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  1. #1

    Default Best lightweight camping tent

    I want to eventually go on a major thru hike but weíre talking sometime after 2035, weekend to week long backpacking before then.

    My oldest kid bridges over to a Scout troop in a little more than a year, and then Iím back to year round camping and my current tents are way too big for just myself. Theyíre fine family tents.

    I need help finding a specific tent and Iím unsure what to get.

    1. This would be my primary tent for Scouts for four season camping. I need it to handle Missouri winter, not Rocky Mountain winter.

    2. It should be a true two person backpacking tent so itís big enough for just me for weekend camping and I could split carrying between two and buy a one person tent down the line for a third person

    3. Well below $400.

    4. I want to hit 5 pounds max. Spending a little more for four pounds is of interest but a better tent at five will likely win out over trade offs to cut weight.


    I want Freestanding for sure and a double wall tent.

    I want to stop carrying a separate tarp for the bottom, so a bathtub floor is a huge bonus.

    Iím 6 feet tall so something I can sit up in and stretch to full length at night is a must. A tall entry profile is a plus.

    I prefer interior space over a vestibule.



    What is out there?

  2. #2

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    Light weight and Boy Scouts do not overlap easily. I have used a Alps mountaineering extreme 2 man outfitter version tent of almost 20 years with the scouts. It meets all of the requirements you listed and is good for tall people. The rain fly needs to be staked out if you want great rain protection and the extra vestibule room. I did use it with a foot print but it has the bathtub floor. It is still my go to tent during bug season and it has 100's of nights and the Maine section of the AT for use. Doors on both sides is a big plus. Non-bug season I am now a tarp person for the weight savings and added room. Good luck and enjoy the trip.

  3. #3
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    Quality, Cheap, Light weight... pick two.

    In any case, you do NOT want to be looking today for a tent you plan to use in 2035+.
    1. You can't expect a tent to last that long.
    It might last that long, but tents do simply deteriorate over time no mater how careful you are with it. Waterproof layers or taped seems WILL eventually go bad.
    2. Over time, you will find that your needs change.
    3. Tent technology changes, so what is a light weight tent today might not be light weight 15 years from now.

    I'm speaking from experience here, and I currently own 5 usable tents (plus my original tent as a keep sake).
    I started with my original two man tent... and it was typical for the day and weighted 9 pounds.
    After 10 to 15 years, it needed to be replaced and I bought a 2 person tent that I actually used again just after Thanksgiving this year.
    Then I had two sons joining my on hikes and bought a 3 person tent.
    I then solo hiked the JMT and needed a lighter tent and spent $$$ for a good 1 person tent (it's actually a "small" two man).
    As the boys got older, I bought another 2 man tent I got at a good discount (but then I didn't have to worry about my primary tents getting hurt).
    Finally, I realized that original tent had too many solid walls and needed something more airy for the summer hikes.

    the tent. Next you have to account for the fact that your needs are likely going to change over time... not to mention that once you le
    Not to mention, once you start using a tent, you'll start to learn what is good and bad about it and then you'll evenually go buy another one.

    I've been buying camping equipment for 25 years now, and I currently own 5 usable tents... as well as my original tent

  4. #4
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Rethink freestanding. Freestanding tents resemble beach balls without secure anchors.
    TarpTent.com. Stratospire 1 or 2. Part solid inner tent body. When insects arenít a problem use the fly alone.
    Cheers!
    Wayne

  5. #5
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Rethink freestanding. Freestanding tents resemble beach balls without secure anchors.
    TarpTent.com. Stratospire 1 or 2. Part solid inner tent body. When insects aren’t a problem use the fly alone.
    Ditto this. Tarptents are very common on the long trails. Freestanding tents need to be staked solidly anyway, sometimes with supplemental guys in higher winds. Ask my friend who had to fish his out of a tree, downslope of our campsite, where it was impaled by a branch.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  6. #6
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Even though sure, a 15 year old tent will probably be in fairly sad shape (though I have one 16 year old tent, a Bibler Eldorado that's till fine), the main thing to think about for a 15 year plan is simply to find which type of tent you like the best. I actually find that both free-standing and tarp-type tents work great, but on different trails. Lots of places I hike are just too time consuming to adequately anchor non-freestanding tents, so I like a free-standing tent in those place, know that yeah, they are kind of a beach ball, but a couple rocks solves that problem. 70% of the time (and on the entire AT) I used a non-freestanding tent (zpacks hexamid solo-plus)

  7. #7

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    Yeah not sure anything you buy will last until 2035 if your using it heavily.

    For under $400, I would recommend Big Agnes products. Take a look at the Copper Spur High Volume Ultra Light two person tent. It lists for over $400, but you can find it for a lot less. Its free standing, a little over 3lbs, is an easy pitch and comes seam sealed. Its three season, not four.

    I carry the 2018 version of the one man 2lb Copper Spur HV UL and have 80 nights in it. I have had to repair a couple of pin holes and refresh the DWR coating of the fly. No issues with zippers or seams. I've camped in rain and snow, temps as low as 20 degrees.

    I've tried tarps, but freestanding is just easier.
    Last edited by Nanatuk; 12-13-2020 at 11:48.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Quality, Cheap, Light weight... pick two.

    In any case, you do NOT want to be looking today for a tent you plan to use in 2035+.
    I agree. Which I why Iím not aiming for this to be a tent for a thru hike in 20 years. I need something for next year or a week long hike a year after that and I donít need to replace in 6-8 years because it was targeted to someone who will use it to supplement shelters or is fine buying a new one when it rips two months in.

    Iím looking more in the quality, cheap, mid weight market right now. But not 7 pounds mid weight. Iíll put a little money to be near ultralight.



    On the recommendation of the Copper Spur. I like that tent. Iím trying to not buy that exact tent if I can get a little bigger and a littler sturdier for a lower price even if itís not 3 pounds. Hitting a budget is a primary goal.

    The problem Iím having is I can pick out an ultralight tent easily. I can pick out a heavy camping tent easily.
    Finding something thatís 75% of the way to ultralight and can handle winter for general camping isnít easy.


    20s is probably the main cold weather Iíll be in. The Scouts are pretty well known for canceling if thereís a notable winter storm, Iíve been on too many campouts where kids donít bring gloves or a hat (!!!). So I donít need a four season tent but one that wonít fall down in a little snow or wind.

    And where it will mainly be setup is flat grassy spaces but one that can handle a trail side is important. Iím good with staking a full fly most of the time.

  9. #9
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    I have a Tarptent Rainbow. It doesn't meet your needs, but I thought I would mention it for this reason. I can either stake it down, or rig it freestanding by using my trekking poles. It's possible Tarptent has larger tents that will do the same. Check out their website and tent selections.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingember View Post
    The problem I’m having is I can pick out an ultralight tent easily. I can pick out a heavy camping tent easily.
    Finding something that’s 75% of the way to ultralight and can handle winter for general camping isn’t easy.
    There are quite a few youtube video's on cheap four season tents. I found this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGPerupCcT8
    I have no idea what is available today, but I have bought cheap tents in the past and found that they were pretty good. They are usually heavier than other models, might need seam sealing and the zippers are always suspect, but I wouldn't hesitate getting a cheap tent for outings that are only a couple of days in length.

  11. #11

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    If you open your search to include a tent that's not free-standing I think the Drop Durston Xmid 2P fits your needs exceptionally well. I have the Xmid 1P and it's an incredible tent.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADK Walker View Post
    If you open your search to include a tent that's not free-standing I think the Drop Durston Xmid 2P fits your needs exceptionally well. I have the Xmid 1P and it's an incredible tent.
    I had not heard of the Dan Durston Xmid. I'm very impressed. I can drop 7 or 8 ounces with the 1P version. I just ordered one. Thanks for the tip, and sorry for hijacking the OP's thread.

  13. #13

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    I think the BA Copper Spur 2 is the tent for you. It fits all your needs although I would still maybe carry a piece of polycyro if you want to protect the bottom and get 10 years out of it.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanatuk View Post
    I had not heard of the Dan Durston Xmid. I'm very impressed. I can drop 7 or 8 ounces with the 1P version. I just ordered one. Thanks for the tip, and sorry for hijacking the OP's thread.
    You're going to love it!!!

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    Look at Kelty and Big Anges tents.
    Kelty tends to use heavier material, making them a little more rugged. So that means they tend to be a little heavier and lower price.
    Big Agnes SL series (super light) might be just what you are looking for. The Copper Spur is in their UL (ultra light) series. So SLntents will be cheaper, more durable, and a little heavier.
    But generally speaking, for sure in the case of Big Agnes, if you want something with room... get a 3P tent for 2 people.

    While it was on clearance, the latest tent I purchased for me and my son to use for mild weather hikes was the Big Agnes
    Manzanares HV SL3

  16. #16

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    For weekend trips you can lug just about anything as your probably not going all that far into the woods. But for week long trips saving ounces starts to become important. While a 2P tent provides some luxuries like elbow space, they also have a few disadvantages over a 1P tent. Weight is the obvious difference. One aspect often overlooked is the area needed to set it up. A 1P tent can fit into a much tighter spot, which opens up more potential camping spots.

    I'm pleased with the SMD (Six Moon Design) "Trekker" tent. It's an "A" frame style using hiking poles for support. I'm about 6 foot. I can sit up and change a shirt without touching the tent walls. While the pack doesn't fit inside, what I need with me does easily. Best part, the tent is only 24 ounces and stuffs reasonably small.

    I imagine a Missouri blizzard can be as bad a winter condition as can be found anywhere. You need a serious tent to make it through one of those in one piece. So, it would be prudent to simply avoid being out in that kind of weather. In which case you can get away with a lesser tent. For this I would think a cheap-o dome tent would suffice. Use your hiking pole as a center pole support if any snow is likely. That would help keep the tent poles from collapsing, a common failure of cheap dome tents.
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  17. #17
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    A general suggestion... wait until after Christmas.
    I've often found some great tent clearance prices between Christmas and Easter, especially on models that are getting a refurbishment for the new hiking season.

    BTW: As I understand it, the true difference between a 3-season tent and a 4-season tent is that a 4-season tent needs to be strong enough to hold a snow load. But that's going to add weight and cost to the tent.

  18. #18
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    Consider a Black Diamond Beta Light 2 person Tarp with the optional insert.

    https://www.backcountry.com/black-di...=#product_info

    It is not free standing, though.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADK Walker View Post
    You're going to love it!!!
    +1 to this great tent. well built and very well thought out design.

    and dan durston the designer is a member here

    https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/mem...787-dandurston
    Last edited by D2maine; 12-15-2020 at 13:36.

  20. #20
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    other brands to look at

    MSR - the hubba hubba, rei half dome 2.

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