2 person tent

4:10 p.m. on July 18, 2012 (EDT)
33 reviewer rep
78 forum posts

I know I mentioned this in another topic, but I was wanting some advice on a lightweight 2 person tent for around $100. I know that seems like an oxymoron, but its the price range i'm having to deal with. It really only needs to be a 3 season tent, even tho it may make a solo winter trip in the GSMNP every now and then. 

http://www.amazon.com/ALPS-Mountaineering-Zephyr-Backpacking-Tent/dp/B000MAOEB4/ref=sr_1_6?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342640769&sr=1-6&keywords=backpacking+tent

saw this one at the top of my price range.

http://www.amazon.com/Eureka-Scenic-Pass-2XT-sleeps/dp/B002PAYNLA/ref=sr_1_5?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342641713&sr=1-5&keywords=backpacking+tent

http://www.amazon.com/Eureka-2629100-Apex-Tent-sleeps/dp/B0043HH5CW/ref=sr_1_8?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342641843&sr=1-8&keywords=backpacking+tent

http://www.amazon.com/Slumberjack-2-Person-Trail-Tent/dp/B003YFZLTI/ref=sr_1_10?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1342641843&sr=1-10&keywords=backpacking+tent

a bit heavy, but nice on the price.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as i want this to be the only tent i have to buy for a long while.

4:52 p.m. on July 18, 2012 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

You do realize you get what you pay for, eh?

Let's face it - most tents work pretty well in good weather, with moderate temperatures and no precipitation. They'll keep the bugs out and they can handle a bit of early-morning dew.

A tent that will save your butt in a midnight thunderstorm or an unexpected blizzard is quite another matter. If you want to get a cheap tent, think of it as an interim selection, and plan on investing more on the real thing down the road.

On a trip last weekend, there were eight tents set up. People with good tents ($150+) were fine, but those with the Walmart specials all got soaked when the thunderstorms started. IMHO you'll need, at a minimum, a full fly (right down to the ground), a waterproof bathtub floor at least six inches high, good ventilation to help control condensation and a solid frame that won't collapse in a high wind or under the weight of a bit of snow.

If you're car-camping, you can string a tarp over your tent for extra protection or, if worst comes to worst, you can always go sleep in your car when your sleeping bag gets soggy. If you're backpacking, the whole issue becomes much more critical.

5:21 p.m. on July 18, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

www.gearscan.com

If you have time watch this site for a few weeks.

And during this time watch what brands they offer and pick a model.  They usually come around about every three weeks

5:24 p.m. on July 18, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

The Slumberjack that you display is a killer price but quality I know nothing about.

I did have an Alps Triton 1.0 then up'd to a Alps Trition 1.5 but then changed to am MH Skyledge 2.1 as I liked its' two vestibules/doors and free standing ability amongst other features, one other feature is it is lightweight.  But the MH does cost a pretty penny more.

That Gearscan site does show Alps and MH and others from time to time.

11:08 p.m. on July 18, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

I threw this out in a similar thread earlier...might take a look at the Mountainsmith Morrison. I don't have any personal experience with one, but the reviews seem to be fairly positive. It has relatively good floorspace for it's class, and the specs claim it comes in at 4lbs 11oz. Also was going for around $120 on Amazon recently.

10:38 a.m. on July 19, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
606 forum posts

I dont know how it is down there, but in nh there are usually good tents cheap on craigslist. I just checked and there are five tents from$35 to $120 that would fit your needs. If you cant find anything down in tenn look on nh craigslist, I would be happy to ship one to you if you buy one in my area.(sw.nh) Good luck with your search. Craigslist always has great deals on hikin gear, I found a mystery ranch bridger assault pack last weekend at a yard sale posted there. I paid $35 bucks for it in mint condition. He obviously didnt know what he had. The same pack is on ebay for $325.

1:40 a.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
910 forum posts

I have a 3 person Zephyr.   It's a nice tent.  I wouldn't recommend it for windy or snowy conditions though.  The poles are a little on the light side.  I think I replied to you on another thread already so I won't go in depth.

3:11 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

I think there are many tents in your price point that will work. Most won't be close to UL standards but that isn't what you are asking for. On cheaper tents the first thing that will go are the poles. I buy many second hand tents from goodwills and other stores. And have found that I have quite a selection of high quality aluminum poles, and some pretty good fiberglass ones as well. So buying cheaper tents and fixing them is not an issue with me. All you need is a hacksaw and a tape measure.

Over the last 12 years I have had many tents, some cheap some not so much. I treat them all the same. The $24 tent gets the same respect as the $400 one. The biggest difference that I can see  is stitching, waterproofing, and the quality of fabric and poles. The fabric of cheaper tents can break down due to UVs in around 8-10 years. Make sure that you set up the tent first and make sure that the stitching is all there. No misses, very little weaving. For summer camping my rule of thumb is 1500 mm HH. Some say 800mm is good enough but I like to play it safe. Most tents now days have the bathtub floor.But most the floors on cheaper tents arn't much more that 1000mm HH. So make a footprint.

4:32 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

I did a bunch of research on 3p, 3s tents a while back for a friend. Looking quickly at a few options, I would definitely go with the Mountainsmith Morrison. That is a heck of a lot of tent for 4.5lbs and $135. 

The others I looked at that were under $100 have various problems: Really heavy, poor construction, poor or no ventilation options, low bathtub, etc. 

I am really impressed with the Morrison, and it has received several awards for quality and value. 

7:19 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
291 forum posts

I've never seen a Mountainsmith tent before but just judging from all their other gear I've laid hands on, it is probably bulletproof. Likely a little on the heavy side like most of their stuff but I have a few Mountainsmith items that I honestly don't ever expect to see them wear out.

Aside from that, in the lower price range, you usually can't beat Kelty either. I have the Grand Mesa 4 tent and it is a well made piece of gear with features you typically don't see in that price range. - DAC poles for one. Never a drop inside and hasn't budged in some dam scary storms. In the two person size I might go with the Gunnison instead of the Mesa.

6:59 a.m. on July 29, 2012 (EDT)
65 reviewer rep
170 forum posts

You can find sound gear 2nd hand

www.geartrade.com is a good place to look (nothing much right now)

the same with ebay and craigslist.org

Some gear I won't even think to buy 2nd hand, but if it's a tent in a good condition, why not?

10:23 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

mikemorrow said:

For summer camping my rule of thumb is 1500 mm HH. Some say 800mm is good enough but I like to play it safe. Most tents now days have the bathtub floor.But most the floors on cheaper tents arn't much more that 1000mm HH. So make a footprint.

My cheap little tent($125 two years ago) has 10,000mm on the floor and 2,000mm on the fly. IMHO, anything less is a guarantee that sometime soon you'll be waking up with a soggy sleeping bag. A footprint can definitely help with the floor.

10:39 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

peter1955 said:

My cheap little tent($125 two years ago) has 10,000mm on the floor and 2,000mm on the fly. IMHO, anything less is a guarantee that sometime soon you'll be waking up with a soggy sleeping bag. A footprint can definitely help with the floor.

 

My Hille floor has a hydrostatic head rating of 5000mm and I have had absolutely 0 issues with a wet bag regardless of season or conditions so stating that anything under 10k for a floor might be stretching it a bit.

10:50 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
692 forum posts

Ha-I rarely use a floor at all!

Anyhoo.

11:59 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

JerseyWreckDiver said:

 Likely a little on the heavy side like most of their stuff ...

I would have thought the same thing, but it's only 4 2/3 lbs, which is lighter than a lot of 2man entry level tents. Add to that, it seems to be tricked out with features. It has two top vents, which is awesome, considering many comparable price tents don't even have one high vent. 

Aside from that, in the lower price range, you usually can't beat Kelty either.

Yeah, my second suggestion would probably be their TrailRidge 2.  It is only $130 as well. 

 

12:12 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Ha-I rarely use a floor at all!

Anyhoo.

 

...and tipi shelters in high winds. :p

1:51 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
692 forum posts

Well of course.

 

On a side note, the tent that Peter is referring to generates its HH through the use of PU coatings which will delaminate sooner than later.  Not a big fan of the coating, not to mention it adds a lot of weight.  You can actually get a spray on waterproofing for silnylon that adds very little weight should one find that their fabric mists a bit.

MSR had a HH rating of 10K mm for their Hubba Series a couple of years ago but the delamination was significant.  They have since gone to a silicon coating, dropping the HH to 3K mm.  No reported issues with leaking yet.

2:22 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,160 reviewer rep
599 forum posts

Gotta agree with FG on the coatings on the MEC tents. Looks good on paper, not so good in real world use. I had the tgv tent for about 2 years before the coating started flaking off, and it was properly taken care of. Should have lasted longer as this is one of their supposed more durable 4 season tents.

3:20 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

For some reason I have noticed more PU delamination issues with higher dollar tents. Is there a reason for this? I have an old Coleman that has had no issues at all. But two TNF had turned bad.

3:28 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
33 reviewer rep
78 forum posts

http://www.rei.com/product/767268/rei-quarter-dome-ul-tent-special-buy

found a guy on craigslist going to sell this to me for $60. seems to be in great shape. 

4:19 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

As others have mentioned, lots of deals to be had on ebay and craigslist. I picked up a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2 (very nice condition, $50, about 3 1/2 lbs) for when I go solo and a Clip 3 (basically new, w/footprint [but I'm going with a polycryo groundsheet for weight], $90, about 4 1/2 lbs) for when a friend comes along...both recent ebay finds.

12:33 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
291 forum posts

mikemorrow said:

For some reason I have noticed more PU delamination issues with higher dollar tents. Is there a reason for this? I have an old Coleman that has had no issues at all. But two TNF had turned bad.

 TNF has turned to pleasing their shareholders as their primary objective. So far as their customers go... not enough of them will go to the trouble of returning their junk to have a notable effect on the quarterly earnings report.

9:39 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

peter1955 said:

My cheap little tent($125 two years ago) has 10,000mm on the floor and 2,000mm on the fly. IMHO, anything less is a guarantee that sometime soon you'll be waking up with a soggy sleeping bag. A footprint can definitely help with the floor.

 

My Hille floor has a hydrostatic head rating of 5000mm and I have had absolutely 0 issues with a wet bag regardless of season or conditions so stating that anything under 10k for a floor might be stretching it a bit.

Fair enough. Maybe just a bit of added hyperbole for dramatic effect. :-)

I really do have an issue with the cheaper tents that try to squeak by with 1000 mm hh (or less), though. Many aren't rated at all. They're sold to people who don't know any better, but who trust the manufacturer to offer a reliable product. When they get an unpleasant surprise in the middle of a stormy night, it's too late to do anything about it.

I've had no issues with delamination of the fabric on the fly of my tent, after three years of continuous use, but I'm also careful to dry my tent completely before packing it away. Stowing it wet seems to be a common cause of mildew and subsequent fabric failure.

9:55 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

mikemorrow said:

For some reason I have noticed more PU delamination issues with higher dollar tents. Is there a reason for this? I have an old Coleman that has had no issues at all. But two TNF had turned bad.

Maybe the Coleman has a spray-on waterproof coating rather than a laminated second layer, so there wouldn't be different layers to pull apart?

Just a thought.

August 31, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: multi-fuel stove (to simmer or not to simmer) Newer: First hiking boot, proper jacket
All forums: Older: Lah wins Sierra Designs tent and MSR stakes! Newer: Outdoor Retailer: Hiking Gear Preview