Jul 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm #1319234
So… originally, I was looking for a net tent to put under a possibly new tarp that I would purchase for when it was just my 7 year old and I. I typically hammock when alone and love it. He is not quite sure about hammocking alone, so I was opting to buy a net tent for the two of us to share when out together.
Now my husband makes a good point, (just brought up to me tonight and no, he doesn't backpack yet), what if we all want to go out together or maybe just him and I (in our dreams!).
What would be your ULTIMATE solution (and I know that there will be many ideas) for a family of four or maybe just two at a time or solo. BTW (kiddos are 7 and 5)
We (I) like lightweight, price may be negotiable if it works all around.
What are your thoughts?Jul 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm #2122241
I have multiple shelters. I use a triplex for 3 of us. I have a Double Rainbow that was for just 2…might just go triplex without the kid too!
I have a soloplex and a lightheart solo tent for just me.
If I was looking at 4 with the kids old enough, I might just get a couple of 2 person shelters. That offers the possibility to go double with spouse. And you can share with one kid or they can. As soon as my son is old enough, I'm booting him into his own!Jul 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm #2122244
…Jul 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm #2122274
90% of the time, or more, I am by myself, so that system would be my hammock.
All four of us love day hikes, and the kids can go up to 8 miles a day! (just toting youth camelbacks)
My oldest just started showing interest in overnights, so of course I want to jump on it right away so that he doesn't loose the drive.
There really isn't anyone I know that backpacks. (sad, I know) Our local REI does not rent any hiking gear any longer, just skis and snowshoes. (sad, I know).
Trying to come up with a versatile piece that would function as part of other systems depending on who was with me.
I was looking into the HG winter palace in camo as my dream. Thinking it would be my awesome go to tarp for my hammock, net tent and pad/bag. It is almost $500, so I will have to save and sell to earn that puppy.Jul 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm #2122282
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
If the 7 year old is interested in camping great! But I'd suggest a tent that everyone shares at first. That way he'll feel nice and safe and have fun. Later on you can introduce tarps or hammocks etc.Jul 25, 2014 at 5:09 am #2122361
@tammonsJul 25, 2014 at 5:39 am #2122365
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 –
$370 +/-, 4 pounds, weather-proof, bug proof, two doors protected by vestibules, free-standing.
It is light enough to carry for two, spacious for 2 adults and a kid, even in a tent-bound situation.
my .02Jul 25, 2014 at 9:50 am #2122407
A nice compromise of weight and size would be either the MLD Supermid or Black Diamond Megalight. I own the Megalight and would feel comfortable sharing it with my wife and kids.
Couple options with the creepy/crawlies. You can have MLD add a perimeter bug net to the Super Mid or have Bear Paw Wilderness add it to the Megalight. Another option would be to use the S2S nano bug net (double and single) inside the shelter.Jul 25, 2014 at 11:51 am #2122435
@delvxeLocale: Pacific Northwest
For our 3 or 4 person trips (my kids are 9 and 13) we use and love the Golite SL5. When it is just the girls and me, I leave the silly heavy nest at home and take the reasonably light fly. With my trekking poles lashed together as the center pole and a polycro groundsheet, it is a really reasonable weight.Jul 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm #2122665
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
The golite 5 pyramid is what I use for solo up to 2 adults and two kids.
It weighs as follows
29 oz fly
43 oz net tent
13 oz pole
2 oz steak
Solo I take the fly and a bora gear net bivy (7oz) for a total of a 38 oz solo set up. Heavy but manageable. I use trekking poles for the center pole.
2 man I add a second bivy so a 44 oz two man set up. And that is a palace for two 6ft plus guys. If it is me and my wife I go with the 74 oz net tent and fly. A little heavy for two people but very spacious. With 3 guys the 74 oz splits up nicely to 1.5 lbs each. And with my family of 4 it works great too.
The other benefit is headroom. Being able to stand up in your tent while backpacking makes you the envy of everyone around you.
The onky think I wish is that the net tent was lighte but everytime I map out how much a 30d floor and lighter mesh would save it doesnt seem worth it to have one fabbed. You could save about 10 oz.Jul 27, 2014 at 2:04 am #2122672
@oystersLocale: South Australia
Faced with the same scenario (wife very interested in doing more bushwalking with me, and we have a 15month old daughter, planning for another), I've ordered a 4 person mid (a 9×9) from oware, in silnylon. Actually, most of my walking will likely be with them from now on. We carry our daughter, but over time she will do more and more walking, but total distances, etc won't ever be as much as when I'm solo, at best maybe 70%. So I didn't have to pick the lightest possible shelter for this (eg cuben) and silnylon is a bit more forgiving (stretchiness, abrasion) with kids inside.
I still have my trailstar if in the future I head out with one of the kids when they are older, or just me and my wife, or we can take the mid.
I'm looking at lighter options for myself. Actually as I won't get many nights per year by myself, I can probably shoot for lighter cuben (eg .3, .51oz) small tarps (will prob make my own), as it will still last a decade or more, and if I'm looking at more extreme weather I can pack the trailstar just for myself.Jul 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm #2123087
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
I have found four-man tents are typically more than double the weight of a two-man tent. So… for a family of four I would suggest two 2-man tents. They can be exactly the same or two slightly different designs optimized for slightly different situations. For four of you, grab both. For two of you grab the best 2-man tent for that particular situation. You might get one of the 2-man tents big enough that you could squeeze yourself with both kids.Jul 29, 2014 at 9:22 am #2123164
Assuming you can pitch it in a sheltered location, a Tarptent Hogback would be a great solution. We use one for our family of 6 (along with a Scarp 2). The Hogback would probably fit all 6 of us if we really wanted to save weight since the two youngest ones are small.Jul 29, 2014 at 11:32 am #2123190
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
>> What would be your ULTIMATE solution
Ultimately? One of every flavor.
My son and I are the backpackers in our family. Sometimes I go alone, sometimes with my son and/or our dog (who, at 110lb, is as big as my teenage son.) So, we have a solo tarp, solo tent, 1.5p tent (me and dog), 2p tarp, 2p tent, 4p tent… It just evolved that way, even though I did try to plan it out.
For 4 people, it's easier to find two 2p tents for the same weight and price. BUT I also think it's more fun to share one tent. For us, it was a moot point since the dog was VERY unhappy about two separate tents.
We use tents when we need bug protection, tarps when we don't. To keep costs reasonable, I bought some tents used and also made most of my tarps. Used Tarptents can be a really reasonable way to go.Jul 30, 2014 at 12:03 am #2123339
I have a 10,8,5,3 year old and wife. We've used a go lite shangrila 5. I also have an MLD pyramid shelter that I had bear paw designs sew in a bathtub floor and perimeter netting. An inner net may not be needed depending on time of year, etc. I also had bear paw wilderness designs sew in a perimeter netting to the go lite, and we use it with a tyvek ground cloth.
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