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Help needed with narrowing down tent choice


J-Squared
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I am in the market for a new tent and could use some advise with choosing.  Important factors for me are weight, ease of set-up and no condensation issues.  I want a 2-person tent since I do occasionally have a second person with me.  I have 3 I am looking closely at and would be interested in opinions of more experienced hikers.  TNF Tadpole 2, BA Fly Creek 2 Platinum and BA Copper Spur UL 2 MtnGLO.  I'm not completely sold on the built-in lighting but it does seem kind of handy.  I've looked at the BA Krumholz UL 2 GZ MtnGLO but the weight (and price!) is really putting me off that one.  I am certainly open to other options, these are just the ones that seem to be fitting my criteria the best.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Copper Spur 2 without Mtn Glo to cut on weight. You dont need that.

Theres also Nemo Hornet 2, light.

Fly Creek is too coffin like,  only front door and when you sit down, your head will touch or almost the ceiling.

Edited by Reflex
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Thank you for the feedback.  I am definitely leaning towards the Copper Spur.  I will check out the Tarptent and Nemo Hornet.  I am pretty much limited to ones carried by REI since that is where my gift certificate is for.  Fortunately, they have a large selection.

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Jarrett.Morgan

If you a bit of a risk taker, the REI Dash 2 is an option.  For the cost and its weight, it's an amazing tent.  I picked one up a few months ago because it was even cheaper than it is now.  It is not as easy as a dome tent to set up, but not particularly hard.  It has some negative reviews about bad weather, but I've never had an issue in windy places or a modest rain.  Plus, REI gives you a year to to bring it back if t doesn't work out.

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Of those, I would definitely pick the Copper Spur...the standard model without the glo lights would be even better, imo.  The lights work and they don't weigh much, but unless you really want that feature you can just use your headlamp or a mini lantern instead.  I love tarp-tents and various single wall shelters, but if you are unwilling to cope with condensation and learn to manage it, then don't even bother looking at single wall from anyone.  The Tadpoles were great little tents but not especially lightweight...solid and dependable, though.  I'm not very fond of the Fly Creek/Seedhouse style anymore mainly because of the cramped front entry (that's kind of irksome with more than one person because of the vestibule design, just a minor hassle when solo, compared to side entry doors)...it also needs a lot of stakes to set it up properly and maximize airflow...and it's still not the best choice if you'll have high winds (and another ding, it just has very little actual headroom and livable space in it due to the design).  I would really check out the MSR Hubba Hubba and compare that with the Copper Spur.  Both are good tents but MSR is using superior waterproofing and the poles/floor design are symmetrical which is a very nice thing, imo.  If that's too expensive, their Elixir is the same thing using heavier materials and is only around $250...but it's also around the 5 pound mark. 

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Depends on your needs space vs weight. Theres also the Nemo Hornet 2p at 2.10 lbs. Lighter than copper 2 but smaller. 

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I have some difficulty in trying to pick a 2 person tent that comfortably fits 2 people (husband & wife) and also is easy to carry for my frequent 1 person trips.  I had to honestly answer the question of how frequently my wife would accompany me on the trail.

If your wife comes along on a regular basis, then I honestly would ditch the mountain glow feature and instead use the extra ounces on the Copper Spur UL 3.  For a total packed weight of 32 oz per person, you can't beat the roomy 44 sqft and 44 inch max ceiling height.  Compare that to the UL2, which only has 29 sqft and a 42 inch max ceiling. 

I am obsessed with saving weight and generally hike 15-20 mile days, but when it comes to sleeping comfortably I do not believe the sacrifice justifies the gains.  The extra 14 ounces are minimal and will provide you and your wife with considerably more comfort at camp.

Of course, then I'd consider buying another tent to carry solo.  Or better yet, time for a hammock & tarp.-)

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Thanks for the heads up on the Hubba Hubba, I do like that tent.  I did a side-by-side comparison with the Copper Spur and it looks to me like they are quite comparable with the Copper Spur being the lighter of the two by 11oz.  Does the extra weight of the Hubba Hubba come from being more durable?  That would  be a selling point for me since we do often camp in some rough areas and some rough weather.  It definitely got rave reviews.

Thank you for the advice KYhiker40 but I did laugh when I read your post.  In this case, I am the wife and it is the husband who rarely joins me.  :-)  I do get your point though and honestly, I have a 3 person tent that we have used on the rare outings where he has come along.  It's pretty heavy at 5+ lbs but doable when split between 2 people.  I have carried this tent for me but I really don't need the space and I'm trying to cut weight. 

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Well, a few things are going on there.  The Hubba does use a heavier 30d floor with greater (valuable!) 3000mm waterproofing, which is actually adequate in most really wet conditions and does better over time.  BA uses 20d floors with less waterproofing (1200mm still, I think) and that is barely adequate if you're in the sog...and over time with abrasion and use and stuffing, all waterproofing reduces a little bit (more noticeable with sil-nylon but still there with pu coatings as well).  With very low hh ratings like 1200mm, it's not uncommon to get water seeping through the floor under the pressure of an elbow or a knee, so a footprint becomes a very good idea if you're in those conditions much.  5000mm is still the standard in boggy Europe, for good reason, and MSR realizes this but reduced theirs a little for weight savings, and 3000mm is fine most of the time.  Add to that the Hubba does not taper from the sides or the top going toward the other end of the tent as the CS does...and a little bit with the pole set since the CS has a smaller hub end at the foot, or whatever you'd call that...effectively a little less pole metal weight.  Also, BA is notorious for funny measuring when it comes to their tents...the dimensions shown are off by a couple inches usually because they measure to a different point than what you actually get while inside the tent.  From what I have seen, the fly waterproofing on MSR holds up better with sunlight exposure and extended use compared to the BA, but both are adequate as far as rain and snow and hail are concerned. The previous Hubbas used heavier flys and they were superb but in the competition to get ever lighter, that's one thing they changed, for better or worse.  You can't get the older (2nd gen) Hubba tents anymore unless you order one from Europe where they still have the HP models (fabric instead of mesh, previous more durable fabrics for fly/floor, and flys that extend down a little further to the ground...plus heavier of course).  Really, both are great tents, though.  For the solo models I give the edge to BA mostly because MSR for some stupid reason removed the guyline tieouts on the newer NX model (makes no sense at all), but for the 2 and 3 person models I'd pick MSR.  When it comes to warranty service and such, both will take care of you...might be more likely to need it from BA since they seem to have a fair number of zipper and stitching issues (and broken poles but that's usually user error), but they are extremely quick about getting you taken care of.  MSR is quite a bit slower but they finish the race.  One other little nitpick is that the CS doors unzip to flat rather than to the side...great way to shorten the life of a zipper and the potential for accidentally ripping the mesh/door if you don't take care to roll it up and out of the way every time (probably explains most of their zipper issues). 

Edited by Stepbystep
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