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Topic: First Tent< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 8:21 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Folks,

I am looking to buy my first UL tent.

I live in PA close to the AT and plan on starting with a few one-nighters.

I'll probably stick with fair weather from Spring to Fall.

I'm 58 years old, in decent shape and do a lot of dayhiking.

I don't mind paying good money for good quality.

Looks like I should be looking for something 3lbs. or less

I've been doing a lot of websearching and here's where I'm at.

MSR Hubba...  Too Heavy??

The Big Agnes UL1 Stuff looks pretty good...

Tarptent...  Too small???

Six Moon Designs...  Condensation???

Lightheart Solo...  Lots of stakes???

I'm sure there's something in there that will work for me..  Just not sure which one....

Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated...

Thanks, Joe
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 8:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Before we can be of much ?help?, we need to have a little bit more info.  How tall are you?  How many people will this tent be for?  Do you want to keep your pack and gear inside?

Some tents are not so good for tall people, or long ones when they are laying down.  A 2 person tent is good for 1, mostly, and a 3 person is a palace for 1 and good for 2.  2-3 person tents allow for more gear to be kept inside, while some vestibules will only hold a thimble or 2.

3#s is a good starting point.  I happen to like the 2 and 3 person tarp tents by Henry Shire's.  Some of them, most maybe, require your hiking poles, but if you haven't started using trekking poles yet, do so.  They are wonderful for the knees.

Condensation is more an issue with single walled tents, but also is a result of set up, and humidity of course.  Carry a small sponge or use your bandana to wipe up the condensation.  It really isn't all that bad.

We have several members in the Pa area, so maybe they will pipe up and offer to let you see their tents, or use one for a trial.  In the Gear to Borrow thread pinned at the top of this Gear section, I think there are folks there in the Philly area.   Just don't return anything with a burn hole in the bottom.  :) 


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 8:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's a ton of variety. I think you need to focus your criteria a bit. What's your wish list and in what order?

Edit: Or....What ^^^^He^^^^^ said.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 8:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I set up my Lightheart Solo with four stakes, unless it's going to be windy. Some nights I only use two - roll up the awnings for a net tent.

If you are a fair weather hiker only - a bug bivy, or cowboy camping?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 8:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jun. 24 2013, 8:44 pm)
QUOTE
Before we can be of much ?help?, we need to have a little bit more info.  How tall are you?  How many people will this tent be for?  Do you want to keep your pack and gear inside?

Some tents are not so good for tall people, or long ones when they are laying down.  A 2 person tent is good for 1, mostly, and a 3 person is a palace for 1 and good for 2.  2-3 person tents allow for more gear to be kept inside, while some vestibules will only hold a thimble or 2.

3#s is a good starting point.  I happen to like the 2 and 3 person tarp tents by Henry Shire's.  Some of them, most maybe, require your hiking poles, but if you haven't started using trekking poles yet, do so.  They are wonderful for the knees.

Condensation is more an issue with single walled tents, but also is a result of set up, and humidity of course.  Carry a small sponge or use your bandana to wipe up the condensation.  It really isn't all that bad.

We have several members in the Pa area, so maybe they will pipe up and offer to let you see their tents, or use one for a trial.  In the Gear to Borrow thread pinned at the top of this Gear section, I think there are folks there in the Philly area.   Just don't return anything with a burn hole in the bottom.  :) 

OK Guys.. Thanks for the quick reply..

I'm 5'10" Tall

I'll be Solo...

I'd like to keep my pack inside if possible..

I just watched some you tube videos on the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 and UL2..  and I like that configuration...

I also like the Hubba so I guess I'm leaning toward that freestanding style...

Thanks Again, Joe
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 8:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Jun. 24 2013, 8:51 pm)
QUOTE
I set up my Lightheart Solo with four stakes, unless it's going to be windy. Some nights I only use two - roll up the awnings for a net tent.

If you are a fair weather hiker only - a bug bivy, or cowboy camping?

I really think I'd rather have some sort of tent to sleep in .. mostly for the insects and such..
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Jun. 24 2013, 8:46 pm)
QUOTE
That's a ton of variety. I think you need to focus your criteria a bit. What's your wish list and in what order?

Edit: Or....What ^^^^He^^^^^ said.

Yeah, I know thats quite a variety...

I've really been trying to narrow it down..

I think the MSR or the Big Agnes is what I'm looking for..

Thanks, Tigger
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Freestanding is overrated.

I like a tent I can keep clean, and keep all my gear inside, and have room for the dog. The Big Agnes tents are not that. I also like a tent I can set up in less than two minutes. BA tents are not that, nor are other double wall big box mfr tents....

I'll stick with the Lightheart - I have had it set up on granite. More room, less weight, side entry, and it stands up to the rain fine. I rarely see condensation as I can adjust the height of the awnings or just roll them up. And no, you can't do that with the Big Name tents... the fly is on, or it is off. You can leave the door unzipped - that's about it.

I can also be inside the Lightheart with the back awning down, the front awning rolled up for the view and ventilation... and in the event of rain, I just reach out and pull the awning down, hook the guyline over the pre-set stake, roll over and go back to sleep. No more jumping out and racing to get the fly over the tent.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a general comment, at the same weight (and same fabric) a "freestanding" tent will be smaller than a non freestanding and one that uses trekking poles will be larger than both.
At 5'10" there isn't a single Tarptent that is "too small" simply because Henry Shires ( the designer) is 5'10" and I think he is his own best customer.

Note that some TT solo tents , like the Scarp 1 and the Rainbow can take two 20" mats side by side so a bit larger than many.
The new Moment DW (double wall) could also be a nice shelter for you. Very easy to set up.

From what I read in the forums it seems to me that along the AT it can often rain, so keep in mind that all Tarptents (not tarp tents...) set up fly first or fly and inner together.
(read this as "you don't get the inner wet setting it up")
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Jun. 24 2013, 6:01 pm)
QUOTE
Freestanding is overrated.

+1

I've had several tents over the years and I don't fall for media hype anymore....and that's just another sales gimmick in my opinion.

I'd focus on the needed features - length, height, size of vestibule (if any), and then go from there. Experience will change your needs. Don't think that this will be the end all, be all tent. I've got five shelters and I'm still considering others...


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 10:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If u really think u like the BA freestanding tents, check out the newest Mountain Hardwear Supermega ul 2.  It has all great reviews. I have it and I love it. It sets up in seconds, not minutes. It has a great size vestibule..though that requires a stake..as do most.  Plenty of room for you and all your gear...YOU CAN SIT UP in it and wonder if you really need all that extra headroom...(heheheee), had to throw that in there. It weighs, if I'm not mistaken, 2 lbs 7 ounces "packed". The color is gracious for back country camping..blends in well, not an eye sore. You can sleep with just the netting and no fly on nice nights, or just the fly and ground sheet. It's a solid tent that has gotten all plus reviews...I think its worth checking it out if you are set in that style of tent.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 10:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Or you can go for a tarp and bivy if u really wanna get down...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 10:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Welcome to the forums Joe,

I like all kinds of shelters but have a special place in my heart for good free-standing tents. Now that I am doing most of my hiking in MN where there is almost always good staking it doesn't matter so much but in sandy, or very rocky areas free-standing is very nice to have.

I reviewed the Fly Creek 2 and liked it a lot for the weight and small packed size. (I use a 2P as a solo as I am tall and like to bring my gear in with me.) But there are better choices in my opinion for getting room to live as the FC is pretty narrow at top.

Look for modern designs that use a crossing pole in the middle. This adds a ton of space. The MSR Nook is a good example of this.

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

(Note that the Nook is not called freestanding in its "normal" mode, although the FC shares the same center pole style and does claim that.)

Another way that the tents based on that Big Agnes design (started with the Seedhouse in 2004) are changing to add more room is by moving the front poles inward to push the sides out. Again look at that Nook and the way they did the front. This protects the door from falling rain/snow while adding room too.

NEMO took the same design as the FC and moved the hub back towards the center to allow the shoulder of the front poles to pull out the tent where the user will be sitting. It is noticeably roomier. Of course they also moved the door to the side which helps a lot for both actual 2P use and protecting the entrance in rain. (I had that one in a lot of rain! Just a lender tent so no review.)

Now let me answer another question you posed. Tarptents too small?

No. I am 6' 3" and have fit fine even in their 1P shelters like the Sublite Sil:

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

Their 2P shelters are very roomy, especially when the weight and packed size is taken into account. I am taking the even smaller vestibule-less Tyvek version out in a couple of days.

I know you are getting inundated by info. Enjoy it and have fun figuring out what you need/want. Like most of us you will change your mind many times along the way


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 10:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use the Fly Creek UL2 for my solo tent, and I'm very happy with it.
Freestanding is great if you can't find a place to stake out your tent due to rock/roots and such.
Sure, freestanding may be overrated, but it's not without its perks.
I've never had much success with non-freestanding tents.
I count the FLY Creek as freestanding, btw.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 11:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ray,
how about you tell us the name of that tent in post 13 ?
(the Obi Elite 2p)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 5:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Franco, yes it is the NEMO Obi Elite 2P. Here is what it looks like with the fly on. As you can see it has a lot of vestibule space. (18 sq ft compared to the 7 of a FC 2)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 7:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for all the replies..

I haven't ruled out the tarptents...

The new Moment DW looks pretty cool....

Joe
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 7:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Franco @ Jun. 24 2013, 8:14 pm)
QUOTE
At 5'10" there isn't a single Tarptent that is "too small" simply because Henry Shires ( the designer) is 5'10" and I think he is his own best customer.

Note that some TT solo tents , like the Scarp 1 and the Rainbow can take two 20" mats side by side so a bit larger than many.
The new Moment DW (double wall) could also be a nice shelter for you. Very easy to set up.

From what I read in the forums it seems to me that along the AT it can often rain, so keep in mind that all Tarptents (not tarp tents...) set up fly first or fly and inner together.
(read this as "you don't get the inner wet setting it up")
franco@tarptent.com

I've recently taken to hammock camping, which I highly recommend. On a recent trip to North Carolina I let my hiking partner use my Tarptent Rainbow, which is a spacious and very lightweight 1 person shelter. The first day out we had a steady rain all night long, fairly hard at times. In the dozen or so nights I had spent in this tent it barely rained at all, so this was its first big test.

My buddy said it misted on him all night long and even though it looked like he had it staked pretty well, rain splatter came in by the head & foot. A single wall silnylon taprtent is roomy & light, but apparently it's also a compromise when it comes to protection from the weather.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 9:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

GoLite recently released their new tents. Look like pretty good options, though they don't have a solo tent anymore. Or you may try some Alps Mountaineering stuff. Pretty entry-level, but I've had one of their 2P tents for years.

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(bigsilk @ Jun. 25 2013, 9:57 am)
QUOTE
GoLite recently released their new tents. Look like pretty good options, though they don't have a solo tent anymore. Or you may try some Alps Mountaineering stuff. Pretty entry-level, but I've had one of their 2P tents for years.

Great... I'll check them out..

Does anybody know which of the Tarptents are double wall??
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 12:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My impression is you've never done this before? That being the case: Do. Not. Buy. A. Tent.

The odds of it fitting your style once you have some experience are zero.

For those introductory one-nighters (very good idea, BTW) borrow and rent. Get some time under the stars under your belt so you have some idea of what suits you: not some interweb rumor mill or spreadsheet of largely meaningless "data". If there are some in your area go out with some groups, maybe there's an REI or other shop in your area that runs trips or a weekend workshop? Less for the people and words and more for the experience of seeing what shelters look like and perform like out in the real world away from web and catalog pages.

Then there are the purely personal issues: floorless or floored? Free standing or one that requires staking? Side entry or front? How long? How tall? How wide?

This is a lot like choosing clothes. Gotta fit YOU.

ETA: Neither the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 nor the UL2 are freestanding, look at the foot corners: they require tent stakes to maintain their position. Compare to the BA Copper Spur etc. line where the tensioning of the poles keep those positions taught.
https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/FlyCreekUL1

versus;

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/copperspurul12012

ETA2: To decide on the size (ignoring the silliness of "1-person" versus "2-person" where that means lying on your back not moving in sleep) lay out a tape outline of the tent your interested in and put all your stuff inside the lines and see if it's practical for you. Not as good as real tents but it would give you a start.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 3:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 25 2013, 12:49 pm)
QUOTE
My impression is you've never done this before? That being the case: Do. Not. Buy. A. Tent.

The odds of it fitting your style once you have some experience are zero.

For those introductory one-nighters (very good idea, BTW) borrow and rent. Get some time under the stars under your belt so you have some idea of what suits you: not some interweb rumor mill or spreadsheet of largely meaningless "data". If there are some in your area go out with some groups, maybe there's an REI or other shop in your area that runs trips or a weekend workshop? Less for the people and words and more for the experience of seeing what shelters look like and perform like out in the real world away from web and catalog pages.

Then there are the purely personal issues: floorless or floored? Free standing or one that requires staking? Side entry or front? How long? How tall? How wide?

This is a lot like choosing clothes. Gotta fit YOU.

ETA: Neither the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 nor the UL2 are freestanding, look at the foot corners: they require tent stakes to maintain their position. Compare to the BA Copper Spur etc. line where the tensioning of the poles keep those positions taught.
https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/FlyCreekUL1

versus;

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/copperspurul12012

ETA2: To decide on the size (ignoring the silliness of "1-person" versus "2-person" where that means lying on your back not moving in sleep) lay out a tape outline of the tent your interested in and put all your stuff inside the lines and see if it's practical for you. Not as good as real tents but it would give you a start.

Your Right...  I am completely new to this...


I appreciate you advice ...

Thanks for taking the time to post, Joe
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 3:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Totally been there, still am in some ways: started out using a tube tent (and I survived! :D: http://www.rei.com/product/768984/coghlans-tube-tent ) for weekend routes while renting something for week long ones where the mountain weather couldn't be trusted, even the Cal Sierra gets tricky over that time frame. Then bought a Sierra Designs AirFlex*, then a Chouinard MegaMid (which I now use in the winter), then a North face Talus, then a while back a Big Agnes Emerald Mountain (now my trailhead tent) and then, circling back to simple: a Mountain Laurel Designs SoloMid with an innernet in bug season, a 2 ozs. poly paint sheet when it's not.

Main thing? You're going to get out and have fun. Those one night weekenders offer a lot of margin for error: keep an eye on the weather and head out.

If you like Chinese takeout I can recommend that for the first night's dinner. Pan fried dumplings and that Chili oil... okay, now I'm hungry. :)

FWIW I liked The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher, he wrote a lot about the WHY so readers could choose for themselves, I like that better than a "the BEST!" sort of thing that doesn't take personal inclinations and location into account. It was updated not all that long ago as these things go:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Com....+walker

* Down on the end of row ten: http://www.inov8.au.com/compass/sierradesignsimages.html#
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 5:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 25 2013, 3:41 pm)
QUOTE
Main thing? You're going to get out and have fun. Those one night weekenders offer a lot of margin for error: keep an eye on the weather and head out.

Right...  That is the Main Thing....
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Does anybody know which of the Tarptents are double wall??

Yes , I do....
That is why I suggested the Moment DW (Double Wall) at under 1 kg it is faster and easier to set up than most (I have not seen one that is better than that here...) has a decent vestibule and headroom.
The inner can be shifted to one side so that you increase the vestibule space if so required.
(it has two doors)
The Scarp 1 is also a double wall . Heavier at about 1.4 kg but larger than most solo shelters.
(the Tarptent site has lots of photos as well as set up videos and a 3D view of each tent so that you can see the usable space. )
If you use walking poles the Notch is also a double wall shelter. Pretty much a Moment for trekking pole users.
franco@tarptent.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 6:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I own the original Moment, single wall. It is a good little tent. It will handle a Sierra afternoon rainstorm, wind and snow without blinking an eye. Henry Shires makes great light-weight tents that are solid.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 7:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(paula53 @ Jun. 25 2013, 6:31 pm)
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I own the original Moment, single wall. It is a good little tent. It will handle a Sierra afternoon rainstorm, wind and snow without blinking an eye. Henry Shires makes great light-weight tents that are solid.

I like the Moment DW...

It seems to come up a lot when searching for UL Shelters..

Now I need a Bag and pad that will fit in there...

Should I start another thread??

Thanks, Joe
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