View Full Version : Tent Recommendations

David Knapp
05-08-2009, 09:49 PM
Just wondering what everyone else out there is using when it comes to tents for backpacking. Since the bear incident, I've got to get a new tent before I head west. Weight and packed size (dimensions) are important to me but so is not breaking the bank. My last tent was a Big Agnes Sarvis SL with eVent but they don't make that one anymore. Right now I'm leaning towards the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 2 but I'm open to suggestions. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 is very cool also and weighs almost nothing but I would like a tent that could handle two people in a pinch (I like a roomy tent by myself). As you can tell, I am partial to the Big Agnes tents but would like to hear what others have to say on other brands as well... Thanks for any suggestions!

05-08-2009, 10:52 PM
Anything Sierra Designs makes.

David Knapp
05-08-2009, 11:31 PM
cubefisher, anything in particular you like about the Sierra Designs tents? I have looked at them but am not real impressed with the weight and pack size on their products. I will say that I have heard lots of good stuff about the Clip Flashlight tent though... Also, any particular model that you really like? I'm probably wanting a 2 person tent...

fly fisherman DK
05-08-2009, 11:36 PM
My dad and I have the kelty grand mesa 2 tent and we like it a lot.

05-09-2009, 12:00 AM
Kelty or MSR...MSR is like the un "Official" tent of the AT. Pricey but more than likely worth the dough. I've got a buddy's Kelty. 2 man, takes about 3 minutes to fully set up. Simple!


05-09-2009, 12:00 AM
PA, I have a Kelty Gunnison 2.1 and really like it. Its more of a car camping tent that you can backpack with (its about 5.5lbs), rather than the Seedhouse which is a truer backpacking tent. The farthest down the trail I would take (have taken) our Kelty is about 3-5 miles. Its not meant for multi-day trips on the AT, but its a good basecamp tent...

REI has some good stuff on their website with lots of reviews. Big Agnes has a great reputation and if you want to stay ultralight, its probably the way to go...

05-09-2009, 12:35 AM
You might want to check out some of the REI tents if you're on a budget. I have a Half-Dome that's gotten me through all sorts of weather. It's built surprisingly well for a value tent. I'm sure you won't want the half-dome, due to it being a bit heavy (5lb-ish), but you might consider the Quarter Dome T2 (<$200). REI has a great return policy also, if you decide it's not something you want to keep.

For backcountry trips I use a Hilleberg Akto (solo). It's one of the best investments I've made.

My friend has a Big Agnes Copper SL 2, which he raves about. I was able to check it out a couple of weeks ago when we hiked back to #47 on Raven Fork. It's a solid tent for being so light; it's quite roomy too. A bit expensive though. Your best bet may be the Seedhouse that you're already considering.

05-09-2009, 06:53 AM
I have a big agnes seedhouse sl3 and love it. It offers plenty of ventilation and has weathered a few heavy storms with no problems at all. I definitely love mine and wouldn't hesitate to buy another big agnes product.

05-09-2009, 09:00 AM
I upgraded to Big Aagnes Seedhouse 1 last year. Very easy to setup and packs down well. It's not the SL, so I got a great deal on it.

05-09-2009, 09:58 AM
I have the MSR Zoid 1 and love it! It's right at 4 pounds.

My friend liked it so well he bought the Zoid 2 - for a little more room.


Dancing Bear
05-09-2009, 12:24 PM
While researching ultra-light shelters I found the Tarptent. They look very interesting and got good reviews. When I can afford to upgrade to ultra-light I'm considering one of them. Check them out. We have an old Sierra Designs Meteor Light now and they are bomb proof but a little heavy. Not too bad if you split the weight with someone.

05-09-2009, 01:53 PM
Yeah, those tarptents are nice. I like this one with the one center pole and 2 cross struts for set up:


05-09-2009, 11:05 PM
I just picked up a new tent for a trip I will be going on this summer.

Marmot Limelight 2P

I was looking for a lightweight tent, freestanding, ability to pitch the fly only, good quality materials/seams/zippers/etc... and something that wouldn't break the bank.

I picked it up on Moosejaw during a rediculous sale they were running for around $100 shipped. You can see the specs for the tent on Moosejaw's website. If you've never shopped Moosejaw, I highly recommend them for outdoor gear. Very good service. I ordered on a Tuesday, paid $0 for "UPS economy ground" shipping and had the tent by Thursday at noon.

I was impressed with how easy it is to set up. The frist time out of the box, without reading instructions, it took me approx 5 minutes to put both the tent and fly up (see first picture below). The tent is large enough for me (6', 200lbs) so I don't rub any sides while laying flat. I like the way they cut the floor so all seams are lifted from the ground. This tent also includes a footprint which is typically a $40-$50 option on most other tents.

Tent with fly:

Tent w/ no fly, completely freestanding:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3368/3472647970_9291db1996.jpg[URL="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3368/3472647970_9291db1996.jpg"] (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3551/3472622692_4b51169554.jpg)

Fly only:

05-09-2009, 11:48 PM
I'm not gonna lie...My tent is from Walmart. It cost about $25 and I sprayed it with water repellent. It weighs a ton, but I don't mind.

05-10-2009, 01:22 PM
I have a MSR Fling,
priced at $150. But it weighs less than 4 lbs and it is the largest 2 person lightweight tent I could find. I am 6"4 so I need something big.
It is a great singlewall tent that does great in the rain.

05-10-2009, 03:23 PM

That is nice. I don't think I've seen a tent that nice for that price.

05-11-2009, 12:33 AM
I have an REI hoodoo. Not the lightest, but my wife usually goes with me, so we split it up, and that helps. We can set it up in about 2 min. or less. It withstood two very heavy rain and hail storms in yellowstone last year. Very roomy, probably too big for what you are looking for though, it is listed as a three man, so its roomy for the two of us. With REI tents you get a good quality tent that won't break the wallet. If I needed another tent it would probably be an MSR or Black Diamond, but I am happy with what I have.

05-11-2009, 06:14 AM
I purchased the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 2 last summer. I have used it several times and love it. It has plenty of room and you can actually sit up in the tent. I am a huge big agnes fan. They make great products and their customer service is awesome.

05-11-2009, 06:58 AM
Sorry, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

I have a Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL2 (http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/EmeraldMountainSL2). Everything else I said was correct. I must have had a "camping moment", kind of like a "senior moment".

The Emerald Mountain SL2 (http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/EmeraldMountainSL2) is a great tent and I could not be more pleased with it.

Tiger fly
05-11-2009, 10:40 AM
I've got the Sierra Designs Clips Flashlight 2 too. Great tent. Packs down to less than 4 lbs. Really more like a comfy 1 person tent than a two person tent. Tight quarters for 2. I can have the thing set up in less than 10 minutes taking my time. I wish it were freestanding though.

David Knapp
05-11-2009, 11:11 AM
Thanks to everyone for their recommendations! I decided to go with the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2. Can't wait for it to get here! Now I need to find someone that sells tent insurance before I take it around the bears again...:eek:

05-11-2009, 02:20 PM
Good choice PA.

I have a Seedhouse SL1 for my solo trips and have been very impressed with it.

05-11-2009, 03:22 PM
Sorry for the late reply. Mine's an older one...Meteor Lite. I've had it for about 15 years, and it's been everywhere. Never had any problems with it, and it's easy to deal with. Been in some humdinger storms and stayed quite dry. My only beef is having one door. A door on each side makes trips to the nearest pee tree much less disruptive during the small hours.

05-11-2009, 03:35 PM
Hey P.A.

Don't forget to treat it with the BEAR SPRAY before head out......

Oh wait, sorry that's a different thread.:smile:

05-11-2009, 11:40 PM
Look at the Alps Mountaineering line of Taurus tents, very well made and unbelieveably waterproof.

05-12-2009, 01:29 PM
You won't regret it. I have never heard of any complaints about any of Big Agnes' products and the time i spoke to them they were more than helpful and seemed extremely friendly.

Now you just gotta break it in soon.