I am struggling on what kind of tent to purchase.
Any tent that I have that I used from my CO climbs are either 1. worn out 2. I sold 3. My kids now have or 4. My climbing partner kept.
Now that I am here in AK, I don't know what kind of tent to purchase. My co-worker is an avid hunter and she recommended this one:
It's an XPG Cabela's Ultralight Tent.
Basically, I am looking for functionality first... and durability second. I want to be sure that if I purchase a tent, that it doesn't weight more than 8-10lbs.
If you have any suggestions on tents that are for solo or 2 person, please do let me know.
Thanks in advanced!!
COtoAK - I've noticed from a few of your other posts that you're a climber. As such, you need to first and foremost be concerned with wind and sideways rain. There are lots of great camping tents that are torn to shreds by our alpine winds. Personally, I have never liked anything Cabelas branded, but there are those that disagree with me and speak highly of their products. Regardless, the tent you linked to looks like it would be fine for camping in the forest (I have a similar tent made by Marmot), but it doesn't look like it would hold up to the rigors of high alpine climbing.
Here are a few that caught my eye. I'm still using my North Face tent from 10 years ago (they built them better back then), but if I had to replace my mountain tent these are some I would look at.
Bibler Tempest - Bibler tents are single-wall, which has advantages and disadvantages. They're expensive, but they make absolutely bomber tents.
North Face Tadpole - This is the same basic design as my current mountain tent. Mine doesn't have the mesh ceilings, but unless you want a true 4-season tent the mesh is actually pretty nice. This is the best design I have ever been in concerning wind. I have had my tent in winds pushing 100mph (as measured by a wind station 15 miles away), and it was fine while the other tent in our camp was shredded. I love my tent! (Side benefit: less than 5 pounds)
Mountain Hardware Airjet 3 - I don't know much about this tent, but it caught my eye.
This is a very partial list, but I just wanted to point out that the most important thing to look for (in my opinion) is a low profile to deflect the wind. Also, make sure that the rain fly extends to the ground and away from the main body of the tent. If possible, get one with a bathtub floor, though most manufacturers have moved away from this and instead offer footprints. Not a fan, but that's the way you have to go now.
Hope this helps!
On a side note, a great place to buy a true 4-season alpine tent is at the annual NOLS swap in October. They always sell off a few North Face 4-season 4-man tents (and sometimes some 3 and 2-man models) for far less than their value. These tents aren't as light, but they're made for the mountains. The problem is that the swap is held in Palmer and you need to be there right when it opens to score one of the tents. Might be worth thinking about, though.
Thank you so very much for your response. It's definitely going to help!!!
Another one to look at would be the Hilleberg Kaitum for two people, and the Unna for a single man. They are pricey, but have some great features. The ability to pitch the fly and inner at the same time, or just the outer with footprint if going ultralight, is the feature that sold me on them. Also, they are a true 4 season tent, yet ultralight. You can double up the poles if you are expecting a snow load. Also, having North Face tents (which I really like, still have my 3 man and use it every year), I know that the weights they list are light compared to actually weighing them. The Kaitum I got is darn near right on what they say it weighs, which is less than my smaller two man NF that I sold (vector 22), and it is has a lot more space. I have not used it extensively yet, but I like what I see so far.
Thanks for letting me know as well. I'll definitely be looking into quite a few of these. My plans for the summer are starting to evolve drastically so it's starting to look as if I might be doing climbing in Colorado instead of AK... but either way, I'll be pitching it and climbing.
Thanks again. I really appreciate it!
Are you looking for a climbing or hunting tent? There is something to be said for the floorless tents with a titanium wood burning stove. You might want to consider the Kiafuru, Ti-goat, or a modified BD megamid (ie add a stove jack)
Yes... the tent would be primarily for climbing and hopefully a 4 season tent.
Although... I am open to getting a climbing/hunting one because I could use it during the summer for climbs and the hus could use it August/Sept for hunts.
Thanks for responding. I am going to look into some of these. My adventures look like they are taking me back to CO for a portion of the summer... so I have a little bit of time to make a determination on what exactly I want tent wise... but it will still be difficult finding one down there that is weather/durable/appropriate for us up here.
Beaver Sports/ Mountain Sports
Dear CO to AK,
Check out both Mt. Sports in the minimall accross from the Bentley Mall for the MSR tents or check out the Bibler Tents at Beaver Sports.
I bought an Eldorado single wall mountaineering tent from Beaver Sports. It is a mountaineering tent and it is expensive- but it is kiss and bomber. My last tent was destroyed by a storm front when I was Sheep hunting so I had to get a tough one. 4lbs and packs to the size of a cantalope.
They have almost every brand at Beaver and they let you set up and try them all out.
I bought a new sleeping bag from Moutain sports and was pleased with that decision as well. Integral Designs makes good products.
Great!! Thanks so much!!!
Great!! Thank you so so so very much for letting me know.
I was actually in Beaver Sports on Tuesday and I got some really good advice on all kinds of tents... but the sent that they were really trying to sell on me was one that wasn't a 4 season tent.
I actually went in there to find a couple of close to Fairbanks climbing maps that Alpine Climbing Club puts out, but could only find one of 2 next to the tent area.
I got a little distracted by the ice axes, though.
I'll definitely be looking into the tent that you suggested, too. Looks like I have the chance to do my research on all the tents that everyone has suggested.
The tent that you brought out sheep hunting... which one was that again?
I was in Beaver Sports a couple weeks ago and they had a Bibler on sale. It was not set up. It was in it's bag. I think it was the Ahwanee for 100 bucks off. If I was in the market to buy a tent I'd be looking at a bibler. Probably the Fitzroy with a vestibule. Spendy but bombproof roomy and light.
I have a TNF single wall internal pole tent made of similar material as the Biblers and I like it.
I bought the Eldorado. It is expensive and they did want me to try out the
new Mountain Hardware Tents.
There is a salesguy named Frank who guides Denali in the Summer and I have
had extensive conversations with him. There may be more windproof tents but
the Eldorado is small enough and windproof enough (with all of the guide lines)
that it will do what I want.
I used to just hunt with a tarp and that worked well for several years.
However, hunting with a tarp especially in the Chugach is miserable if it is raining.
I went to REI cheap dome tents and they worked well in Wrangells and Alaska Range on several sheep hunts.
I had my tent destroyed this last fall and had to get a new one. The toddtex fabric and much discussion with Frank the Mountain guide who is 6' and 245lbs led me to the purchase.
It is expensive. But I don't hunt with ATVs or boats so that frees up a bit of capital.
That definitely makes sense... also makes sense why I didn't see him there. There was another guy there that absolutely captivated my kidlets about glassading down Pano Peak and we had quite the extensive conversation on ice axes and crampons.
I am usually very good with names, but I completely have forgotten his.
I'll look into this tent. I am hopefully going to Denver here in a few weeks so maybe the cost of some of these items should be a little less (because of shipping and handling) or maybe I'll order it while I am here and just expect it to be here once I return.
I don't mind getting a cheaper tent... it's just if I decide to climb for a few more years, then I might as well invest in a fine, durable tent... and one that will impress my husband (because it's hard to impress him on the kind of stuff that I buy unless it's another JetBoil type of product.
Also... it will be necessary to have one of these if I ever decide to do any early climbs or winter climbs back in CO (which I have every intention on doing while we are there for Christmas time).
I am going to look into this particular Eldorado, though (as well as the ones mentioned above) because I think that it's worth the research.
Thanks again for responding!
Bomb proof. I love it!
Originally Posted by Snyd
Hi, Just thought I'd put in another vote for the Kifaru tipi. I really enjoy this tent. They are very versatile and extremely light. I carry along the little woodstove and usually don't use it, but in case you get weathered in, it is nice to be able to dry out. One more benefit, with their simple shape they are great in the wind.
Check it out at http://kifaru.net/TIPI.HTM .
I just looked at your tent you suggested and that's absolutely awesome. I love it! I had been actually looking at Better Homes and Gardens and completely stopped to look and the specs on this tent.
Originally Posted by DrB
So... you have this tent and this is your own personal tent of choice?
Yes, I have the 6 man tent. This means that it can fit 3 comfortably, or two and a load of gear. The only adjustment I had was getting accustomed to camping without a floor in the tent. I really like the concept now. You don't have to worry about bringing dirt or mud into the tent; it is already there.
The stove is not intended to maintain a fire overnight. It is a small light stove that does not have a large capacity. It is great to burn twigs and small sticks in to heat up the tent to dry out gear or warm you up in the morning. I have never tried to maintain a fire for a long period of time in the tent. Most of the time I don't even unpack the stove.
For snow or tundra I would recommend the SST pegs. I have had good success with standard pegs in tundra with high winds but the longer pegs would be worthwhile. They are on my want list.
The liner is a good addition, also. I usually use the liner with the tent, unless the conditions are really dry and my stay is short.
Hope this is helpful,
It's definitely helpful. The hus and I were discussing this tent last night and he said that a friend of his has one and really likes it, but says that you really have to find a good hole to post into and if I am going to be rock climbing and sleeping on a mountainside, this may not be the one for me...
...but I am still going to look into it because I am interested in it. I don't have to sleep on the mountain.. and most times I only take summit naps if afternoon thunder storms don't roll in (at least that's how it is in CO... I am not sure how it is here in AK quite yet).
All in all, it should be worthwhile to investigate this tent.
I am really interested in that Bibler Eldorado as well.
I guess we will see.
Thanks again for responding and posting.
You don't realize how much I appreciate it.
So tonight the hus and I went to Beaver Sports before our son's baseball game and it looks as if they have the Bibler Eldorado and I am VERY interested in this one. Apparently Beaver Sports has all tents in stock and they will actually take them out and set them up for you. I think that I might do that in the next few days. It had all the stats on it and I was very impressed... but not impressed with the price... I just hope that it's worth it if I am going to be spending that kind of money on a tent...
...but then my daughter rang in and said, "Mom, that means that we could go hiking and camping.... just you and me," and hearing my soon to be 5 year old say that was music to my ears.
All in all, let's see where this Bibler takes me in the next few days. I'd like to believe that I am not an impetuous spender, but this one... looks like a good match for me.
Thoughts about Eldorado
I am going to give you the reasons why I went with the Bibler and I hope to give you a bit of a pause.
1) I noticed that Barney's has some really competitive prices on hillenberg
tents that are also good. They are in a similar niche and are also high quality.
2) I bought the eldorado because I have a very specific use for it. Sheep hunting...early and late in the season which is almost two types of hunting.
Most of the Black Diamond and MSR tents would work great for Summer Mountaineering- I just wanted to buy one tent that I could use for a long time.
3) I am not thrilled about the velcro closures and the specific way you have to set up but I don't really like my MSR whisperlite either. The benefits of the tent and the stove for that matter outway the costs and they will provide me with greater range. Range is all important when I want to move further into different drainages.
4)You might want to look at all of the options with some of the other tents.
The Trango 2 and Trango 3 are heavier and less expensive but they also afford much more space. They are better for mountaineering/ or advanced expedition style hiking trips.
5)The Bibler Eldorado is very small at 4.3 lbs. I plan to hunt it in the rocks for a long period of time and I have given up hunting with partners.so I took the plunge. I could of got a bivy sack and skipped the tent phase altogether but I reasoned that my son is almost getting to the age where he can go with me and the Bibler is just right for two sheephunters without gear... I don't put my pack in my tent. I am two bear savvy for that. I generally keep it about 50 yards from tent in homemade rock leanto outcrop with pack cover to prevent nighttime encounters. I also store food about 100 yards from camp under rocks or snow.
6)I keep a clean but dirty camp. Which means I mark with pee and poop spots around my camping spot about 25 yards from the tent in a triangle around the tent. I generally camp away from Sheep trails and traverses.
I even avoid sheep meadows and springs.
I probably have raised more questions than answered but would advise that you figure exactly what you need and then go accordingly.