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UL Tents


aguerra.1993
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Hello everyone, I'm looking for a new tent and am going into the UL category. I'm looking for a 3 season, 2 person tent, keep it under 2 and a half lbs., preferably use trekking poles to set up, bug netting either sewn into it or 2 wall. I was looking at the Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 but the lightweight material feels too light, if that's a thing. I really like the Tarptent Notch but there's no way I could fit two people in there. I'm open to recommendations, thanks for any help!

Edit- Also, if you guys have some recommendations on winter footwear that aren't boots please let me know. I am trying to stick to minimalist footwear but now that I am beginning to get into winter hikes and some day mountaineering, I'm wondering if there are alternatives for me. Thanks!

Edited by aguerra.1993
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The Tarptent Stratospire is the 2-person version of the Notch. Looks huge. The Tarptent Double Rainbow is probably their most popular tent. It's a great tent and a great deal.

Lots of people love their Big Agnes tents and I never hear of the light fabric being an issue. People I know say the Copper Spur is easier to get in & out of than the Fly Creek. Although I've spent a lot of money on camping gear, the price of the BA tents always freaks me out - I'd rather buy two Double Rainbows than one Fly Creek UL.

 

You can get away with waterproof low-top hikers for a little snow. Gaitors would help. My normal hiking shoes are non-waterproof low tops and I always wear boots in the snow. There is no such thing as minimalist mountaineering footwear. Maybe if you've already lost all your toes to frostbite...

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Aaron Zagrodnick

For a 2-person tent I like something with 2 doors - much more livable...a little extra floor space and vestibules don't hurt either. Although slightly over the 2.5lb goal the Lunar Duo from Six Moon Designs is a great tent - our review: 

http://www.trailgroove.com/issue3.html?autoflip=35

The TarpTent options look good as well, although in the weight category that you're looking at, I only have experience with their Rainshadow 2. Zpacks also has the Duplex or Triplex in cuben fiber that are really light...MSR has a new Carbon Reflex 2 out for 2016: 

http://www.rei.com/product/896091/msr-carbon-reflex-2-tent

For me however, I like a little more headroom but might not be an issue in your case. The options from Big Agnes look like contenders - although I prefer a rectangular floorplan...I wouldn't worry about the fabric with normal use and care.

In regards to winter footwear - While I use lightweight trail running shoes most of the year, I find a relatively lightweight, waterproof/breathable mid-height boot with gaiters to be better all around in winter than making trail runners or minimal footwear work in anything other than very light snow conditions.

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Thanks for the info, yeah I didn't think they'd have a minimalist option for winter footwear but then again I guess it depends on the person. I've seen and heard of people who are barefoot all year round even in cold weather. Anyways, I think I may raise the weight limit to 3 lbs. And although trekking pole setup would be a big plus, I am willing for it to have tent poles. Those tents look really nice but they are out of my price range. I can't spend more than $300 on a tent. Luckily I can get BA tents at a good price. I'm considering the Copper Spur 2, although bigger and heavier, this tent will primarily be used either with my girlfriend when we backpack or when I am out working with the conservation corps, which I over pack just because it's not backpacking so the extra space is nice.

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I'm sure the Copper Spur would work out well. At $310 the Lunar Duo is just outside your range so not sure if it's in contention at all, but we've had many good years of service out of ours - it's a great design!

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This may sound like a noob question but besides having no mesh between you and the fly, is there any difference between a tarptent and a 2 wall tent? I see people say that they don't want to their sleeping bags to possibly touch condensation on the fly, but that can be easily wiped off or throw your rain jacket over the feet of your sleeping bag.

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Aaron Zagrodnick

In regards to condensation in the double wall you shouldn't be contacting any condensation on the fly, and it can offer a bit of an additional layer against any condensation that might be knocked or fall from the ceiling.

Another possible benefit with a double wall tent is that you can often setup just the inner if desired in good weather for ventilation and a view or use just the fly alone. However, in practice I personally never use just the inner or fly alone with a double wall...instead opting for more warmth and protection from the wind, perhaps snow, or mosquitoes in regards to using just the fly. Mine are actually both TarpTents, (The actual company makes single and double wall shelters) and the inner and the fly just always stay connected. Great setup that way as well. 

For me, it mostly just comes down to the best shelter design / weight / space / setup / etc. and single vs. double wall doesn't play too big of a part in that decision - I've had some condensation in single wall tents for sure, (and double wall for that matter as well) but with the right design the tent will be large enough inside that you're not contacting any areas that would have condensation, and it's always been manageable...only once a memorable nuisance but that was in a worse case condensation scenario and we still stayed warm and dry. The design of the shelter and use will definitely play a role as well.

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I had a single wall tent that dripped water on my sleeping bag - that was not cool. My Six Moon Design Lunar Solo has steep walls and I don't get dripped on, but I often touch the walls and they are often wet. It's what I'm willing to do for a < 2# tent that packs to the size of a water bottle. The fly on a double wall tent can touch the mesh and give you the same issue if it's not guyed out tautly. Condensation is an issue in any tent when camped in damp locations.

The single pole of the Tarptent Rainbows keeps the tent fabric away from you and it's one reason people love those tents.

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