Feb 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm #1227261
I'm looking for a shelter in which I can take my family out bushwalking/hiking. The shelter needs to be quite lightweight as one of us would be carrying the littlest one (14kg plus 2kg carrier) and the other carrying everything else. One would think that that the pyramid design would be perfect and I've looked at designs such as the golite hex, BD Mega light, and MLD Mid. The only issue is kids wiggle around brushing against the sides of the shelter. I would want to place them at the centre of the shelter…right where the pole is found. I've looked at the dimensions and made estimate of our length and width and there is not any placement that would fit all four of us comfortably in any of these shelters. If you guys know of any other shelters I could look at or had experience hiking with two adults and two wiggly children that would be fantastic.Feb 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm #1420183
@gungadinLocale: Pittsburgh, PA
I don't have any experience with them, but check out the Titanium Goat Vertex 8. It should definitely be durable and large enough. The design should shrug off the wind as well. I have a Golite Hex and absolutely love it, but I think it would be tight for you. The Vertex 8 weighs 3 pounds twelve ounces without the pole. Perhaps you could rig something with two trekking poles. For the huge size, that weight seems reasonable. There is also a smaller Vertex which also may work.Feb 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm #1420190
@gungadinLocale: Pittsburgh, PA
Wow, I just saw the prices for the Titanium Goat! The Vertex 8 is $850!! So these probably won't work unless you have some serious cash.Feb 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm #1420193
yeah I noticed that as well…It looks pretty good a bit heavy though. I could get the BD Guiding light for cheeper and less weight penalty.
cheersFeb 11, 2008 at 7:34 pm #1420220
@benjammin21Locale: The Grid, Brooklyn
My recommendation would be to have a pair of two person shelters. I'm not trying to say that I think you haven't thought of this, you probably have. But perhaps one parent could be with the younger child and one parent could be with the older kid. A drawback (besides the obvious family split) I see though could be the price. Unless you already have a two person shelter that you've used in the past. And in the future, if your single tent lasts so long, your kids may or may not want so much closeness.
I'm just adding my two cents as a teenager though. So in the matter of tent specs (weight, size, price) you might get a better deal of out two separate lightweight tents.
I admire that you're taking your kids out at such a young age though. Mass rad.
Bottom line: Maybe try two tents.Feb 11, 2008 at 8:27 pm #1420228
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Go for the Tarptent Rainshadow 2 (typo correction–I originally had nbr 3 erroneously) — we used it for 3 full size adults with their packs for 9 days and it works fine — in the middle, is room for 2 small kids to sleep as long as their combined length is under 7.5 feet long. Weighs 2.5 pounds. at tarptent.com $275.Feb 11, 2008 at 9:06 pm #1420232
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
…Feb 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm #1420240
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
I use a Rainshadow for my family of 3 and it would certainly fit your 2 adults and 2 kids, but possibly not as comfortably as you'd like.
Have you considered a Golite Shangri La 4? It appears to be a larger Hex and you could put kids against the pole and adults on the outside near the walls…Feb 12, 2008 at 5:43 am #1420257
@davidpasseyLocale: New York City
I would think an Oware 10×10 pyramid could easily shelter 2 adults and two children. http://www.owareusa.com
My three kids are older and they all sleep together in a 9×9, which is a palace for them and all their gear.Feb 12, 2008 at 6:39 am #1420261
How about the Mountain Laurel Designs Mids? (1.35 Silnylon or the MLD) Would be under 2lbs and with bug protection.
S.Feb 12, 2008 at 6:39 am #1420262
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
I made a 3-person RayWay tarp, following the instructions in the Tarp Book, but scaling things up from 2-person. I had some help from Ray Jardine, but you could work things out yourself easily enough. Perhaps you would need a 3.5-person tarp.
See my member review under tarps, or get back to me if you'd like more information. It was pretty easy to sew, and it was light. It also was fairly cheap, as I used Silnylon seconds from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics.
About the only way to get a lighter one would be to use state-of-the-art expensive UL fabrics.Feb 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm #1420334
@davidlewisLocale: Nova Scotia, Canada
The MLD 'Mid is massive (9×9)… sized for 4 adults… 29.5 oz with bug net perimeter. No floor… but that might actually be a good thing with kids. You don't have to be as neat and clean inside. No vestibule either… but again… with no floor… you can just keep all the muddy boots inside in one corner. The big vent and bug netting options are nice features that you don't always see in pyramid tarps.
The RainShadow is nice too. TarpTents are beautiful and functional. It might be a little small for 4 people though? Even tho' two of those people are smaller? And it's 42 oz. But it has a vestibule and a floor.
They're both about the same price ($270 vs. $250)Feb 12, 2008 at 2:44 pm #1420342
Nice call on the MLD Mid… I may need to consider that as I've got a second on the way soon.Feb 13, 2008 at 4:39 am #1420431
Thank you all for your suggestions. It's funny, most of you keep going back to the pyramid design…the design I was first drawn into as a possible solution.
The hardest thing living in Australia and looking at gear from the States is that you can only look at the dimensions online. I cannot simply walk into a store plop my two kids down in the middle of the tarp and get a feel for the space. This is further aggravated by the fact that there is very little following in Australia (or at least what I have seen) in UL backpacking/bushwalking. This makes comparing gear (and buying for that matter) in the stores very difficult.
I can get a feeling by reading post from you guys that sometimes you feel that UL backpacking is a bit on the fringe in the outdoor community. I would like to put out the idea that backpacking/bushwalking with kids is on the fringe as well. Most parents who I tell I take my kids out bushwalking cringe at the thought of taking their kids out into the bush. I guess what I'm saying is that if UL backpacking/bushwalking is on the fringe and backpacking/bushwalking with kids is on the fringe, UL backpacking/bushwalking must truly on the outer edge. Sigh.
Enough of the whinging.
Back to Gear. I've decided that I'm going to go with the Black Diamond Mega Light simply because at under $200 it is the least expensive option at the moment. And with this at least I have a base design if we need to make a bigger shelter. My wife god bless her is fantastic with the sewing machine. I'll let you guys know how it goes once we get out and use it.
cheersFeb 13, 2008 at 7:41 am #1420450
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
I'd have gone nuts if I had had a floorless shelter when Ford was little. Having a floor meant once we got in we could be clean. Shoes came off at the vestibule.
Just saying…..kids are pigs but it can be controlled. It keeps the gear cleaner as well if the kids are running around playing inside. Also helps to keep out biting insects as well.Feb 13, 2008 at 8:22 am #1420452
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
I make two mids that are larger
10×10' by 6 ft tall 26 oz.
11×11' by 7.5ft tall 42 oz.
The 10×10 give lots more room for 4.
bivysack.comFeb 13, 2008 at 9:12 am #1420456
@davidlewisLocale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Hey. Glad you have a decision made.
One thing tho'… you know… you can't drop into any stores here to see this stuff either! :-) The only place to buy MLD, GG, SMD, Titanium Goat etc. is from their websites… as far as I know. I guess if you live where their offices are located… you might be able to see the stuff in person. But I don't buy ANY of my gear in stores. And we have some really good outfitters where I live (a MEC and some local shops). No one sells UL stuff though. The only thing I can buy in a store are basics like stakes, clothing, etc. For UL packs and tents… everything is bought online.
That said… there are some mainstream products now that are not too heavy… from companies like GoLite and a few others. But the extreme ultralight stuff will always be a niche provided by a few small cottage industries selling online.
I know what you mean though. And sometimes the pictures on the websites don't give you a very good idea of the size. It would be nice on all the websites to see pics with people and gear inside… and just more pics in general. That said… MLD usually has a good assortment of pics. I'd say that they do the best job overall of providing product photos.Feb 13, 2008 at 1:58 pm #1420486
@bobbycartwrightLocale: i don't need no stinkin badges!
Have you considered tarptent.com's double rainbow tent? I bet 2 adults and 2 kids could easily stay in that and you'd have bug protection. And it's UL and made by a great company in the US. That's my two cents worth.Feb 13, 2008 at 3:05 pm #1420495
> Have you considered tarptent.com's double rainbow tent? I bet 2 adults and 2 kids could easily stay in that and you'd have bug protection. And it's UL and made by a great company in the US. That's my two cents worth.
Actually, I would not recommend trying to squeeze two adults and two kids in a Double Rainbow. That model sleeps two adults (and maybe a very small child if the adults are both relatively small). The Rainshadow 2 could work, size depending, for 2 adults and 2 kids but only if the kids were still pretty young.
We have a new model coming out this spring which will sleep 3-4 adults and will easily sleep 2 adults and 2 kids.
-HFeb 13, 2008 at 6:17 pm #1420517
I'm down in Victoria, and use a BD Mid. (In fact I have two) We camp with my wife and I and the two kids, now eight and six, and have been using it since they were two and four. I bought a floor, and sewed on my own insect mesh, before the nest was available.
They're seriously a great tent, with an absolute sh*tload of room for sleeping. They get a bit small with gear, and we drop all four packs into one, pull a pack liner over it and leave it outside at night.
I know they're considered fringe down here, but only till people see you all climb out in the morning.
Drop me a PM if you like, I'm happy to have a chat on the phone. Paddy Pallin's down here sometimes has one in stock, so they may have one up there. I can email you some photos if you like.
Regards, RodFeb 15, 2008 at 7:31 pm #1420788
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
Looking forward with real eagerness to the 3-4 person Tarptent! Our two boys outgrew our Rainshadow 1 (and we had problems with them tripping over the guylines). Now we're using a GoLite Hex 3, but it's heavy with the inner nest and the pyramid shape isn't the best for moving about. The new dome-shaped Golites are even heavier. This should fill a real niche. Even if one only goes short distances with kids, carrying most of their gear really adds up, and a lightweight shelter would be most welcome!Feb 15, 2008 at 8:56 pm #1420798
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Ben, I have to agree with your take on this. I once had a girlfriend who had two kids. I had two tents. They wanted to go backpacking with me, so, no problemo. We put the kids in the smaller of the two tents, and they loved it! Made them feel like they were on their own I guess.
More importantly, this arrangement worked out best because it's far easier to site two small tents than one large tent. If you are lucky enough to find a flat spot big enough for a large four person tent, the area is also, more often than not, trashed from overuse. So I vote for two.Feb 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm #1420865
Monty, just a couple of points on this.
How old were the kids? I'm guessing 6-8 is the bottom end of when most parents would be comfortable with this. I'm pretty sure Joshua's kids are younger than this.
You don't always need a large or flat spot with a floorless tent. It can be nice to have a couple of small shrubs inside your tent. Just like pot plants.
Regards, RodFeb 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm #1420869
I would want a floor for little ones & I would want my whole little family together for the parents to act as sandwiches to keep the kids in the middle between.
What about the BA SeedhouseSL3?Feb 16, 2008 at 6:01 pm #1420879
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