Forum Index » GEAR » Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs?


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Timothy Reynolds
(magrenell)

Locale: New England
Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs? on 05/10/2010 11:03:29 MDT Print View

My subject line says it all.

I'm having a hell of a hard time finding one.

More specifically, I'm looking for a two person tent with a bathtub floor, and good headroom. I'm only stating "two-walled" to emphasize my desire for a storm-worthy shelter that doesn't have much condensation.

Am I being too idealistic?

Could anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks,

Tim.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Tarptent and Warmlite on 05/10/2010 11:10:31 MDT Print View

Tim,

Several of Tarptent's 2-person tents are listed under three pounds. Can't vouch for them, but I can for a Stephenson's Warmlite 2R. I'd get the side windows though, which put it at 3 lb one ounce. A 2C with windows is under 3 lb. My 2RS is very winter-worthy and stormproof.

Richard

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Shangri La 2 at 3# 6 oz. on 05/10/2010 11:17:29 MDT Print View

The lightest one I know of is Go Lite's Shangri La 2, which for the fly, mesh nest, scads of stakes (13) and 4 guy cords, comes in at 3# 5.8 oz. on my scale. It comes with no poles, so you use your trekking poles for support. You could easily lighten it up by packing fewer stakes (8 minimum), or ones that are lighter than the MSR Groundhogs that I use.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs? on 05/10/2010 11:19:26 MDT Print View

All tents encounter condensation at some point. It's only a problem if it drips on you or your sleeping bag touches it and absorbs it.

The Scarp 2 is double wall and comes close to what you want at around 3.25 lbs. That's what I've ordered.

I'm also experimenting with sewing in bug netting to a GoLite Shangri-La 3 (single wall) with floor, which will be around 2.75-3 lbs without the center support pole. (It can be supported with a hiking staff, trekking poles, overhead branch or two sapling-sized poles lashed together as a bipod.)

Consider other single wall tents like:
Tarptent Double Rainbow
Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs? on 05/10/2010 11:20:35 MDT Print View

For a true double-wall 2 person shelter the lightest are around the 3.25 lb mark. You can get lighter with a cuben tarp and a 2 person bug tent if you're comfortable with tarping.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Alternate options... on 05/10/2010 11:27:07 MDT Print View

You could also consider some of the tarp + inner combos, like the Alpinlite setups (although I don't think that the Alpinlite 2-person stuff is shipping yet), an MLD Duo/Super mid with one of the MLD inners.

Edit: I just looked at Alpinlite's site... it says that the two-person bug shelter + Terraform tarp will be available for ordering soon...

Edited by Tamerlin on 05/10/2010 11:31:33 MDT.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 on 05/10/2010 11:28:55 MDT Print View

I am looking for a similar item and so far this tops my list:

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2

Too bad all tent manufacturers still use silnylon and are so slow to move to cuben or this puppy could weight quite a bit less still! What I would love to find is a 2.5 man tent made of cuben/nanoseeum which pitches with 6 stakes and 2 trekking poles. Carrying tent poles is beyond ridiculous to me given how light and useful trekking poles can be.

Edited by ChemE on 05/10/2010 11:36:13 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs? on 05/10/2010 11:31:34 MDT Print View

If you consider a full netting interior a "wall", like you find in a MSR Hubba Hubba, then a look at the Six Moon Designs Haven Tarp and NetInner combination is merited. It uses trekking poles for supports.

It comes in at 36 ounces. The Tarp or NetInner can be set up independently or together. It is roomy. It has headroom. It has a bathtub silnylon floor. It has two doors, each with a small vestibule.

No field experiences have been reported yet.

Edited by greg23 on 05/10/2010 11:32:32 MDT.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
...two-walled tent for two under 3lbs? on 05/10/2010 11:37:15 MDT Print View

MLD DuoMid paired with a MLD InnerNet.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs? on 05/10/2010 11:42:37 MDT Print View

How about the Alpinlite Terraform Tarp and 2 person bug tent. This set up should be around 32oz.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2wovwcb

Edited by Mocs123 on 05/10/2010 11:43:49 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Power lizard on 05/10/2010 15:13:07 MDT Print View

Vaude power lizard ultralight looks promising.

Barbara K
(Barbara)

Locale: So Cal
+1 BA Fly Creek 2 on 05/10/2010 15:22:14 MDT Print View

But, it has one opening at the head, must be staked out to achieve inside room, is very cozy, and I have heard that in rain you easily get the inside wet while getting in and out. Also only a small vestibule (1) at the head. But it is a nice, lightweight, 2 person double wall tent with bathtub floor.

My daughter and are opting for the BA Copper Spur 2, which weighs just under 60 ozs (3lbs 7 ozs), all told, but has 2 large side vestibules and openings, more interior space, and can be stand alone. Too heavy for you tho.

Say Raow
(lordrasov) - M
Re: Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs? on 05/10/2010 15:53:30 MDT Print View

An MLD Duomid with duo innernet is just a little more than 2 lbs after being seam sealed, with stakes and guyline.

There is plenty of head room for two average sized people without the innernet. With the innernet, your head will touch the mesh with two people if you're moving around, but there is a 5 inch clearance to the outer wall anyways. I can't tell you how it is with condensation, as I have not had mine in that situation yet.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Is there such thing as a decent, two-walled tent for two people under 3lbs?" on 05/10/2010 16:06:22 MDT Print View

There's a joke in there somewhere about people that weigh less than three pounds........

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
3 lbs on 05/10/2010 20:01:04 MDT Print View

You can get double walled protection from rain, bugs and condensation for as little as 2 lbs, but currently you have to need to carry about 3.5 lbs if you want a commercially available 2 person double wall tent without significant compromises. The common compromises you'll see with tents under 3.5 lbs are small dimensions, non-freestanding designs anbd silnylon floors. In my opinion, 30D silnylon floors (1200mm waterproof rating) are not signficantly durable or waterproof to be used without a groundsheet, so you need to consider the weight of one of those when comparing it to other shelters with more durable floors. Silnylon floors are also super slippery (ie. you'll slide around the tent if the ground isn't level) which can be remedied with silicone sealant, but that adds weight and make the floor a dust magnet.

The lightest double walled shelters are the trekking pole supported tarp + inner net tent offerings from SMD (Haven) and MLD (DuoMid). The DuoMid combo is lighter because you can get a cuben tarp (a cuben version of the Haven tarp is rumored to be in the works). I would personally choose the Haven though because it uses two trekking poles so you get more headroom and avoid having a pole inside your shelter. The DuoMid is also very small inside for two people. While the Haven offers a more reasonable amount of room, the headspace is limited because it uses two trekking poles so the headroom is only high between the poles. You can't sit up everywhere inside the shelter like you may be used to with a traditional tent. These shelters also have the disadvantage of not being freestanding, which isn't a huge deal unless you camp a lot on sand, snow or flat rock.

The next lightest option is the Big Anges Fly Creek UL2 at ~2.4 lbs. It's a double wall tent that uses poles. The major compromise here is interior volume and a silnylon floor. The sidewalls slope inwards heavily so it's not big enough inside for two people to sit up in at the same time. I personally would only use it with two people if we were just sleeping in it. It wouldn't be comfortable to wait out a rainstorm in.

Next lightest would be the Big Sky International Evolution/Revelation tents at ~2.7lbs. These are tempting tents that are adequately roomy. The main compromise here is the use of 30D silnylon for everything including the floor.

Next lightest is the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 at 3 lbs. Unlike all previously mentioned tents, the CR2 has a more durable and 10,000mm rated floor. It also had the most headroom of the tents mentioned so far. I would say this tent has enough interior room to be livable for two for more than just sleeping. The floor area isn't huge but it's adequate and the interior volume is good because the side walls are vertical so you get lots of headroom. The compromises you make with the CR2 are the single door, small-ish floor area and that it's not freestanding which can be a pain on sand, snow or rock if you're not prepared. It's also not the biggest tent inside, but it's acceptable if you understand what you are getting. My wife was happy sharing the CR2 with me...other guys maybe not so much. Make sure you have proper stakes if you set it up on sand since it's not freestanding. Price is high at $499 but you can find them on eBay for ~$100 less.

Next is the Big Anges Seedhouse SL2 also at 3 lbs. It's got a silnylon floor and borderline headroom, but it is freestanding and it has a decent floor size.

Next lightest is the Tarptent Scarp 2 at about 3.4 lbs. The Scarp 2 had a large floor area. Like the Big Sky International tents, this tent uses a silnylon floor so you have the same waterproofing, durability and slipperyness questions. The good things about this tent is the optional 4 season mode, optional fabric inner tent and large floor area.

Heavier than this you get a bunch of mainstream tents that have pretty much no significant compromises in exchange for the 3.5-4 lbs weight. There is a lot of tents in this category. Off the top of my head there is the MSR Hubba Hubba HP, Mountain Hardware Skyledge 2.1, REI Quarterdome T2, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, Sierra Designs Lightning XT etc. From this list, some standouts include the REI tent for it's value (they go for $150-$175 on eBay) and the Hubba Hubba HP for it's fabric inner which makes it well suited to light 4 season use and for dusty or sandy conditions where blowing sediment is a concern.

Many of the tents listed can potentially be lightened though the use of lighter poles (ie. Fibraplex carbon poles) which can save up to 1/2 lbs in exchange for a lot of cash ($100-$175). You can also shave a ton of weight by replacing the fly with a MYOG cuben fly. I'm currently working on a MYOG 0.75oz Cuben fly for my REI Quarterdome T2. The original fly weighs 23oz and I think I can make a cuben one for 8-10oz. This will put me at about 2.8 lbs for a roomy freestanding two person tent with a highly waterproof and durable floor. I've also ordered Fibraplex carbon poles which should weigh 8oz instead of 16oz so I'll be down to about ~2.3lbs for a freestanding, spacious, dual entry, adequately durable and waterproof shelter.

Edited by dandydan on 05/11/2010 23:54:32 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
UL2 on 05/10/2010 20:09:21 MDT Print View

"I am looking for a similar item and so far this tops my list:

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2

Too bad all tent manufacturers still use silnylon and are so slow to move to cuben or this puppy could weight quite a bit less still! What I would love to find is a 2.5 man tent made of cuben/nanoseeum which pitches with 6 stakes and 2 trekking poles. Carrying tent poles is beyond ridiculous to me given how light and useful trekking poles can be."


Have you read the BPL review of the Fly Creek UL2? I hope you're aware that it's so small inside two people can't even sit up at the same time.

The Six Moon Designs Haven sounds like pretty much your dream tent. A cuben version is rumoured to be in the works as Ron has said.

Regarding trekking poles, they do seem like a great idea but IMO two trekking poles alone does not create enough interior volume to be 'livable' for two people. The problem is that the roof of the tent is only high between the two poles so you can only sit up here. Anywhere near the ends of the tent you can't sit up, so you're left feeling like it's pretty small inside. This is fine if you're cranking out long days on the trail, but you want to get out hiking at a more casual pace and you're going to be spending a bit of time besides sleeping in the tent, then you'll want more room. I would like to see some designs incorporating 3 or 4 hiking poles, or the combination of 2 hiking poles and a tent pole. A ridgepole design (ie. Tarptent Rainbow) using a trekking pole (or two!) as cross struts would be roomy and awesome.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Re: UL2 on 05/11/2010 05:06:21 MDT Print View

Great call on the MLD Haven, thanks Dan! I have a new front runner and no I had not yet read the review on the BA Fly Creek UL2.

I too have thought about 4-pole designs for increased interior volume and am very tempted to experiment with designs this fall. It would be great if a cottage manufacturer beat us to the punch though since I'd far prefer to buy from them at least at first.

Edited by ChemE on 05/11/2010 06:13:36 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: 3 lbs on 05/11/2010 05:28:27 MDT Print View

In my opinion, 30D silnylon floors (1200mm waterproof rating) are not significantly durable or waterproof to be used without a groundsheet.

With proper site selection, 30d sil is both sufficiently durable and waterproof as the floor of a lightweight shelter.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Silnylon Floor on 05/11/2010 05:52:23 MDT Print View

I do not use a ground cloth and have a silnylon Tarptent.
I am careful where I pitch so as to avoid water pooling and sharp objects on the ground. Most people are not so careful.

By being a little picky about your site, you avoid damaging the floor, but if you do, water won't be an issue anyway.

I have never had a leak in my floor.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: 3 lbs on 05/11/2010 05:56:25 MDT Print View

I have only spent about 25 nights in my Alpinlite Bug Tent (silnylon floor) so far, but it shows no signs of wear. I also spent around 120 nights in a BA Seedhouse SL1 (not silnylon but still a light floor) with no groundsheet and had no issues either. I did spend one crappy night on the AT at Justus Creek Campsite where there are compacted tent pads (poor site selection on my part) where it rained all night (and 7” in 48 hours). Water pooled up on the tent pad where I was sleeping and although you could see it running under the silnylon floor, none of it leaked through.