Stephenson's Warmlite Warmlite 3R
Design: 2 hoop non freestanding
Ease of Setup: no brainer
Weight: 3.75 lbs
Price Paid: 675 USD
The 3R is awesome! We have used many tents over the years for long treks in the northern Canadian Rockies, typically we go for four to six weeks at at time. The tent is subjected to all sorts of crazy weather at any given time (hail storms, wind storms, rain storms, baking hot or freezing cold weather) and has held up perfectly.
We were a bit taken aback when we got the tent. Ours has one X-large door at one end and a regular door on the other, as well as two large side windows. It looks and feels dramatically different from any other tent I have used in 2+ decades.
Although the zips look skimpy, they perform perfectly well as long as you are semi-careful with your gear, which we are. The poles (pre-bent wide diameter) take some getting used to, but work very well and set up is FAST. We get into some pretty hairy weather in the northern Rockies where we need to set up quickly, and the tent is great that way.
Although we like the two doors, if we were to re-buy another Stephenson's tent we probably would get just the two reg doors, as the X-large door adds 2 oz of weight. We would still get the two large side windows though, awesome for views, ventilation etc.
The tent has NEVER leaked once we first seam sealed it. We appreciate the room of the 3R for two people, as we can stow lots of gear and still have our x-wide sleeping mats in there. Some condensation can form in the single wall cones as the ends of the tent, which we wipe down with a small square of packtowel before we tear down the tent. The condensation, as little as it is, has never made our stowed gear even damp, nor has it affected our sleeping bags. We also notice that the condensation is only really present when there are severe temp. changes (75F during the day 15F at night) as there it typically in the northern Rockies.
If the weather is crappy, you can adust the tension of the tent from the inside which is a real bonus. Over the last three years we noticed that one of the internal edges of the one of the large windows has frayed slightly, which we repaired with the silicone they supplied.
That's about it. We love the space, the light weight, the easy set up, the whole shebang. We would only replace this tent with another Stephenson's 3R exactly like it.
Ease of Setup: fair
Weight: 3-4 pounds
Price Paid: $850
This is the most pathetic excuse for a tent. It is very fragile, gets holes in it both in the fabric of the walls and the mosquito netting, which is the most fragile, the poles are fragile, and it gets so much humidity and ventilates so poorly as to be like you are sleeping in a slow drizzle outside.
When sleeping with the front door completely open and ensuring that the back is kept free to ensure airflow, you still have to wipe it off every 2 hours to keep your bag somewhat dry. With the front door shut, you have to wipe the inside of the tent every hour to keep dry.
We have since moved to the Hilleberg tent, which is the same weight, very durable and completely dry all night.
Finally, since the tent has no vestibule and the front slopes back you get the inside of tent a mess in a storm of any type and there is no where to stage wet or muddy items. When contacted, the company's customer support about the idea of a vestibule they just insulted me and told me I obviously had no experience or knowledge. I have been camping, hiking and backpacking for 50 years.
Lastly the tent has not much room.
Where to Buy
The Stephenson's Warmlite Warmlite 3R is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Stephenson's Warmlite website.
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