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Recommendations for a 2 person light "palace " tent? Imogene ul3? Jack Rabbit SL3? Quarter Dome T2+?
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Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
Recommendations for a 2 person light "palace " tent? Imogene ul3? Jack Rabbit SL3? Quarter Dome T2+? on 03/10/2013 13:10:48 MDT Print View

I'm looking mainly for a light 2 person "palace" to replace my 8 year old REI Half Dome 2, which weighs 6 pounds. With my new wide inflatable pad replacing the z-rest, I need something wider when I actually go with 2 people. I really never find 2 person tents ideal for 2 people who are not intimate. My Copper Spur UL2 which I recently bought will not work for 2 people my size. My criteria is:

1) Less than 5.5 pounds.
2) Wide enough for wide pads (I now have a exped ul7 which is 26 inches wide)
3) Long enough to handle a person who is 6'2" like myself w/o contacting the walls.
4) Double walled, with a good amount of mesh, but high enough solid inner breathable bathtub walls to block wind and rain that make it under the fly.
5) Hopefully well under 400 dollars and I prefer under 300 dollars (on a tight budget).
6) Does not require the use of trekking poles, since I often base camp.
7) Pretty storm worthy since it'll sometimes be used above tree line.
8) Good management of condensation.

The tents that I'm looking at so far are the GoLite imogene ul3 (3# 6oz.), GoLIte Wolf Creek L3 (5# 2oz.), Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL3 (5# 4oz.), and REI Quarter Dome T2+--5#1oz. (the T3 is too short and the T3 + is too heavy). I don't want something that has to be "too" babied since it'll get a lot of use both backpacking and car camping. The Imogene UL3 sounds almost too good to be true at 3 pounds 6oz. At that weight I may not even mind taking it solo and I may just return my copper spur ul2, which I currently use as a solo palace palace, which weighs 3# 7oz.

Has anyone actually seen the Imogene UL3 yet in person? I hope that it's not like the FLy Creek UL3, which IMHO does not pitch tight enough in the middle. I'm also worried about the Imogene's length. I may be better off keeping the BA CS2 and going with the Wolf Creek L3 or Jack Rabbit SL3 for a more storm worthy and roomy tent. However, the Imongene UL3 would save me lots of money and mean that I'll have to carry less gear in my car during my 1.5 month road trip out west.

The tent will mainly be used in Colorado and Michigan (3 season with the occasional winter camp in Michigan). I'm open to other suggestions.

Edited by chinookhead on 03/10/2013 13:25:30 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
CB3 on 03/10/2013 13:20:35 MDT Print View

The new CB3 from Tarptent looks mighty nice.

It's not technically double walled, but you can get the additional liner to make it basically double walled.

49 ounces without the liner, and looks huge inside.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Big Sky on 03/10/2013 13:28:16 MDT Print View

I've got a Revolution 3PM tent from Big Sky. Would highly recommend their tents. Probably at the top of your price range if buying new though.

Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
cludburst 3 on 03/10/2013 13:35:17 MDT Print View

Travis, I almost forgot about that tent that I looked at in an earlier thread. The cloudburst 3 looks pretty ideal if the price is right once they start selling it.

Also, when I said "double wall tent"......I did not mean 2 solid walls. I meant one solid outer fly and a mainly mesh inner (not fully solid).

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Travis you REALLY want someone to get that CB3, don't you?? on 03/10/2013 13:49:27 MDT Print View

It is a mighty fine-looking tent....

Not sure the T2+ is going to work for you width-wise, if the CS doesn't. You honestly may have to check out a 3 person then...maybe the fly creek UL3, or one of the tarptent 3 person ones. Thanks to these folks I'm currently enthralled with the stratospire 2 from tarptent (which you can get a solid or mesh inner)...I plan on ordering it next week.

Edited by Jenmitol on 03/10/2013 13:55:26 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: cludburst 3 on 03/10/2013 13:51:06 MDT Print View

Henry said price is projected to complete with the Imogene 3.

@ Jennifer - hehe, I do think it's cool! I'm also waiting on Rogers tents.

Edited by T.L. on 03/10/2013 13:53:07 MDT.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
separate on 03/10/2013 14:08:04 MDT Print View

i would get a separate tarp and bugnet. so versatile. can pitch the tarp all the way to the ground if the weather is bad. can pitch it high and open if it's just drizzling but hot. also this way if you are ever winter camping you can simply leave the bugnet at home, lightening your load...

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: separate on 03/10/2013 14:17:05 MDT Print View

A lot of tents can be pitched fly-only like a tarp, though they won't offer the versatility of varying what type of pitch. Many of them make up for that by allowing you to pitch net-only in great weather for bug protection. That's something many separate tarp/inner net combos can't offer.

Of course all of that depends on what model tents you're considering. I understand not all can be pitched net or fly only. Both of mine offer these options though.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Tarptent Scarp 2 on 03/10/2013 14:30:50 MDT Print View

I have the Scarp 2 and it is quite a "palace" and with the crossing poles very stable in winds. As illustrated in the TT website you can squeeze three pads in the Scarp 2.

The Scarp 2 has two doors and vestibules. Each vestibule can easily accomodate a pack as well as room for sheltered cooking at the same time.

The tent is silnylon ans thus very light for a big 2-person tent.

P.S. The Scarp 2 has an option of either the netting inner tent or a "solid" ripstop inner with nettting vents higher up.

Edited by Danepacker on 03/10/2013 19:26:59 MDT.

Sam Sockwell
(sockwellsam) - MLife
copper spur ul3 on 03/10/2013 16:57:12 MDT Print View

why not the step up from your current copper spur. It is on the expensive side but you can find for less than list with a bit of work. We have used ours on many trips and we love it.


Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Re: Recommendations for a 2 person light "palace " tent? Imogene ul3? Jack Rabbit SL3? Quarter Dome T2+? on 03/10/2013 18:42:00 MDT Print View

I agree with Sam on the CS UL3. I just picked one up and it is a palace for 2 from what I can tell from the initial setup. Meets all of your other criteria except the MSRP price, but as Sam pointed out you should be able to pick one up that meets your price point as well. 79 oz for the whole bag of stuff (including footprint, less stakes) on my scale.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Very Light Replacement for Your Half Dome 2 on 03/10/2013 19:29:37 MDT Print View

Half Dome 2 - 5 lbs minimum weight
Big Sky Evolution 2P - 3 lbs!!

Imagine keeping the same sweet double wall, two doors and two vestibules configuration -- plus MORE interior space -- while dropping a cool 2 pounds - a minimum weight (tent, pole and fly) of just 3 lbs instead of 5lbs!! Interested? Look here.

I too crave space, and lots of it, but hate heavy gear. I have owned this tent before and I now use the even lighter weight Mirage 2P. Big Sky tents are very well made -- and I truly love my tent. I don't routinely write about Big Sky because it is a very small operation and its product delivery wait time can be LONG. However, checking availability on the website -- it looks like an Evolution 2P is indeed available!! I highly recommend that you take a look. And if you are interested in buying -- I highly, highly recommend that you first email Bob Molen, the company owner and verify actual availability (the website is usually accurate but it pays to double check). If positive, then you'll get your tent fast. Bob is good with that. But if it is not immediately available, then wait time can be weeks going into months...

Edited by ben2world on 03/10/2013 19:39:54 MDT.

Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
Big Sky too short on 03/10/2013 20:43:59 MDT Print View

The evolution 2 and 2p are unfortunately too short for me at 84 inches. My experience with 84 inch tents like the regular sized quarter domes are that with a long sleeping bag and being 6'2", my feet touch the walls.

In regards to the copper spur 3 my two concerns are price and storm worthiness in wind. I know that the with the fly creek 3 (very similar configuration)it is annoyingly noisy and shaky in the wind with the long wall and fly that don't tighten so well. I of course could be wrong about the CS3 since I've never seen it in action. I'm also concerned with the long term durability of the floor, but that's probably a concern with all of these UL tents.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Big Sky too short on 03/10/2013 20:48:43 MDT Print View

Not necessarily. Email Bob Molen to be sure. If you look at the photos, BS tent walls rise straight up quite a ways before they begin to curve inward. This is unlike most all other dome tents, where the walls curve inward immediately as they rise. You get full use of the 84" length.

But if negative, knowing how I crave space as well -- do look at the Tarptent Rainbow -- if you haven't already. Light as heck for the voluminous space it provides you. My hunch is that the Rainbow is the biggest tent anywhere marketed for solo use. Only one vestibule, but it's plenty big enough.

As for tent floor, a little common sense care goes a very long way:

1. Spend an extra minute or three inspecting your tent site before plucking the tent down. No big deal really.
2. Always use a ground sheet. I like Polycyro sheets sold by both Mountain Laurel Designs and Gossamer Gear.
3. Lay out your sleeping pad -- so when moving around, the pad will help protect the floor.

Nothing new really... but many of us have had our UL tarptents / Big Sky tents, etc. for years without issue.

Edited by ben2world on 03/10/2013 20:55:51 MDT.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
REI tent on 03/11/2013 01:12:48 MDT Print View

I have the REI Quarter Dome T2 tent. I can't recommend it highly enough. My 6'2" friend sleeps just fine in it, and asks me, every time, why I didn't buy this tent years ago! (I just bought it recently.) He can lie flat without touching walls, and can sit up and get dressed,'s just a solid and highly pleasant tent all around.

The reviews about its stormworthiness are true. Excellent for a 3-season tent.

Mine weighed in at 4 pounds new. After you leave the stuff sack behind, and get lighter stakes, and trim in a few places, it's down to 3.5 pounds.

- Elizabeth

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Not sure why you think the CS isn't storm worthy on 03/11/2013 08:09:57 MDT Print View

My friend used a CS 2 while we were in Patagonia last year and talk about some serious wind! It held up just fine as long as she staked it out and used the guylines.

Not sure how much more storm worthy you are going to get in a freestanding 3 season tent without mortgaging your house to get one of the Hilleberg tents.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
GoLite Shangri La 5 on 03/11/2013 09:32:58 MDT Print View

If you want super luxury for 5.5 lbs the GoLite Shagrila 5 might be the way to go. It is $300, 5.5lbs, good it the wind, easy to set up. Me at 6 feet tall can almost stand up in it to get dressed.

And compared to anything else you are looking at actually spacious. 90 sqft of tarped space and 70 sqft of bug proof space and the option of not taking the inner if bugs won't be a problem. I have been using it for two and leaving the inner at home and just using bug bivys to avoid critters. This cuts the weight down significanly but does reduce comfort.

Probably way oversized for what you need but if you are okay with the 5.5lbs

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Wind resistance on 03/11/2013 10:11:48 MDT Print View

## My friend used a CS 2 while we were in Patagonia last year and talk about some serious wind! It held up just fine as long as she staked it out and used the guylines. ##

If it stood up to that it'll stand up to anything outside Antarctica or Everest. I'll never forget the wind in Patagonia - constant and ferocious.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
+1 for REI Quarter Dome T2+ on 03/11/2013 10:28:57 MDT Print View

Another vote for the REI 1/4 dome T2+. I bought one of these last fall that my wife and I use. We ordered about 4-5 tents (various models of REI and Copper Slur) and tried them all out in our front room. We found this to be the best of all for us. My 6'6" sleeping bags work just fine with room to spare. It's 54" wide so that might be an issue as "having a lot of room" is a relative thing. I also like the fact that if my REI item can be used in the field and then returned if it doesn't work out very good. We did like the CS 3, however it was about $500 and I was able to get the 1/4 dome on sale for about $250.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
jack rabbit on 03/11/2013 10:42:44 MDT Print View

I own the jack rabbit SL 2, and it has been terrific. It's essentially the same as the CS UL, but a little heavier. I like the thicker fabric as I'm not especially good at babying my gear. I also like the mesh design of the Jack Rabbit more than the Copper Spur, as the feet end is mesh down to the bathtub floor, allowing better cross ventilation and views while laying down.

Held up great in windy conditions when I had it pitched on rock, no stakes, but tied out to whatever big rocks I could find and carry over.

Some people don't like the vestibule entry zip being on the side, but my girlfriend and I prefer this as we don't have to reach out several feet over wet/muddy dirt to get the vestibule opened/closed. You can do it from a laying position.

I'm sure the SL3 is just as great.