I thought that I had this decision pretty well made, but then REI decided to have a sale. I'm just starting to get into backpacking after having done the camping and day hiking thing for a while now and am trying to decide which solo tent to buy. I only see myself using this tent for maybe one or two outings a year, and most likely for only 2-3 days at a time. Perhaps a 5-7 day trip on occasion with my backpacking club. Trips will be almost exclusively in the Ohio area or surrounding states between spring and fall. All other trips are going to be with my wife and son where we will be using our Marmot Limelight 3p.
I thought that I had decided on getting the North Face Stormbreak 1 due to it's simple design, good reviews and low cost. The second tent I'm looking at is the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 Mntglo which wouldn't even be on the radar except that REI has it on sale for 50% off. Spec wise the comparison isn't even close. The Copper Spur has a bigger footprint, is taller, has more vestibule area, packs smaller and is 13 oz. lighter. However, even at 50% off the Copper Spur ($240) is still almost double the price of the Stormbreak ($130). While buying the Copper Spur wouldn't be a financial hardship, I don't like spending more on something if I don't really need it. The Stormbreak is right at 3 1/2 lbs which is my upper limit and similar to what I carry with the Limelight 3p split between my wife and I. I guess I need guidance from people with more experience as to whether or not the Copper Spur is that much better of a tent and if I will notice a big difference between carrying the Stormbreak vs. the Copper Spur on the short and infrequent trips I will most often be taking.
My pack is a Klymit Motion 35 and my base weight would be right around 14 1/2 lbs. with the Stormbreak and typical 3-season gear. Additional non-essential items I might take would be a hammock or a Helinox Chair One.