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Fiona
02-11-2016, 21:14
I know there have been a lot of posts regarding tents, but there seems to be so many different opinions and I'm super confused. I plan to start at the beginning of March. Which tent should I buy? Im hiking on my own.

soumodeler
02-11-2016, 21:18
Some popular options:

Any TarpTent (I Personally own a Notch and love it)
Big Agnes Fly Creek or Copper Spur
ZPacks Duplex (worth getting the 2 person)
REI Passage 1 or 2
And many more

AlyontheAT2016
02-11-2016, 21:36
REI tried to sell me their 5 pound Half Dome 2. I went home, did some research, and bought a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 for $100 more. With the footprint it weighs 42 ounces.

Think about what you want in your shelter: space? 1 or 2 doors? Also consider weight vs. cost. What fits your budget, etc. Do a ton of research, if that's your thing. Or not. I personally love my Fly Creek UL 2--it's more of a 1.5 person tent rather than a 2, but that means there's room for my pack. It's also designed so that I can take down the inner tent while still keeping the rainfly up, so I can keep my tent a little dryer when I put it away during a downpour. It will be interesting to see how long it holds up on my thru hike.

Venchka
02-11-2016, 21:37
Things to look at in any tent:
Floor size and shape. A rectangle is best. Tapered floors rob space.
Vertical walls. At least the two long walls. Makes sitting up to change clothes or sit out a storm nicer.
Headroom. Works with vertical walls to add interior volume.
Two doors and vestibules. Entry/exit are easier. The downwind door-vestibule will be sheltered. If large enough, you can cook in one of the vestibules in bad weather. The other vestibule can be used as an emergency privy in really bad weather.
Inner/Outter tent set up together. Inner stays dry in the rain.
Sheltered space/weight. Get all the space you can for the least weight.

The StratoSpire 1 or 2 from TarpTent score high in all of these criteria.

Wayne


Sent from somewhere around here.

Fiona
02-11-2016, 21:42
And these are all4 season?

oldwetherman
02-11-2016, 21:44
The deciding factor for me when selecting a tent is the location of the entrance. I'll never again own anything but a side entrance tent.

Tuckahoe
02-11-2016, 23:55
And these are all4 season?

Most all of these tents are 3 season tents, which is perfectly fine for a thru-hike.

nsherry61
02-12-2016, 00:13
Go buy a tarp (cheap plastic 8x10 to start with). Learn to pitch it well. Have fun.

Tents are more fuss to pitch, weigh more, cost more, are limited in pitch flexibility, limit your self expression, isolate you from the world you're out to experience, and don't make you look as cool and tough as the girl that can pitch and live under a tarp.

Fiona
02-12-2016, 00:23
A tarp? In the snow? I'm more looking for advice on which makes models have been tried and tested and found to be good for the possible snow in March.

Shooting Star
02-12-2016, 00:42
I know there have been a lot of posts regarding tents, but there seems to be so many different opinions and I'm super confused. I plan to start at the beginning of March. Which tent should I buy? Im hiking on my own.

Tents like the Tarptent Protrail, Notch or Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo are good lightweight
1 person tents and pretty popular on the AT. The Big Agnes tents are probably better in a
March snow but heavier to carry later on after snow season passes.

nsherry61
02-12-2016, 07:16
A tarp? In the snow? I'm more looking for advice on which makes models have been tried and tested and found to be good for the possible snow in March.
First, it looks to me like you are looking for a tent, and that's fine. I just find it interesting how many people discount a tarp, especially in the winter, without trying it. As for "tried and tested", tarps have a longer history than any tent brand I know of, and the advantages listed above still hold for winter tarping, but on snow, having an open floor, gives even more creative comfort options with digging foot wells and sleeping shelves etc. And, if using shelters, tarps make better wind breaks/doors than tents do. If you have any inclination, I'd encourage you to try and play around with it a bit.

Venchka
02-12-2016, 09:47
And these are all4 season?
Go to TarpTent.com.
Under PRODUCTS select Choose Your TarpTent
Click 1 person, thruhike & 4 seasons.
The Moment DW and StratoSpire 1 pop up. Take your pick. You may wish to buy the solid interior for additional weather proofing.
https://www.tarptent.com/allproducts.html

Wayne

Old Hiker
02-12-2016, 09:52
Had snow once in 2012 - ALPS Zypher 1 - slightly heavy, good tent. I liked mine, but upgraded to a:

LightHeart Gear SoLong 6 - no snow experience, but hopefully......................

egilbe
02-12-2016, 09:54
Why are you looking for a four season tent? You arent climbing Everest or Denali. You are hiking a well trodden footpath.

colorado_rob
02-12-2016, 09:59
Tarps are kind of cool, I went that way for about a year, but since modern tents are sooooooo light, the weight advantages of a tarp have dwindled a bit. Still, having used one for a while, I understand NS's sentiment. This all being said, you won't see many tarps on the AT, nor will I ever use one again, especially since my current full tent is only 16 ounces.

And tents and not any "fuss" to pitch, in fact they are ridiculously easy these days, especially after you pitch yours once or twice.

Just my opinion, of course, but a 4-season tent is just simply not needed for the AT, even starting in early March. Go with a good lightweight 3-season tent, something under 2.5 pounds or so (~1.2 KG). Overall, I personally prefer a traditional double-wall tent, unless you can afford a zpacks cuben single wall.

I use both the Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 and a Zpacks solo-plus. I prefer the Big Agnes Fly creek in colder weather. Single wall tents have to have much more ventilation to reduce condensation, and hence sleep considerably colder.

Cheyou
02-12-2016, 10:00
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/images/icons/icon1.png
And these are all4 season?

what ?? 4 season tent ? U better check out some finishers equipment lists.

Water Rat
02-12-2016, 10:10
I know there have been a lot of posts regarding tents, but there seems to be so many different opinions and I'm super confused. I plan to start at the beginning of March. Which tent should I buy? Im hiking on my own.

:welcome to White Blaze!

As you can see, there are many different opinions here. In order to narrow things down a bit, what are YOU looking for in a tent? This will be your home for 5-6 months, so it should have the features you are looking for in a tent.

Are you interested in a freestanding tent?
Will you be using trekking poles? If so, many tents now come with the option to use your trekking poles as tent poles...this will reduce the weight you have to carry.
Are you looking for a 1 person tent, or 2 person tent? Some 1 person tents are a tad on the small side, but some people also prefer a smaller space...
Are you looking for a tent with front entry, side entry, or it doesn't matter?

You mention 4-season tents...because of snow. Everything at has been mentioned, has been used on the AT in all conditions. The tents (and tarps) mentioned can handle snow - the 4-season tents are just designed to handle the weight of a lot more snow. It is not likely you will be camped out for long enough for that to happen (and you can always knock the snow off your tent).

The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL series is a solid tent. Some don't like the front entry, but I have never found it to be an issue. It is easy to set up, but is not a true free-standing tent - One does have to use some tent stakes to set it up. It is lightweight...and many places have them in stock.

I hope this helps you to direct the answers a bit more. :) Most of all - Good luck with the search and have a happy hike!

Venchka
02-12-2016, 11:03
Folks, Y'all are splitting hairs too finely here. To a novice like the OP, a tent for winter conditions means "4 seasons". Both the Moment DW & StratoSpire 1 are sturdy 3 season tents that can cope adequately with the occasional bits of nasty winter weather. Neither would be considered heavy considering their materials, size and durability. Add 2 ounces for the solid interior and either would be snug and comfy in harsh weather. The StratoSpire 1 in particular has more than sufficient weatherproof volume to make hunkering down until the weather moderates tolerable. At the higher elevations along the AT wind will be more of a problem than actual snowfall. Both the the Moment DW and StratoSpire 1 can handle strong winds.
Are they 4 season tents like the 10 pound North Face Mountain Mountain 25? Certainly not. Will they survive winter on the AT? You bet.
The StratoSpire tents also make excellent "tarp" shelters when used in fly only mode.
Need I remind everyone that all TarpTents set up as an inner tent+outer fly combined unit? The inner remains dry in wet weather. Try that with an exoskeleton inner first fly last set up.
The Scarp series with crossing poles are Henry Shires 4 season tents.
End of pseudo-rant.
Y'all have a great day!

Wayne

egilbe
02-12-2016, 16:46
This thread has me looking at 2 person Hilleberg tents. Four or five pound tents, to me, in the winter, is reasonable.

Fiona
02-12-2016, 18:24
Thank you everyone. :-)

Cheyou
02-12-2016, 18:44
We had guests over this week from Gladstone ,Qld. Saw their first snow .

thom

Feral Bill
02-12-2016, 19:01
Go buy a tarp (cheap plastic 8x10 to start with). Learn to pitch it well. Have fun.

Tents are more fuss to pitch, weigh more, cost more, are limited in pitch flexibility, limit your self expression, isolate you from the world you're out to experience, and don't make you look as cool and tough as the girl that can pitch and live under a tarp.
All so very true.

Feral Bill
02-12-2016, 19:03
First, it looks to me like you are looking for a tent, and that's fine. I just find it interesting how many people discount a tarp, especially in the winter, without trying it. As for "tried and tested", tarps have a longer history than any tent brand I know of, and the advantages listed above still hold for winter tarping, but on snow, having an open floor, gives even more creative comfort options with digging foot wells and sleeping shelves etc. And, if using shelters, tarps make better wind breaks/doors than tents do. If you have any inclination, I'd encourage you to try and play around with it a bit. Also, no bugs in winter, just ad a separate net later in your trip, if you wish.

mountain squid
02-12-2016, 19:59
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/Eloquent/miscgreen/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by nsherry61 http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/Eloquent/buttonsgreen/viewpost-right.png (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=2041664#post2041664)
Go buy a tarp (cheap plastic 8x10 to start with). Learn to pitch it well. Have fun.

Tents are more fuss to pitch, weigh more, cost more, are limited in pitch flexibility, limit your self expression, isolate you from the world you're out to experience, and don't make you look as cool and tough as the girl that can pitch and live under a tarp.


All so very true.

Disagree. All might be valid points but so very UNtrue ... for this hiker anyway. (Maybe someone else though, that has experience and time to practice using a tarp.) Original Poster stated a start date of early Mar. That is maybe 3 weeks to research, purchase, receive and then figure out how to use. The time to 'learn to pitch it well' should not be on Springer Mountain, which given the time constraints is likely. A tent is much easier to figure out how to set-up.

If more time were available maybe ...

See you on the trail,
mt squid

(http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?100363-2014-Norovirus-Awareness)some observations (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?14493-observations-from-fs42-(advice-for-first-week-on-trail)&highlight=)

Venchka
02-12-2016, 20:06
This thread has me looking at 2 person Hilleberg tents. Four or five pound tents, to me, in the winter, is reasonable.

Amen Brother!
On the other hand, the Scarp 2 with crossing poles is ~ 3 1/2 pounds.
I've pondered this tent purchase until I have decision paralysis.

Wayne


Sent from somewhere around here.

Venchka
02-12-2016, 20:10
I'm probably wrong on the Scarp 2. Maybe it's the Scarp 1 @ 3 1/2 - 4 pounds.
I said I had totally confused myself. I need a spreadsheet. Yikes!

Wayne


Sent from somewhere around here.

sliverstorm
02-12-2016, 20:14
This thread has me looking at 2 person Hilleberg tents. Four or five pound tents, to me, in the winter, is reasonable.

Have a Hilleberg 2 man 4 season tunnel. Haven't had it for long, but I already love it, especially after trying to camp on blowing snow in a 3-season.

We'll see if I like it quite as much outside of snow & high winds. It offers some flexibility (pitch just the rainfly, or just the nest) for lighter weather, but might not be worth carrying even in cut-down trim.

Feral Bill
02-12-2016, 21:27
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/Eloquent/miscgreen/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by nsherry61 http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/Eloquent/buttonsgreen/viewpost-right.png (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=2041664#post2041664)
Go buy a tarp (cheap plastic 8x10 to start with). Learn to pitch it well. Have fun.

Tents are more fuss to pitch, weigh more, cost more, are limited in pitch flexibility, limit your self expression, isolate you from the world you're out to experience, and don't make you look as cool and tough as the girl that can pitch and live under a tarp.



Disagree. All might be valid points but so very UNtrue ... for this hiker anyway. (Maybe someone else though, that has experience and time to practice using a tarp.) Original Poster stated a start date of early Mar. That is maybe 3 weeks to research, purchase, receive and then figure out how to use. The time to 'learn to pitch it well' should not be on Springer Mountain, which given the time constraints is likely. A tent is much easier to figure out how to set-up.

If more time were available maybe ...

See you on the trail,
mt squid

(http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?100363-2014-Norovirus-Awareness)some observations (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?14493-observations-from-fs42-(advice-for-first-week-on-trail)&highlight=) Perhaps you are right, given the time frame. It's short time to "learn" a tent as well, though.

Sarcasm the elf
02-12-2016, 23:06
Go to TarpTent.com.
Under PRODUCTS select Choose Your TarpTent
Click 1 person, thruhike & 4 seasons.
The Moment DW and StratoSpire 1 pop up. Take your pick. You may wish to buy the solid interior for additional weather proofing.
https://www.tarptent.com/allproducts.html



Wayne

+1 You can't go wrong with tarptent.

As others have mentioned, for A.T. hiking you will see people almost exclusively using 3 season tents (or less). The term 4 season tent is more commonly used to describe a mountaineering class tent.

Sarcasm the elf
02-12-2016, 23:11
Just for the fun of it, here are some tarptents in the snow.

33634

Oppenheimer
04-20-2016, 12:19
I'm going for the Terra Nova Solar Photon 2, lightweight and easy to put up

<3

jjozgrunt
05-10-2016, 19:16
Hi Fiona - I've used the Zpacks Hexamid Solo Plus in snow, sleet and hail in the aussie alps and I have had no problems. For more room I'd go with their Duplex 2 person tent at under 600 grams. If you plan to use it here, in Australia, go the heavier .74 cubin. I'm starting on the 12th Mar but I plan to use a hammock, WBBB with a cubin fibre tarp.

jjozgrunt
05-10-2016, 19:17
Message me if you like.

Elaikases
06-28-2016, 07:37
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/images/icons/icon1.png


And these are all4 season?

what ?? 4 season tent ? U better check out some finishers equipment lists.


A four season tent includes a separate snow flap. There are a number of tents used for winter (things like https://www.rei.com/product/101572/heimplanet-the-cave-3-tent which is used for winter camping in Alaska -- I would not recommend it for the AT) that are "three season" because they lack the snow flaps.

As a result, many, many "three season" tents are fine for light, or even heavy (winter in Alaska and 80 mph winds, see above) winter conditions.

But the labels can be confusing, to say the least.

Venchka
06-28-2016, 08:40
The product at the other end of the link is a joke, right?
If you want to learn about tents for multiple seasons, study Hilleberg tents. The black and red label tents have been used worldwide and year round.
Wayne


Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."

Hosh
06-28-2016, 10:50
Marmot, Mountain Hardware and North Face have made mountaineering expedition caliber equipment for decades. While I won't eliminate Hilleberg, base camps are dominated by the big 3.

Very few backpackers need an expedition quality tent. They are designed for high winds and heavy snow loads. A well designed ultra light tent is effective deep into the shoulder seasons.

rocketsocks
06-28-2016, 10:57
A four season tent includes a separate snow flap. There are a number of tents used for winter (things like https://www.rei.com/product/101572/heimplanet-the-cave-3-tent which is used for winter camping in Alaska -- I would not recommend it for the AT) that are "three season" because they lack the snow flaps.

As a result, many, many "three season" tents are fine for light, or even heavy (winter in Alaska and 80 mph winds, see above) winter conditions.

But the labels can be confusing, to say the least.i don't think fuller himself would sleep in that thing. :D Kinda cool lookin' though, but way to over engineer and industrial.

rocketsocks
06-28-2016, 10:58
...and should also add that it is quick to set up which is pretty neat in a gale.

AfterParty
06-28-2016, 18:52
I just got a marmot 2p starlight. Only 3 lbs and roomy for 1.

swjohnsey
06-28-2016, 19:46
You can get the Flycreek UL2 Chinese knock-off for under $50, about 3 lbs I believe.

PapaBear187
10-07-2016, 00:10
I've been looking at the lightheart gear tents. I'm planning a thru hike in 2018 but will going with my service dog, a 125# Akita. Might want to take a look at them. http://www.lightheartgear.com/

AfterParty
10-07-2016, 18:18
I switched to a hammock but if was to buy a tent it would be the protrail from tarp tent.

swisscross
10-07-2016, 19:26
I've been looking at the lightheart gear tents. I'm planning a thru hike in 2018 but will going with my service dog, a 125# Akita. Might want to take a look at them. http://www.lightheartgear.com/

My daughter and I share a LHG Solong 6.

RockDoc
10-08-2016, 15:19
There's no best tent for all conditions. If you hike a lot you will own many tents. Same thing with packs, bags, etc.
So it's time to start building your collection....

YoungBloodOnTrail
10-09-2016, 00:17
I have the Nemo Hornet and love it. Probably one of if not the lightest and most packable freestanding tent on the market

colorado_rob
10-09-2016, 08:22
I have the Nemo Hornet and love it. Probably one of if not the lightest and most packable freestanding tent on the marketPretty much true! Only the BA fly creek (probably the platinum model) is as light, maybe an ounce lighter.

Here's a decent little article on the advantages of double-wall tents, and a list of the lightest ones:

http://sectionhiker.com/advantages-of-lightweight-double-walled-tents/

Edit: just took a look, and it's the regular BA fly creek that's nearly the same weight as the Nemo, just under 2 pounds, the BA fly creek "platinum" is 1 lb 9 oz, probably the lightest free-standing 2-person traditional double wall tent out there.

GriZZiLLa_Ga-Me09
10-13-2016, 04:21
I know there have been a lot of posts regarding tents, but there seems to be so many different opinions and I'm super confused. I plan to start at the beginning of March. Which tent should I buy? Im hiking on my own.

I got the Big Agnes fly creek UL1 for my 2017 thru. Has plenty of room inside for 1 plus a cuddle buddy, and a vestibule the rain fly creates for pack space. This will be my second thru and I am definitely a tent man. But this is all personal preference. If going with a tarp you might want to also invest in a no-se-ums net for bugs in the summer.

jjozgrunt
10-13-2016, 08:15
I was going with a hammock and tarp, as I stated earlier. Changed my mind and decided to go with my trusty Duplex. Makes the pack lighter and I sleep just as well lying on the ground or swinging in the air.

Tipi Walter
10-13-2016, 08:35
Have a Hilleberg 2 man 4 season tunnel. Haven't had it for long, but I already love it, especially after trying to camp on blowing snow in a 3-season.

We'll see if I like it quite as much outside of snow & high winds. It offers some flexibility (pitch just the rainfly, or just the nest) for lighter weather, but might not be worth carrying even in cut-down trim.

Which one do you have, the Nallo, Nammatj, Kaitum or Keron?? Or whatever else?


A four season tent includes a separate snow flap. There are a number of tents used for winter (things like https://www.rei.com/product/101572/heimplanet-the-cave-3-tent which is used for winter camping in Alaska -- I would not recommend it for the AT) that are "three season" because they lack the snow flaps.

As a result, many, many "three season" tents are fine for light, or even heavy (winter in Alaska and 80 mph winds, see above) winter conditions.

But the labels can be confusing, to say the least.

Snow flaps? None of my Hilleberg four season tents have snow flaps. My MSR Fury 4-season doesn't have snow flaps. In fact, not any of my tents in the last many decades had snow flaps. These are snow flaps---(not fabric on the ground)---

http://bigskyproducts.com/ProductImages/big_sky_convertible_2p_test_chamber_thumb_200h.jpg



If you want to learn about tents for multiple seasons, study Hilleberg tents. The black and red label tents have been used worldwide and year round.
Wayne
Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."

The only tent I use now for all my trips is a Hilleberg tunnel. Summer and winter. Why summer? Because the worst winds are often in the summer atop open balds in terrible thunderstorms. Are Hillebergs perfect? Nope, but then again no tent is perfect. Show me a guy who uses whatever tent and if he has nothing critical to say about it he just hasn't used it enough.


Marmot, Mountain Hardware and North Face have made mountaineering expedition caliber equipment for decades. While I won't eliminate Hilleberg, base camps are dominated by the big 3.

Very few backpackers need an expedition quality tent. They are designed for high winds and heavy snow loads. A well designed ultra light tent is effective deep into the shoulder seasons.

I agree that most of the tents I see on my trips are 3 season tents like Big Agnes and REI and Sierra Designs and a few Marmots and a few North Face and a handful of Tarptents and the occasional Bibler. The current fascination and fad now is for either single wall tents or for double wall nets with mesh/net inner tents. A mesh inner IS NOT a double wall tent. And if you plan on doing any extensive backpacking in the Southeast mountains, you will rethink your desire to use a single wall tent as condensation as times is overwhelming. Even under a tarp. "At times" means maybe not for a weekend trip but stretch a trip out for 3 weeks and dripping condensation will happen, especially on a cold night in a wet snow.