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#126315 - 01/05/10 02:53 PM Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion
NatureMike Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Saginaw, Mi.
Hello all!

I'm currently looking for a lightweight 2 person backpacking tent (preferably a four season tent)

My budget is about $500.

I'd like something about 4 lbs. or less, but so far 5 lbs. seems to be the lightest four season tent I can find.

I've been looking at a few but am interested in other suggestions as well. Any reviews on these tents or any others are welcomed.

The four season tents I've been looking at are:

•Black Diamond Eldorado Tent 2-Person 4-Season
•MSR Dragontail 2 (4season)
•Valhalla 2+ (4 season)

The three season tents I've been looking at are:

•Mountain Hardwear Viperine 2 Tent 2-Person 3-Season
•MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent 3-season
•Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Tent 3-season

Thanks so much for your help.



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#126317 - 01/05/10 03:08 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: NatureMike]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
If you're trying to stretch a 3-season tent to cover winter in the Midwest (I'm from Ohio, so I do that, too), you might consider the MSR Hubba Hubba instead of the Carbon Reflex (aka Hubbless) tent.

The CR2 is MSR's first outing with carbon fiber poles; if I were expecting a significant snow load (and your snow is significantly more than Ohio's, I think), I'm not sure I'd be ready to trust carbon fiber. The HH poles are aluminum (and the tent is a little heavier - and sturdier? - as a result.) I'm not knocking the CR2 - I've used the CR1 in 3-season conditions, and really like it. Also, I don't do much snow camping anymore and have no experience with carbon fiber in cold, snowy weather (maybe some of you Tarptent users, or mountain wanderers, might chime in here?) But I think it's something you want to check out before you finalize a 4-season decision in favor of the CR2.

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#126319 - 01/05/10 03:32 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: NatureMike]
Tangohkr Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Arizona
Look at the Henry Shires Scarp 2. 3 1/4 lbs $325.00. I have had his Tarptents and loved them, I have no experience with this tent but am recommending it because of my experience with his company. http://www.tarptent.com/productsheets/SCARP2.pdf Good luck
_________________________
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Helen Keller

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#126320 - 01/05/10 03:43 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: Glenn]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1007
Loc: Australia
Mike
Take a look at the Tarptent Scarp 2. 54 oz in three season mode , add another 17 oz for the extra poles for 4 season mode.
Hit the Tarptent link at the top left of this page for details.
There is a nice little video clip of the Scarp 1 here :
http://hikinginfinland.blogspot.com/2009/12/video-tarptent-scarp-1-in-snow.html
9note the pics of the Scarp under the snow)
The 2 is exactly the same but wider...(32" wide for the 1, 52" for the 2)
Install the 2 main pole guylines, and you are ready to go.
Franco

Tango posted his comment as I was typing mine...
I have the Scarp 1 , have not used it in the snow as yet but all reports on that are pretty good.


Edited by Franco (01/05/10 03:46 PM)

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#126321 - 01/05/10 03:48 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: Franco]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I'd second that - at least check them out.

I tried a Rainbow, and just never got the warm fuzzies from it. It was well-designed, roomy, and well-built, but it just didn't trip my trigger for no particular reason I could put my finger on. However, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone considering a lightweight tent.

Also, if Franco's saying the Scarp is a 4-season tent, trust him - he's got pretty good judgment.

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#126324 - 01/05/10 04:24 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: Glenn]
NatureMike Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Saginaw, Mi.
Thanks for the info on the scarp 2, but it seems as if snow would blow up through the fly since it is not attached at the bottom. I think I'm leaning toward the Golite Valhalla 2+ right now.

I am still interested in more suggestions and comments on the tents I have mentioned though.

Thanks!


Edited by NatureMike (01/05/10 04:36 PM)

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#126327 - 01/05/10 04:42 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: NatureMike]
Eugene Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/09
Posts: 60
Loc: San Diego, CA
I just bought the Black Diamond Lighthouse. It's a 4-season single wall tent. The tent, ground cloth, and a full set of stakes should be about 4.5 lbs.
_________________________
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#126331 - 01/05/10 04:57 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: NatureMike]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1007
Loc: Australia
"Thanks for the info on the scarp 2, but it seems as if snow would blow up through the fly since it is not attached at the bottom"

Due to popular demand, Henry has already fixed that on the Scarp 1 and I think that it will be done on the next batch of the Scarp 2 as well.
Having the fly down to the ground increases condensation, so Henry has designed the new version with vents at each end as well as an easy to slide up the main pole fly , so that you can choose how much ventilation you get.
Keep in mind that below about 40f , humidity makes us feel colder , so often is better to have some air movement inside the tent.
Franco
This is the new fly




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#126334 - 01/05/10 05:24 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: Franco]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
You could also go with two tents. For three season go with a tarptent, Lunar Duo, or other lightweight shelter. Then watch, REI Outlet, Sierra Trading Post, Campmor and other outlets for a 4 season (non mountaineering) tent for winter. For around your $500 budget, you'll get a very light tent with good ventilation for 3 season and a very sturdy, heavier tent you can close up tight for winter.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#126335 - 01/05/10 05:48 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: thecook]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
Maybe the REI Arete might work for you. Its on sale right now for 169$
REI Arete
_________________________
My gear is no where near lightweight

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#126338 - 01/05/10 06:29 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent suggestion [Re: thecook]
NatureMike Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Saginaw, Mi.
Why do you say to look for a non-mountaineering tent COOK?

Would it be a bad idea to get a 4 season tent for spring and summer use?


Edited by NatureMike (01/05/10 06:32 PM)

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#126339 - 01/05/10 07:44 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: Cesar]
Boomer Offline
member

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 98
Loc: Minnesota,USA
i have the arete. absolutely great tent for mountains great tent for moderate snow loads sub 5lbs makes it lightweight and when its pitched its like it was made of stone its so sturdy. doesnt accumulate alot of moisture if you know how to deal with it properly, by this im saying that at the top there is two interior vents you can open and close. AWSOME tent i for it 2 years ago and never looked back. little heavy though for a summer/fall tent though!
_________________________
Modern civilized man, sated with artificialities and luxury, were wont, when he returns to the primeval mountains, to find among their caves his prehistoric brother, alive and unchanged. -Guido Rey

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#126343 - 01/05/10 08:54 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: Boomer]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Mountaineering tents are heavy, strong tents built for high winds above tree line and unnecessary for regular backpacking. 4 season tents tend to be hot and humid in Spring through Fall because they are made to be closed up with full inner doors, flys that come down to the ground, and netting instead of mesh inner bodies to seal out the wind and wind blown snow. You can certainly get by with a 4 season or a 3+ season tent in the summer. I did for many years. However, buying two tents, which your budget allows as long as you stay away from Hilleberg and other very expensive tents, lets you get a very light 3 season tent with ventalation to help you stay comfortable on hot, humid nights and a heavier and tighter sealed tent for cold winter winds.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#126393 - 01/06/10 07:55 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: thecook]
NatureMike Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Saginaw, Mi.
Thanks for all of your suggestions. I have decided to buy the MSR Carbon Reflex 2. I will worry about a four season tent later on since most of my backpacking will be in the spring through the fall. I will let you know how it works out.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

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#126394 - 01/06/10 08:12 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: NatureMike]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Good choice; you can't go too far wrong with MSR gear. You'll definitely like it for 3 seasons - how well it works for 4 seasons will probably depend entirely on how much snow load you subject it to.

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#126435 - 01/07/10 12:29 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: Glenn]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
What tent can stand snow load.I would never leave any tent pitched in a snow storm if I was not there to shake off the snow as it came.
The fourth season is a real problem for me in any shelter without a chimney and heat inside .I camp where the trees grow.
A tarp does the roof over my head, keeps the wind out and I sit by a wood fire inside (weight near 5 lbs).
Why spend a pile of money on a tent if you have to live in your sleeping bag and shiver to keep warm.
The tarp chimney/stove is truly a four season outfit.


Edited by chimpac (01/07/10 01:38 PM)

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#126438 - 01/07/10 01:35 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: chimpac]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Camping in Canada is much different than camping in many parts of the US. We do not have the Crown Lands boreal forests like you do where firewood is readily available. In most US parks, you cannot cut down trees or gather downed trees for firewood and in many parks, open fires of any kind are not allowed, only fueled stoves. This is true in the high Sierra in Yosemite, for example.



_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#126456 - 01/07/10 05:22 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: TomD]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1007
Loc: Australia
My wife worked for almost a year with an Australian Aboriginal community about 300 miles from the cost. (she was the only white person there)
At one point she tried to explain what the sea is like to the kids there. The only water they have seen is from seasonal rivers and the various wells. The kids could not really understand the idea of "sea". A small group from a nearby community came over to Melbourne recently for a visit. You should have seen their faces when taken down to the beach.

Franco
And ,BTW , as pointed out in previous threads, for backpackers (not hunters...) an extra pound of down works a lot better than a 3 pound stove that needs to be fed at all times.


Edited by Franco (01/07/10 05:26 PM)

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#126503 - 01/08/10 11:13 AM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: Glenn]
NatureMike Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Saginaw, Mi.
Yeah, I plan on using the MSR for three seasons most of the time with an occasional over-nite winter trek from time to time. Again thank you for all of your comments.

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#126588 - 01/10/10 08:35 AM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: NatureMike]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I sent you a PM regarding the CR2.

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#127191 - 01/22/10 10:38 PM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: NatureMike]
mlhwild Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 41
Try a Vaude Refuge. Not Free Standing, a bit narrow for 2 but a taller interior height than most backpacking tents. True Weight is about 2lbs 9ozs. Not bad for a true 4 season tent.

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#127197 - 01/23/10 11:24 AM Re: Looking for a lightweight 4 season tent sugges [Re: mlhwild]
Dragon Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
I'm a firm believer that it's very hard to get one piece of gear in a category that "does it all". For example, a very lightweight summer sleeping bag saves weight and bulk, but then a shoulder season bag (early spring and late fall) is needed for some trips, and an even heavier bag for all out winter. So rather than getting 3 bags, many buy a bag that can handle down to 20 or 30 degrees F, and get a winter bag if needed.

Of course, the other side of the coin is watching the budget—which most of us have to do. Most people can't afford the best piece of gear for every possible trip scenerio. Buying used can always assist acquiring more options.

Then there's also the educational aspect of all of this. As we get and use new gear, we learn over time what we like and don't like, and thus how we want to adjust our gear closets.

I think you've made the right decision for now to get a three season tent that will also usually "make do" for the occasional winter outing. That also saves some weight for your most common three season usage.

Good luck, and happy camping!


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