2-3 person tent


Original Post
Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 110

Hi MP folks,

I am looking for some input on a tent. I went backpacking over the weekend and took someone with me. I took my alps mountaineering 2p tent (not the lightest but not terrible). the problem is its too cramped. it was pretty snug with both of us and a few odds and ends.
ive spent a decent amount of time looking but its hard to find a roomy 2 person tent, most everything im coming across has the same sizing or smaller than my current tent which is 58"W x 88"L and 31 sq ft. ceiling height is 38 inches.

What im looking for:
under 4-5 lbs packed
no more than $300
roomy for two people and maybe some gear (not opposed to a 3 person tent as long as its under the weight and price limit)
good ceiling height (im 6'1" and have a 5" sleeping pad due to back issues so I cant sit up very well)
good ventilation, id be leaning towards a double wall tent so I can take the fly off.

does a tent with all those qualifications exist?
thanks for your help!

EDIT: I do need a full tent with bug protection. I know going with a tarp and ground cloth is a weight saver but mosquitos love me more than you could imagine.

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

I'll suggest the Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5. Nice and durable tent with more space and headroom than you have now, but it includes a weight penalty! There's a 3.5 model as well. You can find them online under 200$.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

I am in love with the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3, which meets all of your qualifications except for ceiling height. This is not a tent you'll be playing chess in, but it is tall enough on the door side (the "feet" side is considerably shorter). You can find it under $300 on sale! Let me know if you have questions about the tent.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478

I think your cost portion is going to make it not exist, but bump up the price slightly and you can find the rest of it. I do think you'll have to go for an advertised "3 person" tent to get a bigger floor dimension also. I've found my big agnes copper spur 2 fine for 2 people on three day trips. After a week in the bugs I was wishing for a little more space though. It's slightly smaller than the dimensions you listed.

If freestanding isn't a requirement the tarptent cloudburst could be a great option: tarptent.com/cloudburst3.html

Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 110
Nathan Self wrote:I'll suggest the Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5. Nice and durable tent with more space and headroom than you have now, but it includes a weight penalty! There's a 3.5 model as well. You can find them online under 200$.
Yeah Nathan that has great specs except the weight and ive never had good luck with MH quality.
James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 80

We currently use two tents, either a Tarptent Double Rainbow (~$290)

Double Rainbow

Or a Golite SL3 (~$300)

(SL3)

Both fall under your price and weight requirements. The DR is snuggly for 2 people (I'm 6'2") but has vestibule storage. The SL3 (actually now Pyramid 3 now that Golite has become MTC) is very roomy for 2 plus gear. We don't use the inner net tent for the SL3 so it's just a fly and weighs in around 23oz with mods. I love the SL3, my better half loves the DR.

tents

You could also look for other pyramid tents in the 3 person size range. Black Diamond, MLD, Hyperlite MG, Seek Outside, etc all make great ones.

llanSan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 130

i have an alps aires 3 and it feels like taj mahal for 3.

There is a model for two (aires 2) you should check it out.

Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 110

I've found my big agnes copper spur 2 fine for 2 people on three day trips.

I was looking at the copper spur which looks fantastic but from what ive read the fabric can be a bit fragile which has me a little hesitant. I found it one sale but when I throw in the footprint it puts me over budget.

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

Kurt,

At that price range, maybe check for Big Agnes and Sierra Designs sales. I have a 2-person Sierra Designs tent as well as the MH Optic, and it is lighter, shorter, smaller and more expensive--also a quality tent.

cheers,

Nathan

David Tennant · · Denver, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 2,043

Granted it's $50 more in cost then what you ask...

Tarptent Stratospire 2
Sleeps 2-3
46 oz (2 lbs, 14 oz)
floor dim 52 in x 86 in for a total floor area of 31 ft^2
interior height of 50 in
huge double vestibules
$350

Only catch other than the cost is that it requires two trekking poles.

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

Take a look here:
http://bigskyproducts.com/tents-and-shelters.aspx

Big Sky Soul 2 has ceiling height and is in your budget.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478
Kurt G. wrote: I've found my big agnes copper spur 2 fine for 2 people on three day trips. I was looking at the copper spur which looks fantastic but from what ive read the fabric can be a bit fragile which has me a little hesitant. I found it one sale but when I throw in the footprint it puts me over budget.
It is definitely a thinner UL fabric, I do try to clear out sites of anything sharp first. I've used it for ~100 nights in the past few years and have not had to do any patches/repairs.
If I'm lugging it out I just use a piece of painters plastic from the hardware store for a ground sheet. If I'm car camping I'll use a good old blue plastic tarp.
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,752

Bank breaker but I just chose one of these in the 2p after some research.. marmot.com/products/details...

cmqr9001 Black · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 135

Sierra Desings Flash UL 2 is the exact tent you're looking for. I have it and it's fantastic.

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,752
Christian Black wrote:Sierra Desings Flash UL 2 is the exact tent you're looking for. I have it and it's fantastic.
heavy @ 4 lbs
cmqr9001 Black · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 135
Morgan Patterson wrote: heavy @ 4 lbs
Well it does fit the qualifications as far as all other specs go. It's right at about 4lbs but has the added benefits of being super easy to set up (rain fly already attached), better ventilation than any vestibule style tent, extremely room both length-wise and height wise, and still working working well in downpour rains. I've been super happy with mine, i've had it for ~2 years.
Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 110
Christian Black wrote: Well it does fit the qualifications as far as all other specs go. It's right at about 4lbs but has the added benefits of being super easy to set up (rain fly already attached), better ventilation than any vestibule style tent, extremely room both length-wise and height wise, and still working working well in downpour rains. I've been super happy with mine, i've had it for ~2 years.
ive read a bunch of reviews that its pretty bad in high winds and driving/sideways rain. I was bummed because I love Sierra designs
Petsfed · · Laramie, WY · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 925

The rei quarter done 2 is surprisngly good given your needs. A little on the short side (i can't put a pack at my feet) but it fits my 6'1" frame.

As far as Sierra Designs, the decision to leave the walls exposed meant that you couldn't trust it if you'd be out longer than you could get an accurate forecast.

Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 110

thanks for everyones input so far. after exhaustive research im leaning towards the Big Agnes rattlesnake 3. bigagnes.com/Products/Detai...
its the best compromise of everything im looking for and I found it on sale for $300.
anyone have any experience with this tent?

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,752
Kurt G. wrote: ive read a bunch of reviews that its pretty bad in high winds and driving/sideways rain. I was bummed because I love Sierra designs
I have an old Sierra Designs Lookout CD tent form the 90's. It is a bomber tent, still going way strong, never had a single issue with the tent other than the sun has faded the fly. I am still amazed at the tent today and other than the weight like it more than most tent designs out there today, hands down.

When I looked at their recent offerings online it is painfully obvious how much their designs have slipped and are useless. Leaving one side of the tent exposed and uncovered by the fly? WTF are you thinking? Its like they decided their competition would be the Kelty tents sold at Walmart. No self respecting mountain person would buy a tent that the fly didnt cover the entire tent.

I was so bummed by their tent designs that I even called them last week and spoke to their customer service and asked that they take notes for their design teams. I went though all the crap on their site with them and they admitted their tent designs were a problem and they were trying to figure out how to get back to their roots and produce quality. Its a shame because I love my old tent and it has served me so well over the last 15-20 years and the only reason its being replaced is for a UL setup but their products are just so inferior compared to the old stuff.
Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 110
Morgan Patterson wrote: I have an old Sierra Designs Lookout CD tent form the 90's. It is a bomber tent, still going way strong, never had a single issue with the tent other than the sun has faded the fly. I am still amazed at the tent today and other than the weight like it more than most tent designs out there today, hands down. When I looked at their recent offerings online it is painfully obvious how much their designs have slipped and are useless. Leaving one side of the tent exposed and uncovered by the fly? WTF are you thinking? Its like they decided their competition would be the Kelty tents sold at Walmart. No self respecting mountain person would buy a tent that the fly didnt cover the entire tent. I was so bummed by their tent designs that I even called them and spoke to their customer service and asked that they take notes for their design teams. I went though all the crap on their site these days with them and they admitted their tent designs were a problem and they were trying to figure out how to get back to their roots and produce quality. Its a shame because I love my old tent and it has served me so well over the last 15-20 years and the only reason its being replaced is for a UL setup but their products are just so inferior compared to the old stuff.
couldn't agree more. I have the older lightyear 1 tent and I love it for solo backpacking and I have a few of their packs as well. always solid quality and I wanted to like their new tents so badly but I just cant, they are well designed
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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