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I'm looking for a tent....
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mingleefu


May 7, 2004, 1:29 AM
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I'm looking for a tent....
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...yet I really know little about tents.

At this point, I have no decent camping shelter, except my car. I have this thing I ended up getting for free (woulda been $35 but she screwed up and gave me a refund).. It's a 1 person, and I wouldn't want to get caught in the rain in it.

So I'm looking at a 2-3 person tent.
I'll tell you what I do, and you can tell me what I should be looking at.

I'm nearly never camping in the snow. Never in the mountains. I'm thinking three season, because I wouldn't intentionally use it in the winter conditions. I would, however, like to stop having to wear layers and layers to bed, but I think that is more an issue of my bag than the tent... This causes me to think that I might want something where I can zip up a door panel over the screen for warmth. I know this kills the weight.. but its car camping- or should I just use the fly in the chillier scenarios?
All the camping I have done has been car camping. So do I really need a fancy backpacking tent?? Or should I just spend $60 on a big fatty tent, and drop another dime when the light/fast aspect becomes an isssue?
Because it is car camping, I'm not too worried right now about vestibule space. everything stays in the car.

How many people have tents with two doors? I like the feature, but what sacrifices are made to be able to do that?

I definitely want something freestanding. except the properly staked fly, of course, but the body itself should be freestanding.
I think I want a full fly too. Why wouldn't I? Only reason I can think not to have a full fly is to save weight- which is not an issue.

This really will reveal my non-knowledge in this area... Most people I've climbed with, if I recall, have pitched their tents without ground tarps for moisture. Do the nicer tents have tarpulin/waterproof floors where this is unnecessary? is this standard, or should I be looking for a certain feature?

I'm a tall glass of water, so anything I'm looking at needs to be accomodating in that regard (6'2).

If you all could recommend a few tents that might suit my needs, I would be much obliged. Again, I haven't been into Backpacking at all, and am not looking to take this thing on a bike trip. How often are arrangements at climbing areas anything but car camping?? because that's all I do--climbing camping.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.


ykwak


May 7, 2004, 2:22 AM
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If weight is of no concern, head over to walmart and pick up the Ozark Trail 9ft x 10ft 4 person tent (I belive it weighs about 9 lbs.) for under $40.

Otherwise, I would check out rei.com and rei-outlet.com ... look for sales.

If you want to get a lightweight tent (6lbs and less) you will have to dish out usually over $150 for a good tent.


cjstudent


May 7, 2004, 5:15 AM
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Is $$ a factor? L.L. Bean makes some killer tents. Plus that company is just awesome.

I use my tents in extreme conditions, that is backpacking and such during all weather so I didn't just pick one up from Walmart. But I have a The North Face, L.L. Bean, and Bibler tent. I recommend all 3. But they are pricey. Try e-bay. :-) I just checked the website and there are some good tents on there.

-Aaron


reno


May 7, 2004, 5:25 AM
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HERE is a pretty good deal on a two-person, three-season tent from Marmot.


kimmyt


May 7, 2004, 5:47 AM
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I have a tent with 2 doors, the REI half dome plus 2 (check out the gear reviews on this site, there are a fair number of them!). Love the dual door/vestibule design, so that if there is more than one person in the tent, and one has to get up in the middle of the night to use the john you don't have to wake up the other person by crawling over them. Also, had a great testing of it's waterproof abilities when I camped in W.Virginny, and let me tell you that the thing was golden! Not a single leak, and it didn't seem to build up that musty moisture inside either.

As for the ground tarp issue, many tents you buy at outdoor stores will have special 'footpads' which are really just glorified tarps cut to the shape of the tent. They charge you an extra 20-40 bucks for them too, and the only benefit I can see is that they aren't as bulky as a tarp. I bought one :oops: when I bought my tent, but I'm happy with it in general.

Oh, and if I were you, I'd go to your local outfitter and have them set up some tents. Help them set them up, ease of assembly can be a BIG factor (for instance, me and the salesman were putting together one 3-person tent that had like a gazillion poles, and the two of us couldn't even figure out how to do it!). Then get inside the tent and see how roomy it is, etc. They will often set up multiple tents for your shopping needs, and were very nice to me even when I came back several times without buying!

K.


xprompt


May 7, 2004, 2:39 PM
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i have a eureka apex xt. its a two door tent 3 season and i love it. it has two vestibules. great for backpacking b/c of the short pole lengths, only a foot. the older model i have is fiber glass poles though. its only 80-100 bucks. great for its price.

i wish i was rich.


climb4life


May 7, 2004, 3:49 PM
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it sounds like you don't do too much extream weather camping. if it was me, i would just go to walmart and pick one up. they may be crappy, but they work. how often do you camp and climb? if it's only like twice a month, any walmart tent will do for you and get you through the summer. they are cheap, big enough for you to stand in, and often times comes with features that is normally not found in backpacking top of the line tents. i had a friend who spent no more than 50 bucks on a walmart tent and it lasted him the summer.


galt


May 7, 2004, 4:34 PM
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Tents are over-rated in my opinion. How often are you in your tent? Seriously, how much time do you spend in your tent? Join the world of the light and get a 6x8 piece of Sil-Nylon (should cost you about $30). It's waterproof and more breathable then a tent, the only problem is you have to know what you are doing to set it up. Add a bug bivy with a tyvek floor and you have a solid 3-season (I've actually seen people set up tarps 4-season style, but they are in a whole nother' relm.) shelter.
If any of this sounds appealing let me know and I'll give you more details... but seriously, you can't get a better product for a cheaper price.


Partner euroford


May 7, 2004, 10:49 PM
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my humble addition on the tents i own, and why i own them. maybe it will help, maybe not.

mostly mountain hardware, i dunno why, i've just always been a fan of there stuff. probobly its becouse i'm also a wrenchhead and they have a nut for a logo...

MH Lightwedge 3

not exacly light, but not too heavy. i use it for car camping and short approach stuff. the extra space is nice, it has a nice large vestibule, freestanding with easy setup. has served me well below freezing but its still a 3 season tent. vents nice during the summer and has proven totally bomber in nasty thunderstorms.

MH Trango 2

bombproof 4 season tent. kinda heavy but is great when split between you and your partner. way overkill for anything less than hostile winter/alpine conditions

MH Waypoint 2

ultra lightweight, just enough room for two, reasonable price. i havn't put it to the test yet but i think i will be really happy with it for summer backcountry.

(note: i highly considered the eureka zues 2 exo for this job, very light, very cheep, but i had conserns about ventilation)

TNF trailhead 6

i havn't used this one yet either, but i plan to use it this summer on "wives included" cragging trips when we arn't trying to kid ourselves that we are camping within 10 feet of the car. i got it on clearance for $220!!


well there you go. my take on tents. if you have the dough i recomend the MH products, they give me the impresion that i have purchased "the last one" i'll need of that type and not just something to get me by. but there are lots of deals out there if you are willing to settle on something not so elaborate/advanced/overated/whatever.

oh yeah, and don't discount the beloved bivy sac. they will definitly get you by, they are cheep, and depending on your adventure adiction you'll probobly end up wanting one eventually.

in that case, i've gone with the bibler big wall.


xprompt


May 7, 2004, 11:19 PM
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In reply to:
(note: i highly considered the eureka zues 2 exo for this job, very light, very cheep, but i had conserns about ventilation)

yeah.
all 3 people i know that have that wake up wet even in the summer. poor ventilation. really compact and lightweight tho


escale


May 8, 2004, 7:11 AM
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Sounds like you have already decided. They style of camping dictates what kind of tent you will get. Car camp? Go larger, heavy and inexpensive as you will not need to backpack in anywhere.

What has worked for me: Just to car camp got a 3 man tent for space for three or two and gear. Save the dollars. If you find you are getting more into it, then get a bomber four season tent when you are ready to go extreme.

I got a 3 man tent for $99 and it has lasted a long time. I think it is about 8 years old. Eventually I got the mountain hardware Trango for serious weather backpacking and alpine trips 6 years later.

Now if I go with a bunch of newbies or the fam, I can take both and have enough space for everyone. I mostly use the three man tent near the car, and save the MH for long deep wilderness trips. It is still quite new.

---Escale


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