Tent Choice

1:53 p.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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   In the past three years, I have camped at least once a month rain or shine for a weekend in the Texas/Oklahoma area. My current tent (Ozark Trail JW-8800) is on its last leg and I have been researching a replacement tent nearly non-stop for the past two months.

  Some criteria for my replacement tent: must be waterproof, must NOT fold on top of me in the wind, must be somewhat warm in the winter(+ 15 to +20 degrees), and be cool in the summer(+115 degrees). I know this is a wide range in temperature, but this is typical for my region.

  Some of the products on my short list include the Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL3, and the MSR Mutha Hubba. The Mutha Hubba appears, from all of the pictures, to be more stable in the wind i.e. the three-pole setup. I’m not limited to these, however they did make my short list. Price isn’t too much of a factor, however I would like to keep it under $500.00.

   Any guidance on this dilemma would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, Al.

2:22 p.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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Al, you just named two very capable tents which, in my opinion, should match the conditions you describe perfectly. I'd say you've been doing quite well with your research; I would only suggest you look into the offerings from the cottage manufacturers as well. Specifically, Henry Shires makes a tent called the Scarp 2 which I think might be worth looking at. his website is: Tarptent.com

Also, pyramid style tents are worth considering, in my opinion. Golite makes a model called the Shangri-La 3 which can be had with an optional inner net tent. Very roomy for the weight...

4:33 p.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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Hi Al, and wecome to trailspace. There sure are alot of choices out there. You would be looking for a three season tent. Get something with a full mesh inner tent with a good rainfly. How big to you need this tent? How much gear do you carry? At 15 degrees you will want a good sleeping bag too. Are you car camping or hiking in? Weight could factor in your decision. At $500 to spend the world is your osyter!

6:16 p.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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Thank you for responding and for welcoming me into the community. Regarding the full mesh tent, that's why I had narrowed my list to the Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL3 or the MSR Mutha Hubba though I am open for alternatives. As of yet, all I have done is car camping…that is soon to change. I still need to condition myself and my boys prior to a more rustic excursion... don’t want to become a statistic. As for gear, I mostly have sizable products to include a cot, however I’m not too attached to the cot…looking at a nice pad instead.

6:37 p.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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Thank you for responding and for welcoming me into the community. Regarding the full mesh tent, that's why I had narrowed my list to the Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL3 or the MSR Mutha Hubba though I am open for alternatives. As of yet, all I have done is car camping…that is soon to change. I still need to condition myself and my boys prior to a more rustic excursion... don’t want to become a statistic. As for gear, I mostly have sizable products to include a cot, however I’m not too attached to the cot…looking at a nice pad instead.

 if your looking into pads. I have the neoair and I love it. But I hear from others that the Big Agnus is just as good. So take a look around and let me know what you think..... It's always nice to hear someone else's opinion.

6:54 p.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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Will do, thank you.

7:41 p.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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I just got the nemo catalog in the mail today. I am really thinking of getting a Meta 2P in January.

 

7:06 p.m. on December 30, 2010 (EST)
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^ Just ordered the Meta 2P myself.

 

The only 3 person tent I've owned is the Golite Hex 3 (Shangri-La 3). It has been a great tent and in my opinion fits the description of what you are looking for. It is, however, more realistically for 2 people. It has a huge floor, but with a pole right in the center, it takes away the space needed to sleep 3 (there are other options for setting up this tent w/o the poll).

 

What's you price range?

10:57 a.m. on December 31, 2010 (EST)
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Less than $500.00.

1:56 p.m. on December 31, 2010 (EST)
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Al the golite shangrala-3 is 275-325. But you can also purchase a netting sytem for spring or summer thats an option. But it weighs only 3.pds total. it's for backpacking.design has turned to lightweight gear and what you would say old school design. Newer tech for materials but older designs from say 1950-1969's but its working.

5:21 p.m. on December 31, 2010 (EST)
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I have and love my Nemo Meta 2P. It is the best tent I have ever owned. I got it this past July and have used it on about 9 trips so far. I have encounter a very bad wind and rain storm(rain 6 inches one day, 3 inches the next! with winds around 25 with gusts up to 40) and it held up like a champ. And this past weekend I was out in the blizzard that hit the NE and got dumped on with 18inches of snow and winds were crazy bad with gusts up to 68mph recorded near me (not sure what they were where I was but would guess around 25-35mph sustained)

It is a single wall tent so condensation is a potential issue, but i have not had anything I would consider severe, and it's nothing a 30 second wipe down of the tent wont fix in the morning. It is a trekking pole tent, so if you don't have or use trekking poles it would probally be better to get something else.

11:18 p.m. on December 31, 2010 (EST)
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Less than $500.00.

 

If I were in your shoes,, I might go with the Nemo Losi Storm 3P:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/nemo/losi-storm-3p/

It's on sale right now For $368 (normally $500). This deal ends 1/25/2011.

Also one for $350....

Awesome 3 person, 3-4 season tent. Strong version of the Losi 3p. Still lightweight at 6lbs 5oz.

12:02 p.m. on January 1, 2011 (EST)
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Humble 67-

The Losi Storm is/was a contender. I'm worried about the lack of mesh and air-flow in the summer. Like the Mutha Hubba HP, I'm not sure they have a mesh door option. Thanks

7:03 p.m. on January 1, 2011 (EST)
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I have 2 of Eurekas Mountain Pass XTE series of tents. The 2 & 3p models and I love them. You can read the reviews I did on both models here. At $179 for the 2p and $240 for the 3p ya get an excellent durable tent with with alot of livable space. Plus ya have the option of mesh/no mesh on the inner tent entry points, and the vestibules are easily large enough for me to cook on unless I am using the George Foreman grill. Just kidding. Simply put its a great shelter with a lifetime warranty. Plus it will save ya some coin that you can put towards other necessities. Happy hiking.

11:07 a.m. on January 2, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks Rick. I'll take a look.-Al

9:00 p.m. on January 2, 2011 (EST)
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i have the mamort early light. it was 250 but i got it for 140 :D smart shopping. but anyways, its a good tent. i;ve spend a coupe of nights in it and have had ABSOLUTELY NO condensation build up in it. it has a ton of pockets comes with the foot print and that little thing that goes on the top of the tent that gives you a little shelf and it is like 90% mesh. i would highly recommend glancing at it. also i've noticed people say it sags, but its actually the fact that they get the fly on worng. logo goes on top of logo when your setting it up. take a look, itll catch your eye and I just all round love Marmot products. Great quality and its waterproof.

7:18 p.m. on January 3, 2011 (EST)
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Reading back though the post I see that you do mostly car camping. For car camping I use a larger Halford Dugdale. It is a more inexpencive tent, bigger, with a large porch area. We love the bigger tent for car camping.

 For backpacking you need a lighter tent without all the size, or weight.

I would spend the $500 on two tents. A good, but not a high dollar car camping tent. As car camping is more comfort driven. But on the trail you need a better tent as you will be far from your car. You need a tent that wont fold and fail.

I've got 5 tent for differant situations.

1 range tent for parties on the beach.

2 A backpacking 2 person tent for beach. This is a cheap but light tent. Sand is a killer of zippers.

3 A 2 person very nice tent for when Rita and I do trails together.

4 TNF Canyonlands for my longer solo trips

5 A Gander Mountain Blazer Solo for my shorter trips on heavly used trails. I sometimes feel uncomfortable with TNF on these trails. I have seen what tent envy can do.

6 the Dugdale for car camping.

Ok I've got 6 tents. LOL

BTW all those tents together dont add up to $500

5:33 p.m. on January 4, 2011 (EST)
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Reading back though the post I see that you do mostly car camping. For car camping I use a larger Halford Dugdale. It is a more inexpencive tent, bigger, with a large porch area. We love the bigger tent for car camping.

 For backpacking you need a lighter tent without all the size, or weight.

I would spend the $500 on two tents. A good, but not a high dollar car camping tent. As car camping is more comfort driven. But on the trail you need a better tent as you will be far from your car. You need a tent that wont fold and fail.

I've got 5 tent for differant situations.

1 range tent for parties on the beach.

2 A backpacking 2 person tent for beach. This is a cheap but light tent. Sand is a killer of zippers.

3 A 2 person very nice tent for when Rita and I do trails together.

4 TNF Canyonlands for my longer solo trips

5 A Gander Mountain Blazer Solo for my shorter trips on heavly used trails. I sometimes feel uncomfortable with TNF on these trails. I have seen what tent envy can do.

6 the Dugdale for car camping.

Ok I've got 6 tents. LOL

BTW all those tents together dont add up to $500

I've only been camping for three years...what is "tent envy"? 

6:20 p.m. on January 4, 2011 (EST)
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It's when you might have a very nice tent, and you go out exploring for the day only to come back to a tent that has been cut open and poles broken. I have only seen this once or twice. But that was enough for me. It usualy happens on very well traveled shorter trails. I figure that its kids that are out partying and taking a dislike to expensive gear. I personaly like walking around looking at what gear others carry. But I have no gear envy. :)

6:42 a.m. on January 5, 2011 (EST)
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Mike-

That's incredible! I will definitely keep that in mind for the future.

11:46 a.m. on January 5, 2011 (EST)
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I have had my campsite/tent vandalized before, and my vehicle at trailheads. I have also caught people snooping around others campsites. Now the only thing I leave behind is my vehicle. If I am going out of my camp it is to get water or wood and I try to keep camp in sight, I leave my dog in camp so that helps too. Otherwise I take all gear with me everytime. Your gear is your lifeline, take it with you. sadly thievery and vandalism seem to be on the rise.

12:14 p.m. on January 5, 2011 (EST)
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It hasnt happened to me yet. But like I said I have seen this once or twice in my 54 years. It seems to happen to nice gear. Thats why I call it tent envy. When I go on longer less traveled areas I carry my best gear. Setting up camp way off the trail. Remembering LNT. On trails that are heavly traveled I take my less expencive gear. I allways leave my car empty with doors unlocked. Unlocked doors = coming back soon. LOL

4:40 p.m. on January 5, 2011 (EST)
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I thought tent envy is where your tent leaks water all over the place and your friends tent is dry as a bone.

Anyway check out this... War on the homeless

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LABo_J3l3Ys

5:30 p.m. on January 5, 2011 (EST)
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That would be tent envy too. I remember a storm that took down many higher dollar tents, I was dry in a cheap Coleman. Priceless! And the first bathtub bottom tent that I bought for my little girl, a Wenibago, $16, never did leak. While everthing including mine got soaked! Sold me on bathtub floors forever. Tent envy, you bet ya.

5:38 p.m. on January 5, 2011 (EST)
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Reading back though the post I see that you do mostly car camping. For car camping I use a larger Halford Dugdale. It is a more inexpencive tent, bigger, with a large porch area. We love the bigger tent for car camping.

 For backpacking you need a lighter tent without all the size, or weight.

I would spend the $500 on two tents. A good, but not a high dollar car camping tent. As car camping is more comfort driven. But on the trail you need a better tent as you will be far from your car. You need a tent that wont fold and fail.

I've got 5 tent for differant situations.

1 range tent for parties on the beach.

2 A backpacking 2 person tent for beach. This is a cheap but light tent. Sand is a killer of zippers.

3 A 2 person very nice tent for when Rita and I do trails together.

4 TNF Canyonlands for my longer solo trips

5 A Gander Mountain Blazer Solo for my shorter trips on heavly used trails. I sometimes feel uncomfortable with TNF on these trails. I have seen what tent envy can do.

6 the Dugdale for car camping.

Ok I've got 6 tents. LOL

BTW all those tents together dont add up to $500

I think the two tent idea is a great one. What are thoughts on the Hubba for backpacking? Light, well ventilated, and bathtub floor.

7:24 p.m. on January 5, 2011 (EST)
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Tent envy! LOL Just take care of it and you will get years of enjoyment.

6:31 a.m. on January 6, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks Mike

3:36 p.m. on January 7, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Al, I might be late to the party, but since you're in the area, throw Academy's No-Limits Blanca Peak into the fold.  It's a two person backpacker tent that has weathered it's fair share of weather this season.  I reviewed it not too long ago here on Trailspace, and for the price, you can get one for yourself and you boys, or have a trusty back-up if you're absolutely set on having a big-name on the outside of your tent.

Good luck, bud, and see you out on those Texas trails!

10:58 a.m. on January 9, 2011 (EST)
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I thought tent envy is where your tent leaks water all over the place and your friends tent is dry as a bone.

I am glad this is cleared up,  I thought it was a mental disorder, fixating on the size of one's fly or pole...

Ed

7:54 p.m. on January 9, 2011 (EST)
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At one time I too was fixated on the larger ones. Always wanting a bigger and better one. Now Im very happy with the one I've got.

7:19 p.m. on January 12, 2011 (EST)
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I seriously have my radar on Nemo right now.  I too received their catalogue in the mail the other day (I really dont know why either) but they appear to make some really good stuff and the reviews of their products are all stellar.  I think Patagonia should start making tents now.  They'll all be made from recycled toilet paper tubes.  After one rainstorm you can trade it in and get a new one....lol. Just kidding.  I am serious about Nemo however.

4:28 p.m. on January 15, 2011 (EST)
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At an early age I was taught that you get what you pay for in camping equipment. That has proven to be so true.

I have owned three different brand name backpacking tents and a bivy bag (all different sizes).  All have performed very well.  I  paid a little more for quality and enjoyed each one. 

If you buy two tents, identical products would allow sharing parts some day. However, if you buy two different tents, one may prove to be superior and last a life time. 

 You are doing right by researching and asking around before buying. I think you will make the right choice. Read customer reviews under product listings. Compare them to your expected usage.

6:35 p.m. on January 16, 2011 (EST)
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Skibobroy, thank you for the reassurance of my possible selections. Like anything in life, if it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing right…that holds true with equipment. With all of the research I’ve conducted, I’ve realized there is no perfect tent that will do it all…though quite a few come close. I will be getting at least two tents, both of quality and warranty Thank you for being a soundboard, I truly appreciate it. AL

5:39 p.m. on January 17, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Al, I just saw this one at EBAY. Its an inexpencive tent that I have used for over 2 years.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Alpine-Design-Hiker-Dome-Tent-1-2-People-BRAND-NEW-/110637023634?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c27b0192

Mine is a glaciers edge. But it is the same tent made by northpole. If you look at the reviews you will notice that there are 2 makes of the hiker,biker tent. One has a rainfly, the other is a single wall. The rainfly one gets good reviews. The poles are cheap and will break. I bought some aluminum ones on ebay for $15. I took them apart, cut them to size and reshock corded them. For the money it is a great tent. You can see my review on the tent. In fact it is the tent I'm taking out this weekend. I can see this tent lasting agood 8-10 years.

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