November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
What tent/shelter to buy?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Paul Myers
What tent/shelter to buy? on 03/24/2014 16:08:12 MDT Print View

So I currently have an MSR hubba hubba which I was planning on hiking SOBO JMT this July with my girl... Its looking now like a solo trip :-)
I need advice on a 2#ish shelter combo, or tent. I do want bug protection, and would prefer a double wall due to condensation. Not sure if I'll be taking my trekking poles, but would consider if they were needed for the shelter.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
Squall 2 on 03/24/2014 16:53:28 MDT Print View

Yer gonna get a million answers as everyone chimes in with there favorites.
- Which is exactly what I'm gonna do -

This is my solo tent, a TT Squall 2.

Squall 2

I can't say enough good things about it. About as roomy as you'll get with a two pound tent, ( good enough for two ) very easy to set up, and very weather worthy. I've had it through a real humdinger of a storm once, had to pitch it in a howling wind after dark that night ( easy to do, nail in the back stake and let the tent unroll itself downwind! ) and stayed perfectly comfy and dry.

My wife and I use the three man version, the Rainshadow 2, when we hike together and have taken it on quite a few trips. I think the two man version the Squall 2, is even more weather worthy.

It is a trekking pole tent, but you need only one and an optional pole is 4 ounces. Heh, I don't use poles either and I've used some pretty odd ball ways to support the front of the tent including taping a screwdriver to a shovel!
- So I did indeed break down and buy the optional pole!

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: What tent/shelter to buy? on 03/24/2014 17:32:26 MDT Print View

Yeah, you're going to get a lot of answers, and very good ones. Likely the Tarptent Moment will get a few nods. Its a good shelter. And check out the Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout/ Trekker. I tried both but ended up with the Big Sky Mirage 1P. I liked the headroom and roomy dual vestibules it offered, and the fact it came seam sealed and ready to go. And, if you don't carry trekking poles (like me) its pretty light for a 1P, without sacrificing durability. Good luck, and have fun!

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Preferences on 03/24/2014 17:33:55 MDT Print View

The answer is going to depend a lot on whether you want to taking trekking poles, how much your trekking poles weigh, how much interior room you desire, whether a single wall is acceptable, and other personal preferences. The common recommendations such as

Lightheart Gear
Big Agnes

are all excellent products.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"What tent/shelter to buy?" on 03/24/2014 18:23:50 MDT Print View

You might expand your list to include things you like in a tent beyond light weight, double wall and bug protection.

For example- do you like side entry over front entry? This one is huge for me, personally. I have a BA Fly Creek UL2 but wish I had gone with a side entry tent instead. Turns out I hate the contortions of getting in and out of a front entry tent. If I were shopping right now, I'd get a side entry tent.

bayden cline
(pyro_) - F

Locale: Ontario Canada
Tent on 03/24/2014 18:32:42 MDT Print View

What kind of price range are you looking at? Might give a better idea for recomendations

I was happy with my big Agnes fly creek ul2 last summer Was right around 2.5# packed. Was nice that it was freestanding as well. Would call it a 1.5 person tent though you could fit another person in there if you needed to.

His year I will be going out with one of the zpacks tents and it will be interesting to see how I like it since I have always had freestanding tents in he past

Paul Myers
Preferences... on 03/24/2014 18:34:42 MDT Print View

I'm really just open to suggestions, if I take my poles the pair is 15oz. (I have a sneaking suspicion if I decide to bring my poles they will remain strapped to my pack)I would prefer a side entry but would compromise due to weight. Single wall would suffice if I had good air flow, and pitch options.

I'm researching the Tarptent Contrail at the moment, havent found too many reasons not to go that route. My only ultimate concern would be durability, its the JMT this year but hope to do the balance of the PCT eventually.

bayden cline
(pyro_) - F

Locale: Ontario Canada
Poles on 03/24/2014 18:37:15 MDT Print View

I also don't use poles much though will normally have one with me in case it is needed. I will be picking up a couple of carbon fiber poles for my new tent to use with it. They come in around 2oz each from what I am seeing so that might be an option for you if the tent you pick needs poles

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: What tent/shelter to buy? on 03/24/2014 18:48:07 MDT Print View

If you are taking trekking poles, consider the Tarptent Notch. There really isn't a better trekking pole supported 3 season shelter on the market.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Tarptent Moment DW on 03/24/2014 20:10:40 MDT Print View

Since it sounds like the trekking poles would be 15 ounces of wasted weight, I think the Tarptent Moment DW would be a great option, since it doesn't rely on trekking poles.

The Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout/Trekker, Big Sky Mirage 1P, and Lightheart Gear SoLong 6 are all hybrid (part single wall/part double wall) shelters.

Edited by clear_blue_skies on 03/24/2014 21:42:18 MDT.

J Dos Antos
(Damager) - M

Locale: Redwoods of Santa Cruz Mts
Tarptent Notch on 03/24/2014 20:36:47 MDT Print View

+1 on the Tarptent Notch. I borrowed a friend's Notch for several trips last year and finally bought my own about 3 weeks ago. As Dave said, I have not found a better 3-season shelter when everything is taken into consideration: ease of set-up, weight, price, function, versatility, dual vestibule, double-wall, dual entry, etc).

There are many reviews on BPL regarding Tarptent, and I never remember coming across a complaint in regards to durability. I'm not saying there are no complaints, just that I have never read one.

One caveat: I hike with trekking poles. And the Notch does require trekking poles.

h h

Locale: New England
+1 for tarptent on 03/24/2014 22:05:05 MDT Print View

count me in as a +1 for a tarptent. my wife and i love ours!

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Tarptent Notch on 03/25/2014 14:55:50 MDT Print View

The rider for Bike Grease and Coffee used a tarptent from Maine to South America. I think he's in Argentina now...

Durability is fine.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Notch... on 03/25/2014 17:59:21 MDT Print View

I agree with Dave, as long as you are carrying trekking poles it's hard to beat the Notch.

Paul Myers
Notch vs Contrail on 03/25/2014 18:04:58 MDT Print View

Everyone seems to lean towards the Notch, however it seems that the Contrail would be better in weather/wind with its ability to pitch lower when needed. I do quite a bit of camping at elevation and it can get quite gusty at times.

Anyone have experience with both, or with the Notch in winds? I must say that I'm attracted to the simplicity of the Contrail as well.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Notch vs Contrail on 03/25/2014 18:10:17 MDT Print View

Yes, I have had both. The Notch is not as susceptible to changes in wind direction. In addition, it is far more stable in wind with the two pole set up and additional tensioners for guy lines at each pole side (requires 2 more pegs). With the semi partial solid inner tent, I would use it in shoulder season snow.

The Contrail has more room inside the living area.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
What tent/shelter to buy? on 03/25/2014 18:20:02 MDT Print View

>> additional tensioners for guy lines at each pole side (requires 2 more pegs) <<

I use the same peg for the additional guy outs, so no additional pegs are required. The additional guy lines add stability and let you roll up both sides of the vestibule for ventilation.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: What tent/shelter to buy? on 03/25/2014 19:25:10 MDT Print View

"I use the same peg for the additional guy outs, so no additional pegs are required."

Me too so I am not sure why I said that.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Notch vs Contrail on 03/25/2014 19:45:46 MDT Print View

David U, you "had" the notch? Why don't you have it anymore?

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Re: Notch vs Contrail on 03/25/2014 19:49:44 MDT Print View

No, still have a Notch John. I had the mesh inner version but now have the semi solid version, which I prefer.

I should have been clearer, thanks.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 03/25/2014 19:50:34 MDT.