3P 3 Season Tent

3:09 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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I have read several posts on tent selection and am still stumbling in the dark with a torch with almost flat batteries. 

My situation is I am going hiking during the spring/summer/autumn months with my wife and 5 year old son and am stuck as to buying a good hard wearing comfortable tent.

We are only planning on going out at this stage for two or three nights at a time but plan to progress to six to seven nights by next winter. 

My son is not going to be too much help carrying anything so it is up to my wife and myself and as she has had her spine fused twice, I will be carrying most of the load of which I am more than happy to as the end will certainly justify the means.

I have no preference to brand and have been looking at Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3, TNF Mountain 35, Hilleberg Saivo.

I would greatly appreciate any help or reviews or any criticism you have of these tents and maybe someone out there also travels with young kids and can make different recommendations. 

I figured this would be pretty easy to find the right tent...and I still have to get sleeping bags and mats...and a pack to fit it all in lol.

Thanks in advance

5:18 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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The lightest as your gear weight will add up very quickly if you are the mule.

6:13 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Hum a 5 year old son you say. :)

Let me flashback many moons ago.

I had a daughter 6 years old. We put her in her own tent, set up right next to ours. We talked through the night for the first few nights. Till she finally figured out we were there for her. Basically in the same tent. There were times that she crawled into our tent and I stayed in hers. But in the long run she would just stay in hers. She became very attached to her tent, and used it for 10+ years. She cried when the UVs finally got to it and it couldn't be used anymore.

Might be an option. 

6:46 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Steep n cheap has been airing a hammerhead 3 tent from mhw this week for $149. That's an awesome price. Our close friends got one several years ago for more than$300 and after much use are extremely happy with it's performance.

8:59 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Taking into account that your the one carrying most of the gear.I would suggest the Big Agnes it only weighs 4lbs as opposed to the TNF mountain and Hilleberg saivo. They both weigh about 8lbs each. Add that you also have to take sleeping bags, Mats clothing and food for 3 .Also add your kitchen. etc. If you were going to use the hilleberg in winter and use it car camping or if you could share the weight of it I would reccomend it.

6:57 a.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Here's a few more:

This one is listed on geartrade.com

Nemo-espri-3p-ultralight-tent-brand-new

These are the 2 tents I own. 

Alps Mountaineering Zephyr-3

Alps Mountaineering Chaos-3

The Zephyr 3 is a nice tent. You can usually find one for about $100 if you keep your eye on ebay and geartrade.com. It is not for heavy winds or weather or really cold weather (the main body is all mesh except of course the floor)

The Chaos is a very nice tent.  It is sturdier than the Zephyr and is more versatile.  If you have the factory foot print you can put up the fly only or fly first if it is raining and take it down body first to keep you tent body dry. Either side of the vestibules can be staked so you can pick which side to open.  The sides of the tent are almost vertical giving you lots of usable room.

8:08 a.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks everyone for their replies.

Callahan: I am sort of resolved to the fact that I will be the pack mule, hence we are only going for short trips. I want the trips to be enjoyable so I will be taking a few extra luxuries with me as well....Plus I live up in the mountains so it will be mostly uphill to some absolutely spectacular isolated lakes. Well worth it. Coming back down will be easy work.

Mikemorrow: Great suggestion, hadn't even considered it but as he is still a couple of months short of five, I am not sure if he will want to be in his own tent yet....but maybe...Also that means I will have to carry a second tent and therefore the weight issue becomes an big factor as he won't carry his own yet. Maybe next year after he has been out for a while. Plus I am going to get my own one man tent as I plan on some individual hikes along the Haute Route this year.

MoZee: Cheers mate, nice suggestion and just looked it up, may be a little heavy for me but it is now definitely in my final five.

Denis Daly: Thanks heaps and I am steering that way as well, especially as this is the first time we will be out as a family. You are correct in assuming I will also have to carry all the other gear as well. Sleeping bags will be carried individually by each of us and luckily there is no need to carry any water as there are fresh snow melting streams to resupply from without needing to be sterilised. Planning on cooking over an open fire but will have a back up stove with me. So food, luxuries and safety equipment will be the only other weight (he says laughing as I know there will be more)

Just found the Sierra Designs Meteor Light 3...time for more reading.

Thanks for your help and any further advice will be greatly appreciated. 

October 22, 2014
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