I've done my research and for my needs I'm willing to spend $$$ for quality stuff.
I'm in the market for a 3 person tent, one that is light, and will just perform well and be spacious enough for two people (my wife and I), but also light enough that I can also use for a trip by myself if I want without feeling like I'm lugging a huge tent.
I don't care about color, about the looks. I care that it can take a beating in the wind and rain, and will just be a good and reliable tent and hold up for years if I take care of it.
After a lot of research, I've come to either:
NEMO Daggar 3 Big Agnus Copper Spur UL3
I know this is not a surprise... at all. And a lot of you must be rolling your eyes because, well, these two tents come up all the time on lists.
Both are 3 persons, very similar in weight, and size and both have good reviews.
But surely one must be better than the other. Does anyone have experiences with these tents? Suggestions?
I have a third of an answer via the Copper Spur UL1 vs. Nemo Hornet 1. They are fairly comparable as LW one-man tents with side entry. The Copper Spur canopy is free-standing while the Hornet is not, and the Hornet is lighter and tighter quarters.
Does any of this extrapolate to your options? Perhaps not but I can say the CS UL1 has been a great shelter. Even got rained on for the first time last week, and the fly-vestibule design worked great. Most nights I skip the fly and enjoy the night sky.
Nemo in general makes very good products but is in fewer stores than Big Agnes.
Thanks, Rick. This is helpful. I am leaning towards Big Agnes Copper Spur just because of the sheer praise it gets from everywhere, they must be doing something right.
But now after reading these boards I see a lot of people talking about Tarptent, and after looking into it, it seems quite appealing, so I'm throwing that in there too.
My first impressions of Tarptent: - I like that it's a smallish company that takes pride in their product - The designs are really different and look nothing like other tents out there. - I really like the Hogback (4 person) and Cloudburst 3. I am looking for a 3 person tent that can take a little more than just 3 seasons.
I wonder if there are any downsides. Will I in anyway miss having a free standing tent? Are there other things I'll miss from a major brand's tent? Like, the amount of mesh pockets, for example. I also wonder if I'll miss just being able to pull down a zipper and look through mesh... With Tarptent, specifically the models I mentioned, it looks like you have to go through decent effort to get window appeal. Also ever so slightly concerned about condensation in them.
Obviously, I dont think one can go wrong in this list but it's so hard to choose one!
We've used the tarptent rainbow 3 for years. Very solid tent---and yes, this company has great customer service. The vestibule is a nice size (we use it as a two-man tent, and can easily fit our packs in the vestibule, or at the foot of the tent). And we've had condensation exactly once. But we hike in the Sierra, where the humidity levels are very low.
I've always figured a tent is for sleeping. If you want views, get out of the tent. And tent windows can be a great place to get a leak, or a crack.
The only downside for me is that you can't pitch this tent very easily on hard surfaces. You need soil for the stakes, or a lot of large and conveniently placed rocks. But again, where we camp that hasn't been an issue.
I have the Hogback and love it for backpacking with my family of four. I used it once solo, because I was lending out my 2-person tent (that weighs about the same). I got lost in the tent. It is a very big tent for 1 or two people. Tarptent's in general seem to be much more spacious than the tent you buy in the big box stores. I have seen comparisons and Tarptent's 2-person tents were much more comparable to Big Agnes 3-person tents. For big unrelated guys you would definitely need extra space, but for you and your wife you might want to consider a TarpTent 2-person model. The Stratospire 2 is supposed to be a particularly spacious tent.
You mentioned the desire to look through mesh at the stars. The Hogback and Stratospire are both double wall tents.
In terms of issues with freestanding. I think it is an issue more in people's minds than in actuality. I have not found it an issue. Every tent (whether or not it is freestanding) needs to be staked down to not blow away in the wind. Most commercial "freestanding" tents requires the vestibule to be staked out to be functional. You might loose the ability to adjust the location of the set-up tent easily, but most of my site adjustment happens before I put in the poles. In tight tent spots you may get to a quasi-functional state quicker with a freestanding tent, but rain fly's flapping in the breeze don't protect you from rain very well.
Thanks for the detailed review and suggestions on these tents.
The Hogback is appealing for so many reasons. My wife and I, as much as we love each other, arent keen on waking each other up. And would love a tent that has a slight 3+ season edge to it, for those twice a year trips where we push it.
Someone pointed this out elsewhere but the Scarp 2 is basically a smaller version of the Hogback.
Do these tents have any interior functions? Pockets, or is it pretty much the wall and fabric to be as light as humanly possible?
The tents certainly don't have a lot of doodads. I seem to recall a mesh pocket. You might want to email TT and ask if you are looking for a particular feature. I tend to think most of those add-ons are sales talking point and don't get used very much.
Make no mistake these tents are designed to be as light as possible. The Hogback can fit four people but there isn't much vestibule space. We sometimes have a challenge getting all four pair of shoes under one vestibule. For two people? who cares you'll have plenty of space inside the tent...
Thanks again, I'm eyeing the Scarp 2. That makes sense. A lot of those things are indeed talking points but some mesh pockets as basic and are actually helpful, for me at least.
As you mentioned, Hogback might be overkill for 2 people, I just want a little room, but I think the Scarp 2 might go the other way -- a little too small where two people are smashed up right next to one another. If you look at the list below, the Scarp 2 is quite "small"
Tarptent Hogback 4 person, 3+ season $500 5.06 lbs/81 oz, 51 sq ft 86 x 86 Tarptent Cloudburst 3, 3+ seasons $450 3.75 pounds/60 oz 37 sq ft 86 x 62 Tarptent Scarp 2 3-4 season $450 4.68-5lbs/75-80oz 32 sq ft 88 x 52 NEMO Daggar 3 2019 version has leak issues $??? 3 lbs 14 oz 43.9 sq ft Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 3 Tent - 2019 *** best one i think $500 3 lb 14 oz, 41 sq ft. 90x70 Big Agnes Tiger Wall HV UL 3 $350 2lb 14oz 38 sq ft Big Agnes Copper Spur HV3 Expedition 4 season $549, 6lb 3 oz 41 sq ft
So when I go to the Tarptentwebsite, and configure the tent with an aluminum crosspole and mesh interior, the website calculates the weight. I can only assume the Scarp 2 is a 4 season tent with the aluminum crossing pole, right? Would you consider the Scarp 2 a four season tent? See below for weight: 75 oz for mesh, 80 oz for solid. And thanks for the discussion! Also re: wind, is the tent really noisy with wind? I know noise is unavoidable but can you can it really taught to minimize the flapping sounds?
The Scarp 2 is a convertible 3 to 4 season tent. One fly, two interiors to chose from (solid or mesh) and you can add the external X poles if you do winter camping where it does snow. The std 3 season set up (fly and mesh inner) can take some snow too but a few inches of the wet stuff not a foot or more.. The interior is a bit larger than some. it can take 2x long/wide mats (25"x77" ) or in emergency 3x 20" wide mats. Sets up fly and inner together , so you don't get a wet floor if erecting the tent in the rain. Not freestanding , stands up with the 4 corner stakes , works better (if windy) with the extra 2 for the side guylines. needs to be seam sealed , DIY or TT will do it for $35. There is no stock right now but the updated 2020 version should arrive in a few weeks. I used my Scarp 1 on snow, a mate has the Scarp 2 , also used on snow as well as for the rest of the year. (I used to (sort of...) work for TT by looking after forum enquiries)
Oh, I see. You are quoting with the crossing pole. It is not needed in 3 season use.
In terms of wind noise Tarptents are much better in my experience compared to big box store tents. The structure of a partially free standing tents allow manufacturers to be somewhat lazy with stake placement. To get a taut pitch you need a metric ton of stakes. With a Tarptent the stakes provide the structure so they are well thought out to give you a taut pitch. You can spot a Tarptent in a campground a mile away because they (IMO) pitch so much better than other tents.
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