msr hubba hubba vs marmot twilight vs ll bean mountain light 2

4:19 p.m. on August 12, 2009 (EDT)
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Which one is the best all around tent. Who has the highest quality control standards and builds their tents to the highest standard?? I cannot make a decision between these three. They all seem nice. All input is appreciated, ESPECIALLY if you have owned or had experience with one or more of these tents

thanks

5:44 p.m. on August 12, 2009 (EDT)
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I would have to say out of you list MSR #1 Marmot #2 and LL Bean #3 as far as overall quality goes but that's my opinion

9:22 p.m. on August 12, 2009 (EDT)
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I am also considering the northface big fat frog, but I have read their quality control is slipping.... decisions, decisions

9:52 a.m. on August 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Look at Luxe Outdoors Habitat improved Hubba Hubba reviewed on this site great tent great price

3:48 p.m. on September 21, 2009 (EDT)
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Have had very good success with MSR products,including their tents.Marmot tents have always been on the heavy side but well made and LL Bean has all their stuff made by someone else and just add their own stickers,though this is about to change i hear.Currently my solo tent is a MSR Hubba HP and i have been very happy with it.ymmv

5:38 p.m. on September 21, 2009 (EDT)
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I've had trouble with poles breaking below -10F with an MSR summer tent. Not an issue in summer of course!

9:10 p.m. on September 21, 2009 (EDT)
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If you are looking for quality, I would look at Hilleberg, Black Diamond/Bibler, and Integral Designs. These are all higher quality than Marmot, MSR, and especially LL Bean.

9:15 p.m. on September 21, 2009 (EDT)
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The Bibler and Black Diamonds are nice but for general backpacking very much overkill.Mostly in the price tag area.Also remember the draw backs of single layer tents in warm summer months,i have found them best when there is less humidity and greater temperature diff between inside and out.For my own experiance the BD tents i do not care for due to the fabrics they chose to use.Bibler is great as is Hilleberg but outside of my budget.ymmv

12:51 p.m. on September 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I agree that the 3 I mentioned are pricey. But that's the problem with quality - it costs. Bibler, by the way, is a trade name of Black Diamond.

Going down a notch in price, I have found Sierra Designs tents to be good quality and good designs. My experience with them has been better than with the Marmot or MSR. For lightweight weekend backpacks in summer, I have been using one of the SD Meteor Light, and sometimes still use my SD Stretch Dome for backcountry ski tours (yeah, way too many tents still in the stockpile).

3:17 a.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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My buddy had a Hubba Hubba, and while it is nice, the quality is no better than the quality of my REI Quarterdome T3, and it's smaller for the same weight (if you lose the stuff sacks). Both are pretty heavy though.

10:46 a.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I agree that the 3 I mentioned are pricey. But that's the problem with quality - it costs. Bibler, by the way, is a trade name of Black Diamond.

Going down a notch in price, I have found Sierra Designs tents to be good quality and good designs. My experience with them has been better than with the Marmot or MSR. For lightweight weekend backpacks in summer, I have been using one of the SD Meteor Light, and sometimes still use my SD Stretch Dome for backcountry ski tours (yeah, way too many tents still in the stockpile).

Bill i agree with you that the good stuff costs the big bucks but at the same time some of the average quality tents i have bought over the years are still good and are 15 years old,give most away to friends and kids to use.All product manufacturing,or should say most,has moved over seas and yes the quality has stepped back a bit but once again how much can afford.On the Bibler thing didnt Tod Bibler start as a seperate company and just a few years back tie into BD?Also for myself i just got tired of carrying some of the bomb proof tents on summer trips,old mountaineers learn slowly sometimes.

11:03 a.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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On the Bibler thing didnt Tod Bibler start as a seperate company and just a few years back tie into BD?Also for myself i just got tired of carrying some of the bomb proof tents on summer trips,old mountaineers learn slowly sometimes.

Yes, Black Diamond bought Bibler around 1996. They've continued to sell Bibler tents under their brand, though I've noticed some online stores list them as BD shelters and some as Bibler.

While BD's site still refers to Bibler tents when sorting, the product descriptions and actual bivies and tents have BD logos. I wonder if they'll drop the Bibler name eventually. Seems like it's being phased out.

1:03 p.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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FYI: Black Diamond has a sale on this week only. It generated a new question: The claim is the three pole system, as in the Hilight, is stronger than a two pole system, as in the Firstlight. The Firstlight is a 4-season tent, and the Hilight is listed as a 3-season ( In Trailspace Gear Reviews ). What is your opinion on the strength difference using the third pole?

5:49 p.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I own a Eureka A frame tent, a Eureka Dome tent, the Sierra Design Light Year CD, MSR E-wing, 2 Mountain Laurel Design tents, a tent from Six Moon Design, and my most recent purchase a Hilleburg Tent .

I have found the cheaper tents (Eureka, Sierra and MSR) were nice, but did not fit my needs. The quality was good and they work great for a beginner. For the price, all three made nice tents. I still use them when family camping or for Girl Scout trips with my daughter.

As I did more hiking and found out what I realy wanted from my tents, I started to invest more time and money to get what I needed. Now I have a different tent for each need. Light weight tarp tent, mid weight three season tent, and a heavy duty mountaineering tent for winter.

If I had to choose one, I would go with the any Hilleburg. They are a little heavy for summer, but are one of the best tents avalible. This is a tent you can cover alot of miles with and never have to worry about.

If you are just starting out, not sure what you want, and do not want to spend alot of money, then go with Eureka (or MSR and Sierra). Some of their new stuff has gotten some good reviews.

Until you know what you like, do not spend the money.

7:26 p.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Onthemark -

There is an old rule that the number of seasons for a tent is the same as the number of poles. Like all rules, this is subject to interpretation (since there are officially only 4 seasons, how many seasons is one of my 6 pole expedition tents good for?). Having used Bibler and Integral Designs 2-pole tents in heavy winter blizzards and seen them in use on high altitude expeditions, does this mean my Eldorado is good for winter and, hmmm, what other season? Also, my Black Diamond Megamid uses at most one pole (often an adjustable ski pole), but sometimes no pole at all if I tie it to a branch - does this mean it is a one-season or no-season tent (I, like many others, often use it as a 3 or 4 person tent on deep winter ski tours, plus doing light-weight summer backpacks)? I had a VW Kampwagen tent with 4 vertical poles and a full 7 poles for the roof, plus it attached to the rain gutter of the Kampwagen - does this make it an 11 (or 12) season tent?

There are many more factors to consider than the number of poles. The "Pole count" rating system is based on rigidity and capability of handling a snow load - you need more poles criscrossing to hold more snow. The rule has some application for dome or geodesic tents. On the other hand, the 2-pole design of the Bibler Eldorado and I-Tent (and the Firstlight, which is basically the I-Tent in a much lighter fabric) and Integral Designs Mark series is based on the idea of flexing with the wind and steep sides shedding the snow load, thus greatly reducing the snow load, plus flexing allows these to shed heavy winds instead of fighting them as in the geodesic designs.

In short, it is not just the number of poles. It is the design as a whole. The Firstlight should behave much the same as the Eldorado, I-tent, and Integral Designs Mark series - flex to shed wind and snowload. I have used my Eldorado in some pretty heavy winter conditions and seen them on expeditions, so do not doubt the 4-season rating by Black Diamond. However some people get bothered by the flexing in the wind, feeling that the tent is about to get blown away as it folds and sheds strong gusts. Based on my Eldorado and the other similar designs, I know that some people consider this a comfortable to tight single person tent and 2 person only if the 2 are small or very friendly.

There is more than the pole count to deciding 3 or 4 season. The Hilight is clearly a 3-season tent. Note that it is not really a 3-pole tent. BD calls it a 2 and a half pole tent, with the "half pole" providing space more than strength. Unlike the Firstlight, it does not have an end entry, but a rather wide side entry, plus a large amount of mesh on the other side (that can be closed off). This produces some problems for winter storm usage, even if you add the weight of the optional vestibule. On the other hand, you can get a lot better ventilation if you are using the tent in warm or humid conditions than the Firstlight.

Note that both the Firstlight and Hilight do not meet fire safety standards in several states (California being one of them). So if you are in one of those states, you will have to buy the tent elsewhere (you can't ship the tents into California via web or mail order - you actually have to go out of state to get them). I won't get into the peculiarities of the fire safety rules here, but it does keep Hilleberg tents out of California as well.

9:12 p.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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The irony is, the fire safety rules keep some of Integral Designs (a Canadian company!) tarp shelters out of Canada too! And what about the year and a half we couldn't buy MSR fuel bottles because the cap wasn't up to Canada's child safety standards?

Thank god for web ordering!

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