Tent Comparison

8:49 a.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey guys I was hoping I could tap into this well of knowledge some more and get some advice on two tents I've been comparing!

I was at MEC yesterday looking at the MSR Hubba Hubba 2 person, which they had set up so we got to check it out. While a cozy two person, it wasn't too small, and had lots of head space and was quite light. This is it:

MSR Hubba Hubba

Later online however I found another tent that seemed almost exactly the same in many regards but $150 cheaper.

MEC Camper 2

The Camper 2 is slightly heavier but not significantly so, and it's also bigger, and the Hubba Hubba is nylon while the Camper is polyester. Is this enough to merit a $150 price difference? It seems to me like the Camper 2 is at great value, but as I am new to this I am still learning how to recognize cheap from great value. What do you guys think?

10:12 a.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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You could throw this in the mix and save some dough.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000MAOEB4/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/186-4266237-3871648

$98 out the door/free ship. Normally $170.

4:05 p.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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First of all don't count on the manufactures "person rating".  Example, I just set up my Dana designs Garuda Trikaya to treat it's "sticky tent syndrome".  It is listed as a three preson tent and is is 66 in wide.  The thinnest matts I have are 21 in wide (have you ever tried to sleep on a space of 21 in wide with out moving and disturbing your tent mates?)   So, 3x21=63.  Leaving just three in of extra space for three people.  I measure about 24 in midwaist arms at my side elbow top elbow.   I consider the Trikaya a 2 person + gear tent.  If I recall correctly you said in one of you previous posts you will be camping with your boyfriend.  This makes a huge difference in deciding what the sizing on a tents "person rating".  Remember you will also have two large packs that will equal the size of another person.  Vestuables are a very valuable source of stroage space but remember, you have to get in and out of the tent and you need areas for drying of clothing and taking off and keeping your boots and coats/jackest.  Also remember, in a down pour the vestubles have no floor.  Everthing on the ground can end up wet thru wicking.  It does not take long for water to wick across the ground, even if you have set your tent up properly.  Another thought.  Usually your tent will be used for sleeping, naps, to paly cards, or other fun activities ;-},  If the weather turns nasty you could have to spend a long time in there (24hrs or more).  Not only does size become important but so does color (never buy a blue tent/fly).  Then there is the polyester/nylon debate.  Nylon is a stronger material and makes a more structurally sound tent (so they say),  while polyester is more UV resistant.  As I keep all my tents for a really long time I opt for better UV resistance myself.  I usually size tents buy saying a 2 person tent is a 1 person + gear, a 3 person is a 2 + gear, and so on.  If your shopping at REI then ask them if you can set up both tents side by side, put mats and bags in them and fill with the amount of gear you will have with you (this will also give you the chance to get the feel of alot of new gear).  Now pretend camp, pull your gear in and out, get in and take your boots off,  play a couple of hands of cards, put your boots back on in the vestuable as remeber, your boots are all muddy and wet.  Don't forget to read your review's.  I know that picking a tent can become daunting as there are so many tents with so many options but it's like choosing a car.  Make a list of your tent needs, wants, and how much your willing to spend.  This will eliminate 95% of the tents out there.  Don't forget older tents of past years that have many reviews and are time tested.   Remember your tent is your shelter, don't skimp to save a buck.   As you can tell I have a lot of fun picking out tents.

5:45 p.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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3,962 forum posts

A few other things to take into consideration. Tent dimensions are based on grommet to grommet measurements not interior floor space. That's what I got from BA. "Its the standard for measurement in the industry."

Apeman is spot on in regards to occupancy. Manufacturers are very generous in their occupancy ratings. A 3 man tent is my 2 man.

Sloping sidewalls can eat up interior space. The more vertical the sidewalls the better the interior space/usable vestibule area..

Tents with single front entrances tend to have a few problems I have personally experienced. When entering or exiting there is a good chance that rain is gonna enter the inner being it is most likely going to be exposed when ya open the fly. Also the vestibule space on these tents tends to be very minimal being the slope of the entrance eats up a bit of vestibule space. There are models that incorporate another pole that creates a tunnel and extends the fly but I have only seen this on 4 season models.

Let's see here.... Ummmm....

I would suggest if going for a dual entrance model get one that incorporates a ridge pole. They typically span from entrance to entrance. When the fly is on this creates an overhang above the entrance. Keeps the rain out of the inner when ya open the fly and you can sometimes leave the vestibule open for ventilation or to just watch the rain.

Vents- the higher the better. There is a recent thread here somewhere that discusses venting. If I remember it was titled Tentilation.

On tent inners I have noticed that tents that have mesh starting up a lil higher are nice because it cuts down the splashing effect that can get under the fly in a heavy downpour. It also cuts down on spindrift getting in during blowing snow.

And last but not least.... Interior height. I have a Copper Spur UL1 and the height at the head end of the tent is great for sitting up. It gradually slopes down as it makes its way to the foot end of the tent. This isn't a problem for a solo tent but it might be something to take into consideration when there is more than on person in the tent. A few of Big Agnes models incorporate this design. Hope this helps a bit, happy hiking.

10:20 a.m. on May 15, 2011 (EDT)
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If I remember correctly you and BF are going hunting this winter with extra gear. I don't think the Zephyr 2 is going to be big enough and the all mesh inner wall design may not be warm enough.  If you are looking for a summer tent the zephyr is great. I am from Florida and I have no experience with snow.

After looking at the MSR vs the MEC.  The MSR has the ridge pole that Rick mentioned. If you are going to use the tent in the winter take a look at Alps Mountaineering's Extreme 3. I have read somewhere that it was sturdy enough for snow and holds up to winds well. The hybrid CE3 from alps offers a more waterproof floor (3000 mm coating vs 2000) if you think you'll run into wet ground a lot.



9:32 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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56 forum posts

The MSR Hubba Hubba is one of the best tents I've owned. I think it's perfect for your Rocky Mountain trip, but it sounds like you'll have some winter trips that will require some more room.

Here is another recommendation if you need a little extra space for around the same price range. It's a 3 person tent, a little heavier, but I figure the more opinions you get the better off you'll be. It's the Marmot Limelight 3:

http://www.backcountry.com/marmot-limelight-3-person-tent-w-footprint-and-gear-loft

There's always the GoLite Shangri-La 3, which has tons of room for 2 people, is lightweight, and sturdy. If you find some decent snow stakes it will work great for any winter use. I own the GoLite Hex 3 shelter and nest and love it. It's the 2005 version of the Shangri-La. I know there are some great sales going on right now.

8:27 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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56 forum posts

^ A bummer with the shangri-la I didn't think to mention.. a poll in the middle. makes it kinda hard to snuggle.

August 23, 2014
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