Three season tent recommendations?

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Beowolf
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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.
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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.

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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

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

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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
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