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Finally! Wife wants to come with me on longer section hikes. Need a bigger tent. Recommendations please!
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Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Rainbow and big Agnes on 04/16/2014 21:53:47 MDT Print View

I've have the regular size rainbow and it's a great tent, insure the double would work great for your needs. Big Agnes makes some great UL 2 person tents that are sturdy and light. I have found that their two person tents aren't actually very big...good luck!

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tarptent Double Rainbow on 04/16/2014 22:13:10 MDT Print View

Double Rainbow all the way.

It works really well, and most importantly, my lady absolutely loves it. It's really light and packs down small. Like you, I carry all the shelter stuff and food/bearbag/keg along with my stuff while the fiance carries the cook kit and her stuff.

Having the dual doors really makes it so much easier to get in out/settled in than the single door at the head. No risk of kicking/kneeing your wife while swinging around to get in/out and no reaching/climbing over to get at the door.

It can can be free standing using trekking poles (which has proved useful to us), and super good wind resistance with poles supporting inside the vestibules (we've been out in ~20-35 mph winds and it held up with no collapse with the trekking poles in support mode in the vestibules, while others in our area were up all night with tent wall in their face/collapsed tents). It will hold up very well to lots of rain. We were out directly under a big thunderstorm that dumped down rain for a few hours and caused several 25 foot mud/rockslides on the road we took in. Ended up having to take a 7.5 hour detour home instead of 2.5 hours, but our tent, and we, remained dry.

Condensation isn't really an issue, especially when using the optional liner (which we have and use when needed). Its also very roomy for two, in my opinion (but we are smaller people, both 5'6").

Future wifey packing up after an overnight (Paradise, Mt. Rainier)
tent snow

In free standing mode ontop of rock (Leprechaun Lakes - Enchantments, WA)
free standing mode

This is where we survived the thunderstorm at Granite Pass (along the PCT - WA; proposed along the trail at Granite Pass earlier that day).

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 04/16/2014 22:43:03 MDT.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
@ Cesar on 04/17/2014 09:11:29 MDT Print View

First, Congratulations! I enjoy the outside regardless, but enjoy it even more when sharing the time with my lovely bride. Hope you too will make some great memories together. While I am ok with a pretty spartan existence while in the woods, certain allowances have been made for my wife's comfort (and I confess I don't argue much as it leads to my comfort as well). If it means carrying a bit more weight in trade for having my love with me, I am more than fine with that.

Over our 8 years we have had a progression of BA tents, all of the UL3 variety. They're fine for most non-extreme conditions. A few times we have tried tents labeled as 2 person, and found them a bit cramped for our sprawl. To each their own. Our last was a Copper Spur UL3. It works. It's plenty big. Side entry is nice. Still kinda heavy. Now relegated to our sons when they come along.

We tried a dual hammock setup a couple times. Love the concept of a hammock for solo use. It did not work for us as a couple. It was like having two one person tents. What's the point?

We bought a Hilleberg Kaitum 3. It's an awesome tent. Very comfortable. Solid. Built like a tank, and weighs similarly. But given that the majority of our camping is May-October in the upper Midwest, it's really more tent than we need. And like Stuart said earlier, it's LONG and takes up a lot of real estate. But if I though we were facing snow, or persistent high winds, it would be the tent I would reach for (more likely we would make other plans).

We bought a Nemo Pentalite here on BPL for car camping with our dog. It really has too much room for 2 plus pooch. But for car camping, who cares? It does make for some comical rumination on pole dancing in a tent. Ha! We tried a smaller two person mid, but the central pole does get in the way, especially if sharing a double quilt.

Our most recent acquisition was a Tarptent Cloudburst 3, which we used last year. I'm very happy with it so far. Plenty of room inside. Good head room through the whole length, something I prefer over the Rainshadow2 shown above. Preference more than anything. Not quite as long as the Hilleberg kaitum3, and certainly much lighter. We used the third pole and had no problems in a heavy windstorm that brought down some branches nearby (though we did get out and huddle in an open area due to fear of said branches). In the heat, it had excellent ventilation. Both vestibules can be completely rolled back without compromising the stability of the structure giving good airflow and views out both ends. Even when buttoned down in pounding rain we've had good ventilation along the sides, and have yet to see any significant condensation. We only set up once in the rain but I don't remember having any wet inside after setup.

There are a couple minuses. As Stuart mentioned, entry is from the ends. If I had my druthers, we'd have all the pros of the CB3 with side entry, just because I tend to get up some in the night. But really it's not that big of an issue. Yes, it's a bit long in real estate, but narrower than say our Copper Spur UL3, so another trade off. Lastly, I wish you could insert the third pole from the outside while setting up. Maybe there is a way and I just haven't found it yet, but it's really more doable from the inside after the tent is up, and easier with two people so the one outside can feed the pole into the grommet. Obviously not an issue if you choose not to use the third pole.

All in all, I'd say we're pretty darn satisfied with the CB3. The only other tent I've seen that sparks my interest is the ZPacks triplex. But as of yet, I am not needing to spend for yet another shelter...

Good luck on your search, and have a great trip!

Edited for spelling and to add a few extra comments.

Edited by BER on 04/17/2014 09:58:22 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: bigger tent for northern climes on 04/17/2014 09:19:42 MDT Print View

I would get a 2 person tent that still works for snowy conditions like a mid. A tunnel style tent would be even better, but the weight will go up. I think the mid will give you maximum use for your Kroner :)

Karen Kennedy
(karenk) - MLife

Locale: NE NSW - Australian subtropics
Twosome tents on 04/17/2014 15:43:09 MDT Print View

Tarptent has some great options as you're aware. Carbon poles or after market poles for a SS2 would be my choice - we used the SS2 on a 10 week trip in 2012 and couldn't be happier. Spacious inside, huge vestibules and two side entry doors, as well as the option of a solid inner.

We found the DR a little cramped in terms of internal space, because of the side walls which slope in towards the top.

The RS2 is HUGE, but with a single (albeit) large front entry. The SS2 I feel would be a better option in wind and/or rain.

Our most recent addition to the family has been a ZPacks Duplex - incredibly light and plenty of room for 5'1" (155cm) and 5'7" (170cm) - again, after market poles needed if you're not a trekking pole user, but still a very light option (will also lighten your wallet considerably!) with dual side entries.

Happy shopping!

Myles Booth
(mbooth0007) - F
smd lunar duo on 04/19/2014 22:22:49 MDT Print View

Plus 1 for the lunar duo.
It is one great tent, with more than enough room for my wife and i. I was recently in your boat, and needed a tent for the both of us. I picked the duo up, and am happy i did. Weight is great. Set up is a breeze, with some practice, and the dual vestibules are great sizes.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
More complications, maybe in a good way on 05/13/2014 12:31:17 MDT Print View

Okay, so now I have talked my wife into the possibility of getting a tarp and net tent combo. It's pretty much like a double-wall tent, after all. Her biggest complaint was privacy, but this was any easy fix with a net tent with solid doors. After a lot of research, here is what I think might be a good solution for us:

Bearpaw WD net tent 2 with sil botton, doors, and sides. Also going to get 10 inches added to the height to have more head room, so it will be 52 wide x 86 long x 50 high.

For tarp I am thinking a Borah sil 8 x 10.

John at BP said he does not give weight estimates for custom jobs, but the stock net tent 2 with sil bottom is listed as 16oz. The tarp is listed at 11.5oz.

Let's stay my custom net tent is an extra 3oz and the tarp comes in a bit heavy at 12oz just for easy math. For this set up it would be 31oz / 880g (and this is a high estimate) without any guy lines or stakes. This set up would also save us money, as the net tent would be $195 without shipping costs, and $95 for the tarp (total of $290).

I have a lot of experience setting up tarps, so that doesn't bother me. And it seems like the net tent is easy to set up.

Any couples have a similar set up or experience with one that want to chime in here?

Anyone have a net tent from Bearpaw, and if so what do you think?

Are there any other good net tents out there for two people that fit the above specs (or close) that I missed?

Seems like a win-win-win situation here, as I am saving weight, money, and it's a solid, versatile system (net tent only for star gazing and trail shelters, tarp only if no bugs, etc.) But before I pull the trigger, wanted to get any last minute feedback, naturally.

Maris L
(Ablaut) - M
Re: More complications, maybe in a good way on 05/13/2014 13:48:07 MDT Print View

Just wanted to mention that my Borah Gear 8x10 stock tarp came in at 13.1oz. They included a thank you note with this weight listed and my scale confirmed it. Not a big difference, but maybe it matters to you. Otherwise I'm extremely pleased with it, especially at that price point and free shipping included.

EDIT: Just thought of the net tents that Gen at Yama Mountain Gear makes. He has a stock two person listed at 14.5oz and $165 - but this is entirely mesh. I seem to recall he's done custom net tents with sil front and backs before, but you'd have to double check.

EDIT 2: HERE is an example of a custom Yama net tent with a full sil back and half sil front, weighing 14.5oz. Maybe worth contacting him?

Edited by Ablaut on 05/13/2014 14:04:20 MDT.

Jorge Falcon
(jorge.falcon) - M

Locale: CCS
Re: Finally! Wife wants to come with me on longer section hikes. Need a bigger tent. Recommendations please! on 05/13/2014 15:32:00 MDT Print View

Congratulations my friend, having the opportunity to share these experiences with your girlfriend is a luxury we both share! ;-)

Personally, I prefer a mid. They offer good weather protection and great space.

Base Camp
My HMG Ultamid 2 in the mountains.

However, my girlfriend prefers shelters with ground floor and insect protection, even when it's not necessary! since that gives her a psychological security.

Los Nevados
My Sierra Designs Flash 2. Good tent, not "ultralight" though.

If your wife prefers a more enclosed shelter, I would definitely recommend the "double rainbow".

Edited by jorge.falcon on 05/13/2014 15:44:15 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Finally! Wife wants to come with me on longer section hikes. Need a bigger tent. Recommendations please! on 05/13/2014 15:39:44 MDT Print View

Lucky you both getting your wife out on trips and her
Going for a UL shelter.

My wife will coming backpacking if I carry a 3 man tunnel tent :-)

David Maxwell

Locale: eastern, tn
Re: Re: Re: Finally! Wife wants to come with me on longer section hikes. Need a bigger tent. Recommendations please! on 05/18/2014 22:13:12 MDT Print View

I sure wish TarpTent would have been at TD's. They weren't. So we walked around and checked out everyone else's tents. Zpacks wasn't there either, but out of my price range right now. We were really impressed with HMG, but again, not enough in the wallet.

We found LHG and checked out her new prototype for the DUO. We really liked it and she said it would be for sale on her site in about a month. So we said our goodbyes and headed for the backpacker give away. My wife won a pack and some Xero sandals which she gave to me! We decided to get something to eat so we headed back through the vendors one more time. When going by LHG I asked her if she was sure she didn't have one more hiding in her truck. Nope, but said she could drop the one off on her way home if we met her. We were all over that idea. Then she started taking it down, handed it to me, and we were all smiles. .. I set it up today and forgot to take pictures. I guess I'll have to do it again tomorrow.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
And the winner is... on 05/24/2014 14:45:54 MDT Print View

After much friendly debate, discussion, research, etc.--my wife and I finally decided on the Cloudburst 3 from Tarptent.

I plan on doing a full review of it in the future after we take it out to Kungsleden.

Just thought I would let everyone know what we settled on.

Thanks again for everyone's tips and feedback. It was all very helpful. In the end we decided a bit more weight for a bit more comfort and easy set up was cool by us. Plus, for two people, roughly 1.5kg of weight ain't so bad.

Looking forward to our new toy!