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Southeast US Summer/Winter Tent Choices
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Jonathon Rogers

Locale: East TN
Southeast US Summer/Winter Tent Choices on 01/13/2009 11:56:35 MST Print View

This is my first post as a member here at BPL though I've been lurking around for a couple of months.

I live in East TN and do a lot of my backpacking in the East TN/West NC/North GA mountains. Typically I'm doing weekend AT section hikes or the occasional 4-5 day outing to the Smokies or Linville Gorge areas.

I've been working toward getting my weight down and have done so pretty well with everything but my shelter.

I am looking into buying a new tent/tents.

Check out my gear list to see what I currently use, but suffice it to say my winter tent is old-school bomber North Face 8 pounds and my summer tent is a 5 Pound Eureka.

I am considering whether I can buy one tent for both summer and winter since we rarely see more than 6-8 inches of snow at a time in the mountains here.

I have been unimpressed with most of the single-wall tents I've been in; due to the humidity here condensation can be a big problem in the summer.

I like the idea of full bug protection and a floor.

What I'm considering is this: 1)SMD Lunar Solo/Duo for summer use and Golite Shangri-La 3 with floor for winter or 2)Big Agnes Seedhouse SL series for year-round use

I'd love some input on these options, especially:
1) Will the Seedhouse give me enough strength for LIGHT snow loading?
2) Will the Lunar Solo/Duo ventilate well enough that it's worth buying it as a summer only shelter to save weight over the Seedhouse series?

Also, of course any other ideas are welcomed.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Southeast US Summer/Winter Tent Choices on 01/13/2009 12:10:01 MST Print View

I can't compare the two as I've never used a Seedhouse, but I've used both the Lunar Solo and Duo models. The Solo is a great single person tent, but I prefer a tarp where possible. Being that you prefer the tent, the Solo will suit you well for solo use. For two people, I'd suggest finding another option as the Duo just didn't seem near as solid in high winds as the Solo. I'm in TN also, but my trips have been around Big South Fork for hiking and solitude, and down by Tim's Ford Park when trying to get my trout fix. With the onset of winter, fewer bugs will be a nuisance, so it's a good time to consider a tarp if you're curious. If not, stick with your tent choices and enjoy the time out!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Tents on 01/13/2009 12:13:57 MST Print View

I spend a lot of time backpacking the same areas that you do, and I use the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 year round. I have used it with 3" of snow load and 1/4 of ice (nasty) but it has held up well. I have use mine for 2 years and have spent over 50 nights in it.

In the Winter I have used it at:

Linville Gorge

Mt Rogers

Savage Gulf

Lakeshore Trail

Big South Fork

Sipsey Wilderness

Mt Sterling

AT from Damascus, VA to US19E

and others.

Edited by Mocs123 on 01/13/2009 12:17:39 MST.

Bill Reynolds
(billreyn1) - M

Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
tent on 01/13/2009 13:16:01 MST Print View

I live in the Northeast Georgia mountains and my Lunar Duo is my favorite tent for 3 season use. I have a George tarp for winter. I don't think you can go wrong with the Duo.

Stephen Lastname
(hootyhoo) - F

Locale: East TN
Same basic geographic region on 01/14/2009 16:59:59 MST Print View

Thank god everyone did not start screamin Tarp Tent, Tarp Tent. I get so tired of that. There are better options in my opinion. I use a tarp for anything not considered nasty, windy, super cold. Sierra Designs Oragami 2 ul is my winter tent. The floors are so heavy for tipi shelters that I could not imagine carrying one around. I use tyvek and a myog bivy in both shelters.

Jonathon Rogers

Locale: East TN
Good info on 01/14/2009 19:49:59 MST Print View

I agree the floor for the Shangri-La 3 is not light (21oz) but when you think about the whole shelter w/tipi and floor being 3lbs 12oz and splitting that between three (or even two) it's really not too bad for the snow protection you get.

All this input makes me feel better about what I'm considering. I think I may go with the Seedhouse as a year-round shelter I can feel good about. If I have the money in the future, I may invest in a Lunar Solo just because I am a weight weenie.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Southeast US Summer/Winter Tent Choices on 01/14/2009 20:28:44 MST Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/25/2015 09:12:00 MST.