Looking for a new winter tent

1:01 p.m. on December 29, 2012 (EST)
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First of all I should say that by winter I meen loads of rain. The tent that I have, though very water proof, sets up inner first. And thats allways a problem, as I'm setting up or tearing down in the rain. So an outer first is the biggest need. I'm looking at a 2 person tent, 2 doors, and plenty of room for all the winter gear without sharing the space inside with me.

My budget is slim. The Quechua Quick hiker II seems to fit the bill. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about this tent?

Would there be another tent that you would recomend?

1:18 p.m. on December 30, 2012 (EST)
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My suggestion is what ever tent you do get make sure the fly and door arrangement is such that you can enter the tent with out rain getting inside.  The MSR Hubba tents are an example of a dry entry system. 

But before you limit yourself to a tent that sets up fly first, consider a free standing tent can be erected under trees where there is protection from the rain, then moved to the site of your choice, thus minimizing the amount of wetness on the inner walls.  Another option is bringing along a medium size tarp to use as a rain fly for cooking and just hanging out.  (Who likes to lay around in a tent anyway?)  Pitch the tarp first; then you will have a protected space where you can erect the free standing tent without getting wet.


6:03 p.m. on January 1, 2013 (EST)
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It's inexpensive, but wow is it heavy. The Scarp tents at TarpTent are quite a bit lighter, as are their Stratospire tents. Nemo's Meta tents are also worth considering, if your budget allows, because they're spacious and quite a bit lighter than the Quechua you mentioned.

I wondered for a while why inner first pitches are typical rather than the much more practical all-in-one pitches. I think that it's partly due to being cheaper and easier to design and manufacture, but and partly due to the fact that most tents aren't made for people who are willing to camp in inclement weather.

Freestanding tents are all well and good, but usually quite a bit heavier than comparably robust non-free standing tents, e.g. the TarpTent Stratsospire 2 at 1.1 Kg or the Nemo Meta at 1.1 Kg, compared to the TarpTent Scarp 2 at 1.7 Kg, let alone the Quechua Quickhiker 2 at 2.7 Kg.

You also ought to have a look at the Little Bug Out from Seek Outside. It's modular, so if you get the base + nest + vestibule, you'd get quite a bit more space than what you'd get in most tents, and a weight of around 3 pounds for a double wall and a huge vestibule.  The down side of course is that it is also a bit on the pricey side, due to a combination of small volume (read: custom) manufacturing and expensive ultralight fabrics.

There is of course a trade off; a large part of the weight savings is from using higher end, lightweight fabrics that are fairly expensive compared to the PU fabrics more common on lower end tents, so the ultralight tents do tend to cost more than the heavier ones. As always, it's a trade off.

6:58 p.m. on January 1, 2013 (EST)
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hilleburg soul-o! actually, more like a kelty salida 2.:P

7:14 a.m. on January 2, 2013 (EST)
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Looking to stay under $200. I'm on the Oregon coast and often get hit with high winds and non stop rains. IMHO 6lbs is not to much to carry for a winter tent out here.

I'm looking over seas now and have found the Easy Camp Shadow 200. Don't like the FG poles but I can easly replace them. I allso don't have a problem with the Poly (cheap tarp) floor. Far to often the ground can go from wet to a small pond very fast.

1:50 p.m. on January 2, 2013 (EST)
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With a $200 budget, it's probably going to be tough to find an option that weighs less than 6 pounds for a winter tent. My winter shelter is minimalist and weighs under 3 pounds with two entrances and two vestibules, but I got it on sale for $190. I think the regular price is $299.

3:15 p.m. on January 2, 2013 (EST)
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In looking at the video and specs for the Quechua Quick Hiker II, I would say there are better choices. 2.7kg (abt 6 pounds)? Ok, it's supposed to be a winter tent (doesn't look like a winter-capable tent to me from the video). The way the guy in the video throws the pole out to let the bungies crash the pole together will quickly put burrs on the pole sections - yeah, we do that sort of thing when doing tent-setup races, but it is really hard on the gear. The couple looked crowded inside the tent in the video, certainly little room to bring any gear inside. The vestibule (ummm, vestibule???) looks to be too small even for the "shoes under the fly" storage.

You are on the Oregon coast - the Quechua is a 2-pole tent, not good for windy conditions or snow load.

11:15 a.m. on January 3, 2013 (EST)
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Thanks Bill. I've now ruled out that tent. I'm now looking at the Robens Cozy Dreamer Adventure tent. It's a tunnel tent with a 5000mm HH. We don't get much snow here so snow load is not that big of a consideration. Yes it is heavier, but weight is not that big of an issue in the winter, more concerned on safety in the winter.

Any thoughts?

5:52 p.m. on January 7, 2013 (EST)
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How about the Chaos 2 from Alps Mountaineering?  I've got the 3 man version.  You can set it up fly first if you use the foot print.  It can be had for less that $200.

9:15 p.m. on January 7, 2013 (EST)
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I've been looking for a good winter tent for two for several years and think I've found it. I just bought a Tarptent Scarp 2 and the ripstop inner tent (with optional crossing poles).

Two doors, two vestibules and 3 can fit in in a squeeze by alternating head-to-toe.

I then purchased a heavy duty main pole (larger diameter and more wall thickness) from Tentpole Technologies, for greater resistance to wind deformation and wet snow load. I am now in the process of cutting the exterior crossing poles to fit inside the fly for more canopy support. I did this on my TT Moment with great success.

I've sewn the formerly exterior grommeted webbing tabs inside at each corner above the CF corner rods. These recieve the shortened crossing pole plastic peg ends.

Then I sewed Velcro cable ties inside to the 12 reinforcements of the exterior crossing pole attatchments. These cable ties hold the crossing poles in place, especially in high winds.

Photos to follow soon.

This all sounds complicated but is fairly easy.

Unfortunately the Scarp 2 with crossing poles is twice your budgeted $200. Plus you will need to seam seal it, as with all tarptent models. Use a a silnylon compatable sealer.


9:19 p.m. on January 8, 2013 (EST)
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Looking around today I checked out ebay. There it was a Marmot Widi 2 newly listed and new for $195, I pressed on the buy now, one second to late.

I havent check out the big names so I decided it was time. This is more an exercise of dreaming as I didn't expect to find any thing in my budget. Then it showed up. The Terra Nova, Wild Country, Assend 2. It was in my price range. Happy again, I studied it. My thoughts were that it wouldn't handle the winds that I get out here. But it looks like a high quality tent. Just not the right one. So I kept looking.

Then.... then.... The Terra Nova Duolite.

Wham Bam Thank you!

Only $8 over budget. Less weight than I thought. Outer first. Highly water proof. And sounds well vented.

There is a great review on this tent right here on trailspace. Looks like the right fit for my needs. I wouldn't have guessed that I could afford a tent like this. I'm a happy man :)

11:51 p.m. on January 8, 2013 (EST)
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Looks good. Nice vestibule. With deep enough (compacted) snow you can dig down one foot in the entire vestibule footprint area, sit in your main tent entrance and cook in the lowered vestibule floor with the vestibule mostly closed. This is for bad weather only, of course.

7:32 p.m. on January 9, 2013 (EST)
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I just bought the LL Bean Backcountry 3 man dome. I will post a review of how it goes on my trip next week. Not sure I will be able to report on rain but God willing I will be able to report on snow. I set it up first time out of the box in the basement. It took me 15 minutes the first try without the rain fly but I can see that getting cut to 10 or less now that I know it. Not to mention I was having to work around support beams and a low ceiling so it was a bit of a struggle. It has two doors, two vestibules, and what appears to be a great ventilation system. I hate waking up winter camping and having it snowing my breath in the tent. In terms of cost, right now it is on sale for $299, the 2 man is $90 more. It is big enough for me to bring ALL of my gear in the tent and still sleep in the middle across the width. I'm 5'10" and I had plenty of room to do this. I have never had a tent this big. My concerns are the footprint size and finding a spot for it. If I can get around that I will be stoked to not have my head or feet at a point of entry. It will also be nice to have everything inside and not covered in a few inches of overnight snow. It has three gear nets on each side so I will actually be able to "unpack" rather than live out of my pack for 4 days. It isn't a backpacking tent at about 10lbs. That said I am used to strapping an older 10 pound winter tent to my external frame pack so I don't really care. I only have to carry it a max of 3-5 miles so I'll survive. Like I said, I fully intend, and look forward to, posting a review of this tent. Temps look to be about 25 high for the day and single digits perhaps a little below zero overnight for the trip so it will get tested. Hope this helped!

7:13 a.m. on January 13, 2013 (EST)
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Got the tent the other day. I'll be giving it a test run in a day or two. Looks like we have a break from the rain and wind. Thats a good thing as I need to get to know the tent before taking it out in bad weather.

6:46 a.m. on January 18, 2013 (EST)
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Heres a few pictures of my first outing with the tent.




7:07 a.m. on January 18, 2013 (EST)
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Hey, nice tent Mike. Those are popular over here. I still have my Terra Nova Solar from the nineties, it weights 2.1 Kg, for a solo, not bad IMO, as it never wears out.

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