a tent opinion question...

11:08 a.m. on April 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Yes I know, some people hate these questions but sometimes I see some great input from you!

I am replacing the Walrus ArchRival that has suited our needs for many years. Actually I think I will keep it as a back up should someone need to borrow it.

My wants - lighter weight (under 5lbs total weight), free standing, 3 season, at least 30 sq feet of floor space

My do not wants - a tarp, a very small two person,

I have been looking at two very different tents. A NorthFace Specturm 33, which I believe is discontinued but still available. Single wall, enough space for 3, good value. And a Big Agnes Copper Spur 3, Double wall, more space. I know there are concerns with condensation on a single wall but I have some experience with them.

Most trips are over nighter hike-in but some are 2-3 days and the odd 4-5 day pending the weather in the Rocky mountains of BC. So all weather protection is a must (wind, rain, snow)

I am open to suggestions, opinions and anything else...thanks

12:02 p.m. on April 29, 2009 (EDT)
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460 forum posts

I would suggest the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx two-person model.

It weighs 5lbs 2ozs. A tad bit over your stated desired weight limit. Nice tent for the price and great features. Quick and easy set-up too.


12:05 p.m. on April 29, 2009 (EDT)
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REI Quarterdome T3 is great for 2, and easy to catch on sale. Otherwise, I'd go with an SMD Lunar Duo, or Tarptent Double Rainbow, Scarp 2, or Rainshadow.

12:46 p.m. on April 29, 2009 (EDT)
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I doubt I would find the Alps tents in Canada or anyone to ship to Canada.

The REI is now on my list, thanks for the other suggestions, I will have to do some research.

I just wish I could see all these tents first hand.

2:06 p.m. on April 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Sportsmanguide does ship to Canada I'm most happy :) to report.

Fear not.


3:19 p.m. on April 29, 2009 (EDT)
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246 forum posts

Sounds like the tarptents would fit the bill. Check out their website.



10:36 p.m. on April 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Eureka Pinnacle Pass 2XTA (http://www.eurekatent.com/p-63-pinnacle-pass-2xta.aspx). 4 lb 11 oz , roomy, 2 vestibules, an all around great tent. And you can get it for around $150. I cant use a single wall tent in the deep south (humidity is too high), and this tent fits perfect. My wife and I use the Apex 2XT, but I ordered the aluminum poles that come with the Pinnacle Pass as they are the exact some tent except for color and tent pole composition. We really love the tent. By using the Pinnacle pass poles we got our total weight to 4lb 12oz, which is amazing for a tent this size.

12:33 p.m. on April 30, 2009 (EDT)
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I do like the tarptents but my girlfriend isn't sold on them just yet. I guess its just being able to see them hands on and we don't have that option here in Alberta. I do like the Eureka and so does the girlfriend as she used to work in an outdoors store and liked the quality of the Eureka's. Now I have the REI, Eureka and BigAgnes to pick from.

Thanks for the help

9:42 p.m. on April 30, 2009 (EDT)
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218 forum posts

I will tell you that my solo tent is the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1. The tent is a bit complicated to put up, but man I do love it. I would have to assume that most Big Agnes products are as good. Also, I have recently been able to check out an REI Quarter Dome. Great tent. Basically, look at them (check out weight, square footage and how that square footage is laid out, vestibules, ect) and buy the one that fits your expectations and budget the best. I dont think you would go wrong with any of those brands.

11:43 a.m. on May 11, 2009 (EDT)
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...REI Quarter Dome. Great tent. Basically, look at them (check out weight, square footage and how that square footage is laid out, vestibules, ect) and buy the one that fits your expectations and budget the best. I dont think you would go wrong with any of those brands.


I had one of those Quater Domes you mentioned. I never got to use it though-I purchased the ALPS Mountaineering Zenith in place of the REI brand tent.


Right now I am using an REI Taj 3 though. Pretty roomy tent-50 square feet of interior space. After all my gear was stolen I purchased the Taj.

I do miss my ALPS Taurus Outfitter though. It was quick and very easy to pitch. The Taj however is more complicated and time consuming in my opinion.

Nonetheless it is a nice enough tent.

8:24 p.m. on May 11, 2009 (EDT)
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613 forum posts

I have spent a LOT of time where you will be, actually living in tents in the late winter in the Flathead Valley on the western aspect of the RMs and on the "Eastern Slopes" near the east entrance to Jasper Nat.l. Park. My feeling is that you are best served by a "four season" type of tent there, not necessarily an "expedition" type, but, as you know, some pretty wicked storms can happen in mid-summer.

I am an unabashed Hilleberg fan, the finest tents I have ever used or ever expect to see and I have owned/used and inspected lots of tents. However, with our Canuckbuk back in the dumper relative to the Yankee greenback, a Hille. is a major investment and may be just too much for your budget.

So, You could import an Alberta-made Integral Designs MKII-XL, another favourite of mine, but, again, these are not "cheap", nor, given the outstanding quality, should they be. A better choice for you might ber the I.D. "Yukon" model with either or even both vestibules, this would be MY pick for what you are doing.

I like MSR tents among the less costly makes and would suggest a two-person model of this brand. I am not impressed by North Face and Sierra Designs leave me cold. These WERE great makers, back so long ago, that only geezers like Bill and I recall those heady days.

Ultralight tents ARE very appealing, until you hit a 60mph windstorm with heavy rain coming sideways all night long and then, the problems begin and can wreck a trip you have waited to take for years. So, I would go with an MSR and I think that you will be happy with this choice; I avoid "off brands" like poison as many decades of wilderness work and play taught me that you DO GET what you PAY FOR.

6:26 p.m. on May 14, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the replies, I wish I would have had Dewey's info sooner as there are some good options in there. I did go with the BigAgnes though, its been put to use once so far and its a great light weight 3 person tent (4lbs with out the stakes/guy lines). Even with our crappy dollar I was able to get it for a better deal than retail pricing.

It will be interesting to see how it stands up to any heavy winds in the future but even with the rain so far its great. I do have my old trusty Kelty Cyclone 3 that I have used during the fall/winter months. It isn't a 4 season but more a 3/4 season which is 8lbs when I really need a colder weather tent that will last me another few seasons as its atleast 12 years old now!

3:09 p.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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5,245 forum posts

For a light tent at way under 5 lbs, selfstanding and 30 sq ft floor try either the Golite Utopia 2+ at 2 lb 2 oz. 43 sq ftt floor and 45 inches tall, sleeps three.

Personally I use the Shangri-la 3 at 2.13 lbs plus another 1.6 lbs for the separate floor. It has one pole, is a hexagon cone shape and you can substitute the tent pole with a hiking stick or a tree limb above with a line tied on. I have used mine 10 years.

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