Tent Selection Advice

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Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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    Kevin Manley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Denver-ish

    Hi all,

    I’m doing a very hard caving trip to the Bob Marshall wilderness this summer (26 ,mile hike in, heavy packs, terrible cave).  I will likely need room to store and dry gear on the surface as well as room to sleep for 8-10 days.  So…tent recommendations?  I can’t really spend $500, but I can spend $300 or less.  Suggestions for a storm worthy, comfortable, light, and roomy tent for a long stay?

    I’m looking at the Motrail, Protrail, Tiger Wall 2UL, Skyscape Trekker, and the Lunar Solo, and anything else you suggest.


    James C
    BPL Member


    Hi everyone, we live in Tasmania the Island state under Australia and need to camp in high winds around 50 mph and peaking at 70mph. It gets cold as we are 42 degrees South. What would be good? We use a Fjall Raven Abisko dome 2p. Magical tent but heavy. We get a lot of rain with wind so single layer tents leak.  Great trekking vibes. James.

    Erica R
    BPL Member


    Kevin, You can’t really have roomy and light in the $300 (or really any $) range. If you need roomy, you are looking for at least a 2 person tent. Storm worthy pretty much means a double wall tent, which is not light either. 8-10 days at base camp. Hmmm…. I might consider having the horse people haul in all the food and tents. Then you could maybe just use their tent.

    Rick Reno
    BPL Member


    Locale: White Mountains, mostly.

    What about a light double wall tent (Notch?) for sleeping and a tarp for cooking, chillin’, and organizing your gear?


    Erik G
    BPL Member


    Locale: Central Coast

    What about a floorless pyramid shelter? Could add a bug skirt, floor, or bug bivy as needed/desired. Oware makes quite a few options in the sub-$300 range, for example. Not the lightest out there, but definitely lightweight and stormworthy.

    James C
    BPL Member


    We use a tarp for when it rains, I have been scouring tents. The big Agnes copper spur platinum looks ok, it’s modled close to an MSR tent, I have one of these. Not crazy about the pole set up.Is there a light robust zip able dome or tunnel tent. The Hilleberg Nano looks ok, but no rear vent, the Kaitum is good but 2.3 kg on the trail. I am not sure if it’s polite to tack onto this thread, apologies if it’s not. It’s avert similar request, although budget for us is open as its a survival tent if we get stuck.

    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pennsylvania

    I think Richard is right – get a tent (I’m a big fan of the Lunar Solo) for sleeping and then a tarp to protect your gear.  Depending on site selection, you might be able to set up the tarp to be a porch for your tent in case it is raining – that can make getting into and out of any tent much nicer.

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Wow, a 26-mile hike in for a caving trip!  I did a fair bit of caving with the Diablo Grotto in California in the 1990s but never tried to do it UL (and even brought a hot tub to one state convention in Kings Canyon NP).  At least some things are lighter now: helmets, LED lights, and lithium batteries all help.

    The first thing that came to my mind, like Erik’s, is a pyramid like the Black Diamond Mega Light.  It’s 4-person pyramid tent at 2#13oz, great in the wind (it’s our preferred shelter on our Aleutian Island trips), $290 with free shipping on Amazon.  If you’ll be in a forested area and can reliably find a 57″ stick or tie off to the trees above, you could even cut out the weight of the pole.  Then with 86″ x 86″ of floor space (bring some polycro sheeting), you’ll have lots of space to air out / dry out your gear.  At under $300, it’s hard to get something truly top-notch that you won’t be tempted to replace later, but the Mega Light is, for some tasks, the best, lightest choice.  If you’re later looking for a smaller, lighter solo tent, you can add one of thru-hiker choices like the Zpacks Duplex in the future when you have $600 laying around.

    Spending 10 days in one spot would, for me, make it worth the extra pound to have 3x more room than the lightest possible option, give you space to dry out and sort gear, and some redundancy if someone else in the party has a tent failure.

    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    If it was me and my pack was already going to be heavy and I needed a big tent to just leave out there while I was away, I’d go to some retail store and get some kind of dome tent. You can find one for $30 at some of these stores.



    Maybe this tent might work.

    I will be picking up one of these soon.

    Kevin Manley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Denver-ish

    Thanks, all!  I’m leaning toward the Shangri-La1 with Yama 1.25 inner and a poncho-tarp for the gear (it’s what I have from years ago).  That written, if a great deal on a The One or Lunar Solo pops up, I might reconsider!


    Dan @ Durston Gear
    BPL Member


    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    Scapegoat plateau?

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