Nov 20, 2006 at 1:15 am #1220315
I am hoping one of the BPL members can help me find my next purchase. It is the lightest tent with these minimum features:
1. free standing
2. footprint/fly option (ie. no tent body, the poles hook to the footprint and support the fly.
3. ‘peak’-vent(s) at top of fly
5. “two person” tent
That’s all! Sounds easy, right? Well my Sierra Designs Lightning has no fly vents so it is a sauna, my REI QuarterDome has no footprint/fly option, and my TNF Talus23 is over 3KGs! I want to replace all three with ONE tent. Help please.
After extensive research online the lightest tent I can find meeting #1-5 is the REI HalfDome 2HC. 5lbs full up, probably about 3.5lbs in the footprint/fly configuration.
A single-wall tent with optional vestibule would work as well (such as the Black Diamond FirstLight with optional vestibule at 4.4lbs, or lighter with carbon poles)
So I will buy one of these in the next couple days unless I can find a lighter solution.
Thanks in advance!Nov 20, 2006 at 1:58 am #1367695
@dealtoyoLocale: Mt Hood
If you are willing to consider a single wall tent not made of Epic, then you might want to consider:
North Face Spectrum 23
Mountain Hardwear Airjet 2
In the double wall catagory:
North Face Tadepole 23 (top of the fly door can be unzipped partially to create a vent)
Big Agnes Sarvis SL2 (hybid tent, half double wall, half single wall)Nov 20, 2006 at 2:50 am #1367700
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
you mentioned diff. types of shelters. some were 3-season dbl-wall types, and the BD was a single wall, (light-duty???) 4-season capable shelter.
since you mentioned some 3-season options:
re: req’mnt #2 – footprint/fly option – is that just for weight savings?
if so, then what about the HS Double-Rainbow. sure, it doesn’t give you the footprint/fly option, but it might be lighter (if that is your sole reason for this req’mnt) than anything else that you might come up with that truly meets all five of your req’mnts.
just a thought.Nov 21, 2006 at 12:34 am #1367816
Duane, PJ, thank you both for those educated suggestions. I did not realize the Spectrum23 was freestanding, and that the Double Rainbow can be, with the addition of two poles of the appropriate length. I will research these options fully before deciding. Thanks again.Nov 21, 2006 at 1:06 am #1367820
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> 1. free standing
If there is any bad weather around, you will put in guys and stakes. So you have to carry them. So why not use them all the time?????
I just do NOT understand the preoccupation with ‘free standing’. Every free-standing tent I have seen has been a horrible compromise.
> 2. footprint/fly option (ie. no tent body, the poles hook to the footprint and support the fly.
While I don’t do this, why not just use a large tarp for this sort of situation?
> 3. ‘peak’-vent(s) at top of fly
> 4. vestibule(s)
For bad weather, an absolute must.
Yeah, I’m biased.Nov 21, 2006 at 12:13 pm #1367868
I wanted a tent with the same specs as you. The only one is the Kelty Ridge 2. Compared to the Hubba Hubba it is lighter, has larger vestibules, and has the all-important high-level vent.
I haven't field tested this tent yet. My backyard impressions are that it is small for two people, and that there is a strong smell from the polyurethane coating which I am hoping will diminish. All PU coatings have a smell, but curiously all tents seem to have a bit different odour. Very unpleasant. Maybe they use different fire retardants?
Anyway, it seems like a well constructed tent. The only design flaw seems to be at the ends of tent where there are no stakeout loops so the fly material just hangs down loosely.Nov 21, 2006 at 12:29 pm #1367871
The MSR Hubba Hubba weighs around four pounds now, if you leave the stuff sacks at home. The option for a footprint/fly only setup is there as well. It may not be the lightest option out there, but it is extremely easy to set up.Nov 21, 2006 at 1:33 pm #1367879
>there is a bit of an odd smell from the polyurethane coating which I am hoping will diminish
I keep my PU tents fluffed up in a box rather than tightly packed in their stuff bag. It reduces the smell significantly if they are allowed to ‘breathe’.Nov 21, 2006 at 7:41 pm #1367923
Thanks Doug, will try.Nov 21, 2006 at 8:39 pm #1367933
@lamaniteLocale: Pacific NW
I’ve always preferred freestanding. Where is the horrible compromise with a freestanding tent? Here are some reasons I prefer it:
-I rarely need to setup guylines (with my 5-year old this is a big plus) unless there is really bad weather
-They are easy to move if you suddenly decide you don’t like the spot you originally chose (or if a better campsite next to you becomes available)
-They are even easier to clean out and dry out
-You don’t have to haggle with getting the pitch taut (especially nice in the dark)
-When your guylines get tripped on or start sagging because the ground is soft you don’t have a tent falling down on you in the middle of the night.
I guess it’s just a matter of preference.Nov 21, 2006 at 10:06 pm #1367944
Richard, would you please tell me if the Kelty Ridge can be set up in a footprint/fly only option? REIs page does not say so, and nor does the Kelty website. They say to check the .pdf instructions, which do not mention it either. Kelty says any tent with “flyboy” and “webforce” can use this option. I see the footprint DOES have clips and grommets; that seems to be what is necessary to accomodate the poles and fly clips.
This Ridge 2 really does seem to meet ALL my requirements at 3lbs 12oz; more than a pound lighter than the REI HalfDome2HC I was considering.
Thanks to everyone who helped me; I researched each suggestion from our fellow posters, and so far the Kelty is the lightest choice. Each of the others met 4/5 requirements, for example the excellent and popular Hubba Hubba has no top vent..
I have one more option, which is to modify my 3lb 11oz QuarterDome components to permit a footprint/fly option.
Got to decide quickly as the REI sale ends on the 27th!Nov 21, 2006 at 10:17 pm #1367947
Den, well said. Of course this is BP-LIGHT, and tarps rule the weight category, but I’ll carry the weight of a free standing tent and use UL technology to save a pound or two elsewhere.
One more feature of freestanding tents I like is watching a total newbie who’s never slept in a tent set up one of mine in about 2 minutes; it is a real confidence booster for them. I know that sounds silly to experienced outdoorspeople; but something clicks and they realize if they can do this maybe they can learn to read a compass, start a fire, etc..Nov 22, 2006 at 1:31 am #1367963
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I think your camping environment may be somewhat different from mine.
> I rarely need to setup guylines unless there is really bad weather
We have to allow for bad weather every night: it can turn up in half an hour, over the range. I got hailed on one evening after a very hot day.
> They are easy to move if you suddenly decide you don’t like the spot you originally chose
Nice theory, but I have rarely if ever needed this feature. Um – often there is only one place for a tent where I am anyhow!
> They are even easier to clean out and dry out
I sweep my tunnel tent out each morning with my hat, and when I get home I hang it up to clean and dry. No worries.
> You don’t have to haggle with getting the pitch taut (especially nice in the dark)
Never been a problem with my tunnel tent, in the bush or in the snow. It’s really very easy to pitch. Some other designs may be more difficult: I agree there.
> When your guylines get tripped on or start sagging because the ground is soft you don’t have a tent falling down on you in the middle of the night.
We don’t trip on our own guys (much), and we don’t camp anywhere near other people. We rarely see other people. Not a problem unless it rains in the snow – then the anchors can melt holes, as the whole tent slowly sinks towards the soil …
Soft ground? Ha! I carry those Ti wire pegs and hope to get them in!
But of course, it IS just a matter of preference – and needs.Nov 23, 2006 at 12:09 am #1368145
Sierra Designs Hyperlight — the one for 2 people, not the one for 3.
Free-standing and good size vestibule.
Can pitch fly/footprint w/o inner tent.
No vent in fly, but inner tent has a lot of mesh w/good clearance between it and the fly.
May be able to get weight to a little less than 5 lbs — but it’s for sure way far below the 3KG+ of TNF Talus23.
Roomy interior with good headroom. Promo photos of this tent sometimes show two people sleeping head to foot with each other. That’s not the best use of space in this tent. Lots more convenience and rooom if both people have their feet toward to closed end of the tent and their heads toward the door and vestibule. This gives space between their bodies that widens out as it approaches the front of the tent.
The Hyperlight has unusual appearance and footprint, but it’s exceptional in creating usable space, ventilation, and stability. Easy to pitch, too.
My wife and I spent comfortable nights in our Hyperlight during the fall a few years ago at Enchantment Lakes. Winds blew across the tent like a freight train, but it stayed snug and tight throughout.
Not my shelter choice if main goal is cutting base pack weight as much as possible, especially if hiking alone or where weather is sure to be nice. But if comfort is paramount and windy rainy weather is likely, a Hyperlight would be my choice.
JRSNov 25, 2006 at 1:32 pm #1368341
Brett, you’re right about the lack of info here. If you look at a good photo of the Ridge 2 Footprint, there are clearly grommet seats for the poles, and buckles for the fly. So it sure looks fine to me for a fly-only setup. If you wanted to be absolutely sure you could call the Kelty support line or email them.
The SD Hyperlight and MSR HubbaHubba are great tents, but I would probably never buy another tent without high level venting. It’s a mystery to me why TNF, Kelty, and REI provide vents, but SD, MSR, and Big Agnes don’t.
If you purchase from REI you can always return hassle free…Nov 27, 2006 at 6:05 am #1368469
Thanks everyone; I decided to modify my quarterdome2HC to accept a footprint. This modification makes it meet all my criteria at 3lbs 11oz.
I have to make certain consessions to comfort for those I tent with, so I also ordered the halfdome2HC for $130; but at 5lbs minimum weight, it’s for short hikes to a “campground”.
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