3 person tent options

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    Joseph Scalia


    Locale: NorthEast

    I am looking for a top performing lightweight 3 man double walled tent that would be adequate to house myself and my 2 boys. I presently have the BA seedhouse 3 but the interior space and ventilation options are inadequate for the 3 of us. I have looked at the MSR Mutha Hubba but have heard a few credible negative comments on its ability to protect the vestibule areas from heavy rains/mud.

    Patrick Young
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    I use a BA Copper Spur UL3 with my wife and daughter and have no issue with space. The dual doors are great for getting in an out without climbing over each other. I beleive its 44 sq. ft. and light for a 3p tent.

    Dennis Hiorns


    Locale: Michigan

    I have a Kelty Gunnison 3.1 which has only been used on two overnights (it's still in perfect condition). It easily fit myself and my two children, plus it has two huge vestibles for all our gear. It weighs 6 lbs, which is pretty light considering it's a 3 person, double-wall tent. The interior is very spacious (in fact, it was a 2008 Backpacker "Best Buy", in part because of all the room). It also comes with a gear loft and the optional footprint. I would like to get close to $175 for it…let me know if you're interested.

    Gunnison 3.1



    PS – even if you don't buy mine, I would highly recommend this tent for your situation…

    Joe Clement
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest

    I've been really happy so far with my REI Quarterdome T3. Lose the stuff sacks and get decent stakes, and it's about 4-1/2 pounds. Great for 2, and on sale about every week, it seems like.

    slavenya slavenya
    BPL Member


    Locale: Israel

    Beware the REI Quarter Dome T3 Tent is not for tall people.

    If you more than 6" look somewhere else.

    Brian Barnes
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    Gosh, I'd think lots of ~6" people could fit into a T3 tent! ;)

    (just given' ya a hard time SS…)

    Brad Groves
    BPL Member


    Locale: Michigan

    The BA Copper Spur 3 is a nice tent, and it is appropriately larger than 2P tents. What I mean is, the actual floor area of the tent is ~35 square feet (44 is pole tip to pole tip or something); yes, I've measured in person. I've strongly considered the tent for myself, two dogs, and potentially a tent mate (although frankly, either the tent mate or the dogs would be a tighter fit than I enjoy).

    Another option to consider would be the Black Diamond Mega Light with the Mega Bug insert. You'd end up with about 80 square feet, double-wall, for ~4.5 pounds. (The weights listed include the weight of the pole for both the mid and the insert, pole weighs ~1 pound if memory serves.) That's what I'd do. Plenty of room, plenty of room for kids to grow, really light…

    Edit: Oh, and don't forget Hilleberg, other tunnel tents. Nallo 3 might be good for you.

    Bob Ellenberg


    The now discontinued REI Taj Mahal is a great 3 person tent that is pretty light weight for 3.

    David Ure



    Shane Fleenor
    BPL Member


    Locale: New York

    Just stumbled on this set of reviews of 3 person doublewall tents at backpacker magazine, which you may find helpful (few of the tents already mentioned in the above discussion). if its not too heavy for you, the black diamond vista sounds like a good option for the boys to grow into. i have no familiarity with the tents myself, so i make no recommendation; just passing along for what its worth.

    Luke Moffat
    BPL Member


    I had a Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL3. It had 44 sq ft of tent space plus 10 sq ft of vestibule space on each side of the door all for 5.5 pounds. However, I just sold it due to the fact that I am heading to Kodiak Island this October and needed a 4 season tent. Went with the Nallo GT 3 at 6.2 pounds. Not lightweight, but very light for a double wall 4 season tent. However, I gave up 7 sq ft. of tent space and added a 3/4 of a pound in weight. But now I don't have to worry about my 3 season BA tent getting blown away. If you want to stay very lightweight the BD floorless tents are very good option as well.

    Peter Burke


    Locale: Midwest

    I just bought a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 – 1800 grams for a true 3-person tent with two decent sized vestibules.

    I hike with my two 11-year-old twins and our Sierra Designs Meteor Light (not so light at 2800 grams) 2-person tent was getting too small. So I went all out and got a bigger tent while saving over 2 pounds.

    The tent is extremely well made, well thought out, and fits me well in length (6'2" and don't touch the ends).

    We have not tested it on the trail yet, but it comes with all bells and whistles. Found it for $320 online – the $499 sticker is just insane for a tent made in China…

    Richard Lyon
    BPL Member


    Locale: Bridger Mountains

    Two hybrids plus one true double wall:

    Stephenson's Warmlite 3R – big and lightweight, about $550 with large door and windows. A hybrid, single walled at the ends and double walled in the middle. Four season tent. My 2R is very roomy for 2.

    BD Skylight – Tight for three adults but would probably work for you and the boys. Very small vestibule though. Three season tent, I think it costs about $450 now. Another hybrid – double wall at one end, single wall at the other. Made of EPIC. I love mine for summer.

    Hilleberg Kaitum 3 – new this year. Double wall, four-season tunnel tent. The Kaitum 2 was highly praised when it came out. Don't know what it costs but Hilleberg is usually pricey.

    Raymond Estrella


    Locale: Northern Minnesota

    I too have a Copper Spur SL3 that I use when backpacking with my wife. I am taking it this weekend. I really like it so far.

    I have a Mutha Hubba in MN that I use with my9-year old twins and I and it has plenty of room with a bit more weight. I have had it in rain with no problems and we had no condensation even though we were by water for all but one trip.

    Bradley Danyluk
    BPL Member


    Lots of mention of the 3-person Copper Spur in here. Would any of you use the 2-person version when it's just two people with gear? Is the 3-person accommodating of 3-plus-gear or just 2-plus-gear?

    Henry Blake
    BPL Member


    Locale: Minnesota

    There doesn't seem to be much concensus here. Perhaps that's because not many on this site travel in threes.

    What ages are your boys? At some age, they may want to be in their own tent (or tarp). Then later, not even on the same trip with Dad. I remember around 16, I quit hunting with my Dad (girls became more interesting).

    I bought a three person tent (REI Taj) expecting to get out with my two boys (then 10&12, now 13&15). Turned out, they refused to be in the same tent together. That tent has never been out of the stuff sack—it's still new with tags.

    So then I focused on one and two man tents. I decided two UL tents had more flexibility than the three man.

    If there's one thing I've learned, and this site has taught me, it's that evolution exists. You can't plan on your solution lasting "forever". I have no doubt I will add tarps to my arsenal of learning, as have so many here before me. So keep buying, experimenting, and learning.

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Not having any kids and only really being interested in solo shelters I should not comment, but…
    Thinking about spending a few hours , or a day, stuck inside a 3 person tent with two kids doesn't sound that exciting to me, maybe a 4 person tent could be better.
    Mybe a certain member that makes tents for a living will post a picture of one that I have in mind.

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