In the discussion above, I think the Hillebergs got lumped in with more "traditional" (i.e., freestanding, heavier) four-season tents. I guess Hilleberg makes some of those too, but the (to me) really interesting ones are the tunnel tents, which are really lightweight for what they can do.
I don't have any firsthand experience to report yet, but one of our kind readers can quickly remedy this problem by sending me a Nallo 3 GT at your earliest convenience. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> (Just PM me for the correct delivery address, kind reader.)
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
I have a question related to wet weather camping in tents like these (two layer, inside attached to outside). How does the tent fair in multi-day rains? Is there any secret to packing them so that the inside stays dry -- can the fly be detached from the inner tent for storage during the days hike?
Though I have been rained on plenty of times, we just don't get that multi-day kind of rain that other locations do. Most of the time it rains and then clears off. I got rained and hailed on Thanksgiving down on the border but it quickly passed like all the other times I have been out. I just shook off what water I could before packing. Other wet weather packing folks might know more about how to do this best.
As far as taking the canopy off the inner tent, it is fast and easy. They are held together by toggles that are no problem to part or connect. Normally I just leave it all together so the tent goes up real fast.
Tom, those mountaineering tents you describe, like ID, Bibler, BD, Hilleberg, and others, are they also ok in summer? I'm curious because I want to get my daughter into winter camping, and if I can't talk my wife into letting her bivy and tarp it like I do, maybe a tent we can both use year round. Are they too heavy or expensive to justify using them in summer?
So is a 4 season tent really for four seasons, or just for one?
I'm not Tom but I did research and pick a 4-season tent, more for the ferocious winds of the Colorado Plateau than for snow conditions. We have had 3- season tents pretzel in those winds that seem to always be present in spring and fall as well as winter.
I settled on a Hilleberg Kaitum 3, relatively light for a 4-season tent but not so when I compare it to my Tarptent Squall II. The Kaitum 3 is not only a roomy fortress that we can sit up in anywhere in the tent but it can be ventilated so well that it can be used in warm weather too. It has two doors which can be fully opened but closed to flying insects with the screen panels. Both vestibules can be opened up. It is quite versatile.
We are being hit with 70 mph wind in this image but you really can't tell it from the picture. The tent was not noisy like I thought it would be in those kinds of wind as you can tighten it up at each stake with adjusters.
Here is a picture of the flow through ventilation doors that are open but screened off, the vestibule partially open. The inner tent toggles to the canopy as does the footprint so you set the entire thing up all at once, keeping everything below the main canopy dry in rain.
The tent has already paid for itself by letting us go into places and conditions that we might not have been able to do as well without it. I have a lot of confidence in this shelter. It has earned the name the Hilleberg Hilton, backcountry resort.
You just have to decide for yourself if something like this will meet your needs.
At Moontrail, they furnish different angle pics how all the Hilleberg tents look like.
Ya know what? The North Face Tadpole is a decent "mild winter" tent. It has a very good sind shedding, stable shape and a small vestibule. It's tight fer 2 people but great for one with bulky winter gear.
Want more warmth? Make pieces of light ripstop the shape of yer tent body netting panels,put Velcro on their hems and the netting edges and Velcro them to the netting in winter. You can open them partly for more venting and remove 'em entirely for 3 season camping. There ya are a cheap, lightweight solution to moding a 3 season tent..
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."
Loc: central westen NJ
Hey all just wanted to give an update post trip. I ended up buying Big Agnes's Elkhorn 2 tent on clearance for 95 bucks, just couldn't see swinging for the high priced models right near Christmas and all. No rain so I can't comment on that but it kept us warm and snug even if it was a little heavy at 5 lbs. Hiked in 7.5 miles did an overnight and hiked out the next day. dropped down to the low 30s with a hard wind all night but the days were pleasant if not to warm. Got a few blisters for my troubles and I'm shocked at no real muscle aches but I sure am pack sore from the rubbing on my hips and shoulders. Is that normal part of backpacking that one gets used to over time? Thanks again for all your input Rick \
No, being sore from the pack rubbing your hips and shoulders is not normal. (You'll sometimes get a little soreness if you haven't been out in a while, as your muscles reacquaint themselves with carrying a pack, but this usually disappears - at least for me - by the second or third morning, and it's more of an annoyance than a noticeable discomfort.)
If you're having issues with a pack making your shoulders and hips sore, it can be a couple of things. First, and most obvious, is that the pack doesn't fit right. As a result, to keep it from slipping, you have to cinch it really tightly around your hips (too tightly) and the shoulder straps get snugged down tightly to keep it from flopping around. Check your suspension; if it's adjustable, get someone to help make sure you've got it adjusted properly. If it's not adjustable, the only solution may be a different pack.
The other possibility is that the pack fits correctly, but you overloaded it. For example, my Vapor Trail is "comfort" rated for a 30-pound load; around 28 pounds, and definitely over 30, the weight overwhelms the suspension. The pack tries to slide down around my knees, I can't get it to ride comfortably on my shoulders, and the hipbelt actually starts to double over on itself. (I found this out the first time I took a weeklong trip with it, carrying 4 quarts of water the first afternoon for a while. By midday the next day, I was down to a quart of water, and the overload issue was gone.) You might want to check the rating for your pack, too. If you find this is the issue, get the rest of your gear to where you want it, then buy an appropriate pack and get it fitted to you.