Nov 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm #1281679
@rhz10Locale: SF Bay Area
I have a friend who wants to buy a very lightweight (<3-4lbs), 3 season tent on a very strict budget (less than $100). Aside from going used via the gear swap forum here, or geartrade, or craigslist, can anyone suggest a decent new tent in this price range?
rhzNov 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm #1799601
John HarperBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
I posted about a cheap tent awhile ago: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=44887
It's served me well and could work for your friend if he's not too tall. You really can't get much cheaper than it too. There's also the Wenzel Starlight Backpacker Tent at Wal-Mart, which according to BPL weighs 2.8 lbs (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/lightweight_backpacking_wal-mart_style.html)
Your friend could also go the blue tarp and bug netting route. That would probably be pretty cheap and light.Nov 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm #1799615
Thats a tough call. If price is the only consideration, there are tons of options. Does he want a full on tent with poles or would a tarp or tarptent be ok? If he can scrape together $125, the SMD Scout would be great, and Bear Paw WD has some shaped tarps for $110. If he wants a full on tent, REI Outlet and Backcountry.com would be places to start. You can usually find Alps Mountaineering tents for great prices. They are quality tents, but not UL.Nov 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm #1799621
Backpack JackBPL Member
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
This was my 1st backpacking tent, for the price and weight it's hard to beat. I still keep it as a loaner and everyone that uses it loves it.Nov 8, 2011 at 3:51 am #1799649
Roman VazhnovBPL Member
Sometimes i use this tent. http://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Peak-Minilite-Two-Tent/dp/B0017HO182 Weight is less than 1 kg.
Available in Europe.Nov 8, 2011 at 7:20 am #1799679
@timalanLocale: Mid Atlantic
I'd recommend either of the ALPS Mountaineering lightweight one man tents — the Mystique or the Zephyr. Both are less than 4 lbs and are readily available for less than $100. Amazon has them for $76 and $90, respectively, with free shipping. You can often find them cheaper on places like Sierra Trading Post.
They aren't ultralight, but from everything I've read, and from my experience with ALPS products, either one should be solid and last a long time — a notch or two up in quality from the Texsport/Wentzel/Coleman single man tents that you can find in the $30 range.
The Eureka Spitfire (I think someone else may have mentioned) is also a solid choice, and a little lighter, at ~3lbs, and a similar cost of $90.
Of course, my ultimate recommendation would be to watch for a great sale, something on geartrade, or something on these forums. I know you were looking for other options, but in my experience, those are still the best places to go for a great deal.Nov 8, 2011 at 9:18 am #1799714
Pete StaehlingBPL Member
I really like the Eureka Spitfire 1 for one person. It can be found for under $100 if you shop around. I actually prefer it over some models costing 3 or 4 times that much. The two person version is a bit more though.Nov 8, 2011 at 9:24 am #1799720
@mr-ajandkjLocale: Pacific Northwest
If he is near an REI, be patient and wait for their garage sales…I am starting to take my daughters out, so wanted a reasonably lightweight 3-person tent, scored a REI Quarterdome T3-Plus for $92 with a broken zipper that I fixed before I took it home. I passed on a BA Fly Creek UL2 that I could have had for $99 (kicking myself!), I really wanted it but it was not a good fit for my needs. It had two small tears in the stuff sack, was otherwise perfect.Nov 9, 2011 at 4:52 am #1799972
Logan KidwellBPL Member
While the Wenzel is relatively light, it is a cramped tunnel, and that might not be the best experience. I have used these as solo shelters on trips I have led over the last 5 years, and they are simply not waterproof.
Water resistant is probably a stretch as well. We've adapted, and the price is certainly right, but by the time an additional tarp/ poncho adds in for real rain protection, it isn't so light anymore.
Seems like about a year ago there was a "Superultralight/ Superultracheap" article on here somewhere.
You could always make your own tarp shelter or trailstar -check out the Quest Bilgy tent.
Hope this helps,
LoganNov 9, 2011 at 11:53 am #1800115
@hosaphoneLocale: Boston-ish, MA
Campmor 8×10 silnylon tarp, plus some sort of bug netting if you need it.
Less than 1 pound, less than $100 (depending on whether you go with just a headnet or a full bug bivy type of thing). Enough room to sleep 4+ people, able to cook in the rain, nice views sometimes, and you can pitch it anywhere!Nov 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm #1800143
I picked up a Mountain Hardware Sprite 1 for $89 on clearance last year at REI and it looks like it can be had for about $120 online. It weighs 3 lbs as a tent or 2 lbs 5 oz in the fly/footprint set up.Nov 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm #1800186
Steven ParisBPL Member
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Don't forget the Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout, the polyester version of the tent. $125.00 is over your price, but it's a really good entry price point for a new and fairly light shelter.Nov 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm #1800188
Joe NewtonBPL Member
I will be the third person on this thread to recommend the spitfire 1. Nice little tent for the money and fairly light as well. Also will take a lot of abuse. Hard to beat this little tent for the money. Usually can be found for around 100.00.Nov 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm #1800201
I like the spitfire for a low dollar tent. Just change out the tent stakes, it make it lighter.
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