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Bombproof Geodesic 2 Man Mountain Tents
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Paul Doran
(PaulDoran) - F

Locale: Guernsey
Bombproof Geodesic 2 Man Mountain Tents on 05/09/2010 02:40:58 MDT Print View

So, which to go for? My shortlist is the following:

1. Terra Nova Quasar ETC

It is heavy, over 5kf, but the fabric seems very hard wearing. Disapointing ventilations options as all you can do is open the double doors for mesh. Not particularly roomy inside

Weight - 4.8KG
Cannot find data for square footage measurements. But vesitbule is 40cm longer than Trango 2 and rear vestibule of a similar size. As diagram shows it is narrowers than either of the below.

2. TNF Mountain 25

Bigger than the Quaser inside and light. When I was erecting it in the shop I thought it was very impressive the way it erects very tight with no adjusting (unlike the Marmot tents which as a result have not made it onto my shortlist. Lovely big vestibule as standard without weight penalty of Quasar and nice and light and in general felt more fun than the Quasar! Good ventilations options of double doors as well as 2 roof options.

Weight - 4.1KG
Floor Area - 3 sq m
Vestibule area - 0.7 sq m
2nd vestibule area -0.3 sq m

3. Mountain Hardware Trango 2

Massive! In terms of fabrics felt like a half way house between the above, seemed very hard wearing. Big window on front vestible and one in ceiling which I thought was quite fun. Unusual way of attaching to poles but sales assistant pointed out this was useful as in windy weather you can peg the inner to the floor and then start work on the poles without having to hold everything at once. This seemed like a decent point. THis is much bigger than the Quasar and still lighter and only a touch heavier than the TNF. A fairer assesment might be comparing this to the TNF 35, which weighs 4.54KG, has an internal area of 4.2 sq m and vestibules of 1.1 and and 0.3 respectively. The downside is that this option works out £100 more.

Weight - 4.44KG
Floor Area - 41.01 sq ft / 3.81 sq m
Vestibule area - 11.00 sq ft / 1.02 sq m
2nd vestibule area - 5.38 sq ft / 0.50 sq m

I hope you found this summary useful, its difficult to know how to play it. My heart liked the Trango and the TNF, they just seemed more feature laden and fun, which is really what is best for a base camp type tent, but the Quasar seemed utterely idiot proof and apparently has the best waterproofing. Can anyone give me any anedotal evidence on the waterproofing issue? I assume the others are absolutely fine, but the sales assistant said they would not be as good as Quasar. I never understand comments like that - either it is waterproof or it is not?

Finally is there anything else I should be giving some thought to?


Paul Doran
(PaulDoran) - F

Locale: Guernsey
Footprints.. on 05/09/2010 02:45:03 MDT Print View

Quasar ETCheight="365">TNF 25Trango 2

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Bombproof Geodesic 2 Man Mountain Tents on 05/09/2010 02:52:57 MDT Print View

Have you considered the Hilleberg dome tents?

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Crux on 05/09/2010 03:25:06 MDT Print View

Worth a look

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Bombproof Geodesic 2 Man Mountain Tents on 05/09/2010 05:23:49 MDT Print View

Horribly heavy. Why not a tunnel tent such as the Macpac Olympus?


Paul Doran
(PaulDoran) - F

Locale: Guernsey
but... on 05/09/2010 05:32:59 MDT Print View

The Olympus is a tunnel, not a geodesic.

I heard bad things about the poles of the Crux...

Paul Doran
(PaulDoran) - F

Locale: Guernsey
Hileberg on 05/09/2010 05:33:42 MDT Print View

And Hillebergs in the UK are ludcriously expensive. Literally going to cost £200-300 more than these!

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Crux on 05/09/2010 06:36:54 MDT Print View

I have one of the older Crux models and the poles were a issue, they upgraded them later. I replaced mine with eastons. The replacement poles were priced fairly reasonable. When I replaced mine the tent pole company felt that the lack of pre-bend was a major problem. The Crux gives you a gives you a bombproof tent for a little over 6 lbs. There was a review of it a few years back on this site.

Edited by dillonr on 05/09/2010 06:39:02 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Bombproof Geodesic 2 Man Mountain Tents on 05/09/2010 08:45:25 MDT Print View

Where do you plan on using it?

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
another choice on 05/09/2010 11:40:54 MDT Print View

big agnes has a new one. royal flush... wicked tent high price. vid on you tube

699.95 list video

royal flush

Edited by tritan on 05/09/2010 11:41:41 MDT.

Paul Doran
(PaulDoran) - F

Locale: Guernsey
use on 05/09/2010 12:21:09 MDT Print View

Mainly in Scottish Winter but in a year or two, the greater ranges

Wayne Burke
(three5s) - F

Locale: Bluegrass
Re: useTNF mountain 25 on 05/09/2010 13:39:48 MDT Print View

Dont know if this helps but, there is a tnf mountain 25 on Geartrade for $313.20. says it has never been used.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
TNF mountain 25 on 05/09/2010 18:00:02 MDT Print View

On a high expedition, we had an assortment of tents, but the Mountain 25 and its brothers were well-represented. We had to have bombproof shelter, and the 2-man and 3-man versions did very well. Mine is the 3-man version, and we have squeezed four into it. For sure, it is my choice for high winds.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: but... on 05/09/2010 18:57:08 MDT Print View

Hi Paul

> The Olympus is a tunnel, not a geodesic.
Very true.
I can understand the desire for a bombproof tent of course.

What I don't understand is why it has to be a heavy geodesic when you can get the same stability from a lighter tunnel tent.


Edited by rcaffin on 05/09/2010 18:57:37 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Black diamond tents? on 05/09/2010 20:23:00 MDT Print View

what about the Black diamond tents like the bombshelter, Stormtrack or tempest. Also Marmot Thor tents are basically the same as the mountain 25 and trango.

Jason Picard
(jasonpicard) - F
+1 TNF Mountain 25 on 05/09/2010 21:14:08 MDT Print View

Considering your requirements, I can endorse the Mtn 25 based on personal experience and feedback from several friends and customers. I own one of these, and rely on it for winter use where I'm able to pull a sled, or on canoeing trips where weight is not a primary factor in gear selection and a little luxury improves the experience.

You will not likely find a stronger tent in its size and price range. Ordinarily I'd point out that the fly is traditional nylon and could be lighter if replaced with silnylon, but the abrasion resistance offered by the heavier fabric is essential for extended periods of high winds and blowing snow. Excellent space inside too, but that's also mandatory if you're stormbound and have lots of insulating gear and clothing.

Again, this is one HEAVY tent, but it will hold up very well both in extreme conditions and over its lifespan. In a past job I handled warranty processing for an independent outdoor retailer, and had a customer with a 15-20 year old version of the Mtn 25 which they had me send to TNF for a replacement zipper. It was a well-worn and tired looking piece of gear, but it was still storm worthy and their 'go-to' tent for camping on the BC coast (super wet).

Paul Doran
(PaulDoran) - F

Locale: Guernsey
Really? on 05/10/2010 00:17:33 MDT Print View

Roger - how can I be sure of that? I don't see any tunnels on high mountain expeds? But I really respect you so would love to hear how.


Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Exped tents on 05/10/2010 00:26:23 MDT Print View

you could probably find an exped Polaris tents in Europe for a good winter shelter.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Bombproof Geodesic 2 Man Mountain Tents on 05/10/2010 01:30:02 MDT Print View

Paul, Check out the Vaude Power Odyssee

I have been considering it, but have not used one yet. The specs look great, but they may be off by more than a bit. The power frame evidently performs really well in gales and the price is fairly decent.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Really? on 05/10/2010 01:44:14 MDT Print View

Hi Paul

> I don't see any tunnels on high mountain expeds?
Oh yes, I know, so let's look at why and what this means for you.

Expeditions in the Himalayas etc usually have lots of people and lots of porters. You have only to look at a typical scene at Everest Base Camp. This has several consequences:
* Weight does not matter: porters are cheap
* Expeditioners like big tents so they can all sit together playing cards (or whatever)
* The expedition doesn't want to spend a fortune on expensive tents
Big heavy geodesics satisfy these criteria. But many of the tents you see on expeditions are 3 and 4 man geods. They don't have to be all that sleek: move up to 70+ d nylon and 10 mm poles and they will take an awful lot of abuse. Hey - there's even a bakery at EBC!

The TNF 2-man Mountain 25 is ~$500 but weighs nearly 4 kg
The 2-man Qasar is 450 UK pounds but weighs over 4.3 kg
The 2-man Trango 2 is ~US$525 but weighs over 4.1 kg

The 2-man Macpac Olympus is 3.1 kg but it's NZ$900 bought in New Zealand: a bit more when bought overseas. That's a lot more dollars.

The double-skin geods usually require you to pitch the inner tent first and then to throw the fly over it. That's OK in fine weather, and who cares at 7,000 m in a snow storm anyhow? But try pitching one in seriously wet weather: the inner tent will fill up with water while you are securing it. Pity about that! And since the guy ropes are attached to the fly while the rather long poles are attached to the inner, embarrassing things can (and do) happen in a gale.

The single skin geods pitch more easily, but very few have good ventilation so they do collect condensation. And rarely do they even have a vestibule. Hard to get in and out in the rain.

Have a wander around YouTube. There are quite a few amusing videos of people trying to pitch a geod in a strong wind. They have a lot of trouble trying to hold the inner tent up without snapping poles while someone else tries to secure the (wildly flapping) fly over the top.

A tunnel tent has short hoop poles, and shorter poles are stronger. A good tunnel tent is pitched fly-first; the better ones have 'integral pitching' - both inner and outer at once. Rain does not get in because the fly is always there. A good tunnel tent has the poles attached to the fly, which makes it significantly more storm-proof. It is quite easy for one man to pitch a tunnel in a howling storm without risk. (How do I know? ... ) And they have good vestibules.

So why are there so many geods and domes on the market in America? Dunno - I suspect cheap free-standing pop-ups started the fashion and the geods were a natural progression. But go to somewhere like Northern Europe where they know about bad weather, and you find the Hillebergs and similar with their tunnels.

Of course, our neighbours the Kiwis (New Zealanders) will simply smile at all this, because they have their own little weather system down there. The Maori name for NZ is 'the land of the long white cloud'; visitors sometimes translate that as 'the land of the long black never-disappearing cloud'. Some places in Australia have similar weather: the Main Range during winter for instance. 100 kph winds (with white stuff) are quite common in both countries, but the weather can get worse...

A final thought. What happens to a geod when it loses all its guy ropes? Embarrassing - a lot of flex. What happens to a tunnel when it loses all its guy ropes? Not much if the wind is any where near end-on. Yes, field tested ... :-)

Sooo... what an expedition buys for the porters to carry, and what an individual should buy to carry himself, can be a bit different. What should YOU buy? That's up to you of course (and your budget!).

I was just challenging the apparent assumption that only geods can be bomb-proof.


Edited by rcaffin on 05/10/2010 01:44:59 MDT.