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Posted: 10/9/2004 5:31:54 AM EST
I need a new tent for backpacking. Plus next weekend is Gunstock.

Criteria:
1. Two person or solo tent.
2. Three season - not a four season - too heavy and no snow here.
3. Less than 6 lbs.
4. Adequate ventilation.
5. Less than $200.00.
6. Free standing - including rain fly - is a major plus.

Generally, I only spend $100-150 on a tent.
I welcome all your tent experiences - good and bad. Heck, got any crazy backpacking stories? Go ahead and post them.

Here are some of the tents I'm considering from REI:
Kelty Crestone 1 Tent
$100.00 Item 707107

Kelty Crestone 2 Tent
$140.00 Item 707108

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:00:07 AM EST
You probably know that you will get what you pay for in a tent. I have had unbelievably good experiences with Bibler, but they are very expensive. They are the only tent worth staking to me because they do not need a rain fly. However, Marmot (see Racer X and Junction models) and North Face make some very affordable 3 seasons that may be close to your price range.

Most tents in this price range are very similar, so I would choose based on ease of use. I love Marmot stuff and they have excellent customer service. The two pole "X" design is very quick and easy. I would also spend the money on a good footprint, that'll save you some headaches in bad weather.

bd
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:11:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2004 6:13:44 AM EST by Backstop]
bluduk15,

Yep, I always use some type of footprint.

I know I seem cheap about tent purchases - I always end up ripping the dang things, or an ember blows on to it, stick a pole throught the nylon, - I caught the speed lace of a boot on the zipper once...etc. I have TERRIBLE luck with tent longevity. With the weather like it is here, I've found the semi-cheaper ones work just fine. I rarely camp in the summer - just too hot for sleeping. Getting to be about the time to head out again...

I'll look into your suggestions - thanks.

EDIT: I'm not your high tech camper - I don't even take any type of stove if going for the weekend - I hate carrying stuff. HAHA! The less the better. I'd rather hike WAY back into the country where people are absent.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:13:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2004 6:18:15 AM EST by NEPAshooter]
If you're serious, you really get what you pay for. Save the extra $50 up and break the $225 barrier. Over $250 is probably pushing it.

Taped seams, raised floor basin (bathtub floor) edges, strong waterproof rating, and a matching footprint are key.

I am biased as I love and have trusted MSR gear for a long time; I currently have their ventana, and it's been perfect.

For some basics on backpacking tents, check MSR's faq page here: www.msrcorp.com/support/tents.asp#8

In the low $200 range, there's really only two tents I personally considered, the Ventana I got (on sale at $219 at one time at REI, with a 20% member discount that got me under $200 for the tent, and then $25'ish for the footprint) or a previous year model North Face RoadRunner2 (typically falls in the same price range, but maybe 10-15 bucks higher)

I like MSR's practicallity though; all ties are made of the same waterproof material as the tent, so they can't retain moisture when the tent is stuffed; THAT is the majority of what pushes a tent's weight up; the water moisture absorbed at the near molecular level in the fabric that just adds nothing but weight.

This is why you see a move towards more mesh and less nylon in the body of the tents today; mesh doesn't hold water moisture as easy.

I can attest that I regularly, stuff my ventana, with fly, and footprint, MSR's alumnium pegs, tie lines, and support rods with a single repair splint and get in just a hair over 5.5 lbs. On hot summers, I ditch the fly and footprint, put in just a plain kydex sheet for a footprint, and get down under 4 lbs. I hate bugs, but if I wanted to approach low 3 lbs, I could go foot print and fly only with no mesh. (Construction grade Kydex sheets are very light, cheap, and good as disposable one/two trip footprints.)

Hope that helps, feel free to IM me if you want more details.

E.

ETA - Took me so long to compose this, others have touched upon what I was going to say/said. Backstop brings up a good point; how you treat your tent and it's longevity dictates what you should spend. If you destroy a tent just about annually, then higher price means nothing since it will all go to waste; you pay higher dollars for longevity from season to season in better tents.

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:27:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2004 6:31:31 AM EST by NEPAshooter]
Just checked since I was feeling curious, and it looks like Campmor's got some gear on sale;

If you're like me, take good care of your tent, aren't accident prone, and know not to cook near your tent (flame resistant doesn't mean flame proof ;-) ) I strongly urge you to check this out; it's a great deal for a great tent.


North Face RoadRunner 2004 on sale at Campmor


Also, if you're dead set on the Kelty Crestone 1, unless you're getting REI member rewards back, Campmor has it for $10 less

Crestone at Campmor

E.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:38:31 AM EST
You can also ask this question in this forum:
www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=1&f=123
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:41:19 AM EST
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/dept_id.L2~322/qx/prod_list_display.htm
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:43:06 AM EST
I got a Kelty tent from Kelty when I worked for a camping store awhile back. My personal tent was a Sierra Design, so I was not expecting much. But, I have to say that it was not bad. A little heavy, and not quite leak proof, but not a bad tent at all.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:44:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By NEPAshooter:
Just checked since I was feeling curious, and it looks like Campmor's got some gear on sale;

If you're like me, take good care of your tent, aren't accident prone, and know not to cook near your tent (flame resistant doesn't mean flame proof ;-) ) I strongly urge you to check this out; it's a great deal for a great tent.


North Face RoadRunner 2004 on sale at Campmor


Also, if you're dead set on the Kelty Crestone 1, unless you're getting REI member rewards back, Campmor has it for $10 less

Crestone at Campmor

E.



Thanks, NEPA - I'll go check those out.

I got a Campmor catalog just the other day - haven't opened it yet.
Yep - I'm an REI member. The cashier guy at my last REI visit (Austin) said I joined before he was born. Think I joined around 79 or so.

Wish I wasn't so tent-destructive prone...
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:45:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By eagle1911:
You can also ask this question in this forum:
www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=1&f=123



I don't know why, but I always forget this forum is there. Thanks for the reminder.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:52:04 AM EST
Backstop,

Only tent that I've used for a long time is the Eureka Timberline. Can't remember the exact weight but its within your range. I've used mine in Africa, Europe in Alps and Black Forest and throughout the US. Now when I backpack its mainly just a poncho hooch.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:54:25 AM EST
Check out the hennessy hammock
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:59:52 AM EST
Another vote for the Eureka Timberline.



99$ at Cabelas

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:00:11 AM EST


I converted to a tarp and I have never looked back. I made one of these, back when Henry was just a guy with good plans on the internet, and wasn't actually making them himself.

www.tarptent.com/
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:09:30 AM EST
Mountain Hardwear are the best tents going. check out:
http://www.mountainhardwear.com/www/action/catalog/DisplayStyle?id=763
My tent is 5 years old, still looks new. Have used it from 90+ to -15. Performed perfectly.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 8:17:50 AM EST
I've used a Northface VE 25 for 8 years now. It is fantastic. It's vapor wicking actually allowed me to hang up WET clothes and they dried inside the tent durring a rainstorm! 53 F inside with 2 people and 28F outside. It doesn't get any better than these tents.

Of coursr, I still enjoy my '04 Artic Fox 26' travel trailer as well.

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 9:09:14 AM EST
I liked REI's Trail Dome. A bit heavy, but a great tent for the $.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 9:14:20 AM EST
REI Half Dome

Great tent for the price.



REI HALF DOME REVIEW AT BACKPACKER.COM

REI HALF DOME $159
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 9:21:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By heavily_armed:
Another vote for the Eureka Timberline.

a1460.g.akamai.net/f/1460/1339/6h/www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/content/Item/51/02/96/i510296sq01.jpg

99$ at Cabelas





+1
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 9:51:56 AM EST
Timberline +1 but it might be over 6 pounds. I camped in one in all sorts of weather and it's an excellent tent.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 1:40:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Diver:
Now when I backpack its mainly just a poncho hooch.


I'm a civilian now. HAHA!

I would take my poncho, lay it on the ground, lay on it, then wrap it around me. You know. The last time I did that - about 2000 IIRC - was at the Hill Country State Natural Area. It was fall, and the walk in was about half full - 3 other tents. Folks out there wait until 10 or so, then start a fire (fires are prohib). Everyone gathers wood, then sits around and BSs. When they asked where my tent was, I told them "right here - I'm using it as a chair." Nobody would talk to me after that - they thought I was a whacko I guess. . These crazy mofos hiked in with stoves, lanterns, 5 gal of water for an overnight, spices for cooking, etc. I had an old med alice with no frame, poncho, Mtn House (ate cold), NODs, and a BFK. I got pissed and started giving them shit about all the crap they carried.

Needless to say, the night didn't end well. I moved my sleep outside the designated camping area, kept one eye open all night, then unassed early.

I did think about scaring the shit out of them though.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 1:50:01 PM EST
coleman exponet inyo 2,,,a 2 person solo style tent,,, with fly,,, justgot one for backpacking,,, around 4lbs,,2 poles,, thats it,,,, gotta set it up and seam seal 2mmororw
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 1:50:36 PM EST
Mine is a Kelty Teton

About 4 lbs. goes in my pack easily. $100.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 1:57:08 PM EST
Here's your cheap option if you can find one.

Coleman Peak 1 Aries.
5.5lbs
2 man
Rainfly
2 Pole
Very compact when rolled up.

I think mine was $75 a few years ago.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 3:12:36 PM EST
I purchased a Kelty Zen several years ago and its still going strong. It looks almost identical to the Crestone but its blue and yellow...
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 9:12:42 PM EST
Wow, thanks for all the info, folks.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 9:30:17 PM EST
I used a Wenzel at Philmont. Damn thing took some abuse....i think it was cheap too
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 3:18:59 AM EST
What is a "footprint" and does it go inside the tent or under the tent?
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 7:30:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 7:31:37 AM EST by Backstop]

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
What is a "footprint" and does it go inside the tent or under the tent?


Goes between the tent floor and the ground - protects the tent floor.
Many better tents sell footprints specifically cut/fit for that specific tent. Some have hooks, velcro, etc to attach to your tent and or poles. Very well worth the $$, especially in rocky places.

Or, you can buy a tarp, fold it just a little smaller than the tent floor, and set the tent on that. Works just as well if you're camping out of a vehicle. For backpacking into a camping site, I buy the specific footprint.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 11:47:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By Backstop:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
What is a "footprint" and does it go inside the tent or under the tent?


Goes between the tent floor and the ground - protects the tent floor.
Many better tents sell footprints specifically cut/fit for that specific tent. Some have hooks, velcro, etc to attach to your tent and or poles. Very well worth the $$, especially in rocky places.

Or, you can buy a tarp, fold it just a little smaller than the tent floor, and set the tent on that. Works just as well if you're camping out of a vehicle. For backpacking into a camping site, I buy the specific footprint.



I always just used a Tarp and called it a "ground cloth."
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 11:52:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 11:54:37 AM EST by Henny]
It may be cheep but I've used a Eureka Solitaire for the past few years. It's light < 3 lbs and for me has been sturdy enough. I tend to be clumsy enough to break a pole or put a rip in the mosquito netting. This tent thus far has escaped my clumsiness for either 3 or 4 years now, with about 3-4 weeks a year of backpacking.

Usually in the summer I just sleep in the open. However, two years ago my son and I did a week and a half trip Algonquin Provincial Park. I'm glad we had tents! The mosquitoes would have been unbearable with out one! The only thing I have done to this tent was put seam sealer on it. But I do that to all my tents BEFORE they leak.

I see Campmor has them on sale right now for $59.96.

I like this tent but YMMV.Campmor Link

Edited to add link
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:39:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 12:40:10 PM EST by Cold_Warrior]
Avoid the footprint hassle along with the mud, bugs and critters with this:




Hannibal Tent 1

Hannibal Tent 2

Hannibal Tent 3

I have the roof rack, tent and awning on my Disco and they are awesome.

CW
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