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Old 10-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
DriveShaft OP
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Tent City (A tent thread)

What tent are you rockin'? How many humans fit in it? Where's the coolest place you've set up camp? Got a pic?

I've just outgrown my 2-man 4-season Tiros, which is just an awesome tent for all-season hiking/backpacking. A nice wind-shedding design w/ a decently sized vestibule, decent headroom (for a hiking tent) and good airflow control. It's been up 'n down the east coast from Mt. Mansfield to the outer banks. Lots of fun with this one.



For the next few years, though, I'm going to be strapped down by a few rug rats, which really changes what I value in a tent. Of course, in very short order we won't fit in the 2-person tent. And I'm not going to be taking on 20-mile lengths of the AT anymore, and I'll not likely be spending much time holing up through sub-zero snowstorms either. So something a bit more family -oriented might be something I want to look at, just to set up what my SO refers to as "resort camping," where there's actually a bathroom 'n showers to use, and the tent is more geared for family relaxation and comfort vs. austere minimalist shelter.

What's out there?
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
payner
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I can't help you with the brand (cuz I forget what I got - 'bout $100 at Costco 4 years ago) however I can suggest you go BIG - as BIG as you can.

My little MEC Tarn 2 tent is officially a 2 man coffin design but realistically a 1.4 person - my 5'2" wife barely fits with my averaged sized self in that tent and our thermarests would be overlapping if I didn't carry an ultra light 3/4 lenght.

After the kid came along and we wanted to go camping, I got the biggest tent I reasonably could. It's 10' x 10' with a 10' x 6' vestibule... for the three of us. Seems huge but man, when you are in a rain storm, the space to stand up, for the kiddie to run around and to play cards etc is invaluable. We took a full sized play pen for my daughter to sleep in and had tons of room for us and our stuff - and books, and toys and diapers, and....

That said, you ain't going to be hiking far with it as it's the antithisis of ultralight . But it's great for car camping or hauling a short distance to a campground.
The only issues are that it's big enough to encroach on the fire pit on campgrounds with fixed tent pads.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
DriveShaft OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by payner View Post
I can't help you with the brand (cuz I forget what I got - 'bout $100 at Costco 4 years ago) however I can suggest you go BIG - as BIG as you can.

My little MEC Tarn 2 tent is officially a 2 man coffin design but realistically a 1.4 person - my 5'2" wife barely fits with my averaged sized self in that tent and our thermarests would be overlapping if I didn't carry an ultra light 3/4 lenght.

After the kid came along and we wanted to go camping, I got the biggest tent I reasonably could. It's 10' x 10' with a 10' x 6' vestibule... for the three of us. Seems huge but man, when you are in a rain storm, the space to stand up, for the kiddie to run around and to play cards etc is invaluable. We took a full sized play pen for my daughter to sleep in and had tons of room for us and our stuff - and books, and toys and diapers, and....

That said, you ain't going to be hiking far with it as it's the antithisis of ultralight . But it's great for car camping or hauling a short distance to a campground.
The only issues are that it's big enough to encroach on the fire pit on campgrounds with fixed tent pads.
Yeah, I noticed that. kids are like farts; it seems the bigger the space you have...the easier it is to deal with them.

Standing room height...woahhhh...that's luxury I hadn't considered.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
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Who's heard of Big Agnes Wyoming Trail 4?



Nice! Separate sleeping areas. Huge vestibule. It's like bringing two tents with the pole count of 1.

Head height seems medium. Up to 70" @ center of vestibule, but the tents areas themselves are 50".
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
JMead11
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I have been using a Eureka Alpenlite since 1997. I liked it for the full coverage of the fly, it is easy to put up solo, and though I only need a one man tent, I like the extra space to bring all my gear inside. If I needed to get a new one, I would make the same choice again although I know the Alpenlite has changed a bit over the years.










JMead11 screwed with this post 10-08-2013 at 03:03 PM
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
Who's heard of Big Agnes Wyoming Trail 4?

Nice! Separate sleeping areas. Huge vestibule. It's like bringing two tents with the pole count of 1.

Head height seems medium. Up to 70" @ center of vestibule, but the tents areas themselves are 50".
Looks cool, but I really doubt it's going to afford you that much more privacy

Here's my wife with my Eureka Apex 2 at the start of RAGBRAI this year. She's smiling because she hasn't had to sleep in it yet



I bought it for like $60 off of Amazon back when I was in college. Used it more then, fit nice in my motorcycle kit back then and since I was riding more I was camping more. With the exception of a pole hook breaking, it's held up alright. Was never really all that waterproof to begin with so when we got caught in a small monsoon one night I wasn't too upset about it.

However, my wife did not enjoy sleeping so close to my big stinky ass every night so shortly after returning we went and got a Alps Taurus 4:



Nothing fancy and I haven't really got to try it out yet.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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Before I had a couple sheds on my land, I bought the largest tent WalMart had. It was like a 12 man. I parked four motorcycles in there. Too bad I didn't figure on the sun baking deal as it dried out and was shot after about a year and a half. By then I had a shed and parked them all in there.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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I have had this old North Face since 1990. The rain fly got shredded in a wind storm so I use a nylon tarp over it. I have been meaning to upgrade, but, as you can see, I am too cheap to do that.


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Old 10-08-2013, 04:45 PM   #9
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I have had this old North Face since 1990. The rain fly got shredded in a wind storm so I use a nylon tarp over it. I have been meaning to upgrade, but, as you can see, I am too cheap to do that.
Insert KLR joke here.

Bonus points for who can name who makes this tent. Hint: wolfprint on rainfly:

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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We have been using a MSR Hubba Hubba for the last few years. small and cosy but if you are uncomfortable you are not tired enough!

before that a Robens Black Shrimp - much better for moto touring as it has a much larger vestibule area

not set up in too many exciting places and even less photos

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Old 10-08-2013, 07:23 PM   #11
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Kifaru teepees,,you can walk upright into them,,and have a small stove!
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:43 PM   #12
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Alps tents are hard to beat for the money in my opinion, often cheap at the online sellers too.

http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/alps/products/tents

they are well built tents, good designs ( usually copies of older high $$ tent makers) and all strong aluminum poles and such.

years ago I bought a Kelty green river 6 for my family.

its a GREAT tent, plenty of room, even with 2 kids and a dog.
but ONE door, that is the deal breaker for me.

been through some hellish weather in this tent and been dry though.. just a PITA to walk over a sleeping kid to get outside.

Not me, a google found foto

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Old 10-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
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Picked up this coleman weathermaster 10. I've set it up once, it is a very sturdy design, 3 steel hoops in middle, 2 fiberglass rods on on ends. then the fly has guy lines that get staked in. 2 doors and tons of room 9'x17' So far I'm very happy with it. The tent gets excellent reviews and the price is perfect. 200$ on amazon.

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Old 10-09-2013, 05:53 AM   #14
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It's all about the vestibule!
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:32 AM   #15
DriveShaft OP
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Originally Posted by JMead11 View Post
I have been using a Eureka Alpenlite since 1997. I liked it for the full coverage of the fly, it is easy to put up solo, and though I only need a one man tent, I like the extra space to bring all my gear inside. If I needed to get a new one, I would make the same choice again although I know the Alpenlite has changed a bit over the years.


I don't have any pictures of mine (pre-digital era), but when I was younger and less stably employed, I was a huge fan of Eureka's timberline a-frames.



I hiked *alot*, and the a-frames structure offered just about unbeatable durability and the ability to literally be field-repaired with sticks and rope, vs. my friends' fiberglass poles which would splinter and really screw with their plans. The low-tension design really lacked headroom, but allowed you to take down and stow the tent completely while the rain fly and drop cloth kept the rain off of you & your pack. That makes a rainy ten day hike bit more enjoyable.

Then it occurred to us that on some shorter trips all we needed was the rain fly, poles, and our sleeping bags, which would leave more room for steaks and wine. Ya, really great basic design, those a-frames.

These days--the past 10 yrs--I camp alot less frequently, and alot less inclined to rough-it through a hurricane. I don't mind fabric that's lighter, and less durable as much. And modern aluminum shock-corded poles are more durable than the crappy fiberglass ones. So I've been more open to other options for the added interior volume you get.
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