6,036 forum posts
Just got the spring edition of Inside Outdoor Magazine. There is an article about how tents are changing both from the user and manufacturer viewpoints, based on surveying tent and shelter shelter along the AT.
Much to my surprise, the favorite brand of tent in 2016 is from Big Agnes for 33.0%, The next 2 are tied at 12.3% each Z-Packs and Tarptent. Adding these 2 plus Six Moons, Lightheart, Hennessy, and Hyperlite, for 39.1%, gives the specialty crew as the largest group. REI (6.7%), MSR(4.5%), and Marmot(2.2%), pretty well covers the field.
The traditional Big Names are glaringly absent. In part, I suspect that this is because the Big Names cost a lot more. For lightness, I would have expected Hilleberg to be on the list - but their tents are pricey (I use my Suolo a lot on solo trips). OTOH, we do use our ZPacks a fair amount, as long as it is not in winter, high altitude, or mountains that have serious storms.
My household has about 10 tents in the garage (ummm, I mean storage room).
The article has a table of the primary shelter type use on the AT by long-distance hikers. Tents lead at 63%, "Tarptent hybrid" at 15%, Hammock 16%, tarp only at 3%, bivy 2%, and lean-to at 1%
The article also has charts on type of recreation campers choose by age. My age group ("Mature" by their standards, but insulting by my family standards) are relegated to scenic drives, sightseeing, and visiting historical sites. Somehow they have left out us backcountry skiers, rock climbers, mountaineers and other woodsy folk. Well, I gotta get back to packing for the annual trip to the Andes.