View Full Version : Tent questions

10-19-2007, 23:38
I have reviewed many of the discussions here on tents but these particular questions have not been addressed as far as I can tell. Pardon me if I am going back over old ground.

I am ready to buy a light weight tent (2 person). I have done a good bit of research and have gotten down to the following specific questions if any of you would be kind enough to help.

A review at Backpacking Gear Test in particular (and in other reviews in general), praised the Hubbba Hubba except for the fact that it ventilated very poorly. The reviewer lamented the lack of a second door, and said he had to take off the fly or even get out of the tent it was so stuffy. Actually all three reviewers mentioned this issue at that website. I think that review is dated and the Hubba has a second door now, which probably would address the issue of ventilation. Is that true? Also, the ventilation issue would be helped if the fly could be adjusted by rolling it up some rather than having only the option of it being fully down. Does anyone know if the fly can be adjusted?

As to the Seedhouse SL 2, the rap was that rain got in through the door upon entering or exiting. Anyone got any insight into that alleged problem?

And the HS Tarptents were probbaly my chioce until I heard stories about them being very twitchy and in frequent need of tweeking of the guy lines to keep the tents taught.

Finally, the Six Moons Luna 2 was assailed because of lots of condensation and it being hard to set up and needing longer (thus heavier) stakes for a proper set up.

These are the tents I am interested in. I am familiar with the many good qualities of these particuar tents, which is why they comprise my short list, but these issues will ultimately be the deciding factors for me.

An important consideration is that I live in the Southeast and expect to regularly encounter lots of heat and rain on my hikes as oposed to having to deal with very cold weather.

I will appreciate any input you veterans may have on these specific issues.

Appalachian Tater
10-19-2007, 23:45
The Henry Shires Tarptent Rainbow is not twitchy nor in need of frequent tweaking if you set it up with hiking poles. Any tweaking problem you would have with the other tarptents would be true of any make of tarptent or tarp. Apparently all tent-like shelters have some issues with condensation at some time or another, at least for some people.

Survivor Dave
10-19-2007, 23:52

Actually I own the Hubba Hubba and have had it for 2 years. The facts you have are incorrect. There are 2 doors and vestibule areas, the ventilation is more than adequate for sure, It's made of mesh with a silnylon ripstop fly. Both vestibule flaps on the fly roll up.

The BA Seedhouse SL2 is a great tent as well with one opening in the front. The only problem that I see is that the floor material seems a bit flimsy and has a tendency to tear. Although I use Tyvek for my groundcloth/footprint, I like the Hubba Hubba(3 lbs. 14oz. Trail weight) even if it weighs 1 pound more than the Seedhouse.

I set up my tent in under 2 minutes. Never a problem or a leak. Love it!

Just my opinion.

Remember, in those reviews, they are from average hikers like you and me. Some are just real picky.

Hope this helps. Heres a direct Link to Hubba Hubba.


Survivor Dave

10-20-2007, 08:15
I researched 2 man UL tents & chose the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo to give my son for his graduation present last May. I pitched it in the yard to check it out. Set up was very easy.

It has two very large doors and vestibules with a really easy fly adjustment. I opine that condensation issues are manageable with this tent. My son used his SMD LD in Alaska & Montana all summer & fall and has not reported any condensation or rain issues. YMMV. It has no seams in the fly. His only problem is that it is not bear proof :rolleyes:. He has 2 bear claw holes on the edge of the fly at one of the vestibules.

Regarding the stakes being heavy; BS. The Easton stakes are as good & light as it gets.

This interior is massive, especially considering the tent weighs less than 45 ozs. That's less than 3 lbs for the people residing in Rio Linden. It has the most volume for the buck and the most volume for the ounce.

You can see this tent in person at either Mountain Crossings (Neals Gap) or Bluff Mountain (Hot Springs).

This tent is on my shopping list.


10-20-2007, 08:20
The BA Seedhouses are short for people over 6-feet-tall.

10-20-2007, 08:20
I think the water problem for the BA seedhouse and tents with similar design comes from the raked-out front, where, in order to get more interior space with less weight, the front screening is slanted up to the ceiling - so, when it rains and you have the vestibule/door open, rain comes straight down onto the floor. This is not the case with the MSR Hubba, which has a vertical front screen.

10-20-2007, 09:28
I've used the TT Contrail extensively during the past year and more recently have also been using the TT Rainbow. Any tent made of silnylon is prone to stretch or contract with variations of temperature or moisture. All that is necessary to permanently keep them tight as a drum are a couple of elastic tensioners... I use Thera-Band. Both of these TarpTents are excellent, but personally I like the Contrail slightly more. I can consistantly set it up in 75 seconds, very roomy, and it's so compact and light.

10-20-2007, 09:55
I googled Thera-band and couldn't find the tent products. Do you have a link for them?

10-20-2007, 10:22
The other option for tensioning your Tarptent shelter is to pitch it with a hiking pole in the front. For the original pitch, make the hiking pole a few centimeters shorter than usual. When the canopy gets damp and stretches, simply extend the pole to tighten it back up. This can be done from inside the tent, nice and warm and dry.

10-20-2007, 10:23
I have an '03 Squall and have never had to tweak the tent. Set up is fine and I've ridden out a couple of major thunderstorms in it with no problem. The condensation has been minor, and with all the head room, not a problem at all.

10-20-2007, 10:37
Gossamer Gear sells a Shires tarp tent made from a lighter material than silnylon that they say doesn't stretch nearly as much.

10-20-2007, 11:04
I also have a HS Squall ('04 model), and haven'y had any trouble with tweaking. Usually I just set up and that's it. If you're using a trekking pole you can set it up with the pole bottom tilted slightly inward during setup, so that if it does accumulate slack during the night all you have to do is push it out to tighten everything up.

10-20-2007, 12:28
I googled Thera-band and couldn't find the tent products. Do you have a link for them?
Thera-Band is not a tent related product, but rather a surgical type of tubing. It can easily be made into tensioners, or a very similar ready made product is available from JRB (Jacks R Better) . I made about a dozen of them fairly quickly once I had the tubing. It involves stretching the tubing over a line portion, or in my case a separate piece of line that could be used on any tent or tarp. Details of making them of Just Jeff's "Into the Woods" link below.

10-20-2007, 23:42
Thanks for the links.

10-21-2007, 23:28
Thank you all very much for the input. It would appear that I can't go far wrong with any of them. I figured that as I had done much research on them. My primary criteria are weight, staying dry, and ease of set up in that order. Nothing for it now but to just buy one and hit the trail.

Thank you.