New member - Tent Question

5:30 p.m. on April 4, 2007 (EDT)
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4 forum posts

Hello all. I have been silently lurking for a few months, reading past threads, etc. Enjoy the site and all the input you bring to this board.

I live in Northern CA and most often find myself getting out into the Sierra's near Desolation Wilderness/Tahoe for two and three day walks. 30 yrs old. I've recently been trying to lighten my pack load, but I am by no means ultralight. I still prefer the feel of boots over trail runners and I still use an external frame pack. Planning to do mostly solo trips this summer because I am tired of trying to work out scheduling conflicts with friends and family. I just need to get out more often... solo or not.

Going solo is allowing me to justify a solo shelter purchase. I have eliminated hammocks, bivys and tarps as options (each for it's own reason). Now that I have narrowed it down, I am torn between the new Mountain Hardware Sprite 1, Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1, and one of Henry's tarptents. I definitely need the bug protection these options provide, and I'd prefer to to have an open sky above me during 3-season backpacking when the weather is clear. For that reason alone, I am leaning away from the tarptents at the moment. Admittedly, though, I've never used one.

The Seedhouse costs a bit more than the Sprite, but it is also freestanding at almost the same weight, and it appears to be roomier. Anything I'm missing here? Thanks ahead of time for any input. Looking forward to contributing here from time to time.

AKA: Wanderlust
Sacramento, CA

5:59 p.m. on April 4, 2007 (EDT)
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1,902 forum posts

Seth, I belong to a lightweight backpacking forum and the SL1 and all of Henry's Tarptents get good reviews. I think it's just a matter of choice. Henry is well-known for great customer service. You may want to look at the reviews on to compare them. Look under Tarps for Henry's and Tents for the Big Agnes. I didn't see the SL1, but the other Big Agnes reviews should give you the same idea.

The BA is more money, but also bigger, freestanding and a bit lighter (2-13 vs. 3-8) than the MH, based on their websites. If it were me, I'd skip the MH. I've seen used SL1's around every so often-there are two for sale on eBay right now-plus some SL2's.

12:21 p.m. on April 7, 2007 (EDT)
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4 forum posts

I tried to get one of the BA Seedhouse SL1s off EBay and was outbid in the last 9 seconds. All right people, fess up. Who was it??? That other site TomD pointed me to was great. Thanks Tom.

On another note, REI is sending out another 20% off coupon to all members in May to celebrate it's anniversary, so if I haven't changed my mind at that point, I'll probably wait until then.

8:21 p.m. on April 15, 2007 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
102 forum posts

Many solo tents are heavier than light-weight two-person tents. Be wary of this.

For ten years I mostly used a solo single-wall tent formerly made by Sierra Designs called "Divine Light." It was pretty nice for short trips, but very, very small.
I still take it sometimes.

I've also used el-cheapo coated nylon pup-tent for weeks on end; big emough for two people, better for one. Very very light and bug-proof, and condensation shouldn't be a problem in California summer weather. Perfectly good stop-gap until somebody comes up with a cheaper knock-off of Black Diamond's First Light series....

Wenzel StarLite Tent for $30 bucks weighs 3.5 pounds and is a good example. You could probably call it 3 pounds by ditching the poles.

3:37 p.m. on April 18, 2007 (EDT)
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4 forum posts

I have a BA Seedhouse 2. Not the SL version mentioned above. I think that you should get the two man version even if your planning on using it solo, because it doesn't weigh a lot more and is bigger. I use mine just by myself or with my girlfriend. I wouldn't sleep with another guy in there though, because it is pretty cramped for two. The SL verions is around a pound lighter, but also costs $100 more. When packed with everything including the footprint mine weighs in around 4 lbs, which isn't too bad.

April 23, 2018
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