Three season tent recommendations?

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Beowolf
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 2389
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:11 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead, Aaaaaa Zombies, 28 Days Later
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia

Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Beowolf » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:57 pm

Wanting to get back into camping with gear that would double as GTFO emergency gear. Live in Virginia, so waterproof--or very, very reliable rain fly--would be preferred. Two person is sufficient, but four would be preferred. Not looking for a backpacking type tent--this would be something conveyed with a vehicle, so weight/size isn't as big of an issue. But I would want something reliable, able to be set up by one person relatively easily, and something that isn't too horrifically expensive.

Already have a Big Agnes sleeping bag with inflatable pad.
The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead. And the Dead keep it. Until the time comes. The way is shut.
-
Keeper of the ZS Fleet Number thread.
ZS Wiki

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 6771
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by majorhavoc » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:29 am

No one's giving your question any love, so I'll chime in. I have the LL Bean Vector XL 4 https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/85975?p ... erson-tent.

It's not sexy, it doesn't have many extra features like built in lighting or pass through extension cord ports, it's not made of exotic materials. And yes, it's a little pricey. It's just an extremely well-engineered, super high quality tent. Very sturdy, and most importantly: very waterproof.

I bought it immediately after I took my daughter camping in a SwissGear tent I bought at Walmart, or Target or some such mass market retailer. It was three times the size of this LL Bean and one third the price. It also leaked like a sieve whenever it rained. The straw that broke this camel's back was when we got caught in an overnight downpour one summer weekend. By morning it must have been leaking in a half a dozen places in addition to coming up through the fabric floor. We bailed out at 6:00am. My little girl waited in the car while I ran around in the deluge, ramming sodden gear in the car any which way it would fit. After we got home and the weather cleared, I set all my gear out on the lawn to dry. Everything except the SwissGear tent. That went into the nearest dumpster I could find. I wouldn't have given that POS to my worst enemy.

So the XL 4 was a response to all that and an abject lesson on the importance of spending more to get a quality piece of kit. I've had it for something like 10 years now and use it at least three or four weekends annually. It's kept me bone dry any number of rainy nights. It sets up easily (I could do it in my sleep at this point). Everything is color coded, double stitched and impeccably sealed. The vestibule is extremely useful.

In the past season or two I'm now starting to see a few damp spots appearing on the tent floor when it's been raining hard for several hours, so I suppose I should think about spraying some additional urethane coating on the floor. But even without any attention and close to a decade of use, it puts that &*^%@~! SwissGear POS portable indoor swimming pool to shame.

The color scheme is different now (my version is a light grey/slate blue) but otherwise it appears to be the exact same tent except it looks like they've upgraded the tent floor. That light grey/alpine yellow color scheme is not as low profile as mine I suppose, but I bet it's brighter and more pleasant to be inside it during the day. Just my humble opinion, but realistically I think stealth considerations in emergency situations are way over-rated.

User avatar
ssgcmw
* *
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by ssgcmw » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:00 am

LL Bean stuff is pricey, but they have a great refund policy: https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/513705?nav=ftlink

User avatar
moab
* * * * *
Posts: 3175
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by moab » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:28 pm

I have a Marmot Trail light 2p. That is good. Has full rainfly. But if I were looking for another tent I would check out the reviews on Outdoor Gearlab. Basically they aren't bullshit reviews trying to get you to buy them from Amazon. It's a collection of world renowned hikers and trekkers that actually field test the gear. Reveiw them and rate them.

Here's their section on camping tents. https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/c ... mping-tent

I would look into a military type tent as well. Snugpack makes very well made tents.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

User avatar
rooks
*
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:10 am
Location: Australia

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by rooks » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:43 am

I've had a Snugpak Scorpion 2 for over a year and highly recommend it.

https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/tents-s ... tegory=460

Their 2, 3, and 4 person tents are all fly-first, and they are all free standing, so if you're on ground that is difficult to stake out (too hard or too soft), you can still use them.

Build quality is excellent. Buy with confidence.

There are also a few great reviews on YouTube for a few of their models.

They are, however, mostly 4 season tents. The downside to that is tents with only 1 entry can get a little warm in very hot conditions. The dual entrance tents offer much better ventilation.

Big Agnes also make some quality gear.

Also, take most capacity listings with a grain of salt. "2 Person" generally means 1 person + gear unless you're Hobbit size.
~ Russ

User avatar
Beowolf
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 2389
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:11 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead, Aaaaaa Zombies, 28 Days Later
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Beowolf » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:17 pm

Great suggestions. More than I was hoping to spend, but maybe I can work toward this over the next few months.

Thanks all! Any additional input is welcome.
The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead. And the Dead keep it. Until the time comes. The way is shut.
-
Keeper of the ZS Fleet Number thread.
ZS Wiki

User avatar
JeeperCreeper
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 2192
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:49 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Twilight... making zombies of our future generations
Location: Yo Momma's House

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:56 pm

My dad just did a coast to coast motorcycle trip and used a Kelty 3 or 4 man tent. They are obviously small so it fit him and his gear with only a little extra room.

Not sure what the model is, but I wanna say he got it at Dick's on a sale for maybe under $100. No complaints from him. I think my brother also runs Kelty if he uses a tent.

I haven't tent camped in a long time (vehicle or hammock for me), but I tent camped with a Hilary back in the day. I don't think they make those anymore.
They see me trollin', they hatin'.... keyboardin' tryna catch me typin' dirty
Halfapint wrote:There are some exceptions like myself and jeepercreeper.... but we are the forum asshats. We protect our positions with gusto
zero11010 wrote:The girlfriend is a good shot with a 10/22.
Her secondary offense will be nagging.

User avatar
Psycosis
*
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:59 am

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Psycosis » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:38 am

I don't have a specific tent to recommend but will chime in about tent features to look for when buying a tent. You can buy a good inexpensive tent if it has the right features and it will last for years if you take care of it.

Floor material: Should be a material like a thin tarp and extend up the sides at least 6 inches. If it doesn't extend up the sides water will leak into the tent on top of the floor from the side.

Should look something like this
https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/76e85f ... nBg=FFFFFF

Rain fly attachement: This is more of an issue if you expect high winds, a lot of my camping was on large lakes for fishing and winds/gusts can get pretty bad. The large gaps on many tent flys lets the wind get underneath your fly and it acts like a sail pulling the hell out of your tent in high winds or ripping the fly. I prefer the external sleeve/hook poles or low profile hook attachment.

Like this
https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/fd4f60 ... nBg=ffffff
or this
https://www.walmart.com/ip/12-Survivors ... t/54167708

NOT this
https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/a786c9 ... nBg=ffffff

Waterproofing: Set up your tent when you first buy it and spray the hell out of it with some spray can waterproofing. Most tents are waterproofed but for $5-6 a can why even take a chance?
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Silicone-Wat ... s/52130847

Tent design: More of a high wind and ease of set up issue. Personally I like dome style tents, easy to set up and they take high winds well. I've had to cover my whole tent with a tarp before because of camping real early/late in the year and temps went below freezing at night unexpectedly. Vestibules are nice for extra room but I've had to pull the vestibule pole and pull it down due to very high winds.

Something like this may work for you
$72 https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Hool ... t/16677071

User avatar
FlashDaddy
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 1327
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:22 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: All the Milla movies and Shaun of the Dead
Location: There's no place I can be since I've found (hoosier) Serenity.

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by FlashDaddy » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:26 am

For car camping in very wet weather I had great performance from this Kelty Trail Ridge
https://www.campmor.com/c/kelty-trail-ridge-4-tent

I was in a terrific rainstorm in the Black Hills one summer and it kept totally dry. We have used it for years, great tent
- Flash

Browncoat, food & H2O storing Dad. "I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me."
"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other people or the majority, it's a right that belongs to all of us."

User avatar
Asymetryczna
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 1249
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:56 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: None

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Asymetryczna » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:06 am

I've owned one of these (4-man) since 1984. https://eurekacamping.johnsonoutdoors.c ... erson-tent
Mine is still going strong; we've used it three times this year. In 1988, it slept 7 men during an all night downpour. Only drawback is that it costs 2.5x more now. I also have the USMC 4-man - very similar but more durable. I recommend both. I care for mine so that they last. I'd recommend watching to see if that guy Craig adds one to his list in your area or one of the auction sites. If you can inspect it before purchase, even better.
There are a lot of tents featured here: https://www.campmor.com/c/s/gear/tents/family-tents
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 6771
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:59 am

Asymetryczna wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:06 am
I've owned one of these (4-man) since 1984. https://eurekacamping.johnsonoutdoors.c ... erson-tent
Mine is still going strong; we've used it three times this year. In 1988, it slept 7 men during an all night downpour. Only drawback is that it costs 2.5x more now. I also have the USMC 4-man - very similar but more durable. I recommend both. I care for mine so that they last. I'd recommend watching to see if that guy Craig adds one to his list in your area or one of the auction sites. If you can inspect it before purchase, even better.
There are a lot of tents featured here: https://www.campmor.com/c/s/gear/tents/family-tents
I used to own a two man Timberline years ago. Their rugged durability is definitely their key advantage. But they fall short in terms of weight, ease of set up and interior volume.

How on earth did you manage to get seven people in the four man version? I spent a night along with four other people in a Timberline 4 on the side of Mount Kenya, but we were all skinny college kids and even that was ridiculously tight. I guess when the alternative is sitting outside in a downpour, you make do. :)

User avatar
Asymetryczna
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 1249
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:56 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: None

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Asymetryczna » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:54 am

It was ridiculously tight. Think pyramid. 4 on the ground and then 3 followed onto the gaps. As I am a large, I was on the bottom and incredibly warm. The only issue was one fellow was incredibly gassy. I've stayed in touch with 2 of them; we still laugh about it. Did a similar pyramid with over 60 people in SERE school, using tarps. Again, as a big guy I was middle of the bottom and slept very well.

Edited to add: Yep, it's bulky. But great for the truck or canoe.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

User avatar
Beowolf
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 2389
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:11 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead, Aaaaaa Zombies, 28 Days Later
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Beowolf » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:00 pm

So, follow up question--if I'm gonna drop the money on a three season, should I just push to the four season?
The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead. And the Dead keep it. Until the time comes. The way is shut.
-
Keeper of the ZS Fleet Number thread.
ZS Wiki

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 6771
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:56 pm

I wouldn't. Not unless you anticipate heavy wind and snow loads. A four season tent is buttoned up tight and gets really hot and stuffy in the summer - far less provision for air circulation than a well designed 3 season tent.

User avatar
Beowolf
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 2389
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:11 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead, Aaaaaa Zombies, 28 Days Later
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Beowolf » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:47 pm

Ah, good point. Looks like I'll be saving ~$300 for a future purchase.

Thanks, all! Feel free to add any additional suggestions or ideas. The information is greatly appreciated.
The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead. And the Dead keep it. Until the time comes. The way is shut.
-
Keeper of the ZS Fleet Number thread.
ZS Wiki

User avatar
moab
* * * * *
Posts: 3175
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by moab » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:19 am

I don't know if anyone suggested this. But if it's going to be "conveyed by vehicle". I'd suggest the MArine Corps Combat tent. I think it's only rated to 3 season. But it's so bombproof I would expect it to do fine in all 4 seasons. It's 10lbs. So not the most heavy. But so over built. It would be great for a car tent for 2p. Or even one.

Not expensive either.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

User avatar
Huskerheathen
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (original)
Location: Bellevue, NE

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Huskerheathen » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:46 pm

Nemo makes some great 3 season tents. I have their Galaxy model and it's wonderful

User avatar
Evan the Diplomat
* * * * *
Posts: 1995
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:48 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Savageland
Location: Fairfax, VA

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:22 am

ALPS Mountaineering makes very sturdy 3 season free standing tents, the dual side entrance design prevents you from having to climb over others and the rain fly design provides a vestibule for boots and packs. Added bonus, if you have a son or daughter involved in a Scouting program you get a very nice discount via their Hiker Direct online site.

Image
Last edited by Evan the Diplomat on Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody happy as the dead come home

Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No-one move a muscle as the dead come home

MPMalloy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3290
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:48 am

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 pm

I gotta know. What kind of tents are meant for winter? This is a hole in my prepping.

User avatar
moab
* * * * *
Posts: 3175
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by moab » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:30 am

MPMalloy wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 pm
I gotta know. What kind of tents are meant for winter? This is a hole in my prepping.
4 season for snow load. https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/c ... eason-tent
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

MPMalloy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3290
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:48 am

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by MPMalloy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:32 am

moab wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:30 am
MPMalloy wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 pm
I gotta know. What kind of tents are meant for winter? This is a hole in my prepping.
4 season for snow load. https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/c ... eason-tent
Danke. :)

User avatar
moab
* * * * *
Posts: 3175
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by moab » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:20 pm

MPMalloy wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:32 am
moab wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:30 am
MPMalloy wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 pm
I gotta know. What kind of tents are meant for winter? This is a hole in my prepping.
4 season for snow load. https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/c ... eason-tent
Danke. :)
There is a happy medium imho. Between a full on expedition weight 4 season tent in the $400-$800+ range. And a stronger 3 season tent in the $150-$300 range. As long as you reenforce with a stick or walking pole. And maybe even bump off snow during the night. To avoid a collapse. You should be fine with a stronger 3 season. Some of those 4 seasons come in at 4lbs (but cost $800+) others at 10lb (that can run $400). The Marine Corps 3 season tent I mention above is pretty heavy weight. Meaning it's 10lbs but also has very rigid structure to it. Probably would handle a heavier snow load than most 3 season tents and maybe even some 4 seasons. And only runs around $150. It's more of a car camping tent. Or one you might split between two parties. I try not to use up more than 5lbs on a tent in any one pack.

I own the Marmot Trailight 2p. But it's not a 4 season by any means. But it does weigh less than 5lbs, holds two people with two vestibules and only runs about $150. If I re enforced it and pushed off any snow load during the night. It might suffice. But other more robest 3 seasons are better for heavy snow.

It all depends on where you think you might find yourself. But even in the worst snow. a lot can be done to protect your shelter from snow load. Other than spending another $500.

The 4 seasons also hold up better in high winds. But again, that USMC tent is pretty bombproof. As are many other 3 season designs. If your willing to go over the 5lb or even 10lb rule, and don't want to spend $800 - it can be done. a lot depends on how much your able to protect the tent from the elements i.e. - setting up out of harsh winds, reinforcement with trekking poles or sticks. And even using local materials to create wind breaks. Even an extra tarp over your tent can stop a lot of the snow load.

4 seasons are really meant for above the tree line in deep snow and during harsh winds. Think high mountain peaks or open tundra with a lot of wind and snow. If you think you might end up there. Then yes. I'd save up for an $800 tent.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

User avatar
the_alias
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 5951
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:51 pm
Location: Not Here.

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by the_alias » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:13 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:22 am
ALPS Mountaineering makes very sturdy 3 season free standing tents, the side entrance design prevents you from climbing over others and the rain fly design provides a vestibule for boots and packs. Added bonus, if you have a son or daughter involved in a Scouting program you get a very nice discount via their Hiker Direct online site.

Image
I have this tent - got it at a crazy good price and it's been really great for car-camping.
Man is a beast of prey

User avatar
moab
* * * * *
Posts: 3175
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: Three season tent recommendations?

Post by moab » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:29 pm

the_alias wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:13 pm
Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:22 am
ALPS Mountaineering makes very sturdy 3 season free standing tents, the side entrance design prevents you from climbing over others and the rain fly design provides a vestibule for boots and packs. Added bonus, if you have a son or daughter involved in a Scouting program you get a very nice discount via their Hiker Direct online site.

Image
I have this tent - got it at a crazy good price and it's been really great for car-camping.
This is a very common tent design. My Marmot Trailight 2P looks almost the same. Except I don't think it has those vent holes at the top. I like this design for lots of rain. You can button it up tight and no water is getting in. Not sure about weight. But you could probably get this tent a whole lot less than a Marmot or other famous name brand. But again, not sure about weight or quality. Just really like the design. Rain like in the PNW comes in sideways sometimes. You need a full bathtub and way to close off the entire inside from the rain. This tent does that. I think the Marine Corps tent is the same or similar design. Just a lot more hardcore materials. Thus more weight. If I was using it for car camping. I'd still choose the MArine Corps one. As it's bombproof and will probably never wearout. Just keep a repair kit handy if you ever needed it. You can also pack just the rainfly and save a lot of weight in the summer. On any of these style tents actually.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Post Reply

Return to “Bug Out Gear”