2-person Backpacking tent

11:38 p.m. on June 12, 2008 (EDT)
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I am looking for a good quality 2-person tent, that is: under $300, under 5 pounds, and holds up nicely in rain and such. Being that this will be my first "real" tent (not the wal-mart bought ones), I am rather in the dark here. I have been looking seriously at the North Face Tadpole 23, however the only problem I have found with it is that it is pretty cramped when used with 2 people. With me being over 6 feet would the two people occupying it basically have to hold each other in there to fit? I am obviously not limiting myself to this one tent, so if anyone could offer an opinions/ suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks in advance.

6:35 p.m. on June 13, 2008 (EDT)
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Hey StoneyClimber, you may like this one. I have a friend who got one two years ago and really likes it, he is also tall.
This tent has 5 more sq. feet than the tadpole, 1 sq. foot less in the vestibule, but it is 7' 5" in length. I'm sure there are other tents out there that will work well also.

Good luck!

12:18 p.m. on June 16, 2008 (EDT)
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11:04 p.m. on June 24, 2008 (EDT)
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The REI Quarter Dome series (in your case, the T2) is one that is winning all kinds of awards in terms of low cost, the large room it offers, etc. It is the one I would get right now.

Someone above posted to a Sierra Designs Tent. I have a 3 person Hyperlight AST that I really like. Sierra Designs makes some nice stuff, and you probably wouldn't go wrong with them, However, that REI tent seems like a nice deal.

4:21 p.m. on June 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I have the REI Quarter Dome and have been using it for a couple of years now. Best tent I have ever owned! Buy it!

5:48 p.m. on June 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I haven't used the tadpole but bear in mind the door slopes at the bottom. This can often lead to rain on the inner tent as the fly sheet is open for venting if you have to cook in the alcove. The porch in fact looks small on that tent for bad weather use. And if you want it to hold up well in the rain, you will want to be able to cook in the porch without having to put your gear outside and exposed or inside and contaminating the inner.
While three pole tents are often better than two which cross longitudinally, there are some with a good reputation for sturdiness in the wind and the doors are often larger and non-sloping, with larger porches at the side. Tunnel shapes using two poles are a problem in the wind however, being noisy and disturbing to watch; yet they often have good alcoves.
There is a similar tent to the tadpole in the UK called the voyager by Terra Nova, which has a better reputation than the tadpole, but it is probably expensive and you may as well be buying MSR tents at those prices.
Also the tadpole slopes at the back doesn't it, causing you to lie down with your face at the low end if you make a mistake pitching it on an incline and the door is at the wrong end? With more symmetrical shapes longitudinally, this isn't such a problem.
Never buy a tent that feels cramped for the amount of people you want sleeping in it. It is better to carry the extra weight and have the extra space if things are not going too well that day.

All the best.

8:30 p.m. on June 25, 2008 (EDT)
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if you have to cook in the alcove

Bad idea. Aside from the label on all tents warning against stoves or other flames in tents (the material is flammable, after all), cooking in or near tents will get food odors into the tent fabric, which attracts critters (like bears). Yes, people do it all the time and get away with it. But I have witnessed accidents with stoves and candle lanterns in "open" vestibules, as well as inside tents.

9:03 p.m. on June 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I set my kitchen up at least 100 ft. downwind from my sleeping area to minimize odors where I am sleeping. If it rains I practice my "extreme cooking" or just snack. I tend to worry about bears more than getting wet. Raccoons are fun for about 30 minutes, then their fun starts. I take nothing back to my tent but some water for the night. All my "smellies" go in a bear bag nightly, and I wash up with hunters soap. I guess everyones practices are somewhat dictated by their region and I don't get to travel much, so reading these posts has been enlightening.

StoneyClimber, have you found a tent yet?

4:28 a.m. on June 26, 2008 (EDT)
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I forgot about bears, sorry. It's been so long since I saw one in the UK. ;-)
My father's tent was ripped by a bear, in VA, so yes, food and tents and bears do not mix.
But in the UK, where it rains 6 days a week, you often find yourself cooking inside the porch or alcove or whatever it's called (it used to be called a bell-end in the UK, but thank God that changed). And if you are in Scotland and the midges get to you, you sometimes end up cooking inside the actual inner like you were on Everest or something. Again, it is stupid, but stupid people are everywhere, and I have had to throw a flaming stove out of the tent before. I've even seen a tent go up in flames but it was a cotton one from years ago, I imagine today they would just melt and stick to your skin.
Soooooooooo....if I was buying a backpacking tent today, I would probably look at the Hilleberg extended porch tunnel designs, with mosquito netting on the door of the porch etc. But not in bear country.

1:36 p.m. on June 26, 2008 (EDT)
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I just bought a Kelty Teton 2 for under 100 from Campmor. Great little 3 season 2 person tent 4lb 10oz. Good luck!

2:53 p.m. on July 10, 2008 (EDT)
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Take a look at the Grand Mesa 2 from kelty. It might not have enough space your looking for, but its worth taking a peek at. Not to mention you dont have to climb over your friend at night to use the latrine, unlike the teton 2 with a side vestibule. But if your determined about space and dont mind much about weight, check out the Gunnison 2 from kelty. Its long with 2 doors and it has 2 vestibules for you and a friend BUT it weighs in at 5lbs 10oz. And yet it still has one heck of a good price! 170 from campmor!!

10:01 p.m. on August 29, 2008 (EDT)
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The Kelty Gunnison is a good lightweight tent for the money. It's easy to setup and holds up really well in wind and rain. I got mine at http://basecampsupply.com for 165.95

6:43 p.m. on August 30, 2008 (EDT)
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In regards to your inquirery, may I suggest the tent I currently use/own?

I have the Cabela's XPG Deluxe 2-person model. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20075-cat20103&id=0024830516319a&navCount=2&podId=0024830&parentId=cat20103&masterpathid=&navAction=push&catalogCode=IJ&rid=

I use this tent in all sorts or weather conditions, from snow to heavy rains and wind. Tent held up just fine. Plenty of room for two persons. http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2877150250055403717




Or I can recommend the High Peak Flight two person model. Right now it is on sale at outdooroutlet.com. http://outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5983 I just purchased the same. I will be picking it up at the Post Office, God willing, this coming Tuesday. I plan on writing a review about this tent here on Trailspace in the very near future.

Lastly, I can also suggest you check into the Taurus Outfitter model from ALPS Mountaineering. http://alpsmountaineering.com/ALPSMountaineeringTaurusOutfitter.htm
I owned this tent and I know from personal experience this is a really good tent. I realize it is a little over the weight limit you specified in your post but considering all things the Taurus Outfitter will give you years of dependable service. http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2642135540055403717UlqqNf


Just my two cents. Good Luck friend. :)

3:00 p.m. on August 31, 2008 (EDT)
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try the Big Agnes Seedhouse 2, weighs 4 lbs, light weight, good ventilation, easy setup. AND its only $139 on backcountryoutlet.com right now.

11:25 p.m. on September 26, 2008 (EDT)
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REI Quarter dome T3. Under 4 and 1/2 pounds, and huge for 2 people.

12:26 a.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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i have actually had the opportunity to use the tadpose 23 and i found it rather claustrophobic. to me, the most important thing to remember when shopping for a tent is that youre only going to be sleeping in it, not living in it, but comfort during the night is important. go with functional, not fancy i look for floor length, (im 6'3 so a long floor length is important too me) number of doors on the tent, (i say go with two on a two person tent, if you go with a one door model, you will congradulate yourself on the buy when the dew coverd pant leg belonging to your friend drips water on your face after coming in from a midnight pee) next is vestibule size, the vestibules need to be large enough to hold wet or muddy packs and boots, the height of the tent is a matter of preference, i enjoy a relatively tall tent, tall enough that i can fully sit up. i found all of these features in the marmot Bise 2P. i acquired mine online for about $280, however, i recently found one on backcountryedge.com for about $209. the tent weighs about 4-5 pounds, depending on wether or not you bring the footprint and/or fly.

12:39 p.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Lorax's comment about the Tadpole -

i found it rather claustrophobic

reminded me of a climbing trip I did with a friend who lives in Mexico. Andres' father runs an adventure travel service out of Mexico City, and Andres runs the climbing part of the business. I was there for a visit and we decided to run up La Malinche to acclimatize for a climb of Orizaba, where one of his guides, Luis, was training 3 climbers for a climb of Aconcagua, with me doing the "how to camp at altitude" part of the training. When we grabbed the gear, he realized that the tents were with Luis and the clients, so when we stopped at the Supermercado for food for La Malinche, we noticed that they had kids' tents. Andres figured he could give the tent afterward to his nephews (4 and 6 years old at the time), so he added this tiny kids tent to the grocery basket. Even though I am of medium height and Andres is a couple inches shorter, the tent proved really cramped (hey, good training for those days stuck in a blizzard on some Andean peak at 20,000 ft, right?). We were much relieved when we caught up with the group a couple days later, and they had an extra Tadpole - it was more than luxurious by comparison.

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