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Tent recomendations please
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Mark S
(gixer) - F
Tent recomendations please on 07/31/2013 17:03:45 MDT Print View

Hi guys,

I'm looking for a new tent for backpacking in both Greece and the UK.

It'll be used 30% of the time by me and my dog (Jack Russell, sleeps in the tent) the rest of the time with 2 people and the dog.
I'm really struggling to find exactly what i want, my ideal would be (in no particular order)

Outer first (for when it's raining in England)
Double porch (for good ventilation in Greece)
Under 3kg
Double walled (condensation in the UK)
Free standing (pegging in Greece is often a challenge due to mostly being rocky)
3 season
Porch big enough to cook in (rainy England)
Easy to put up (only have 1 arm)
Tight weave inner mesh (Scottish midges)

No real budget but it'd be nice if i could find something suitable for say under £300.
I do use a hiking pole so could use that, but i have absolutely no preference between needing a hiking pole or if the tent comes with poles that need to be used.

Any suggestions please?


And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
TarpTent on 07/31/2013 17:36:22 MDT Print View

Check out the TarpTents by Henry Shires ( There are several models that would meet your requirements.

I just got the Double Rainbow with seam sealing service and the optional liner to make it double walled for condensation ($330 USD before shipping). It has two doors/vestibules and can be set up in porch mode (look at pictures). Two plus a small dog should fit just fine. There's also the Stratospire 2 which is roomier and uses trekking poles to set up.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Tent recomendations please on 07/31/2013 17:45:35 MDT Print View

For free standing I would recommend the Tarp Tent Scarp 2, Terra Nova or Hilleberg tents would do also but would be more expensive.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
thanks on 08/01/2013 05:42:51 MDT Print View

Thanks guys.

I have the Rainbow 2 on my short list, but thought it a bit tight for 2 and a dog?

There are a few things i a willing to compromise on, so on my list of wants, what's one or two things that are narrowing the field the most?

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: thanks on 08/01/2013 06:30:01 MDT Print View

I've had the Rainshadow 2 for about a month or so, and it will definitely fit two and a JRT. I've also observed that it sets up fine with a single hiking pole, even though it is always shown with two.

Sara Marchetti
(smarchet) - MLife
Re: thanks on 08/01/2013 09:37:22 MDT Print View

The TT Double Rainbow is definitely too small to comfortably with a dog. My dog likes to sleep between us. You COULD fit a small dog at your feet in a DR, but it would be cramped. The TT Rainshadow is better, but condensation will be a problem in stormy weather. I think that the TT Cloudburst 3 would be the way to go as it has double entrances, a tunnel construction (so less chance of condensation on your bags), and I believe you can get a liner!

Edited by smarchet on 08/01/2013 09:40:25 MDT.

Corbin Camp

Locale: Southeast
For condensation on 08/01/2013 11:22:09 MDT Print View

I have a DR and the liner works great for decreasing the condensation problem. No matter what you get, keep a lightload towel handy to wipe down the inside of the tent before you take it down. All depends on the size of the dog. My DR is plenty long for 2 6' adults plus a room at the foot/head for other stuff. Not a ton of gear storage but enough for the essentials. The porches are a great feature.

Tanner M
Re: Re: thanks on 08/01/2013 11:27:16 MDT Print View

Unless things have changed with the Rainbow, the liner is hooked in place and only covers the roof/top of the tent. So, looking straight down on the tent, the liner is bow tie shaped just as the head room of the tent is (wide at bottom ends and narrowing to 18" or so at center top).

What is your previous experience?

Do you rely on double wall for warmth?

The Rainbow liner will help with condensation but the tent is not very warm in winter, of course. [I know you specified 3 season, so substitute 'winter' with any other time it is chilly]

What about wind...?

Edited by Tan68 on 08/01/2013 11:29:45 MDT.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Tent recomendations please on 08/01/2013 13:58:01 MDT Print View

Thanks guys.

Sounds like the Double Rainbow is out, as i'd sooner carry an extra 300g and have a bit more space at night, than spending the night cramped in.

I will not be used in the snow, so don't need a 4 season tent.
It might spend the odd night in freezing conditions but to be honest the vast vast majority of the time it will be pitched in warmer conditions.

So good ventilation is more important to me than keeping the warmth in.

It'd be nice to be able to batten down the hatches, as it does get very very windy here.

Edited by gixer on 08/01/2013 13:59:33 MDT.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Tent recomendations please on 08/01/2013 17:24:54 MDT Print View

How about the SMD Lunar duo?

No porch, but 5.3 square meters or space inside.
Only bad thing i've read about it, is the condensation.

Anyone lived with one that has experience of living without a porch and the condensation please?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Tent recomendations please on 08/01/2013 17:41:42 MDT Print View

On the main page of my website are a list of my favorite backpacking sites. A lot of them are UK-based backpackers. Check out what those good folks use.

Daniel Russell

Locale: Creation
A few + 1... on 08/02/2013 19:01:56 MDT Print View

SMD Lunar Duo is stellar for the weight/cost/room. Before I had to sell it, it was my favorite. Me, my dog, and girlfriend fit perfectly in it and it is easy to set up.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 would be my number one recommendation if money was not an issue. These are not cheap... but they are worth it. Wish I owned one myself - I have only seen it in action!

Nemo Obi 3 also looks like a nice tent with stats close to the BA CS UL3. Definitely worth a look.

REI Quarter Dome UL3 is a good tent if you can carry a little more weight. It is cheaper than all of the above mentioned on the used market. On eBay, these go as low as $140 shipped. I believe it is right around 2.5kg (5.5lbs)

Hope these help... there are probably more I can think of if I try hard enough.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Re: A few + 1... on 08/03/2013 10:19:23 MDT Print View

Thanks Dan.

I don't mind spending the money for the right tent.
My only worry with the BA tents is that the mesh inners have what looks to be a nylon section that takes up 50% of the linear height.

Light pink middle section in this pic

Although no doubt this denser fabric would be great for 4 season of heavy rain use, i fear it will stop a lot of the ventilation, which is essential over here in Greece.

I'll take a look at the other 2, thanks.

Daniel Russell

Locale: Creation
Re: Tent recomendations please on 08/03/2013 10:26:03 MDT Print View

To reply about the SMD Lunar Duo. Yes, in heavy rain/humidity condensation can develop. It was never to the point of waking of soaked but I could see this being an issue over many days/nights of rain, or camping near a coast. The lack of porch never bothered me but I always sling up an extra small tarp for cooking under. I carry tyvek door mats to put in the vestibules for storing extra gear, it works well for that.
My girlfriend is 5'3 and my dog is 45 lbs. I think you should be fine with +1 and a JRT sharing your space.
Good luck in your search.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Re: Re: Tent recomendations please on 08/05/2013 18:13:35 MDT Print View

Thanks Dan.

Can i ask, why did you sell your duo please?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
TT Scarp 2 on 08/05/2013 19:44:37 MDT Print View

I have a Scarp 2 and love it. Two doors W/vestibules large enough for cooking and room for 2 adults and 1 child &/or a Jack Russell.

I've modified mine to make it stronger for wind and snow load (see the "Winter Hiking" page). But W/O my mods I'd recommend getting the exterior crossing poles for windy situations.

BTW, you can order the Scarp 2 with a netting inner tent or a mainly ripstop inner. Mine is mostly for winter so I ordered the ripstop inner.

Edited by Danepacker on 08/05/2013 19:46:22 MDT.