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Luxurious ultralight tents for two; price per oz
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Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Luxurious ultralight tents for two; price per oz on 09/28/2012 01:08:39 MDT Print View

I have a scarp 2 and I consider it luxurious. But it is on the heavier side.

Knowing what I know about Tarptent, but not having seen one, I would put money on the SS2 being a winner.
52" wide floor
fatty bathtub
vertical sidewalls
big vestibules
big one now that I own the scarp- two main staking points. (east to do by yourself)

If I had a gripe about the Scarp it would be that it is weird to get started pitching it- you pretty much WILL be redoing a couple of stakes. of course I only have 5 nights in mine so I'll get better...

I almost got the solid inner but went with the mesh... I'm glad I did because with the Scarp shell 'zipped up' the is almost NO draft even with a ok breeze. We would hear the wind knock pine needles on the tent but not feel the wind. Anyway the SS2 the same specs to the ground and bathtub height so I bet its equally draft-less.

headroom for "luxury" - its the spaciousness that makes it feel luxurious when you're in it.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
UL Tents for Two - A Phased Approach on 09/28/2012 05:52:01 MDT Print View

Another option you have as you agonize over the choices would be to save some $$$ now (and carry a little more weight) and then revisit your options in a couple of years.

I have a Lunar Duo and love it. Buy one of the cheaper/heavier tents now, use it for a year or two, and then sell it. As more and more people offer a Cuben option the prices will probably drop. As long as you are willing to sell your beloved gear when it's time to upgrade (unfortunately I tend to be a "hoarder" and have kept everything I've ever purchased to use as a loaner) then you won't be out much.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Hogback on 09/28/2012 06:28:40 MDT Print View

If I wanted a big luxurious roomy tent for two, I'd buy the 4-person Tarptent Hogback and split the weight up for carry. Thirty-two ounces for me carrying the outer, and thirty-two ounces for the wife carrying the inner.

It might not be light like the others, but it's got the room, and it can be split for carry weight.

And OOH! There is some big, bug-free, fully-floored, room in there!
7 feet square, and full 49"(4+ FEET!) sit-up room
If you want a palace, THAT's a palace. And it's 4-season capable.
You could play cards in there, and change your clothes easily, etc.

And it's still about 2 pounds lighter than what you had before.
Granted, it's not "ultralight" and it's overkill for 2 people trying to ultralight.
But it IS luxurious and roomy and nice quality, and still fairly light for a tent that roomy.

Okay, you can chop my head off now for not gram counting, and taking the "luxurious" desire to be important and still shave some significant weight off the previous tent.

Edited by towaly on 09/28/2012 06:31:10 MDT.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Another Hogback vote on 09/28/2012 08:36:32 MDT Print View

The Hogback will work for two adults plus an eight-year old for sleeping, and it's a palace for two, and not much more than four pounds. If the budget allows at some point you might also consider a Warmlite 3R or Hilleberg Kaitum 2GT. This last one weighs in much heavier, but it's considerably more versatile and rock-solid in winter. I agree with Ted, don't count every ounce when you are talking about your shelter. Get what you want and can afford.


Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
several replies on 09/28/2012 09:26:25 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of your thoughts. This is extremely helpful (especially the saved $/oz idea)

This could be a lot easier:
First of all, it seems to me Backpackinglight could inject some major value into their paid membership by setting up a simple comparison website; keep an internal form of all tents interesting to the site, solicit prices, weights, volumes and features from the manufacturers (or community), and setup an interface for members to compare tents side-by-side, or search by features. This isn't anything Web 2.0... just basic check boxes and drop-down menus. That would have saved me hours of time combing websites. (This could be expanded to other products as well, one at a time)
The upkeep could be mitigated by allowing paid members to adjust values, wiki-style.

Various weights:
Yes, Zpacks is the cuben bathtub, for BearPaw tubs I only accounted for the silnylon versions primarily because I knew it was already looking expensive, and I didn't want to add more cuben to the price. I could go through and put those in, but that will just make it busier.

Bagged vs unbagged tents:
I wish manufacturers would make it clear which weight they're reporting.

Supermid interest over Duomid:
I read enough comments that the Duomid is slightly small for 2 people (especially once I put some sort of bathtub or inner), plus the $1100 cuben supermid would have given enough space for more people / dogs / kids as needed, and it's winter adaptable, for a still really low weight--very attractive. But that is a LOT of money that I don't have. Hence, agreement with the comments to buy what I can actually afford.

Updated table:
table 4

The Haven still looks pretty nice to me, but yes, the extra luxury described with the very affordable Rainshadow 2 is worth considering. Time to take it to the wife's aesthetics.

Edited by mrnlegato on 09/28/2012 09:37:08 MDT.

NW Hiker
(king2005ify) - M
Z Packs on 09/28/2012 09:35:57 MDT Print View

I vote for the Z is spacious (1000% nicer then a inner-net set-up), watertight, won't sag (silnylon is awful), and only weighs 16.9 oz!

If not you'll buy something, use it, sell it and end up there anyway more than likely :) and going that route wastes several hundred dollars.


(PNWhiker) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Look at the 'Efficient Horizon' on 09/28/2012 09:46:07 MDT Print View

Here's another way to analyze this data. Borrow the economist's idea of an efficient horizon. In your spreadsheet select the columns with price and weight. Now insert an x-y scatter plot. What you are looking for is the minimum weight tent at any given price point. For example, there are three options in the $535-550 range. The one with the minimum weight, (Zpacks Hexamid at 16.9oz) is one point on the efficient horizon. The entire efficient horizon is a line across the bottom of this graph which touches the bottom points (FYI - the economic equivalent identifies portfolios which have maximum return for a given risk).

Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Look at the 'Efficient Horizon' on 09/28/2012 10:06:51 MDT Print View

I love graphs. Here it is.
(Also added LightHeart Duo + 1 Peak for kicks)
table 5

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Tents? on 09/28/2012 10:22:57 MDT Print View

It depends what you mean by 'tent'.
Although i own a few of the shelters named in the thread, i wouldn't call them 'tents'.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Wife's aesthetics ... on 09/28/2012 10:28:37 MDT Print View

My wife had similar criteria when we purchased our two person tent. We had the added benefit of being able to see most tents life at the GGG IV at Henry Coe this February.
Seeing tents, their pitch and being able to put our own sleeping pads in them was very valuable for us. We both use a regular NeoAir (72x20). So tents with a tapered design that offer less than 40+ inch at foot and head end didn't look that good any longer. For my wife it was also somewhat important to have privacy to change in the tent - so tents with a half open net side were less desirable.
In the end we decided for an SMD Cuben Haven with NetTent. We took it this summer on the JMT. As my wife insisted on the NetTent for its bathtub out of fear to get a wet sleeping bag and the net for fear of mosquitoes, we agreed that she would carry the heavier NetTent while I would carry the outer tent. When we resupplied at Muir Trail Ranch roughly half way through the JMT, my wife went through her backpack and shipped back all items she didn't want any longer. The NetTent was one of the items ... and that despite the major rain storms we had this year on the JMT. So now we have a 10 oz two person tent we are both happy with - and if there should be really bad mosquitoes we can add 1 lbs to our pack and bring the NetTent along.