What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent?
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent? on 01/07/2013 12:04:54 MST Print View

I know everyone loves talking about their favorite tents. Mind giving me some starting points?

I love my hammock, but I can't always use it- midwinter, it's no good and in some geographic areas like the southwest and South America, I'll need a tent. So, I'm starting to look around!

Here's what I want:


- Bugproof, Rainproof. Stormproof, too.
- It has to vent- I want to use this in absolutely hot climates.
- Low weight. I'll gladly sacrifice vestibule space, shoulder space, etc.
- FAST Setup. Faster, the better. I don't want to spend a lot of time in camp.
- I'd love to use hiking poles as support, since I'm already carrying them.


I'm not afraid of bivy bags, but I don't know how well they breathe. A nice dome of bug netting seems to vent much, much better to me. I've tried my friend's $400 Gore-Tex bivy and was not looking forward to a good nights' sleep in it.

I know a 3-season tent isn't great in midwinter, but it's fine enough for me in my experience.

Also, sorry- no MYOG. Much respect for the crafters, but I leave my stuff to the experts.

Edited by mdilthey on 01/07/2013 15:23:35 MST.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
My Fac on 01/07/2013 12:31:40 MST Print View

Tarptent Moment for most of what you have listed. Before that I had the BA Seedhouse but wanted a vent, more vestibule space, etc... This year I'll go tarp but keep my moment for buggy trips.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
My modded TT Moment on 01/07/2013 12:47:20 MST Print View

I have a Tarptent Moment 1P tent that I think is a very "ergonomic" design for its interior sit room, length, venting and nice vestibule.

The main mod I did was to run the optional crossing pole INSIDE the canopy and back out the apex of the end triangles (through melted holes in the Velcro closures sewn on the end netting)

This tent is 28 oz W/ 2 MSR Groundhog stakes. The optional crossing pole and internal lining add more weight, natch but are nice for better canopy support of the crossing pole and more warmth, less condensation touching you in cool to cold weather with the ripstop partial liner.

Laying your clothes on the floor level netting in winter helps keep drafts down, as does adding 4 stake loops around the bottom hem of the canopy. Also making up 4 guy lines in advance is important for high winds. (One for each guy loop on the main pole sleeve and one at each end to your walking poles and down to a stake.)

But if you need to guy the ends out as well as the main pole you are in some serious wind. :o

BTW, you want a FAST setup? The Moment's name says it all. Stake one end insert the main pole and stake the other end - that's it. Change in wind direction? Pull one end stake, rotate the tent and re-stake. Very fast.

Edited by Danepacker on 01/07/2013 12:51:51 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent? on 01/07/2013 12:51:56 MST Print View

Defnitely consider the Tarptent Notch. Very well ventilated - two doors and two vestibules with a vent on the fly. Double walled and sets up fly first so great in rain. The inner net tent with floor attaches to the fly so you can leave either at home depending on the weather. Uses two trekking poles and weighs about 1.5 lbs.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Favorite 3-season 1P tent on 01/07/2013 12:58:23 MST Print View

I personally just use tarps and mids for everything but I don't deal with many bugs where I hike. When I do, I just add a bug bivy or head net.

If you're set on going the fully enlcosed tent route and want bug protection but still with good venting, use of trekking poles and easy set-up, it's hard to beat some of the shelters from Tarptent. I'm not up to speed on the latest and greatest of their offerings, but I'm confident they have a few options that would work for you. I've had two of their shelters (a 2P Squall 2 and a 3P Rainshadow 2) and both were easy to set-up, spacious, vented well and were quite light for their amount of covered and enclosed floorspace.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
My latest favorite on 01/07/2013 13:13:12 MST Print View

My latest favorite is the MLD Patrol combined with a bugnet inner(either an SMD Meteor or BearPaw Minimalist depending on season).

Easy setup
Double wall(when combined with the bugnet inner)
Superior flexibility in pitching options. Cool open for summer heat when pitched high.and storm-proof for windblown rain or cold when pitched low.
Very light, especially the cuben version
Roomy enough for me and my gear, but not much else when pitched low in storm mode.

I have used and still own many shelters and this has been the most perfect solo tent for me.

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
My 2c... on 01/07/2013 13:15:08 MST Print View

+1 on the TT Notch...or...use a tarp (light and expensive as you wish!) couple with a net inner...BPW would be a good way to go here I would think.

-Mark in St. Louis

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Re on 01/07/2013 13:15:21 MST Print View

SMD Gatewood Cape with the inner net tent.

I wish I would have discovered it earlier.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Gatewood on 01/07/2013 13:19:14 MST Print View

I agree about the Gatewood shelter. It was always one of my favorite. I ended up voting for the Patrol because my cuben version is, slightly roomier, lighter, slightly quicker/easier to setup and a tiny bit more flexible in it's pitching options.

The Gatewood does double as a rain cape though, but I only used mine as a shelter.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Skurka Says No on 01/07/2013 13:23:34 MST Print View

Andrew Skurka commented on a poncho tent that you'd end up soaking everything while you get your tent set up. Doesn't really appeal to me. I'd rather go with something uncomplicated and purpose-built.

As for the inner bug net ideas, I've found that I really want the space between the net and my body, since I've been bitten through nets at contact points in particularly buggy areas. Long-term, I want to take this tent to South America for a cycling tour, and contact with insects in some areas can be deadly.

I like the Tarptent Notch, but has anyone experienced it in high wind? The Tarptent Moment looks like it's a little bit more prepared for gusts.

Edited by mdilthey on 01/07/2013 13:24:28 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
What does Skurka know:-) on 01/07/2013 13:36:55 MST Print View

If you hang a bugnet inner correctly you don't touch the walls, so bugs can't get you.
I have used several. I think some people don't hang their bugnets tight and they may have had sagging to the point of the net touching their skin.

I've never had this issue and I often hike in the worst buggy conditions.
Even the SMD Meteor has a good amount of clearance when suspended correctly, other bugnets are even roomier.

The Serenity(Gatewood) inner has tabs on each end to pull the net well away from your face and foot, at least for me at 5'11". If you are taller, then you may want something longer.

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
TT Notch... on 01/07/2013 13:44:45 MST Print View

Henry will add two more guy-outs to the pole pocket/vent area of the Notch for nc when you order, if you ask...this provides a lot more wind stability according to a few that have tested it.

I think Franco might have a video or pics somewhere...

-Mark

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
P.S. on 01/07/2013 13:45:19 MST Print View

Using the Gatewood as a shelter only doesn't have the issue Andrew mentions. But there are other similar shelters as well.

I forgot to mention that the MLD Patrol(and my GG Spinnshleter) has superior wind shedding compared to most shelters I've used.
Having two poles spaced like that reduces the twisting and/or imploding that you experience with many shelters in strong winds.
That means a better night sleep in those rare cases.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Re: What does Skurka know:-) on 01/07/2013 13:52:57 MST Print View

Agreed.

If Skurka made that comment, then he's never used one, or doesn't know how.

I have heard that comment echoing thru this site for a couple years now, and it's false.

I think it's a shame that it has probably really cut into the sales of the SMD GC, based on completely false information.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
South America on 01/07/2013 14:00:49 MST Print View

Also, on the subject of using a bugnet in South America,

I had a friend who borrowed my Gatewood/Serenity combo for a month long backpacking trip during the dry season, mostly in Colombia and he said he never used the Gatewood for shelter, but used the Serenity net every night and loved it.

I guess the only time it rained was when he was under some other rain cover.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Poncho And Skurka on 01/07/2013 14:02:34 MST Print View

Here's the quote from Skurka.

"A poncho/tarp like the GoLite Poncho Tarp a classic “ultralight” item because it is multi-functional: shelter, rain gear, and pack cover. The truth, however, is that poncho/tarps offer sub-par performance in each regard, as I discovered during the wetter stretches of the Sea-to-Sea Route. Ever try to transform your raingear into your shelter during a downpour? For dry trips, poncho/tarps may be practical if you don’t expect any windy storms or bushwhacking."

The article can be found here.

http://andrewskurka.com/2012/stupid-light-not-always-right-or-better/

I really value his opinions, but I'm open to others and aware that practice often makes perfect when it comes to setting up tents.


I am interested in hearing more about the tortional rigidity provided by a 2-pole tent. It seems counter-intuitive to me; the Notch looks a lot less stable than something like the Nemo Meta 1P: http://www.rei.com/product/849279/nemo-meta-1p-tent-2012-overstock


I leaned away from the Nemo and similar tarptents because of the proclivity of stakes. I feel like staking and re-staking a tent takes up a lot of time, and when I want to move fast, time is a premium. I can't walk for 16 hours but I can definitely bike for 16 hours and I want to be done with camp pronto.


Keep the info coming! This is exactly the kind of hive-mind I needed. Thank you!

Roman Vazhnov
(joarr) - MLife

Locale: Russia
zpacks on 01/07/2013 14:22:11 MST Print View

Hexamid

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Poncho And Skurka on 01/07/2013 14:24:44 MST Print View

What about skurkas comment do you disagree with? He is basically saying that if you combine a poncho and tarp you have a compromise for both purposes. Makes perfect sense. How could a single purpose (optimized) piece of equipment not perform better for it's task than a dual use? It may weigh more to have two single purpose piece of gear but overall performance should increase.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Poncho on 01/07/2013 14:26:45 MST Print View

I agree with Andrew in regards to using a poncho tarp for poncho and tarp.
I only used mine as a shelter. I feel the Gatewood was too long for me as a rain cape and so wore a shorter cape. I only used the Gatewood as a shelter.

Be aware that the Gatewood has better coverage compared to the Golite and other ponch/tarp combinations. An 8x5 rectangular tarp can be very cramped when used as a shelter in blowing rain.

The shaped aspect of the Gatewood has much better coverage and roomier. I sat out many rainstorms in a Gatewood and always had room for me and gear.

I get very confined using a small rectangular tarp in blowing rain.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent? on 01/07/2013 14:38:22 MST Print View

Max
Two pole support is nothing new.
From the classic A frame tent to the two pole mids (as in BetaMid) it has been around for a long time.
Not sure how you perceive a pole set at a slant supporting all of the fabric (Nemo Meta 1)to be better than the Notch that not only has two straight poles but has also the fabric supported and tensioned by the two Pitch Lock corners, much stronger than just two pegs.
Note that the Notch now ships with the two apex guyout points as standard.
Notch 2013
If you are bike touring, then the Moment may be better for you since you will not be using trekking poles.
adding poles to the Notch gets you close to the weight of the Moment and that one only requires two stakes or 4 (2 extra for the guylines) in exposed/windy areas.

Edited by Franco on 01/07/2013 14:50:29 MST.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Because on 01/07/2013 14:40:29 MST Print View

Because as a user, I can tell you that that kind of theoretical comment is not borne out in real world use.

The GC is essentially a Wild Oasis with a hood at the peak. It eliminates the edge netting, and allows no net or a net inner tent, as the needs dictate, and the net inner tent combined with the GC gives double-wall shelter at 19 ounces.

I live near the AT, and I know what wet weather is. The GC is as perfect a shelter as I can think of, because it works extremely well, is very light and condensation-resistant with the double-wall feature, keeps out bugs and critters, and is excellent shelter.
The poncho feature is just an added bonus.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Poncho And Skurka on 01/07/2013 14:40:39 MST Print View

"What about skurkas comment do you disagree with? He is basically saying that if you combine a poncho and tarp you have a compromise for both purposes. Makes perfect sense. How could a single purpose (optimized) piece of equipment not perform better for it's task than a dual use? It may weigh more to have two single purpose piece of gear but overall performance should increase."

Agree. It is a compromise and often requires a 3rd piece of equipment: bivy. Using a poncho/tarp does require some skill and experience, especially when it is raining and you are setting up your shelter.

I used a poncho/tarp for many years with good results.

But a 8 X 10 tarp with separate rain gear works better for me. No bivy required. As gear got lighter, it became possible to go with two pieces of gear that are lighter than a poncho/tarp sans bivy. A plain Hexamid with a zPacks poncho/ground sheet is an example, and a combination I have used a lot in the past year and a half.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
wind stabilty on 01/07/2013 14:49:52 MST Print View

Oh, and on the two pole wind stability. The typical a-frame like the Patrol and others of that type, have the poles at each end. Many shelters have the poles closer together near the middle or on one end with larger areas that can twist or implode in the wind.

BUT, be aware that depending on where you hike, this may never be an issue, I have only had issues with this kind of wind problem once on an exposed ridge and once near the Atlantic shoreline during unusual wind storms.

Most people never get themselves in such situations and usually have a better wind break when they do.
So this is probably not an issue for you.

I know you have considered a hammock and jungle style hammocks are popular with people I know who hike in South America, but that depends on what part you will be hiking.

A hammock would obviously be a bad choice for parts of Patagonia, Tiera Del Fuego and a few other treeless areas.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
More Info on 01/07/2013 15:09:11 MST Print View

I plan on doing hikes while biking through So. America, and I have a bad foot so I'm tied to my Leki Poles, even if it's just a 2 mile jaunt up to a peak. They'll be with me.

My tentative route starts in southern Argentina and follows the coast up to the top of Peru, and if I'm feeling ambitious by then, I may continue onwards into Central America. I know from the very beginning of my research for that trip (forgive me if I'm underschooled here) that there are a lot of treeless areas in Argentina and Patagonia, as well as windswept deserts and rocky ridgelines. I want to go with a tent here because, quite simply, there's always ground underneath my feet.

I will forever be a hammock proponent and FIGHT against the "There aren't enough trees!" argument, but they are not for every trip, geographically speaking.

I want to go with something windproof because my tent is useful and comfortable when the weather is nice, and possibly lifesaving when the weather isn't. If the tent can't handle the lifesaving part, I need to add a bit of weight and look for something hardier. Storms happen, as do injuries that prevent me from finding better camp spots. A shredded rain-fly that won't stay down in a tough moment isn't ideal for an extended trip in another country. That being said, I don't want to carry a house. The smaller, the better.

I don't have ANY experience with ANY tents, so forgive my inaccuracies. I'm here to learn. The Nemo Meta looks stronger to me because the stakes and guylines are simple, and very tortional. The stakes on the Notch look, to me, like they are allowed to swing out, especially because the carbide end goes into a cup with the handle against the ground. This may, in practice, be completely strong and I am more than willing to take it on faith that the 2-pole system works if people have taken this tent into tough winds successfully.

Edited by mdilthey on 01/07/2013 15:21:00 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: More Info on 01/07/2013 15:23:09 MST Print View

Well, it doesn't use trekking poles, but if you don't care about lots of room, and you want a wind-worthy/storm-worthy tent that you can still open up somewhat when it's hot, a Hilleberg Atko could work. Fairly quick setup. I believe they even sell a mesh inner for it for the hotter climes.

It's also not exceptionally light. But you can't have everything!

Edited by idester on 01/07/2013 15:28:58 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent? on 01/07/2013 15:24:36 MST Print View

Lightheart Gear Solo.

Lightheart Solo 1

So you are tied to your poles, so what, they'll be needed for your tent. ;-)

Lightheart Solo 3

And if you can trust the weather it can become a screened porch of sorts.

http://www.lightheartgear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=15

27 ounces, $245.00 and made with 3500 mm Hydrostatic head 1.1 oz sil-nylon.

Party On,

Newton

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
SMD - Skyscape on 01/07/2013 15:34:46 MST Print View

I am suprised no one has mentioned the Sixmoon designs Skyscape since there has already been so much discussion about the gatewood cape. Depending on your price point you can get progressively lighter versions.

John Abela did an excellent write up on the cuben Skyscape X here:
http://hikelighter.com/2012/04/03/six-moon-designs-skyscape-x/

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Poncho And Skurka on 01/07/2013 15:38:26 MST Print View

"I am interested in hearing more about the tortional rigidity provided by a 2-pole tent. It seems counter-intuitive to me; the Notch looks a lot less stable than something like the Nemo Meta 1P"

One pole stable. Two poles twice as stable.

Seriously though, the Notch sets up rock solid with only 4 stakes. You can add two more in really windy conditions, but the form of the shelter works and works well.

The Nemo requires more pegs to maximize the room and has a large, flat side to take the wind. Not my idea of stability.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: newton on 01/07/2013 16:26:25 MST Print View

Newton, I really like that tent. The user review about a thunderstorm is also reassuring. What can you tell me about the material it's made of? I'm willing to sacrifice ounces for something that will last a month of backpacking and come right back for a cycle tour, with proper care of course.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Nemo Meta on 01/07/2013 16:29:33 MST Print View

I may have made the mistake of choosing that particular tent as a comparison. Obviously, I don't know the strength of either. For the sake of the thread, understand that my intent is not to prove the Nemo meta is a good tent; I already discarded it from my list of potential tents. Secondly, I'm also not looking to disprove 2-stake shelters. Of course, I'm sure it works great.

I just love learning more about why things work, since the nuances of tarp tension, space between tent walls, rigidity from guylines, etc. are often more accurately described after first-person experience.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent? on 01/07/2013 16:47:59 MST Print View

First, regardless of how enthusiastic one is a bout a shelter , you need to be happy with your choice before you start using it.
The best way to make sure a shelter fails is not to like it in the first place.
Having stated that ...
"especially because the carbide end goes into a cup with the handle against the ground"
Tips in the grommet is used by several makers because they just lock into place.
My opinion (and practical experience) is that if the poles are straight up and the shelter is staked out correctly , you can use handles up. (I do...)
However some find that a bit hard to do, so Henry has made some "pockets" that tie to the grommets grosgrain and grab the pole handle.
When he finishes playing with his new shelters he may even add those to the Extras in the order section.
They look like this :
TT pockets

Edited by Franco on 01/07/2013 16:48:50 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: What can you tell me about the material it's made of? on 01/07/2013 17:20:36 MST Print View

LightHeart Tents are made of 1.1 oz. sil-nylon (silicone impregnated ripstop nylon). Custom LightHeart Solo Tents are made from Cordura®brand sil-nylon. Windows and doors are nylon no-seeum mesh

Sil-nylon is extremely waterproof. The “standard” tents come with sil-nylon that has a hydrostatic head of 3500 mm water. Custom tents have a hydrostatic head of 1200 mm water.

Sil-nylon like any other fabric is flammable. It is not recommended that you cook inside the tent or vestibule. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur this way and potentially cause death. Extreme caution should be used when an open flame is near the tent.

The rain fly on all LightHeart Tents is attached to the body of the tent.

Seam sealing instructions are provided with the tent. McNett Sil-Net seam sealer is offered for sale, and they will also seam seal the tent for you for an additional fee.

Tents in NEW condition may be returned within 30 days for a full refund. When returned, the tent will be checked over to make sure it has not been set up outside, once checked a refund will be made through PayPal. If YOU seam seal a tent it is not refundable. If they seam seal the tent for you it is fully refundable within 30 days of receipt.

The Solo can also be had in cuben fiber.

Cuben Solo

http://www.lightheartgear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=&products_id=14

All Cuben tents come fully seam sealed.
Note: Cuben tents are custom sewn to your specs and as such are non-refundable.

Party On,

Newton

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Newton on 01/07/2013 17:37:39 MST Print View

Thank you!

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
What to look for on 01/07/2013 17:58:01 MST Print View

Since your comming from a hammock background, be prepaired for the shock of not being able to find a place to pitch your tent.

This is one reason that swayed me to favor the tents I do. Flexibility and to a lesser extent ease of pitch.

Some may think it is nice to have a roomy all-in-one tent, but the roomier the shelter, especially all-in-one tents, the harder it is to find places to pitch them.

Going solo allows you the abilty to choose something small enough to pitch in more places. A more flexible tarp style shelter allows even more options.

My choice of using a bugnet/bivy combined with a narrow shaped tarp means I can pitch in a lot more locations than when I used an all-in-one tent. I can also vary my setup to acomodate more weather situations.

I do not give up comfort and in many cases am more comfortable with the more flexible design of the MLD Patrol, GG Spinnshelter and similar shelters than I am in my other tents.
I had wanted an MLD Trailstar and the various pyramids for the obvious advantages, but they lacked some of flexibity I was looking for.

My Tarptent style shelters are great because they are quick and easy to setup, but again the lack of flexibility made me lean a little more towards the a-frame tarps again.

And as much as I wanted to like freestanding dome tents, they just don't work well unless you are going to be canmping in more pristine "campgrounds".

Something to consider.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 01/07/2013 18:00:17 MST.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Big Name Brands? on 01/07/2013 18:09:27 MST Print View

What about freestanding dome tents that have a narrow footprint? I never see big brands mentioned on this forum; is that a general move towards cottage suppliers based on their ability to customize for you, or is there something wrong with these big manufacturers?

For reference, I'm looking at this:

http://www.rei.com/product/779612/big-agnes-fly-creek-ul1-tent

The BA Fly Creek comes in at a little over 2lbs, stands nearly by itself, and looks uncomplicated and sturdy. I can't integrate my trekking poles, but it'd be useful to know why or why not to consider a tent like this.

Thanks,
MD

EDIT: it's not free-standing, sorry.

Edited by mdilthey on 01/07/2013 18:14:09 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Big Name Brands? on 01/07/2013 18:43:40 MST Print View

How tall are you? The Fly Creek UL1 is for those no taller than about 5'9" and even then there is little side to side room. It also lacks headroom but that may not be an issue for you.

Uncomplicated? It takes 13 pegs for a taut pitch.

Of note, any dedicated tent pole will flex. Trekking poles don't and would not be a point of failure of the shelter.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Size on 01/07/2013 19:21:20 MST Print View

Size is important. Thank you for bringing this up. I'm 6'2". The BA tent is no good, but the Copper Spur might be. Question still stands; why the ubiquity of cottage brands?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Size on 01/07/2013 19:30:37 MST Print View

Ooh. The Copper Spur is a nice tent. Long, side entry, reasonable weight. Why no love? The Cottage manufacturers provide lighter weight shelters, most often at a lower price point as well. Finally, it is nice to buy domestic.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
bearpaw on 01/07/2013 20:17:21 MST Print View

Lair with sewn bug protection and silnylon floor. sub 20oz and use one trekking pole (or two).

lairlair bear

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
MSR Hubba on 01/07/2013 20:44:26 MST Print View

hubba

Yeah, yeah, at a "whopping" 2 pounds 14 ounces, it's more like something that one of those people on WHiteBlaze everyone complains about would carry. But I have my reasons (Granted, all these reasons are relative to other tents I've used).

1. It's actually freestanding, unlike the Fly Creek and other small one man tents. No structural integrity requires a stake; only the vestibule. If any stakes pulled, the worst you'd have is a flapping vestibule but not a collapse of the walls. This makes it really easy for beaches or pitching on solid rock slabs.

2. It has an overhanging, rain-free entry, unlike a Fly Creek or Solomid (both of which I've had).

3. It doesn't need trekking poles (I don't use them).

4. It has way more headroom and footroom than a Fly Creek. Granted, it's narrow, but with a large side door, it doesn't bother me. I'm 6'2". The mesh inner door can be left fully open in the rain with no ill effect and plenty of ventilation.

5. I can pitch the fly with poles, then clip in the inner, solving the typical double-wall pitching problem in the rain.

6. I love the color; it's my happy green place while zipped inside. Very scientific, I know.

7. With a few added guylines, I've had it in some serious wind with zero issues.

8. I wouldn't trust it for a serious snow load, but I'd certainly trust it as a shoulder season tent.

9. No single wall condensation rubbing issues. My Tarptent Contrail was really bothersome for this.

10. I can set it up in minutes, with now guyline fiddling, tensioning, etc. My Tarptent Contrail felt so finicky to get a good pitch.

11. It's durable. I expect it will wear far better than anything in silnylon that I've owned.

12. Easy to cook in the vestibule while still being in my bag.

13. I plan on doing two mods this season: adding some silnylon to extend the rear vestibule/overhang lower and add a zipper to the rear wall to access the rear vestibule. It has a sizable amount of space you can't get to from inside, enough for a pack and shoes.

Edited by xnomanx on 01/07/2013 20:48:50 MST.

diego dean
(cfionthefly) - M
CS UL1 on 01/07/2013 21:04:12 MST Print View

Ill just say that Im happy with my BA CS UL1. Pitches easy, small packed size for something that includes poles, and very wind friendly.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
BA CS UL1 on 01/07/2013 21:32:37 MST Print View

the BA Copper Spur seems like an MSR Hubba with less weight, more space, a smaller packed size, and more room. I'm leaning towards that, although the Moment has me thinking as well.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: BA CS UL1 on 01/07/2013 21:45:54 MST Print View

The Moment is a really nice tent, but I found the Copper Spur UL1 a little nicer. I sold my Moment and kept the CS. I even use it in winter (see avatar photo from the UP of Michigan).

Edited by AndyF on 01/07/2013 21:46:46 MST.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo on 01/07/2013 22:23:53 MST Print View

Still my favorite.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Nemo Meta 1p on 01/07/2013 22:33:12 MST Print View

I know you have already ruled it out but I wanted to defend it a bit. I have owned one for 2years now and have been extremely pleased with it. It is basically a mid with a mesh side entrance from the vestibule. You can absolutely get a tight pitch. The key is guying out the ends and the back with the back guyed at an upward angle. There are better shelters out there but at a steeper price.

Nemo Meta 1p pitched to car.

Nemo Meta 1p when pitched properly

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent? on 01/08/2013 00:32:52 MST Print View

>> The Fly Creek UL1 is for those no taller than about 5'9" and even then there is little side to side room. <<

I've used the Fly Creek UL1 for the last 3 years and I'm 6 ft 200 lbs. Normal set up takes 6 stakes (more would only be useful if very windy). It's also 42 inches wide at the door which allows me to store all my extras along the side of my sleep mat, so plenty of side to side room. Head room is tight but I only sleep in it.

I have a Notch on order so we will see if that replaces my Fly Creek... I like what I see (specs/description) but until I use it in a variety of conditions, I won't know which shelter I will prefer. Ironically, the only thing that concerns me about the Notch is the lack of side to side room, I think it will feel tight compared to the Fly Creek UL1. We'll see.

masculine über linear logical club
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
copper spur vs huppa on 01/08/2013 01:33:45 MST Print View

This is a good read:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=60920

masculine über linear logical club
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
but since... on 01/08/2013 01:42:45 MST Print View

you are already carrying two poles, i'd skip all non-trekking pole tents if i were in your situation.

Lightheartgear tents looks very interesting for dual pole setups.

/Peter

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: ...but since you are 6' 2"... on 01/08/2013 04:26:06 MST Print View

The SoLong 6 is SO long, that hikers over 6’8” will fit comfortably in this tent.
Made in America - Exclusively.
Designed for the ‘big & tall’.

SoLong 6

http://www.lightheartgear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=&products_id=42

*Weight 1 lb 14.6 oz.
*Awning fly with zipper on front.
*standard fly with zipper on back.
*45 inches of head room.
*100 inches long.
*55 inches wide in the center, tapers to 30 inches at each end.
*8 inch bathtub floor.
*Corners are boxed off with carbon fiber stays that are sewn into the corners so that *there is no possibility of the corners collapsing.
*Line Lock's on all 4 corners for precision tensioning of tent.
*One pocket.
*Two Ridge vents.
*All seams double stitched
*Requires 6 stakes.
*3-season, fully enclosed, roomy 1+ person.
*Hybrid single/double wall
*Uses a pair of trekking/hiking poles for setup (not included).
*Includes ridge pole, stuff sack and reflective tie-out cord.
*CORDURA® Brand 1.1 oz. silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon with 1200 mm hydrostatic head .
*Requires seam sealing prior to use.
*Small vestibule to store your boots.
*The lateral ridge pole connecting the inverted trekking poles allows the entire headroom height to be usable space and makes the tent very stable under wind loads.
*There is so much room in this tent that 2 ‘regular size’ people can share it.
*Optional adjustable aluminum tent poles are available (sold separately).
*Awning pole sold separately

Here is a link to a review of this tent by BPL lifetime member, "Jolly Green".

http://jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-cuben-shelter.html

Party On,

Newton

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
long on 01/08/2013 07:50:30 MST Print View

The tarptent rainbow can be pitched as a freestanding tent.
The zpacks hexamid long is wonderful.

hex

The mld duomid does better in the wind and can be pitched with less pegs.
You can get a screen door sew'd on by an outside company for less weight than the bug inner tent.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent? on 01/08/2013 08:32:53 MST Print View

Hi Mike, I think you will find that the notch has plenty of width, especially in the middle. With the two doors, excellent length, and height, you get a very airy feeling as well. The sq footage that Henry posts seems a lot smaller than what the actual tent feels like. For example, it feels (and is) far more roomy than the MSR Hubba (I can't lay in that one without pushing out the sides of the tent...and this is without a sleeping bag - too small, too heavy, too narrow).

Would love to have you provide a direct comparison (with pics) when you receive the Notch. I am sure it would help out the OP.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
BA Fly Creek 2 Platinum on 01/08/2013 10:31:31 MST Print View

I recently got the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Platinum and am impressed. All in at 2 lbs with stakes and guy lines and while small for two, a lot of room for one. I am 6' tall, 250 lbs, use a Exped Syn 7 L/W pad and have plenty of room. Expensive but not overly so if you can get on sale. It is basically free standing but need to stake out to get more room at the feet and sides. I live where there are lots of bugs and rain so this was my transition out of tarping and am happy with it.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
So Far... on 01/08/2013 11:09:08 MST Print View

Thanks for the insight so far guys.

The BA Copper Spur is topping my list, but I haven't ruled out the Fly Creek. Gonna try to get to an REI and test it out if I can sometime. The way I sleep, I don't necessarily need it to match my body length. my bed at home leaves my feet hanging off the edge, and my pads are all torso length. I can just sleep with my knees bent, no problem.

But, the CS looks so comfy. Home away from home. I will keep you updated.


#2 on my list is still the Moment, or the Notch, gonna keep researching.

#3 is that Rainbow.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: So Far... on 01/08/2013 14:45:12 MST Print View

I have a Moment, and it's a nice tent. Sets up very quickly, handles heavy wind well, along with light snow. If I were buying something right now, though, I'd get a Notch. I like making my trekking poles dual use, and I would like to have the second door and vestibule.

Stevie Patrick
(XstevieX)

Locale: Adirondacks
ZPacks Hexamid Plus on 01/08/2013 15:06:00 MST Print View

I can't really say enough good things about my Hexamid. I got the Solo Plus with beak and opted that it be made with 0.74 oz cuben rather than the standard 0.51 oz, which may not have been necessary, but thought it was worth the 1.9 oz weight gain to add the durability and peace of mind. It weighs in at 14.2 ounces in its stuff sack with guy line. I'm about 6'1" and 200 lbs and it is a palace for me and my gear. It's also super easy to set up, and I love how the center pole placement is essentially between the front net and the vestibule so that I can utilize all of the vestibule's space, as well as inside of the tent. It's a lot of fun to have. And like it's been said many times on this board, Joe and Matt are a pleasure to talk with, super helpful, and also quick to respond. My custom Hexamid was built and ordered to me within a week. Here's a pic of me just playing with it in the park (with my ZPacks Zero in black.)

hexi

Edited by XstevieX on 01/08/2013 15:07:43 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Tarp Tent Stratosphire 1 on 01/08/2013 15:14:44 MST Print View

I have been using a Tarp Tent Stratosphire 1 for just under a year and really like it.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Golite 2 on 01/08/2013 15:49:25 MST Print View

I currenlty like the Golite Shangri-La 2 for my solo hiking. With net just over 3 lbs, without, just over 1lb.

It is massive for 1 and will actually fit 2 if you have to. Ease of setup is also a big plus for me as well as protection from all sides. No need to worry about switching winds through the night.

But they have been discontinued as far as I know.

Ben

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
fav on 01/08/2013 15:59:18 MST Print View

my favorite is probably my GG "the one"

"the one" packs smaller, provides slightly better weather protection, and is only 1.5oz heavier than my hexamid with cuben groundsheet.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Golite 2 on 01/08/2013 16:01:57 MST Print View

Or a Shangri-la 1.
I find the Shangri-la 2 overkill for a solo ultralight trip. In fact, the GG Spinnshelter and MLD Patrol are even lighter choices of that style shelter.

But as stated, I am more of a fan of the flexibility of these kinds of shelters over the all-in-one style.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Cuben on 01/08/2013 16:46:50 MST Print View

If your cranking out the miles a hexamid is superlight. Also 1 pole setup is versatile if you decide to leave your trekking pole.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco)

Locale: Montana
Re: zpacks on 01/08/2013 17:31:12 MST Print View

+1 On the Hexamid. I use the twin version and have been very pleased.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Hexamid on 01/09/2013 19:23:09 MST Print View

Another +1 for the Hexamid Solo-Plus. Ridiculously light and easy to set up. Quite spacious.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Tarptent Contrail on 01/17/2013 17:07:12 MST Print View

After much deliberation and a lot of research, I think I like the Tarptent Contrail the most. Thanks for all the help!

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Tarptent Contrail on 01/19/2013 11:04:36 MST Print View

Why the Contrail? There's only one (technically two, but they're in the same post) mention of it in this thread, and it wasn't complimentary.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Tarptent Contrail on 01/19/2013 11:17:36 MST Print View

May favorite is also the Contrail. Or the GoLite SL-1 (fly and tyvek ground cloth) if there are no bugs.

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 01/19/2013 11:18:45 MST.

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Copper Spur Currently on 01/19/2013 11:21:40 MST Print View

I've tried a bunch but currently using the Copper Spur. They all have trade-offs so it is what you value.

Things I wish were different about the Copper Spur:

* Wish it were symmetrical so picking a site would be easier.

Otherwise I like virtually everything. There are lighter shelters and larger ones. I find for a single person shelter this one is very roomy. It is easy to stay dry and it is a comfortable spot to sit out bad weather and I'm willing to carry the weight to have something that doesn't require lots of thought or effort to plan a site at the end of the day.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Why the Tarptent Contrail? on 01/19/2013 12:29:14 MST Print View

I like the Tarptent Contrail for a few reasons:

- It looks very minimalist, nothing I don't need.
- It's raised on both ends so the walls don't lay on me.
- It uses a single trekking pole so I can use a trekking pole when I backpack, and a tripod when I bike tour. (although I'll often bring the poles)
- It costs 1/2 as much as the Copper Spur, and less than most other tents.
- It looks very sturdy, and also very easy to set up out of the wind, since it's long and narrow.
- It looks perfect combined with a Bivy Bag, if I ever decide to go that route.

I wish it came in another color besides Gray. But, perhaps by the time I order it there'll be a morale-increasing Yellow. I'm a few months off at least from needing a tent.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Why the Tarptent Contrail? on 01/19/2013 12:54:15 MST Print View

" It looks perfect combined with a Bivy Bag, if I ever decide to go that route."

why would you use a bivy inside a tent?

Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Contrail is soso on 01/19/2013 13:29:49 MST Print View

I've own a Contrail and I must say that it is an ok shelter, but there are many features which annoyed me.

Primarily, Silnylon. I loathe this fabric for a shelter. Sags when wet, slippery as hell, and hard to repair in field. Sure it is cheap, sure it is kind of lightweight, but after enough time with the Contrail I had enough. Silnylon/The Contrail is ok if you are on a budget, but eventually, you will move to some cuben shelter. I suggest doing it sooner than later.

I do not know if Henry changed it but the velcro shut door was the bain of my existence and cause many horrible nights of sleep due to the fact when you pitch a Contrail for extreme storm conditions, everything is very taut/tight. If a strong gust of wind comes through or in the middle of the night nature calls, reconnecting the door when getting back in or after the gust becomes a battle of rain getting and not being able to velcro well enough. A lightweight zipper would add a little weight but go a long way to helping.

You need to do some after market mods to make it storm proof. Sure, we all do after market mods, but this has been known by the designers of the Contrail and yet never fully addressed. Instead of selling the Contrail with a foot storm rod and including it in the directions, we must figure it out on here or else where. Again, I would not complain about it except for the fact it is a well known issue.

Favorite 3-season:
Hexamid Solo Tarp (weight includes guy lines) 5.2oz
Hexanet inner - 6.6oz
8 linelocs - ~.5oz
8 MSR Groundhogs (my conditions and soil won't allow the shepherds or anything lighter): ~4.5oz

Total: 16.8oz (weight of trekking pole not included as it is used often during the trek)

Go without inner if I know the location, then it is replaced by a tyvek floor at 3.2oz

Chase

Edited by Micronorton on 01/19/2013 13:30:27 MST.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Need help choosing tarp materials! on 01/19/2013 13:53:46 MST Print View

Hmm, didn't think much about Cuben, will look into that. Also, like I said in my OP, primary reason for getting a tent is for midwinter, and I'd use a bivy there to improve warmth. Also might be a situation where I have a real light (sub-10oz) bivy bag for shelters and a tent for everywhere else, though that seems unlikely/overkill.

My #2 was the cricket tent from Mountain Laurel Designs, which is a two-part tent, and it only has one more stake than the Contrail. Anyone know about the Cricket? (comes in a lovely yellow!)

I will go back to the drawing board. I thought I was on to something. Maybe there's no real "right" answer, instead just a bunch of good ones.


I would really like it if someone had a link or could articulate the pros/cons of a few common materials, just so I can get the general idea. I haven't owned anything but silnylon.

-M

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
+3 LightheartGear Cuben fiber Solo or SoLong6 on 01/19/2013 13:59:33 MST Print View

I have owned two tents from Judy at Lightheart Gear and the Cuben tents are amazing!!!. Simple, waterproof, stable, and very well made. You can literally set up the Solo with two stakes, but 4 are better!! Just my two cents :)

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Winter tent? on 01/19/2013 14:09:11 MST Print View

Max, you did mention in the OP that you wanted something for winter, but your thread title asked "What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent?" So which is it, actually?

The Contrail isn't a winter tent, by the way. A heavy snow load would kill it.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
3-Season Is Correct on 01/19/2013 14:34:47 MST Print View

I don't need more than a 3-season for winter. I am not someone who uses a tent actively for long periods of time in the winter; I can set up in such a way that I am out of direct snow if I expect a storm, or I'll simply plan trips around the weather. The only long-term travel I do where I rely on a tent is in the summer. Winter trips are all under 3 days.

I do not want to carry a yurt up any mountain, and I don't want to spend megabucks getting a summer tent AND a winter snow-proof tent.

I do hear you, though; some of these tarps are definitely not ready for winter snow. It'll be one more thing to keep in mind, if it comes down to two and one is structurally more sound even at the cost of weight, that'll be a factor.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Need help choosing tarp materials! on 01/19/2013 14:38:17 MST Print View

if you're going to use color as a criteria.. here ya go.

tent

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Why the Tarptent Contrail? on 01/19/2013 15:01:09 MST Print View

Max,

If it's a tarptent, it's gray silnylon or white Tyvek. Check out Henry's gallery.

http://www.tarptent.com/gallery.html

You could email Henry at...

info@tarptent.com

...and ask about a custom order if you really want yellow.

Party On,

Newton

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Tent Color on 01/19/2013 15:24:00 MST Print View

I think the color of your tent does have a psychological impact, especially if you use it for weeks on end. When you're stuck in from a storm, a green, orange, or yellow is a helluva lot more uplifting than a grey.

I'm not just in it for the color, but it does matter to me. A tent is like a house. I have to live in it!


And yeah, if they're not already dyeing then they likely cannot do a custom color because they don't have the capability. That's my guess.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Tent Color on 01/19/2013 15:32:25 MST Print View

They would have to order a custom color from the fabric source. No one "dyes" the fabric.. it is that color from the nylon they use to weave the fabric.

you can get a LH solo or Solong in Yellow (or other colors) Their Cuben is green. as is their normal Silnylon versions now (mine is the older grey version)

http://www.lightheartgear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=&products_id=23&zenid=9cbf64e860b7409f52e1f30daae8f907

to state a cycling term... it's a tool not a jewel.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Tool VS. Jewel on 01/19/2013 15:49:55 MST Print View

We're talking about a tangible asset, here. If a color has a psychological benefit, it directly correlates to your motivation, concentration, and ability to make rational decisions.

Here are a few examples you can pounce on and tear to shreds:

If you're stuck in a bad weather pattern during a thru-hike, you could spend a full day or more in a tent. If you're dying of boredom during the stay, and you can't keep your wits together, you might compromise yourself by pushing on before it's safe or efficient. If you've got blisters, sore calves, a headache, and you've been waking up to the same grey tent for 20 nights in a row, it's a lot easier to justify cutting a trip short than if you wake up every morning to a soft auburn glow coming through your tent walls. Taking a picture of beautiful scenery with a happy yellow tent in it is a lot easier to share with others than a grey triangle, and can really make a difference in feeling proud of your trip or convincing others to join you.

There's something about loving a tent that makes it a better shelter. Love your domicile, love the trip. I'm not backing off my point, even if some of you scoff at it and say that color choice is for children and high school girls.

I'm not wrong. It's basic psychology.

Edited by mdilthey on 01/19/2013 15:56:16 MST.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Dyeing on 01/19/2013 15:51:56 MST Print View

Also, the original thread had to be dyed. It doesn't magically come in yellow sometimes and grey other times. Whether it's dyed at the manufacturer or distributor makes a difference.

Some manufacturers dye themselves, others order out. For instance, McHale does all their own dyeing for custom packs, to my knowledge.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Tool VS. Jewel on 01/19/2013 16:00:37 MST Print View

hmm... Normally I just sleep in my tents (when I use them).

My normal shelter is a tarp or similar.

However, I have spent extended time in all of these tents, (e.g., more than 24 straight hours). I once spent 3 days in the super flash during a snow storm. Never got bored in any of them, and don't think there was any psychological damage either :)

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
re: Criteria on 01/19/2013 16:02:25 MST Print View

Your criteria are utterly contradicting. "Planning around weather" rarely works in winter (unless you live down South), and comparing pack materials to shelter materials is a false equivalence. Also, pole supported tents are significantly less stable than those supported by trekking poles and tensioned fabric. Three-season tents and four-season tents are very different simply because the conditions are so different, but you don't have to haul a yurt to be safe and well-taken care of.

I suggest you take some time to think about what your needs are, do a lot of searching in the forum. All of these questions have been answered several times before, and a few minutes using the admittedly poor search function will take care of you.

Funnily enough, though, the only tent that can do just about everything you're asking it to do is the Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid. It even comes in yellow.

Marc Penansky
(MarcPen) - F

Locale: Western NC
Dyeing on 01/19/2013 16:13:26 MST Print View

Max,
You can dye the thread before it is woven into fabric or you can dye the already woven fabric. But sil-nylon is a coated fabric. Once it is coated, you won't be able to dye it. There are no distributors of sil-nylon dyeing this material.
Marc Penansky
LightHeart Gear

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Tool VS. Jewel on 01/19/2013 16:15:30 MST Print View

I've read a lot of trail journals and equipment becomes an afterthought unless it fails.

If it is raining all you will care about is somewhere dry and something to eat. If it is not a t-storm you will probably be walking through it.

I've said this to you about 10 times now but you really need more miles under your shoes.

Go with the Yellow Duomid.. Skurka tested and approved. there ya go. you can even use a bivy with it.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Quit riding me! on 01/19/2013 17:01:18 MST Print View

Seems people spend entire paragraphs telling me the methods I use to seek information, my experience, and my wants/needs are incorrect... and then they follow that with a single sentence with a reccomendation or bit of useful information that was al I really needed! Rather than tear me to pieces, just let me know why you like certain tents.

I am not going to be able to take 15 tents out for a month and then choose one. Obviously. If I make an educated guess and you feel like it's wrong, just simply tell me what your experience was. If you're looking for me to do extended research on 15 tents- I am. That's what this thread is for. Notice the OP? Starting points?


Get off my back, guys!


I am taking a look at the Duo-Mid. Jake D tells me the Contrail is prone to a lot of condensation, so I'm no longer looking to that as a first choice, though, it is still on the table.


And about the dyeing thing, it's really off-topic. If you need me to be wrong about it, you've got it ;D but let's stick to the main point here... If you don't agree with me on color keep using your tents and let it go. I'll make that choice myself when it comes down to it; I'm not the only one in this thread that puts stock into color.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
More Info on the DuoMid on 01/19/2013 17:10:16 MST Print View

Initial thoughts on the DuoMid: please respond!

-This looks to be sized for two people, which seems fine. Should I look for a narrower, definitely-1-person tents to save a few ounces in weight or do most people find they appreciate/need the empty space for gear in a real-world setting? Currently, I've been happy with my barely-1P hammock and a trash bag for my pack, boots, etc. but I'm not afraid of a 2P shelter.

-Why are trekking pole tents considered stronger than pole-based tents, if they are? Isn't this massively subjective and variable?

-What makes this a 4-season vs. a 3-season?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Quit riding me! on 01/19/2013 17:10:48 MST Print View

Max,

How tall are you?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Quit riding me! on 01/19/2013 17:15:03 MST Print View

Max,

" I'm not the only one in this thread that puts stock into color."

Agreed!

I'd have chosen a "color" also if when I bought my tent from Judy at Lightheart Gear over a year ago the material would have had the same HH as the standard gray tent.

Form follows function and my main goal was warm and dry. I made the choice based on my needs, wants and cost. I'm sure you will take from these posts what is relevant and use it to make a wise choice for your needs and wants.

Good luck with your search. ;-)

Party On,

Newton

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Quit riding me! on 01/19/2013 17:22:46 MST Print View

The reason you keep getting short recommendations is that there are loads of information on this very topic and these tents on the forum and in the articles already. It's expected that you to do a fair bit of research on your own.

If you have a new question or unusual perspective have at it. We can all learn something new from you. But the archives are there for a reason.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Quit riding me! on 01/19/2013 17:44:34 MST Print View

Max
Relax

Hey, I made a poem :)

Join BPL and Roger Caffin's and Will Rietveld's articles will cover everything you ever needed to know (and more) about tents. Collectively they probably have over 100 years of outdoor experience and both are scientists -- so they provide the science and the actual hands-on to everything tents. Not to mention just about every piece of gear we use.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Quit riding me! on 01/19/2013 17:52:16 MST Print View

What Nick says is sage advice, Rogers and Wills articles are well worth reading.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Thanks! on 01/19/2013 18:59:08 MST Print View

Thanks for the info! I have read through a few threads on hanging tarps and I've been through most of the reviews in the user review section on this site. I will likely be upgrading my account soon to start reading BPL articles; if the advice and instruction is half as good as what I get from the forums, it's money well spent.

What I mostly wanted here is just user reflections on why their shelters are their favorites (and why they abhor others). That's exactly what I'm getting, with the occasional sidetrack.

I didn't exactly expect such stern opposition after settling on the Contrail, although I guess when you ask people for advice, they sometimes get offended at not being followed to the letter. Ha!

P.S.- I'm 6'2" but I'm a very, very easy sleeper and would have no problem scrunching up a bit.

Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Re: More Info on the DuoMid on 01/19/2013 19:25:24 MST Print View

You may not be able to take 15 shelters out but be prepared to research, research, ask questions, research, buy, then it not meet what you need, resell on gear swap, and repeat until you find what you need for you. In the end of it all, you will likely go through 3-4 shelters that just don't do it for ya until you find the right one, thats the process.

You answered your first point. If you have been happy with a barely 1p hammock... then I would go for a 1 person shelter set up. Two person is just extra weight, room, often stakes and so on.

Trekking pole shelters are not stronger than pole-based shelters in my opinion. Shelters that are designed to be supported by a trekking pole but offer a carbon fiber pole for those who don't use trekking poles ARE stronger with trekking poles though. By this I mean, go up Denali and no one will have a trekking pole supported shelter because they are NOT stronger, but if given a Contrail (and I have tried both single carbon fiber and trekking) the trekking pole is no comparison and is significantly stronger. This is due to the diameter of the trekking pole along with other features. I laid one night watching the carbon fiber pole bending under the weight of strong wind while a trekking pole stood firm.

Others are right though, people in this community become very short at topics that have been discussed in length through our archives. Many people have been here for a long time and every new comer asks the same questions and concerns. After a while, it wears them down I imagine. Not the best for a supportive community but it is what is it. Develop a thick skin, some people on here like to hide behind their computer screens. Others are great and you will learn those you can look to for help.

Safe Trails,

Chase

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Nice to see the good side of BPL, too! on 01/19/2013 19:39:01 MST Print View

Chase,

Thanks for your patience and your extremely helpful post. It's more than I was even looking for, and extremely on-point.

I need to do more research, because I honestly don't know what kind of tents people use to mountaineer, and what features make them significantly stronger than the average backpacking tent, or what the weight difference is. If my life depended on it, I couldn't distinguish between a 4-season and a 3-season tent. I do, however, know enough about myself and the areas I'm likely to camp in to know that the tarps and trekking pole setups are enough for me and my needs, provided I set up responsibly and choose not to go out when there's a looming blizzard.

I will admit, I am a bit of a stormchaser. I camped in a semi-exposed shelter on Mt. Greylock when Hurricane Sandy hit, and helped with the cleanup the next day. That's a story... but it's also a justification to give extra credence to a tent's stability.

I have been happy with my 1P hammock setup, but the DuoMid looks simpler and stronger than a lot of other tarp tents that have been mentioned, including the Contrail. If a few ounces of weight can be justified by such a sound looking structure, I'm ready to listen.

I apologize for people's patience running short. I try to give back by addressing as many of the "obvious" forum posts as I can. For every post I make asking a question, I try to answer at least three. I also always try to thank people when they put in some extra time.

So, thanks!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Nice to see the good side of BPL, too! on 01/19/2013 19:45:07 MST Print View

Hi Max,

One bit of advice I will give you is to pick a tent that has sufficent length for you as otherwise it will piss you off big time, if you do end up wih a tight shelter make sure to sling a bit of clothing over the for of your bag to keep it dry.

All the best with your search mate.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Story Time on 01/19/2013 19:52:31 MST Print View

Idk Stephen, I'm world's easiest sleeper. I often end up taking one for the team and voluntarily sleep on floors at family parties, halloween parties, parties...

I camp comfortably with a sleeping bag and a torso-length foam pad. Nothing more, no pillow. When it's cold, I use a thermarest inflatable, but I'm happy with narrow widths and torso lengths.

My bed at home is about 6 inches shorter than I am, but by using pythagoras's theorem, I can usually find a diagonal that works. If not, I'll curl up and sleep on my side. Easy.

Two things always wake me up: Cold, and Light.


The only real discomfort I ever had while sleeping and camping didn't even wake me up. I was in a thunderstorm, snoozing quietly. My rain fly on my hammock was off-center, and I flooded the inside of my hammock, but didn't even notice. My knee was out of my sleeping bag, pressed up against the bug net, and the mosquitos that took shelter under my rain fly feasted all night. I woke up with a bright red knee, covered in 20+ individual bites, and I was soaking wet. Still didn't wake me up!

But yes, I had to pause when I awoke to reflect...

Edited by mdilthey on 01/19/2013 19:53:20 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Nice to see the good side of BPL, too! on 01/19/2013 19:54:00 MST Print View

"I have been happy with my 1P hammock setup, but the DuoMid looks simpler and stronger than a lot of other tarp tents that have been mentioned, including the Contrail."

If you're looking at the Duomid, then perhaps you should have a gander at the Solomid instead. And someone's selling in one in gear swap at the moment, if I remember correctly.

From the MLD website:

Q: What\\\'s the difference between the DuoMid (tm) and the SoloMid (tm)?
A: The DuoMid is much wider, more expensive, taller and has side panels reinforcement on all panels and at the middle of each end. The DuoMid is for for solo hikers that want more room and expect high wind or more than a little snow. The SoloMid packs smaller, uses two poles, has a lower profile and needs fewer stakes.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
duomid on 01/19/2013 19:58:06 MST Print View

I have a cuben duomid. I had a contrail it was a great tent and I could easily go back to using one. It's great for a tall person, the rainbow works as well and it's free standing with treking poles on the end, great design. Anyway I like the cuben duomid because the cuben has less condensation, it sets up with less pegs. It is one of the best shelters in wind and rain and snow. It's counter intuitive but I stay drier without a floor because the rain that does come in under the side sinks into the dirt. If it's hot you can pitch it high, I bought 16 inch pole extender from rutalocura.com. I had a solomid but it was not long enough and I'm 5'11" and worse when you unzipped in the rain it was hard to keep your stuff dry. The duomid even though it's the same length as the solomid gives you more length to stretch out because the angle of the walls is different from the solomid. I don't like the end of my bag touching the wall.

I had a third party company sew on a bug screen door and floor to my duomid, rather than use a inner net because they are a pain to setup and after trying many they just sag in face too much. I not sure they do it anymore but I know bearpaw will sew on a bug net.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Story Time on 01/19/2013 20:02:53 MST Print View

"Two things always wake me up: Cold, and Light."

Three things for me: Cold, Light, and a woman who snores.

--B.G.--

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Duomid VS Contrail? on 01/19/2013 20:04:21 MST Print View

Anthony, can I trouble you to choose one with a brief reason?

I think if I had to choose between the DuoMid and the Solomid, I would also choose the Duomid, since it can be set up with one pole and all four walls slope pretty drastically- good for wind. Thanks for the info on Bearpaw.

Edited by mdilthey on 01/19/2013 20:05:15 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Story Time on 01/19/2013 20:29:26 MST Print View

Good stuff you can sleep like that Max,

I am such a light sleeper that someone farting half a mile away will wake me up ;-)

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
favorite 3S 1P tents on 01/19/2013 21:24:28 MST Print View

Max,
Yes, I was wondering why your thread didn't lead to postings about more different tents. A thread like this comes up fairly regularly, and it seems like it is often the same tents that get posted. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but it would seem that there should be more tents out there worth learning about from people who have used them.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
re: Trekking Poles vs. Dedicated Poles on 01/19/2013 22:22:07 MST Print View

Trekking pole shelters are not stronger than pole-based shelters in my opinion. Shelters that are designed to be supported by a trekking pole but offer a carbon fiber pole for those who don't use trekking poles ARE stronger with trekking poles though. By this I mean, go up Denali and no one will have a trekking pole supported shelter because they are NOT stronger, but if given a Contrail (and I have tried both single carbon fiber and trekking) the trekking pole is no comparison and is significantly stronger.


Chase, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point. We're talking three-season shelters here, so of course no trekking pole supported shelter will make it up Denali.

The real key in shelter stability is the ability for the fabric to be tensioned well and provide a role in the shelter's support. Very few shelters designed with dedicated poles do this well. They are set-up inner first, and the outer is draped or tensioned across the frame but not as an integral part of. Certainly, there are some that can use a dedicated pole in place of a trekking pole, but they are designed with trekking poles in mind, and as you pointed out, trekking poles are simply stronger. For a dedicated pole to be as strong, it would have to weigh nearly the same, so then why not just carry a trekking pole for creek crossings, etc.?

The one notable exception that I know of to this rule of thumb would tunnel tents like the ones Roger C makes, but note there that he properly anchored and tensioned fabric as an essential part of the tent structure. So, yes there are a few exceptions, but generally speaking, shelters which use trekking poles to support and tension the fabric are the ones to best take advantage of the strength of the fabric itself.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 01/19/2013 22:27:54 MST.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
re: Shelter History on 01/19/2013 22:49:42 MST Print View

Like Chase said, you can expect to go through 3-4 shelters as you refine your goals and build up your lightweight kit. In fact, that's about where I'm at now.

My first (non-lightweight) shelter was a Sierra Designs Flashlight Clip, which I really enjoyed and took on a number of (mostly car-) camping trips. But after hauling it and the rest of my gear up from the Colorado in the Grand Canyon, I decided it was time to go lighter.

My first truly lightweight shelter was a TarpTent Rainbow, which I still own and use. However, it's mostly been relegated to two-person use. It's a bit tight, but it works plenty well if you're comfortable with the other person. My wife won't sleep in a floorless shelter, and she likes to be close, so it's worked reasonably well for us. At some point, I'd like to replace it with a StratoSpire 2, but we're happy for now and the money is better spent elsewhere. The Rainbow is light enough that if I take it out for solo use--especially when the bugs are out--I don't feel penalized for it. I just don't do that much anymore.

My third shelter is a silnylon tarp that I made myself. As a shaped tarp, it doesn't have too many options in pitching, and it's actually rather simple to set up now that I have the hang of it. I'm pleased with it overall, and it's light and airy, all good things in the summer. But as it was my first real MYOG project, there are a lot of things I would do differently if I made it again. I think I've accounted for all my mistakes (time will tell), but there's a perfectionist in me that wants to make it better and a little differently.

My fourth shelter isn't technically my fourth shelter yet. I ordered a Duomid about three weeks ago, and I'm waiting for Ron to make it and send it my way. My reasoning behind the Duomid is that I want something that can handle any weather I care to be out in. I'm very interested in expanding my skills to winter camping, but I don't have a proper shelter for that yet. Given the Duomid's ability to handle wind, rain, snow, or most anything else (except griz), I have had my eye on this shelter for a year and a half now. So, I can't say for sure that I'll like it, but after a lot of research and contemplation, I think it will fit my needs nicely. I'm hoping that once I get it and set it all up, my wife will decide that she's okay with going floorless, and she can use it with me. It might be a tight fight for two in nasty weather, but that's how we like it anyway.

I'm also planning on making a flat, probably square, tarp sometime in the next few months. If I make it out of silnylon, it will only cost $60 or so in materials, and I've been itching to apply what I learned from my first tarp on another project. RJ's recent article got me thinking that this could be a fun thing to sew when I get some free time in April-May. The weight would only be slightly less than the Duomid, but the creativity in pitching options would be a lot of fun to play around with. I also haven't worked on my knot-tying skills since rock-climbing in college nearly a decade ago, so that's a serious advantage too.

Honestly, I'm hoping that these last two will be my only new shelters for a long while. I don't like to have too much gear, and this list is already long.

I also don't see the value in cuben fiber. For me, the cost per ounce of upgrading to cuben shelters is around $20/oz. That's more than I'm willing to pay, and I'd rather put the money elsewhere, into something like packrafting. Plenty around here disagree, and if I could afford cuben, honestly, I'd probably go for it. Right now, though, the tradeoffs are too high as that limits my expansion into other areas of wilderness travel.

So there you have it. I hope it helps you make some decisions. Of course, everyone's choice is always deeply contextual, but in seeing why some make the decisions they do, you can get a good idea of what you're experience might be.

Good luck.

/*/Edited: damn you grammar and spelling/*/

Edited by GlacierRambler on 01/19/2013 22:53:59 MST.

Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Re: re: Trekking Poles vs. Dedicated Poles on 01/19/2013 23:17:33 MST Print View

Wait, what are you disagreeing with me on? I feel like from your post, we are agreeing. Confused by the statement "very few are designed with dedicated poles" can you clarify why you think that? As you mentioned, I already stated my point on trekking pole strength. But tunnel tents are not exceptions, tunnel tents are required shelters to many in required conditions. Perhaps I am confused by your post? You seem to agree with me and disagree and i am not sure where that line is. shrug

Edited by Micronorton on 01/19/2013 23:22:31 MST.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: re: Trekking Poles vs. Dedicated Poles on 01/19/2013 23:49:02 MST Print View

You made a generic statement that "trekking pole shelters are not stronger than pole-based shelters." For three-season conditions, I disagree. Few, if any, three-season shelters use their poles as a means to tension the fabric appropriately so that it offers the most stability. Shelters that are designed to use trekking poles but offer a light, dedicated pole as a second option aren't a good example of your point because they're designed with trekking poles in mind, and the dedicated pole is a clear second choice.

Remember too that tunnel tents are usually for four-seasons conditions too (a point I should I have made clearer). That Roger Caffin uses them for three-season camping anyway (and a few other versions of this design are better suited for three-seasons too) make that a relatively rare exception.

Most of the time, I think the OP will find trekking pole supported tents to be more stable than traditional, if lighter weight, pole supported ones that he was looking at (like the MSR Hubba or Big Agnes tents).

Otherwise, I fully agree with what you said. It was particularly well-put too.

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Story Time on 01/20/2013 18:08:47 MST Print View

For me the need to water the bushes. I leave my snoring women at home.

In terms of shelters... as you can see people will argue all day long. There is more information/opinions on the web than is useful. You eventually have to trust your own experiences and make a choice. It is easy enough to sell and try again if it doesn't work out the first time.

I find most shelter choices are just that.... choices. There isn't a right or a wrong so pick something that fits your need and go use it.

Edited by kevperro on 01/20/2013 18:13:08 MST.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Weather Expectations on 01/21/2013 19:17:13 MST Print View

The DuoMid is one of the best all-around shelters out there...certainly suitable for 4-season use. I'm not sure it'd be my first choice in a rainy area, as the door isn't protected, but OTOH not many shelters can handle snow and summer, and this one can.

Among the better 3-season shelters I've used and/or owned (besides my already mentioned Hexamid Solo-Plus) and really liked are the Lightheart Gear Solo (and the SoLong looks even better) and the Tarptent Scarp 1 (my personal winter tent for the SE USA). The Solo had some shortcomings in heavy rain- the silnylon really absorbed water and sagged on this shelter- but was otherwise excellent. The Hexamid Solo=Plus, well, I haven't found a significant drawback with it yet....some complain about the relatively low entrance though. The Scarp 1 can handle some snow, is juuuust long enough for me (6' 2") and hasn't been too hot in the summer, and is easy to set up.

Max, you sound like someone who wouldn't need a conventional tent. Save yourself the weight and get one of the above, or one of the several other fine lightweight shelters others have mentioned....AFTER researching them further and deciding how the strengths and weaknesses of each mesh with your needs and wants. Happy hunting!

Stuart Armstrong
(strong806) - F

Locale: Near the AT
RE: Contrail on 01/27/2013 10:00:32 MST Print View

I've had a Contrail for a number of trips and I really like it. It's a single trekking pole design and I only use one trekking pole. It fits 2 in a squeeze or a couple with a shared quilt. I like having the extra room inside for organizing my gear before bed.

I have not had any condensation problems and have been through some moderate rain storms in it and staid dry.

It requires some learning to get a good pitch and will not perform as well unless you have alot of space to get a good pitch. You also have to learn how to adjust the guy lines to get the best performance, tightening them before you go to sleep. See the photo below for a time when I pitched it quickly and fairly poorly, which would not be ideal for rain.



Contrail