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Thread: Which Tent?

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    Default Which Tent?

    I know there have been a lot of posts regarding tents, but there seems to be so many different opinions and I'm super confused. I plan to start at the beginning of March. Which tent should I buy? Im hiking on my own.

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    North Georgia Wanderer soumodeler's Avatar
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    Some popular options:

    Any TarpTent (I Personally own a Notch and love it)
    Big Agnes Fly Creek or Copper Spur
    ZPacks Duplex (worth getting the 2 person)
    REI Passage 1 or 2
    And many more

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    REI tried to sell me their 5 pound Half Dome 2. I went home, did some research, and bought a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 for $100 more. With the footprint it weighs 42 ounces.

    Think about what you want in your shelter: space? 1 or 2 doors? Also consider weight vs. cost. What fits your budget, etc. Do a ton of research, if that's your thing. Or not. I personally love my Fly Creek UL 2--it's more of a 1.5 person tent rather than a 2, but that means there's room for my pack. It's also designed so that I can take down the inner tent while still keeping the rainfly up, so I can keep my tent a little dryer when I put it away during a downpour. It will be interesting to see how long it holds up on my thru hike.

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    Things to look at in any tent:
    Floor size and shape. A rectangle is best. Tapered floors rob space.
    Vertical walls. At least the two long walls. Makes sitting up to change clothes or sit out a storm nicer.
    Headroom. Works with vertical walls to add interior volume.
    Two doors and vestibules. Entry/exit are easier. The downwind door-vestibule will be sheltered. If large enough, you can cook in one of the vestibules in bad weather. The other vestibule can be used as an emergency privy in really bad weather.
    Inner/Outter tent set up together. Inner stays dry in the rain.
    Sheltered space/weight. Get all the space you can for the least weight.

    The StratoSpire 1 or 2 from TarpTent score high in all of these criteria.

    Wayne


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    And these are all4 season?

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    The deciding factor for me when selecting a tent is the location of the entrance. I'll never again own anything but a side entrance tent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    And these are all4 season?
    Most all of these tents are 3 season tents, which is perfectly fine for a thru-hike.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

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    Go buy a tarp (cheap plastic 8x10 to start with). Learn to pitch it well. Have fun.

    Tents are more fuss to pitch, weigh more, cost more, are limited in pitch flexibility, limit your self expression, isolate you from the world you're out to experience, and don't make you look as cool and tough as the girl that can pitch and live under a tarp.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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    A tarp? In the snow? I'm more looking for advice on which makes models have been tried and tested and found to be good for the possible snow in March.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    I know there have been a lot of posts regarding tents, but there seems to be so many different opinions and I'm super confused. I plan to start at the beginning of March. Which tent should I buy? Im hiking on my own.
    Tents like the Tarptent Protrail, Notch or Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo are good lightweight
    1 person tents and pretty popular on the AT. The Big Agnes tents are probably better in a
    March snow but heavier to carry later on after snow season passes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    A tarp? In the snow? I'm more looking for advice on which makes models have been tried and tested and found to be good for the possible snow in March.
    First, it looks to me like you are looking for a tent, and that's fine. I just find it interesting how many people discount a tarp, especially in the winter, without trying it. As for "tried and tested", tarps have a longer history than any tent brand I know of, and the advantages listed above still hold for winter tarping, but on snow, having an open floor, gives even more creative comfort options with digging foot wells and sleeping shelves etc. And, if using shelters, tarps make better wind breaks/doors than tents do. If you have any inclination, I'd encourage you to try and play around with it a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    And these are all4 season?
    Go to TarpTent.com.
    Under PRODUCTS select Choose Your TarpTent
    Click 1 person, thruhike & 4 seasons.
    The Moment DW and StratoSpire 1 pop up. Take your pick. You may wish to buy the solid interior for additional weather proofing.
    https://www.tarptent.com/allproducts.html

    Wayne
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    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Had snow once in 2012 - ALPS Zypher 1 - slightly heavy, good tent. I liked mine, but upgraded to a:

    LightHeart Gear SoLong 6 - no snow experience, but hopefully......................
    Old Hiker
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    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
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    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Why are you looking for a four season tent? You arent climbing Everest or Denali. You are hiking a well trodden footpath.

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    Tarps are kind of cool, I went that way for about a year, but since modern tents are sooooooo light, the weight advantages of a tarp have dwindled a bit. Still, having used one for a while, I understand NS's sentiment. This all being said, you won't see many tarps on the AT, nor will I ever use one again, especially since my current full tent is only 16 ounces.

    And tents and not any "fuss" to pitch, in fact they are ridiculously easy these days, especially after you pitch yours once or twice.

    Just my opinion, of course, but a 4-season tent is just simply not needed for the AT, even starting in early March. Go with a good lightweight 3-season tent, something under 2.5 pounds or so (~1.2 KG). Overall, I personally prefer a traditional double-wall tent, unless you can afford a zpacks cuben single wall.

    I use both the Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 and a Zpacks solo-plus. I prefer the Big Agnes Fly creek in colder weather. Single wall tents have to have much more ventilation to reduce condensation, and hence sleep considerably colder.

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    And these are all4 season?

    what ?? 4 season tent ? U better check out some finishers equipment lists.

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    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    I know there have been a lot of posts regarding tents, but there seems to be so many different opinions and I'm super confused. I plan to start at the beginning of March. Which tent should I buy? Im hiking on my own.
    to White Blaze!

    As you can see, there are many different opinions here. In order to narrow things down a bit, what are YOU looking for in a tent? This will be your home for 5-6 months, so it should have the features you are looking for in a tent.

    Are you interested in a freestanding tent?
    Will you be using trekking poles? If so, many tents now come with the option to use your trekking poles as tent poles...this will reduce the weight you have to carry.
    Are you looking for a 1 person tent, or 2 person tent? Some 1 person tents are a tad on the small side, but some people also prefer a smaller space...
    Are you looking for a tent with front entry, side entry, or it doesn't matter?

    You mention 4-season tents...because of snow. Everything at has been mentioned, has been used on the AT in all conditions. The tents (and tarps) mentioned can handle snow - the 4-season tents are just designed to handle the weight of a lot more snow. It is not likely you will be camped out for long enough for that to happen (and you can always knock the snow off your tent).

    The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL series is a solid tent. Some don't like the front entry, but I have never found it to be an issue. It is easy to set up, but is not a true free-standing tent - One does have to use some tent stakes to set it up. It is lightweight...and many places have them in stock.

    I hope this helps you to direct the answers a bit more. Most of all - Good luck with the search and have a happy hike!

  18. #18
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    Folks, Y'all are splitting hairs too finely here. To a novice like the OP, a tent for winter conditions means "4 seasons". Both the Moment DW & StratoSpire 1 are sturdy 3 season tents that can cope adequately with the occasional bits of nasty winter weather. Neither would be considered heavy considering their materials, size and durability. Add 2 ounces for the solid interior and either would be snug and comfy in harsh weather. The StratoSpire 1 in particular has more than sufficient weatherproof volume to make hunkering down until the weather moderates tolerable. At the higher elevations along the AT wind will be more of a problem than actual snowfall. Both the the Moment DW and StratoSpire 1 can handle strong winds.
    Are they 4 season tents like the 10 pound North Face Mountain Mountain 25? Certainly not. Will they survive winter on the AT? You bet.
    The StratoSpire tents also make excellent "tarp" shelters when used in fly only mode.
    Need I remind everyone that all TarpTents set up as an inner tent+outer fly combined unit? The inner remains dry in wet weather. Try that with an exoskeleton inner first fly last set up.
    The Scarp series with crossing poles are Henry Shires 4 season tents.
    End of pseudo-rant.
    Y'all have a great day!

    Wayne
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    This thread has me looking at 2 person Hilleberg tents. Four or five pound tents, to me, in the winter, is reasonable.

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    Thank you everyone. :-)

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