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good, not too expensive, 2 or 3 person tent.
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Myles Booth
(mbooth0007) - F
good, not too expensive, 2 or 3 person tent. on 02/12/2014 19:19:13 MST Print View

Hello everyone, just trying to get some insight as to what a good 2 or 3 person tent for backpacking would be. My wife is interested, and i need a bigger tent. I am not trying to spend too much, so crazy ultralight is not necessary.
I am not trying to break the bank, as i really only need an entry level tent for this purpose. 6.5 pounds or below would be great!
What are some good room/weight/price options? Thanks!

Myles Booth
(mbooth0007) - F
tents on 02/12/2014 20:48:03 MST Print View

I have taken a liking to the mountainsmith morrison 2 and kelty trail ridge 3, so far.

Chad B
(CenAZwalker) - F

Locale: Southwest
Lunar Duo? on 02/12/2014 20:56:50 MST Print View

Have you checked out the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo - Outfitter? Around 3.5 lbs, $160.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Kelty Salida 2 on 02/12/2014 21:08:38 MST Print View

The Kelty Salida 2 is an excellent two-person tent or one-person palace.

It's listed at 3lb12 which is pretty good considering it's freestanding, double-walled with plenty of bug netting and quite storm-resistant. My backpacking partner uses this for himself mostly but has shared it quite a lot as well. It is a good tent, fast to put up and best of all only $160 before any sale prices. The one downside? Just one door.

Kelty on 02/12/2014 21:24:57 MST Print View

I have a kelty grand mesa 2 , that I couldnt be more satisfied with . Used it a bunch with 2 people.

Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
Golite Wolf Creek L3 on 02/12/2014 21:39:53 MST Print View

Wolf Creek L3 4 pounds 12 oz. .......a 3 person tent, but I use it as a palace for 2. Only 200 dollars at Golites site.

Myles Booth
(mbooth0007) - F
thanks on 02/13/2014 06:04:21 MST Print View

Thanks, everyone for the input. Funny that you mention the smd lunar duo, i was looking at that last night. It seems like a solid tent, would just worry about condesation with it being single walled and all.i have a few golite products, and love the company. They are always sold out though. I would probably want two doors, but could do with just one for the right price.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Eureka Spitfire 2 on 02/13/2014 07:28:53 MST Print View

The Spitfire 1 and 2 are a great tents IMO. The 2 person one can be found at $130 and I like it better than many much more expensive tents. Weight, quality, and design are all pretty good and price is excellent. I own the Spitfire 1 and love it for times when I do not want to cowboy camp or use a tarp and or bivy. I also use it when I take my dog along and it (the solo model) has enough room for the two of us. The Spitfire 2 is very long and would suit tall folks well. The weight of the solo model is well under 3 pounds and the 2 person one 4 pounds. So not super light, but I think it meets your requirements pretty well. You can save a bit of weight by replacing the stakes and carrying less than the full complement of stakes.

John Peeters

Locale: Europe
L.L. Bean on 02/13/2014 07:53:21 MST Print View

I needed the same thing recently. After researching a bit I ended up buying the L.L. Bean Microlight FS-2.

Last year's model is in sale at LLB:

It weights 3 lb. 12 oz., is freestanding has 2 entry doors and vestibules (handy for if you need equipment for 2). Also this tent won the editor's choice at backpacker magazine (

edit: Oh yeah, buying the additional footprint means you can set it up with the rainfly first for when you need to put it up in bad weather.

Edited by Johnneke on 02/13/2014 08:14:33 MST.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Eureka Taron tent? on 02/13/2014 10:37:18 MST Print View

Check out the Eureka Taron tent series. The have been making solid products for years. We just bought a few of the Taron 2 for the incoming Scout patrols to use.

You are spot on about single walled and condensation. I pitch my Lunar Solo "by the book" and have just learned to stay off of the walls.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
L.L. Bean Microlight FS-2 on 02/13/2014 11:00:22 MST Print View

The L.L. Bean Microlight FS-2 has a peak height of 36" according to the specs. If you happen to be tall, that's probably not a good choice.

How about a Eureka Spitfire 2? Or a Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3? You can find them for just a little over $100. The Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3 is not good for anything above low winds, but it has a lot of room, and is just under 5 pounds.

Personally I would save up my money for a TarpTent Scarp 2 (if you are okay keeping your gear in the vestibules.)

Edited by clear_blue_skies on 02/13/2014 11:01:01 MST.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Marmot Ajax 3 on 02/13/2014 12:26:15 MST Print View

You can get a Marmot Ajax 3 for $140 at Sierra Trading Post using a coupon. I don't know anything about it, but it probably doesn't have any major flaws.

Edited by clear_blue_skies on 02/13/2014 12:31:36 MST.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
sale today on 02/13/2014 13:46:08 MST Print View

The SMD Lunar Duo Explorer just went on sale today for $100 off to $210 and the Outfitter off $50 to $110. Either way you could end up with a high quality, lightweight tent with full netting, two doors and vestibules, for about what you would spend on a much heavier tent. Awesome deal. I picked up the Explorer myself today.

Myles Booth
(mbooth0007) - F
thanks on 02/13/2014 14:49:56 MST Print View

Thanks for all the info, this community is outstanding! I had a spitfire 1 for some time, and loved it! The vestibule was a bit small, but worked well. I have a stratospire 1 from tt, and it is great. Had an original moment for some time. Love his tents. I am leaning more to something with a bit more room, as i want my wife to enjoy her first time, so she will come back! Haha

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
two sources for less expensive tents on 02/13/2014 15:17:10 MST Print View

Someone has already mentioned LL Bean. Take a look at Sierra Trading Post too, which often has real bargains on great tents.

Sam Sockwell
(sockwellsam) - MLife
chacun a son gout on 02/13/2014 15:46:35 MST Print View

I like a bigger tent and am willing to carry the Copper Spur UL3 for the two of us. Of course you can find lighter tents but we love the extra space and we love that tent

Jacob Hammond

Locale: Central New York
Re: tents on 02/13/2014 16:09:50 MST Print View

I use a mountainsmith morrison 2 to bring my daughter camping. It's also the tent we set up inside to pretend camp during the winter (she's 4). The two doors are nice and quite large. I really like it, and it's very good value and around 4.5 pounds (often around $125). You might be able to find a similar tent for that price with slightly higher-quality, lighter poles - such as DAC pressfit. The Morrison's Yunan poles are just fine, though.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
Patience on 02/13/2014 17:53:43 MST Print View

i would just exercise patience and diligence. the gear swap has a good bit of shelters pop up on it. i think you'll get a nice, used tent from there that will be loads better than a $150 generic from marmot or rei. just my opinion.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: good, not too expensive, 2 or 3 person tent. on 02/13/2014 18:34:05 MST Print View

Also check out SteepAndCheap, you may have to wait but sometimes their deals are great.

Of course the lightest and cheapest shelter is a tarp, even cheaper if you make it yourself, and tarps are pretty simple.

Myles Booth
(mbooth0007) - F
tents on 02/13/2014 19:34:39 MST Print View

I am learning it definitely takes some patience, especially with all the options. I will prob put a request up on gear swap, and see what happens. That morrison does look appealing, especially for the price. How are the vestibules? I would love to just use a tarp, but kind of want to ease her into it all.