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Stone1984
10-02-2017, 17:33
Going to be going on a couple overnighters with the girlfriend. Want to move to a 3 person tent for this. Price is important here. We will be splitting up the load so not looking for the Zpacks answer.

What are some options I can look at?

Time Zone
10-02-2017, 17:58
Need many more specifics, such as on limits on price, weight, frontcountry vs. backcountry use, and why not a 2P tent (such as around 35-40 sq ft).
Also, if by "not looking for the zpacks answer" you're also ruling out other trekking-pole-supported tents, why (other than price)? You don't have to split a tent into fly and inner in order to split the weight and volume in 2 backpacks. One person can take the entire tent, while the other can take something(s) else to balance that off.

Sarcasm the elf
10-02-2017, 17:59
If price is the main concern then I highly recommend Eureka! tents, they're a longstanding company who's bombproof tents don't get enough respect in my opinion.

If you take a look at their site you'll find several models that are suitable for backpacking, just make look at the ones with aluminum poles listed in the specs (fiberglass poles are heavier and more fragile).

I have hundreds A.T. miles on my old Eureka it was a true two man (had as much floor space as some of the supposed 3 man UL tents that are popular today) weighed about 5.5lbs which is less than 3lb a person, and cost me about $100 on sale. I finally upgraded to a tarptent a couple years ago, but the Eureka still works great and goes car camping with me.

HooKooDooKu
10-02-2017, 18:06
An inexpensive but good quality 3-person tent is going to weight about 6lbs and cost around $150 (clearance price) to $250 (full retail).

If you want good quality but with less weight, you'll have to move up to something like the REI Quarter Dome 3. The weight drops to about 4-1/2lbs, but the full retail cost rises to $400.

If you want good quality and very light weight, you'll have to move up to something like the Copper Spur UL 3. The weight drops below 4lbs, but the full retail cost is $500.


If you want good quality, and less weight for the money than these options, you could look into www.tarptent.com. These have a little bit bigger learning curve in trying to setup compared to a free standing tent, and many require you use treking poles that basically take the place of tent poles. But you can get a 3-person tarp tent that weights a little over 3lbs for less than $400. If you are simply looking for a roomy 2-person tent, you can get a Tarp Tent that weights less than 3lbs for $350. Over the years, there have been many thru hikers that have used TarpTents for their thru hike. I've never used one myself... but I've considered it as I contemplate taking one of my kids on a JMT hike some day in the future... (I did the JMT solo last year and LOVED my Copper Spur UL2... but then the only reason I got it was because I lucked into a killer clearance deal).

ScareBear
10-02-2017, 20:08
Here. Best frigging 3p tent for under $250. Mine has over 250 AT miles on it and going strong. That's with a 40# dog and/or another person at all times.

The only issue is you must be uber cautious zipping the fly in any wind over 5mph. But, that's true with almost all front-door tents.

Buy it. You won't regret it.

https://www.steepandcheap.com/big-agnes-fly-creek-hv-ul-tent-3-person-3-season?CMP_ID=PLA_GOc005BR&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PLA&k_clickid=6aa0fadd-7a35-4544-9c4f-6497c8140d69&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw_Pcg5TT1gIVAQxpCh1agw0XEAYYASAB EgKFf_D_BwE

REB
10-02-2017, 20:37
I have a Cooper Spur UL3 for sale on this site. Great for two people, light weight: may be a little pricey though.

HooKooDooKu
10-02-2017, 20:52
https://www.steepandcheap.com/big-agnes-fly-creek-hv-ul-tent-3-person-3-season?CMP_ID=PLA_GOc005BR&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PLA&k_clickid=6aa0fadd-7a35-4544-9c4f-6497c8140d69&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw_Pcg5TT1gIVAQxpCh1agw0XEAYYASAB EgKFf_D_BwE
While I didn't get my Copper Spur at Steep And Cheap... the Fly Creek is in the same class as the Copper Spur. The difference is that the Fly Creek is a 'front' entry tent with only one vestibule compared to the 'side' entry with two vestibules of the Copper Spur. But the result is that the Fly Creek is lighter.

While my personal preference is for a side-entry tent, I could definitely see myself buying the Fly Creek UL3 for two people at that incredible price if I needed it right now.

Hosh
10-02-2017, 21:17
Here. Best frigging 3p tent for under $250. Mine has over 250 AT miles on it and going strong. That's with a 40# dog and/or another person at all times.

The only issue is you must be uber cautious zipping the fly in any wind over 5mph. But, that's true with almost all front-door tents.

Buy it. You won't regret it.

https://www.steepandcheap.com/big-agnes-fly-creek-hv-ul-tent-3-person-3-season?CMP_ID=PLA_GOc005BR&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PLA&k_clickid=6aa0fadd-7a35-4544-9c4f-6497c8140d69&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw_Pcg5TT1gIVAQxpCh1agw0XEAYYASAB EgKFf_D_BwE

+1, bought a UL2 for my daughter

Hosh
10-02-2017, 21:18
While I didn't get my Copper Spur at Steep And Cheap... the Fly Creek is in the same class as the Copper Spur. The difference is that the Fly Creek is a 'front' entry tent with only one vestibule compared to the 'side' entry with two vestibules of the Copper Spur. But the result is that the Fly Creek is lighter.

While my personal preference is for a side-entry tent, I could definitely see myself buying the Fly Creek UL3 for two people at that incredible price if I needed it right now.

+2 own CS UL1, UL3 & UL4, BA is a great supplier

Venchka
10-02-2017, 21:24
I'll never understand the attraction for BA tents.
Obviously they work for many of Y'all.
Wayne


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Hosh
10-02-2017, 21:27
I'll never understand the attraction for BA tents.
Obviously they work for many of Y'all.
Wayne


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Such is life, I have never understood the attraction for miserable heat, humidity, bugs, snakes, and mud bogs. I do like rednecks, however.

Sarcasm the elf
10-02-2017, 21:45
I'll never understand the attraction for BA tents.
Obviously they work for many of Y'all.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I'm 100% with you on that.

The ones I tried were (solely in my opinion) cramped, seemed poorly designed (the front entry one), overstated the useable space, used excessively thin material even compared to other UL manufacturers, were significantly overpriced for a chinese made tent, and were disingenuously advertised as "designed" in the US, which has caused a number of people to wrongly assume they were manufactured here as well (I've had owners argue this with me a number of times, despite it saying made in China on the box.)

Clearly a lot of backpackers love their BA tents, so there must be something to them, but I just don't see the appeal given the other UL options on the market.

Grunt
10-02-2017, 22:35
OK.. know this stuff can get personal... I've been humpin the AT for 10+ years and have used several different tents. The fact is they all will work... make'em work, right. Most 2P tents will fit my 6'1; 215 frame and with all my gear...that's it, no more room. It's all cool... go to sleep but I gotta be honest and tell you as you mature it sure is nice to have ROOOOOM... without the weight. Tough one. I don't get nothing for saying this but I'd check out the Teepee style tents at MyTrailCo.com (old Golite). I have the old Inogene and love it! But better yet, my buddy and I decided to purchase their Pyramid 4 a couple of years ago and have put many many AT miles on it! It has...get this.... 84sqft... it's huge! I can almost stand up in it and for the two of us plus our gear... it's a dream...... 3lbs a piece and the comfort is worth it! I won't go back inside those coffins tents anymore... good luck.

ScareBear
10-02-2017, 22:54
I'm 100% with you on that.

The ones I tried were (solely in my opinion) cramped, seemed poorly designed (the front entry one), overstated the useable space, used excessively thin material even compared to other UL manufacturers, were significantly overpriced for a chinese made tent, and were disingenuously advertised as "designed" in the US, which has caused a number of people to wrongly assume they were manufactured here as well (I've had owners argue this with me a number of times, despite it saying made in China on the box.)

Clearly a lot of backpackers love their BA tents, so there must be something to them, but I just don't see the appeal given the other UL options on the market.

So, I kinda maybe sorta agree with you when it comes to 1P and 2P tents. However, when it comes to sub-4# 3P tents, there aren't too many viable options at a reasonable price. When it comes to sub-3.5# 3P tents under $400, not much, if anything, competes with BA Fly Creek IMHO. Absolutely freaking nothing comes close to the weight/dollar ratio at $250. Would I like two side doors and two vestibules? Sure! Would I like to carry another pound of weight to get that? Nope! Pay another $100 to get that? No way!

With all that being said...after coming into a little extra discretionary hiking gear spending money...my Nemo Hornet 2P(new, never used) is going back to REI and the difference is going to be put toward...


Zpacks Triplex .67 camo.....

Comes in lighter than the Nemo and is a 3P not a 2P. Two side doors. Two vestibules. Uses my hiking poles...

Still keeping the FlyCreek for my kids/guests...great tent...

Time Zone
10-03-2017, 03:28
and were disingenuously advertised as "designed" in the US, which has caused a number of people to wrongly assume they were manufactured here as well (I've had owners argue this with me a number of times, despite it saying made in China on the box.)


Apple, Inc., says hello. Seriously, that's rather a common marketing tactic - and it makes sense from a business perspective too ... there's greater returns to be made in design than manufacturing.

But I agree with you. I checked out a friend's Fly Creek UL2 this weekend, which was supposed to close to mine in size; it felt much smaller, as the inner seemed to hang down surprisingly low on the sides and in the tapered back. OTOH, it was seriously light.

Stone1984
10-03-2017, 06:24
Need many more specifics, such as on limits on price, weight, frontcountry vs. backcountry use, and why not a 2P tent (such as around 35-40 sq ft).
Also, if by "not looking for the zpacks answer" you're also ruling out other trekking-pole-supported tents, why (other than price)? You don't have to split a tent into fly and inner in order to split the weight and volume in 2 backpacks. One person can take the entire tent, while the other can take something(s) else to balance that off.
This will be used on the AT doing overnights and maybe a 2-3 day trip from time to time. My limits on price I am still unsure, I don't want to spend another $600 yet until I know for sure she will be doing this more often. In that case I will buy the Zpacks. I love my duplex so why not. And I don't want to try to fit into a 2p tent with gear, I like having the space for a pack explosion in my tent if need be. Will be looking at all the options listed here today.

Cheyou
10-03-2017, 06:51
Tarptent

thom

MuddyWaters
10-03-2017, 06:57
If you arent worried about weight, cause youll split it

And want to keep the gf happy on a few low mile trips

Maybe something that fills a gear niche you dont have....not just bigger.....winter capable...storm capable...4 season. Something that starts with Hilleberg or such

Venchka
10-03-2017, 07:03
If you arent worried about weight, cause youll split it

And want to keep the gf happy on a few low mile trips

Maybe something that fills a gear niche you dont have....not just bigger.....winter capable...storm capable...4 season. Something that starts with Hilleberg or such

Kaitum 2. Room for multiple pack explosions.
Wayne


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T-Rx
10-03-2017, 10:45
Another +1 for the BA Copper spur UL3. My wife and I have used ours for several years now including a 650 mile AT section. The tent performs extremely well. Roomy for 2 with gear (and I am a big guy at 6’4 220lbs.), and kept us dry during some serious rain storms. The double vestibules and entrances are also a big plus for this tent.

rickb
10-03-2017, 11:59
I have a 3-Person Copper Spur (a grey one!) but it cost a small fortune.

Were I in the OP’s situation I would call REI and ask them to set up a Half Dome 2 Plus and at least check it out in the store.

Still not cheap at $200 (keep in mind you get a dividend and they have sales) but even if it turns out not to be “the one” it could well help the OP define what really matter to him. Nothing beats checking a tent out in person.

HooKooDooKu
10-03-2017, 13:28
I don't see the Copper Spur on sale right now...

But if you don't mind some extra weight, Steep and Cheap also has the BA Rattlesnake SL3 (https://www.steepandcheap.com/big-agnes-rattlesnake-sl3-mtnglo-tent-3-person-3-season) on sale for only $220.
The Rattlesnake is basically the same thing as the Copper Spur, except it uses heavier weight material. So rather than a 3-1/2lb tent, this one is about a 5lb (and includes the MtnGlo lights...).


And if money means more to you than weight... Steep and Cheap has an ALPS 3 person tent for $126 (but it's 6lbs).

Venchka
10-03-2017, 16:22
https://www.tarptent.com/scarp2.html

https://www.tarptent.com/cloudburst3.html

http://us.hilleberg.com/EN/tent/red-label-tents/kaitum-2/

Wayne

scrabbler
10-03-2017, 17:27
$49 Coleman 3 man tent. Not significantly heavier, and a heck of a lot cheaper.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Sundome-3-Person-Dome-Tent/47488674

HooKooDooKu
10-03-2017, 18:08
$49 Coleman 3 man tent. Not significantly heavier, and a heck of a lot cheaper.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Sundome-3-Person-Dome-Tent/47488674
The Amazon shipping weight is more than 8lbs.

Hosh
10-03-2017, 19:01
https://www.tarptent.com/scarp2.html

https://www.tarptent.com/cloudburst3.html

http://us.hilleberg.com/EN/tent/red-label-tents/kaitum-2/

Wayne

The OP said price was important, so that eliminates the Hilleberg. If I were to recommend a TarpTent, I've owned and re-sold 2, it would the Double Rainbow for side entry or the Rainshadow 2 for front entry.

If the OP is willing to do a front entry, the BA FC UL3 HV is very comparable to the Rainshadow and 10% less expensive on steepandcheap.com. It also doesn't require trekking poles nor an extra pole purchase.

Franco
10-03-2017, 20:30
The OP said price was important, so that eliminates the Hilleberg. If I were to recommend a TarpTent, I've owned and re-sold 2, it would the Double Rainbow for side entry or the Rainshadow 2 for front entry.

If the OP is willing to do a front entry, the BA FC UL3 HV is very comparable to the Rainshadow and 10% less expensive on steepandcheap.com. It also doesn't require trekking poles nor an extra pole purchase.
The Cloudburst 3 can be a very good shelter (for the weight) for two that are not a couple or simply like a bit of space . The two entry points means that you can get in and out without disturbing the other and can have your pack at your end.
There is a liner available for it that makes it pretty much a double wall tent as there is also a third pole for high winds and or some snow loads if that comes up.
As mentioned before, you split the weight by giving something of equal weight (say fuel/food) to your partner.
That way one person remains fully in charge of the full tent (who has the pole?...) less chance to leave bits behind.
4047740478
franco@tarptent.com

Venchka
10-03-2017, 20:33
Just expanding the gene pool. You donít have to buy the Kaitum. It might help to know that there are other shelters on the planet.
Wayne


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bigcranky
10-04-2017, 12:00
Consider that "splitting the load" doesn't have to mean each taking half the tent. I usually carry the tent and my partner carries the cook kit and the water treatment kit.

The Zpacks Triplex is expensive, but it's darn light for such a huge interior space.

We used a Six Moons Designs Lunar Duo for years before getting the Triplex. The Lunar Duo is a 2-person tent, but it has a *ton* of room inside, just the best 2-person tent we ever used. It's much less expensive than the Triplex and still a reasonable weight at about 42 oz.

nsherry61
10-04-2017, 13:36
I still find it baffling that more people don't use tarps being how inexpensive and effective they can be as a shelter. Hell, it takes longer to figure out what tent to buy than it does to learn how to pitch a tarp, so there isn't really even a time cost to the learning curve. As long as it's not bug season, get a tarp and go have fun. If you want more room, get a bigger one. They're super cheap and light and really fast to set up compared to tents in most cases.

Time Zone
10-04-2017, 14:29
I still find it baffling that more people don't use tarps being how inexpensive and effective they can be as a shelter. Hell, it takes longer to figure out what tent to buy than it does to learn how to pitch a tarp, so there isn't really even a time cost to the learning curve. As long as it's not bug season, get a tarp and go have fun. If you want more room, get a bigger one. They're super cheap and light and really fast to set up compared to tents in most cases.

Have you ever asked a tenter familiar with tarps why they weren't sold on the idea?

For me it's bugs, esp. ticks and mosquitoes, and other crawling/slithering animals. And for some of us, bug season is nearly year-round. One should keep in mind location when discussing gear choices.
My guess is that you'll find many that give a similar response, and if so, it'll cease to be baffling.

But I have tarps as well, for use with hammock or bivy, and I am fascinated by the many cleverly-configured shelters that can be made with them.

nsherry61
10-04-2017, 15:17
Have you ever asked a tenter familiar with tarps why they weren't sold on the idea? . . .
Familiar with tarps, yes, experienced with tarps, no.

And for me, it's not being baffled by people not using tarps, it's that whole threads are written and responded to without tarps being considered when tarps, as you have surely found with hammocks, can be absolutely awesome.


. . . For me it's bugs, esp. ticks and mosquitoes, and other crawling/slithering animals. . .

And, although the OP did ask for "tent" advice, he also suggested that price was an issue for which tarps are unbeatable. He never suggested any concerns about bugs, which, of course, can be, but often are not a big issue for many people in many places.


. . . My guess is that you'll find many that give a similar response, and if so, it'll cease to be baffling. . .
People with actual tarp experience (ground tarps to be specific), are is surprisingly few. And no, I don't think I've ever met a person that was primarily a tenter that had significant tarp experience (except during bug season - so only a seasonal tenter).

Yes, most of the people that I have talked to that tent and don't tarp do so for exactly the reasons you have stated above. However, people that experiment with tarps quickly find that the reasons you state above are quite overblown relative to the real risk vs. comfort that people discover after actually experimenting enough with tarps to get comfortable using them.

My point here isn't that the OP should use a tarp or that anyone should or shouldn't use any particular style of or piece of gear. My point is that, as a supposedly knowledgeable and experienced community, many members of which use tarps extensively, I am surprised that tents are so frequently the unquestioned and exclusively discussed shelter of choice and recommendation, quite specifically because, with very little (but some) practice, a tarp shelter does an outstanding if not a superior job at a fraction the weight and price of a tent.

And no, you're right, I shouldn't be baffled. It is fear of the wild, just like all the bear and snake discussions we have.

sfdoc
10-04-2017, 15:26
I agree with ScareBear. What he's shown you is a great deal. I've used the tent and it's pretty good. Don't forget some sort of ground cloth or footprint. Have a great experience.

HooKooDooKu
10-04-2017, 16:25
I agree with ScareBear. What he's shown you is a great deal. I've used the tent and it's pretty good. Don't forget some sort of ground cloth or footprint. Have a great experience.
Just make sure you ignore the dumb@$$ "Frequently purchased together" advice the SaC website currently has... because the footprints they have listed are for the UL1 and UL2.

Hosh
10-04-2017, 21:39
You don't see the footprints discounted very often. Henry at Tarptent has stated many times that he rarely has to repair floors. BA will replace or repair at a very minimal or perhaps no cost. If you plan to use a "fast fly" set up with a BA tent then it makes sense. Otherwise, polycro, painter's plastic or something else will work or nothing is also fine. I carry a piece of polycro mostly to stage my stuff on prior to repacking, it helps keep it clean.

Venchka
10-04-2017, 21:58
Look for tents that permit pitching the fly without the need for the heavy and expensive footprint that BA requires.
My MSR HUBBA HUBBA NX and TarpTent StratoSpire 1 (and most TarpTents I believe) can use just the fly without a factory footprint.
SS 1 fly only in Wyoming:
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171005/b6ae3655326650187fc8f50bbd56ea90.jpg
~ 21 - 22 ounces and full rain protection for me and my gear.
Wayne


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Hosh
10-05-2017, 09:15
And if you don't normally carry trekking poles, add 25+ ounces or add $150 and 16 ounces.

Venchka
10-05-2017, 11:26
And if you don't normally carry trekking poles, add 25+ ounces or add $150 and 16 ounces.

I have no idea where those figures came from. TarpTent.com has the correct poles to replace trekking poles for the StratoSpire tents.
Wayne


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Sarcasm the elf
10-05-2017, 12:32
And if you don't normally carry trekking poles, add 25+ ounces or add $150 and 16 ounces.

I think one would more likely add $16 and 4 oz.

https://www.tarptent.com/store/vertical-support-pole

Venchka
10-05-2017, 15:27
Thanks. Better to come from a third party.
I looked into those poles in case my trekking poles are aggravating my right shoulder.
Wayne


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Hosh
10-05-2017, 17:29
My reference was to trekking poles, if you want to rely on the TT poles, which are much less sturdy, you'll need 2 of them.

Peace out

Venchka
10-05-2017, 17:42
My reference was to trekking poles, if you want to rely on the TT poles, which are much less sturdy, you'll need 2 of them.

Peace out

I see the light.
I do use and own 2 pair of Komperdell poles. I shopped for a tent accordingly.
If I trace the right shoulder pain to the hiking sticks, I would use something like the TarpTent poles. Which, BTW, have a larger diameter than the carbon/aluminum Komperdell sticks. I doubt that they are not as sturdy.
Moot point at the moment. I have not tracked down the source of the shoulder pain. I may be living with it.
Wayne


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Franco
10-05-2017, 19:23
There are two types of substitute poles available from TT.
The Substitute Front Pole 2oz for the 42", $8 , 0.340 ",(I can bend it pushing down with one finger)
Vertical support Poles 3.8oz for the 42", $16 , 0.490" Easton ( I can hardly bend pushing down with my hand)

saltysack
10-05-2017, 20:36
Such is life, I have never understood the attraction for miserable heat, humidity, bugs, snakes, and mud bogs. I do like rednecks, however.

Ha...sounds like your talking about the cesspool I call home.....[emoji23]


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mister krabs
10-06-2017, 07:57
For just weekend backpacking with a partner and canoe or car camping, I recommend the alps mountaineering zephyr 3. #5.5, plenty big, totally dry, and mine has given me exceptional service for about 200 nights over a decade from the everglades to the boundary waters. You can pick them up for a little more than $100 on amazon or pay a little more for STP or REI garage. The alps company focuses on scouts, they have an interesting history as a family run company run by a former Kelty exec. Quality is equivalent to tents from other major manufacturers, there's nothing cheap or cut-rate about the zephyr.

HooKooDooKu
10-06-2017, 10:08
The alps company focuses on scouts, they have an interesting history as a family run company run by a former Kelty exec. Quality is equivalent to tents from other major manufacturers, there's nothing cheap or cut-rate...
Interesting to know about the Kelty history. I've always appreciated the durability I see in Kelty gear and had some doubts about ALPS since places like REI seem to always have a large quantity of ALPS gear at sale and clearance prices. Sounds like both companies simply make good quality durable gear. They are cheaper than other companies, but that's because they make gear out of cheaper/thicker (and therefore heavier) materials.

While I've loved my BA Copper Spur for personal use... the apparent fragility (because of the thinness of the material) would leave me a wreck if I was sharing that tent with one of my kid.

But with Kelty, the material is thick and the cost is relatively low... so I don't worry at all having to setup one of their tents with the kids, even if it's on rough ground.

BTW - My current tent for when three of us go hiking is a Kelty Gunnison 3.1. Back when I bought this tent, the Gunnison was an over-sized tent... as was the BA Lynx Pass 2 that I use when two of us go hiking. But today, it seems like everyone is trying to make the tents as small as possible and no one is making over-sized tents anymore.

Here's a comparison:
Then: Kelty Gunnison 2.1 (https://www.rei.com/product/796133/kelty-gunnison-21-tent) - 92"x58" (37sqft)
Today: Kelty Gunnison 2 (https://www.rei.com/product/112369/kelty-gunnison-2-tent-with-footprint) - 89"x51" (30sqft)