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Advice on best shelter for family?
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Jj Mac
(JjMac) - F
Advice on best shelter for family? on 06/19/2012 21:37:18 MDT Print View

Planning a week trip in Maine.
1) what' would you reccomend the best shelter be for me and my 11 yr old daughter?
2) if wife and younger daughter want to join, what would be the best shelter for the 4 of us?

Looking for inexpensive, lightweight shelter setup ideas.


Gerry Volpe

Locale: Vermont
family shelter on 06/19/2012 21:55:36 MDT Print View

I recently acquired a GoLite Shangri-La 5 for my family. It is huge and should fit your family no problem. With the nest and pole it reportedly(I haven't weighed mine yet) weighs just under 6lbs which is heavy but not bad when you consider the coverage. It is pretty darn light for the space without the nest and it is cheap under $250. I like that you can set it up without the nest or with it not fully clipped in so that if it is nasty out you can get out of the weather quick without worrying about muddying up your sleeping area. There was a recent thread on this you might want to search and read. Tarptent Hogback looks great too but it is significantly pricier and I have a preference for mids.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Advice on best shelter for family? on 06/19/2012 23:40:55 MDT Print View

For two: Tarptent Squall II or Double Rainbow or Rainshadow II or Stratospire II depending on your preference. I bought my Squall II in 2005 and still use it for short trips (palatial space), car camping or for taking a grandchild out. It was my first lightweight tent. While I now have a much lighter tent (ZPacks Hexamid Twin, 17 oz.), I still prefer the Squall II for short trips. You may have gathered that I'm very enthusiastic about Henry Shires' Tarptents!

For three--Tarptent Rainshadow II (The "2" is the model number; it actually sleeps 3 with lots of space)--I also listed this under 2-person tents because some like to use it that way. It's basically a three-person version of the Squall.

For four: Tarptent Hogback or GoLite Shangri-La 5 or possibly the MLD Circus Tent.

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/19/2012 23:42:07 MDT.

James Berwick
(jhb0510) - F
SL5 on 06/20/2012 07:44:01 MDT Print View

Hi We have a Golite SL 5 which makes a great family shelter for up to 4, realisticly it does not do 5 unless some of the number are very small!

I have a TT squall, which is a great 2 man tent, but when going out with the kids the distances are usually not huge, and more time is spent in the tent than if off on my own, so I usually take the SL 5 anyway!

Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
Shelters for family on 06/20/2012 08:44:12 MDT Print View

I have a family of 5. I own a Tarptent Stratosphire 2 and a SpinnTwinn tarp. This setup seems to be pretty flexible. When all five of us go on a trip I use both shelters. The Stratospire 2 will fit three people just fine if one or two are kids. So two people under the tarp and three in the Stratospire. Most the time it is just my oldest son and I. On those trips we can just take the tarp or the Stratospire. Sometimes my wife joins us and it is just the three of us. In that case we take the Stratospire. Anyway I found this setup very flexible and will easily work for however many of the family happen to be along.

David Passey
(davidpassey) - F

Locale: New York City
Re: Advice on best shelter for family? on 06/20/2012 19:15:44 MDT Print View

Love the TT rainshadow for 3
For 4, I'm using the mld speedmid this summer
For 5, I go with two shelters

Paul Hood
(sirisaac) - MLife
one more for the Golite SL 5 on 06/20/2012 21:24:17 MDT Print View

I have 4 kids and while they are still young, (5,7, 10, 13) we all manage to fit in the nest without too much trouble. If full size, I am not sure you could really fit 5 in the nest, but without it (only using the outer) I suspect even 5 full size sleepers should fit, but still a bit tight.

I was using two two mans, or a two man and 4 man coleman family tent, and when the wind caved the coleman tent, I dug around and found the Golite SL 5.

I have been very happy thus far, and the weight savings was HUGE compared to what I was using.

At this point, it is more important that my kids enjoy the time, and I end up carrying a bit more than all go ultra light just yet :)

happy searching.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Tarptent Hogback on 06/20/2012 23:07:02 MDT Print View

Just did a three day-er on the PCT with my three older girls in the hogback. Fit four full size pads, including my large neoair *(wide). Pitched and slept like a champ. Can't say enough about it. Not the cheapest though.


Locale: East Bay
Tarptent Rainshadow on 06/21/2012 13:56:44 MDT Print View

I've been using a Tarptent Rainshadow for 3 years now for me family of four. My kids are now 11 and 8 and it still works for our sizes. I'll probably have the kids start carrying their own next summer tho.