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Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:48 pm
by Cultentacle
Well, I need a new tent and wanted some opinions before purchasing one. I know there are some topics on tents already, but I need something a little more specific. To begin with I'm willing to spend somewhere around the $200 range for a two person, three season tent. However, I've had really garbage tents in the past that don't do the trick in bad weather. Something that takes rain and wind is important.

Ive been looking into the Eureka line, but I'm having a hard time finding a place that sells their two person tents here in Toronto. I've also looked at MEC (a Canadian camping store) but i'm not too sure their gear will work out. Here are the two tents I'm thinking of:

First is Eurekas Spitfire

and second is MEC's Hummingbird tent

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:11 pm
by E
look into the north face if you can afford it. I have a two person tent that i've been rocking for the past 6 or 7 years and haven't had a single problem with it. Their customer service is excellent as well

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:19 pm
by thefirebuilds
I was really impressed with the sierra designs one I bought.

Eureka quality is not on par with what their named USED to imply.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:43 pm
by StrangeLove
I have the MEC Apollo. Great tent for the money.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:13 pm
by thefirebuilds
http://www.steepandcheap.com/?CMP_ID=OD ... mv_pc=r239" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image

love that site.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:29 pm
by Dave_M
My favorite tent that I own is a Sierra Designs Bike Lite (discontinued)

Tent is ~4lbs. I've had mine for 15 years and it's still my primary.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:36 pm
by Asininity
For me I love my Spitfire dearly. Its been a good tent but I bought it when it first came out so if there are newer models they may not be as good. To further the fact I have three or four Spitfires :lol:. Bought a load of them on sale. As for the Spitfire fitting two people? It is possible, I have done it before but it isn't in any way comfy. It works great as a single man in my opinion.

The Hummingbird looks nice but I have no experience with one.

As for my favorite tent for single or duo [if I bit uncomfy] I love my North Face. Not sure what model it is though.. Its barely in front of my Spitfires.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:46 pm
by BigDaddyTX
Cultentacle wrote:Well, I need a new tent and wanted some opinions before purchasing one. I know there are some topics on tents already, but I need something a little more specific. To begin with I'm willing to spend somewhere around the $200 range for a two person, three season tent. However, I've had really garbage tents in the past that don't do the trick in bad weather. Something that takes rain and wind is important.
Can you be a little more specific on what you're looking for?

Light weight? Does the shape matter? What material for the poles? How tall are you, how much gear do you plan on putting inside the tent? I personally use an 8x7 tent as my two person tent from REI that I love, but it might not be the right one for you.
-BDTX

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:38 am
by Hugin
I love my REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent. Two person 3 season tent that only weights 3lbs 12oz (1.87kg). 4.5 stars out of 5 with 57 Reviews!
http://www.rei.com/product/761893

There is also a 3 person version too!.
http://www.rei.com/product/761895

If your interested in ultralight tents check out
http://www.tarptent.com/
I've heard good things about them, but do not have any personal experience. I am waiting for a two person Scarp to come out... WHICH IS APPARENTLY COMMING THIS MAY! YES! Scarp 2 FTW!
The Scarp 1 is a one person 4 season tent that weights 44 oz (2.75lbs)(1250g); they don't have the stats for the Scarp 2 published yet. They also have a new tent called the Hogback: "4lbs for 4 people"; basically a 4 person Scarp!

I am also interested in getting a Clark Jungle Hammock; probably the NX-200(the big and tall version). My brother-in-law has the regular North American Model and seems to like it; I need to see if I can borrow it and field test it with my wife to see if we can handle sleeping together in a hammock.

Then again sometimes I just want to say screw it and just use an MPI All Weather Blanket (space blanket-tarp) and rig a lean-to with a fire.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:07 pm
by mr_dave
Two weekends ago I picked up a Tarn 2 from my local MEC. I should be taking it out for its first run in about a week and a half. Everyone I know with MEC tents absolutely love them, the Tarn 2 especially. I've talked to people that have had their tarn 2 for years, with regular usage, living it in it for months at a time, etc and have nothing but praise.

The Tarn2 is a bit heavier than the Hummingbird 2 you linked to, as well as is a free-standing tent instead of a tunnel tent, they're in the same price range and I'd be willing to believe it's made just as well. I'll report back in less than 2 weeks on how my Tarn 2 survives it's first outting.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:34 pm
by Biff
. . .

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:32 pm
by ogreboy
Neither of the tents you are looking at are free standing, and if your going to get a tent over a tarp, I would want it to be free standing. That way you can set it up anywhere, even on a rock slab or the sidewalk, if it requires you to stake it down to stay up, some terrain could make it difficult to set up. Just something to think about. But if you don't think that would be a problem +1 on the tarptent.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:30 am
by Hugin
The Scarp 2 from Tarptent is a freestanding tent. Although If you know you are going somewhere that will allow you to stake your tent you can leave the poles at home and lighten your load, and just stake it out. Also, its double walled; either mesh inner wall for 3 season, or solid inner wall for 4 season. Oh, and I found out that its 3.25 lbs and costs $325. I'm not sure if that weight includes the poles though, even if it didn't it would still be a lot lighter than most 4 season tents.

http://www.tarptent.com/scarp2.html
http://www.tarptent.com/new.html

Oh, and they have another 2 person tent thats 3 season called the Double Rainbow.
http://www.tarptent.com/doublerainbow.html
It's $260, 2.5 lbs and freestanding with trekking poles. The following link has some free standing pics of the regular Rainbow:
http://www.tarptent.com/rainbow.html

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:36 am
by muscleman_coffeemesto
Looks like some people have already beat me to it. Get a free standing tent, regardless of what you decide on. My primary tent for years has been an MSR Zoid 2. It's about 5 pounds and pretty cool, but it's not free standing. That also means I can't run it ultra light with a footprint and fly only...

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:13 am
by arrowolf
I have a 3-pole North Face Talus. I don't think it's still available but they probably make something similar. I love the thing. The tent part will fold up tight enough to fit in the top flap of my Kelty Coyote pack. The fly covers the entire tent when attached. It' can be a little bulky so I roll it up and lash it to the outside of the pack. TNF makes some nice gear in just about every category.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:58 pm
by Cultentacle
BigDaddyTX wrote: Can you be a little more specific on what you're looking for?

Light weight? Does the shape matter? What material for the poles? How tall are you, how much gear do you plan on putting inside the tent? I personally use an 8x7 tent as my two person tent from REI that I love, but it might not be the right one for you.
-BDTX


Sorry, I'm looking for something lightweight, around 5 lbs. Pole materials doesn't matter to me, should it? I'm 5"9' and I generally carry a smallish pack when I go backpacking. I'm looking to start doing some mountaineering which is why I've decided on getting a new light tent. I'll be using it for myself on some trips and some trips I'll probably share it with someone. I don't mind being close though.
ogreboy wrote:Neither of the tents you are looking at are free standing, and if your going to get a tent over a tarp, I would want it to be free standing. That way you can set it up anywhere, even on a rock slab or the sidewalk, if it requires you to stake it down to stay up, some terrain could make it difficult to set up. Just something to think about. But if you don't think that would be a problem +1 on the tarptent.
Thanks for the input. I usually like the tunnel tents, but you make a good point with the terrain. It will certainly be more versatile if its freestanding and probably stronger as well.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:59 pm
by Cultentacle
mr_dave wrote:Two weekends ago I picked up a Tarn 2 from my local MEC. I should be taking it out for its first run in about a week and a half. Everyone I know with MEC tents absolutely love them, the Tarn 2 especially. I've talked to people that have had their tarn 2 for years, with regular usage, living it in it for months at a time, etc and have nothing but praise.

The Tarn2 is a bit heavier than the Hummingbird 2 you linked to, as well as is a free-standing tent instead of a tunnel tent, they're in the same price range and I'd be willing to believe it's made just as well. I'll report back in less than 2 weeks on how my Tarn 2 survives it's first outting.
Let me know how you like it, I may look into purchasing this one.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:37 am
by ogreboy
Single walled tents are lighter because you don't have an extra tarp over the top, but they don't provide as much extra warmth, and they can have more problems with condensation inside. I have a Eureka Zeus Exo 3 that is very spacious and only weighs 5 lbs. Unfortunately I don't think they make it anymore otherwise I would recommend it. That is considered a single walled tent. I always have a little condensation in the morning but its not very bad. I don't use it much any more because I have switched to using a tarp to cut back on weight. The TrailStar Shelter is not a tent but it is nice and big and easy to set up, if you use treking poles, which everyone should, you don't need to carry any extra poles, low profile for wind resistance, but its obviously not a free standing structure. It does only weigh 15 oz. So I did a little looking around and REI has a nice line of new tents called quarter dome, there are 1, 2, and 3 man versions, the 2 man is just over 4 lbs, a little expensive though. I have always had good luck with REI gear, it is well made and they offer excellent service.

Just some ideas for you, hope it helps.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:32 pm
by E
arrowolf wrote:I have a 3-pole North Face Talus. I don't think it's still available but they probably make something similar. I love the thing. The tent part will fold up tight enough to fit in the top flap of my Kelty Coyote pack. The fly covers the entire tent when attached. It' can be a little bulky so I roll it up and lash it to the outside of the pack. TNF makes some nice gear in just about every category.

same tent i have lol. Knew it was northface, couldn't remember the name for the life of me

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:32 pm
by E
stupid double post....

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:05 pm
by Hugin
ogreboy wrote: So I did a little looking around and REI has a nice line of new tents called quarter dome, there are 1, 2, and 3 man versions, the 2 man is just over 4 lbs, a little expensive though. I have always had good luck with REI gear, it is well made and they offer excellent service.
+1 on the REI T2 Quarter Dome tent (2 person). This is what I am using right now. Lightweight and sturdy. I originally bought the T3 (3 person) but decided I wanted my tent to be lighter, and only needed it for two people, so I returned it and got the T2.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:56 pm
by exile27
muscleman_coffeemesto wrote:Looks like some people have already beat me to it. Get a free standing tent, regardless of what you decide on. My primary tent for years has been an MSR Zoid 2. It's about 5 pounds and pretty cool, but it's not free standing. That also means I can't run it ultra light with a footprint and fly only...
What? I was just about to recomend the Zoid 2, because it's what I use. The only down side as you said, is that it's not free standing. But the beauty of the Zoid is that you can set it up with just the fly and footprint. The whole tent comes in at just under 5lbs. With just the fly, poles, and footprint I believe it weighs just under 3lbs.

Whatever tents you're looking at, I say check out trailspace.com before you make your purchase. They've got an awesome product review/comparison section so you can see which tent will work best for your needs.

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:52 pm
by mr_dave
Cultentacle wrote:
mr_dave wrote:Two weekends ago I picked up a Tarn 2 from my local MEC. I should be taking it out for its first run in about a week and a half. Everyone I know with MEC tents absolutely love them, the Tarn 2 especially. I've talked to people that have had their tarn 2 for years, with regular usage, living it in it for months at a time, etc and have nothing but praise.

The Tarn2 is a bit heavier than the Hummingbird 2 you linked to, as well as is a free-standing tent instead of a tunnel tent, they're in the same price range and I'd be willing to believe it's made just as well. I'll report back in less than 2 weeks on how my Tarn 2 survives it's first outting.
Let me know how you like it, I may look into purchasing this one.
Unfortunately my gear testing weekend got cut short by electrical gremlins in my car, but I did get first impression from the one night I spent in it. Space wise it was tight. Between me and way more gear than I needed, I think I got a decent feel for how cramped it would be with two people in there. When MEC says "cozily fits two people" they mean it. I brought the extra kit as I was intending on testing out a number of things which I didn't get around to, such is the way things go.

For those just joining us, this is regards to MEC's Tarn 2 3 season 2 person free standing tent. Pics of my outing are here.


The tent sets up relatively quickly, though I haven't mastered the way they intend for you to do it, I've found I need to erect the tent first and then attach the fly, not a huge deal. Despite the temps below freezing for pretty much the entire time I was out I found the ground to be soft enough to yield to the aluminum wire pegs that come with the tent. Harder ground would've called for beefier pegs, sand would've called for different anchors, but what I had worked this time round. I used 4 of the 6 peg-outs on the tent but only used the two guy-lines attached on the sides. There was one more attached line at the back, and two attachment points at the front that I didn't bother setting up, nor did I peg out the line that holds open the vent cover.

The vestibule covers a decent area considering the size of the tent, but you're certiainly not going to get two 80L packs in there and be able to enter the tent without crawling over them.

Overnight the outside temp dropped to around -10C, and I was fairly comfortable in the tent, thought I think I'll get a keychain thermometer to keep in the tent from now. I would guess it was 10 to 15 degrees warmer in the tent when I got up in the morning, at least. I didn't vent the tent as much as I should have so I did find a fair amount of condensation inside. The outside of my sleeping bag was a bit damp, though I feel confident that had I stayed out another night, it would have evaporated by the time I crawled back inside. It'll be another two weeks before I can head out again, temperatures then will most likely be warmer so I don't know that I'll be able to do a fair comparison with the vent wide open, but I'll see what I can muster.

All in all I was pretty happy with the thing, I did learn a few other things on the trip that I intend to see to before I head out again in two weeks. I couldn't find a good way to suspend my candle lantern inside the tent that I was comfortable with and wouldn't bump into, so I think I'll look into some form of LED lighting for the tent. Even if it's just clipping a couple fauxtons to the gearloft attachment points above my head. I also apparently think too highly of my Thermarest ridgerest, I brought both it and the MEC Kelvin 2.5 sleeping pad with the intention of sleeping on one each night to see how they compared. Well, the ridgerest has the same R vale as my Kelvin (2.5) and thusly I was nowhere near seperated enough from the frozen ground. I put both pads under my sleeping bag and that was just barely enough. Any further camping is going to require a sleeping pad with an R value of 6+ for me.

Anything you'd like to know that I may have missed?

Re: Input on a tent

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:51 pm
by Cultentacle
Thanks for that review on the Tarn tent from MEC mr_dave. I don't think I'll go with it though. I took a look at it this week when I went over to MEC. Not sure It's what I need, I'm glad you like it though.