4 season. Big agnes has 4 season models too. I love my little Copper Spur 1. Im actually on the trail staring at the ceiling in it now.

Well, 20 miles tomorrow so its off to la-la land for me.

10:20 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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If you're doing serious camping with two people, you will want a larger tent, and the VE 25 comes close to being on top of the list.  I used a VE24 on a long two-person trip into the Shenandoahs and it's roomy enough to keep two people from going nuts inside during long rainstorms, windstorms, etc.  It can be broken into two parts each weighing around six pounds, easily doable per person.

Most modern tents are just this side of being crap, what with thin denier floors and a hard-use shelf life of about five years if you're lucky.  Floors go out first, and then zippers and finally, UV eats up the fly. 

There are other tents in the VE25 size category---I know Sierra Designs and Mt Hardwear make some bigger dome or wedge type tents that can be backpacked.  We're not talking car camping here, otherwise there's the Sierra Designs Nomad 6, and the whole slew of Eureka Giants, even their behemoth 6-man outfitter Timberline.  Oh, and if you really want to live in a tent, check out the Cabelas Xtreme Weather Dome---it's only around 70 lbs.

On the other hand, you could consider going the individual tent for the individual backpacker route, that is, each person humps his own shelter.  Everyone needs their space, and it's comforting to have a place to fart and snore and read and toss and turn without the constant presence of another person nearby.  Camping husbands and wives learn this lesson the hard way, eventually.

11:03 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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So true.  I have the Sierra Designs Nightwatch CD. Found the old sticker still attached!   So old mine doesnt have the "nightwatch" clear plastic piece you can look through.  Went online and found a slew of readers commenting on how great that tent is/was.  I cant belive SD doesnt make it anymore.  I guess its categorized as "convertible" which I dont know means "crap dont buy it" or "you have a flip phone still right?"  In either case the tent served me well, now I have to find something else.  I'm gonna keep it local.  The MH trango 3.1 appears to be close to what I'm looking for but 1 lbs seems like alot.  The BA Copper Spur I've read alot about but my local REI doesnt have it in stock nor did Campmor at the time.  Maybe that says something.  "Rick-Pittsburgh" where the heck r ya?!  WOW!  Nice.  

11:33 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Check out the Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 it 7.5lb 6'8" x 8' two big vestibules and vents in the fly.


extreme-3.pngextreme-fly.png




19369779_140651_full.jpg

It has a polyester fly instead of nylon what difference does that make? http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/56832.html. You can get one at http://www.rei.com/product/735749/alps-mountaineering-extreme-3-tent-special-buy for $189.93.  

You might be able to check it out at your local REI or Alps New Jersey Dealers.

12:06 a.m. on June 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Speaking of Harley Boutiques... They've closed the Daytona Beach Harley store and turned it into a Harley Museum.

10:54 p.m. on June 15, 2011 (EDT)
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I just bought a new tent only last week.

Upgrading with a lighter and more roomier tent than my previous model.

I bought a Mountain Hardwear  Skyledge 2.1.

Already tested it and very happy.

9:07 a.m. on June 17, 2011 (EDT)
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119 forum posts

I think I've narrowed this all down to two tents now.  The NEMO Losi 3P and the Marmot Thor.  I realize the Thor is more of a "Mountaineering" tent and the Losi appears to be more of a 3 season tent however they seem to meet my needs.  I'm leaning more towards NEMO only because a lot of the reviews have said that it has been taken out in snow, 20 degree weather and has been great.  No issues.  The Thor however probably more burly I'm concerned with literally baking to death in the summer time.  I like the fact that NEMO seems to be this nice, small, micro brew type, out of New Hampshire company coming out with good products rather than a mass produced corporation.  I dont know but thats my impression.   I think I also read somewhere that NEMO has or is providing shelters for the Navy SEALS which won my "Seal" of approval.  Any feedback I'd appreciate. 

7:08 p.m. on June 17, 2011 (EDT)
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My husband and I use the Eureka Back County 2.  Long enough for him (he's 6') and wide enough so you aren't on top of each other. A bit skimpy on storing gear inside though. Split between the two of us it is only a couple lbs. each and the poles fold up pretty short. However, it is plenty airy with a large door and window and a fly that goes just about to the ground and has a peak the width of the tent. Sturdier than many of the ultralight tents (which I use when going solo) so you aren't afraid of tearing it.  I would use it year 'round unless expecting a lot of snow. For a ground cloth, I use a piece of tyvek.

12:57 a.m. on June 18, 2011 (EDT)
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polyester, as in dacron polyester is much more uv resistant than nylon. it also stretches less when wet than nylon. both of which are nice features in a tent fly.

3:11 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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skibum12 said:

I think I've narrowed this all down to two tents now.  The NEMO Losi 3P and the Marmot Thor.  I realize the Thor is more of a "Mountaineering" tent and the Losi appears to be more of a 3 season tent however they seem to meet my needs.  I'm leaning more towards NEMO only because a lot of the reviews have said that it has been taken out in snow, 20 degree weather and has been great.  No issues.  The Thor however probably more burly I'm concerned with literally baking to death in the summer time.  I like the fact that NEMO seems to be this nice, small, micro brew type, out of New Hampshire company coming out with good products rather than a mass produced corporation.  I dont know but thats my impression.   I think I also read somewhere that NEMO has or is providing shelters for the Navy SEALS which won my "Seal" of approval.  Any feedback I'd appreciate. 

 Did you get the Nemo Losi 3p yet? If not it's on sale at REI for $300!! Plus they have the footprint on sale for $39. I love my Losi tent - Lightweight, super roomy, and high quality. I bought 2 initially and sold one a few weeks back. Anyways,, good time to take advantage of REI's awesome sale price.

5:38 a.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I havent yet.  Have you ever used yours in the snow?

10:03 a.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
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106 forum posts

One thing to consider also is the fact that the Nemo Losi 3p is much lighter than the Marmot Thor, if you don't want to carry 10lbs on just tent weight you should reconsider that one!  Have you taken a look at the Hilleberg tents? I just got the Allak and it is very well made, it has just enough room for two 6 ft well built men inside, not a roomy tent by any means but it has huge vestibule to keep all your gear and it has a fair weight.  They make all sorts of tents though to fit individual needs but I can tell you their fabric is way better than any other tent fabric I came across,  almost all their tents are 4 season tents with great ventilation.

11:57 a.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Sorry for the late response skibum, I was hiking the LHHT.

2:23 a.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
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My recommendation: an Oware pyramid.

www.Owareusa.com

10:45 a.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Easy solution ~~   A "no-brainer", actually.

Go to Campmor.   Since they are nearby.

I've been there dozens of times (relatives in the area).   I am ALWAYS impressed with staff.   Very, VERY knowledgeable people.   Ask for the "tent specialist person".

Problem solved.   Next question?

________________________________

 ~r2~

6:38 p.m. on September 3, 2011 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
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really like the oware stuff. coooooool. Thanks pillowthread!

7:08 p.m. on September 3, 2011 (EDT)
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XterroBrando said:

really like the oware stuff. coooooool. Thanks pillowthread!

 Mountain Laurel Designs makes more variety and better quality Mids with virtually any custom option you would like:

www.mountainlaureldesigns.com

7:30 p.m. on September 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Buy yourself a sewing machine, take a few lessons and design your own tent.  All the features you want, the design you want, the materials you want and you can repair it.

12:52 p.m. on September 7, 2011 (EDT)
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CWF said:

Mountain Laurel Designs makes more variety and better quality Mids with virtually any custom option you would like:

www.mountainlaureldesigns.com

The MLD pyramids also have a vent in the top on some models.  Necessary in humid conditions. I didn't see any offered on the oware site.

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