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3 season 2 or 3p tent...

8:00 p.m. on August 27, 2013 (EDT)
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So I am once again in the market for another tent.

I currently own 3 Hillebergs.

4 Season-A Soulo which I love, and a new Tarra which I will break in this winter season(set up once.)

3 Season- The Hilleberg Anjan.

Yeah the Anjan...

That thing is in the process of undergoing quite a bit of modification for reasons that I really don't want to think about(just read my review on it or my most recent trip report if ya want to know more.)

Anywho.

I am looking for a solid 3 season 2p or 3p model that will keep me dry under a prolonged washout. Durability would be a nice trait to possess as well.

I don't want it to be made of "triple siliconized, poly coated, toilet tissue."

It also must ventilate well.

Weight is not that big of a factor for me. My main concerns are durability and performance.

I would also prefer a durable floor with at least a hh of 5k.

Price is also somewhat of a mute point as well.

I am a strong believer in ya get what ya pay for.

I have no problem dropping a chunk of change on a good, solid, quality shelter.

I've been out of the loop on 3 season shelters for a bit being my tents for the most part are 4 season rigs...

Well then there is the Onion er I mean Anjan.

Before anyone goes there no the SD Mojo UFO and Easton Si2 Cuben are not options.

I like Kool-Aid just not that much...

Thoughts?

7:56 p.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I ain’t at all up on the latest greatest products or anything, but if ya ain’t picky about weight that opens up a wide range of great shelters and I can certainly tell ya what has worked for me and caught my eye.

Fer twenty years the only tent I had was a Eureka Timberline. Heavy, but bomb proof.

Sure, I’m mostly a tarp and these days tarptent kinda guy because I enjoy a light pack, but when I need a tent I really need one, and this is the tent I grab. It’s been in production with little change since 1973, so they must have got it right.

It has a very sturdy frame, the A shape sheds snow very well, the inner body is solid nylon not mesh so blowing dust or snow isn’t a problem, it has a great overhang over the door for a dry entry and it ventilates very well because the front and rear overhangs always let you leave the windows open.

The fly is held well away from the tent and has unusually good ventilation under it, and the bathtub floor rises up higher than usual making it a very dry tent. This is an Old School two man tent, so it is rather larger than modern two corpse tents at 38 sq. ft. 5 feet 3 inches wide and 7 feet 2 inches long.  I have slept three adults in it, but of course your sleeping pads ( if you use them ) will overlap some.

Mine weigh 6-1/2 pounds, but could be lightened by using new stakes and perhaps other modifications as well.   

I originally got this tent for canoe trips and let me tell you, on solo canoe trips this thing is a palace. I once carried one 300 miles on the back of my mountain bike across Iceland.  Last weekend mine sheltered three of my nephews at 6,000 ft through a very nasty storm above the tree line.


DSC02424.jpg

I have never, in all the years I have used it in all the horrible storms, shipped any water at all or had any condensation at all, except a little condensation on the end walls.

this is a tent that I know works.

You asked for something durable that performs very well, so there ya go. My original lasted twenty years of heavy use, and I'm on my second now.

A tent that I have no personal experience with but have come very close to purchasing is the Kelty Gunnison 2.1

This is a freestanding two pole “wedge” tent, and is another big tent at 37 sq. ft.

At 7 feet 9 inches long is very nice for tall folks. It is only 4 feet 9 inches wide though.  

It is a tad lighter than the Timberline, and has two doors and two stake-out vestibules, if you like those things.

Uh, what else – Stay away from the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight – I know some rave about this tent but to me it was a tiny wet dog house.

5:27 p.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
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I would recommend checking out some of the offerings of Tarptent at www.tarptent.com . I think the Scarp 2 would be up your alley.

7:01 p.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Ken, I have been giving Tarptent a great deal of consideration.

You know I am the polar opposite on the whole UL thing so what is their heaviest(most durable) model?

9:39 p.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
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They are all equally durable, but I believe the beefiest model is the Scarp 2 with the optional poles.

10:54 p.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Good deal. I watched the video and would definitely be interested with the optional poles.

Now I did have a question.

Do they make a footprint for this tent or is it a myog type of deal.

No biggie. I am pretty good at making them but very lazy.

If I can buy one I will before I make one.

I had the Copper Spur and these floors are ridiculously thin.

...especially with the rocks my way.

11:43 p.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Since you say weight is not that big a factor, I gotta agree with EtdBob on the Eureka Timberline. We have been using this model for years in the Boy Scout troop I used to be Scoutmaster of. The Timberline stands up to that kind of abuse. Not my choice of a personal tent, but when you have a bunch of adolescent males, most of whom have no backcountry experience and are as gentle with gear as a grizzly, well, that's the kind of tent you look for. Eureka tents in general, and the Timberline in particular have their flaws. Even if price is a "mute" point (you mean it doesn't speak???), the Timberline is pretty cheap enough that the expense is indeed moot ( which means it is of little or no consequence). We didn't worry about footprints, since the floors were tough enough that the hiking boots took a couple years to wear through.

Still you got a Hille. So why are you looking for a new tent (says he who has 15 or more tents in the gear storage area that used to be a 2 car garage)?

6:54 a.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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I had 2 Eureka Mountain Pass XTEs(2 & 3) sometime back.

I kinda reviewed them here.

They were 7-8lbs if I remember right.

Not bad tents at all IMO but the clear poly window was somewhat of an annoyance.

I'm lazy and like to sleep so combined with the white inner when the sun came up it was really bright inside the tent.

9:15 a.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Just to add to your plethora of options, Rick. :)

Take a look at MEC's tents. The Tarn 2, for example, is 6 pounds or so, but holy jumpins what a solid tent. In 20 reviews on MEC's site, it averages 4.5 of 5. The floor has a 10,000 mm head. It's roomy, it vents beautifully, the vestibule is wonderful. Yes, you can cook in it. The design is for alpine conditions, so totally stormworthy. Mine saw heavy use for about 5 years and frequent car-camping use for 3 more, never a single repair or problem. (I really should get a review up here...)

In response to the lightweight trend, MEC put some new models out that also look pretty good. But the Tarn is a Canadian favourite. I'm a bit sad my stealthy brown fly has become blue-grey in the new ones, but they haven't changed it otherwise, except for some new line-locks.

MEC also has a lifetime warranty. So if you want a membership number and a Canadian ship-to address, just let me know!

http://www.mec.ca/product/5027-697/mec-tarn-2-tent/?f=10+50055

Your agent in the North Country,

Islandess

11:04 a.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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I beg to differ on the Tarn 2. While it's been a Canadian favourite for many years, it's relatively heavy (2.7 kg) and has a number of flaws. It is indeed a solid and stable tent (reviews refer to 5-6 years of use) with a loooong track record, but it's been surpassed by more modern designs. IMHO the design problems override the benefits. 

First, it has only one entrance (with that plastic window and light tent body you said you don't like). It is also a coffin shape - wide enough at the shoulder, but narrow at the foot and at the door. While it's listed as a two person tent, it is actually described more accurately as a one-and-a-half. No leg room and you'd better really like your tent mate.

Setup is annoying, requiring a specific sequence of poles and clips or the whole tent winds up being twisted and distorted. Quite counter-intuitive.

Compared to some of the other tents. There's not a lot of headroom, and getting changed or even sitting up in it is difficult. It's also not very long, so if you're taller that could be a problem. Not for anyone over 5'4".

Fabrics are nylon and polyester with a polyethylene coating. Cooking in the tent or in the vestibule is a very bad idea.

11:30 a.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks, Peter, those are some issues Rick might have that I don't. I'm small and used it solo, for one thing. This is also where the vestibule-cooking comes in, with a three-panel vesti, I could sit under cover of two panels and have my stove out in the open.

I did have a different experience with the setup, though. Pitched it single-handed with no trouble. No twisting or distortion unless I wanted it. This is something I actually thought was a design advantage. I set it up on very uneven ground many times and still got a drum-tight fly once everything was adjusted.

It is, however, definitely a heavyweight nowadays.

9:19 p.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick, i am not sure if they make footprints for the Tarptents or not, i would venture a guess and say no because they tend to market as "ultralight". However, if they do not offer one and you want one. I am willing to bet that if you send an email to Henry he will custom make you one. They are just a small little shop/cottage industry. I do know they have done custom work in the past for many folk.

10:00 p.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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No there are no footprints made for the TT shelters but you can get the Tyvek groundsheet and add loops to the corners so that you can leave it attached to the bottom of the Pitch Lock corner mitten hook (where the bottom of the inner attaches)

"They are just a small little shop/cottage industry" That was about 10 years ago. They are factory made in Seattle.( a few thousand a year)

11:51 p.m. on August 31, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick - 

Since you like Hillebergs, or most of them...

Why not consider the Kaitum or the Allak? Both have great ventilation, but if the weather gets nasty, you can close them up and you won't get "splashing" like you did with the Anjan.

Based on your comments,  you like robust durable flooring in your tents (I do too).  I have owned both of these tents and have had no problem using them in the spring summer and fall, as well as winter.

7:23 a.m. on September 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Best way to prevent issues with a tent floor is to have no tent floor! I am primarily a tarp an hammock guy, but have been experimenting with a tipi style shelter. Never have to worry about my tent floor!

12:56 p.m. on September 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick you can get a piece of Tyvak From Zpacks in the materials section..A 4.5X7.5 is 11.25 You can also order a size you need..I odered one and cut it down to fit my Virgia Tarptent..

10:59 a.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey Rick

Last year I bought the Tera Nova Duolite for my winter travels. One of the reasons for buying it was the all in one set-up. The second is the HH, 5000mm head and 10000mm floor. For really water proof tents I buy from overseas. They are for the most part heavier materials. 

12:33 p.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks for the mention Mike. Terra Nova has been on my radar as well. 

I am a big fan of the tents that pitch outer 1st. 

12:38 p.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Bill S said:

Still you got a Hille. So why are you looking for a new tent (says he who has 15 or more tents in the gear storage area that used to be a 2 car garage)?

Bill, the 2 Hille's that I use(the Soulo & Terra-which I have yet to truly use) are both pretty stuffy for my late spring thru early fall use here in SW Rocksylvania. 

I do have the Anjan as well but w/o some modification this tent will not make it into my pack as is. 

When the temps are up(80+F) and the humidity is in the upper stratosphere both of these tents would be miserable sweat boxes if caught in an all day driving soaker in the summer if I had to truly close everything up.

I just want a tent that will give me the ability to batten down the hatches when the sky opens up but at the same time not turn the inside into a sauna.

My last trip still has me questioning whether or not I am part duck. ;)

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/148036.html

 

1:14 p.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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9:15 a.m. on September 3, 2013 (EDT)
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I recently bought a like new Golite Shangri-la 5 tent from another TS member. Its very roomy yet light at 5 lbs 10 oz and sleeps 5 but I will use it alone or with one other.


GetImage-ashx.jpg


Shangri_La_5_Nest.jpg

It has just one pole which can be substituted with a hiking pole and has a loop at the top (outside) that allows the tent to be suspended from a tree limb above. 

I had a Shangri-la 3 before this, but I sold to another TS member when he was going to Everest Base Camp and I have regretted it ever since.

This tent is very roomy with plenty of space for gear strewn around and has a small front vestibule area as the tent fly is square unlike the floor plan above.

12:49 a.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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I would definitely consider the new Tarptent Cloudburst. Vertical ends and excellent weight to space trade off.

FWIW, I have used Tarptents over the past several years in a wide variety of conditions and never had any durability issues. For 3 season treks, I can't think why you would need a Hilleberg. Winter is a different story, although I would argue that a Tarptent Scarp fits the bill there.

3:16 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks for the heads-up on the Cloudburst Dave. That is really interesting.

9:49 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks for the suggestion FG. I like the Cloudburst. Only one concern if you look at the 7th pic down the height of the outer worries me a bit. Might just be the pic but I am a bit apprehensive considering the experiences I had with the Anjan. 

Here is the link:

http://www.tarptent.com/cloudburst3.html

10:10 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Wait a sec, just looked at it again. This is an adjustment feature. 

11:24 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Yes, correct, the sides can be adjusted up for more ventilation or lowered. This is a double wall/single wall hybrid that may not be to everyone's liking, but with that type of space and venting options I can't see condensation being an issue.

I am looking at this for my next 2p shelter.

11:40 p.m. on September 4, 2013 (EDT)
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You can also get the optional fabric inner as well.

12:36 a.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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I have the optional fabric inner on my Tarptent Notch. Nice option.

12:57 p.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm looking to replace my TNF Meso 22 tent that I unfortunately don't have anymore and can't find another (I have an add looking for one in classifieds).  Not feeling confident that I'll find another, I have been searching out other 2 person tents. I'm not into the whole UL thing either, but I don't mind saving some weight if I can, as long as the durability is there. That's what I liked about the Meso 22. Under 4 pounds and a 70D floor with 5000mm coating.

Some that I have been considering are:

Marmot Eclipse 2 - On top of my list. I like the materials (40D fly and floor, 1800mm on fly, 3000mm on floor) and coming in at 3.5 pounds. I like the end entry as well, but hate the color (orange).

MSR Nook - I like the design of this one; end entry, not all mesh, 2 big, high side vents and color, but the 20D fly with 1000mm coating is throwing me off. And the foot end looks like it slopes down a bit to take away from usable space.  

Sierra Designs Flash 2 - I really like single wall tents and this one looks like it will breath well. Some concerns are the length (85") and how comfortable it will be in colder weather (vestibules come up high).

I don't know if you have looked into these, or would even be interested. They do look like the better of the lighter tents out there at around $300 (my budget).

Any opinions about these three?

2:12 p.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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"Under 4 pounds and a 70D floor with 5000mm coating."

 

Yes but the floor is PU coated, which disintegrates much more quickly than losing the waterproofness from silnylon.  The newest generation of silnylon has a HH rating of at least 3500mm and is much more reliably waterproof.

Regardless, are you actually looking for a 2 person tent or just one for solo with more room?  Both of the first two are extremely small for 2 people and the Sierra Designs tent is massively heavy for the features it provides (my opinion).

If you can wait a few months, MSR has the Hubba Hubba NX coming out that is legitimately a 2 person tent with two doors and two vestibules but only weighs 3.5 pounds. 

5:39 p.m. on September 7, 2013 (EDT)
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I agree with Rambler, the Tarptent Scarp2 is a nice 2 person tent with room for "three consenting adults" if you sleep head-to-toe.

Go to Backpacking Light and to the Winter Hiking & Camping sub-forum and you will see my mods to the Scarp 2 to make it very wind and snow load worthy.

So far it has seen gusts of 65 mph and been very steady with no deformation using the heavier main pole, internal X-ing poles and 4 guy lines.

The quality is excellent and the design is very good with two doors and two vestibules and plenty or headroom.

Plus it has two options for the inner tent, full netting or ripstop with some high netting for improved ventilation.

11:11 a.m. on September 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick,

Since you're not that concerned about weight but still want a solid 3 season tent, the Exped Gemini II might suit some of your wants.  

Can't remember what the fly is made of, but I'm pretty sure the floor has the 5000 hh you were looking for.  Unlike their other tents, it's inner pitch first, which I actually like for summer.  There is a good amount of mesh on the inner, but there is nylon on the top and on the lower sides, which I think is a good design if it's hot and you want to use it without the fly (or in a campground...you still have some privacy without the fly).

It's pretty solid too...some of the guyouts tie to the poles instead of to the fly.  Check out the videos on the Exped youtube channel.

Good luck,  I hope you find a tent that fits what you are looking for!  Let us know what you end up getting.  

April 20, 2014
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