Eureka! Timberline 2
Price Paid: 7 dollars
Bought a used timberline 2 about fifteen years ago at a garage sale for $7. it makes a great winter tent if you set up in the woods, wind and rain can cause problems.
i sewed a couple of loops on the fly and use it alone in the summer.
all and all a real classic and the best 7 dollar deal ever!
Price Paid: $80
Perhaps the most recognized tent in the US for a reason. I bought an extra fly with vestibule at both end to use when the weather forecast looks like rain.
I have owned mine for about 15 years with no breakdowns. I am rather anal about using a groundcloth both inside and out as well as seam sealing. As a result the only rain to ever get in was when I went for a short hike and left the screen open and the rain blew in.
I just wish that it were about 2 pounds lighter, but I suppose that weatherproofing comes at a cost in ounces.
I have been in Boy Scouts my whole life, got my Eagle, and now I am a leader with my troop. Since I joined, my troop has always used the 2-man and 4-man Timberlines. I have used them any where from torrential rainstorms, to snowstorms where we have gotten 6 inches of snow overnight. I find that they vent very well in the summer, and retain heat well in the winter.
They also have a very long life, I know that after VERY hard use some of our tents are still trucking at over ten years. They are heavy though so the Scouts must divide the tent parts in two to share the weight while camping. And you MUST stake out the fly and use the guidelines, if you want to stay dry. I wouldn't want to trust our scouts' wellbeing to any other tent.
Design: A-frame freestanding Gold Standard tent
Ease of Setup: Super Easy!
Weight: 7 lbs
Price Paid: $100
This tent is THE Gold Standard for A-frame shaped tents.
During my college days I spent two months with thirty others on a geology-focused camping trip through Alaska. We had about ten different types of tents, including several sizes of the Eureka Timberline. Everyone had a chance to set up and sleep in the various tent brands. The college kids did a lot of "sleeping around" AND tent testing on that co-ed trip!
CONCLUSION OF ALL THIRTY PEOPLE: Timberline is best tent by an order-of-magnitude. It vastly outperformed every other tent we had on that trip. I'll always remember that experience. When you spend 60-days straight sleeping in a tent through wind and rain, you LEARN it really makes a difference to have a quality tent!
Design: 2 person A-frame
Ease of Setup: easier than domes by long shot
Weight: 6lbs 8ozs
Price Paid: $119.95
Heavier than others by a pound or two BUT, if there are two of you going split the weight. You won't be sorry you've got a Timberline when the weather gets bad!
Since 1975 I've weathered pounding, unrelenting, torrential rain, driving snow, wet snow, light snow and temps to the single digits in mine and other people's and they are, without a doubt, the most weather proof tent you can backpack that I've ever seen PERIOD
They are easy to set, can be set in the rain without getting the interior wet, are easy to tear down and pack. Yeah, you can get a lighter one but, I'll bet it's a lot smaller, not nearly as durable and you'll probably wake up wet more than once. I've actually woken up with the tent in two to three inches of rainwater runoff and not one drop came into the tent. You could poke the floor with you finger and it resembled a water bed.
It is easy to ventilate, has good breathability but, manages to hold heat in the cold. A candle lantern makes a noticeable difference in interior temperature. I don't know how to rate it any higher. The only way I think the tent could be designed any better (other than with an automatic setup and tear down feature and built-in wetbar) would be to keep the exact same size and weatherproof qualities and make in two pounds lighter. It's simply the best I've experienced for two people.
If you are a diehard, purist who cuts the handle off their toothbrush and drills holes in whats left to save weight you probably won't like it. If it never rains, snows or sleets when you camp then, you don't need it. If you camp where I do, you'll never do without one.
They were $126 in 1975. Now, Campmoor has them for $119! I just ordered a new one because my youngest daughter wants me to take her and some of her college buddies backpacking, we'll need the space and I don't want to throw my money away on junk.
Design: 3 season, "A"-frame with exterior supports.
Ease of Setup: Very easy.
Price Paid: ~$100
I bought this tent to help my son (10 yrs) with a Cub Scout requirement of setting up a tent by himself. My son quickly understood how to setup the tent and can do it by himself. He can set it up within 15 minutes. Broken down the tent is slightly bulky.
We bought the pad that was designed for the tent, which fits perfectly under the tent.
I have not had the opportunity to use the tent in adverse weather, so I can't comment on that.
The interior space is tight and doesn't have much room for additional items. So, if you get this tent, you will have to plan on leaving some items outside of the tent.
Pros: Price, ease of setup
Cons: Limited interior space, broken down the tent is slightly bulky
Design: three+ season free standing external frame wedge
Ease of Setup: easy, but there are tricks
Weight: 7.5 lbs
Price Paid: about $75
A solid cabin in the woods. I have owned my Timberline for more than 25 years, buying it after a budget tent blew down in a storm. I have used it for backpacking, canoeing, biking, and skiing. It sets up easily in less then 10 min, once you figure it out. (Set up the frame first, attach the bottom of the frame to the tent pins, loop the peak elastics around the top, then add on the fly and frame end pieces). It has shrugged off storms, wind and snow. Although at 7+ lbs it is a little heavy, I am pretty big, and I soloed in it until I got married. Then I added the vestibule for our packs and my wife and I used it. Now my son has gotten into Scouting and I am an ASM. Guess what is the most common tent at Scout outings?
This tent has been very reliable for me. It flexes some in the wind, but I usually am in the woods and have not had any problems. I waterprrof and seam seal it about once a year, and am careful about drying it after each trip.
I recently added the annex, but my old tent is missing a hook that is on the newer ones, so I may have to get out the needle and thread. At the same time, I am getting older and less flexible. Maybe it is time for something a little bigger... If so, it will probably be a Timberline 4XT.
Design: 3.5 season free-standing
Ease of Setup: It is probably a 5 minute job, but it will take 20-30 mile an hour winds without guyouts
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Price Paid: $100
Bomb-proof! It is not light, but it is tough. I have slept 3 in a pinch. With the vestibule, I feel like I have a fabric house. My husband has one from the 70's from his scouting days our kids still use! Just this year, we discovered a hole in a corner that is fully repairable.
This tent kept me out for extra days in rotten rain this summer. The only real wet came when I did not set up the ground cloth right, and I was able to take care of the water easily. While I am looking for a lighter "fair-weather" tent, one cannot beat this tent for great features at reasonable split weight.
Design: 3 Season (but used year round)
Ease of Setup: 2 minutes max
Weight: 6-8 lbs
Price Paid: cheap!
I've owned a 2 man Timberline for over 8 years and simply love it. It's not the fanciest, not the lightest and definetly not the latest high-tech whizbang tent, but it's tough, durable and keeps me dry constantly.
My Boy Scout troop uses Timberline 4 man tents and they seriously go thru hell on a regular basis. Boys are rough and careless.
The current tents are around 5 years old, and other than bent poles and broken shock cords due to carelessness, we've had no problems at all with them at all.
Two thumbs up!
Ease of Setup: Super Easy!
This tent is simply awesome. My dad and I bought this tent almost 10 years ago to backpack into high lakes and meadows in late September during elk season.
We rarely camp below 7000' with this tent. Setup is quick and easy. We can set it up in 10 minutes in the dark. Keeps the rain and snow out. Warms up nicely for an afternoon nap. Quick takedown and easy to take care of.
I'd buy another without thinking about it.
Design: 4 season A frame
Ease of Setup: easy
Price Paid: $100
Actually this is a question. We've owned our Timberline for six years and we are very pleased with it. We are about to embark on a month-long backpacking excursion and are wondering if we should reinforce its waterproofing with a 13% silicon heavy duty water repellent. The tent has never leaked but with its age and the duration of our trip we were trying to figure out if it would be a good idea. If you can give any input on this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Design: 3 season modified A-frame
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Weight: 6 lb-15 oz
Price Paid: $99.99 (Campmor)
This is possibly the most popular backpacking tent ever, and for good reason. It is free-standing, easy to set up, has good ventilation, and gives good weather protection. As with all A-frames, the steep sidewalls mean you must sit-up in the center. Also it is a little heavier than dome tents or hoop tents with equivalent floor area. With the optional vestibule it can be an adequate winter tent. In my opinion it is the best backpacking tent for the money.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: Moderate - 10 minutes
Weight: 6 lbs, 6 oz.
Price Paid: $100 US
Although not a "light" tent for backpacking, I'm impressed with the quality of the tent (I've used mine for 15 years). It sleeps 2 adults OK, but need additional room for packs. I've been in 60 MPH winds in this tent and it held up very well. Stakes required on sidewalls to maximize interior space. Makes a great one person tent - just wish it was a little lighter.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: 10 minutes
Weight: around 6 pounds
Price Paid: $150
Have had this tent since 1977. Been through torrential rain, snow, heat (have thrown the worst at it). Never any problems whatsoever. Sleeps two fine, but cramped with gear. Excellent heat retension in winter, never froze even at 12k+ feet in the eastern sierras. Lightweight and easy to arrange on the backpack. Highly recommended.