Jan 7, 2013 at 11:04 am #1297743
I know everyone loves talking about their favorite tents. Mind giving me some starting points?
I love my hammock, but I can't always use it- midwinter, it's no good and in some geographic areas like the southwest and South America, I'll need a tent. So, I'm starting to look around!
Here's what I want:
– Bugproof, Rainproof. Stormproof, too.
– It has to vent- I want to use this in absolutely hot climates.
– Low weight. I'll gladly sacrifice vestibule space, shoulder space, etc.
– FAST Setup. Faster, the better. I don't want to spend a lot of time in camp.
– I'd love to use hiking poles as support, since I'm already carrying them.
I'm not afraid of bivy bags, but I don't know how well they breathe. A nice dome of bug netting seems to vent much, much better to me. I've tried my friend's $400 Gore-Tex bivy and was not looking forward to a good nights' sleep in it.
I know a 3-season tent isn't great in midwinter, but it's fine enough for me in my experience.
Also, sorry- no MYOG. Much respect for the crafters, but I leave my stuff to the experts.Jan 7, 2013 at 11:31 am #1941466
@harry-nLocale: Western US
Tarptent Moment for most of what you have listed. Before that I had the BA Seedhouse but wanted a vent, more vestibule space, etc… This year I'll go tarp but keep my moment for buggy trips.Jan 7, 2013 at 11:47 am #1941469
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I have a Tarptent Moment 1P tent that I think is a very "ergonomic" design for its interior sit room, length, venting and nice vestibule.
The main mod I did was to run the optional crossing pole INSIDE the canopy and back out the apex of the end triangles (through melted holes in the Velcro closures sewn on the end netting)
This tent is 28 oz W/ 2 MSR Groundhog stakes. The optional crossing pole and internal lining add more weight, natch but are nice for better canopy support of the crossing pole and more warmth, less condensation touching you in cool to cold weather with the ripstop partial liner.
Laying your clothes on the floor level netting in winter helps keep drafts down, as does adding 4 stake loops around the bottom hem of the canopy. Also making up 4 guy lines in advance is important for high winds. (One for each guy loop on the main pole sleeve and one at each end to your walking poles and down to a stake.)
But if you need to guy the ends out as well as the main pole you are in some serious wind. :o
BTW, you want a FAST setup? The Moment's name says it all. Stake one end insert the main pole and stake the other end – that's it. Change in wind direction? Pull one end stake, rotate the tent and re-stake. Very fast.Jan 7, 2013 at 11:51 am #1941470
Defnitely consider the Tarptent Notch. Very well ventilated – two doors and two vestibules with a vent on the fly. Double walled and sets up fly first so great in rain. The inner net tent with floor attaches to the fly so you can leave either at home depending on the weather. Uses two trekking poles and weighs about 1.5 lbs.Jan 7, 2013 at 11:58 am #1941474
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
I personally just use tarps and mids for everything but I don't deal with many bugs where I hike. When I do, I just add a bug bivy or head net.
If you're set on going the fully enlcosed tent route and want bug protection but still with good venting, use of trekking poles and easy set-up, it's hard to beat some of the shelters from Tarptent. I'm not up to speed on the latest and greatest of their offerings, but I'm confident they have a few options that would work for you. I've had two of their shelters (a 2P Squall 2 and a 3P Rainshadow 2) and both were easy to set-up, spacious, vented well and were quite light for their amount of covered and enclosed floorspace.Jan 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm #1941478
My latest favorite is the MLD Patrol combined with a bugnet inner(either an SMD Meteor or BearPaw Minimalist depending on season).
Double wall(when combined with the bugnet inner)
Superior flexibility in pitching options. Cool open for summer heat when pitched high.and storm-proof for windblown rain or cold when pitched low.
Very light, especially the cuben version
Roomy enough for me and my gear, but not much else when pitched low in storm mode.
I have used and still own many shelters and this has been the most perfect solo tent for me.Jan 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm #1941480
+1 on the TT Notch…or…use a tarp (light and expensive as you wish!) couple with a net inner…BPW would be a good way to go here I would think.
-Mark in St. LouisJan 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm #1941481
SMD Gatewood Cape with the inner net tent.
I wish I would have discovered it earlier.Jan 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm #1941484
I agree about the Gatewood shelter. It was always one of my favorite. I ended up voting for the Patrol because my cuben version is, slightly roomier, lighter, slightly quicker/easier to setup and a tiny bit more flexible in it's pitching options.
The Gatewood does double as a rain cape though, but I only used mine as a shelter.Jan 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm #1941485
Andrew Skurka commented on a poncho tent that you'd end up soaking everything while you get your tent set up. Doesn't really appeal to me. I'd rather go with something uncomplicated and purpose-built.
As for the inner bug net ideas, I've found that I really want the space between the net and my body, since I've been bitten through nets at contact points in particularly buggy areas. Long-term, I want to take this tent to South America for a cycling tour, and contact with insects in some areas can be deadly.
I like the Tarptent Notch, but has anyone experienced it in high wind? The Tarptent Moment looks like it's a little bit more prepared for gusts.Jan 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm #1941491
If you hang a bugnet inner correctly you don't touch the walls, so bugs can't get you.
I have used several. I think some people don't hang their bugnets tight and they may have had sagging to the point of the net touching their skin.
I've never had this issue and I often hike in the worst buggy conditions.
Even the SMD Meteor has a good amount of clearance when suspended correctly, other bugnets are even roomier.
The Serenity(Gatewood) inner has tabs on each end to pull the net well away from your face and foot, at least for me at 5'11". If you are taller, then you may want something longer.Jan 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm #1941494
Henry will add two more guy-outs to the pole pocket/vent area of the Notch for nc when you order, if you ask…this provides a lot more wind stability according to a few that have tested it.
I think Franco might have a video or pics somewhere…
-MarkJan 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm #1941495
Using the Gatewood as a shelter only doesn't have the issue Andrew mentions. But there are other similar shelters as well.
I forgot to mention that the MLD Patrol(and my GG Spinnshleter) has superior wind shedding compared to most shelters I've used.
Having two poles spaced like that reduces the twisting and/or imploding that you experience with many shelters in strong winds.
That means a better night sleep in those rare cases.Jan 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm #1941496
If Skurka made that comment, then he's never used one, or doesn't know how.
I have heard that comment echoing thru this site for a couple years now, and it's false.
I think it's a shame that it has probably really cut into the sales of the SMD GC, based on completely false information.Jan 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm #1941498
Also, on the subject of using a bugnet in South America,
I had a friend who borrowed my Gatewood/Serenity combo for a month long backpacking trip during the dry season, mostly in Colombia and he said he never used the Gatewood for shelter, but used the Serenity net every night and loved it.
I guess the only time it rained was when he was under some other rain cover.Jan 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm #1941499
Here's the quote from Skurka.
"A poncho/tarp like the GoLite Poncho Tarp a classic “ultralight” item because it is multi-functional: shelter, rain gear, and pack cover. The truth, however, is that poncho/tarps offer sub-par performance in each regard, as I discovered during the wetter stretches of the Sea-to-Sea Route. Ever try to transform your raingear into your shelter during a downpour? For dry trips, poncho/tarps may be practical if you don’t expect any windy storms or bushwhacking."
The article can be found here.
I really value his opinions, but I'm open to others and aware that practice often makes perfect when it comes to setting up tents.
I am interested in hearing more about the tortional rigidity provided by a 2-pole tent. It seems counter-intuitive to me; the Notch looks a lot less stable than something like the Nemo Meta 1P: http://www.rei.com/product/849279/nemo-meta-1p-tent-2012-overstock
I leaned away from the Nemo and similar tarptents because of the proclivity of stakes. I feel like staking and re-staking a tent takes up a lot of time, and when I want to move fast, time is a premium. I can't walk for 16 hours but I can definitely bike for 16 hours and I want to be done with camp pronto.
Keep the info coming! This is exactly the kind of hive-mind I needed. Thank you!Jan 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm #1941505
HexamidJan 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm #1941509
What about skurkas comment do you disagree with? He is basically saying that if you combine a poncho and tarp you have a compromise for both purposes. Makes perfect sense. How could a single purpose (optimized) piece of equipment not perform better for it's task than a dual use? It may weigh more to have two single purpose piece of gear but overall performance should increase.Jan 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm #1941510
I agree with Andrew in regards to using a poncho tarp for poncho and tarp.
I only used mine as a shelter. I feel the Gatewood was too long for me as a rain cape and so wore a shorter cape. I only used the Gatewood as a shelter.
Be aware that the Gatewood has better coverage compared to the Golite and other ponch/tarp combinations. An 8×5 rectangular tarp can be very cramped when used as a shelter in blowing rain.
The shaped aspect of the Gatewood has much better coverage and roomier. I sat out many rainstorms in a Gatewood and always had room for me and gear.
I get very confined using a small rectangular tarp in blowing rain.Jan 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm #1941512
Two pole support is nothing new.
From the classic A frame tent to the two pole mids (as in BetaMid) it has been around for a long time.
Not sure how you perceive a pole set at a slant supporting all of the fabric (Nemo Meta 1)to be better than the Notch that not only has two straight poles but has also the fabric supported and tensioned by the two Pitch Lock corners, much stronger than just two pegs.
Note that the Notch now ships with the two apex guyout points as standard.
If you are bike touring, then the Moment may be better for you since you will not be using trekking poles.
adding poles to the Notch gets you close to the weight of the Moment and that one only requires two stakes or 4 (2 extra for the guylines) in exposed/windy areas.Jan 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm #1941514
Because as a user, I can tell you that that kind of theoretical comment is not borne out in real world use.
The GC is essentially a Wild Oasis with a hood at the peak. It eliminates the edge netting, and allows no net or a net inner tent, as the needs dictate, and the net inner tent combined with the GC gives double-wall shelter at 19 ounces.
I live near the AT, and I know what wet weather is. The GC is as perfect a shelter as I can think of, because it works extremely well, is very light and condensation-resistant with the double-wall feature, keeps out bugs and critters, and is excellent shelter.
The poncho feature is just an added bonus.Jan 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm #1941516
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"What about skurkas comment do you disagree with? He is basically saying that if you combine a poncho and tarp you have a compromise for both purposes. Makes perfect sense. How could a single purpose (optimized) piece of equipment not perform better for it's task than a dual use? It may weigh more to have two single purpose piece of gear but overall performance should increase."
Agree. It is a compromise and often requires a 3rd piece of equipment: bivy. Using a poncho/tarp does require some skill and experience, especially when it is raining and you are setting up your shelter.
I used a poncho/tarp for many years with good results.
But a 8 X 10 tarp with separate rain gear works better for me. No bivy required. As gear got lighter, it became possible to go with two pieces of gear that are lighter than a poncho/tarp sans bivy. A plain Hexamid with a zPacks poncho/ground sheet is an example, and a combination I have used a lot in the past year and a half.Jan 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm #1941520
Oh, and on the two pole wind stability. The typical a-frame like the Patrol and others of that type, have the poles at each end. Many shelters have the poles closer together near the middle or on one end with larger areas that can twist or implode in the wind.
BUT, be aware that depending on where you hike, this may never be an issue, I have only had issues with this kind of wind problem once on an exposed ridge and once near the Atlantic shoreline during unusual wind storms.
Most people never get themselves in such situations and usually have a better wind break when they do.
So this is probably not an issue for you.
I know you have considered a hammock and jungle style hammocks are popular with people I know who hike in South America, but that depends on what part you will be hiking.
A hammock would obviously be a bad choice for parts of Patagonia, Tiera Del Fuego and a few other treeless areas.Jan 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm #1941527
I plan on doing hikes while biking through So. America, and I have a bad foot so I'm tied to my Leki Poles, even if it's just a 2 mile jaunt up to a peak. They'll be with me.
My tentative route starts in southern Argentina and follows the coast up to the top of Peru, and if I'm feeling ambitious by then, I may continue onwards into Central America. I know from the very beginning of my research for that trip (forgive me if I'm underschooled here) that there are a lot of treeless areas in Argentina and Patagonia, as well as windswept deserts and rocky ridgelines. I want to go with a tent here because, quite simply, there's always ground underneath my feet.
I will forever be a hammock proponent and FIGHT against the "There aren't enough trees!" argument, but they are not for every trip, geographically speaking.
I want to go with something windproof because my tent is useful and comfortable when the weather is nice, and possibly lifesaving when the weather isn't. If the tent can't handle the lifesaving part, I need to add a bit of weight and look for something hardier. Storms happen, as do injuries that prevent me from finding better camp spots. A shredded rain-fly that won't stay down in a tough moment isn't ideal for an extended trip in another country. That being said, I don't want to carry a house. The smaller, the better.
I don't have ANY experience with ANY tents, so forgive my inaccuracies. I'm here to learn. The Nemo Meta looks stronger to me because the stakes and guylines are simple, and very tortional. The stakes on the Notch look, to me, like they are allowed to swing out, especially because the carbide end goes into a cup with the handle against the ground. This may, in practice, be completely strong and I am more than willing to take it on faith that the 2-pole system works if people have taken this tent into tough winds successfully.Jan 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm #1941532
Well, it doesn't use trekking poles, but if you don't care about lots of room, and you want a wind-worthy/storm-worthy tent that you can still open up somewhat when it's hot, a Hilleberg Atko could work. Fairly quick setup. I believe they even sell a mesh inner for it for the hotter climes.
It's also not exceptionally light. But you can't have everything!
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