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Thread: Tarptent or Go-lite SL3 or 5

  1. #1
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    Default Tarptent or Go-lite SL3 or 5

    Now that Golite have their 'sale' I am torn between which to spend the $$ on. I have set myself a $350 budget for my next tent. Background, I have a 10 year-old boy who comes on every adventure with me. I want to get a tent that will serve us for hunting; up in the Kodiak wilderness for Blacktails and/or Goat and maybe for fly-ins as well. I also have 2 boys of 5 and 6 who will be joining us in a few (3 or 4) years. Whenever we go out we are always with at least one other adult hunting buddy and usually a son or daughter. Always bring 2 tents. I currently lug a 9# 4 man tent which is comfy for the 2 of us but too heavy.
    So I am torn between getting one of the Henry Shires Tarptents (Double Rainbow or Stratospire 2) or a Golite SL3 or SL5. The tarpents obviously have the advantage of low weight (2.5#) but that is at the cost of size and I think possibly strength - those of you who have been to Kodiak know how quickly the weather can close in. How strong do you think a Tarptent is?
    Next option(s) are the Go-lite SL3 or 5. Extra weight (about double) of the tarptents, but a great deal more space and comfort. This obviously gives me more versatility for Fly-ins and longer hunts. I think if I went for the SL I would go for the SL5 as the weight differnce (vs SL3) is only 1# and I have the versatility of it 'growing' as my other 2 sons start coming out with us.
    Thoughts, opinions welcomed. Especially on how well you think a SL3/5 or Tarptent would stand-up to Kodiak weather.

  2. #2
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    Nbh: when I think kodiak, the words light and tarp tent do not come to mind. I have camped over there in cabins, army wall tents and north face mountain tents. When you hunt kodiak you are prepared for gale for winds raining sideways and snow and freezing temps. Doesn't sound like anywhere you would want a tarp tent. It might keep you alive, but you won't have much room or comfort. Get a nice cabelas or article oven to sleep in and use the gl sl5 for a cooking/eating tent and your kids will enjoy kodiak a lot more!
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    My SL5 fully guyed out will handle most anything you could throw at. I would not be excited to have water running under it though. I do feel it is a stronger design than the tarp tents. My next Kodiak trip the SL5 will go for use up high but at a minimum my nallo 4 GT or better yet an Arctic Oven or Cabelas guide tent will also make the journey for base camp. Kodiak is all 206, bushhawk or Beaver anyways so might as well have a comfy base camp with that health payload!

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    I have only spent 2 nights in my SL5 and I think it is a 2 person plus gear affair for me. A young child would fit too but the center pole really reduces the usefullness for me. It is light and does make a fine shelter for backpacking into an area. For the trip I used mine it worked well but frankly, I wish I had taken my Clark Hammock and a tarp instead...it is more comfortable than a pad on the ground for sure!!

    Lujon is right...if you have the room, take a bigger tent and be comfortable when bad weather shows up.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I like floorless tarps and structures for a cook shack. During my intertidal studies, that's what we used as a group. I'm a huge advocate of a bath tub floors. It gives you a livable space, completely blocked from the elements. Split the pieces up between the group, and the weight will be minimal.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Take a look at the MSR Barn tent. Got one just last week. Impressed. Floor less if you want. $800 at most places but I found it online for $519. Big floor less tent with 6'2" headroom across entire tent. Might fit your whole crowd. Got mine for float trips. The ability to cook and use heater was a draw. Also going in and out in waders. Bought a small Coleman catalytic heater that runs on one pound propane. Will make fall trips in NW more enjoyable. Also a good place to hang out in camp chairs if the weather is particularly nasty. 4-6 folks in camp chairs would fit easily. An interesting and unique design for sure.


    Dan

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    WOW! that thing is the cat's meow. I'm kinda of envy right now. I wish I didn't spend $450 on my Eureka Northern Breeze. During ice fishing, it buckled to the 80 mph winds. Had to lower it so that it wouldn't get damaged, then we had no fishing space. Was asking a bit too much of it, but it's built like the old Barney Bombshelter which is why I like it as a cook shack.

    If you're up here, I'd like to take a look at that thing when you get a spare chance. BTW, thanks for the advice on that lantern, probably won't throw down money to em.

  8. #8
    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    My SL5 fully guyed out will handle most anything you could throw at. I would not be excited to have water running under it though. I do feel it is a stronger design than the tarp tents. My next Kodiak trip the SL5 will go for use up high but at a minimum my nallo 4 GT or better yet an Arctic Oven or Cabelas guide tent will also make the journey for base camp. Kodiak is all 206, bushhawk or Beaver anyways so might as well have a comfy base camp with that health payload!
    This is exactly what I did this spring on Kodiak. The SL5 worked pretty good as a cook tent/storage. There were 3 of us it was a bit snug at times. I'm glad I have the SL5 as I think the 3 would be much to small for a gathering place. We had great weather so I can't vouch on how they do in severe weather. 10x10 cabelas xwt worked great as a basecamp. No complaints
    Last edited by mjm316; 06-27-2012 at 19:46. Reason: Add info
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    My SL5 fully guyed out will handle most anything you could throw at.
    I thought you didn't like Chinese crap...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    This is exactly what I did this spring on Kodiak. The SL5 worked pretty good as a cook tent/storage. There were 3 of us it was a bit snug at times. I'm glad I have the SL5 as I think the 3 would be much to small for a gathering place. We had great weather so I can't vouch on how they do in severe weather. 10x10 cabelas xwt worked great as a basecamp. No complaints

    I was super impressed with your SL5. I have the SL3 and now wish I had bought the SL5. That was a wonderful trip.

  11. #11
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    I was super impressed with your SL5. I have the SL3 and now wish I had bought the SL5. That was a wonderful trip.
    I'm with you! I got the SL3 and it is a nice tent, but without a vestibule or something, I wish I'd gotten the SL5 to stash gear. I'm considering using the SL3 without the nest as a spike camp tent. Nicely made tent, just a tad on the small side for two guys with gear.

  12. #12
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    I'm with you! I got the SL3 and it is a nice tent, but without a vestibule or something, I wish I'd gotten the SL5 to stash gear. I'm considering using the SL3 without the nest as a spike camp tent. Nicely made tent, just a tad on the small side for two guys with gear.
    The SL 5 is a spike camp palace for 2 guys + gear!!!

  13. #13
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    The SL 5 is a spike camp palace for 2 guys + gear!!!
    Yep, that's what my wife and I will be lugging along on our sheep hunt this year. With her being only 5' tall, I figure I'm going to have all kinds of space in my SL5.

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    You guys could sleep in my wading jacket

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