What shelters do you own, and do you have a favorite?

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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 39 total)
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    Chris K
    BPL Member


    Curious what everyone’s shelter “quiver” is. Do you camp year round? If so, what shelter(s) do you take in different seasons? Any favorites in your closet?

    I have too many:

    – Tent Lab Moonlight 4+ for short family trips, car camping; a really nice tent

    – REI SL1 for general solo backpacking and car camping; oddly the one I always seem to grab outside of spindrift season despite the weight, etc

    – YMG Swiftline for backpacking with my daughter, well used for years; might swap for something new though

    – HMG Ultamid 4 I picked up on Gear Swap for very little but haven’t used as much as I hoped; will sell

    – I also have two bivys; may sell one or both

    The only shelter I would keep for sure is the Moonlight. The others have been great, but I’m curious to try some different designs and cover a wider range of conditions with less overall pieces. Mainly, something versatile and minimal (eg flat tarp) and something winter-specific.

    Mark Verber
    BPL Member


    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Shortly down to a X-mid Pro 2 and a 10×12 flat tarp.

    Around 10 years ago I decided that I didn’t want lots of options that would be fine tuned for each trip. I wanted to think less about gear, more about the place. Thismade easier by deciding and I was done with extreme conditions (in particular I am not doing constantly below freezing with lots of snow).

    The x-mid pro is light enough that I don’t made using it on solo trips, and it’s large enough for trips with my wife.  Protective enough for 3+ seasons, can be opened up in the summer for decent airflow while providing a mosquito free space.

    Daryl and Daryl
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth

    Wife and I own about a dozen tents but we only use one……the big sky Evolution.

    Why?  Because it has the following features:

    (1) Solid fabric inner tent.

    (2) Mosquito net window in each of the two inner doors.

    (3) A zippered flap over each window.

    These 3 features are hard to find these days.  During the last century (1900s) they were pretty standard.

    We close the zippered flaps on most nights for warmth and draft reduction.

    Scott Smith
    BPL Member


    Locale: Idaho Panhandle

    Hornet Elite 2P

    VERY light in weight ( 2. 1 lbs  full weight)

    Tons of space

    2 nice sized vestibules

    Great for star gazing , at night…Great for afternoon naps

    Rain shell has continues to deliver



    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado

    This is probably not of particular interest to anyone, because some of these shelters are in our basement for historical reasons, so we use them, but here goes:

    Zpacks Plexamid (for me, with one dog)

    Nemo Hornet 2P (for me, with two dogs)

    Big Agnes Copper Spur 2P (for my wife, with a dog)

    REI Quarter Dome 3P (for my wife and me, with 2–3 dogs)

    David Hartley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western NY

    Siltarp 2 with a piece of tyvek and S2S Nano bug-net for hikes where it is more likely than not we will be in a lean-to

    Deschutes Plus with Z-packs bathtub floor for solo trips

    Big Agnes Yahmonite 5 fly (the inner is way too heavy for backpacking) with MLD Supermid bathtub floor (and S2S Nano bugnets just in case) when hiking with my brother. The fly weighs 30 oz and the floor+pole+stakes = 31 oz so we get a huge shelter for two with < 2lbs carry weight each (not including bugnets).

    The Yahmonite 5 is a re-labeled Big Agnes version of the Go-Lite Shangri La 5, a roughly 10×10 pyramid. It is fantastic in lousy weather where there is no substitute for space.

    For solo trips with lousy weather forecast I am experimenting with a Sierra Designs High Route 2 tarp I purchased off of ebay and an MLD solomid bath tub floor and again the S2S nano if needed. The HR2 tarp is essentially the original High Route tent without the inner (and maybe a lighter weight fabric). It is larger than the HR2 tent. I don’t think it is widely available. Lots of space, but I am not sure I like using both trekking poles to support the tent – turns out I am now at the age where I like having a spare trekking pole around to help me get vertical after a night on the ground ;-)

    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    A One Planet Goodie.  But had to replace the floor to bring it down to acceptable weight.  The original floor was bomber enough for a pack.  It is a typical two pole self-standing wedge, and I also turned the rear vestibule into more floor space.  Here is a photo of it on Mt. Washington:

    It has only two other faults:  The ceiling is netting, so it cannot be pitched in the rain without getting the floor wet before the fly goes on, and it must be ordered from Australia.  But i’ve read that One Planet is now making them with solid inners, which might help.

    The various modifications are discussed at:

    So am working on a tent with a waterproof breathable inner wall that can be pitched in the rain, all of which has drawn some serious criticism; but I’m undaunted.  The biggest problem has not been designing or building the tent; but rather, finding some very light and dependable silpoly for the fly and vestibules.  But think I’ve finally got that knocked.

    Kevin M
    BPL Member


    have had various tents and shelters over the years. Choice of what to take on a trip is usually dictated by the rather changeable and unpredictable Scottish weather. For backpacking I generally choose between 3…..

    DD X-Mid 1 – Summer/good weather and when I want to be as light as possible.

    Slingfin Portal 2 – Spring/autumn when the weather is a bit wetter and windier, or summer with my partner/sharing with a friend.

    Slingfin Crossbow – Winter/shoulder season/snow.

    I also have an old, but surprisingly decent, Vango pop up tent (300 DLX I’m sure is the model) that I use when working at music festivals as a sound engineer, just cos it’s spacious, super quick to throw up, and I don’t really mind if something happens to it.

    Am also considering adding a Lightwave g30 Trek XT to the collection for when I want a base camp/car camping tent that has an extended vestibule.



    Art Rhizhiy Hiker
    BPL Member


    DD X-Mid2 mesh for 3 seasons and X-Mid2 solid for colder weather.

    Logan K
    BPL Member


    Locale: Florida

    Zpacks Duplex – mostly a quiver of one

    Lanshan 2 – my son’s tent, to be honest

    Seek Outside LBO – awesome, modular, and fitted to be a hot tent! (comes with me when it’s below 40 in FL just for fun)




    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pennsylvania

    I’ve only slept in my hammock for the past eight years or so, but I still have a nice selection of tents for the family to use or to loan to friends coming with me on trips:

    • SMD Lunar Duo – This is a great 2P tent even though it hits almost 3 lbs
    • X-Mid 1P – Drop had a great price on this and I couldn’t resist.  It’s only been used on one trip so far, but it’s an awesome design
    • SMD Gatewood Cape – This was my shelter of choice on my last couple of trips before I moved into the trees
    • Mountain Hardware PCT2 – This beast is NOT worth the weight (I think it’s almost 7 lbs) and it’s really small, but it was the first tent I bought after starting to backpack again almost 20 years ago.  I pull it out occasionally when car camping if someone needs a solo tent.  In theory it’s a 2P tent, but it’s not…

    I have a variety of tarps for my hammock and will sleep quite well in the 3+ seasons that I backpack.  I haven’t gone out in the snow, but temperatures in the mid-teens aren’t uncommon.

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    It’s hardly the only arrow in my quiver, but is perhaps the most unusual – Black Diamond’s Megamid Light.  There are somethings it does really, really for very little weight.

    – it gets four friendly people out from under the rain for less weight per person than almost anything else.

    – it sheds wind and snow better than most any other shape, and again, certainly more than other options at that weight/person.

    – as a snow camping tent its lack of bug netting (you’d have to drop the perimeter to the ground which would limit the ventilation) is not a problem and its lack of a floor is a huge benefit allowing you to dig walkways, sitting benches, bookshelves, etc, into the snow banks below the tent canopy.

    After taking it once to Adak (in the Aleutians, “Birthplace of the Winds”), it goes back on every trip.

    Dustin V
    BPL Member


    I’ve been satisfied with the Gatewood Cape for about 15 years. I have a few inners, but it’s been one of the few pieces of gear I’m just happy with for ground-sleeping.

    A few years ago, I grabbed a whole set from Warbonnet which I use when I know for sure there will be good trees for it. Super comfortable. I stopped trying other hammocks after this one.

    I have other shelters and hammocks –still have ye olde SD Clip Flashlight from the 90’s– but these are the go-tos. The rest are for special circumstances.

    Brad W
    BPL Member


    Zpacks Duplex Camo

    Zpacks Plex Solo

    Tarptent Notch Li

    GG The one Silnylon

    BA Copper Spur UL2 HV

    Katabatic Pinon bivy

    Bear Paw Wilderness 5×9 silnylon tarp.


    Duplex for outing with the wife. I rotate Notch, The One and recently purchased Plex Solo for solo trips depending on the terrain and weather. Katabatic bivy and tarp when there is limited flat areas-peaks, boulder heavy terrain.

    John “Jay” Menna
    BPL Member


    Locale: 30.3668397,-97.7399123

    I have about half a dozen tents ( ZPacks,  Tarptent. REI) and a few hammocks.

    For the last 10 trips or so we have taken the Stratosphire LI.    On two of hose trips we (with the help of some critter with teeth)  have done damage to the tent an Henry and crew have patched it up and gotten it back to us really quickly.

    Beyond the fact that the Strat is just a good design,   I’ll stick with Tarptent.  I like the way they do business.



    baja bob
    BPL Member


    Locale: West

    Locus Gear Hapi Grande with full inner net (silnylon) and a Mountain Laurel Designs Solomid XL DCF inner net.

    20 year old Stephenson’s Warmlite 3R.

    Andy B
    BPL Member


    An X-Mid 2 Solid V2 and an MLD Trailstar. Both brilliant but I’ll feel properly comfortable once I’ve finished making and getting right a 2 person bathtub floor for the trailstar with an attachable mosquito net :)

    Russ W
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeastern US

    Fair weather to foul:

    • MLD 1 person dcf Patrol shelter
    • TarpTent Protrail li
    • MLD Duomid


    Juup Stelma
    BPL Member


    Lighter to heavier:

    3 pound 5 ounces myog (1 person trekking pole)

    4 pound Helsport Lofoten SuperLight (3 person tunnel tent)

    9 pound Helsport Reinsfjell Pro (very spacious 3 person dome)

    50 pound Dutch canvas pyramid tent (family car camping)

    Bob .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Vancouver Island

    Durston X-Mid 1P.  I’ve been happy with it.  Light, easy to pitch, good fly coverage, I can leave the inner attached to the fly.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    Yep, the Durston tents are proving really popular. I like everything about them (in theory, I don’t own one) except the weight. A one person tent with the same design made out of dcf would be interesting for sure.

    Bruce M
    BPL Member


    Locale: In the shadow of the Shenandoah

    Tarptent Scarp 1, 2010 version.

    Tarptent Stratospire 1 my  current favorite. but I use both.

    AK Granola
    BPL Member


    Brad – when would you decide in favor of the Notch Li versus the One silnylon? Curious.

    Bob .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Vancouver Island

    My Durston X-Mid 1P weighs 1 lb 15 oz.  The new DCF version is expected to be ~1 lb and should be shipping in February.



    Axel J
    BPL Member


    Atko, BA Fly Creek 2 Platinum, GG tarp, Exped Mira 1 and a Tarptent Preamble. Currently I mostly cowboy it, and keep the GG tarp in the pack in case weather threatens.

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