Best 2 person, 3 season tents

6:46 p.m. on July 18, 2017 (EDT)
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My wife and I want a truly durable two person tent, motorcycling. Weight is ZERO issue. I prefer heavy and well made. Spring, summer and fall. Temps over night in late fall can hit freezing though not commonly. We live in Connecticut, we ride the northeast. No we dont do the northern states in late fall.

I kinda like the REI half dome, also Eureka Combat debt as well.  My fear is I get some nifty nylon thing and the seams pop after a couple years or 5.  I never see the combat rent reviewed professionally. Makes me think its not as good as the REI.

Terrain is often grass or soft ground. 

Just want a good TOUGH 2 person tent.weight again is not an issue.

Thanks,

Des

8:13 p.m. on July 18, 2017 (EDT)
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I use an REI Halfdome 2 Plus for canoe trips or basecamping when I share a tent. The 40 Denier fly and 70 denier floor are really tough and confidence inspiring. The Plus is large enough for two adults and the two vestibules provide ample space for gear. The tent is freestanding and the meshy double wall design make it a really versatile tent (I consider it 4-seasons where I work and play). I think the tent is a great match for your needs...as long as volume is not too much of a concern as the burly fabrics and beefy poles are a little on the large size...but I have used it for overnight and weekend trips using both a 30L pack and a 25L pack.

9:33 p.m. on July 18, 2017 (EDT)
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2nd that on half dome 2 plus. *** note*** the seam sealer broke down on mine after 5yrs but I chalk it up to the extreme humidity down here. But it is best bang for the $. And just a good all around tent.

11:01 p.m. on July 18, 2017 (EDT)
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REI half dome or quarter dome, MSR Hubba Hubba, Big Agnes Copper Spur are all very good for 3 seasons.

if durability is the ultimate goal, money is no barrier, and you value protection from wind and rain over ventilation, look at Hilleberg tents. very expensive, very durable, very protective from bad weather. not the best choice for a balmy, calm summer night.

3:15 a.m. on July 19, 2017 (EDT)
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So, I don't want to say lol...............so I won't.  But over the last quarter and a half of a century they have made dozens and dozens(+) of tents, most likely into the 200's that would fit the bill of what your looking for.  First if you can be more specific, and second you should do your research, which your doing...................and then ask what you've asked.  Now don't get me wrong, but I've bet the entire world has made about 3000+ tents in the category that you've described in the last 30-50 years...................and since your motorcycling and weight is not an issue, just buy an old school Moss 3 or 4 person tent.  Really, there are other tents...............and I have them..............but find and old Moss 4 person tent.................strap that thing to the back of your bike........and ride.......and it will never fail and you will pass that tent to your kids in your will.  But when everyone else has convinced you to buy another tent....................get back with me.  :).........;)

 

4:08 a.m. on July 19, 2017 (EDT)
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.............or a TNF, or a Marmot.................Mountain Hardwear, Dana Design/Garuda, or...................So, I own five bikes and here is the perfect 2 person tent I have found for motorcycling........................So, like when the best tent that was made for your application was made 20 years ago...................the very best tent that I found for motorcycling with 2 people was the Mountain Hardwear DW(Double wall) Satellite .............cause they made a single wall Satellite that and was just a brilliant..........for different conditions and different reasons. 

5:02 a.m. on July 19, 2017 (EDT)
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apeman said:

So, I don't want to say lol...............so I won't.  But over the last quarter and a half of a century they have made dozens and dozens(+) of tents, most likely into the 200's that would fit the bill of what your looking for.  First if you can be more specific, and second you should do your research, which your doing...................and then ask what you've asked.  Now don't get me wrong, but I've bet the entire world has made about 3000+ tents in the category that you've described in the last 30-50 years...................and since your motorcycling and weight is not an issue, just buy an old school Moss 3 or 4 person tent.  Really, there are other tents...............and I have them..............but find and old Moss 4 person tent.................strap that thing to the back of your bike........and ride.......and it will never fail and you will pass that tent to your kids in your will.  But when everyone else has convinced you to buy another tent....................get back with me.  :).........;)

 

 

7:32 a.m. on July 19, 2017 (EDT)
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I had a half dome for years and it held up well.  Finally replaced it a couple of years ago.  Definitely not in the light category at 6 lbs, I now use the Marmot Tungsten 3P for my wife and I.  It has plenty of room and served us well on camping and short backpacking trips.  Incredible head room and thoughtful features like quiet zippers.  I made a few updates after some decent high wind experience that showed a bit of a flaw with the bent pole design, but I still feel confident it will hold up to 40 plus gusts with just some sag on the windward side.  I bought it for under $200 during a sale and would do so again.  Wouldn't pay the close to $400 list price for it though.

11:58 a.m. on July 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Take Apeman's advice, regarding tent size.  Your will grow to prioritize comfort over almost everything else.  Since weight is not a consideration, there is no reason to get a cramped backpackers tent you can barely sit up in, let alone stand.  Go large as you dare.  When car camping with my wife I haul a large Dacron cabin tent (circa late 1980s).  Big enough to stand in, and ample windows provide good ventilation, better than any of the backpacker tents.  But a full size cabin tent is probably too bulky for motor cycle touring.  As an alternative I suggest getting a 4 person dome tent.  You can stand almost upright in many of the 4P domes, and the additional floor space provides ample storage and relief from the claustrophobic confines of dinky tents. 

As for temperature concerns, the only tents that provide a significant relief from the cold are hot tents - tents specially designed to accommodate a stove.  Do realize a thin layer of fabric has almost zero R-factor insulation properties.  Otherwise the primary thermal consideration of a tent is the ability to stop the wind.  Stay away from the bug screen tents if you want to reduce heat loss.

I don't recommend a model or brand, for as Apeman states there are lots of tents that can fulfill your need, but likely the stores in your area will carry just a few of them.  As for durability, tents have a limited lifetime. The sun degrades fabrics, the water proofing degrades with age, and tent floors wear out.  We are talking about fabrics so "truly durable" is a relative thing.  Avid campers (30+ days/year) often need to replace their tent every two to four years.

But you can take measures to extend a tent's life:

  • Use a ground cloth.  It will take the brunt of the abuse the tent floor will otherwise receive.  And ground cloths are cheaper to replace.  A simple blue poly woven tarp from the hardware store is great for your application.  Note: when setting up the tent tuck any exposed edges of the tarp under the tent, so they don't catch and channel any rain under your tent. 
  • Take shoes off before entering the tent.  We use a cheap door mat as a "porch" while car camping.
  • Sweep the tent floor daily.  And clean the entire tent of dirt, including the underside before packing it up.  Dirt is not good for the tent.
  • Minimize exposure to the sun.  UV rays are killer to tents as well as skin.  I only set my backpacking tent when bad weather threatens.  Otherwise I sleep cowboy style under the stars, and use a personal bug net to keep the blood suckers at bay.
  • Dry out your tent before storing.  And store loose in a vented container.  Confining and compressing a tent in storage increases the likelihood of the tent acquiring a moldy odor. 

Ed

5:55 p.m. on July 19, 2017 (EDT)
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So Theo, are you guys riding two up or are each on your own bike.  Obviously, if you are riding two up you will be limited in the amount of stuff you can bring unless your towing a trailer or have a side car.  When I did bike touring before shattering my hip, I road a BMW R1150GS.  It has a front and a back seat so I would remove the back seat and be able to take what ever I wanted when ever I wanted as it had a trunk and saddle bags.

As far as tent's.  I would always carry three.  

1.  A bivy that could be used with it's single hoop at the head.........or used without the hoop if necessary.  There is nothing like hitting a mountain range late in the day and deciding that you want to put a few more miles on the road.  But then you get to a high pass in the middle of said mountain range and it starts snowing/sleeting and you can't go forward and you can't go back.  That for me was the right time for a bivy as it's raining/snowing and you need to just cover your bike throw open the bivy, put your bag and pad in and catch some Z's before waking up in the morning to see what the day will bring.


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2. A sturdy two-four pole tent.  This tent was used for quick set up if I was only staying in place for a day or two. This tent got most of the use out of all the tents as I was mostly on the move.  I myself picked a single wall, three pole 4 season tent called the Marmot Taku.


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3. The most bomb proof 4 tent that I know is Mountain Hardwear's Double Wall Satellite™.  It's an 18 pound 62sq ft., 3 door ten pole base camp tent that does not have  a vestibule. But can easily handle any kind of weather that I've been in.  Sometimes you may have to  lay up for a while for various reasons and  you'll want the room to spread out your wet gear and have enough room to open up all your gear in an enclosed area.  http://www.moontrail.com/mountain-satellite.php


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This is what one wakes up to on a sunny morning


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My second big favorite motorcycle tent is the TNF Dome 5:


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Regarding tents with vestibules.  Personally I'm not a fan of using vestibules other than on dry, dry ground or in the snow.  I've found that every single time............. bar none, that I've used a open floor vestibule on green grass or on ground that has any moisture what so ever...............that in the morning that ceiling of the vestibule was cover in condensation.  One touch of the tent and the condensation rains down on every thing that is stored in the vestibule.  Nothing ruins a wonderful morning like all of your gear getting wet.  If you do pick any tents that has a vestibule, it does not take much to either make a floor for it or have one made for you.

Tarps with poles and tie-offs are a wonderful addition to a bike camping kit.


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A big, properly placed tarp can make all the difference if your traveling in a place like the PNW where it rains for much of the year.  You can cover your bike(s), all your gear and your tents as well.

 

 

My last bit of advice here is that if you want to save money, buy all your gear..........including your tent(s) used.  Remember, with just a few exception a $700 tent is only worth $400 when you walk out of the store with it.  If that is the case why not buy a $400 tent for $400 and save $300!  There is so much gear out there that people buy, then do not use.............or use very little............... and then are forced  to sell as used. 

 

A lot of people are really into and liking that large variety of Tee-Pee style tents such as the Golites Shangri-La 3 and 5, Mnt Hardwear Kivi, If you lucky enough to find one at a reasonable price the Dana Design Nuk-Tuk, etc.  Make sure that what ever you get has a solid waterproof floor.



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All of these tents are older tents that are not sold anymore with possibly the exception of the MSR tarp.  I found that locally on Seattle's Craigslist for $180.

 

December 15, 2019
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