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Thread: Favorite Tents?

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    Default Favorite Tents?

    I am planning my thru-hike next year starting at the end of February, so I will need a tent that can handle some snow. I have limited my choices down to the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1, the LightHeart Solo, the Tarptent Notch, and the Lunar Solo. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd love to hear some reviews for these products from people who have used them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by andsoshewalks View Post
    I am planning my thru-hike next year starting at the end of February, so I will need a tent that can handle some snow. I have limited my choices down to the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1, the LightHeart Solo, the Tarptent Notch, and the Lunar Solo. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd love to hear some reviews for these products from people who have used them!
    Have you considered the Zpacks Solplex or Duplex? Waterproof, super light, easy setup and takedown. Pricey, though.
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    I know the BA Flycreek UL1 will work.

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    Registered User Honuben's Avatar
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    Lunar solo is an excellent shelter but if you're taller than 6' I would go differently. At 6'3 I often touch the ends and would get wet due to condensation. I like the side entry as I could sit up comfortably. It sheds wind great and sets up easily. I have heard great reviews on the other two shelters but have no personal experience with either.

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    I would not recommend the BA Fly creek 1, the front entry is a pain and it is too small to sit up inside. The TT notch gives you side door entey which is much easier to use and has more headspace, I believe the Lightheart gear tent has the same.
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    I do own and love the zpacks hexamid cuben (solo-plus) tent, truly UL at 16 ounces, BUT starting that early I might suggest a traditional double-wall tent, vs these single wall tarp-tent type shelters. Because of the single wall construction, they are by nature much more ventilated to reduce condensation, and "ventilated" means significantly colder. I also own a BA fly creek (2), and when I think I'll be at significantly lower temps, I take it vs. my "tarp-tent" type zpacks hexamid.

    I personally have zero problem entering/leaving the BA fly creek tent, but this is a common complaint from some. I enter/leave my tent pretty much precisely once a day, so zero deal for me if it's a slight bit harder to enter/exit.

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    I like my BA CS1, side entry. I agree with the Elf, I prefer rolling out the side, particularly in the middle of the night. I've had it out in some light snow but not any real accumulation.
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    I have used the same SMD Lunar Solo for 6 years now including one Thru and about 200 nights of weekend and section hiking. Eventually it will wear out and I'll buy another one. In fact the new versions have few improvements than my old one.

    23 ounces, 1 hiking pole and 6 stakes to set up, side entry.

    The only downside is it's not free standing but I've never had that be a problem.
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    Definitely prefer side entry. Current favorite tent is ZPacks Duplex. Prior to that it was a Tarptent Notch. Love both of them.

    As stated above, I might prefer a true double wall tent for an early start like that.

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    I personally would go with the tarptent protrail over the notch but I'm tall and its cheaper lighter and roomy looking.
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    I had the Lunar Solo and honestly didn't like it much. Even at 5'5" I felt the walls were too steep. If I was to buy a double-wall shelter I would go with the Tarptent Stratospire 1 (removable inner mesh tent which helps to keep the interior dry) or the BA CS1 or 2. I love my ZPacks Duplex for the room and light weight, but it is definitely pricier than the other options.

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    I have a hyperlite echo 2 kit. It beaks into 3 pieces based on weather/bugs. I am going to mail back the pieces no longer needed as the seasons change.

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    The Notch is a double wall tent. You can specify full mesh, part solid or both inner tent bodies.
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    Tarp tent moment dw might be good for cold weather start.

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    I've borrowed a BA FC1 for a weekend trip and hated it. Didn't like the getting in your tent like you get in a sleeping bag, and just no room without touching the walls.
    I much prefer the BA CS for the side entry, but I still consider the CS UL1 to be too small.
    I bought a BA CS UL2 for use as a 1-man tent and have loved it. Used it for a JMT thru where it gave me room to have me and ALL my gear in the tent. It was the most common tent I saw on the trail.
    No personal experience with the tarp-tents, but they seem to get a lot of good reviews from many WB members.

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    I currently use the Zpacks Altaplex and Tarptent Moment DW as my go to tents, however, I have owned and used every tent you listed in your opening post. If you are under 6ft, the SMD Lunar Solo would be my recommendation based on price point, ease of pitch, and weight. I really like the Notch but not a fan of how narrow the inner body is.

    If you're interested in the BA Fly Creek 1P, I would suggest the Nemo Hornet 1P. It's pretty much the Fly Creek but side entry. I have bought and used one for comparison and prefer it to the Fly Creek because it is side entry. It handles great in the rain as well. The other thing I love is the storage in your pack. If you choose to carry the poles on the outside, the storage sack has a drawstring through the middle of it so you can stuff the tent into the size of a softball. It's collecting dust in my closet. If you want it, I'll let it go for a very easy price.

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    It's hard to go wrong with any of the manufacturers mentioned. We really like our Tarptent MoTrail and it would be a castle for 1 person at only 36 ounces. The Zpacks stuff is amazingly light, but maybe not as durable and we just couldn't justify spending $400 more to save weight which could be shaved off elsewhere.

    With a February start, whatever tent you choose, make sure it will handle a decent snow load. On the other hand, the size of its footprint isn't as important, since you should have more choices on locations than if you started a month later.
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    TT Contrail- rock solid if you can handle the front entry. My go to tent for 5 years....

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    Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 I say. It's worth having the extra room. Never again will I buy a 1 person tent.

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    Check out your local NC made solong6....plenty of room for 2 @2lbs...been happy with mine for several years....east to west worked great....


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