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New Tent Help
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J. Klustner
(Klustner) - F
New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 19:41:46 MST Print View

I'm looking for a new tent to replace my heavy and bulky Alps Mountaineering 2 man tent. Two tents that stand out for me are the Tarptent Contrail and the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1. I want enough protection to keep me dry, but I'm try to go more ultralight. I like how light the Contrail is, but don't know how I feel about it not being free-standing. The Big Agnes seems like a great, lightweight tent, but it's not as light as the Contrail.

Any suggestions for lightweight tent ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 19:57:46 MST Print View

"Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1"

There is also the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1. It's a bit tighter, but lighter.


J. Klustner
(Klustner) - F
Too Pricey on 11/26/2011 20:13:27 MST Print View

That looks like a great tent, but it's a little too pricey for me.

Thanks anyways,

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Freestanding on 11/26/2011 20:33:59 MST Print View

Freestanding - I think the Big Agnes tents being freestanding is up to interpretation.
11 stakes for a good solid hold.
9 would work.
7 might possibly do it.
5 would be pretty sketchy.
This is not my definition of freestanding.
My definition of freestanding would be stands up solidly without stakes.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 20:34:05 MST Print View

Freestanding... how about the Rainbow or Moment?

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Too Pricey on 11/26/2011 20:39:21 MST Print View

You're replacing a 2-man but mention only 1-man options; is that what you intend?

There is quite some difference between the two tents you mention--Seedhouse is double-wall, Contrail is single, for example. It's hard to compare things without knowing a little more about what you need and want, how tall are you, etc.

I've got the BA Seedhouse 1 (same dimensions as SL1 but heavier) and I don't like it much. For one thing, it's too short for me, but I'm pretty tall. It takes too many stakes to set up (11). The door is very hard for me to get in and out of (I much prefer side-entry tents). The vestibule doesn't hold much, especially for how much ground it covers, and anything it does hold is in your way for crawling in and out of the tent.

I also have a Tarptent Rainbow and love it. For me the benefit of single-wall construction (mainly, it's lighter) outweighs the detriment (needing more care to keep off wet walls). A lot of it is personal preference.

J. Klustner
(Klustner) - F
RE: New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 20:55:08 MST Print View

Kristen-Thanks I didn't realize that it required that many stakes.

Todd- Sorry for not giving other info. I am 6' and have decided that having the extra room in the two man was not worth the extra weight.

The Rainbow looks very nice. Does yours hold up in heavy rain? That was another concern of mine with the Contrail.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: RE: New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 21:03:27 MST Print View

"The Rainbow looks very nice. Does yours hold up in heavy rain? That was another concern of mine with the Contrail."

I've never had mine in what I'd call heavy rain. It does fine in moderate rain without substantial wind. It did fine in a light snow recently, too (about an inch of pelleted stuff).

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 21:33:00 MST Print View

We have the Rainbow's larger sibling, the Double Rainbow, and it has held up very nicely during all-night rain and wind storms here in the Oregon Cascades.

I heartily recommend any of Henry's arch pole design tarptents, especially if you don't (or would rather not) use trekking poles.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 21:33:08 MST Print View

The Moment and Rainbow are good suggestions. I have a Moment. I like it, but the extra headroom near the ends in the Rainbow would be nice.

Some good options if you're willing to consider non-freestanding tents:

The new Tarptent Notch looks similar to the Moment, but I think it's better in many ways if you already carry trekking poles. Plus, if there's no bugs, you can leave the mesh inner at home to save even more weight.

The MLD Duomid is very appealing too, but you'd need to use a mesh inner for bugs (or have netting sewn around the perimeter). I tend to not like mids because of the low headroom at the ends when pitched low to the ground.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
BA Copper Spur UL1 on 11/26/2011 22:00:40 MST Print View

I just picked one of these up and for the weight... it's fantastic! I've had the rainbow, the contrail, the duomid and the like. For not having to go incredibly heavier, the Copper Spur is a go to tent. Roomy, side entry, well designed and totally free standing. Check them out. Not the cheapest though.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
New Tent Help on 11/26/2011 22:32:24 MST Print View

BA Copper Spur UL 1 is on sale at for $244.97:

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
sl-1 in gear swap on 11/27/2011 05:13:16 MST Print View

It's all about needs and prefernces. I have used an SL-1 for years. I survived thunderstorms and 8 hrs of driving rain in the White mountains. I have now moved on to tarps.

There is one in gear swap for $180.