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Thread: IF MONEY WERE AN OBJECT- small tents

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Default IF MONEY WERE AN OBJECT- small tents

    If you were shopping for a tent on a tight budget what would you recommend? I have my REI dividend and the 25% off of one item coming so I will probably try to pick up a lightweight two man for my wife and I. I would love to pick up a Nalo but don't have the coin. Any suggestions?

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    i have a small north face tent (talus i think) that sleeps 2 if you are on good terms that i dont think was more than 180-200. im not sure how much is not much for a tent but its been a good one i've had it for about 10 yrs now and no probs still in great shape.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What are your intended uses? You say lightweight - are you looking for a backpacking tent? 3 season?

    I have been using a North Face 2 man tent for over ten years now, and I love the design. It has been very durable as well. The kicker is that they have kept the same pole design, but they've gone to solid mesh designs. It shouldn't matter too much, but in cool weather it's probably not going to be as warm. A benefit, though, is that is shouldn't get much if any condensation. Anyhow, here is what I've been using since 1996:






    Here is the new version of it:




    They've got two almost identical tents, the difference being the size of the tent (slight difference) and the size of the vestibule (significant difference):

    http://www.rei.com/product/779037

    http://www.rei.com/product/779039

    Anyhow, I'm not sure if this is the route I'd take, but it's something to look at and reasonably priced. What I have loved about my tent is the aerodynamic shape. I've had it in over 100mph winds as measured by a wind station a few miles away, and it held up find. Point the feet end into the wind and forget about it. I do wish they made one without so much mesh, but that's the route most 3-season tents have gone now.

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    I should have clarified that it would primarily be a backpacking tent. I was thinking 3 season but like you mentioned they are all mesh? I need to get over that I guess. With the fly it should not really matter. I plan on using it pretty much May-late September. I will check out the North Face tents. Thanks!

  5. #5

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    It really depends on what you are looking for in a tent. How much space, how much vestibule space, weight, number of doors, or vestibules?

    Brian's tent is basically the tadpole and is about 5.25 pounds with 26 sq ft. of tent space, 9 sq ft of vestibule and one door. The design has rave reviews on how it handles the wind.

    http://www.rei.com/product/779037

    At 25% off at REI you are looking at about 150 bucks not sure how much your dividend would cover beyond that but its a pretty solid option.

    So would that tents big bro the bull frog. Its one pound more with 5 more sq ft. of tent space as well as 5 more sq ft of vestibule space on the same design platform. But you are looking at just under $200 with the 25% off. Not knowing how tight your budget is or your pinch point its hard to suggest

    http://www.rei.com/product/779039

    For more vestibule space (22 sq ft total) and 37 sq ft of tent space you can go with this tent. It has two doors (which is nice at times) at the 22 sq ft. of vestibule is spread out to 11 sq ft by each door so each person gets their own vestibule to put their boots, packs, and gear. Or gear in one vestibule and cooking in the other. Its only 5.5 pounds too for quite a bit of space so not too shabby there. Plus with 25% off you are looking at only just over $140.

    http://www.rei.com/product/796133

    However if really looking at keeping weight down the REI quarter dome T2. Its 30 sq ft. of tent with two 6.5 sq ft vestibules outside of each door and tips the scale at 4.5 pounds with instructions on how to set it up. Granted at $200 after 25% off it too might be out of your price range.

    http://www.rei.com/product/761893


    These are a few of the tents that peaked my fancy while having a tight budget in mind. Let us know what ya end up with. Oh and be sure to save $$$ on shipping if you buy online by having it shipped to your local REI store to save money there as well. Good Luck

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    It really depends on what you are looking for in a tent. How much space, how much vestibule space, weight, number of doors, or vestibules?

    Brian's tent is basically the tadpole and is about 5.25 pounds with 26 sq ft. of tent space, 9 sq ft of vestibule and one door. The design has rave reviews on how it handles the wind.

    http://www.rei.com/product/779037

    At 25% off at REI you are looking at about 150 bucks not sure how much your dividend would cover beyond that but its a pretty solid option.

    So would that tents big bro the bull frog. Its one pound more with 5 more sq ft. of tent space as well as 5 more sq ft of vestibule space on the same design platform. But you are looking at just under $200 with the 25% off. Not knowing how tight your budget is or your pinch point its hard to suggest

    http://www.rei.com/product/779039

    For more vestibule space (22 sq ft total) and 37 sq ft of tent space you can go with this tent. It has two doors (which is nice at times) at the 22 sq ft. of vestibule is spread out to 11 sq ft by each door so each person gets their own vestibule to put their boots, packs, and gear. Or gear in one vestibule and cooking in the other. Its only 5.5 pounds too for quite a bit of space so not too shabby there. Plus with 25% off you are looking at only just over $140.

    http://www.rei.com/product/796133

    However if really looking at keeping weight down the REI quarter dome T2. Its 30 sq ft. of tent with two 6.5 sq ft vestibules outside of each door and tips the scale at 4.5 pounds with instructions on how to set it up. Granted at $200 after 25% off it too might be out of your price range.

    http://www.rei.com/product/761893


    These are a few of the tents that peaked my fancy while having a tight budget in mind. Let us know what ya end up with. Oh and be sure to save $$$ on shipping if you buy online by having it shipped to your local REI store to save money there as well. Good Luck
    You are a gentleman and a scholar! Last year was a big one for us so most of these tents will be FREE with my dividend ! We are buying a house so that is why the cash flow has sowed to trickle. We will be going to REI this week and start checking things in person. Again thanks for the suggestions.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    I used to have the Eureka Zeus 2-man singlewall. It was alright; got a lot of condensation at night, and the single door on the end was awkward with two people, but super light. After it was stolen, I got a North Face Rock 22. Really liked that tent, but it too, was stolen. Think I'm done buying name-brand gear. Anyway whatever you buy should have the high-strength aluminum poles, NOT fiberglass. REI and Cabela's both have nice lightweight little 2-man models. If you really want cheap I know you can get tents at Freddy's for like $25. Oh, and Wal-Mart sells some pretty decent hiking boots (no lie).
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member hooternanny's Avatar
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    Default buying a tent

    the biggest thing i recommend even if you only intend it to be a 3 season tent, is the rain fly.

    make sure your rain fly goes all the way to the ground, and the further the better.

    some times in july it rains sideways you know, and a rain fly 6" short on all sides is bad news.

    the folks at rei in anchortown talk alot about the foot print of a tent, and there is an importance to that, but you can also use a tarp.

    and for the in's and out's that vestible sure is nice to have

    happy campin -camper

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    http://hiltonstentcity.com/library/marmot-Aeolus_2.htm

    here is my new favorite 2p purchased a few years back. marmot aeolos. it is everything you could ask for in head room inside, with 2 doors, and a couple of "windows" to boot that are more useful than you might think. I do not like the tents with almost all mesh for walls, the wind starts blowing and you wish you had real walls. this tent is a good compromise of weight and good shelter. It comes in at over 5 pounds but I have not found the combination of space, warmth, and solid design in any lighter tent that wasn't extremely spendy. yes it is listed as a 4 pole but 2 are quite small and just serve to hold the sidewalls out farther, giving very nice headroom without much added weight. Weathered a nasty tropical front in Hawaii with 2 hours of sideways firehose, right on the beach, and this thing stood up to it, just got the toes of my sleeping bag damp.

    For all tents you can cut a tarp to fit as a ground cloth, leave a flap in front of the door(s) to stand on, i have done this for several tents but it is heavier and bulkier than the little synthetic footprints.

    Marmot has earned my respect with this tent. i highly recommend.

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