Hello all, I'm new to this forum and have read several threads which helped me pick alot of my gear! I own a 3 season tent, Marmot Aeros 3P, which I love to use any time of the year here Florida, except when it rains hard, the condensation, set up method etc... make it hard to stay dry inside the tent, light rain is no problem though. I've grown as a backpacker and need to get a second tent to meet my needs which is hiking at high altitudes in bellow freezing weather and hiking in heavy rain here in Florida. I've done some research and here are the things that will fit my needs for the new tent:
1. Be able to accommodate me, my wife and my gear.
2. Have an exoskeleton, so that we can set it up in heavy rain or snow without getting the inside of the tent wet.
3. Be freestanding.
4. Withstand heavy snow.
5. Be as lightweight as possible!
I've found 4 tents that match the criteria, but I can't decide which yet! Here are them and what I've found about them:
Hilleberg Staika (8.8lbs). The heaviest, roomiest, sturdiest of the 4. So far the one I'm leaning the most towards of. I like that the entrances point opposite ways, in case of heavy rain I can enter the tent in whichever entrance the rain will fly inside the least. Seems to have the most durable material to withstand snow, wear and tear etc...
Hilleberg Allak (7.1lbs). Lighter version of the Staika, has less room and entrances point same direction. My second choice right now, the vent design of both the Allak and Staika will also help calibrate the temperature and condensation inside the tent.
Marmot Alpinist 2P (5.8lbs). The lightest, cheapest of the tent. It only has one vestibule and the fact that it is smaller than the other tents scare me as to how I'll fit me, my wife and my gear. I've seen mixed reviews on this one.
Mountain Hardware Ev2 (6.2lbs). It is only on the list because it fits all the description, but it doesn't seem to match the other tents in quality. It also fits more as a winter tent, I don't think it will hold up to the heat of Florida summer, or the rain!
Have I skipped any tents that I shouldn't? Am I missing something on the ones I've listed? Will the Staika be way too heavy for me to carry with my sleeping bag, pad and all the other stuff I try to make as ultralight as possible? I don't have access to try any of these tents before I buy them because there is no store nearby that will carry them so I've been going by videos, pictures and reviews online to get my knowledge on them. I will eventually have to order them online and returns and exchanges suck long distance, If anyone is able to shed some light in my research I will be most grateful, thank you all!