1,338 forum posts
Hey all, here's yet another "tent selection" thread :).
I am looking for a tent for solo backpacking. I currently have a Mountain Hardwear Skyview 1.5 shown here:
From the size (it's a "1.5"), and the looks, you'd expect it to be reasonably light. But it weighs in at almost 8 1/2 lbs PLUS the footprint which is another full pound. It's also fairly bulky when packed (approx 7 x 22). I guess I could scrunch it down a little more if I really worked at it. It's got plenty of room inside, I really like the window options (very wide open, or all closed up). It's withstood some pretty windy & bad weather conditions over the years. And (except for the fly) it's truly free standing. But the weight, while fine for car-camping, is outrageous for solo backpacking.
I've backpacked with this tent before, but it's one factor that caused my pack to tip the scales at 65 lbs+. OUCH. No wonder I haven't gone backpacking in almost 3 years... I've been doing all car/Jeep camping.
I'd like to upgrade my kit to do more backpacking again. It gives me a feeling I can't get camping any other way, even on a relatively remote Jeep road.
Here are my requirements (and wish list)
1. Weight in ~3lb range (preferably less, and no more than a few ounces over) including footprint. I prefer the manufacturer's footprint to the plastic sheets people talk about here, because the little grommets for the poles make it easier to set up the tent :)
2. I am 6' so need plenty of length to fit without rubbing the ends. And don't want to feel like I'm wrapped up in a tube.
3. free standing
4. preferably a neutral color that'll blend into the natural environment
5. preferably have the option of opening or closing screened windows & roof like my current tent does (none of the UL tents I've found have this feature)
I've narrowed my selection down to these:
1. Tarptent Moment
2. Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 1 http://www.trailspace.com/gear/big-agnes/copper-spur-ul1/
3. MSR Hubba HP http://www.trailspace.com/gear/msr/hubba-hp/
The Tarptent is the lightest by far. And it's the least expensive by over $100. But it's an all mesh upper body so it has the same issues as the Hubba HP (see below). And the kicker is every time I look at their site, the backorder date is pushed out further. I want a tent I can use this summer. So for all practical purposes it's "vaporware" at this point.
So it's really down to the Copper Spur and the Hubba HP. Both are the same price and about the same weight (about 3 lbs + about 5 ounces for the footprint). The real difference is that the Hubba HP is closed in, with just a couple small windows (which don't close).
Thinking back to how I've used my Skyview 1.5, there have been times when I keep it closed up ... I've camped in some pretty strong winds, and in cold (e.g. 15 degree, ... cold to me :) weather. On the other hand, camping in the Sierra in the summer, there have been lots of times I've skipped the fly altogether, and opened up the big door and roof panels and enjoyed the view of the stars.
So I really do enjoy the openness of a mesh upper body... in good weather. Yet other times I need to close it up ... it's windy & dusty ... or snowing (though I'm not looking for a true 4-season tent) ... or it's just plain cold...
So I'm in a quandary. It's almost as if I need both... and need to be able to forecast the conditions before each trip ... the Hubba HP for cold or windy weather, and the Copper Spur for warm summer weather (and hope it doesn't get windy and blow dust). And my current Skyview for car camping :).
But I really don't want to buy 2 more tents, especially not at $350 each!!!
What do you all think? Thanks in advance... :)