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Need to choose 2 tents for different circumstances. Please lend me a hand?
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Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Need to choose 2 tents for different circumstances. Please lend me a hand? on 05/25/2014 07:06:30 MDT Print View

Hey guys, newbie BPL member here. I currently own a Hilleberg Jannu. It's far too heavy for me to carry solo, and a bit overboard for what my partner and I need for the two of us.

So, what I'm looking to do is sell it to fund two tents.

1. A solo, weather-resistant but light (much lighter than the Jannu) 4 season tent. I live in Oregon and backpack a lot solo in all-seasons, so I need something that can stand up to snow and wind but not burden me too much with weight.

2. A two person, light, three-season tent for my wife and I when she joins me. She doesn't join me on my winter trips so this doesn't need to be as weather resistant.

I do want to try and keep the cost of these two tents around $800.

What I currently had in mind was possibly a Hilleberg Akto for the solo tent, and a Tarptent Scarp 2 for the second. What are your thoughts on this? I have some concerns about the strength of the Akto in snowy conditions.. I would like a Soulo but that's really only dropping a third of the weight of the Jannu, whereas the Akto is close to half the weight.

Edited by vision-quest on 05/25/2014 07:07:38 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Need to choose 2 tents on 05/25/2014 09:03:44 MDT Print View


I've lived and hiked in Oregon for the past 28 years.

For a two person tent, my wife and I love our Tarptent Double Rainbow (I got one of the 1st ones in 2006). While we've not used it in snow, it has seen and withstood all kinds of wind, weather, etc. which as you know, is the norm for the PNW. Reports over the years indicate it handles snow loads well. It's great for two and an absolute palace for one. We just bought a 2nd DR last summer for when the kids visit.

packed weight = 41 oz.
peak height 41 inches
floor area 30 square feet
cost $289

That said, I'm very impressed by the new TT Double Moment Double Wall as a two person, 4 season shelter. Henry has stated that the crossing pole for 4 season use will be offered soon. The exact specs aren't available yet, but it is a two person version of the Moment DW.

packed weight = 52 oz.

For 3 season solo treks in OR and CO, I prefer a Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape. It will take light snow loads if you keep knocking it off, but it's not a 4 season shelter. It's 11 ounces without pegs and lines and sets up with a trekking pole or optional folding pole. Their new Cuben fiber Deschutes tarp is also very nice; I got to play with one last fall at PCT Days in Cascade Locks. SMD is located in Beaverton, OR alongside Hwy 217 (since you're an OR guy).

TT makes some excellent solo shelters - particularly the Moment DW (which with the optional crossing pole is a 4 season tent) and the Rainbow. Note that for only 7 ounces more weight, you could have the DR, much better ventilation, and more interior space than the Rainbow.

packed weight = 34 oz.
peak height 39 inches
floor area 18 square feet
cost $285

packed weight = 34 oz.
peak height 43 inches
floor area 23 square feet
cost $259

Double Rainbow:
packed weight = 41 oz.
peak height 43 inches
floor area 30 square feet
cost $289

Edited by wandering_bob on 05/25/2014 09:09:26 MDT.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Need to choose 2 tents on 05/25/2014 17:18:33 MDT Print View

Hey Bob, REALLY appreciate the response. You've definitely given me some great ideas for the two person tent! I'll check those out. Will those tents you mentioned for the solo 4 season treks be good enough to stand up to extreme weather? I do some treks into the Canadian Rockies and the weather gets pretty crazy up there in the mountains in winter.

Edited by vision-quest on 05/25/2014 17:19:58 MDT.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Recommendations on 05/26/2014 05:58:25 MDT Print View

Does anyone else have any recommendations?

Edited by vision-quest on 05/26/2014 05:58:57 MDT.

Rodney Mruk

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Tale of Two Tents on 05/26/2014 07:31:05 MDT Print View

For a two person tent I always go with one that is rated 3 person. The REI Quarter Dome T3 is tough to beat. If you are over six feet tall, you would want to go with a T3 Plus. The Marmot Limelight 3 is another good choice.

Good Luck and enjoy.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Tent recommendations on 05/26/2014 08:15:08 MDT Print View

Like Rodney when planning on two sharing a tent I usually go for a three-man tent, even if my tentmate is my girlfriend. I'm 6-4 and claustrophobic and I like a bit more room even if it means more weight. There are many though who are perfectly happy with two in a two-man tent. I have camped with a friend reasonably successfully in a Scarp 2, MontBell Thunder Dome, and Warmlite 2R. I particularly recommend the Thunder Dome as reasonably priced, well designed, and really easy to pitch. It's a three-season tent. Can you use the Jannu as your couple's tent?

I use my Hilleberg Unna year-round for solo backpacking. Just over four pounds. More room than the Atko and freestanding. Probably you could save a few ounces with a Soulo, which is basically a smaller Unna with a vestibule. The Warmlite 2R (which I sold a couple of years ago) is lighter and larger but a pain to pitch in the snow.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Tent on 05/26/2014 09:02:24 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions guys, appreciate it. The quarterdome is a bit heavy for what I'm after, thanks though. The T3 is over 5 lbs.. nearly as heavy as the Jannu.

As for using the Jannu suggestion, I really want a light, 3 season tent for the 2 man option. The Jannu is just far too heavy and probably overkill price/luxury wise. I'm thinking the Scarp 2 might be a good option.. The Cloudburst 3 also looks like a great option. It's 3 man and only 3lb 2oz. Does anyone have any experience with the Cloudburst?

What I'm thinking right now is maybe to get the Soulo for more hardcore weather trips, and then a Scarp 2, the Double Rainbow or the upcoming Moment two man tent (unreleased). This way, I can even carry the Scarp 2/Double Rainbow on solo trips in the summer when I don't need the extra weight of the Soulo and save a couple lbs in weight. What do you think?

Edited by vision-quest on 05/26/2014 09:03:08 MDT.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Duomid? on 05/26/2014 11:18:44 MDT Print View

For what your after solo, it sounds like an MLD duomid (or solo XL) might be just the ticket. Light, handles snow, spacious for one. Lots of trip reports have them faring well in snow.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Duomid? on 05/26/2014 17:49:29 MDT Print View

Thanks Brian, I'll check it out!

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Need to choose 2 tents for different circumstances. Please lend me a hand? on 05/29/2014 19:55:37 MDT Print View

SMD Lunar Duo for two people for three season use. It's the largest interior volume of any tent we've found. Great vestibules and doors, too.

Not sure about a solo 4-season, as I don't need to worry about that around here - a basic solo tarptent is almost always enough even in winter.

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: Re: Duomid? on 05/29/2014 20:28:54 MDT Print View've become...too hypnotized... by..your..av..a..tar... (echo): tar...tar..tar... The power of the pussy has me in it's grasp!

(actually, i think it would be better if more experienced folks give you advice. I like my Solomid, but i'm a smaller sized person at 5'7" and 155lbs. Larger folks would probably like the Duomid a lot better).

Edited by ArcturusBear1 on 05/29/2014 20:32:20 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
2P option on 05/29/2014 21:10:15 MDT Print View

Consider the Stratospire 2 for 3 season trips. Its vertical inner walls and offset trekking pole design give lots of space inside, it sheds wind well, and the two vestibules are huge. Each of you has your own side entrance, and ventilation is excellent. It does have a large footprint however. I personally think it's more liveable than the CB3 because of the side vs end doors.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
SS2 on 05/30/2014 11:39:54 MDT Print View

I second the Stratospire 2 suggestion. It is an extremely livable tent, excellent use of space. The massive footprint takes some getting used to, but ultimately it's a fantastic and flexible tent. The head room really makes it stand out. Fits two adults, an infant, a 35 lb dog and our overkill gear no problem. I'd recommend the semi-solid wall option, too, if you frequently camp in dusty/windy locales. If you take just the fly without the inner, it's a good way to convince diehard double-wall tent fans that maybe tarping isn't that bad.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Need to choose 2 tents for different circumstances. Please lend me a hand? on 05/30/2014 12:33:48 MDT Print View

I would get a 2 person mid and live with the extra weight for solo. The 4 season part is the hangup. Having some extra room when snow camping is nice anyway.

Something like an MLD Duomid and the inner nest would cover all your needs and be well under budget. A Cuben Duomid is just 12.5oz---- 1.5oz more than my Gatewood cape, so no problem for solo use. The inner nest adds ~10-14oz depending on fabric.

I use a Gatewood cape and add a bivy with a bug net head section as needed.

Having a mid and two bivies would be very light and versatile, with the bivies adding coverage for snow camping and cowboy camping in good weather.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Tents on 05/30/2014 18:50:44 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, been away a few days. Appreciate the responses and will do some research and come back with any questions :)

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Re: Need to choose 2 tents for different circumstances. Please lend me a hand? on 05/30/2014 19:22:57 MDT Print View

So I'm looking at the Duomid, it doesn't look like it would hold up well to winds/snow would it? I see the bottom doesn't go all the way to the ground, and even if I get the net addition inner wouldn't that be open to compromise if snow blows from below the tent?

I don't have any experience with this so I'm just going by what I'm seeing not personal experience. Thanks again!

Nathan Wernette
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Re: SS2 on 05/30/2014 19:24:22 MDT Print View

+1 on the ss2 as well.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Single Wall? on 05/31/2014 09:50:20 MDT Print View

I hear a lot of good things about Black Diamond single-wall tents for winter camping. If you get a light enough 3-season tent, you can keep your 4-season solo tent for winter only, and use the 3-season solo during the rest of the year. Just an idea.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Single Wall? on 06/01/2014 01:47:30 MDT Print View

This was pretty much my plan now I think. Get a Tarptent 2 person tent for 3 seasons and backpacking with my partner. Something that weighs hopefully less than 50oz, then get a bombproof winter solo tent like the Hilleberg Soulo for winter only. That weighs like 80oz so I can save a couple pounds by taking the 2 person on most trips, and have some extra luxury.

That being said, I have been tempted by the ZPacks tents lately.. the weight is SUPER appealing for summer trips where the weather will be nice and when I do most of my backpacking anyway.

Edited by vision-quest on 06/01/2014 01:48:48 MDT.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Duplex on 06/01/2014 17:11:56 MDT Print View

Hmm I'm very tempted now to add an extra $200 to the budget and get a ZPacks Hexamid Duplex and use that as a two person and solo, 3 season tent, then a Hilleberg Soulo for winter trips.

Does anyone know any other good bombproof winter tents that aren't too crazy heavy (under 5 lbs), but are really good and less pricey than the Hilleberg? I would prefer not to fork out that kind of cash for winter camping as it's probably the time I'll be doing the least amount of time in the backcountry.. but if it's necessary then it might have to do.

Edited by vision-quest on 06/01/2014 17:15:37 MDT.