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?
I did a trip one time and took a Macpac Minaret fly and the other 2 slept in an Olympus fly plus inner. They got wet and it came down to where they had pitched it. Also rain was bouncing up from the ground and entering via the inner.In my case, rain was not trapped inside. That was an unexpected outcome. The next time we pitched our tents, once again theirs got wet inside. I think mine was in a drier spot. We don't trust our tent in high winds and spend a lot of time finding the most sheltered spot. We know we can't rely on its strength so make sure it is in the lee of the wind. One time we had to camp on the Tin Range with a storm forecasted and 2 DoC rangers materialised and told us of a sheltered spot by the tarn near Mt Allen. It was a bit boggy so I snapped off tips of manuka and planted the pointy ends in the ground, building a platform for our sleeping mats (over a footprint as we were staying under a fly). Frank snapped off more manuka and lay the bits on their side, building a platform surrounding our sleeping mats to keep the gear off the ground too and dry. I went back to reminisce a couple of times in later years and some of the manuka had taken root! We spent 36 hours at that site, waiting for the storm to pass over. I've read so many scary accounts of people getting caught in high winds in the Tararuas that unless the weather forecast is reassuring,I think a 4 season tent would be the way to go up there.
I have a lot of experience with some of the more lightweight designs out there, and I can tell you that each tent will offer pro's and con's that will excel in one environment and potentially fail in another. Hydrostatic Head and wind - the higher the better but setting your tent up in a puddle would be considered poor site selection and bad practice, however in NZ you don't always have many options, and sometimes you have no options. The absolute worst places to camp for water drainage are established camp sites, the water doesn't drain - it pools. If this is your reality, you need a more robust floor. Macpac floors are heavy for a reason. Again, setting up in high wind is not intelligent practice however the same limitations apply with campsite selection, but if this is a real issue then I would avoid trekking pole shelters and carbon fiber struts. Tarptent - now uses a new silnylon hydrostatic head of 3000 and claims they cannot force any water through the fabric, I might add that Tarptent is a Western US company (Nevada City, CA) and that area does not see rain like we do here, or even like I saw growing up in the eastern US along the Appalachian Trail. Also, the Western US is very calm despite it's large mountains. The Sierra Nevada range is one of the most predictable and tame ranges in North America. Their new DCF tent is reviewed extensively here by Ryan Jordan of Backpacking Light - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5AfnCFbmAA - he clearly favors the design over the Zpacks Duplex, especially in snow and wind. However, anything carbon fiber scares me, and all Tarptent struts are carbon fiber. On an extended trip I would carry an additional strut, they weight next to nothing, are like $15-20 and provide huge piece of mind. Zpacks/DCF - DCF is absolutely waterproof - it doesn't leak and it's simple to fix in the field. Silnylon is nearly impossible to fix in the field unless you have very good sewing skills and silicone seam sealer, not to mention an entire day of dry weather and sunshine, preferably two days. If DCF rips, throw some DCF tape on it and you're good. It doesn't sag when wet and is incredibly strong, but has a limited life. The price is the obvious issue and most are trekking pole designs. Trekkertent makes a sweet DCF tent with proper poles here - http://www.trekkertent.com/home/home/39-phreeranger-dyneema-composite.html - this is "probably" the strongest DCF tent that exists right now, it's also going to set you back $1000NZD. Zpacks are classic thru-hiking tents, open trails, long days, crushing miles, they would also excel in many areas of Australia, but I think you would need to watch your ass here with one in many places. Big Agnes - 1200hh is fine for a fly, anywhere, but a floor at 1200, and a floor that thin is suspect. It would be important to use the groundsheet or make one not to add waterproofing, but to protect the floor from damage. In a puddle a groundsheet can actually make things worse if water becomes trapped between the two fabrics - very common in standing water. No, cutting it smaller than the tent won't help (in pooling water). Saying that you could always add a Tyvek groundsheet inside to add waterproofing, Tyvek holds it's shape and can be folded, if not a little irritating and loud. Based on your post I would recommend the following: Most reliable - Hilleberg Niak - https://us.hilleberg.com/EN/tent/yellow-label-tents/niak/ Rock solid - Mont Moondance - https://www.mont.com.au/moondance-2-tent-lemongrass - but not a fan of vents that high up on the fly Lightest - Nordisk Telemark 2 LW - https://nordisk.eu/telemark-2-lw/forest-green/p/73 - but watch the material, very light What I would probably get - https://www.vango.co.uk/gb/tents/1043-f10-helium-ul-2.html - 3000hh fly and the floors are around 5000 I believe, price isn't terrible, aluminum poles, 1.23kg on trail
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