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4 Season Tent

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4 Season Tent

Postby Ranboze » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:48 pm

Im in the market for a 2-person (for me and my gear) 4 season tent. Im attracted to two: the Mountain Hardwear EV2 and the Marmot Alpinist 2P. I am a weight weinee so lightweight is of most importance to me. Ive read the reviews and although the MH EV2 is a nose ahead of the Alpinist, I am concerned about the lack of vestibule. But, on the other hand, Im probably not going to be heading into a snow storm, knowing me and how I intend to use it.

The Alpinist has the cost advantage, but I have heard it is not really freestanding. The sides need to be staked out for additional support, which brings me to another question... how well do things really remain staked out in the snow???? (read: newbie snow camper here).

If anyone has experience with either of these tents and would like to share their opinions, please chime in. OR, is there another tent that I should really look at?
Walking outside is where I find what's inside.



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Re: 4 Season Tent

Postby hikerduane » Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:14 pm

Try Hilleburg tents if you haven't looked already. Pricey.

Staking in snow. Deadman anchors, using premade parachute like devices, buried stake or stick, etc. Pickets, long and would need something possibly to pound them in. Snow stakes with the holes in them, longer than normal, SMC I believe they are called, mine are in my pack now for a trip to Yosemite for New Year's. If using deadman anchors, bring an ice axe to break them out if the snow will be very wet in the afternoon, but a chunk of ice in the morning. I have gotten away with using sticks when I didn't trade out my summer stakes for winter stakes.

On a Yahoo group, NorthCA Hiking, we go out all year long. You could tag along on a trip or trips. Nice folks, membership over three hundred, but like most places, only a handful or two do anything. Over twenty of us are doing Yosemite for the New Year's. It will be the largest group outing I have been on, before, it was a dozen. We will be camping in three different areas to avoid impacting an area too much and to stay within regs. The group has been out in Spring temp snowcamping trips as well as epic two foot overnight snowfall trips. High winds and foot an hour trips, although that one got aborted.
Piece of cake.
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Re: 4 Season Tent

Postby ERIC » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:45 pm

I just picked up the Kelty Quartz 2, 2-man 4-season. Online reviews for the Quartz 1 were rather good, while Quartz 2 reviews were mixed. Because of the low price and decent weight (~$180 @ ~6lbs) thought I'd give it a shot. I'll report back with my thoughts once I take it for a winter test drive.

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Re: 4 Season Tent

Postby Ranboze » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:51 pm

Im still contemplating. The Bibler I-tent has entered the contest as a strong possibility. It looks, though, like Black Diamond has bought out Bibler??? Eric - will appreciate reading your review once you've used it.
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Re: 4 Season Tent

Postby copeg » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:12 pm

A few years ago the I-tent caught my eye when I was shopping for a 4-season tent as well. It looks like a rock solid tent, although I was concerned a bit about the space and condensation. The one main thing that I didn't like was that it lacked a contiguous vestibule, which was one of my criteria for a winter tent (stow gear and cook). I ended up with a Hilleberg, pricey but in my opinion worth every cent. If you're extremely weight conscious, look at the Stephenson tents - expensive, but talk about a light tent (I think Snownymph has one). Never used the tent Eric mentioned, but am interested in its performace.
Ultimately, if you haven't already, you might think about the features you'd want in a 4 season tent: 1) Vestibule 2) Condensation - or lack thereof (Some companies ignore mentioning condensation, and other are blatantly obvious in mentioning it...for some reason I end up trusting the companies that mention it more so than those don't) 3) Wind protection (shape and stake out direction matters) 4) Snow protection (in heavy storms, all tents might need a bit of snow management, the weaker will need more though). 5) freestanding (considered easier to set up) 6) Weight 7) Size (being stuck in a cramped space in a storm sucks).
Hope this helps, and does't make your decision even harder :-k .
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Re: 4 Season Tent

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:14 pm

trailblazer wrote:If you're extremely weight conscious, look at the Stephenson tents - expensive, but talk about a light tent (I think Snownymph has one). N

Ultimately, if you haven't already, you might think about the features you'd want in a 4 season tent: 1) Vestibule 2) Condensation - or lack thereof (Some companies ignore mentioning condensation, and other are blatantly obvious in mentioning it...for some reason I end up trusting the companies that mention it more so than those don't) 3) Wind protection (shape and stake out direction matters) 4) Snow protection (in heavy storms, all tents might need a bit of snow management, the weaker will need more though). 5) freestanding (considered easier to set up) 6) Weight 7) Size (being stuck in a cramped space in a storm sucks).
Hope this helps, and does't make your decision even harder :-k .



1) Vestibule
- none. everything comes inside

2) Condensation - or lack thereof (Some companies ignore mentioning condensation, and other are blatantly obvious in mentioning it...for some reason I end up trusting the companies that mention it more so than those don't)
- my tent gets as much or less than others in the same camp. it depends where i camp. if i get it, others also have it. i noticed a lot of condensation in forested areas w/o wind. i get less above timberline with wind. So a lot of times i sleep with the door open. keep an old handi wipe near the door and wipe off condensation

3) Wind protection (shape and stake out direction matters)
- it held up in wind, never had a problem

4) Snow protection (in heavy storms, all tents might need a bit of snow management, the weaker will need more though).
- held up in snowstorms, no problem

5) freestanding (considered easier to set up)
- not free standing, but have tied to boulders on slabs

6) Weight
i think we weighed it at 3 lbs

7) Size (being stuck in a cramped space in a storm sucks).
Snowdude and i were stuck in the tent for 24 hrs in a snowstorm. it was 7 deg so we could only stay out for a few min at a time. it was 8 days into a 16 day trip, we bailed on day 11. When we started trip, weather was not expected to change so we weren't prepared for snow.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Re: 4 Season Tent

Postby paul » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:20 pm

On stakes in snow: It depends a LOT on the consistency of the snow. If dry, cold, powdery, then you are in for a battle to get the snow packed down enough to hold anything, not to mention just o get a platform frim enough to set up the tent. If frimer, like most of the time in the Sierra, then the SMC snow stakes (kindof like a tube sawed in half lengthwise) work very well. Stomp the snow down firmly where the stake is going to go, and they can hold a surprising amount of tension. I use a floorless shelter from MSR (Twin Peaks) for spring ski trips, and it relys on good solid stakes, since the poles are just my ski poles under the two peaks. I set it up a little loose at first, then after I am in and settled down and the stakes have had a little time to freeze in, I adjust the poles upward, tightening the pitch, and It gets nice and tight so that it sheds the wind really well. But this is spring (late April/early May) and not the dead of winter. I'd take a real tent for the dead of winter. And my definition of a real tent? First off, a vestibule big enough so that you can get into the vestibule and zip it closed before unzipping the tent door. Now that's a vestibule! Second, something that can be pitched tight to shed the wind and won't flap so much that it keeps me awake all night. And third, good ventilation to keep the condensation at bay.
A lot of people have had good luck with Biblers and Integral Designs. With that breathable fabric, if you heat up the inside enough - by cooking inside - (yes, I know you shouldn't) - you can drive moisture out and dry out gear - or so I've heard. But you have to get an accesory vestibule if you want one.
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