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  1. #21
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    other brands to look at

    MSR - the hubba hubba, rei half dome 2.
    I wanted to LOVE the REI Half Dome 2 PLUS.
    With four openings in the roof, the tent has great ventilation.
    The offset zipper of the Rain Fly ROCKS!!! No more leaning way outside the tent to reach bottom of the zipper of the rain fly.
    Where the typical 2P Big Agnes tent is 88x52/42 with 29sqft, the REI Half Dome 2 PLUS is 92x56 with 36sqft.
    Where the typical Big Agnes SL2 tent is about 4+lbs, the REI Half Dome 2 PLUS is 5+ lbs (but worth the extra space).

    Unfortunately, I currently do not own an REI Half Dome 2 PLUS. I returned it under their 1-year warrantee.

    I had a minor issue with the tent that rain would collect on the roof of the fly just above the seems of the side panels. The weight of the water would cause the rainfly to sag a little bit and create a bowl just before the seem for water to collect. REI "claims" if you setup the tent "correctly", this won't be an issue.

    But the major issue that caused me to return it was the durability of the no-see-um mesh.
    The tent came with imperfections in the no-see-um mess... places where the rows has a little more or a little less spacing.
    And with only 12 nights of "regular" use without any "accident" that would have caused damage to the tent, the no-see-um mesh developed a tear.
    Now I've had tents for 20+ years and never once developed a tear in the no-see-um mesh... and that includes 20+ nights using a Copper Spur UL2 (gosh this tent is so thin that if I ever damaged a tent it would be this one).

    This is the first REI brand tent I've owned. So I can't say if their mesh is simply inferior quality, or if I just got a bad batch.


    Oh wow, I just say the latest reviews on REI... seems like there have been several reviews complaining about the poles and shock cord.
    I didn't have any issues there with mine.

  2. #22
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    I would look at Eureka tents. They tend to be a bit more robust, but also light enough, and inexpensive. Both the Midori 2 and Suma 2 would work for you.

  3. #23
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    I still don't understand why people keep buying tents, when a good tarp is so much more versatile, inexpensive, and light weight. . . especial when it comes to Boy Scouts, people need to learn to pitch and live under tarps. They really rock!
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  4. #24
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    It is so interesting that people wont invest an extra $100-$200 to drop considerable weight for a backpacking tent.

  5. #25

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    It would be far less interesting if everyone did things the same way.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    It is so interesting that people won’t invest an extra $100-$200 to drop considerable weight for a backpacking tent.
    I'd rather invest the money in an extra couple of trips. Everybody has their reasons...

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    It is so interesting that people won’t invest an extra $100-$200 to drop considerable weight for a backpacking tent.
    It’s not always about the weight but the cost.

    The median US income is around $39k net. That’s about $3250 per month

    Rent plus utilities is about 40% of that so we’re left with no more than $1950 to cover everything else.

    Backpacking is relatively cheap as an activity goes but the up front initial cost is high. For two people each with a 20 pound base weight you’ll still be at around $3000 in cost.

    Most people won’t be able to backpack if they aim to spend $600 on a tent, $400 per sleeping bag and the like.

  8. #28
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I still don't understand why people keep buying tents, when a good tarp is so much more versatile, inexpensive, and light weight. . . especial when it comes to Boy Scouts, people need to learn to pitch and live under tarps. They really rock!
    Because a tent gives you a way to get away from the bugs without having to coat yourself in DEET.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Because a tent gives you a way to get away from the bugs without having to coat yourself in DEET.
    So does a bug net. . . albeit, I admit, in the worst bug situations, I won't wine about using a tent. . . just the other 85% of the time.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I still don't understand why people keep buying tents, when a good tarp is so much more versatile, inexpensive, and light weight. . . especial when it comes to Boy Scouts, people need to learn to pitch and live under tarps. They really rock!
    and I am surprised that you still don't understand otheres may have different requirements, wants,needs,likes from you . I can't think of many tarps being used over the treeline, or where it's sandy or areas infested by midge or mosquitos , on snow, where you get wind driven rain or as it is in most areas in Australia, where plenty of critters would like to move in with you. But, yes of course , some do like tarps. Same thing with hammocks.

  11. #31

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    Although I think NSherry was using a bit of hyperbole, another reason is—I don’t feel like learning all that, the spatial and insectorial issues to account for...screw it, I’m going to carry a light tent and not have to think as much at day’s end. HYOH

  12. #32
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I still don't understand why people keep buying tents, when a good tarp is so much more versatile, inexpensive, and light weight. . . especial when it comes to Boy Scouts, people need to learn to pitch and live under tarps. They really rock!
    Because if we all bought tarps the tent makers would be out of a job.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    and I am surprised that you still don't understand otheres may have different requirements, wants,needs,likes from you . I can't think of many tarps being used over the treeline, or where it's sandy or areas infested by midge or mosquitos , on snow, where you get wind driven rain or as it is in most areas in Australia, where plenty of critters would like to move in with you. But, yes of course , some do like tarps. Same thing with hammocks.
    I rarely see tarps used by backpackers anywhere. But, they pitch and protect just fine above tree line, on sand, on snow, and in blowing rain (as noted before, tents can be a nice reprieve from mosquitoes at times). Just because people don't use them, absolutely doesn't mean they don't perform well in those situations.

    To be truly honest, I really do think that most people don't use tarps for basically two reasons:
    1) Marketing hype and our cultural "image" of what backpacking is all about - tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks (high value things that sell) with continuous beautiful vistas. The reality for many of us is walking lots, often without great vistas, but occasionally amazing ones and at times uncomfortable weather and dirt. And, although I've not found inexpensive backpacks I like to use, there are highly effective, simple and inexpensive tarps and quilts/comforters that work very well across wide ranges of terrain and weather.
    2) Fear of discomfort and perceived danger. AND, I think this one is horribly overblown from fear of snakes and spiders to fear of snow, blowing rain and bugs. With my experience, whether above tree line, in the snow, or driven rain, tarps can perform extremely well, often better than tents. BUT, peoples' fears and lack of good examples to follow keep people from ever even trying it and experiencing how effective a tarp can be.

    That all being said, please don't let me stop you from buying a tent if that is what will get out and having fun outside! Just, please, don't think that a tent is ever a must have piece of gear for the vast majority of the backpacking that the vast majority of people do.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    Although I think NSherry was using a bit of hyperbole, another reason isI dont feel like learning all that, the spatial and insectorial issues to account for...screw it, Im going to carry a light tent and not have to think as much at days end. HYOH
    Thanks for the credit. I also think this is a good example of people not have good examples to see and follow. The tarp pitches I use most often are way easier and faster to pitch than any tent; one of the reasons I like tarps. That being said, if truly nasty weather sets in, it probably is easier to pitch a tent than a really solid foul weather tarp pitch. But, those situations are relatively rare.

    As many of us like to type and truly believe, HYOH.

    In my case, I'm fundamentally a lazy minimalist, and with a little knowledge, tarps are way easier, faster, and cheaper than tents. . . and lighter too.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  15. #35
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    Sorry for the thread drift.

    I think you should buy an REI Trail Hut 2, Half Dome 2, or Quarter Dome 2, depending on your budget. Then, you can throw away the footprint if the one you choose comes with one. They are all solid straight forward, shocking affordable and reasonably robust tents, and all under 5 lbs.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  16. #36
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    c49892580eb900eaea17be06b75d706b.jpg
    nsherry61
    not beating about the bush, what I get from your comment is that most hikers are ill informed and or snowflakes.
    Hard to believe that this has been going on for thousands of years and from well before marketing hipe was invented.
    this is the typical Roman Army tent. Think of the weight saving they would have had if they still used a tarp as apparently used around 40,000 years before.
    Maybe the guy that sold those tents was a really good salesman, who knows.

  17. #37
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    BTW, nsherry61, you have been around here for a long time so you would remember that for a few years every tent thread was peppered with the "get a hammock" comments.
    Now, given that some of those hanging promoters also have a real hard time figuring out why most don't hammock, has have occurred that maybe you suffer from the same sort of myopia ?

  18. #38
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    It seems like I would always want a bathtub floor so the main difference between a tent and a tsrp set up woukd be the bug netting. With the total cost and weight of a good dyneema tarp vs a tent seems pretty close. The setup of a altaplex or duplex cannot be easier.

  19. #39
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    and just for fun, for those that insist tarps are faster and easier, for some it is so , yet I still have to see anyone fully setting up a tarp in less time than I have with some of the tents I use. I mean real time , no cheating , no jump cuts and so on.
    Of course this is on ideal grounds, in the bush it does take a bit longer but not that much.
    here we go



  20. #40
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    I too use a 2 person CF tarp 75% of the time. I'm not a fanatic about any of my hiking gear and switch shelters, sleeping bags, packs, stoves, etc. based on my hike.

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