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Tent: Northface Stormbreak-1 vs Marmot Tungsten 1P (or other)?


tbessie
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Hi all...

I've got a couple of good Marmot tents from years ago (Zoom 2-person and Monarch 3-person), but they're a bit big/heavy for carrying while backpacking or bicycle touring.

I'm going to be doing a 2-week bike trip soon, and want to get a light 1-person tent to lighten the load, and have broken it down to about 3 of them (based on my desire for a simple tent with only 2 or 3 poles).

I basically just need a lightweight 1-person tent; expense isn't important, I like good quality; must be free-standing and pack reasonably small for fitting on a bike rack; I'll be using this at first for bike touring, but in the future for solo backpacking trips of varying lengths. Price is not important (within reason - less than $500); most important to me are easy/clever setup, high quality and durability, good design; I don't like the newer tents with complex pole systems (split poles at the end, poles going over the front/top to add more width or height, etc.). My first tent was a Moss Starlet, just 2 sleeved tent poles, very simple.

... so, here's the tents I've found that fit the bill:

  • North Face Stormbreak-1
  • Marmot Tungsten 1P
  • MSR Hubba NX 1-Person (not a 2-pole tent, but gets high review marks)

The first two are reasonably cheap, the third much more expensive. Also, the Stormbreak-1 has less netting in it (which is good for privacy), and the top 3/4 of the Marmot is almost all netting... I'm a bit concerned about privacy and maybe always having to use the fly on the Marmot due to that.

So... does anyone have any recommendations for a small solo tent of quality? Any opinions about the above?

For reference, here's a Moss Starlet - in my opinion, the most perfect tent I ever had (tho' a bit heavy by today's standards, and mine has lost its water resistence):

post-1576-143508725483_thumb.jpg

- Tim

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The side entry feature on all three tents is nice, however, the NF Stormbreak has a pretty small vestibule, only 6 sq ft. and is only 34" high.

The Tungsten and Hubba NX both have larger vestibules making it easier to enter/exit your tent during the rain with room to store gear under.

Big Agnes makes a tent similar in size and price to the Tungsten but with quite a bit less mesh on it. It's called the Tumble 1 mtnGLO and includes LED lightstrips built into the tent for $219.00. It has a 10 sq ft vestibule and 37" height, similar to both the Tungsten and Hubba NX.

post-611-143508725489_thumb.jpg

Hope this helps.

Edited by PaulGS
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The side entry feature on all three tents is nice, however, the NF Stormbreak has a pretty small vestibule, only 6 sq ft. and is only 34" high.

The Tungsten and Hubba NX both have larger vestibules making it easier to enter/exit your tent during the rain with room to store gear under.

Big Agnes makes a tent similar in size and price to the Tungsten but with quite a bit less mesh on it. It's called the Tumble 1 mtnGLO and includes LED lightstrips built into the tent for $219.00. It has a 10 sq ft vestibule and 37" height, similar to both the Tungsten and Hubba NX.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your suggestions, Paul! Yes, several other people have mentioned a few of the Big Agnes tents to me - I'm still leery of those Y-shaped pole ends on either end, and the little bit on top that pulls it up - a symmetrical 2-pole design just seems somewhat more "elegant" to me (and simple). I'll take a look at the Big Agnes tents too, but still favor the simpler pole setup, I think.

How's the built-in LEDs on that, by the way? Interesting idea!

Incidentally, after looking around a bit more, I discovered Hilleberg tents, which are quite amazing and well-built, though quite expensive. They also seem much better suited to camping in snow or rain, less so in hotter weather (due to lack of much in the way of venting). If they made something like their Unna or Soulo, but with some mesh on top, I'd be sold on those.

- Tim

Edited by tbessie
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  • 1 month later...
Brandon_0384

I have the stormbreak 1. I use it all the time on day hikes.  Never used it more than 3 days straight.  I love this tent.  Light, easy to use, even if caught in the dark.  I use the footprint and a pack cover for my large pack.  My small pack has enough room to stay out of the rain.  My large pack does not.

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If expense is not a deal breaker for you, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL-1 is a great tent (2lb 7oz), single pole, free standing.  If privacy is an issue, you need to pitch it with the rain fly.  Very easy setup.  Have had this tent for 2 years, still have the 2 person version (for 6 years).  Usually $370, but looks like REI has it on sale over their July 4 sale for $279:  http://www.rei.com/product/865388/big-agnes-copper-spur-ul-1-tent

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