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Topic: One Person Tent suggestions?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 5:31 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I know there is another post out there asking a similar question, but that seems more focused on warmth issues, and I didn't want to hijack that thread.

I am primarily a hammock backpacker, but there are some areas without trees that I want to explore and that means a tent.  I am looking at the Big Agnes Seedhouse UL1, but also some options from Six Moon Designs and Tarptent.  My caveat is that I do not want to just use a tarp.  I like to have something to seal out the bugs.

My main concerns are weight, wind & rain protection, and condensation.  I want something as light as possible that won't get me wet from storms or dripping condensation.  Any suggestions?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 5:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I suggest you add Lightheart Gear to your list.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 6:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

do you use trekking poles ?
How tall are you ?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 6:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How much do you want to spend?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 6:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My two lightweight favs:  Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo and HS Tarptent Rainbow.  The latter if you crave palatial space (like I do).  It's likely the most voluminous solo tent out there.  Two people can sit cross legged inside and play cards.

BA tents are light weight too -- and they do well in the condensation dept.  However, there are many more stakes involved (I used 9 routinely as opposed to 6 for either of the two tarptents above).  Also, if you are over 6' -- the BA SL series is not for you.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 8:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I had a TT Rainbow... pretty heavy in the condensation area. Nicely made and intelligently designed though.

I currently like the MSR Hubba as a 1-man...


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 8:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Brad - in your experience with the Rainbow -- did you encounter condensation to the point of wetting out your clothing or sleeping bag?  Or was more like a uniformly wet coating on the ceiling and upper walls inside?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 8:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The questions asked about height, do you use trekking poles, how much do you want to spend are important.  There are so many out there that you really need to narrow the field.

For one person use recently I've had an MSR Hubba, a Six Moons Designs lunar solo, an SMD Gatewood Cape with Serenity net, and a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 but when I decided to keep just one one-man tent I kept my Big Sky Revolution.

I'm short, and weight and useable space are more important to me than cost.  

YMMV


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 9:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 and a Tarp Tent Moment. The Moment has a liner that you can buy for condensation. The Fly Creek 2 is a good little tent for 1, if you are under 6 foot. The Moment  can handle a person up to 6'4
. It is very light weight, and can handle wind & light snow easily.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 9:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, lots of great input so far, thanks!

I am 5'10" and I do use trekking poles most of the time.  Are tents that use trekking poles as sturdy as a tent that uses normal shock-corded tent poles?  I would like to keep the price at no more than $300, but could go a little over it it's worth it.

I don't need a cavernous space (I'm assuming that means extra weight), but I would like a little room around me to put a book or an extra layer, etc.  And a vestibule space for my boots/pack would be nice.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 10:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tarptent.  Had a Rainbow for about 6 yrs.  Best tent I've had.  Yes you get some condensation depending on where your camping.  Trick is door flap open it possible at night.  Condensation has always been on tent fabric.  After all its a single wall tent.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 10:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would recommend checking out the specs on the Tarptent Notch.  I've had one for about 5 months and have used it on 4 trips and have been very happy with it.  Love the roomy vestibules on each side, dual side entry, very easy quick setup, pretty light weight for a double wall shelter.  Lots and lots of pro's.  I've had it in rain and snow and some pretty high winds, it has stayed solid and is yet to let me down.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 10:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My favorite solo tent is the TT Contrail.  I'd like it to be the TT Notch, but I can't let go of my Contrail.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

5" 10" is easy enough, 6' starts to eliminate several LW/UL shelters particularly if using thick mats.
"Are trekking pole supported as sturdy as..."
Depends on how many poles those others have , the more poles they have (up to a point) the stronger they can be but of course with weight penalties.
here is my TT Notch (a 26 oz , 3 season shelter...) with some wet snow on it.

Some single pole shelters would have struggled there .(I use the mesh inner but you can get a fabric one for another 2 oz)
BTW, that meant i slept with my head under the snow load.Some of the snow fell off the sides when I got out.


These,trekking pole supported, shelters relay a lot on you been able to set them up correctly, however since you used a hammock I can assume that you have some experience with tarps.
As a very biased opinion I would also look at the TT Moment DW (double wall)
Some will find that easier to set up. It has two variable depth vestibules (you can pull the floor in from either sides.


(I look after TT in Australia so i am not going to rave on about other brands)
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 12:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BTall @ Mar. 09 2013, 2:31 pm)
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My main concerns are weight, wind & rain protection, and condensation.  I want something as light as possible that won't get me wet from storms or dripping condensation.  Any suggestions?

Some thoughts about condensation.

I've used double wall, single wall, and hybrid tents (meaning part double and part single).  Remember, every tent is a compromise of sorts -- and the trick is to find the right balance of compromises that will work for you.

I live in relatively dry southern Cal, but I've hiked in the Pacific Northwest and in the Southeast -- not in the most humid of seasons, but with some humidity.  With a double wall tent, when conditions are "right", condensation will form on the underside of the fly -- making for an almost uniform coating of moisture (tiny water droplets).  But thanks to your inner tent -- nylon fabric or mesh -- you won't come into direct contact with the moisture.

With a single wall or a hybrid -- same moisture coating -- but no inner tent to serve as barrier.  However, if the tent interior is big enough, you can still move and change and not accidentally swipe your head or hand against the wet ceiling or wall.

Occasionally, usually only when it is very humid, and the air is still, but there is also rain pounding down from the outside, you may have some condensation droplets falling onto you or your bag.  It happens, but truthfully, I think all my years of camping, I've been hit by maybe four or five annoying droplets in total.

This is why I went from a double wall tent (BA Seedhouse 2 SL) to a single wall tent.  I am perfectly happy with the conditions described above -- in exchange for carrying one or more pounds less weight -- 8 to 10 hours every day, day after day!

But we are all different and you have to be realistic with yourself.  Maybe you are like many of us -- and the above truly won't bother you.  Or you might be the type where even one water drop landing on your face in the middle of the night will annoy you to no end??

Finally, even with a double wall tent, there are compromises.  In the case of the BA Seedhouse SL 1 or 2 -- notice the slanting door opening.  If the rain is really coming down, opening the fly door, getting in, and zipping back up -- you will likely have some rain getting in.  To me, 8 or 10 rain drops don't bother me at all.  It takes 10 seconds to wipe them dry.  But some people just can't stand the idea of an unprotected doorway and would rather carry an extra pound or two for models that have brow pole to make for an awning over the door.

So, some food for thought.  If you are"reasonable" about condensation, then I highly recommend a tarptent.  Otherwise, a double wall tent.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 9:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BTall @ Mar. 09 2013, 8:40 pm)
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Are tents that use trekking poles as sturdy as a tent that uses normal shock-corded tent poles?  I would like to keep the price at no more than $300, but could go a little over it it's worth it.

Yeah they can be when designed well.

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

That is one that took quite a pounding both from wind and snow, although the snow never really stuck to have load issues.

I offered that one to a friend but haven't heard back. It may fit you a lot better than I if you are interested. It is called a 2P but is great for solo use as it gives room to keep your gear inside.

Taptent makes a lot of good shelters. I have, or have had 7 models of them.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 9:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My concerns about condensation are not only the annoyance of having water drip on me, but also wanting to avoid getting my down sleeping bag wet.  Now, if we are talking just a slight amount of condensation, then this sounds like not too big of a deal.  One of the posters above mentioned the Tarptent Rainbow having pretty serious condensation.

Now weight is also a major consideration.  The specs I see for the Big Agnes Seedhouse UL1 list the trail weight at 2 lbs, 1 oz (not the fly-only option, which is 1 lb, 10 oz.)  Two pounds seems really light for a double-wall tent, and is even lighter than my hammock & tarp setup.  I'm happy with a two pound shelter.  Now, for example the Tarptent Contrail is 24.5 oz.  That's 7-8 oz lighter than the Seedhouse UL1.  But is it worth the increased condensation--especially in the more humid eastern & southeast areas where I backpack?

I guess condensation is my first variable to understand more concretely before I decide on which specific tent.  If a single-wall will do the job, then those weights are a lot lighter!  (Not to mention the Contrail being $70 less than a Seedhouse UL1).
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 9:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BTall @ Mar. 10 2013, 7:03 am)
QUOTE
My concerns about condensation are not only the annoyance of having water drip on me, but also wanting to avoid getting my down sleeping bag wet.  Now, if we are talking just a slight amount of condensation, then this sounds like not too big of a deal.  One of the posters above mentioned the Tarptent Rainbow having pretty serious condensation.

Now weight is also a major consideration.  The specs I see for the Big Agnes Seedhouse UL1 list the trail weight at 2 lbs, 1 oz (not the fly-only option, which is 1 lb, 10 oz.)  Two pounds seems really light for a double-wall tent, and is even lighter than my hammock & tarp setup.  I'm happy with a two pound shelter.  Now, for example the Tarptent Contrail is 24.5 oz.  That's 7-8 oz lighter than the Seedhouse UL1.  But is it worth the increased condensation--especially in the more humid eastern & southeast areas where I backpack?

I guess condensation is my first variable to understand more concretely before I decide on which specific tent.  If a single-wall will do the job, then those weights are a lot lighter!  (Not to mention the Contrail being $70 less than a Seedhouse UL1).

In the hot/humid E/SE USA I'd never use a single wall Tarp Tent. They collect quite a lot of condensation here in the West, so in the Appalachians I'd be very leary, unless you go with a Double Wall Tarp Tent.

The BA  Speedhouse UL1 is tiny... really, not as much useable room as the MSR Hubba. For a 1-person Speedhouse, I'd go with the 2-man. Also, the BA SH requires a LOT of guying.

Personally I'd go with a TT DW Moment or Notch (neither need trekking poles which I don't use) over the BA offerings as I far and away prefer a side-entry door, but only you can find your own preference. TT's are also made in the USA which is a nice thing to support.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 9:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The actual weight of the Seedhouse 1 is 2 lb 8 oz, you are looking at the "trail weight" which is just the tent body, poles, and fly. No stakes or stuff sacks in that figure.

You will get condensation in the Seedhouse as much as any other tent. The mesh inner just keeps you from brushing against it. It can still get you if you knock the tent, or wind moves it causing the moisture to dislodge, making it rain through the mesh.

The Contrail is OK but they make much better ones now, like the Sublite Sil that I had. (I still have the regular Sublite.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 10:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BTall @ Mar. 09 2013, 5:31 pm)
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I know there is another post out there asking a similar question, but that seems more focused on warmth issues, and I didn't want to hijack that thread.

I am primarily a hammock backpacker, but there are some areas without trees that I want to explore and that means a tent.  I am looking at the Big Agnes Seedhouse UL1, but also some options from Six Moon Designs and Tarptent.  My caveat is that I do not want to just use a tarp.  I like to have something to seal out the bugs.

My main concerns are weight, wind & rain protection, and condensation.  I want something as light as possible that won't get me wet from storms or dripping condensation.  Any suggestions?

Really love my REI Quarter Dome T1. It's a 3 season so I'm not sure if your looking for a 4 season tent or not.

http://www.backpacker.com/gear-gu....30

http://www.rei.com/product/827783/rei-quarter-dome-t1-tent


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 11:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have no problem with the Seedhouse being tight on space--remember I am normally a hammock hanger and THAT is a tight space!--Think of it as a tent that curls tightly up around you when you lay down.  :)

So the Seedhouse is really the same thing as the single wall tarptents that we're talking about since it is just a rainfly over a mesh tent?--i.e. the Contrail or Notch that have a mesh inner tent?  In that case, it sounds like the Seedhouse should be the first one I cross off the list since it is more expensive, heavier, and would have just as much condensation?

As for trail weight, I usually carry a number of stakes for my hammock setup anyway, so the 2 lb trail weight of the Seedhouse would be the proper weight for me to use as a comparison (and I already count the weight of the stakes separately from my hammock and tarp when I calculate my weight carried).  Unless, of course, the weights listed for the tarptents include the stakes and stuffsack.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 12:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BTall @ Mar. 10 2013, 11:58 am)
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 Unless, of course, the weights listed for the tarptents include the stakes and stuffsack.

Yes, they are included in the listed weight.  Also consider that seam sealing will add a little bit to the weight.  My Notch is seamed sealed plus some silicone swipes on the floor. Shelter + stuff sack weighs 25.6oz, I carry 6 MSR groudhogs: 3.2oz (the short Easton stakes it came with didn't have enough holding power for the type of soil I am typically in) and some guyline with cordlocks: 12grams.  So total weight comes in at 29.22oz or 1.8lbs.  Really decent weight for a 1 person double wall.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 1:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That is an amazing weight.  Compared to my hammock: 23.75 oz, and my silnylon hex tarp w/ rigging: 22.25 oz, we're talking 2.8 lbs total for my lightest shelter system, which is a whole pound heavier than your Notch setup.

Now, I still find the hammock to be largely a more comfortable sleep than being on the ground, but a tarptent like the Notch would give me an even lighter option for treeless areas--as long as I'm not getting all wet...

Also something that just came to mind is that with my silnylon tarp, I have to use self-tensioners (stretched shock cord for portions of the guy lines) because the silnylon tends to stretch a little when it gets wet.  That kind of stretch in a tarp tent would weaken the pitch of the tent itself.  Has anyone experienced this?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 1:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Buggyboo @ Mar. 10 2013, 10:10 am)
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Really love my REI Quarter Dome T1. It's a 3 season so I'm not sure if your looking for a 4 season tent or not.

+1.  I was urprised no one else mentioned the REI T1 solo.  Perhaps, at 3 lbs, 5.2 oz (tent, fly, poles, stakes, stuff sacks), not the lightest out there but for the money, it's pretty darn good.  I used it almost every night on a six week bicycle trip last summer as well as on numerous backpacking trips and haven't had a single problem with sturdiness, condensation, ventilation, set up or anything else. One thing I really like about it is the side entry.  Makes getting in an out pretty easy. I know it doesn't appeal to you ultra light weight guys/gals, but speaking just for  for me (I'm 6 ft), I'm very happy with it.  Definitely 3 season though.  

Always thought REI made pretty good tents for what they cost and this one is no exception.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 2:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am sure it is a good tent, but at over 3 lbs, it is just too heavy for my tastes.  For that weight, I could carry my hammock setup AND one of these solo tarptents.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 3:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tarptent also makes a liner for the rainbow at least, eliminates most if any drips inside.  Actually pretty easy to make one up for any tent that needs one.

My Rainbow weighs in at 2lb 2oz with a silnylon footprint, no stuff stack.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 5:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"That kind of stretch in a tarp tent would weaken the pitch of the tent itself'
Yes  although it is less noticeable in the ones that take dedicated tent poles since the pole is always in tension from the start.
With the Notch you just lift the height of your trekking poles up a bit (from the inside) and that takes care of it.
If you look back at my photo of the Notch under snow, that shot was taken around 7AM. I had tensioned the shelter at around 9PM the night before.
Inspite of all that originally wet and then iced up snow on top it is still taut.
Here is me pitching the Notch under real rain :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v....index=3
BTW, the Notch is a two wall shelter, the inner of mine is mesh but you can get a fabric one if you prefer.
All Tarptents pitch fly first .
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 5:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BTall @ Mar. 10 2013, 6:03 am)
QUOTE
My concerns about condensation are not only the annoyance of having water drip on me, but also wanting to avoid getting my down sleeping bag wet.  Now, if we are talking just a slight amount of condensation, then this sounds like not too big of a deal.  One of the posters above mentioned the Tarptent Rainbow having pretty serious condensation.

Now weight is also a major consideration.  The specs I see for the Big Agnes Seedhouse UL1 list the trail weight at 2 lbs, 1 oz (not the fly-only option, which is 1 lb, 10 oz.)  Two pounds seems really light for a double-wall tent, and is even lighter than my hammock & tarp setup.  I'm happy with a two pound shelter.  Now, for example the Tarptent Contrail is 24.5 oz.  That's 7-8 oz lighter than the Seedhouse UL1.  But is it worth the increased condensation--especially in the more humid eastern & southeast areas where I backpack?

I guess condensation is my first variable to understand more concretely before I decide on which specific tent.  If a single-wall will do the job, then those weights are a lot lighter!  (Not to mention the Contrail being $70 less than a Seedhouse UL1).

When I was a newbie (2003), I did some experiements -- because I read a lot of scary posts and articles re. the consequences of soaking a down bag.

Mine was a new MontBell down bag (but this will apply to all quality bags out there).  I filled a full glass of water and poured it entirely onto my bag.  The water simply ran off -- and fabric remained completely dry to the touch.

You will get into trouble if you have a leave a true puddle of water atop your bag -- as the water will eventually make its way through the fabric's water resistant treatment.

But the above is far from an every day type of risk.  You might have a thin coating of moisture developing atop your bag -- which may or may not even relate to any condensation droplets coming down from the ceiling!

In other words, the risks are moderate.  HOWEVER, you can not entirely rule it out, of course.

My suggestion?  Buy a tarptent and try it out in your own backyard -- or try it out very carefully at a campsite (using groundsheet to protect the tent floor and all that).  I believe chances are that you will find the condensation well within manageable.  But if not, then return the tarptent in its pristine condition (tags and all) -- and go for a double wall.

Why?  Because to me, the simplicity, compactness, and light weight of a tarptent are such great advantages that it would be a shame not to try it out -- and skipping directly to heavier/bulkier options.


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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 5:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think that is very sound advice.

At the end of the day, I'm not really going to know unless I try it out for myself and see what I think.

Thanks for everyone's input.  You've helped me to not end up buying a Seedhouse UL1 in order to give one of the tarptents a try first.  Now I just have to decide on one!

I like the Tarptent Notch in terms of the weight, the large vestibules, and the venting options.  The Lightheart Solo looks good as well.  Any thoughts on these two?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 7:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Take a look at the easton kilo I have the 3 man version and it seems great. I looked at the I man and they seem like they have a ton of room. not sure on the price, I found the kilo3 on line for 350
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