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What's your favorite 3-season 1P tent?
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Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

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

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

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

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: Mind your own business
Re: Quit riding me! on 01/19/2013 17:10:48 MST Print View


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


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


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,


Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

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


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: Mind your own business
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

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,


Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

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


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: Mind your own business
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

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: PNW
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 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.


Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

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: Mind your own business
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 ;-)