Alternatives to Hilleberg tents?

1:06 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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I am looking for a tent for bicycle and kayak touring in mild weather.  I like the linked inner and outer tent design of Hilleberg tents, so one can easily set up the tent in rain without the interior getting wet, for those times when there is a surpise rainstorm.  I appreciate Hilleberg's design and build quality, but I do not need anything so rugged.  Are there any other tents made to be set up with the inner and outer tents linked as Hillebergs are? 

2:52 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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Available in the US - Exped tents have the linked inner and outer.  For made in America, consider the Tarptent Scarp as well (www.tarptent.com)

6:53 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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Not exactly what your looking or, but I have the Nemo Meta 2P, it is a single wall tent with built in netting on the doors and can go up without getting the inside wet. In fact i would guess that about 75% or more of the backpacking tents on todays market can go up without getting the inside wet. Many tents alow you to pitch the rain fly first.

9:07 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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snugpak makes one.

marmot and north face both have new models that are linked, also

9:47 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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I'm upgrading to a new tent this year (2012) and seriously considering Nemo.  I'd like to see what changes are possibly made for 2012 & would also like to check out the new gear with others.  I've heard nothing but good reviews on all of Nemo's products.  Hilleberg speaks for themselves, I guess you get what you pay for.

10:31 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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Here is the 2012 Nemo Equipment catalogue:

http://www.nemoequipment.com/2012workbook.pdf

No double walled linked tents.

I read a review recently that the Nemo Meta 2p is a sweat machine.

11:04 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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IMO There would be very little need for a Hille or any other high dollar tent in the weather you are talking about. You dont seem to need a UL tent ether. There seems to be no "need" for a high dollar tent.

There are many Euro tents that would fit your needs for $200 and under. Check out www.campingworld.co.uk  Most of them have a 2000+ mm HH and pitch outer first.

7:34 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and comments. I am encouraged to hear that there are multiple options for tents that can be pitched with outer and inner tent together, or at least fly-first.  Additional recommendations for specific models will be very welcome.  I agree I do not need a very high-end or ultralight tent, though lighter weight is of course always good. 

7:45 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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I would go with a Black Diamond Firstlite or some other ultralight shelter such as that, no point in spending the coin for a Hille. when you do not require the level of protection from severe weather that they offer.

8:11 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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My first thought is something like the old Chouinard Pyramid or Megamid, now called something else, or maybe the Golite Hex or Shangri-la or Mt Hardwear Kiva.  I used the Chouinard for a winter and the one pole tipi design sets up very fast and can house a bicycle too---you on one side of the pole and the bike on the other.

Would I want to spend a winter in one or do a long winter trip with one?  Nope.  They don't handle high winds well and unless snow is packed around the bottom perimeter will allow spindrift to enter.  But hey, for bike touring they are good because you're right close to "syphilization" anyway (or at least a road) and can bail if things get tricky.

8:55 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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I have tents by NEMO and Exped, among others. I have had an Exped Venus II since 2002. It sets up fast, with the poles supporting the fly and the tent hung from the fly on hooks, in the european style. The quality is quite good, with a very durable bathtub floor coating. The material is lightweight, but plenty strong enough for your purposes.

10:15 a.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said:

Here is the 2012 Nemo Equipment catalogue:

http://www.nemoequipment.com/2012workbook.pdf

No double walled linked tents.

I read a review recently that the Nemo Meta 2p is a sweat machine.

 I had one and sold it on this site.  It does get condensation, but it has plenty of ventilation to compensate.  I had used mine and the only condensation was at the very peak of the tent and it was very light.  The vents in the sloping walls are designed in such a way as to catch any condensation running down from the peak and divert it to the outside of the tent.  Also, it is a single wall design so one should be mindful of that aspect. That was a roomy tent for one person, and the vestibules were huge.

3:11 p.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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Lets see....

Vango(Force Ten line is pretty burly from specs):

http://www.vango.co.uk/products.html?overview=true&vcatid=1

Ferrino(I personally like what I see in the High Lab line):

http://www.ferrino.it/en/homepage/products/TENTS/high_lab_114

The inners on the High Labs are water resistant so although they(inner/outter) do not go up as one it may not be a big deal dependent on how hard the weather is hammering down on you. At the same time setting up in the wind can be a real pain in the rear end...

Vaude(some similar designs to Hille):

http://www.vaude.com/epages/Vaude-de.sf/en_IN/?ViewAction=View&Obj

Exped(as mentioned above):

http://www.exped.com/exped/web/exped_homepage_na.nsf

I have a UL solo and a 4 season solo so alot of what I was looking at with these tent makers was 4 season tents when I started looking at their offerings. 

Being you are bike touring maybe something like a hoop design on the Hille Akto may be a viable option for you?

Terra Nova comes to mind on that thought:

http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/Brand/Terra_Nova/Tents

These are just a few that come to mind. Now you may find that some of these are only available in the UK and elsewhere over seas but if you take the time to contact these manufacturers you may find that some will ship here. 




10:58 p.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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1:31 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Interesting interpretation of 'ultralite.'  It weighs the same as the bomber Soulo!

9:21 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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You have to remember tents from the UK weigh more overall than tents sold in the US. For biking and Kayaking the weight is light.

10:53 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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There is also the Golite Eden. More price, but looks like a good tent.

3:06 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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A friend just gave me a Brooks Range tent to look at. Anybody here used one? It's still in the box and should be interesting.

3:09 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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trace- which one(model?)

4:59 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rocket.

5:03 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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trace said:

Rocket.

 Cuben or Silnylon version?  From what I have read, there was some delamination of the mylar fibres on many of the tents.

5:17 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Cuben. At least I don't own it.

5:18 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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"You have to remember tents from the UK weigh more overall than tents sold in the US"

Funny thing is that for years TerraNova (a British brand) has had (still has)  the Guinness world record for the lightest tent.

In fact it has a full line up of lw tents.

 I am sure that Lightwave , Vango and Robens (that I can think of...)  would also take exception at the idea that UK tents are heavier

However many Brits buy US brands 'cause imported stuff is always better.

 

 Franco

5:23 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Could you set it up and take pics?  What trekking poles do you plan on using with the Rocket?

5:39 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Here is a review of the Rocket with some pictures-

http://sectionhiker.com/brooks-range-mountaineering-ultralight-tent/

I bike toured years ago with an SD Flashlight. Not ideal for rain (no vestibule), but not a bad tent for one person and gear, okay for two with smaller packs. I spend a few days in it in bad weather and once up, it kept me dry. It went up a just a few minutes.

7:12 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I did not know I needed trek poles for the tent so I have to figure all that out.

7:56 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Perhaps I can shed more light on this discussion.

The rocket comes with optional poles, so you don't need to use hiking poles with it .That's my review, btw. That tent is not worth $600.

I have a loaner Hilleberg Atko at the moment for review. It is very nice and very expensive. It does have an outer than can be pitched independently from an inner. It is not an optimal pitch on snow - corners need to be pegged/dead-manned. I am still in the early stages of testing, but I expect it will do very well in high wind. The Hillebergs are amazingly well made. If you want to spend much money for a really quality product, buy one.

The Tarptent Scarp 1 also has a seperately pitchable outer and inner. I used to own one but sold mine because I didn't like how it pitched on snow.

I own a BD firstlight which is my goto 4 season tent - only for winter that is.It is freestanding and takes me about 1 minute to pitch. Ideal.

Mike Knipe at Northern Pies is a friend of mine. He is a very experienced hiker and funny guy. His dog's name is Bruno.

Happy tent shopping.

Philip

8:26 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Where are you located as I have had both good and negative reports from guys I tend to trust on the BD FirstLite. I immediately thought, when it first came out, that this was THE tent for most uses in moderate weather and almost bought one as it is so light.

However, very severe rain, some 18" wet snow falls and high winds are a regular feature of my region and I choose my gear on that basis. So, what kind of winter do you use your BD in?

9:09 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Dewey,

The FirstLight is the lightweight version of the I-Tent. If I recall correctly, the fabric is NanoShield (silnylon?) instead of Toddtex.

I have the Bibler Eldorado, which is slightly larger than the I-Tent, and in the 2-door version. I have used it in some fairly serious weather in the Sierra (fairly heavy wet snow, 2 feet overnight, close to 4 feet during one multiday storm, winds during a blizzard up to maybe 30 knots). In conditions like that, I use all the guy points. I note that in the images on BD's website, there appear to be fewer guy points on the FirstLight. The Eldo has 4 on the poles (each corner) plus two in mid-sidewall. There are 4 stake points. There are 2 more guys on the vestibule that attach to the vestibule pole, plus a stake point at the tip of the vestibule. 

One point of Todd Bibler's design with 2 poles was to have it flex in the wind, plus be steep enough sided to shed the snow. I have found this to work pretty well, especially with the sidewalls guyed out. One of our teams on the Cordillera Blanca Environmental Expedition last July took a FirstLight up Huascaran Sur, doing a traverse. They had wind, but no significant precip.

Jim, the owner of the tent, has been pretty satisfied with it, as I am with my Eldorado. I have used mine solo on a number of backcountry ski tours, as well as with Barb (somewhat more crowded with 2, of course). Some people do not like the flexing to shed the wind and would prefer a more rigid tent.

10:32 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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I use the BD Firstlight in the White Mountains of New Hampshire - the weather is rather severe, but mostly wind and snow rather than rain. Although I have occasionally used the Firstlight in heavy rain without any issues.

11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Many thanks!  My uses for this tent will be a bit different from many of the posters, but your suggestions and comments are invaluable even so. 

I think it's shaping up like this:

Will be used for weekend and occasional week-long bicycle and kayak touring in mild weather - spring, summer, and fall, probably around North Carolina and Virginia.  No need for anything bomb-proof or four-season.  We are looking for a two-person tent, for my wife and me.  

As mentioned in the original post, we strongly prefer a tent with the fly and inner tent connected and pitched together, for convenience and to keep the interior dry when setting up during the odd unpredicted rainstorms.  If necessary we could go with a tent that pitches fly-first, but setting up the inner and outer tents together seems simpler and better.  Is this true, or am I making too big a deal about pitching all-in-one vs. fly-first? 

I've had some difficulty identifying which tent models pitch all-in-one, and many of the tents I have found are for four-season, all-weather use, and priced accordingly.  Some of the midrange tents from Vango, Vaude, and Marmot look promising, however.  Recommendations for specific tents are especially helpful. 

From what I've read, it's better to have a tent with two vestibules and two doors for two people.  How important is this?  We don't plan to use vestibule space for the bikes, which will go outside the tent, under a dark, waterproof tarp, and locked to something immobile.

A freestanding dome-style tent sounds simplest to set up.  Does this make sense, in your experience? 

Thanks for your help!

7:15 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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Sticklebacks,

Tents are funny things. There is not a tent for all people. As you are looking for a tent for you and your wife, I would say that you are looking for a 3-4 person tent. She would rather have some room to move around in, sit up to dress, and hold some gear in.  You are not backpacking so this tent could weigh around 10 Lbs

If I'm right, all outer first tents can be set-up with inner and outer together. You just dont unhook them when you break camp. For you I dont think this is a real big deal. But only you can answer that.

Two doors are nice in the mornings. No waking the other by crawling over them.

Remember even freestanding domes should be staked out. Otherwise they can go flying.

Dont know your price range. But it looks to me that you wouldnt need a very pricy tent. You might want to check out Colemans. But do stear clear of realy low dollar tents unless you want to fix and replace poles. Make sure that you get a tent with at least 1200 mm HH fly. And I think you might want a full fly. There are a couple of good buys on ebay right now on Chinook tents.

Like I said buying a tent is a funny thing. Only you will know what is right for you and your wife.

2:04 p.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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Although you are cycling, rather than back packing, I think weight and compressibility are considerations. Often, it helps to actually see one of the tents you are considering. That may influence which tent you ultimately decide on. Exped NA is based in Seattle, so it is easy to see their range of tents. Hilleberg NA is also here, so the same is true for them.

8:41 p.m. on January 15, 2012 (EST)
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Thank you for your helpful replies. We haven't been able to see any linked inner-outer or fly-first tents, as the camping supplies stores here stock only tents that pitch inner-first. Nonetheless, we have learned a good deal from videos and online reviews, and of course from your suggestions and comments.

We are leaning towards the Vango Halo 200 or the Marmot Nusku 2P, which can be pitched as-one or fly-first, and are in the $200-300 range from some online retailers. Any comments and experiences with these tents that you can share?

The Vaude Space II and Vango Chinook 200 look promising also, but are a bit pricier, and it isn't clear whether the difference would be worth it to us. Exped tents such as the Venus II, Southern Cross, and Auriga look very good, but cost well over $400, which is probably out of our range.

Thank you again for all your help. We are hoping to hear experiences with the Vango Halo 200 and Marmot Nusku 2P, but other comments are very welcome too.

10:39 a.m. on January 16, 2012 (EST)
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What!?  There is no alternative to a Hilleberg!  LOL.  Actually the Exped line as mentioned above have linked inner/outer tents and on the Eureka Europe website they offer a linked inner/outer tent marketed as the Bighorn SUL (looks similar to the Hilleberg Nammatj GT).  Too bad Eureka US doesn't offer it here.  

1:55 p.m. on January 16, 2012 (EST)
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Just wanted to through this one into the mix too. http://www.spraywaycamping.com/products.php?cat1=tents&cat2=8&product=23

Free standing, outer first, lighter, waterproof, and in your budget!

Only one door but the way you sleep in it you would not be crawing over each other.

I like the Vango, but it looks like it doesnt have a full fly. I still think you guys need a 3 person tent. :)

12:28 p.m. on January 26, 2012 (EST)
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If your plan is to camp in mild weather, it seems to me that logic says that you shouldn't be looking at Hilleberg and its direct competitors, because for the most part, they're overkill. The FirstLight and its siblings are intended for mountaineering, so they trade off stability for space, probably also not what you're looking for.

That's not to say that those tents don't have their place, but if you aren't looking at heavy weather, what's the point?

On the other hand, some of the lighter Nemo tents would probably fit the bill quite nicely, such as the Pentalite with the Wedge, or the Obi series. Meta... I'm guessing probably not, since they're trekking pole supported. Maybe even the Morpho, since they don't have poles, and are therefore packing-friendly, though not much lighter than a 4-season tent. From the reveiws, they seem to be just about as robust, though.

There are several TarpTent models that sound like they'd be suitable, including the new StratoSpire which looks to have nearly as good a space/weight ratio as a traditional pyramid, and the Double Rainbow, which is quite popular on BackpackingLight. The Scarp2 is also a good option to consider, particularly with the summer mesh inner.

Of course, you could also consider an even lighter and more spacious solution... like an MSR Twing, or one of the ZPacks Hexamids.

8:26 p.m. on January 27, 2012 (EST)
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You might also consider the Lunar Duo from Six Moon Designs. VERY big tent for its weight, dual doors and vestibules, and an integral design with an inner mesh tent permanently attached to the outer fly, so it pitches as a single unit. Ron Moak has just introduced two new models of this tent for 2012 (one lightweight silnylon version, and an inexpensive but heavier polyester version) - and the older silnylon model is now on sale for $50 off. The Lunar Duo is designed to be pitched using trekking poles, but both aluminum and carbon fiber poles are available for it.

10:39 a.m. on January 28, 2012 (EST)
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The polyester model might be just the ticket here :)

2:34 p.m. on January 28, 2012 (EST)
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Tarp Tents

12:37 a.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
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Thank you for your very helpful comments and suggestions.  On the advice of several people, here and elsewhere, we will go with a 3-person tent.  We also decided on a free-standing tent.  Free-standing does seem to have some advantages, and besides, it looks fun to be able to pick up the tent and pop it down someplace else.  

Many people suggested the Tarptent Scarp2, which does seem excellent.  Pitching the Scarp2 looked a little more complicated than we would like, though doubtless it would be simple for people with more experience pitching tents.  The Six Moons Lunar Duo also looked very good, but a little more complex than we were ready for.  We decided against the Vango Halo as the bright orange interior seemed a little too vivid for our liking. 

We think it's down to either the Marmot Nusku 3P or Vaude Space II, possibly the Vaude Mark II or Robens Sunset Dome.  All are 3-person tents, go up as-one, are freestanding, with 2 doors and 2 vestibules.  With some looking, we have found them selling for around $300, which seems very reasonable.  The Nusku 3P and Space II look especially easy to pitch.  We would appreciate your comments about these tents, and any experiences you may have had with them.  

Tamerlin's point is well-taken, as these tents are overkill for our relatively simple needs, but we do like the simple, as-one pitching these tents offer. 

So, any advice about the Marmot Nusku 3P, Vaude Space II, Vaude Mark II or Robens Sunset Dome?  Thanks! 

10:36 a.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
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No experience with the tents you mention but wow - are they heavy.

Did you watch the pitch video on the Scarp?  It takes 2-3 minutes to pitch.  How is that hard?

On a side note, why would you have to lift your dome tent up and move it?  

11:11 a.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
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The scarp is among the easiest tents I've ever pitched. You insert one pole, stake it out, and pull it tight.

Add the crossing poles and it's freestanding, and still rather light for two people, and good for anything short of mountain storms.

7:10 a.m. on February 3, 2012 (EST)
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Just a couple of comments on the tents you are looking at

Marmot has a nylon fly. Nylon will sag more than ployester when wet.

Vaulde space. no vents?

Vaulde mark. Not real sure of the clip on system. Seems like it wouldnt be as tight as it should be.

Robins That little vent cover on top could be a problem in high winds and rain.

This was just a quik look at these tents. I have never used any of them. If it were me I would go with ether the Marmot or the Robins.

2:47 p.m. on March 3, 2012 (EST)
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Jackson Sports has the Vango Force Ten Helium Superlite 200 on sale for $232 + shipping. At a mere 2.5 lbs. it's perfect for ultralite hiking or cycling tours.

http://www.jackson-sports.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=8511

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