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Hiker_Mel
05-02-2016, 13:05
Hi All...my daughter and I are planning our thru hike for 2017. We have started purchasing gear to try out on backpacking hikes. Daughter already has 1p tent but I am leaning towards at 2p. Any thoughts, suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Any input on REI brands (DASH 2)? Thanks

bigcranky
05-02-2016, 13:21
Do you mean a 2p tent for yourself? What's your budget? Why 2p - for the extra room inside? Because you're 7 feet tall? Because you might occasionally put two people in it? :)

We own two 2-person tents. The Six Moons Designs Lunar Duo, which is enormous inside, and is our favorite weekend backpacking tent. It's about 42 ounces, uses two trekking poles, and did I mention it's freakin' huge? Two doors, two huge vestibules, very weatherproof.

The Zpacks Hexamid Twin is a lot smaller, and tight for two, but weighs about 22 ounces, and is our choice for long distance hiking. For me I think it is the perfect solo tent -- lots more interior room than the usual solo tent, but no weight penalty.

We do plan to purchase a Zpacks Duplex or Triplex for future long hikes -- two doors, two vestibules, way more interior room, same weight range as the Hex Twin, but probably overkill for a solo hiker. Note that Zpacks tents are not cheap. :)

If I had to buy a tent right now for a solo northbound thru-hike, and I didn't own the Zpacks, and I was concerned about both weight and cost, I'd get a Tarptent Notch.

DuneElliot
05-02-2016, 13:55
Are you thinking of a two person tent for yourself, or for you both to share? During a LD hike I think I can safely say you will want your own space and your own tent.

BigCranky made some good recommendations. I have the SMD Lunar Solo and it is plenty big enough for 1 person plus gear, and weighs 24oz and uses trekking poles. I also own the ZPacks Duplex, but haven't used it yet. However, ZPacks stuff is some serious coin.

On the slightly cheaper end of the slide 2 person Big Agnes Copper Spur and Fly Creek tents are around the 2lb mark and extensively used in backpacking circles. I don't own any Tarptent, nor Lightheart Gear, but both come with hundreds of positive reviews.

HooKooDooKu
05-02-2016, 14:02
My first suggestion in getting a 2-person tent is to find one that provides at least 25" (width) of REAL space per person. This makes for enough room for everyone to use a "large" mattress pad
(I do for the width... don't need the length and don't understand why Therm-a-rest won't make a 72"x25" pad).

It seems that across the board, all the tent manufacturers quote tent sizes based on where the poles touch the ground, NOT the actual usable space inside. To come close to actual usable space, you have to decrease the sizes listed in the specs by 5" to 8" (to account for the inside of the tent doesn't reach to the OUTSIDE of the poles, and the edges are usually curves decreasing the total floor space otherwise available.

As a personal example, I was looking at a tent quoted as being 66" wide. I use a 25" wide NeoAir Xlite sleeping pad and my son's each use a 20" Prolite pad. So you would think these three pads would fit in a 66" wide tent with 1" to spare. The reality was that it was impossible to place the three pads inside the tent without them over-lapping, even if you rotated the center pad and tried to save some space by taking advantage of their tapered shape.

Another personal example, I own a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 that I use as my 1-man tent. The specs for this tent list a width of 52"/42" (it's tapered in shape, so one end is wider than the other). So at the mid-point, this tent should be 47" wide. Yet it is impossible to place the 25" wide neoair pad and the 20" wide prolite pad inside this tent without them overlapping.

So IMHO, you want a tent with an specifications of an average width of at least 55" to 58".

This means that you will need to either find a 3 person tent, or a wide version of a 2 person tent.

Since you mentioned REI, I'll point out that the REI Half Dome 2 (a tent I've never used or seen, but seen other recommend it) has a specification of 52" wide. Unless you both plan to only use 20" mattress pads, that's going to be too narrow. But for an extra $20 and 7oz, you can get the REI Half Dome 2 Plus. The plus is quoted at 56" wide... which means actual inside dimensions might be a little tight if you both use 25" wide mattress pads, but if you use a 25" while your daughter uses a 20", I think the REI Half Dome would be a perfect size.

Most tents don't come in "PLUS" sizes. There was a time when they did. I own a Big Agnes Lynx Pass 2 that is 58" wide, and the Kelty Gunnison 2.1 was the same size.
But today, the modern Kelty Gunnison 2.3 is only 52" wide. Every modern Big Agnes 2 person tent I've seen is also only 52" wide (with most being 52" wide and the wider end and 42" at the narrower end).

So if the REI Half Dome won't suit you, I would recommend looking for an ultra light 3 person tent.

The Kisco Kid
05-02-2016, 14:31
+1 on the ZPacks Duplex (good for two, roomy for one). It's pricey but superlight. If you're going to spend months on end in a tent, I think it's worth getting a really good one.

rafe
05-02-2016, 15:27
There's a Tarptent Double Rainbow for sale on WB right now. That would seem like a good candidate.

Franco
05-02-2016, 18:25
"It seems that across the board, all the tent manufacturers quote tent sizes based on where the poles touch the ground, NOT the actual usable space inside. To come close to actual usable space, you have to decrease the sizes listed in the specs by 5" to 8" "

Good warning but it does not apply to all manufacturers.

At Tarptent we have some very detailed drawings showing exactly what you get , plus you get a 3D video (or two) with a 6' dummy or two (or 3 or 4...) inside on top of a std 20" mat to give a better idea of the usable space.
Here is one on the Double Rainbow as an example :
34705
there are also several photos of the tent, 12 in fact, including one that shows how two 25" long mats fit inside :
34706
[email protected]

Hiker_Mel
05-02-2016, 18:59
Thanks for some great input and advice, all is very much appreciated!! Will def look into the Zpack. My thoughts for 2 p tent... 1) would daughter and I share 2) xtra room for myself/gear 3) other than AT hike, to use on smaller hikes that could accommodate hubby (while I am hardly 5'4", he is 6'4"

nsherry61
05-02-2016, 19:02
From REI I would look at the Big Agnus FlyCreek 2, Copper Spur 2 and the REI Quarter Dome. Quarter Dome is probably the most for your money, the Fly Creek is probably the lightest. The MSR Hubba Hubba is also a good tent.

I sleep fine in my a regular 2-person tent (like Copper Spur 2 or Quarter Dome 2) with my brother-in-law. Sure, we use regular width pads, not wide ones, and our gear stays in the vestibule, and we bump up against each other in the night as we move around, but it works fine. There is no extra room. For one person wanting a 2-person tent for space, you can probably get buy with the smaller of the bunch, the FlyCreek2, smaller because of narrower head and shoulder room, not less floor space. The more vertical walls and double doors of the above listed tents, other than the Fly Creek 2 are much better for two people.

Hosh
05-02-2016, 19:12
I am a BA Copper Spur guy, UL4 UL3 UL1 depending on group size.

Before you buy a REI Dash, read the reviews. There are lots of complaints above wind driven rain getting under the rain fly.

Billy Goat
05-02-2016, 19:46
I don't have any personal expericence with it, but the Big Agnes seed house has great reviews and is silly light, and can be had pretty cheap on steepandcheap.com or whiskeymilitia.com. I'm not affiliated with any of the aforementioned companies ,but I have done business with both websites and have been incredibly happy with them. We have the ALPS Mountaineering zephyr II. It's good stuff but heavy at 4 lbs trail weight. We have since moved to hammocks. Much less bulk and in the right combination, I don't notice and weight penalty, but I don't take luxuries amd went with ultralight fabrics. Hammocks could be a viable option, outside of the Smokies. Mine with hammock, tarp, and suspension is about 28oz and I made it all for less than $100. Granted, I'm a machinist and made al my hardware and sewed all my gear myself. Comparable setup from a cottage vendor would likely top $400. If you're handy it can be done.

Cheers,
the Goat

grumpy old man
05-03-2016, 02:05
I'm about to order a LightHeart Gear Duo. I have read and researched tents ad nauseam. My wife and I will be section hiking and I'll also use the tent solo while hiking with my old college buddies. If it were just me hiking, I would possibly go with a hammock. But my wife will be along for some trips and we like our space when sleeping. That being said, I narrowed my choices to the LHG Duo, TT StratoSpire2 and the SMD Lunar Duo. All three are spacious and all three could accommodate 25" pads. They all had rectangular inner dimensions and that is why the BA tents or any other tent with a narrower foot end did not make the cut. They all weigh less than 3lbs too. In the end the LHG Duo had the most room @38.2 sq ft and was the lightest of the three. It was also 55" wide at both ends which was important for the 25" sleeping pads. I also really like all the ventilation, the way the bathtub floor corners stand up and the way it erects. Optioned out, it came in about $400.

HeartFire
05-03-2016, 05:33
Just for yourself, the LightHeart SoLong 6 (http://lightheartgear.com/index.php/tents/lightheart-solong6-tents/product/view/7/7)would be a good choice.

grumpy old man
05-03-2016, 18:44
Just made the purchase of the Duo. I clicked all the buttons and with shipping, it comes in at $417. I'm happy with my choice and I can quit debating myself over tents and move on to quilts! I'm buying 25" pads and quilts for our little mansion. I'm either going with HG or EE quilts and Thermarest inflatable pads to finish out the inside.


I'm about to order a LightHeart Gear Duo. I have read and researched tents ad nauseam. My wife and I will be section hiking and I'll also use the tent solo while hiking with my old college buddies. If it were just me hiking, I would possibly go with a hammock. But my wife will be along for some trips and we like our space when sleeping. That being said, I narrowed my choices to the LHG Duo, TT StratoSpire2 and the SMD Lunar Duo. All three are spacious and all three could accommodate 25" pads. They all had rectangular inner dimensions and that is why the BA tents or any other tent with a narrower foot end did not make the cut. They all weigh less than 3lbs too. In the end the LHG Duo had the most room @38.2 sq ft and was the lightest of the three. It was also 55" wide at both ends which was important for the 25" sleeping pads. I also really like all the ventilation, the way the bathtub floor corners stand up and the way it erects. Optioned out, it came in about $400.

Abi
05-04-2016, 05:13
Hi All...my daughter and I are planning our thru hike for 2017. We have started purchasing gear to try out on backpacking hikes. Daughter already has 1p tent but I am leaning towards at 2p. Any thoughts, suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Any input on REI brands (DASH 2)? Thanks

For myself I carry the REI Quarter Dome 1, purchased for $175 with coupon, and carry weight is 2lb8oz

I am also looking for a 2 person tent, I'm on a budget. I was looking at the REI Quarter Dome 3 to be more spacious for 2 people, at about 4lbs and $379***

The store had a REI Half Dome 2 Plus, which is only $219*** and about 5lbs7oz, and looks plenty big enough for 2 people to sleep comfortable. Good height and floor is a rectangle not tapered.

I figure if I'm already comfortable carrying 2.5lbs myself, splitting the weight of these tents is equal.

***I heard rumor from an REI employee that there will be a sale near the end of May, perhaps 5/20-30 or so. Maybe a 20% coupon or sale, but you can always sign up an email address with GearMail and get a 15% coupon for REI brand stuff.

grumpy old man
05-06-2016, 12:30
The LHG Duo arrived today. Tent, awning pole, stakes, footprint. 34761

Xycon
05-06-2016, 14:04
Well? Set it up already! :cool:

Singto
05-07-2016, 05:49
Check out Six Moon Designs. Lunar Duo Outfitter is 57 ounces for $160 and the 41 ounce explorer $310.

Singto
05-07-2016, 05:57
For myself I carry the REI Quarter Dome 1, purchased for $175 with coupon, and carry weight is 2lb8oz

I am also looking for a 2 person tent, I'm on a budget. I was looking at the REI Quarter Dome 3 to be more spacious for 2 people, at about 4lbs and $379***

The store had a REI Half Dome 2 Plus, which is only $219*** and about 5lbs7oz, and looks plenty big enough for 2 people to sleep comfortable. Good height and floor is a rectangle not tapered.

I figure if I'm already comfortable carrying 2.5lbs myself, splitting the weight of these tents is equal.

***I heard rumor from an REI employee that there will be a sale near the end of May, perhaps 5/20-30 or so. Maybe a 20% coupon or sale, but you can always sign up an email address with GearMail and get a 15% coupon for REI brand stuff.

Recommend that you look at Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo tents if you haven't already. $160 for a 2 person tent at less than 4 pounds with stakes added. Or less than 3 pounds for $310. Compare floor space, and vestibule sizes before buying.
Good luck.

Hiker_Mel
05-07-2016, 06:41
Recommend that you look at Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo tents if you haven't already. $160 for a 2 person tent at less than 4 pounds with stakes added. Or less than 3 pounds for $310. Compare floor space, and vestibule sizes before buying.
Good luck.

I am considering the Lunar Duo and Rei Half Dome Plus. Checked out all the tents suggested (and many others). Since we will be starting our hike next spring, that should be plenty of time to test out a few options. Thinking about going down for Trail Days...check out things down there and see what some current hikers are using

Tacblades
05-07-2016, 10:29
This list might help you,

https://goo.gl/TiKkQC

Also these are the ultralight, as in weight ultra heavy on the wallet

https://goo.gl/kVK6No

Venchka
05-07-2016, 14:05
Vendors will also be at Trail Days.

Wayne


Sent from somewhere around here.