Tent/Pack Recommendation
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Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Shelter/Pack Recommendation on 06/17/2010 19:08:53 MDT Print View

I have posted my gear list in the Gear List forum recently. I have been trying to lighten up. 2 big areas where I can get some real savings is shelter and pack. My current pack is a Gregory Baltoro which is 5 lbs 10 ounces. And my tent is a Quarter Dome T3 which is 5 lbs 5 ounces.

I am looking for a new pack and tent. My current gear list thread is here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/process#forumtop

What are your recommendations for an UL 2 or 3 person shelter with bug protection? I do not currently have treking poles, but I am going to be purchasing them soon. My wife and I share a bag, so unless someone can enlighten me, I cannot use a shelter with a pole in the dead center.

Also, what would you recommend for a pack? I need the pack to be able to hold a bear cannister should I take any trips that would require it, and I need it to be large enough for a week long trip with no restock. I am trying to get by with just 1 pack, and the longest trip we would take would be 6-7 nights. We have a 4 night trip planned for later this year in the Grand Canyon, and we are looking at an early spring trip next year in Yosemite. And a late summer trip in Colorado.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Ultralite on 06/18/2010 08:16:16 MDT.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Tarptent on 06/18/2010 08:18:03 MDT Print View

Is Tarptent the way to go for an UL 2 person shelter? Seems like they have a few offerings that would fit my needs. Or should I be looking elsewhere?

As far as packs, the GoLite Pinnacle and the ULA Catalyst seem to be popular options for larger packs in the UL category. Will I miss the internal frame with the Pinnacle? Are there any other options I am not aware of? I want the pack to be able to hold enough for a week with a bear canister.

Dave Myers
(PatientWolf) - F - M

Locale: South Western Oklahoma
Re: Tarptent on 06/18/2010 09:39:58 MDT Print View

You really can't go wrong with something from Tarptent. Lightheart Gear has the Lightheart Duo and Six Moon Designs has the Lunar Duo both of which I have heard good things about.

I have a SMD Swift '10 frameless backpack which I love. I have carried up to a 35 lb load just fine though I wouldn't recommend it. I've gotten my weight down to around 11 lbs and most of the time just forget the pack is back there. If you want something with a frame SMD has the Starlite.

Here is a cool thread with videos showcasing the Swift '10.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=33285

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 09:46:59 MDT Print View

I would recommend looking at the Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian, and the ULA Catalyst. The frameless packs will suck with weights over the low twenties and long, humping days. Doable but why?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 09:54:03 MDT Print View

I am an avowed tarp user. Many have done the longest thru hikes in tarps. But tarps are not for everyone. If I were in the market for a tent I would look at Henry Shires Tarpent line up. There are some many satisfied users, you probably can't go wrong.

Buy your pack last. If you are doing a lot of miles with over 20lbs, then internal stays will be helpful. Plus with a bear cannister, you need enough room to store it. I have yet to take my cannister in any of my UL packs, so can't provide specific models that work. I have owned both ULA and GG packs, and both companies make excellent products. I prefer the GG packs, as they are easier for me to live out of, but ULA offers more in the way of larger packs.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Tarptent on 06/18/2010 10:10:19 MDT Print View

Yet another TarpTent recommendation here.

The TarpTent line is pretty broad, so it's likely that you'll find one that suits you, and the built quality is top notch.

That said, I've seen a lot of positive reviews for the SMD and LightHeart gear as well, and they're in about the same price range as TarpTent products.

Mark Hume
(seattlesetters) - F

Locale: Pugetropolis
Mainstream options on 06/18/2010 10:34:17 MDT Print View

For a couple of more mainstream options, the Osprey Exos 58 weighs in at 2 lbs 8 oz and will comfortably carry up to 35 lbs or so. Combine it with the roomy Nemo Meta 2P trekking pole tent ( 2 lbs 15 oz) and you've just lost 5 1/2 lbs of weight and not given up any comfort at all.

Substitute the SMD Lunar Duo and you lose another 6-7 oz.

Edited by seattlesetters on 06/18/2010 10:43:29 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 10:46:34 MDT Print View

Hey Mark - you have to add a pound to the Meta for trekking poles... ;) (I'm just playing with ya Brother)

Mark Hume
(seattlesetters) - F

Locale: Pugetropolis
Re: Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 10:49:36 MDT Print View

"Hey Mark - you have to add a pound to the Meta for trekking poles... ;) (I'm just playing with ya Brother)"

Dude - Homeboy said he was going to be "carrying them anyway." That's the argument I always hear....maybe I'm slowly being converted. :-)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 10:56:50 MDT Print View

Mark - not wanting to highjack the thread but recently I was on a 42 mile hike with considerable elevation gain and loss. I used trekking poles, which helped the knees no doubt but I had sore shoulders and traps. Darned if I do, darned if I don't.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 12:01:20 MDT Print View

We use the SMD Lunar Duo, it has the most amazing interior space for the weight. It does use trekking poles to set up, but they are at the sides, so you have as much room as you need inside.

Depending on what size pack you need, I have used packs from SMD and ULA and been very pleased. The SMD Starlite is a great pack for the transition to light or UL gear -- if you use the optional stays (which I would call mandatory)it will carry 35 pounds nicely, and it has enough volume for me for winter hiking in NC.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Lunar Duo - Scarp 2 - Double Rainbow on 06/18/2010 13:03:19 MDT Print View

So far I have liked the Lunar Duo, Scarp 2, and the Double Rainbow.

Does anyone have any pros or cons to those choices? Or others to add to the list that I am forgetting? We hike mostly in the Southeast.

The Lunar Duo and the Double Rainbow seem pretty similar. The Lunar Duo is a tad lighter but is more expensive. The Scarp 2 seems quite a bit larger than the 2 but is also the heaviest and most expensive of the 3.

Other than that what are some things I may or may not be thinking about? We do share a quilt so tents with a pole in the center are out.

As far as packs go, this seems like a personal preference as I have gotten quite a few different answers. As far as brands go, it looks like I should look at SMD, ULA, Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, GoLite, any others?

And while we are on the topic, I am getting treking poles as I stated, the BD Fliplocks seem popular, anthing else I should look at?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Ultralite on 06/18/2010 13:23:10 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: Lunar Duo - Scarp 2 - Double Rainbow on 06/18/2010 13:24:34 MDT Print View

If you like the Double Rainbow and the Lunar Duo, you are gonna love the SMD Haven. Similar type, but there are some added tweaks.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Lunar Duo - Scarp 2 - Double Rainbow on 06/18/2010 13:40:37 MDT Print View

"As far as packs go, this seems like a personal preference as I have gotten quite a few different answers. As far as brands go, it looks like I should look at SMD, ULA, Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, GoLite, any others?"

Yep. I have a GG Gorilla and an ULA OHM. Hard to choose as they are both great. From others experiences, I would add MLD, but I have no personal experience.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Starlite and Stays on 06/18/2010 13:43:40 MDT Print View

Re:
"The SMD Starlite is a great pack for the transition to light or UL gear -- if you use the optional stays (which I would call mandatory)"

I used to use the stays for the same reason until someone described some tips:
Use your sleep pad in the provided pocket and/or pack so that the back is rigid. This can be done by organizing your gear in the way that works best for you and then cinching the cords down tight to make the pack rigid.

The cinching part really makes a difference. I noticed the first time I forgot to do this:-)

Edited by brooklynkayak on 06/18/2010 13:44:38 MDT.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Tents, Packs, and Poles on 06/18/2010 14:47:31 MDT Print View

My head is spinning! I guess I can consider myself lucky that there are so many great options...

So instead of decreasing my choices I have increased them by one: The Haven, Scarp 2, DR, Lunar Duo.

Packs: My initial looking has me narrowed down to: SMD Starlite, GL Pinnacle, ULA Catalyst, ULA Epic, ULA Circuit, GG G4, MLD Arc

These are all packs above 60L that were at least somewhat light. Most are not over 2.2 lbs.

The Granite Gear Packs seem to be heavy for the storage capacity. I think I may choose something with an internal frame as well, so that will eliminate some of these.

As far as treking poles go I have not started researching.

Edited by Ultralite on 06/18/2010 14:48:28 MDT.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Starlite and Stays on 06/18/2010 14:52:17 MDT Print View

"I used to use the stays for the same reason until someone described some tips:"


Yes, but without the stays the load lifters don't work at all. And I like load lifters.

To the OP -- we have owned both the Tarptent Double Rainbow and the SMD Lunar Duo. In fact we bought the Lunar Duo after more than a year of trying to use the Double Rainbow for two people. While they look the same, the interior volume is significantly different. The long walls on the DR slope inward, so it was tough for both of us to sit up at the same time. The long walls on the Lunar Duo are straight up and down, providing way more volume inside, as well as better entry and exit in the rain.

They are both very, very nice tents. Well made, well designed, etc.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 15:01:08 MDT Print View

Exactly. Without the stays, the torso collapse even with a firm pad for support is pretty significant over 25 lbs or so.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
SMD Starlite on 06/18/2010 15:03:41 MDT Print View

I don't normally carry much over 20 lbs so I guess I just never reached that point where I needed the stays.

By the way, the Starlite is huge. Look at the picture of my avatar for an idea. I normally only carry half that. Did a camp cleanup that day.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Tent/Pack Recommendation on 06/18/2010 15:21:42 MDT Print View

Looks like you could use it as a Bivy!