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Tent for Backpacking

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Tent for Backpacking

Postby netminder0 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:11 pm

I have been backpacking a number of times now, and I've always had the luxury of having a friend who owned the tent.

Well, for a number of reasons, I know I should have gotten my own tent long ago, and so I come to you all good folks for some good advice.

I am looking for a tent that is either a 2 or 3 person tent. I think at this point, I would be most interested in a 3 season tent, however I am definitely open to whatever advice and of you have to share.

I am definitely on the smaller side (about 5'8", under 150 lbs). I would like something that is sturdy, durable, long-lasting, etc. etc. Pretty much, I am looking for any firsthand experience any of you have, what has worked for you, and what you would recommend.

Thank you all in advance, I appreciate any and all of your input.



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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby el cuervo » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:32 am

If you think you will be packing for a long time, have a look at Stephenson tents.

Link here http://www.warmlite.com/start.htm

They are expensive and require you to be mindful when using them. But,

They are light, strong and intelligently designed.

I had a North Face West Wind for years. It wore out. I then had a series of cheaper REI or other brand 2 person tents. They all were poorly designed and flimsy.

I pack a lot. I wish I had just bought one of these long ago. I'd have saved money and hassle.

Their 2 person tents can hold 3 in a pinch, more if needed. For two it is very roomy. For one it is spacious.

The catalogs are quite informative and chock full o pictures of Jack's daughters.

The folks at Stephenson do not suffer fools. Period.
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:52 am

+1 on the Stephenson. It has it's drawbacks, but overall it's a good tent. Try ebay for a cheaper price.
My son uses a tarptent and he's pleased with that. You might want to check them out as well.
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby trav867 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:22 pm

I use a Sierra Designs Sirius 2 when I'm not solo- I'm convinced this is one of the best all around 3 season tents with regards to weight, price, ease of use, and durability. It weighs 4lbs, you can find it for $100, and sets up in 2 minutes. I've spent probably 30 nights in mine with zero issues. It's a great first tent, and even light enough to take on solo trips. There is also a 3 person model.
http://www.prolitegear.com/cgi-bin/prol ... irius_tent
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:43 pm

I would put in a plug for the Sierra Designs Sirius even though I don't own one. It's probably first on my list to replace my wonderful Sierra Designs Flashlight 3 (my front door zipper is totally shot right now and needs full replacement). The advantage it has over the Flashlight is that its self standing (Flashlight is not). Both tents offer lots of room for their weight. There has been an annoying tendency for superlight tents to advertise that they "sleep 2" but when you look at their dimensions (particularly their width) and measure your shoulder width, you get the idea that the only way you "sleep 2" or in other cases "sleep 3" is if you "spoon left" or "spoon right". The Sierra Designs Sirius dimensions are much more generous than this. By the way my Flashlight 3 is a veritable mountain hotel for 2 people and its so called "minimum weight" is under 5 lbs (full pitch weight is a tad above 5). Can it sleep 3? In a pinch, yes. On one rainy trip we crammed three guys, and ALL of our gear into this tent. Normally I operate this as a very roomy two person deal, though.
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby gary c. » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:48 pm

trav867,
I've thought seriously about the Serius tent but have concerns about the half fly concept. Don't you have problems with blowing rain or snow ? I had the opportunity recently to buy one with the footprint for $79 but the rainfly scared me off.
Gary C.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby trav867 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:24 pm

Truthfully, I have never been in a heavy wind-driven rain in this tent. That said, the fly overlaps the main tent in such a way that the rain or snow would have to be nearly horizontal to make it through. When the fly is on, the tent should be pitched into the wind, improving ventilation and making it even less likely that rain could find its way in. The fly needs 1 stake on each side, and depending on the placement of the stakes, the vestibule that is formed can be bigger (better ventilation) or smaller (less chance of rain entering).
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby gary c. » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:22 pm

Trv867, thanks for the input. I'm still kind of holding out for a deal on a Sierra Designs Lightning 2. It's the same size and weight but with a full fly. The down side to the Lightning 2 is only one entry door and a little more money. If I get another chance at the Sirius I may go for it.
Gary C.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby trav867 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:20 pm

Coincidentally, stumbled across the Sirius 2 at REI outlet today- http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/784418
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby calipidder » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:47 pm

I can't see this thread go by without mentioning my beloved Tarptent Rainbow:

http://tarptent.com/rainbow.html

To me this is the perfect summer sierra tent - a perfect balance of weight, storm worthiness (rain like summer afternoon storm conditions, not snow), spaciousness, bug-proof, and free standing. The solo rainbow is a palace in terms of space for the weight. The Rainbow is an incredibly spacious solo tent. He also makes a Double Rainbow for two. (I also have one of those and use it when my husband hikes with me).

Here I am all settled in before a hail storm below franklin pass last summer:

http://calipidder.com/zenphoto/sierra-n ... 90.JPG.php
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby gary c. » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:00 am

I just love Steep and Cheap .com :nod:

Like I mentioned above I've been waiting for the lightning tent to come back up on there site and tonight I looked at just the right time. I just ordered the Sierra Designs Lightning tent with the foot print for $120 \:D/
Gary C.

If you are not familiar with Steep and Cheap here is an example of of some of there prices.

http://sac.gearattack.com/items/22609

http://sac.gearattack.com/items/22747

giantbrookie, all SD tents come with a lifetime warranty. You might be able to get your tent repaired under there warranty.
http://www.sierradesigns.com/support.warranty.html
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Tent for Backpacking

Postby netminder0 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:54 pm

Wow, thank you all so much for the great advice and input ... I really appreciate the help.

I was expecting to get a lot of TNF and/or Marmot opinions, but its good to hear the SD and Stephenson tents hold their own. And I love the idea of having a lifetime warranty.

I'll look into the Lightning 2, as well as the Sirius 2.

Thanks all.
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