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Luxurious ultralight tents for two; price per oz
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Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Luxurious ultralight tents for two; price per oz on 09/27/2012 18:13:44 MDT Print View

I came to a bit of an epiphany today. I've been enamored with the MLD cuben supermid for several months, but never put together all the required pieces together in my head to make a package satisfying for my lightweight desires and my wife's displeasure in bugs and wet ground, and our limited funds. We also demand to be able to sit upright in the tent, and have robust weather protection.

The table below contains most reasonable permutations of supermid material, netting solution, and bathtub solution.
BP netting = perimeter netting and netting door installed on a supermid via BearPaw
BP bathtub = a standalone bathtub fit to the supermid via BearPaw
BP pyranet3 = BearPaw's pyranet, an all in one solution
ZP bathtub = ZPacks bathtub (8ft x 8ft)

After seeing the initial results, I then put on the other tents I've found that satisfy all of the same requirements...

Downsizing from a 91 oz tent, the last column in the table represents the percentage difference in weight (easier to help me understand the perceived weight changes)

table 2

Conclusion: I am still enamored with a full supermid setup, with BP netting and ZPacks bathtub. However, the total cost for that setup is more than three times as expensive as SMD cuben Haven, which ends up about the same weight. The Nemo Meta 2P is in the same ballpark, but I like the Haven design better. The ZPacks hexamid is easily the lightest out of the whole bunch, with the cuben Haven not far behind.

Are there any other tents I should add to these calculations? (UL, sit-uppable, bug protection, bathtub, trekking pole framed)

EDIT Just added the ZPacks hexamid twin with bathtub

Edited by mrnlegato on 09/27/2012 18:26:30 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

TT SS2 on 09/27/2012 18:37:57 MDT Print View

TarpTent SS2? $325, 40oz. Quite spacious.

It's similar to the Haven, but the offset interior + pitch lock corner struts deliver good headroom over a larger portion of the interior. I think it's also a bit bigger in terms of useable space (mostly because of the corner struts) but I haven't delved into the specs too much.

Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
update on 09/27/2012 18:48:39 MDT Print View

table 3

Jeff N
(Newtrout) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
TT Rainshadow 2 on 09/27/2012 18:52:38 MDT Print View

The Rainshadow is palatial with great headroom. 42 oz and $279

Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: TT Rainshadow 2 on 09/27/2012 18:59:33 MDT Print View

I'll add that one tomorrow. Are there any other tents that can break that 40oz barrier? Neither of those options are to me as convincing as seeing the sub 2-lb realm of the Haven, Meta, and Hexamid...

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
$ per oz of saved weight on 09/27/2012 19:27:39 MDT Print View


I'm not so sure the price per oz as shown in the table is meaningful for what you are trying to achieve. Let's assume two tents cost the same, but one weighs less. In your table the lighter tent that costs the same will look more expenseive per oz because it weighs less.

I think what you are really looking for is the $ amount you have to spend for every oz you save over your old tent. In that case the lighter tent would save you more oz for the same price and thus would be the better choice.

I extended your table with this information.
Tent prices


Edited by Orienteering on 09/27/2012 19:29:15 MDT.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
smd on 09/27/2012 19:47:00 MDT Print View

you should note that the SMD set up is actually 26oz. the net tents are listed 14 but actually 16..

Colton Akers
(Akers07) - F

Locale: Indiana
Lightheart Gear on 09/27/2012 20:32:52 MDT Print View

What about the lightheart gear tents?

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
+1 on $/oz <b>saved</b> on 09/27/2012 20:35:54 MDT Print View

Manfred is right. As far as the money goes $/oz is useless, you don't want more weight! It's not cheese!

Two money factors matter: Total dollar (can you afford this) and price/weight savings(is this a good place to spend money to save weight).

Also you listed the Supermid, which is more of a 3 person tent and then some 2p tents. Naturally the smaller ones will be lighter. If you are looking at mids from MLD why not a Speedmid or Duomid?

Are you considering any winter trips? If so, consider snowshedding of the outer and a completely separate inner, so you can leave it behind in winter to save some weight. The netting lfoor of the Zpacks doesn't seem like a great option to select for winter use.

tents on 09/27/2012 20:39:45 MDT Print View

You need to narrow down what you WANT. Price will not determine this for you, the tents you list are very varied in features, size, and weight.

Edited by livingontheroad on 09/27/2012 20:41:10 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Floors Cuben? on 09/27/2012 20:41:32 MDT Print View

The Bearpaw bathtub you list, is that cuben?
The Bearpaw tent you list with the Silnylon floor, whcih weight? What about the Cuben floor?

I assume the Zpacks bathtub is cuben?

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Sort the list on 09/27/2012 20:42:59 MDT Print View

By weight or $/oz saved, or something else, but sort it.

Edited by Tjaard on 09/27/2012 20:43:42 MDT.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Re: TT Rainshadow 2 on 09/27/2012 20:47:04 MDT Print View

" Are there any other tents that can break that 40oz barrier? Neither of those options are to me as convincing as seeing the sub 2-lb realm of the Haven, Meta, and Hexamid..."

As long as your gram-counting you should note that the listed weights for all Tarptents include stuff sacks and stakes. I'm pretty sure the listed weights for SMD and MLD both exclude the stakes, which amounts to a couple of ounces that need to be added on if you haven't already accounted for it.

As far as bang for the buck I'd say the Tarptents are pretty "convincing", although the SMD entries look pretty good that way too.

Edited by hes on 09/27/2012 20:49:19 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Sil nylon Stuffsacks a few ounces too on 09/27/2012 21:03:37 MDT Print View

So adjust for that.

tents on 09/27/2012 22:07:00 MDT Print View

Hell you can complicate it even more, you will probably want a couple ounces of elastic tensioners on silnylon tents to keep them taught, esp when wet. And dont forget a couple ounces for seam sealing as well.

2 big reasons for cuben regardless of price. No stretch/no sag, taped seams/no sealing.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Hire a Sherpa on 09/27/2012 22:39:35 MDT Print View

Two of those tents cost more than one thousand dollars, each. Does a tent that light offset the weight of the ti Rolex?

A thousand dollars? A thousand dollars?

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Nemo Meta 2P? on 09/27/2012 22:50:47 MDT Print View

The weight in your charts for Nemo Meta 2P is way off. The "packed weight" is 57 ounces and the "minimum weight" is 47 ounces:
Nemo Meta 2P

I suspect the packed weight is the one that's relevant for comparison here, which means it probably doesn't make sense to have the tent in this comparison.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
Aaaargh! on 09/27/2012 22:58:00 MDT Print View

Something I don't like (math), and something I don't have (money). I don't know about all this...

You should add a MYOG setup, cheapest way to go lighter :)

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Luxurious ultralight tents for two; price per oz on 09/27/2012 23:01:10 MDT Print View

What makes a tent luxurious? Of course the floor, netting and ability to sit up as you said. That doesn't cut it for me. I expect a tall ceiling and vertical walls. Some domes can provide that, so can tunnels.

Corbin McFarlane
(raven15) - MLife
Zpacks or SMD Haven on 09/27/2012 23:40:08 MDT Print View

Zpacks or SMD Haven (Non-Cuben) based strictly on your table without knowledge of each particular tent set-up. Per Manfred the SMD Haven is the most cost effective way to lose weight, while the Zpacks is the lightest overall by almost half a pound, and almost a full pound over the SMD Haven. The Zpacks is also still fairly cost effective, though not cheap. $200=$200.

I recently did a similar comparison and ended up with the Zpacks because it was comparatively less expensive than many while easily being lightest. I figured I already had a 5-pound tent I got for free, so I might as well just get the lightest tent if I was actually going to spend money, no need to compromise on an almost-as-expensive moderately light tent (or even worse, a tent made by myself that costs hundreds of dollars and has such shoddy workmanship that it would fall apart in one season). So far no regrets, though I won't claim it is best for your uses too.

I would not necessarily describe the Z-packs tent as luxurious, but it does everything I ask of it, like keep out water and bugs and allow room to sit up and even keep some gear inside. With a bathtub floor I can't see why it would be worse than the others in snow (haven't tried), though in my opinion mine is a little drafty, but that may be common for most of these.

Edited by raven15 on 09/28/2012 00:02:00 MDT.