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View Full Version : looking for a good, light 2 person tent that won't kill my wallet



xhavok
09-20-2012, 21:08
Hi there, I used to backpack a lot as a boy scout but when I moved and didn't re join the scouts I kind of stopped but recently I have had the itch to go on more camping and hiking trips.
me and my buddy have been using his parents big old 6 person tent but its hard to go on extended hikes with a tent that size and weight and there really isn't any reason to. I would like to buy a good, reliable 2 person tent that won't kill my wallet but so far I cannot decide. I am hoping to slowly collect my gear and do a section hike next spring.
right now I am looking at buying this tent: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28253
it has good reviews and seems to be pretty decent except for the weight which I heard can be brought down if I get some aluminum poles for it. what do you guys think?

Rasty
09-20-2012, 21:42
Save another $100 and get another tent. Or look for a used Tarptent or something similar. 6-1/2# is heavy. Watch Whiteblaze daily as someone is always selling. Good luck.

canoe
09-20-2012, 21:44
:welcome The tent is a little heavy for 2person. But after carrying a 6 man tent it will feel like a feather. Price is good. You might look at some clearence sections of some of the big stores. You might cut that 6lbs in half for a little more green.

jakedatc
09-20-2012, 21:46
+1 you should be in the 3lb range or less. Lightheart Duo, TT double rainbow, Big agnes Fly Creek 2 or UL2,

they are more expensive but with proper care they will last much longer than the Eureka due to better materials and construction.

leaftye
09-20-2012, 21:46
Buying aluminum poles separately is expensive. Easily over $50, plus shipping, plus possibly a tool to cut the poles.

The link you posted isn't working for me right now. I think it's a problem with Campmor's site. You were asking about Eureka Apex 2 XT for $120? That tent is also sold by Kelty. It's probably made by the same factory in China, but rebranded for different companies. There's a very similar tent that's sold by Kelty, Mountainsmith, Asolo and several other companies...all exactly the same except for colors and labels. The difference is that tent already has aluminum poles, has a fly without the curved cutouts, and is often found for less than $150. That'd be a much better deal for you imo.

leaftye
09-20-2012, 21:55
Alps is another company that sells that tent I was talking about. The Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 can be found for $130-140 on Amazon and REI. It's ~5 pounds.

As others said, you could definitely get a much lighter tent, but it's hard to find a fully enclosed lightweight tent in that price range. One option is the Golite Shangri La 2 if it comes back in stock at the $150 price that's currently listed.

http://www.golite.com/Shangri-La-2-Tent-P46826.aspx

xhavok
09-20-2012, 21:59
+1 you should be in the 3lb range or less. Lightheart Duo, TT double rainbow, Big agnes Fly Creek 2 or UL2,

they are more expensive but with proper care they will last much longer than the Eureka due to better materials and construction.
those are all nice but a bit expensive, and tarp tents have always felt like they are about to fall down on me, could just take some getting used to ;-)

Studlintsean
09-20-2012, 22:02
I got an REI half dome that is a nice 2 person tent. I think it's around 5 lbs which is still a little heavy but a little better than 6 lbs. Might be worth looking in to.

xhavok
09-20-2012, 22:03
yeah so I've been noticing, I was also looking at the rei camp dome 2 tent, it doesn't get review that are as good however

swjohnsey
09-20-2012, 22:03
Eureka Backcountry II

Studlintsean
09-20-2012, 22:10
I recently got a TT from my brother which I really like. It's a 1 person but the 2 person I'm sure are great ( or so I've read).

leaftye
09-20-2012, 22:17
those are all nice but a bit expensive, and tarp tents have always felt like they are about to fall down on me, could just take some getting used to ;-)

Probably because you're not tensioning the lines enough or putting heavy rocks on your stakes. It's a problem lots of backpackers have. Many tents fail needlessly because they weren't tight enough or because a stake gets pulled out. I've seen it a few times with friends I've hiked with, and I did encourage a better pitch. Even the best tents become limp noodles when they're not set up well.

xhavok
09-20-2012, 22:20
how about these ones? hopefully these campmor links work lol

Marmot - Limelight 2P - 2 Person Tent
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28605

Eureka Scenic Pass 2 Tent
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27907#

Marmot EarlyLight 2P - 2 Person Tent
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27959

most of the other tents that are slightly above this price range seem to weigh more for some reason?

xhavok
09-20-2012, 22:23
Probably because you're not tensioning the lines enough or putting heavy rocks on your stakes. It's a problem lots of backpackers have. Many tents fail needlessly because they weren't tight enough or because a stake gets pulled out. I've seen it a few times with friends I've hiked with, and I did encourage a better pitch. Even the best tents become limp noodles when they're not set up well.

that makes sense, I may start out with a cheap tarp tent to get used to it. One of my friends that did a section hike earlier this year has also recommended hiking with a hammock and bivy to conserve weight but I think I would feel more comfortable with some walls ;)

jakedatc
09-20-2012, 22:24
Probably because you're not tensioning the lines enough or putting heavy rocks on your stakes. It's a problem lots of backpackers have. Many tents fail needlessly because they weren't tight enough or because a stake gets pulled out. I've seen it a few times with friends I've hiked with, and I did encourage a better pitch. Even the best tents become limp noodles when they're not set up well.

Yep, trade skill/technique for weight. or don't :shrug: it is like saying your car drives like crap with loose lug nuts.

my lightheart Solo has 6 guylines and is damn solid when set up. my old Contrail had 6 and and optional 7th guyline and it was solid.

jakedatc
09-20-2012, 22:26
that makes sense, I may start out with a cheap tarp tent to get used to it. One of my friends that did a section hike earlier this year has also recommended hiking with a hammock and bivy to conserve weight but I think I would feel more comfortable with some walls ;)

If you are worried about $ then get what you want FIRST. wasting money by buying something that isn't what you want makes no sense. even if you re-sell it you won't get all of your money back.

you can't use a bivy in a hammock. and those require even more skill to set up correctly than a tarp tent.

Driver8
09-20-2012, 22:27
+1 on the Half Dome 2 from REI. If you are willing to get up early and wait in line for a couple hours, the REI garage sales - they have a few a year - are a good way to get good stuff at steep discount. They sell their rental tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc., at approximately 80% off. Lots of clothes, shoes and other stuff there. I think it would be hard to do much better than that, though it is used stuff.

xhavok
09-20-2012, 22:33
If you are worried about $ then get what you want FIRST. wasting money by buying something that isn't what you want makes no sense. even if you re-sell it you won't get all of your money back.

you can't use a bivy in a hammock. and those require even more skill to set up correctly than a tarp tent.
I didn't know that but thanks for the info! I figured this would be the best place to go, with the most knowledgeable people


+1 on the Half Dome 2 from REI. If you are willing to get up early and wait in line for a couple hours, the REI garage sales - they have a few a year - are a good way to get good stuff at steep discount. They sell their rental tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc., at approximately 80% off. Lots of clothes, shoes and other stuff there. I think it would be hard to do much better than that, though it is used stuff.

I will have to check that out, there is a store about 30 mins away from my house I will go look at tomorrow :)

Driver8
09-20-2012, 22:51
I will have to check that out, there is a store about 30 mins away from my house I will go look at tomorrow :)

I love REI. The staff are very smart and helpful, and you can do pretty well if you shop and plan. They're happy to take top dollar from you, as is anyone, but you can get good deals with patience and persistence.

leaftye
09-20-2012, 23:42
If you are worried about $ then get what you want FIRST. wasting money by buying something that isn't what you want makes no sense. even if you re-sell it you won't get all of your money back.

Sometimes it's hard for a new hiker to know enough to know what to want. For example, I want to get into cycling, but I don't know enough to buy a good budget used bike. In any case, sometimes it's better to buy something good on the used market that's desirable enough that it could be easily resold. The Alps and Eureka tents discussed in this thread would probably be difficult to resell. The Golite, however, is quite easy to sell.

Rasty
09-20-2012, 23:53
If your budget is real tight try this if you cant wait.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28317 $160

I think 90% of everyone here has bought a tent that fit the budget and then regretted it later. It's part of learning. My first tent was a Eureka Timberline at 7#. I still have the 4 person version which at 10# isn't bad at all when I make the kids carry it! :eek:

jakedatc
09-21-2012, 00:01
Sometimes it's hard for a new hiker to know enough to know what to want. For example, I want to get into cycling, but I don't know enough to buy a good budget used bike. In any case, sometimes it's better to buy something good on the used market that's desirable enough that it could be easily resold. The Alps and Eureka tents discussed in this thread would probably be difficult to resell. The Golite, however, is quite easy to sell.

True. and i did do the same thing to get into cycling ;) But you can at least go for something you won't totally regret.. like hauling 6lb of gear you only use for 1/3 of the day and carry for 2/3. definitely going with a resell-able brand will help.

Uncle Cranky
09-21-2012, 02:55
If your on a budget check out these options for 2 person tents:

Coleman Inyo 2: $100 online. This is a remodeled version of the old Peak 1 Cobra. I own the Cobra which is a great inexpensive tent I used for many years. The Inyo weighs 4.9 pounds but you'll be splitting that weight. The Cobra has limited room so you better be on good terms with your tent buddy. The one thing I like about the tent is the double side entry feature which makes it easy to exit the tent from the side without disturbing your tent buddy. The down side-it's not free standing and uses 10 pegs (included in the weight).

Wentzel Starlighter: $30 online, This is a 4.5 lb, one wall tent front entry tent. At 25 sq ft it's tight but what do you want for $30 bucks!!

sublimety
09-21-2012, 08:56
I vote for the marmot limelight2, It may not be the lightest tent in the world but in my experience it has held up great, you can usually find it for under $200. It offers a quick pitch also to further reduce its weight. If you happen to go this route get the newer model, it has some new features that improve the tent overall.

fredmugs
09-21-2012, 09:24
I vote for the marmot limelight2, It may not be the lightest tent in the world but in my experience it has held up great, you can usually find it for under $200. It offers a quick pitch also to further reduce its weight. If you happen to go this route get the newer model, it has some new features that improve the tent overall.

I also have a Limelight 2. My hiking partner calls it "bullet proof." It has stood up to the desert winds on the PCT and any rain storm I have encountered so far. You can shave a pound off of the weight by not using the ground cloth that comes with it.

I am 6' 3" and two people my size could fit in that thing. It is a true 2 person tent. And you can set the whole thing up in 5 minutes.

KDOG
09-22-2012, 14:35
Watching this thread closely..

Moose2001
09-22-2012, 14:51
Also watch REI's Outlet page. Right now they are listing 8 two person tents that might fit both your budget and your weight requirements.

DeerPath
09-22-2012, 15:02
Hi there, I used to backpack a lot as a boy scout but when I moved and didn't re join the scouts I kind of stopped but recently I have had the itch to go on more camping and hiking trips.
me and my buddy have been using his parents big old 6 person tent but its hard to go on extended hikes with a tent that size and weight and there really isn't any reason to. I would like to buy a good, reliable 2 person tent that won't kill my wallet but so far I cannot decide. I am hoping to slowly collect my gear and do a section hike next spring.
right now I am looking at buying this tent: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28253
it has good reviews and seems to be pretty decent except for the weight which I heard can be brought down if I get some aluminum poles for it. what do you guys think?

I have a MSR FASTSTASH 2, used 3 nights, I will sell to you for $200.00. http://www.campsaver.com/fast-stash-tent-2-person-3-season
If interested PM me.

MuddyWaters
09-22-2012, 15:42
Unless your buddy is a member of the sex you prefer to get really close to, Id stick to solo, or at least a 3P. 2person backpacking tents are ...cozy.

Cornish_Will
09-22-2012, 16:47
Good evening!

I'm looking into the Wild Country Zephyros 2 at the minute. Its a very spacious one man or cosy two man, comes in at about 1.7kg and is about 120 (around $190?). Or there's the Zephyros 2 Lite coming out early next year which will be a little more pricey but shave off another couple of hundred grams.

http://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/Gear-Reviews/Search-Results/Tents/20122/

Hope this is useful,
Greetings from Cornwall, UK.

Drybones
09-22-2012, 17:40
If you plan to long distance hike save your money and get a tent under 3 lb. If you're going out for a few days and money is a constraint I'd look at the Eureka Spitfire 2 (I own the solo version), Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight, or Kelty Salida, which would probably the best choice.

KDOG
09-22-2012, 18:34
Ok I may get flamed for this question/comment, but where are the tents/shelters for us poor folk? Am I looking at sleeping under a tarp?

Moose2001
09-22-2012, 19:04
Ok I may get flamed for this question/comment, but where are the tents/shelters for us poor folk? Am I looking at sleeping under a tarp?

OK...you tell us what you want to pay for a tent? I've seen answers in this post that list tents from $30 and up. If you can't find a tent that fits your budget, you probably don't have enough money to hike the trail.

KDOG
09-22-2012, 19:56
Well I'd say my budget for a tent/shelter is up to 60-75 bucks. I'm going to start a new thread about tarp shelter ideas. I said that cuz I'm not against tarp shelters at all. Just looking at options.

RedRunnerJumper
09-26-2012, 06:47
I recently purchased an EMS Velocity 2 tent it isn't light weight but it is not heavy like a 6 man at 3lbs 6oz or so i was happy, didn't hurt my wallet either, worth checking it out on their website...

OzJacko
09-26-2012, 07:08
Ok I may get flamed for this question/comment, but where are the tents/shelters for us poor folk? Am I looking at sleeping under a tarp?
OK This is not a flame but a statement of fact.
There are thousands of different tents out there.
Like all gear some are cheap and some are expensive and some are in between.
It's all a bit like buying a computer.
Most computers look pretty much the same on the outside but some are much more expensive than other ones.
I read an explanation once that they all run on magic but the more expensive ones have more powerful magic and run faster and better.
In hiking gear, you pay more for "lighter".
What you have to do is find the point where your budget fits and that's the weight you have to live with.
Most of the points here in this thread are excellent and there are some really good choices.
One constant you will note in the advice is that IF you keep hiking, you will find you will want to get something lighter further down the track.
So decide how much you want to hike and how long for. If you're really committed you'll save some more and get something lighter to begin with.
If you just want to try it, get the cheapest option, whatever the weight. 4 or 5 pounds difference in weight won't be the one thing that puts you off hiking and you minimise your "risk" of wasting money if you don't like it.
Personally I love my TarpTent and consider it cheap.

Drybones
09-26-2012, 08:02
Well I'd say my budget for a tent/shelter is up to 60-75 bucks. I'm going to start a new thread about tarp shelter ideas. I said that cuz I'm not against tarp shelters at all. Just looking at options.

I bought a Eureka Spitfire 1 a couple of years ago when starting out backpacking for about $80 on sale, which you can find again if you keep your eyes open. If I use it I carry only the two end stakes and cut the others, weight is 3 lb, 2 oz.

swjohnsey
09-26-2012, 08:52
Look on eBay for used tents. Another relatively cheap tent is the Eureka Backcountry I only available from Campmor I believe. A little over 3 lbs and just over $100.

aschoon
10-03-2012, 01:31
Would like to agree with all the posts about the REI Half Dome tents. I was lucky enough to catch a Quarter Dome T2 on the cheap because it was the end of the model year, for like $180. It's a little pricey but besides for the slight upgrade in materials, the engineering of the tents is the same. Either the Half Dome or Quarter dome would be a great tent to start with. I love mine, it's done many miles with me. Really easy set color-coded set up, durable materials, enough room, have never noticed condensation, and light. You're looking at a little over 4 lbs for the half dome once you include the footprint. Regardless of what tent you go with, try to get the best quality you can for your budget. It will serve you well and you'll be able to sell it for a good price down the road.

Feral Bill
10-03-2012, 01:54
Well I'd say my budget for a tent/shelter is up to 60-75 bucks. I'm going to start a new thread about tarp shelter ideas. I said that cuz I'm not against tarp shelters at all. Just looking at options. A tarp tent is a different beast than a tarp, basically a simplified single walled tent. A plain 8x10 silnylon tarp is about $80 and 13 ounces, and makes a luxurious shelter for one, workable for two. Add a cheap ground cloth and a bug net each and you are good to go. Many prefer tarps for versatility, ventilation, and the view. You may want a tent too at some point, but the tarp's still useful to have.

turtle fast
10-03-2012, 03:14
For my 2 cents I would go with the REI halfdome, excellent return policy, great tent, and won't break the bank.

Drybones
10-03-2012, 10:26
Well I'd say my budget for a tent/shelter is up to 60-75 bucks. I'm going to start a new thread about tarp shelter ideas. I said that cuz I'm not against tarp shelters at all. Just looking at options.

You may want to consider buying some silnylon off the web and making a tarp. I have some good tents already but I'm concidering a homemade tarp...just to be using something I made.

Gnatx
10-05-2012, 12:37
Mountian hardware drifter 3 is a great tent for two under $200 still over 5 lb but very spacious with lots of vestibule space for gear (or a dog or two in my case)

HooKooDooKu
10-05-2012, 15:39
If you're looking for cheap... the REI Camp Dome 2 gets good reviews and cost only $100... and REI is curretly running a 20% off on a single full price item sale. So you could pickup a new tent for only $80.

Double Wide
10-06-2012, 08:50
REI Quarterdome T2. Lighter than the half dome, about 3 1/2 lbs, lighter if you change out to the alloy stakes. I use it solo and it's got tons of room for one, a little tight for two, but can certainly be done. Also, plenty of room in the vestibules for gear. And I also love that it has 2 doors, so if somebody needs to get up in the middle of the night to visit the facilities, they don't have to crawl over the other person. Also, without the fly on a dry night, it's almost all mesh, so it doesn't feel so hot. My first tent was a Eureka, and it was a damn oven--I hated it.

I've got nuthin' but love for the REI Quarterdome T2. My storage shed is full of all kinds of tents I've collected over the years, but the Quarterdome is the only one I use now--even when we go car camping.