WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-07-2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Age
    30
    Posts
    2

    Default Western Mountaineering of Tents

    I'm looking to make an investment in a top quality backpacking tent. I am looking for a tent that can hold 2 people (comfort is secondary to weight). My sleeping pad and bag are 6'6", which means that I want a tent long enough for my feet to not be brushing up against on of the walls. Also, I want a tent with a floor, so tarps need not apply.

    I know that for sleeping bags the top three manufacturers are generally considered to be Western Mountaineering, Valandre, and Feathered Friends. What I don't know, however, is what tent manufacturers would be considered equivalent.

    I have been looking at Hilleberg, Kifaru, and Big Agnes, among others. Hilleberg seems tough, but the tents are pretty heavy. Kifaru has an excellent reputation, particularly among hunters, but I don't like pyramid or tipi style floorless tents. I have been reviewing the Big Agnes family of tents, but I'd like to know if there's anything better than them.

    I plan on using this tent as my "go to" for most situations except car camping and heavy snow (I have a Kifaru 6 man tipis with a stove for the worst conditions. My two greatest requirements are quality and weight, and I don't particularly care about "nice to have" feature like 2 doors or interior pockets. I plan on making an investment (hence the blank check) on a tent that can handle the widest variety of situations possible. I expect my Western Mountaineering bag to last many years of continued use, and I expect the same of my tent.

    So folks, use this as a chance to run wild and spend someone else's money. What is the "Western Mountaineering" of tents?

    If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User moof53's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-09-2012
    Location
    California
    Age
    68
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Never had a Hilleberg before but I just received my Hilleberg, Rogen, 3 season tent I plan to use on my AT thru hike next March. I love my NF VE25 and my MSR Carbon Reflex 2, but the Rogen is free standing giving me more pitching options, the inner pitches with the fly so the inner is not exposed in bad weather, and, at 4 lbs is reasonably light and it is spacious for a two person tent. Have not pitched it on the trail yet, only the back yard. From what I have observed it is a bomber tent and will be able to withstand serious weather. Lighter than the VE 25 which is an all out 5 season dome tent even though it is rated by Hilleberg as 3 season. Two vestibules which provide great access in any direction as well as great ventilation. I will be taking it to the high Sierra's in Yosemite in August. Will know more then.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-23-2006
    Location
    Melbourne,Australia
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,820

    Default

    Difficult question because they are entirely different products
    To explain, with sleeping bags you have two basic shapes (mummy and regular) full or half zip on the side and half zip in the middle and that is about it.
    From these basic design points you differentiate by weight,fill material, shell material and zips but you are comparing within a limited range of design features.
    With tents you already mentioned not liking pyramid/tipis so that is out.
    Now you have left shaped tarps (usually trekking pole supported), single/double hoop tents, tunnel tents, dome tents , geodesic tents ...
    any of those designs you don't like ?
    Note that several brand make all or most of the types I listed above, so you can't just go by brand.
    So it is a process of elimination.
    keep in mind that one type is not better than another for everybody , just for some or some applications.
    For example a bombproof multi-pole mountaineering tent may not be the best choice if you camp in the woods and cover many miles nor it would be in a hot humid area.
    Conversely as much as many rave about their hammocks or light tarps you will not find them used by many mountaineers...
    So , tents are not just temperature specific more location specific.

    Franco

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-03-2010
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Age
    53
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    Warmlite 2 is sub 3 lbs and long enough for 7ft person.

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2
    Let me go

  5. #5
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    59
    Posts
    7,925
    Images
    296

    Default

    If weight is the primary consideration, check one of the tarp/tent hybrids. After trying a lot of them, we now use a Six Moons Designs Lunar Duo. It's the perfect combination of interior room, light weight, easy setup, and excellent storm protection for two people. It has more than enough length for your long bag, two doors and two vestibules on the long sides for easy access, ventilation, views, and storage, and battens down well in bad weather.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  6. #6

    Default

    It used to be the Rolls Royce of tents was the North Face VE24/VE25 but now I'd have to say it's the Hilleberg line. The best two person Hilleberg tent could be (and is my favorite solo tent) the Hilleberg Keron 3. It is roomy with vertical foot and head walls and has two big vestibules with two big doors. And two people could divide it up, one carrying the tent and the other humping the three poles and stakes. Here are some fotogs of it in action on various trips.


    Here's the Keron 3 at Beartooth Rock on Stone Mt in the Mt Rogers backcountry.


    Here it is on the AT south of Partnership shelter in Virginia.


    Here are two backpacking buddies Patman and Gonzan staying warm in a tough winter wind inside the Keron. It is very roomy for two people. We're at the South Col on Bob Stratton Bald in TN.


    This is below Laurel Top mountain in the Snowbird wilderness of NC---check out the Western Mountaineering bag.


    Of course one of the best things about the Hillebergs and the Keron is their ability to handle high winds and blizzards. This was taken on the Mitchell Lick trail in the Snowbirds.


    Here's a good shot of the Keron on top of Whiggs Meadow on the BMT in TN.


    The Whigg gets hit with a windstorm and the six guyouts keep the thing from blowing away.


    One of the best qualities of the Hilleberg tent is its floor---100 denier and triple coated urethane. I am camped on the South Fork Creek of Citico wilderness and get caught in a nonstop deluge. The vestibule fills with water an inch deep and my tentsite becomes a lake and the floor like a waterbed but not a single drop of water comes into the inner tent or thru the floor. Try this in a tarp or one of your tipi tents and see what happens. And most lightweight tents have very thin denier floors, like 20 denier, and so they seep water like a sponge when your butt presses down.


    I was caught in another bad windstorm on the upper reaches of the North Fork Citico and had to place rocks on my tent pegs as above. The Keron bends in the wind and can take tremendous gusts. Most other tents are more rigid but rigidity is also a good feature. See the MSR Fury below.


    Here's the Keron in better conditions at Crowder Camp on Fodderstack Ridge on the BMT.


    There's ample space in the Keron for two people as it's 64 inches wide and has plenty of headroom.


    The Keron can take -10F with no problem and handles spindrift well. Don't try this in your standard mesh tents like the Hubbas or the Seedhouses or even the mesh perimeter TarpTents.


    Another rolls royce of tents is the MSR Fury with four poles. It's too small for two people but makes an excellent solo tent which is bombproof. Taken on the Mt Rogers trail above Grindstone campground.


    Here's the Fury in Grandmother Gap on Wilburn Ridge in Grayson Highlands near Mt Rogers. The only defect in this tent is the low headroom at the vestibule and inner door entrance.


    The best campsites are the ones you return to over and over again. Here is the Fury at Beartooth Rock on Stone Mt. I got walloped here in a nasty "dark blue poem" when the sky in the west turned a terrible blue/black and high winds chewed up the tent. Thing is, the Fury has guyouts for 21 stakes---a big number which makes this tent one tough shelter.


    Here's the Fury without the fly and shows the new style with the pole clips instead of the pole sleeves.


    This fotog shows some of the Fury's peg out guys. There are eight "above ground" guylines, five bottom fly stakes and eight perimeter stakes. Total 21.


    Getting back to the Keron, I have to include this pretty shot of a home in the white world on Bob Bald in TN.


    Another tent to consider is the Hilleberg Staika. It's good for two people cuz it has two vestibules and two doors but it's a little cramped. It also has the outstanding heavy duty floor, etc.


    This shows the Staika at ease in Saddle Tree Gap next to Hangover Mt in NC---Slickrock wilderness. It's a great little tent.


    Finally I'll end this crap with a close up pic of the Keron at Wildcat Falls on Slickrock Creek. Check out the big vesti and the hanging yellow inner tent.

  7. #7

    Default

    So Tipi has certainly made the case for a Hilleberg Tent for a four season, extreme weather conditions tent. But they are definately on the heavier end of the spectrum. If you want one tent for all possible conditions, their tents would make a lot of sense. Like having a white gas stove.

    You listed: No tarps, want a floor, and weight higher priority over comfort.

    These requirements suggest single wall tents like the SMD LUNAR DUO
    http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tents/LunarDuo.html
    or the TARPTENT DOUBLE RAINBOW
    http://www.tarptent.com/double-rainbow.html

    IMO those two are great three season, light weight tents that would be appropraite for long distance hikes but they are a bit little less forgiving of site selection than the mainstream tents which have the following features - free standing, full bath tub floors, double walled.

    There are tons of quality tent manufacturers that make those types of tents: MARMOT, SIERRA DESIGN, BIG AGNES, BIG SKY, EMS, REI, even LL BEAN has a good selection.

    I have a SIERRA DESIGN Light Wedge 2. It is bomber for three season, heavier than the lastest cutting edge tents but I will never need to buy another tent for my 3-4 day backpacking family trips.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-31-2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Age
    42
    Posts
    4,276
    Images
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Kobzol View Post
    Warmlite 2 is sub 3 lbs and long enough for 7ft person.
    I've seen a few recent reports of shoddy craftsmanship.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-19-2011
    Location
    winterport, maine
    Age
    67
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Check out the Marmot Limelite 2 person. Bomber construction great price 45" inside ht.
    1 door 1 vestabule, 4.5# best part is the price
    sweet tent

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-15-2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Florida
    Age
    60
    Posts
    305
    Images
    15

    Default

    nice set of pics.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-19-2003
    Location
    Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    1,979
    Images
    1

    Default

    I suggest the Lightheart Duo (www.lightheartgear.com) with the optional wedge. In my opinion it is superior to both the Tarptent Rainbow and the Six Moons Lunar Duo....
    only 2 lbs

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-23-2006
    Location
    Melbourne,Australia
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,820

    Default

    WMfan
    Your 2 requirements are "quality and weight"
    Going by your WM analogy it is clear that you mean "good quality.." (I use WM and am happy with them...) however by the mixed responses it appears that it is not all that clear if by weight you mean "light" or "heavy "weight.
    Could you clarify what sort of weight (in pounds) you are aiming for ?
    (no I am not going to recommend any particular shelter...)
    Franco

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-03-2010
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Age
    53
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    I have used their tents since 1992. I have three. Served me well. I could evangelize but I'd rather just make a recommendation.

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2
    Let me go

  14. #14
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-23-2008
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Age
    54
    Posts
    2,856
    Images
    7

    Default

    I saw your post and just KNEW that Tipi would soon have a bunch of pictures of Hilleberg Tents - - yes, they are the Rolls Royce of tents BUT Western Mountaineering is the little 4 wheel drive Subaru of sleeping bags so, I might have to disagree with Tipi a little here. If you want to invest in something BOMBPROOF (or if you like to spend a lot of camping time - base-camp style) then, by all means, get you a Hilleberg - - for all purpose backpacking I would suggest MSR Tents - the Hubba (solo) or the Hubba Hubba (duo) are excellent products - they are not "ultra-lights" but they are pretty light by modern backpacking standards - - I have spent plenty of snowy nights in these tents too - -I have also spent rainy nights in some of the very same campsites that Tipi has pitched his tents on - Joyce Kilmer is a wonderful testing site for tents - you get hammered by rain in 3-seasons and hammered by snow and wind in at least 1 season Hubbas and such are not "winter camping specific" but can get that job done too - I've done it - you have to trick out your guy out lines and be a little creative though - site selection is a careful art. BUT, i f weight is not an issue, then Tipi is right - - Hilleberg is pretty much the top-dog.
    Last edited by Papa D; 05-08-2012 at 20:28.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-07-2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Age
    30
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for all the responses! This is the kind of advice I was looking for. I'll attempt to respond to each posrt, but first I think I need to clarify my ideal requirements:

    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    WMfan
    Your 2 requirements are "quality and weight"
    Going by your WM analogy it is clear that you mean "good quality.." (I use WM and am happy with them...) however by the mixed responses it appears that it is not all that clear if by weight you mean "light" or "heavy "weight.
    Could you clarify what sort of weight (in pounds) you are aiming for ?
    (no I am not going to recommend any particular shelter...)
    Franco
    My ideal tent be the following (in order of importance):
    1. 2 Person (even if it'll be slightly on the cozy side)
    2. Under 4 lbs. (I love Hilleberg, but the weight is an issue for me)
    3. Durability. I want this tent to last for years, not just a couple seasons.
    4. Double Wall. I know that double walls are heavier, however I have a fair amount of down gear, and I don't like condensation if I can avoid it.
    5. Floored
    6. No tepees.
    7. Price-Under $1000 is really my only limit

    Conditions-I'd like this tent to be able to handle everything from summer camping in Virginia & the Pacific Northwest to late fall snowfall (under 1") in the Adirondacks, and from backpacking in New Mexico to a theoretical AT thru-hike a few years down the line. I'm not looking to withstand heavy snowfall-just an inch or so tops.

    Sizing-Able to fit someone on the tall and slender side. I tried the Big Agnes Copper Spur and found the length(90") to be perfect, whereas the REI Quarter Dome (84") just seemed too short for my 6'6" sleeping bag/pad. I know not to trust manufacturer lengths; these are just to give a sense of scale. Width doesn't bother me, so I'm fine with a narrower tent.

    Thanks again for everyone's help! I promise to put up plenty of nice pictures when I finally decide.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-15-2004
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Age
    67
    Posts
    363

    Default

    I would second your choice of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. Have only used mine for a couple of nights in the Southern Appalachians, but I am very impressed ! Great room/weight ratio, excellent headroom
    and twin vestibules. Easy to set-up, free standing design and ability to pitch fly/footprint and then add inner tent.

  17. #17

    Default

    I use hilleberg and I have to say they are godly at doing things right, even down to the fine details. Yes they are expensive and a little heavy but damn are they a good deal. If your looking for a tent that will give you all of the safety and convenience features you want while maintaining super durability I would say hilleberg is a good choice, the best in my opinion. They do condensate but only on the outer fly, the inside of the tent stays bone try.

  18. #18

    Default

    So you're willing to carry a 3 lb 15 oz tent? I'm betting that will change after you carry it for a few days. You did say that weight is an issue.

    Let me just suggest the Z-Packs Exo Twin.This is a cuben fiber tent. It doesn't meet the double wall criteria, but does have full bathtub floor. 48" height, 9 ft. inside.

    Total weight with lines and stakes is 19 oz.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2007
    Location
    Erwin, TN
    Age
    59
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    Lunar Duo .....

  20. #20

    Default

    Do consider looking at Mountain Laurel Designs, Six Moon Designs, Tarptent and other UL shelters. They make what I would consider the WM of tents. And they do have 4 season options if you need that.
    "If we had to pay to walk... we'd all be crazy about it."
    --Edward Payson Weston

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •