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Topic: Tent Material Question(s)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:16 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am looking at 2 different tents by the same manufacturer. I am not sure which one is made of the better material. Here are the specs:

Tent 1: Kelty Pitkin 2

    Wall material: 68D 190T polyester taffeta
    Floor material: 1800mm PU nylon taffeta
    Fly Material: 75D 1800mm PU polyseter taffeta


Tent 2: Kelty Acadia 2

    Wall material: 68D Polyester
    Floor material: 75d Polyester, 1800 mm
    Fly material: 75D Polyester, 1800mm


There is a price difference between the 2 with tent 1 being the more expensive. I'm just starting out in backpacking so I'm looking for a decent tent that won't break my tight budget.

I'm familiar with differences between aluminum and fiberglass poles, but am pretty clueless when it comes to tenting materials. Any education would be greatly appreciated!


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Gary
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 11:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I cannot help with the materials, but I can say that having 2 vestibules is quite nice! One to store your stuff and the other as your entry/exit point.

I noticed that both weigh a bit for a 2 person tent (Acadia 6 lbs 9 oz, and Pitkin is 5 lbs 9 oz). Our new tent decision was one more ideal for backpacking. Weight may not be an issue for you. We cut our tent weight in half (4.5 lbs from 9). That meant a lot to us as we have a little one and must carry most of her stuff too. But lightweight adds to the cost.

Tarptent.com has good lightweight tents that aren't too expensive.

And as for saving money what we had done was found one we liked and looked on ebay and saved $150.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 12:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't limit yourself to a single brand name. Unless you're getting a great (great) deal on these tents, shop around.

I have a much less expensive tent (ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2) and have been nothing but pleased.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wouldn't worry too much about the tent wall or floor materials. Kelty is a pretty solid brand, and anything they sale is generally worth having. Basically, the thinner materials will simply be lighter, and they'll usually charge you more for this. They'll all hold up well.
If I could make a recommendation, the Kelty Salida can be found for under 120 online,
Salida
and its' a bit lighter and a great tent, but you'll be dealing with a single door.
Otherwise, I would suggest avoiding fiberglass. You really want aluminum as it's more reliable, generally. You'll probably end up upgrading in the future if you go fiberglass.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the thoughts. I'm aware of the weight issue. My tent budget is about $100 so I know I'm gonna have to accept a little heavier tent at that price point.

I've been watching ebay, that's where I found my 2 examples.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 12:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Better" material isn't a specific measurement. Generally, more expensive material is lighter weight, that's what you should be concerned with for backpacking. But, the lighter weight materials often are not as durable. So not sure what makes one "better" than the other, but most would opt to pay more for lighter weight even if it means the material might wear out faster. Just take precautions to make it last, buy or make a footprint and maybe a temp floor, clean/dry/store properly, etc.

You do NOT want that Acadia, with a minimum weight over 6 lb. Even the Pitkin is over 4 lb minimum weight. I agree don't limit your search to only one brand, within the Kelty brand the one I suggest you look at is the Salida, min weight 3lb 12oz for the 2-person. Recently was on Amazon for about $108.

Also check measurements, there is no standard for what can be considered a "2-person tent" other than what the mfgr says. I saw one not long ago listed as 2P at 38" wide.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 12:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JRinGeorgia @ Oct. 08 2012, 9:15 am)
QUOTE
Also check measurements, there is no standard for what can be considered a "2-person tent" other than what the mfgr says. I saw one not long ago listed as 2P at 38" wide.

That could turn two friends into much more...

In regards to materials, taffeta is more fragile than many other tent materials in general.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 1:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As far as cost goes, there is no category where you can reduce weight as cost-effectively as your tent.   An extra hundred bucks might be a lot for you now, but it won't take many miles to start thinking that four pounds less of tent would be really great, and before you know it, you'll be spending that money anyway and trying to unload a used tent with no resale value.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 1:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

To answer your original question the two tents have the same materials as far as fabrics go. The biggest difference is the fiberglass poles of the Acadia, which accounts for much of its extra weight. I would NOT choose that one. 7-1/2 lb is a lot of needless weight. Go with the Pitkin or watch the outlet stores for something even lighter.

Buying used is a good way to get a lightweight tent for less too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 1:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As above ^ Avoid that fiberglass. They'll explode right when you need them (happened to me, exaggeration yes but it's gets the point across) and it's heavy.
If you're determined to stay under 100 bucks.
Right here
REI Camp Dome 2
99 bucks, under 5 pounds, and it has REI's lifetime warranty. Plus they are doing their 20 Percent off of one full price item. 80 bucks (and tax, sir)
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 1:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd look at some other tents other that those two Keltys. Look for a tent under 5 pounds. You'll apreciate it in the future when you are out on the trail. The lighter the Big 3- tent, sleeping bag and pack, the better.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 5:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the advice. I will do some more looking. I'm leery of buying used for fear of buying someone else's problems.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 5:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(phipps33 @ Oct. 08 2012, 5:17 pm)
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I'm leery of buying used for fear of buying someone else's problems.

If you buy from somebody around here, chances are the original owner is just upgrading to something lighter.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 6:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(big_load @ Oct. 08 2012, 5:30 pm)
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(phipps33 @ Oct. 08 2012, 5:17 pm)
QUOTE
I'm leery of buying used for fear of buying someone else's problems.

If you buy from somebody around here, chances are the original owner is just upgrading to something lighter.

Good point. I'll keep an eye out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 7:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I dont have any experience with them but Im seriously looking at getting one of these. Appy Trails they dont have a floor but thats what wears out and you normally get a footprint to protect the floor anyways. They sell them at Campmor.
Does anyone have one of these? Are they worth looking at?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 08 2012, 9:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm new to backpacking and have been buying new equipment this past week, including a tent.  I decided on a 3-man tent because of the extra room for sleeping two.  Lots of discounts available for decent 3-man tents weighing less than 6 lbs for less than $200.  I bought the North Face Rock 32 at Backcountry.com using their 20% coupon and free 2-day shipping.  

No REI stores in my area, and I'm not a member, so paying the $20 membership fee would negate any savings on their members sale.  However, I recently opened an account at REI and they just sent a 15% coupon for REI branded items.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 1:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have a look at Sierra Trading Post and Sunnyside Sports for discounted tents. As usual, keep an eye on the weight - but I've seen Sierra Designs, Marmot, and other decent brands at both for nearly half off.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 1:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(big_load @ Oct. 08 2012, 5:30 pm)
QUOTE

(phipps33 @ Oct. 08 2012, 5:17 pm)
QUOTE
I'm leery of buying used for fear of buying someone else's problems.

If you buy from somebody around here, chances are the original owner is just upgrading to something lighter.

Or they've been testing them for BGT.
Ray, whatcha got?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 6:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ha, nothing under 100 sorrry to say.

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews....strella

I just finished this test. It has a footprint too. Could go 140 plus shipping.

I am leaving in an hour (waiting on Dave to show up) for our last section. Back online Friday.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 8:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The jackrabbit is an awesome tent. No regrets there.
140 is a pretty slick price too.
I'd be all over that one.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2012, 5:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Acadia is way too heavy for backpacking, and the Pitkin is heavier than most people want to carry. Try to find something 5 lbs or less (that's total weight of the tent, fly, poles, stakes, and sacks).

The best cheap tent I've come across is the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2, which you can usually find for about $100 with a bit of searching.

http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/alps....ephyr-2

I have two Keltys and the Zephyr, and I think the Zephyr is better quality. There are a lot of reviews of it, almost all positive. I don't think there's a better tent at that price. The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 and Salida would be the nearest contenders at a similar price, and I think the Zephyr is better.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2012, 3:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i had a nice Eureka Apex for that price that lasted quite a few years. Good luck!

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 18 2012, 1:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Regarding tent fabrics:

Manufacturers of mass produced tents tend to use polyester and/or nylon fabrics. Each has advantages and disadvantages.  Here is one summary of their different characteristics.

The D in the fabric description (e..g., 68D polyester) stands for denier. The higher the number, the greater the mass (thickness) of the thread used to make the fabric. Generally, a higher number means thicker and heavier.

Taffeta refers to a smooth, plain woven fabric (as opposed to ripstop which has thicker reinforcement threads interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern.)  Ripstop increases the strength to weight ratio of the fabric and prevents small tears from spreading. However, there is an argument that ripstop decreases waterproofness – because the thicker threads stand out they are more prone to abrasion that removes the waterproof coating.

The number followed by mm (e.g., 1800mm) refers to hydrostatic head (HH), which is the fabric’s resistance to water pressure. The number is a measure of the height of a column of water that the fabric can withstand before it leaks. Thus, 1800mm fabric will withstand more water pressure (be more waterproof) than 1000mm fabric.

The definition of “waterproof” varies. For tent fabrics, my sense is that 1000mm to 1500mm is considered waterproof. (Less than 1000mm is considered water resistant.) Fabric with a higher HH (say 3000mm) will withstand more water pressure but is not necessarily more waterproof. For example, because the water pressure created by rain is so low, a 1500mm tent fly, when new, is, as a practical matter, just as waterproof as a 3000mm fly. But wear and tear takes a toll so the 3000mm fly is likely to remain waterproof longer.

Often, the HH of tent floors will be greater than that of flies. That’s because kneeling, sitting, or walking on the floor creates more pressure than rain hitting the fly. A higher HH means better resistance to water penetration at those pressure points.
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