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

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 -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
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

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...


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


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

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.

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:

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


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

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.