Dec 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm #1296673
Oof-da. This turned into a bit of a novel. Any help would be most appreciated….
I want a roomy two-person tent that can handle life above tree line in the Wind Rivers. I also want this for about 4 pounds or less. Finally, for frame of reference I want something more stout in the wind and rain than a TT Double Rainbow or Big Sky Evolution. I’m looking for more info on the Scarp 2, Hilleberg Anjan 3 and any other reasonable alternative that could hope to handle 40 mph winds while providing a good bit of room at 4-4.5 pounds.
When I’m on my own I tend to go ultralight (unless I’m somewhere very wet or cold), but most of the time my wife is with me and we prefer more of a lightweight style: canister stove, lightly framed packs, tarptent or light double walled tent, light inflatable sleeping pads, base weights around 11-15 pounds etc. Over the past five years we’ve spent time in Glacier, the high sierra, the SHT in Minnesota, the Pasayten and most recently the Wind Rivers with some paddling and winter trips mixed in. We really like the Winds, and plan on going back frequently. Together we’ve put about 60 nights in a double rainbow and most recently have moved to a big sky Evolution 2P (3 pounds or so). These are both great for their intended purposes. She doesn’t like ‘mids or tarps.
During our most recent trip to the Wind Rivers in late August we set up above tree line one evening when the weather was quite calm. Later that evening the wind picked up a bit and I’d estimate we had frequent gusts to about 25-30 mph. With four guy-lines (in addition to six perimeter stakes) the evolution handled this fine aside from some noisy flapping, but obviously conditions get much worse and I certainly don’t think this tent could handle blowing rain or 40+ mph winds. We really like camping in he high country so a more robust shelter would be worth an extra pound or two to us. Interpretation: Looking to buy a tough new tent.
As a starting point, I’m looking for something that can handle more of a storm than the double rainbow or our 3 pound Evolution 2P. Based on my preliminary research, here are a few tents I’ve come across:
1. Tarptent Scarp 2. I have a Scarp 1 and love it for rough whether. I took it to Scotland last year and it kept me warm and dry in wicked conditions, even without the crossing poles. I’ve read mixed reports on the Scarp 2, though. Specifically, some seem to indicate it doesn’t handle wind as well as they’d like, and if you get the solid inner and crossing poles you are nearing five pounds but still possibly not extremely wind-worthy. If the Scarp 2 can consistently handle 40-50 mph winds I’m interested. If not, its off my list. I could be talked into or out of this one.
2. BA Copper spur UL 2 and Seedhouse UL: very light and would be enough room for my wife and I, but would be cramped with one of my buddies. It doesn’t sound like these would offer any improvement over my evolution 2 regarding space or storm worthiness. I think they’re pretty much out.
3. Stephenson's Warmlite. The lack of a vestibule i think is a deal-breaker for me. They also tend to be expensive, and I don't trust the company as much as say, Hilleberg…
4. Hilleberg Anjan 3: These have caught my eye, but the price is painfully high. Hilleberg of course has a stellar reputation. I’ve not seen much around here about the Anjan 3, but it is essentially marketed as a 3+ season version of the Nallo 3. Looks like it would weigh about 4 pounds in my pack, offer plenty of room and much better wind/weather resistance than any other 4 pounds three-season tents I’m aware of. From the limited reviews I’ve found, people find fault in the fly sheet (doesn’t go all the way to the ground), in the the lack of a peak vent, and of course the $590 price tag. Otherwise I can’t find much based on real-life experience. On paper it seems to check all of my boxes, but the price gives me pause and means I’d be saving for a bit to purchase it, and probably waiting for a sale (rare). If someone could suggest a 4-pound alternative that offers similar performance in wind and wet weather I wouldn’t even have to consider saving up to buy such an expensive tent. The Anjan 2 I think would be a bit too small/short (presumably the same specs as the Nallo 2.
Any insights would be most welcome.
MattDec 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm #1932625
I might stay away from the Anjan. Something seems to have been lost in translation from the 4 season Nallo.Dec 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm #1932628
Paul McLaughlinBPL Member
If you feel that the Anjan 2 is too short (and I concur due to the slope at the foot), be aware that the Anjan 3 is the same length, just wider.Dec 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm #1932634
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Roger, when do you expect your tent to hit the market? I suspect that your design may be just what the OP is looking for!
To the OP: I've used both the Gossamer Gear Squall Classic (now discontinued) and Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (pyramid shape but with floor) quite successfully in high winds in the Winds (not a pun, just making it obvious how the river and the mountain range got their name). Of course the first is probably a little too cozy for most couples (although perfect for me and my 70-lb. dog) in addition to no longer existing. The second is a solo tent (too small for both me and my dog). It's really too bad that both the Squall Classic (much more streamlined than Tarptent's Squall 2) and the Tarptent Cloudburst (also quite streamlined, but roomier) have been discontinued. Both are sort of tunnel-shaped, and, with the "optional" side guylines well anchored, do fine.
Unless you're going to be camping on top of ridges above timberline, which you probably won't be unless you're mountaineering, you don't really need a mountaineering tent, but you do need one that handles winds well and will hold several inches of snow.
What about a 'mid with inner tent? Have you looked at the combinations from Mountain Laurel Designs? The result is basically a full double-wall tent.
I too love the Wind Rivers and can't wait to go back! If it weren't for the Wyoming winters, I'd be living close by right now!Dec 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm #1932640
David NollBPL Member
@dpnollLocale: Maroon BellsDec 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm #1932657
@vigilguyLocale: Northern Utah
Matt- I used my Anjan 2 for 5 days or so right at tree line in the Winds last September. We got pounded by wind and rain for two days, and it held up fine. Everything inside the inner tent stayed dry. Gear on the perimeter of the vestibule got a little wet from blowing rain. You could actually reduce that by adjusting the outer on the wind-ward side. Another one of my buddies, a professional fly fishing guide, was with me and had one as well. He had no complaints about wetness.
Understand that Hilleberg sacrificed features in order to cut weight. I am 6'1" and actually slept in the Anjan with my head to the rear of the tent. And I used an Exped 7UL-LW pad. I also believe that with this tent, a little more care needs to be used with site selection and tent set up than their four season models.
I am thinking about selling mine, as I use PackGoats, not that concerned about weight, and may use a Nammatj and see how I like that.
If I need to go UL, I own an Integral Designs wedge w/ vestibule for the Winds.
This is my personal shelter, PM me if you are interested. It is an Anjan 2, not a 3.
As far as the windy conditions and how the Anjan held up, we both were quite impressed with how well it performed when the bursts of wind that came through at all hours of the night. I felt totally safe in it. I just personally prefer the four season models with the vestibule that goes all the way to the ground, but they are indeed heavier. I do like the ventilation in the Anjan.
DISCLAIMER: I am an Authorized Retailer for Hilleberg.Dec 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm #1932668
BPL member Mike Reid was selling a Stephenson's 2R. If you're interested in one you could get it cheaper than buying a new one.Dec 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm #1932698
Erik BasilBPL Member
No suggestions, but merely a confirmation regarding your perception of the BA Copper Spur UL2. I have one and use it for both my solo and on treks with either my wife or 12 year-old son. It's "snug" for two and would be downright tight for two adult men.Dec 3, 2012 at 10:07 am #1932750
I have one and use it all the time. Taken it to Ansel Adams Wilderness with my dad and it was just fine for the two of us. Then taken it this summer on trips with my wife and 1yo son – again, wasn't too spacious, but enough for the 3 of us.
This could be a very good option for you:
Stoic Arx 2
4lb 3oz with stuff sacks and extras
2 vestibules big enough to store gear
Backcountry.com return policy!
They used to come up on SAC, but haven't seen them lately.Dec 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm #1932787
Kate MagillBPL Member
Not UL, but at 4 lbs the MSR Hubba Hubba is a classic for a 3+ season tent. Durable and well-engineered: compare the pole design on the MSR to that of the Stoic above – I'm pretty sure the MSR design gives you more headroom and better wind resistance. My partner and I are having a hard time justifying upgrading 'cause it's such a do-it-all shelter.
Also, doesn't Big Sky make some 4-season/mountaineering models?Dec 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm #1932838
I actually have MSR Hubba (1p not 2p). So while the two are not equal, i can tell you that MSRs design seems to have less headroom when comppared to Stoic. This is due to the fact that Stoic has poles that are bent in order to provide more vertical shape at the head.
I love MSR, but at the same spec – it is more expensive.Dec 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm #1932840
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
The Copper Spur gets my vote.Dec 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm #1932880
Wow – you guys are awesome. Thanks for all the replies. It still doesn’t sound like anyone can definitively say what I’m looking for is out there. Are there any more opinions regarding the Scarp 2 (with or without crossing poles)? It also sounds like a bit more research into Stephenson’s Warmlite tents might be in order. The 2R with window option seems most appealing. Finally, people seem to be suggesting more traditional 2 person tents (Hubba Hubba, Copper Spur etc). Who’s used these sorts of tents above tree line with good results?
A few responses:
David Ure: thanks for taking time to post the link of the Anjan 3 review. I had seen that one already, but didn’t want to jump to too many conclusions based on an n of 1. I’m still holding out hope that someone on BPL has logged some quality time with an Anjan 3. Again, I’m not looking for something hurricane-proof, just significantly better than other very light 3 season tents.
Paul – I did see that the Anjan 3 is similar in length to the 2, but I’m thinking the extra width of the 3 should make it feel a few inches longer when used as a 2-person tent. Could be wrong.
Mary – the various ‘mid combos from MLD are quite nice, but I think we’ll probably stick with a traditional tent just based on personal preferences. Also, by the time we’d add up a center pole, large mid and a spacious-enough inner I think we would probably be spending some serious cash. The versatility is appealing though.
David Noll – Unbelievable offer. I’ll be in touch.
Charles – glad to hear the Anjan 2 handled some weather for you. I’m in the market for a slightly roomier tent, but appreciate the offer.
Erik, Michael, Yuri and Kate: any thoughts on your tents (copper spur, HH, Stoic) in 40 mph wind or otherwise wet/windy conditions? I would consider one of these for my wife and I if it could handle strong winds and rain.
Doug – thanks for the FYI about Mike’s tent – I’m going to look into Warmlites a bit more and see what I can find
-MattDec 3, 2012 at 8:15 pm #1932887
Stuart .BPL Member
I have firsthand experience of the Copper Spur 3 above treeline in the Rockies during shoulder season. It wasn't pretty. Despite being properly pitched with all guylines tied down, strong winds gusting from multiple directions at 40+mph caused the tent to act like a lung all night long.
Have you considered the TarpTent StratoSpire 2? It has gobs of space inside – far more generous than the Scarp 2, for example, it's more like a 2.5P tent with two large vestibules for ~2.5lb – and yet its geometry makes for very effective wind-shedding. With the semi-solid inner, you'd be protected from wind and dust. I'd caution you against using it if you expect more than a few inches of snow during shoulder seasons. However, given your description I think you're more likely to need wind vs snow handling abilities.
On a windy trip above treeline last June (measured constant 30mph, gusting to 45mph) I was so impressed with a friend's StratoSpire 1 that I sold my MLD SoloMid and DuoMid, and replaced them with StratoSpire 1 and 2 for 3 season use. Sure, there's a weight premium over the MLD mids alone, but when I factored in the extra weight of a mid innernet, and assessed the extra comfort of the SS two pole setup, I knew which option worked best for me.
Edited to add windspeed context.Dec 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm #1932888
Well, I haven't had a chance to test Stoic or MSR in those conditions, so can't say how well it would do. We've slept through 15-20F range and had it in 85-90F heat…In low temps there was very little condensation if any. In heat – we had to keep fly for shade and open both doors for some air circulation.Dec 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm #1932916
Erik BasilBPL Member
I've had the Copper Spur UL2 in extended rain, but not in wind over 20mph. In 20mph with some gusting and the tent guyed-out, the Copper Spur was fine. It hunkered down and was stable, but I could see some stretch in the fly material and expect it will deform much more as wind speed goes up. (Hey, it's no Bibler, but it's light.)
In terms of extended rain, the tent did well, but the fly did wet-through after 6+ hours of rain (14+ one day). It didn't drip on me, but the entire fly was quite wet. Crawling in and out of the tent, we were sure glad for the twin doors, but I wished that the tent were either a foot taller or that I were several gut sizes less… a grown man crawling in mud, just not right.
The thing is, unless you're little pixies, the CS UL2 is fairly narrow for two adults. You'll fit, but it's not "spacious".
Now, for one: spacious at 9800' in 6 hours of rain and light hail.Dec 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm #1932929
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
I consider mostly all of these tents people are talking about PURE LUXURIES.
Seriously, it depends what your goals are, and how light you want to go.Dec 4, 2012 at 12:09 am #1932930
ed hyattBPL Member
@edhyattLocale: The North
I've used the 3 above treeline quite a lot, firstly on the JMT where it seems the wind never blows (?) – it was great for the Sierras as being (more or less) a self-supporter it went up easily on rocky areas away from established camps (my preference).
Also used it in Scotland (pretty much stripped of trees). It is a bit breezy inside (slightly high cut fly), but I though it handled wind OK (guys deployed). The squeaking of the fly over the poles was a tad annoying at times.
The 3 is a barn for two people at just shy of 2kgs. We got all of our kit in easily, and us – me at 5' 7" and my 6' 2" girlfiend. The doors are cut a bit low for really easy use for the lanky.
That's not a typo BTW ;-)Dec 4, 2012 at 12:50 am #1932933
Jason ElsworthBPL Member
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
Light weight three pole geodesic here – http://www.terranovatents.co.nz/terra-nova-tents/voyager-series/293-voyager-superlite.
I would probably get a Scarp. They are pretty well proven in the UK, where strong winds are common.Dec 4, 2012 at 6:20 am #1932965
Bogs and BergsMember
I have a CS1, used primarily on the east coast of Canada. It's seen 3 day storms with sustained winds of 80k (50mph) with gusts even higher. Pitched end to wind, it's a rock. Shifting wind direction caused a little bending and billowing, but no trouble, all stakes held, no flapping. The wall fabric is just high enough that even in those conditions there was no wind inside the tent. Nor moisture, even when that same wind was full of mist and drizzle.
It has also seen upwards of 75mm (3in) of wind-driven rain per day for 4 straight days when pitched as a base camp, with no leaking or 'misting'. That tent LIKES storms.Jan 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm #1946344
Matt SangerBPL Member
Matt – so what did you decide and why?
I frequent the Winds with my wife and our dog for weeklong outings, and have used a Scarp 2, BD Skylight, TT Double Rainbow, and REI quarterdome.
The best performer out of all of these was the BD Skylight for weather, and the extra space was nice. I didn't like the seamsealing all that much, and I think the pole setup is a bit of a PITA and a bit dumb in some respects (esp. those snaps that never hold the poles at the foot after you insert them), but the shelter is really solid, nice to occupy, and the weight isn't bad. Condensation is not much of an issue at 11K in the N. Rockies.
The TT Double Rainbow pretty much got leveled in one storm and is a bit tight for riding out weather. The Scarp 2 is a much more solid tent and nice to spend time in, but is a bit fussy for me with the corner supports and staking arrangement (I didn't get into serious weather in it, and didn't get the setup totally dialed in).
In looking at the possibilities again, I have it down to the BD Skylight, the Anjan 3, and the BA Copper Spur UL 3.
I just can't believe the BA tent will deal with the weather possibilities the way I would like, but it seems like a nice tent with great room for the weight.
I know and like the BD Skylight (don't have it anymore), but I wouldn't mind dropping some weight and getting the Anjan 3…which is my leading candidate, despite the price.
Further insights appreciated…Jan 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm #1946554
Michael WainfeldBPL Member
+1 on the Stratospire. I brought one on a 7 day Winds trip this last August. Fairly benign Winds weather, just one short period of sleet, so I cannot comment on high wind performance. But others have, and my 1 was quite spacious so the 2 should be good. Quick, easy pitch too.Jan 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm #1946567
Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I have about 10 nights in my Ss1 and really like it, even used the fly sheet by itself with a buddy for an overnight in November and plenty of room.
It's a perfect 3 Season tent, once there is snow on the ground I shift over to my Hilleberg Soulo.Jan 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm #1946582
Stuart .BPL Member
Stephen and I camped just below the continental divide in really windy conditions last June. His SS1 fared far better than the SoloMid I purchased specifically for its low profile. It sheds wind very effectively, and offers gobs of useable space for relatively low weight. I purchased an SS2 as a direct result of that trip, and after I sold my SoloMid I added an SS1, I'm that impressed with the design. Each has a fairly large footprint, but with careful site selection will handle anything that 3 seasons can throw at it (including light snow) with aplomb. But like Stephen says, once the ground is frozen and there's considerable snow cover, that's when the simpler design of Hilleberg freestanding or tunnel tents come into their own.Jan 24, 2013 at 9:42 am #1946762
Matt S – I still haven't purchased a new shelter – the conversation so far hasn't led to me a clear conclusion. However, here's how my list looks after a bit more deliberation:
Scarp 2: a bit heavy but seems to offer a pretty good combination of weatherproofness, versatility and price. I'd get the fabric inner, and plan to use it some in the winter as well (Minnesota).
Anjan 3: I really want to like this shelter as well: it looks great on paper and Hilleberg has a great reputation. That said, i just can't buy such an expensive tent without a few more positive reviews floating around. So far the reviews have been mixed, but i'm holding out hope. I don't expect it to do everything that say a nallo 3 would, and i still suspect it may be an excellent option for my uses.
TT Stratospire 2: I didn't realize this should be on my radar, but now i'm going to take a closer look. I don't think i'd get the solo version. I do have some concerns that the 2 person version would not be as wind-worthy as the solo given the larger panel sizes. Can anyone refute this? I generally really like tarptent products and the company itself, and the lower weight is attractive.
Other thoughts: if my wife comes around on the idea of a 'mid i'd need to get a large one in which we could offset the center pole, and i'd need some form of bug-proofing. A lot of the inner nests seem to eat up too much of the interior volume. I haven't completely ruled out a black diamond megalight with perimeter netting, or possibly an MLD supermid (expensive).
Finally, i don't think the really light big agnes three-person tents would give me the wind-resistance i'd want. I haven't gotten back to David yet about checking out the Stephenson's Warmlite, but i have some reservations about buying directly from that company based on what i've read. maybe if i found a steal of a deal on a used one with windows i'd give it a try…
Thanks for the ongoing help,
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