2 Person Inexpensive Backpacking Tent

2:20 a.m. on June 27, 2007 (EDT)

a.k.a. Brandon Stein

Hi, I'm looking for a lightweight tent, under $200. While I think the sierra designs lightning would be perfect I think it is just a little too expensive. I've looked into the sierra designs hyperlight, Kelty Gunnison 2, Sierra Dome 2 and the Half Dome. Both people are around 6'. Does anyone have any great suggestions? We're looking for a little more comfort than weight and so, I don't need a 4.0 pound tent. Thanks

12:43 p.m. on June 27, 2007 (EDT)
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10:16 a.m. on June 28, 2007 (EDT)

a.k.a. Brandon

that seems pretty good, but perhaps a little too big. I don't know how I would feel backpacking alone with that. But, it seems fairly light, so what are the drawbacks to it being so cheap compared to the lightning?

10:29 a.m. on June 28, 2007 (EDT)
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There are three seira designs lightning tents for sale under $200 on e-bay!

10:38 a.m. on June 28, 2007 (EDT)
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It looks to me like the major diference between the two tents(other than the three person) is the lightning tent is a full double wall tent. the other tent has a partial single wall area. I had a TNF Slickrock that was roughly the same design with the partial single wall and loved it! It had great ventelation and no condensation problems, however, I think the lighning tent looks considerably more "Stormproof"
just a thought

7:21 p.m. on July 1, 2007 (EDT)

got a MtnHdware PCT2 from campmor for i think $120 (on sale) -- not sure if they still have any but its only a little over 2lbs each when divided among two people (one carries tent, other carries rainfly and poles ) its a bit snug for two dudes but had the individual entrances and widens at one end (for your heads) -- its been working great for our long trail sections so far this summer -- i carry the rain fly only which can be pitched as tarp w/trekking pole when i go solo..

goodluck - will

4:02 p.m. on July 6, 2007 (EDT)

I bought a Eureka 2-man tent (Pinnacle Pass; Apex also looks decent) last year. I want to say it was around $100-120. It is great for backpacking, weighs about 5 or 6 lbs and has a rain tarp vestibule so you can store gear outside the tent but still keep it out of the weather.

REI also makes some great backpacking tents and they are guaranteed for life.

12:45 p.m. on July 7, 2007 (EDT)
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Please don't flame me, but I saw some really good deals at Bass Pro Shops on the tents.... so if you are looking for something that "works" that isn't quite gonna last you forever, I'd probably pick one of those up.

8:44 p.m. on July 10, 2007 (EDT)

I too am looking for a cheap two man tent. However, I am 6'5", and I was wondering if any of you knew of a good tent for that height. 7' tents tend to be a little tight, especially with a mummy bag.

I have looked at some really cheap ones like the swissgear elite series, 2 man. also the colman inyo 2, and the columbia lost lake 2 person. What do you all think of these, do you have any other suggestions?

3:54 a.m. on July 11, 2007 (EDT)
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Markm: I really can't point you in the right direction as I'm only 5'9, but I've had two swissgear tents and bought them due to my very tight budget as I'm a college student. On both of them I have had horrible condensation and were very bad in foul weather. All I'm saying is look elsewhere in terms of swissgear.

1:24 p.m. on July 11, 2007 (EDT)
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travelnate, I gotta flame you on the comment on Bass selling things that "work" but don't quite last forever. Actually Bass (and their major competitor, Cabela's) sell a lot of excellent quality gear at quite reasonable prices. Much of what they sell is more geared to car camping and base camps, but sometimes hunters and fishermen (er, fisherpeople? fisherpersons?) go backpacking, so both Bass and Cabela carry reasonably lightweight and durable tents. But then, it's all in various camo patterns (camo binoculars? yes, really, along with the camo flashlights).

markm944, of the 3 brands you name, Coleman makes the better gear. But consider Eureka and look in the Bass, Cabela, REI, EMS, and in Canada, MEC stores, catalogs, and websites. These all have tents under their own names and from other manufacturers that are inexpensive as tents go and are quite good. There are some from each that should be long enough.

Just don't get the store brands from the Big Box stores. They are cheap for a reason.

4:29 p.m. on July 11, 2007 (EDT)
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I agree with Bill on this. I bought a nice two-man tent from Cabela's several years ago for my son to take car camping. Reasonably priced ($125.00), very weatherproof for three seasons, durable and roomy (and not camo patterned.)

It is heavy (almost eight pounds), but not bad if the weight is split up between two people and you're not going to be out for more than a weekend to four days. I generally use a tarp, but I have taken it on paddling trips and short hikes in Michigan's upper peninsula, particularly during buggy seasons.

10:41 a.m. on July 15, 2007 (EDT)
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I was afraid I was going to get flamed forever on here. I actually bought the 3 person tent from Bass Pro Shops and used it while camping in the Virgin Islands.. it held up well to the daily rain & sun.

I didn't want to bring my "nice" gear with me as the airline tend to destroy my gear faster than I do....

12:26 p.m. on July 15, 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for the help guys. I had read that the swiss gear tents are terrible with condensation. its A good thing i chose not to get one off of Ebay.

12:46 p.m. on July 15, 2007 (EDT)

Ok so I found a 3 man tent that may suit my needs. I figured id need a bigger tent because that would be the only way I would fit! Its called the Eureka Juno 3. Its on amazon.com for $90 w/ free shipping. I dont know a whole lot about the company so any input would be appreciated. thanks!

2:28 p.m. on July 15, 2007 (EDT)
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Eureka makes a lot of different tent designs. Some of them are used by Boy Scouts who need inexpensive, but relatively sturdy tents that will take the inevitable abuse that kids will give them. Bill will know more about this than I do, but I have seen posts from a number of scoutmasters recommending Eureka products as basic, but reliable shelters.

As already noted, stay away from Columbia and similar brands sold at big box stores like KMart, Wal-Mart, etc. What is happening is that Columbia and other "brand names" are now marketing cheap tents from China with their own names on them. These tents are usually made by North Pole, the largest tent manufacturer in the world and are also sold under many different store brand names like Ozark Trail. The problems with these tents are numerous-poor design, material, manufacturing and no customer support.

After years of constant whining about these tents by posters who assumed, for who knows what reason, that Trailspace was somehow connected to these brands, the site no longer even allows posts regarding them (see the post in Gear Repair).

6:12 p.m. on July 16, 2007 (EDT)

hmmmm, that is very interesting.

maybe it would be easier if I described what exactly Im looking for. I need a 2-3 man tent, w/ good waterresistant abilities, I also need a vestiblue outside the door for my rock climbing gear. But the clincher is that Im in college and have no $$$. so the cheaper, but bettter quaility, the better.

thanks for the responses!

1:29 p.m. on July 17, 2007 (EDT)
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Another option might be Kelty. I own Eureka!, Cabela's, Bass Pro, and Coleman tents - but my latest is the Kelty Pagosa 2 (read my review). You can find the tent for about $180 and it is a tricked out lightweight shelter. The quality is great and it has all the high tech options that the real expensive tents have. I think the squared-off vestibule will change the standard - considering the extra space it offers and ease of entry.

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