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Thread: Tents for alpine use. Freestanding neccessary???

  1. #1
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    Default Tents for alpine use. Freestanding neccessary???

    This year I think I'm going to bite the bullet & pick up a tent for high country use. & have a couple of Eureka Apex XTs (the older ones with full flys) that I was thinking of buying alum poles for & using but I probably might as well go all the way with new.
    So the question.
    I've done very little abopve timberline camping & am not sure if I need to go with freestanding or can go with a tent that needs staked. The latter come in lighter versions of course.
    The tent will possibly get used for sheep & goat (IF I ever draw), & mostly for black bear etc. here on the Kenai pen. I travel solo a lot but will probably go two man for the extra space & occassional guest.
    Can anyone recomend a good tough 3 season (don't really want 4 season weight).
    So far looking at
    SD Clip Flashlight CD, Eureka Spitfire 2, Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1.5, etc.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  2. #2
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    By the way, if anyone has a nice used one for sale that fit's the description, I would be interested.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I like hilleberg. The nallo 2 is about 4 lbs but is a bomber tent. I like the GT versions and I find the extra pound is valuable for the amazing amount of vestibule it adds to the tent. I have a Nallo 4 GT that is my compromise. I carry it for any 2 plus person mountain camping. For solo the Big Agnes seed house is around 3lbs and is my go to in that situation. I do carry a 4x8 lightweight tarp to make a lean too for my gear when I go in the BA tent. I figure the Hilleberg Nallo is the way to with 2 or more people since we only gain 1/2 lb per person over carrying our own solo tents and the comfort of the Nallo 4 GT is unreal. Nothing like lounging around in the huge vestibule with all your gear and still have plenty of room for two to cook their meals. That vestibule also makes an amazing difference at keeping the tent clean!
    Like I said I think Hilleberg makes the finest tents on the planet, and they have earned my trust. I also like my Big Agnes tent though they are not in the same class in my opinion. The Seedhouse SL 2 may serve you well. The weight is certainly sweet at about 3.5 lbs!

    If I found myself in a freak storm with hurricane force winds and driven rain on a remote AK mountain top and I had any tent to choose from to survive it. The name on the tag would be Hilleberg.

  4. #4

    Default yup

    I have owned and used a lot of highend mountain tents and sold them for my living in my last employment before retiring at 55. I currently own Hilleberg (2), Integral Designs (2) and Kifaru tipi (1-8 man).

    I will now not buy anything other than Hillberg and having spent perids of up to 3 mos. alone in remote alpine wilderness without a break, I completely agree with the last poster. They ARE a bit pricey and there ARE lighter alternatives.....who cares, my safety and comfort is my primary concern and Hillebergs pitch faster and dryer than anything else I know of.

  5. #5
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    Hilleberg is your answer!
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

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    Sent you a PM last night concerning the Clip Flashlight.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys, but at this stage of life $350-500 for a tent just isn't happening for me.
    Anyone care to address the qusetion regarding freestanding vs staked?

    Replied to your PM Joe.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    I prefer self supporting tents. I find them easier to set up by myself. The worse the weather the bigger the advantage. But that's just my preference, not a rule.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    The tent in the pics is a Mountain Hardware Lightwedge 2. It's a 3 season and performed well on my last sheep hunt (last week of the 07 season).
    It's representative of tents in this class and general design. I found it to be roomy for a small tent. I'm 5'10" and could sit up to get dressed. It vents breath condensation pretty well also.

    I think I paid $169.00 on sale at REI
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Erik in AK; 12-23-2008 at 16:54. Reason: more info

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Absolutely bomb proof....with a price to match:
    Mountain Hardward EV2

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by shphtr View Post
    Absolutely bomb proof....with a price to match:
    Mountain Hardward EV2
    I looked at those before going with a Hilleberg, how do they vent being a single wall and all?

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Actually get very little condensation with temps less that 50 F and if the ventilation options ARE UTILIZED. I would not use with warmer temps or increased humidity as opposed to a Bibler which does quite well in warmer, more humid environments.

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Take a look at the Black Diamond tents. Impressive stuff. I have a Guiding Light and it is an amazing tent. Packs small, super lightweight, and of course, freestanding. It is a single wall tent and you can get inside the tent (in bad weather) and put it up from the inside. Seam sealing is done (included with the tent), takes 20 minutes, and then the EPIC material is 100% waterproof. Got poured on all night on a SW Alaska float trip in 2007. Not a drop in the tent. Rain bounces off this thing like a tight drum. Literally. The design and quality of components in this tent far surpasses any other tent I have owned.

    Below is info on the Lighthouse, a two person Black Diamond tent that weighs 3 lbs, packs to 6" x 9", and is of course, freestanding.

    http://www.bdel.com/gear/lighthouse.php
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14

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    With all due respect Dana, careful with your advice there, just to clarify, BIBLER tents are made of ToddTex which is an amazingly waterproof single wall material that also is supposed to breathe. The single wall material that the Black Diamond tents are made of is EPIC. EPIC is NOT waterproof, it is water resistant (to a degree). There has been a lot of reports in the backpacking world of the Black Diamonds leaking through after prolonged exposure to rain. Hence the difference in price between Biblers and Black Diamond tents, just a heads up. I looked at the Black Diamond single walls and after reading reports of day 2 in the rain the material soaking through, I passed on em.

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    Bibler has been owned by Black Diamond for over 10 years. How different are the two lines these days?

  16. #16

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    Mostly the difference is in the materials. I went to their headquarters in Salt Lake City Ut, asked lots of questions and looked at lots of tents. It appears to me that the Black Diamonds are really lightweight 3 season tents (though they quantify them as 4 season), the material on the Biblers just plain appears tougher than that of the Black Diamonds. To me personally I think Black Diamond's line is more suited for the western ultralight crowd. To me personally I think there are better options out there when looking at all the specs: weight, size, vestibules and features. The Biblers are quite expensive (about twice the price of a Black Diamond) for what they offer IMO. Look at a 4 season freestanding Hilleberg and then look at a Bibler, its not even close. The Hillebergs offer nice spacious vestibules, multiple venting options, and size for size are either the same weight or lighter. But it is nice to have options!

  17. #17
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    Vance identified that he wasn't in the high-dollar tent market. From the attached link I'd say he can do fine with a smaller budget. That Conduit bivy is a bargain for $69, too.

    Merry Christmas all!

    http://www.rei.com/outlet/category/22000022

  18. #18

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    Vance,

    There are lots of good not so expensive 3 season tents out there and these days rarely do you shed that much weight my going with a non-freestanding version. Mountain Hardwear, Big Agnes, MSR, Sierra Designs, all make freestanding lightweight 3 season tents that will come in right at or under 5lbs. I would just look at what features you are interested in, such as 1 vestibule or 2, or maybe no vestibule. Most of the lightweight 3 season tents these days breathe well as to shed weight, part of the walls are made of mesh, so condenstaion is pretty much null and void. As long as they are staked and guy'd down well, there low pofiles can withstand quite a bit of wind if pitched in a good place and with basically all of them having waterproof material in their fly, getting wet is not really an issue either unless the house gets blown down! With that said, I'd shop around, pick one and look for a good deal on it and be done with it. Good luck in your quest, you really cant go wrong these days with the quality of gear thats out there.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all the help guys.
    You've given me a wealth of info to draw on both for now & for in the future after I get rid of a kid or two or get the wife a real job (Actually taking care of me & 3 kids is full time w/plenty of OT).
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  20. #20
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    I used to have a 1995 vintage TNF Apogee single wall mountaineering tent made with a tri-laminate material like toddtex, kind of fuzzy on the inside, designed to absorb and dissipate condensation over a larger area so it can evaporate through the breathable material. TNF called it a high altitude (over 10,000ft) tent. I had a love hate affair with it for what I was doing. In lowland moist rainy no breeze situations condensation was a major issue, no matter how it was vented. But, in the high country with a breeze or wind it was great. Absolutely bomber in high wind and totally quite since it was an internal pitch. 5 poles and drum tight, literally. But, in the high country in the mountain mist or rain with no breeze condensation was an issue again. But, I really liked the quietness in the wind and not having to mess with a rainfly, but it was kind of a pain to pitch with 5 internal poles. Plus, it gained a lot of weight when the fuzzy fabric inside was wet and it was time to pack up and move. Then, when setup again it was damp and dank inside. I checked out the biblers in Washington and here at beaver sports, they had a Fitzroy setup one day and man, it was nice, I remember saying that if I ever bought another tent, that would be the one, but then I got to looking at the Hillebergs. No matter which model of Hilleberg you choose, free standing or tunnel, the Hillies are exosleleton and have the internal tent and great venting options so that takes care of the condensation issues for the most part. Seems like the best of both worlds to me. Freestanding or tunnel?? No right or wrong. Just personal preference. What appealed to me the most is the exoskeleton freestanding Hillies.

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