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$200 tent recommendation
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Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
$200 tent recommendation on 05/21/2012 14:04:30 MDT Print View

My son has $200 to buy a two person tent. What do you recommend?

Two person (six foot boys)
Three season use in Southern California and the Sierras
Bug protection
Single wall ok
Light as possible (son carries treking poles)

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
duo? on 05/21/2012 15:43:54 MDT Print View

SMD has the lunar duo on clearance for $260. A little out of budget, but an amazing 3 season, bug proof, spacious 2 person tent.

Edit- I need to learn to read :P

Edited by PorcupinePhobia on 05/21/2012 15:44:45 MDT.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
just noticed on 05/21/2012 15:51:42 MDT Print View

golite has the shangri la series on sale, and the sl2 is $162. Darn good deal.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
SMD Haven -- Black Diamond BetaLight on 05/21/2012 16:14:45 MDT Print View

At your sons budget of $200, I would consider this offer on EBay for a BetaLight with BetaBugShelter

The auction runs for another 5 hours and so far no one has bid on it. The buy-it-now price is $150 for both items together. Several scouts in our troup have used the BetaLight as a two person tent at Philmont and paid that much just for the BetaLight without the bug shelter. The BetaLight weighs only 19 oz. Our scouts did not use the BugShelter which is relatively heavy at 29 oz.

An alternative to consider might be to first buy the SMD Haven for $200. It has a similar weight (18 oz) as the BetaLight, but offers the advantage of two doors, which makes it easier for the boys to get in and out without disturbing the other person. The inner net costs another $150, but weighs only 14 oz. Your son could buy the inner net later and get by at first without the bug protection. Our sons always go without an inner net. They just get into their sleeping bag and put on a head net if it is really bad, but normally once they get into their tent the mosquitos are gone too.

Best Regards,


Edited by Orienteering on 05/21/2012 16:17:57 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
$200 tent recommendation on 05/21/2012 16:14:53 MDT Print View

I immediately thought of the Tarptent Squall 2, which I got on sale for $185 (regular price was, I believe, a little over $200). It was my very first lightweight tent, and I still prefer it for short trips or when I take a grandchild out. However, that was 7 years ago, and inflation has hit everywhere--it's now $249. If you keep a really close watch on Gear Swap and act fast if you see one, you should be able to find a used one for $200 or less. Sorry, I'm not selling mine!

Thayne N
(teethless) - MLife

Locale: Boston
2nd on 05/21/2012 18:13:08 MDT Print View

If you want to keep it cheap and new: I second the recommendation on the Golite SL2. Plenty lengthy, pitch with or without the nest, and the current golite sale is hard to beat. If you want to go even lighter, scoop up the used one that's on gearswap with a perimeter netting mod:

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
big agness seedhouse 2 on 05/21/2012 20:53:13 MDT Print View

I have a big agness seedhouse 2 tent that i want to sell. It is used but in good shape. It comes with the foot print. I'm asking $180 shipped. I also have a newer nemo obi 1 tent that i going to sell for $190. They are both good quality tents that are freestanding(except the vestibule). I will give you first dibs. I can send picture. Thanks.

Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
Great Suggestions on 05/22/2012 12:00:28 MDT Print View

Great suggestions. I am leaning toward either the SMD Lunar Duo Outfitter at $160/59oz or Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 at $250/34 oz. I like the Golite product, but the center pole is a hassle and it isn't clear whether they have full bug protection.

The Lunar Duo is on the heavy side and the Fly Creak UL2 exceeds the budget. Does anyone sell a two person tarp, dual pole setup (ie no pole in the center), possibly beaks, perimeter netting and less than $200? I am thinking of something like a Hexamid twin in silnylon to keep the price down.

Rebecca Canode
(bcanode) - F
+1 For GoLite on 05/22/2012 23:17:37 MDT Print View

The GoLite SL2 does have full bug protection if you take the nest. The benefit to these tents is you can leave the nest at home when bugs are not bad and this allows you to shed a bunch of weight. Ditto for the SL3. The SL3 is much roomier and easier to set up but the SL2 might be a better fit for tall people due to its length. Both are fantastic tents, very flexible, and great values.

As for the poles in the middle, ok, its a pain if you are looking to snuggle. However, that isn't an issue the way ours gets used. Our son uses them for Boy Scout trips and the poles create a much appreciated barrier between him and whoever he has to share the tent with. Sometimes its good to have a layer of separation between tent mates.

I'm sure there are a ton of other great options, but we have had good luck with the SL2 & SL3. For the money, they are pretty hard to beat.

Cesar Garcia
(crgowo) - F

Locale: Desert SW
bear paw maybe? on 05/23/2012 11:08:18 MDT Print View

You can get a 2 man canopy tarp from Bear Paw Wilderness Designs. It has front and back beak and the front beak has a zipper for $109 then the Net 2 for $100. You have the ability to put the trekking pole on the outside.

Edited by crgowo on 05/23/2012 11:09:57 MDT.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: $200 tent recommendation on 05/23/2012 11:43:52 MDT Print View

Ok, I'll state the obvious. He can sew his own tarp + net tent for far less than $200 using kits, and less again by skipping the kits and just purchasing materials and finding a pattern. Tarps in particular are about the easiest things to make yourself, perfect for beginners.

Joe S
Bearpaw on 05/23/2012 12:51:23 MDT Print View

+1 for Bearpaw Wilderness Designs, they have a few options that would work. I have La Garita 2 that would fit two 6' boys (I'm 6'3"). And John will sew bug netting around the perimiter of all his tents for about $40-$50, so all you need is a cheap, light groundcloth.