2 person lightweight tent options
As part of my on-going lowering of my base weight I'm now looking at shelter, specifically, a tent. I've read all the forum posts, but would still appreciate the community's feedback on my specific requirements. And also would appreciate your feedback on how specific brands and models perform. I think I want a lightweight 2-person tent, but I'm open to opinions. Probable use-cases: - 1: camping when hut is full - 2: camping on the tops - 3: emergency shelter I figure I want something that primarily would be used in less inclement conditions - i.e. if there is a storm we will jolly well get off the tops and into a hut; but can also handle a decent amount of wet and wind should we get caught out. As such there should be enough space or two and ideally two vestibles - one for packs and one for cooking. We will likely have a tarp along as either a footprint or additional shelter. I'm open to trekking-pole tents (but worry that they are not as good in stronger winds). Ideally something that can be put up in the rain. I am not looking fora bothy or straght tarp here. I'm looking at the lightweight options out there. I feel I'd like to target not too much over 1kg. This creates a bit of tension as lighter does tend to mean less robust and less waterproof. Lets look at the options, starting local, and then moving out. **MacPac:** - Options all seem heavy. - Floor HH is always 10,000mm - Duolight main HH is only 1,200mm. - I'm betting the rest are good for NZ conditions. **Kathmandu (Lansan):** - 1.72kg is lighter, but still on the heavy side. - Floor HH is 10,000mm - Fly HH is 1,500mm - Inner needs to be pitched **InTents(All-weather)** - 2.9kg - it's heavy - Floor HH is 10,000mm - Fly HH is 3,000mm - I think too heavy, but gosh it looks robust - Also concerned that the brand is not that big, so there is a shortage of reviews. **InTents (UL Silnylon)** - 1.3kg is starting to get the the weight I want. - Floor HH of 3,000mm is a biot of a concern. - Fly HH of 3,000mm is good. - Does look modelled on the ZPacks Duplex, but twice the weight. **Big Agnes (Fly Creek):** - Great weight of 879g (with poles!) - Fly and floor HH of 1,200mm - seems a problem - Vestibule is limited. **Big Agnes (Tiger Wall):** - Pretty decent weight at 992g - Fly and floor HH of 1,200mm - seems a problem - nice vestibules. **Big Agnes (Copper Spur):** - Not too heavy - 1.25kg - Fly and floor HH of 1,200mm - seems a problem - but the Tiger wall seems better **Big Agnes (Hotel):** - Getting a big heavy, but look at that vestibule. - Fly and floor HH of 1,200mm - not good enough at this weight. **Gossamer Gear (The Two):** - Light at 869g, but not as light as you would expect - Fly and floor HH of 1,200mm - seems a problem - Again - similar to the Duplex, but not as good **Tarptents (Stratospire Li) :** - Light - 786g - Floor and fly HH of 8,000mm - seems decent - Looks robust - Nice vestibules - But the price is ouch. I had thought price wouldn't be an issue. **Tarptents (Motrail):** - pretty light - 964g - Floor HH is 3,000mm - Fly HH is 5,000mm - Looks robust - short on vestibules **Tarptents (Double Rainbow):** - Not too heavy - 1.2kg (especialy with poles) - Didn't find the HH, but assume same as Stratospire 2 - Decent vestibules. - Looks a bit tall to be really robust **Tarptents (Stratospire 2):** - Not too heavy - 1.3kg - Floor and Fly HH of 3,000mm - Same as the Stratospire Li, but cheaper, heavier and lower HH **zPacks (Duplex):** - 550g! Gosh. - Floor HH is 20,000mm - Fly HH is 15,000mm - The question is - how does it stand up in decent winds? *there are more, but most add no new nuances. IF you dis I have a friend coming over from the states who might be willing to bring one over for me - so I can look at the wider market. This review seems useful: https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-ultralight-tent **Questions:** - a bunch of these top rated ultralight tenst have a floor and fly HH of 1200mm - folk seem to think this isn't a problem. Some contributors to these forums disagree. How much of a problem is this in New Zealand? And I'm thinking of those muddy areas the Tararuas here. - Does anyone have experience with Tarptents? The owner responded to me with the HH of the non-dyneema products, and commented, "Nobody reports leaks. 3,000mm is equivalent to a column of water 3m high." Does this sound fair? - Does anyone have experience with the Duplex? What sort of confidence do you have that it would be okay in a decent wind? - Any other recommendedation?
If you're only hutting, then an inflatable mattress will do if the bunks are taken. As emergency shelter, a simple bivvy or survival bag/bovvy/blanket might do. But deliberate tenting will need something a little more substantial, if you want to ensure comfort. This means you can pack accordingly to the trip & not have to worry about carrying kilos of tent on the off-chance it's needed. I'm suggesting you look at back-up accomodation vs tenting as 2 different types of gear.
try the MSR Access 2 weights about 2kgs very stable in wind I had lightweight terra Nova Photon 2, under 1kgs but could not handle the high winds and rain in exposed, high places (1500 metres) reolaced with the MSRvAccess 2, endured very heavy rain and high wind on the westcost tops in March. tent stood up well, wind and rain wise I use it as a one person, but willtake two
I'm no gearhead so take anything I say with a grain of salt, but, here goes. You've obviously done a tonne of research and identified a lot of tents but I think the biggest problem is, as @Pro-active touched on, you haven't sufficiently identified what you want the tent for. A tent for camping above the bushline/on the tops is a way different creature to one that is intended to be carried as back up if a hut is full or as an emergency shelter. The range of tents you have identified shows this as at a glance they range from 3/4 season models to ultra-light types that are generally not designed to be taken too far off the beaten trail and certainly not pitched on our tops. The MSR tent @TararuaHunter mentioned is an example of a 4 season tent that can handle extended poor weather on the tops. The final ZPacks tent is an example of what not to take to the tops. For me 2kg is not heavy for a good 3/4 season tent if you aim is to use it for tops camping. Also, bear in mind if you are having to carry extra tarps or walking poles just to make a lightweight tent functional/safe in NZ conditions then why not buy a more suitable but slightly heavier tent and save the hassle? Many lightweight tents also only include minimal or very small and light pegs that are often not satisfactory in NZ conditions so these may need to be upgraded too at additional cost and weight. HH = hydrostatic head. It is effectively as was described to you. ie the vertical height of a column of water that would be required to provide enough pressure for the water to bead through/penetrate the fabric. (Someone will probably have a much better/more scientifically accurate definition for you but that is the gist) Bear in mind there are also many other considerations than the waterhead on tent fabrics to consider. Check the denier count as well and whether they are rip stop as basics. Also, how dry you stay will also come down to factors in the tent design such as how well it can shed water and where it is shedding it to, whether it has a tub floor or not, breath-ability and whether it is a single or double skin (ie separate inner and fly and if the inner is solid or mesh).
a lot of americans bringing their tents get them trashed in NZ wind, big agnes are one of those brands. lighter MSR's break as well anything that doesnt have a hoop frame is more prone to getting trashed..
Try Hilleberg tents, they appear to be relatively lightweight but well built. We have been looking at replacing our tent (macpac) and a friend suggested these. The specs look impressive.
Hilleberg are among the most robust tents on the market, excellent warranty and service...
I had the same dilemma and here’s what I’ve tried / sold / ended up with: MSR Hubba hubba - great tent and I do miss it at times, but I never used after getting Zpacks duplex - used for many local (Auckland and upper north island) trips in mainly fine weather. Remarkable light and luxury room for one. Took it around the Routeburn / Greenstone in summer and it worked really well. It’s a breezy tent in wind but I’ve not used it in anything more than light winds. Fully water proof. Can get condensation issues which are hard to avoid when obliged to camp in set locations, often on grass by water with high humidity etc. fantastic summer tent overall. Needs two trekking poles or can get the optional flex poles to make it free standing which works well. Sold the MSR and got the Hilleberg NIAK which is what I take on any South Island trips. Can be set up in rain without getting the inner wet and handles weather very well, though I’ve been lucky not to have used it in anything more than some heavy rain and moderate wind. But it’s a peace of mind tent that I don’t mind carrying 1.7 kg for. I’ve carried this tent for many many days and not used it but having it it as a back up for full huts or when someone has the fire cranked to heat the place to 30C in summer has been really handy. Seriously, why do people do that? Nemo hornet elite 2p - got one for a really good price and that’s a tent I like as its nearly free standing double wall for less than 1 kg. But I put it up once in light rain at home and was utterly shocked at how soaked the inner got before I could get the fly over it. There’s probably a way to get the fly on first with the footprint, but that’s not something I really want to worry about if the forecast is for rain. So that’s a summer tent also. The floor will get water coming through from your weight on wet or even slightly damp ground unless you use the foot print. Not a flood but a damp floor. Hilleberg Anjan 2 gt is a great tent for two with like most 2p tents one person needs to use a ‘medium’ width sleeping pad if the other is using a ‘wide’ one. Worked well with my daughter on the Abel Tasman but the bloody wekas could get under the fly and kept stealing stuff out of the vestibule so we basically had to store everything in the main tent. This is one tent that did get the hell wind test when we had winds of over 50k gusting to 100 k in a freak storm blasting down the Pararaha valley a couple of years ago. I had big rocks on all the pegs and everything locked down, it was solid but it shook like crazy as the freight train winds blew down the valley. Little sleep but the tent stayed put. Not a good tent for those square bark covered tent pads though as it’s too long and both ends must be pegged down. Had to create a notched wood pole from a piece of firewood at blue lake to stake down one end outside the square. Best tent in my opinion - the Hilleberg NIAK.
Try Wild Country tents from the UK, designed by Terra Nova a well regarding UK brand, though the Wild Country ones are made in China (what isn't these days!) that makes them good value. I've got the 2 man Zephyroabos, it's fairly light (1.7kg) and quite robust. I had the original nicked, but had no hesitation replacing it with the same. It pitches outer first which is always a bonus. I've used Tarps but not Tarp tents, being single skin no ventilation may be ok in the States, but it's very rare to get no condensation, and with it will just be tripping down or any contact with the side of the tent will ensure wet sleeping bag or gear, which is the last thing you want.
Thanks guys. Lets clarify the requirements as being for tent tramping, and specifically on the Tararua tops in the spring and summer. I am not looking for a 4-season tent, and I'm not looking for a simple bivy, tarp or emergency shelter.
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