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Old 09-04-12, 07:50 PM   #1
2travelers
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Tents

Very new to this and have not toured yet. We will start shorter 1-2 week rides next year. Just wondering if you recommend going with a 3 man tent for 2 people and about what weight I should be looking for to get started. Thanks....
Joe
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Old 09-04-12, 07:58 PM   #2
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I just went through this same "newbie" phase and did a ton of research and I can share the conclusion I came to: The Big Agnes Fly Creek tents from REI are great value/weight tents. My 2 person UL2 tent weighs just 2.1 pounds and is a joy to set up because of its simple pole structure. I'm not sure how different the UL3 is but if it's anything like the UL2, I'd give it a wholehearted thumbs up.
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Old 09-04-12, 07:58 PM   #3
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If it's a tent for you and a Significant other, i like the 42 ounce minimum weight of the Black Diamond Highlite for ample screen ventilation, minimal packed size, and proven stormworthiness without making huge leaps of faith into a more Ultralite shelter, nor a heavier and bulkier tent.

BB hilite tent
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Old 09-04-12, 08:25 PM   #4
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If it's a tent for you and a Significant other, i like the 42 ounce minimum weight of the Black Diamond Highlite for ample screen ventilation, minimal packed size, and proven stormworthiness without making huge leaps of faith into a more Ultralite shelter, nor a heavier and bulkier tent.

BB hilite tent
Yes, it is with for my wife & I. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 09-04-12, 10:39 PM   #5
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Tents are a good example of the old saying "you get what you pay for". With a tent you'll almost always realize the truth of this saying when you least want it, during a storm at 11:00 at night, during a horrible wind storm or when you are tired and rather sleep than deal with a river coming in the tent floor. The ads for the tent on sale for $29 at the big box store make you wonder why you'd spend $299 at REI, believe me, there is a BIG difference between the two tents. You really don't want to discover that difference when you need the tent the most. There are many good quality, well designed tents, Big Agnes, MSR, Mountain Hardware to name a few.
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Old 09-05-12, 04:43 AM   #6
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Tents are a good example of the old saying "you get what you pay for". With a tent you'll almost always realize the truth of this saying when you least want it, during a storm at 11:00 at night, during a horrible wind storm or when you are tired and rather sleep than deal with a river coming in the tent floor. The ads for the tent on sale for $29 at the big box store make you wonder why you'd spend $299 at REI, believe me, there is a BIG difference between the two tents. You really don't want to discover that difference when you need the tent the most. There are many good quality, well designed tents, Big Agnes, MSR, Mountain Hardware to name a few.
True, but there are some good fairly inexpensive tents. I have used my Eureka Spitfire in a wide range of conditions and consider it a great value and a good tent. I would probably still pick it if it cost double what it does (it was under $100). For the OP the Spitfire 2 might be a good choice at about $130.
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Old 09-05-12, 05:55 AM   #7
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True, but there are some good fairly inexpensive tents. I have used my Eureka Spitfire in a wide range of conditions and consider it a great value and a good tent. I would probably still pick it if it cost double what it does (it was under $100). For the OP the Spitfire 2 might be a good choice at about $130.
This Spitfire 2 is a very good recommendation at respectable trad weight and with double doors for convenience. I tested this tent design years ago when it was first introduced on the market by Walrus. The side doors make a great variation on the tried and true hoop tent design.

I recommend the BD tents because they are quite airy, very good headroom, are NOT damp sleeping due to the unique nature of their canopy fabric, pack up VERY small for their usable size, and still quite stout in full conditions - i rode out one of the worst weather and hailstorms i've ever encountered in a Black Diamond firstlight tent that took out people's windshields in the campground i was at that night in the Badlands.
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Old 09-05-12, 07:52 AM   #8
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Besides weight and cost and size, also think about how much ventilation you want. If camping in mid summer, you want pretty good ventilation but if camping in fall and spring, ventilation is less important. A fairly recent change in tent design is to use more netting and less nylon fabric to provide better ventilation.

Almost all of my camping for past couple decades has been when temperatures at bedtime are in the 40s (degrees F) or colder. I was more concerned about how the tent would hold up with several inches of snow load on the fly than I was about ventilation. But, this past July I had several nights where it was in the 80s at bedtime. Thus, I learned that my older tent without much netting offered poor ventilation. Several others in our group had tent bodies that had more netting than nylon fabric.

My tiny tent has a vestibule that does not easily hold all of my gear, making it hard to hide my gear from thieves in the middle of the night.
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Old 09-05-12, 08:13 AM   #9
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One driver of your decision is how much space you both want. Another is your body size. When I tour with my GF, we use a 3P. While she's only 5' tall, I am 6'2" with broad shoulders. We both enjoy the extra space. I think it's 44 sq. ft. Packed weight is 6.25 lbs. On the heavy side, but it doesn't bother me. Once we used my MSR Hubba Hubba and felt a little cramped.

If you have the money, a nice combination of size and weight is the BA Copper Spur UL3. 44 sq. ft. and a packed weight slightly under 4.5 lbs. With two people, you can split the load. Two pretty tall/broad friends of mine just crossed the country using one and liked it a lot. When one of them told me they bought a Hubba Hubba, I snickered and told him they should try it out together before they leave. They did and took it straight back to REI.
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Old 09-05-12, 08:48 AM   #10
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I have the BA Fly Creek UL3 and love it, plenty of room for 2 and solo it's down right spacious.
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Old 09-05-12, 09:43 AM   #11
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If it's a tent for you and a Significant other, i like the 42 ounce minimum weight of the Black Diamond Highlite for ample screen ventilation, minimal packed size, and proven stormworthiness without making huge leaps of faith into a more Ultralite shelter, nor a heavier and bulkier tent.

BB hilite tent
I backpack with an older Hilight from BD, and it's certainly very strong, but in general, I do use it as a solo tent. If you were to use it as a 2-person tent, check out the floor dimensions, cause if either of you are fairly tall (I'm only 5'5"), it might be very squished as a 2 person tent...

Jay
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Old 09-05-12, 11:47 AM   #12
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i have two tent's one is the hilleberg akto the other is the mountaim hardware spear gt2 great tents but not by any means perfect,
The expensive Akto is to small coffin shape , not a lot of room if you have to spend all day in it because of bad weather conditions.not my idea of fun.
The Mountaim Hardware is much much more roomier but a pain in the ass to pitch.
so what to look for in a tent .
1 dead easy to pitch,
2 loads of room,
3 very light and strong,
4 pitch all in one.
5 not cost the earth to purchase.
6 very strong poles but light.

does a tent exist if so where the hell is it
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Old 09-05-12, 01:34 PM   #13
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I would say that the Hilight is easy to pitch once you do it a few times. It is different because the poles are on the inside of the tent, which is unlike most tents but it is fairly simple once you get used to that difference. It does have a bunch of room if you use it as a solo tent, if as a 2-person then it would be very cozy or if you or your partner are really tall. The Hilight is fairly light and very strong being a single-wall tent. This is at the cost of ventilation, in certain conditions. However, it is freestanding so pitching and moving it is simple. If you can find it on sale then it isn't as expensive as a Hilleberg or Bibler, etc.

I really like the Hilight as a solo tent and since I also kayak camp and backpack, it gets used a bit, to make the cost worth it for me.

Jay

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Old 09-05-12, 02:04 PM   #14
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If you go to an REI in your area , you can try out tents on the floor by going inside them
and seeing what they feel like. borrow a couple sleeping pads and hang out,,
Cosy with your SO, and maybe the 2 person will be OK, if you will bring your gear inside,
that will need the 3rd person worth of space..

now back to people recommending what hey bought, because they decided it suited them .
will it suit you? yes/no, Maybe.
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Old 09-05-12, 02:08 PM   #15
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Very new to this and have not toured yet. We will start shorter 1-2 week rides next year. Just wondering if you recommend going with a 3 man tent for 2 people and about what weight I should be looking for to get started. Thanks....
Joe
We have used a 3 person tent for the two of us for many years. The tent has two entries with vestibules at either end so all your gear can be stored under the fly out of sight, out of rain and still allow entry and exit. The larger vestibule also allows cooking under the fly. Important for when you are on the road for many weeks or months. We started with a two person tent but wouldn't go back to that. Weight was not important to the purchase. Also gives good headroom when changing in the tent compared with a smaller tent.

Also worth considering is whether the tent can be erected with the fly only. This allows you to take down the inner and pack it away dry before taking down the fly last of all. The reverse situation when you put it back up in the rain. Makes for more comfort in the wet.
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Old 09-05-12, 02:15 PM   #16
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Being retired Military, a Scout Master and now a Charter Rep I have seen a great deal of tents come and go - Yes you get what you pay for but investing in tents may not be worth it - I have seen 300 and 500 dolar tents go to waste just as easily as a 50 dollar tent - Its not really that you get what you pay for but rather you have what you care for...

At this time this is the best light weight tent you can find and for 30 bucks you can't go wrong - I have ordered twenty of these at a time and only really had to return one out of 30 due to manufacturing defects...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-pla-_-NA-_-NA

Inspect all seams and zippers thoroughly when you get it - Never put a tent up wet or damp for longer than two hours (especially in warm weather) - Care for the poles - Consider all pack tents disposable if necessary...
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Old 09-05-12, 02:16 PM   #17
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Antokelly, I got a Stevenson's warmlight tent , satisfies all but #5,
because it is hand sewn to order in New Hampshire USA..a cottage sort of Biz.
now multigenerational.. son is continuing the biz.
a + is a menu of fabric colors and features that you pick out, including a reflective silver liner
to reduce condensation, and reflect some warmth back.

a tunnel tent, which is double wall on the sides , poles are a pre-curved
7075-T6, thin wall but a bit bigger than the usual.. so light and stiff is achieved.

I could set mine up in a pretty stiff wind, as it remains flat on the ground
until you pull it up and set the last tent stake, in one motion.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-05-12 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 09-05-12, 02:28 PM   #18
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I'd take a look at the Apls Mountaineering Zephyr/Zenith 2. It runs large for a two man. I got it for some comfy solo touring, and gave it away because it was just too big. I got the one man version of the same tent, and I can't recommend it enough. I've sat out four hour long torrential downpours and 60mph winds in it and never had a problem. After five months of sitting out in the desert in Arizona, the zipper failed, but the seams are still sturdy and waterproof. It's freestanding, and has a two pole design that sets up fast. It retailes for around $120, last I checked, but Sierra Trading Post runs specials on it often. I got mine for $75 - the two man is easier to find on sale then the solo tent.
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Old 09-05-12, 02:30 PM   #19
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If you go to an REI in your area , you can try out tents on the floor by going inside them
and seeing what they feel like. borrow a couple sleeping pads and hang out,,
Cosy with your SO, and maybe the 2 person will be OK, if you will bring your gear inside,
that will need the 3rd person worth of space..
This makes me want to find a significant other just so we can spoon in REI. D'aww.
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Old 09-05-12, 04:39 PM   #20
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One driver of your decision is how much space you both want. Another is your body size. When I tour with my GF, we use a 3P. While she's only 5' tall, I am 6'2" with broad shoulders. We both enjoy the extra space. I think it's 44 sq. ft. Packed weight is 6.25 lbs. On the heavy side, but it doesn't bother me. Once we used my MSR Hubba Hubba and felt a little cramped.

If you have the money, a nice combination of size and weight is the BA Copper Spur UL3. 44 sq. ft. and a packed weight slightly under 4.5 lbs. With two people, you can split the load.
Wow, lot of good replies. Thanks to all & a great start for my search. Will start doing research on those mentioned.
Indyfabz....We are both about the same as you two in size. My wife is 5'2" & I'm 6'3". I guess that is why I was wondering about going to a 3 person tent ~ for a little extra room for me and also space for gear we may bring in.
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Old 09-05-12, 04:47 PM   #21
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FWIW my Warmlight is 12' long, symmetric , 2 cone shaped ends.. .
about 5' between the end pole sleeves 3rs r is the double wall
S is the zippered side wall,in the liner and awning like zips added to the outside.

[I could part with it , PM .. ]
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Old 09-05-12, 07:28 PM   #22
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This Spitfire 2 is a very good recommendation at respectable trad weight and with double doors for convenience. I tested this tent design years ago when it was first introduced on the market by Walrus. The side doors make a great variation on the tried and true hoop tent design.
At 4 pounds, the Spitfire 2 is a little lighter than most 2-person free-standing tents. Much better ventilation than most tents in its price range. However, you'll need to replace the stakes with something more robust. I spent $15 on 6 MSR Ground Hog stakes

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Old 09-10-12, 05:41 AM   #23
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We have used a 3 person tent for the two of us for many years. The tent has two entries with vestibules at either end so all your gear can be stored under the fly out of sight, out of rain and still allow entry and exit.
I have been looking at the Alps Mountaineering Chaos 3. Has the features you just mentioned, has very good reviews, and is available on Amazon for a price that won't break us since we are just starting out. We are leaning toward a 3 person for room comfort~me being at 6'3. It's weight is about 6lbs 10oz. Thought it might be a good starter tent.
Any thoughts?
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Old 09-10-12, 06:00 AM   #24
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At 4 pounds, the Spitfire 2 is a little lighter than most 2-person free-standing tents. Much better ventilation than most tents in its price range. However, you'll need to replace the stakes with something more robust. I spent $15 on 6 MSR Ground Hog stakes

I agree on replacing the stakes, but not because they are not robust enough. I guess it depends on where you camp and how you treat them, but we used those same stakes with a different Eureka tent on the Trans America and they were robust enough. The problem is that they are way heavier than necessary. Personally I like the MSR Needle Stakes they are very light, hold up well, and while minimal will hold well enough in most conditions. I do admit that if you will camp in sand a lot something longer and wider like the MSR Groundhog stakes might make sense.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:49 AM   #25
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Wow, lot of good replies. Thanks to all & a great start for my search. Will start doing research on those mentioned.
Indyfabz....We are both about the same as you two in size. My wife is 5'2" & I'm 6'3". I guess that is why I was wondering about going to a 3 person tent ~ for a little extra room for me and also space for gear we may bring in.
Huh, I'm 5'2" and my husband is 6'3" we spend 2 months in a Eureka Zeus2 and it was WAY TOO SMALL.
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