Mar 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm #1849180
I dunno, my girlfriend and I are totally fine in a CS UL2. She's 5'10" and I'm 6'4". But we're both pretty thin–that can make a difference.Mar 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm #1849187
It looks pretty tight at 52" across but I do like the weight and the looks. I am interested in getting it but it's $400 and I was looking to spend $300. Have you seen any deals?Mar 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm #1849192
REI cleared them out for 200 last week. STP had them for 230. I'm guessing someone else will clear them out as well.
I think 52" wide is a pretty standard 2P width, but how big it feels totally depends on the slope of the walls.
Just a sampling:
REI Halfdome–88 x 52
Big Agnes Fly Creek 2- 86 x 52 inches
Mountain Hardware Skyledge 2. 1- 85 x 50 inches
North Face Frog- 90.5 x 50.5 inches
MSR Hubba Hubba- 84 x 50 inches
REI Quarter Dome T2– 94 x 54 inches
Marmot Limelight– 88 x 54 inches
Copper Spur UL 2 90 x 52 inches
Tried to get a sampling of a few brands.Mar 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm #1849194Franco DarioliBPL Member
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
No the DR is not freestanding as it is but can be made so by adding trekking poles.
Do keep in mind that many so called freestanding tents in reality need several stakes to stand up correctly…
If you are after more protection from wind/dust then look at the Scarp 2.
The Scarp 2 is a double wall tent but larger than most for the weight.
By that I mean usable space not floor area.
All of the floor is usable (end to end)
This can be freestanding if you add the external poles. So 60oz for standard set up and about 75 with the extra poles.
However in practice you will find that the so call freestanding is not all that necessary..
This is a pic I posted the other day to illustrate how it can be set up with rocks (or logs) if you can't use stakes :
BTW, that is a Scarp 1 , the 2 is like that but wider and a bit taller too.
FrancoMar 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm #1849202
Wow thank you so much for compiling. Looks like both REI and STP are long gone. I hope I can find it for $200. Right now, thanks to you, it's at the top of my list. I will keep looking at the other options though.Mar 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm #1849214Bridget GuildnerMember
That's strange – I have a Quarter Dome T2* that I just weighed, and it came in at 4.25 lbs including all of the stuff sacks, stakes, poles, guylines, etc. I'm sure you could get it down to 4 lbs by cutting off some extra junk & leaving some stuff sacks at home. The page linked below lists the minimum packed weight at 3 lbs 15 oz, and the shipping/packaged weight at 6 lbs.
In any event, the T2 is definitely not 5 lbs! Maybe you were looking at the T2+ or the T3? Anyway, the T2 is the perfect size/weight/value compromise for me and my fiance, and the outlet price is a steal. The strange pole setup really gives you tons of room to sit up anywhere in the tent, and those straight sides make the tent feel much more roomy than anything else I could find at that weight & price. The vestibule size is even pretty generous. The only mean thing I can say about it is that it's just a teensy bit too short for my 6'0" fella to stretch out, so if you're over 6' it might be worth carrying the extra weight of the T2+ or finding another tent. Anyway, best of luck!
* specifically, this model: http://www.rei.com/product/825481/rei-quarter-dome-t2-tent-special-buyMar 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm #1849218
I think there's a real question as to whether a 2P tent is actually enough habitable space for two people, but I think it just depends on how comfortable with each other you are!Mar 6, 2012 at 7:09 am #1849478
Why not use some string or tape to make a mockup of the floor space of the different tent models you're seriously considering, and see first-hand just how much crowded you'll feel in them? That will help you decide whether you'd be fine in a particular 2-person model, or whether you'd need the extra space (and weight) of the three-person version.
And remember, REI has a generous return policy, and so does TarpTent. Six Moon Designs also has a good return policy as well EXCEPT on items purchased from the Bargain Bin, so you have to be really sure you'd like the older silnylon Lunar Duo before you order it.
And while I'm at it, here are two more non-freestanding tent models you might want to add to your list of tents to consider: The Lightheart Duo and Lightheart SoLong 6. Again, they're meant to use trekking poles, but you can buy optional tent poles to use instead.Mar 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm #1849786
Sorry but I still don't really grasp what a non-freestanding tent entails. It's not the trekking poles that worry me since you've pointed out that I can just buy poles. What worries me is having is the additional hassle of figuring if the ground is soft enough or if there is a tree near by or a brick. Admittedly, I don't have much real world experience so I don't know how easy or difficult this is.
What are the cons of a free-standing tent? Is there something about the design of a NON-freestanding tent that allows it be lighter or cheaper or something?
Great idea about mocking things up. Most floor dimensions for 2P seem very similar just like BenF suggested.Mar 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm #1849805
The most significant con of a freestanding tent is that it's always inherently heavier than a non-freestanding model, as it requires a more elaborate pole structure – and those additional poles add unavoidable weight. Non-freestanding tents use fewer and simpler poles, with a resulting weight savings.
The other, lesser con is that you have to at least partially stake down a freestanding tent anyway. Tents that aren't at least partially staked down tend to become the world's most expensive kites. And no, putting your pack inside won't weight the tent down enough to keep it from being blown over and damaged by a wind gust. So you still need to bring stakes; you just may be able to get away without staking ALL the corners (as you have to do with a non-freestanding model). So a "freestanding" tent isn't really 100% freestanding in actual use; it just comes closer to that ideal than a non-freestanding model.Mar 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm #1849806
I think the freestanding vs. non-debate comes down to the conditions you'll use it in. In high wind, I want a free-standing tent. If you camp in the desert, you want a free-standing tent. Non-free standing tents have their place, and they're definitely the preference here due to the weight savings they make possible.Mar 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm #1849809Franco DarioliBPL Member
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
OK, some points…
A floor plan (2d) is just a starting point.
If you don't fit inside the flat area , it will be too small.
If you do, then you go to plan B, that is a 3D version trying to simulate wall slope.
You will be surprised just how much space you lose once you include that and also work out that the 40" apex (or whatever) is actually a point and your head is not a cone…
When you do the "3D" plan , remember that you will be sitting on top of a mat, so sit on top of that and inside your sleeping bag, because that is also longer and wider than you are.
Free standing and not…
Endless discussions about that but in practice it always sounds like a good idea when you buy your first tent or two but ends up being less important later on.
That is when you figure out that you still need to stake down a non freestanding tent and that some freestanding designs only work correctly (proper fly spread-tension) when multiple stakes are used.
Yes you do have the advantage of being able to pick up your tent and move it but you can learn to pick the right spot the first time…
An advantage of freestanding tents is that they tend to be less fussy about stake placement, with certain non freestanding designs they will only work if guyed out correctly.
(not that all tent users are aware of that anyway)
Again you can learn to do that and minimise the problem.
(a good start is to take a really good look at the official pics and instructions)
For a particular given size a freestanding design is generally heavier than a non because it requires more poles
BTW, that BRICK was meant to suggest any weight you may have to put on top of those tie out points.
That could be rocks, a bag full of sand or indeed logs…..
And BTW… in high winds I would want a tunell non freestanding design… that is exactly the situation when poles break on a rigid freestanding dome tent…Mar 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm #1849813Bobby JonesBPL Member
You may want to add the Sierra Designs Vapor Light series. I like mine a lot and I feel it's a bit more durable than some others in its class.Mar 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm #1849847
Before you fret too much over the differences between freestanding and non- freestanding tents, decide how much space you really need. Can you get by with a two-person tent, or do you really need the extra space of a three-person model? If you decide on a three-person tent, you'll almost certainly end up with a freestanding tent. For some reason, almost all the lightweight, affordable tents sized for three people are freestanding. The Tarptent Rainshadow 2 and the Tarptent Hogsback seem to be the only exceptions.
(In contrast, there are many reasonably ligh two-person tents in both freestanding and non-freestanding configurations.)
After you've figured out how much floor space is sufficient for your needs, then you'll know whether you're looking for a two-person or a three-person model. So I'd get your sleeping bags and pads out and position them the way you want them, then get out your measuring tape and see just how much length and width you're looking at, then go from there.Mar 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm #1849855
Oh, and I third the suggestions to take a close look at the REI Quarterdome T2 , T2 Plus , and T3 models that are now on sale in the REI Outlet section. The Quarterdome has nearly vertical sides, which makes it feel quite roomy inside, is easy to set up, and is backed by REI's incredible warranty. And as long as you're using it with two people, the per-person weight is reasonable. It would be a very safe choice for a beginner's backpacking tent.Mar 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm #1849860John WestSpectator
@skyzoLocale: Borah Gear
+1 for the Quarter Dome T2
When I am not on solo trips, the T2 is my go-to tent. The tent+fly+poles weighs only 63oz (under 4lbs), and since it is free standing, I only bring 4 titanium stakes just for extra insurance. A total weight of 4lbs for everything, and it is bombproof, it has withstood some crazy winds. Very very comfortable for two as well, much more so than many other advertised "two person" tents.Mar 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm #1850134
A big update! Thanks to all of you for your great discussion and patience with answering my beginner questions. After lots of thought, I decided on the REI Quarterdome T2 from the REI Outlet. I think I got a great deal on it and at just over 4 lbs, it's what I am looking for. The reality is I will mostly be using this for campsite camping where having a comfortable 2 person tent would be ideal. It's light enough also, for me to go backpacking with it but I think when that time comes, I will get a dedicated solo tent. When that happens, I will be more aggressive about cutting weight and would be more comfortable with making sacrifices on freestanding vs not and features.
Thanks again to this great community!Mar 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm #1850179
I think you've made an excellent choice. The Quarterdome T2 is a fine, fine tent, and perfect for car camping and for two-person backpacking trips. As you say, you can always get an ultralight solo setup later, when you're actually ready for it. It's tough to have just one tent that "does it all" well; having one general-purpose tent and one superlight solo tent is a good approach.
And wait until you see the stargazing you'll be able to do in the T2 in good weather, when you can leave the tent fly off!
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