Buying a new Tent

1:09 a.m. on September 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm getting back into hiking after a few years off, and I need to get a new tent. I'm looking for a 1 or 2 man tent that will be long enough for me; I'm 6' 2". I'll be doing solo hiking, so the weight may be a bit of an issue, but I'm willing to carry more for the comfort and space. I'm looking for a free standing tent that I don't have to peg out before puting the fly on.

The salesman at one of my local outfitters recomended the Sierra Designs Electron 2. He said it was the most popular tent they sell. I've checked it out online, aswell as the Sierra Designs Zeta 2. I'm also looking at the North Face Rock 22. I like the full vestibules, it is a must.

I like the space of all three, and the weight of the Zeta 2 is the best of the three at 6lbs 2oz packed weight. I don't want to go ultralight because I want the durability of the heavier tents.

Most of my hiking will be on the west coast of British Columbia and on Vancouver Island. We get alot of rain, so waterproffness is critical.

Any reviews on these would be great, also I'm open to other suggestions.

9:59 a.m. on September 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Have you looked at Nemo tents? I've got one and it's real sturdy. The Morpho looks awesome and the Losi 2p gets good reviews too.

Anybody as any first hand experience with those? I got my hands briefly on the Morpho this summer and my first impression was it's rock solid. It's on my christmas list for sure!

12:59 p.m. on September 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Weight does not necessarily equate with durability or long-term durability. I have seen light and ultralight tents that stand up quite well to severe weather, and I have seen tents made with heavy fabric and heavy poles collapse under what I would consider moderate conditions.A lot depends on the quality of the materials and workmanship - some light materials are much higher quality and stronger than some heavy materials, and some lightweight poles (such as Easton) are much stronger than some of the heavy ones.

Be sure to look at the gear review sections here on Trailspace.

3:11 a.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I had a Rock 22, and it was a solid, but very heavy tent. Sold it to finance a Double Rainbow.

10:42 a.m. on September 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I have a black diamond mesa tent, and love it. It is really easy to set up, and I haven't had any problems with it, It was a little expensive though. I don't think I have seen them for much less than $250.

Capacity : 2
Doors : 2
Average Packed Weight : 2.32 kg, 5 lb 2 oz
Minimum Weight : 2.08 kg, 4 lb 9 oz
Dimensions : 234 x 147 x 112 x 112 cm, 92 x 58 x 44 x 44 in
Area : 3.0 m², 32.5 sq ft
Vestibule Area : 0.8 + 0.8 m², 9 + 9 sq ft
Packed Size : 20 x 48 cm, 8 x 19 in

10:37 a.m. on September 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Weight does not necessarily equate with durability or long-term durability. I have seen light and ultralight tents that stand up quite well to severe weather, and I have seen tents made with heavy fabric and heavy poles collapse under what I would consider moderate conditions.A lot depends on the quality of the materials and workmanship - some light materials are much higher quality and stronger than some heavy materials, and some lightweight poles (such as Easton) are much stronger than some of the heavy ones.

Be sure to look at the gear review sections here on Trailspace.

Spot on bill.Read not only the reviews here but surf the web for as much info as you can.There are so many products on the market today and the sad truth is that a lot of companys do the same as auto manufacturers and change designs almost yearly just to have something different on the market,not ness better.Good luck and let us know what you decide.

7:07 p.m. on September 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I really like the Big Agnes tents, great quality, reasonable pricing and oftentimes you can find them on sale. For instance I picked up a Big Agnes Parkview 3 which retailed for over 250, at 120 including shipping. I am extremely impressed with their vestibules and ease of set up which were both aspects you were looking for.

9:02 p.m. on September 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I have used a LOT of light tents all over BC and there is one brand that I find simply eclipses all others for use in heavy sustained rains. This is Hilleberg and they are NOT "cheap", nor the "lightest", but, they ARE, absolutely the BEST tents I have ever used.

I have the Saivo heavyduty expedition tent and find this just about as "perfect" a basecamp shelter as I can imagine and would trust it anywhere. I also have the Soulo and it is a super one person tent and weighs 4 lbs 10 oz; it will handle the worst snow and rain storms.

For more general use, I think I would use an Allak with two doors and excellent venting, especially after this summer's hot weather. This weighs over 6 lbs., but, it is luxury and will sleep two in comfort.

I will not buy anything except Hilleberg tents, now, and am planning on acquiring two more next year. They are actually WORTH the substantial cost. HTH.

1:16 p.m. on September 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I don't think i can afford a hilleberg tent, as nice as they look.

3:18 p.m. on September 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Check them all out Westcoaster.I too live on some kind of budget.One that does not let me always buy the "best" gear but have found that there are plenty of good gear companys out there.Some of my tents are over 20 years old and still work well.Bottom line is that if not planning on hard core conditions you dont need a hard core tent.For summer solos in Oregon and Washington there are lots to chose from that wont wipe out your bank account.Good luck and let us know what you decide on.ymmv

9:31 p.m. on September 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Big Agnes tents are my favorite, and they are definitely affordable as they are regularly on sale (Sierra Trading Post, REI Outlet, SteepandCheap)

10:26 p.m. on September 28, 2009 (EDT)
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I have seen new-condition Integral Designs and Hilleberg tents for sale on this and other hiking forums and at very good prices. If, you have the self discipline to save your bux and be ready to jump, you might well find that you can buy a "new" tent for a great price.

What is your approx. budget as you did not specify this and it would be easier to make specific suggestions if one knew the financial parameters involved.

My e-mail is wodaxe@msn.com and I live in Vancouver except when out in the bush. I cannot figure the PM system here, if there is one and am rather "challenged" where computers are concerned. If, you e-mail me and provide a phone number, I may be able to help you get what you need in a tent that WILL handle the worst BC weather and some of the lighter, cheaper ones will not.

10:36 p.m. on September 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Have a look at this: MEC lightfield 250$ can. Looks like a tough tent!

Sleeps two.Floor is 10,000mm coated HT-Seal™ nylon taffeta. Canopy is 30-denier Tensilk-HT™, undyed for greater strength and reduced effluent.Flysheet is 2000mm coated polyester taffeta with DWR (durable water repellency).Yunan Hercules® scandium alloy poles.Floor area is 3.1sq. m., total vestibule area is 1.2sq. m.Height inside is 0.95 m. Minimum weight is 3.4kg, packaged weight is 3.7kg.Packed size is 60 x 22cm.

10:46 p.m. on September 28, 2009 (EDT)
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There is nothing so expensive as a piece of gear that does not meet its requirements: a sleeping bag that is not as warm as it was thought to be, a tent that does not keep you dry enough, a stove that will not start under any but moderate conditions, etc. All of a sudden, when you are cold, wet, or hungry, the money you saved does not matter, does not matter, does not matter.

Get the gear you need.

I can't say "hang the expense" because I don't live that way either. So instead I say "hang the timetable" because you can save for the gear you need if you are willing to wait. Delayed gratification beats the bejeezus out of hypothermia.

Or, MEC (for instance) has rentals. Do they have a bulletin board where you could post a "wanted to buy" notice?

Or, as Dewey said, there are great buys in lightly used gear, if you are willing to wait for them.

While this is more along the lines of Scout/car camping than backpacking, I had my eyes on a Coleman cot that would fit perfectly in my Timberline 4 tent but did not have the money to spend $99 on it. One day I walked into a local store and the floor model was on sale for $40. Bingo!

I camped and hiked on Vancouver Island and the Rockies in eastern BC back in 1984. I fell in love with the area and hope to return someday. I am sure you can find, in the midst of all that bounty, many ways to enjoy the wilderness. Don't tie yourself down too tightly to one paradigm.

11:03 p.m. on September 28, 2009 (EDT)
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I have the Zeta 2 on the way. Will be trying out this weekend. Really wanted Big Agnes Emerald.

12:30 a.m. on September 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Dewey-no PM system here, so email is best.

A suggestion for looking online. There is a free program called Craigslist Reader you can download. It will troll through every Craigslist city you select anywhere they exist and saves hours of doing it manually. I have used it and it works great. I found something I was looking for in another city, emailed the owner and made a deal. You can find it using Yahoo, then download it from their site.

Finding a specialty item like a winter tent is the ideal use for the program. I spent hours looking for a pair of ski boots before I heard about the program.

6:16 a.m. on September 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Tom, thanks a bunch! I'll check for the craiglist program, i'm always on the lookout for special overpriced imported gear and this can be very useful indeed.

I'm leaving in a couple of hours to the wet and muddy tundra for 2 weeks, i'll write a trip report when i get back.

12:44 p.m. on September 30, 2009 (EDT)
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I am leaning heavily towards the Sierra Designs Electron 2. I've been inside both the Electron 2 and the Zeta 2 at Robinsons Outdoor Store in Victoria, and the Electron fits the pad I want better than the Zeta. Also if I'm stretched out my head and feet hit the walls of the Zeta. I'm planning to get the Exped SynMat 7 DLX. I'm a 6'2" side sleeper, so I want the comfort of the SynMat.

I'm checking around for sales, but the best prices seem to be down in the States. Maybe the boxing day sales will be better. I'm in no hurry until the spring, and I've heard that when the new models of tents come out they reduce the prices on last years models.

The Electron 2 is priced at $300CND, and it includes the gear attic and footprint.

The Zeta 2 is priced at $240-260 and does not have any extras

7:28 p.m. on October 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Guess I just got a good deal on the Zeta 2. New in box on ebay for $101 including shipping. $27 plus shipping for the foot. Seam grip is drying right now. It is a little small, but fine for me at under 6'.

9:48 p.m. on October 13, 2009 (EDT)
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Well, I've decided on the Sierra Designs Electron 2. I found it online at www.campsaver.com for $150 USD. With the exchange rate and shipping it will be less than $200 CND. So that means more money for other gear.

Campsaver.com has lots of great deals. They also have free shipping on some products in the lower 48 States. Definitely worth checking out for low cost gear.

I should have my tent within 2 weeks.

December 22, 2014
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