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2 person lightweight inexpensive tent options

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  • 2 person lightweight inexpensive tent options

    I'm looking into a new backpacking tent. I have a situation we're my two tents won't do. I have a 3 person tent that weighs 7 lbs (but you can divide out the tent, rainfly, poles to 2.5 lbs a person) and a 1 person non-free standing bivy.

    I'm planning a solo 3 day Pemi loop trip in NH, so 7 lbs isn't what I want to carry, and non-free standing will be tough with the tent platforms the AMC has out there.

    So I'm looking for a free standing tent, 3.5 lbs or less and a relatively inexpensive price $250 or less. I know a 1 person would do, but I've been wanting to invest in a 2 person for future backpacking trips with the wife anyways. I found a few potentials online, but nothing beats the advice of tried and true use by fellow ADK'ers. I appreciate any advice and experience from others.
    ADK 46er #9204, 8/46 W

  • #2
    Keep checking https://www.steepandcheap.com
    They've recently been running a couple of different tents at a substantial discount. But you have to catch the timing just right.
    "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

    Comment


    • Trail Boss
      Trail Boss commented
      Editing a comment
      Crazy-good price but don't overlook the fact it's 3.5 pounds but *not* a full double-wall tent. The upper is a single layer so, in certain conditions, may develop condensation. Not quite free-standing either ... but definitely inexpensive at ~$100!

      Review: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/89636/

    • Makwa
      Makwa commented
      Editing a comment
      What he said. I don't know anything about tents but I look on steepandcheap all the time and they always have great prices.

    • cfraimondo
      cfraimondo commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the suggestion Nessmuk. I got a steal on an awesome tent on steepandcheap. I know where I'll be shopping from now on!

  • #3
    My recommendation is the Big Agnes Triagle Mountain UL2. Its not the lightest or anything-est on the market, but for being just outside of your price range you'll have one helluva tent if you can find one and don't mind spending a few extra bucks. Just over 2 1/2 pounds, free standing, sleeps two people more comfortably than any other UL2's I've tested, and its double walled.
    I've had mine for three seasons now and don't have any complaints. I paid $350 for mine when it was still an REI exclusive (on clearance. MSRP was $500), but have seen them elsewhere recently for under $300.
    “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs

    Comment


    • wort hog
      wort hog commented
      Editing a comment
      This tent is on sale right now in the outlet at campsaver.com for $300, and there is a 20% off sale on everything in the outlet (sale price of $240, no sales tax in NY). Sale ends "soon"...

      http://www.campsaver.com/outlet/big-...erson-3-season

    • Trail Boss
      Trail Boss commented
      Editing a comment
      FWIW, the Triangle Mountain model is the Golite Imogene. From what I've read, Big Agnes bought out Golite's inventory of tents after they went out of business. I can't recall the forum member's name but he hikes with his daughter and bought the Imogene UL3 and had nothing but good things to say about it as well.

    • FlyFishingandBeer
      FlyFishingandBeer commented
      Editing a comment
      Taras,

      One of my hiking partners has the TM UL3 and loves it. for its weight it can easily be used as a huge UL2. Its about the size of a queen bed when staked out.

  • #4
    If a solo tent will do, why not try hammocking? A dozen years ago switching from a solo tent to hanging a hammock has freed me from the restriction and hassle of spending considerable time searching for even the tiniest flat clear spot for setting up a tent. With a hammock, the quality of the ground underneath is irrelevant.
    "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

    Comment


    • Trail Boss
      Trail Boss commented
      Editing a comment
      How does one pitch a hammock on one of the AMC's tent platforms? Or do the caretakers make an exception for hammocks and allow them to be strung up in nearby trees?

    • l33tHoneyBadger
      l33tHoneyBadger commented
      Editing a comment
      Since the tent sites are mostly pay to use then I assume they let you set up however you like. Much like the ADK though, no camping within 200 feet of trails and water bodies, or within 1/4 mile of back country facilities (shelters, huts), or in the alpine zone where trees are 8 feet or less in height. So just make sure you are away from the trail and protection areas and pop up your hammock. I am looking at this trip myself for next year.

    • cfraimondo
      cfraimondo commented
      Editing a comment
      I've considered hammocking but haven't made the plunge yet. Planning on doing a backpacking trip with my wife at Grayson Highlands and I just can't picture her being able to sleep in the wilderness in a hammock with me 20 feet away. If I knew it would be me only backpacking solo for the foreseeable future, a hammock would have been the way to go.

  • #5
    https://www.backcountry.com/sierra-d...NhdDcxMTAwMDQx

    https://www.rei.com/product/110819/r...er-dome-2-tent

    Those are the only two I could find with your constraints. Freestanding really eliminates a lot of the ultralight options. You need stakes for a rain fly so I'm not entirely sure why it has to be freestanding.

    The Marmot Tungsten 2p is also a good option that barely exceeds the weight restriction.

    Comment


    • #6
      Originally posted by t.farrell View Post
      ... Freestanding really eliminates a lot of the ultralight options. You need stakes for a rain fly so I'm not entirely sure why it has to be freestanding.
      ​Agreed; many so-called freestanding tents still require staking out the rain-fly (even 2 corners of the tent body). Having to erect a tent on a platform does present a few restrictions on its design. However, you can use cord to tie the tent down to the platform's planks (instead of stakes in the ground). It's not as convenient as driving in a stake but its a viable option for platforms (provided one remembers to bring extra cord for this purpose).

      ​FWIW, two years ago I looked for a lightweight, free-standing, 1-person tent. Many of the models I had considered are still sold and have a 2-person version. Some of the tents I had considered have already been mentioned and the others are discussed in this thread: http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/f...icrolight-fs-1

      Looking for Views!

      Comment


      • #7
        Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
        My recommendation is the Big Agnes Triagle Mountain UL2. Its not the lightest or anything-est on the market, but for being just outside of your price range you'll have one helluva tent if you can find one and don't mind spending a few extra bucks. Just over 2 1/2 pounds, free standing, sleeps two people more comfortably than any other UL2's I've tested, and its double walled.
        I've had mine for three seasons now and don't have any complaints. I paid $350 for mine when it was still an REI exclusive (on clearance. MSRP was $500), but have seen them elsewhere recently for under $300.
        Thanks for the 411, just picked one up before the sale ends 4/10.

        Comment


        • #8
          I think I need a new job, if $300 falls into the "inexpensive" category.
          46er #9404
          Pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145945713@N02/
          http://www.athikerpictures.org/syste...jpg
          https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/

          Comment


          • Trail Boss
            Trail Boss commented
            Editing a comment
            I feel your pain. Plus for canucks, there's (currently) a 1.35 exchange rate, so that US$300 tent becomes CDN$405.

        • #9
          Originally posted by cfraimondo View Post
          non-free standing will be tough with the tent platforms the AMC has out there.
          As TrailBoss mentioned, it's actually quite possible to set up a non-freestanding tent on a platform. I prefer using rocks as stakes (see photos below). I carry 4 pieces of UL reflective cord cut to about 12 feet each. This gives me plenty of room to use the cord for either staking out a tent or guying out a rain fly in bad weather. Where platform slats are spaced fairly close together, I've also been able to wedge a tent stake in between the slats and tie out my tent that way as well.

          You might also want to take a look at some of the used gear groups on Facebook. My favorite is Bearfoot's Hiking Gear Flea Market. You can post an "In search of" message letting people know that you're looking for a tent.

          The Pemi loop is a great hike. Hope that you get good weather!
          Debbie

          Edit: Argh, having trouble with broken links to photos. See photos at: https://flic.kr/p/TGWDhf and https://flic.kr/p/SwJkBV
          We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

          Comment


          • #10
            Originally posted by All Downhill From Here View Post
            I think I need a new job, if $300 falls into the "inexpensive" category.
            Agreed, but...

            If your considering tents just a bit over $250 I'd much rather be looking at some quality locally made stuff not the big box stuff. Tarptents are very impressive tents, at least the Notch that I have now. Most aren't freestanding but a couple say they can be made to freestand like the Double Rainbow (if trekking poles used, might have to look into what that means) but the specs say 50" wide and about 2.5 lbs, double door, double vestibule, bathtub floor, etc. The top is single wall though, that might lead to some condensation. Anyhow I love my Tarptent, the quality is great and its more functional and thoughtful than most of the big name tents I've seen, and you're supporting cottage industry folks out west.

            On second thought, if you already have a 3-person that might cover your future trips with wife, maybe just look for a solo tent? Tarptent's Rainbow is lighter and cheaper than the Double Rainbow, or the Bowfin 1 looks like a nice double wall freestanding option for 2 lbs 5 oz though a little bit more dough at $309.

            I just love the Notch for solo at 1 lb 11 oz (mine measured 1 lb 10.4 oz and yes that includes the provided stakes and stuff sack too! some other companies leave those out in their weight specs). Good for the ADKs but not sure about platforms, I suppose if your able to tie down on the platforms it would still work fine.

            Edited to add... you do need 2 trekking poles for this tent, otherwise adding the optional poles will cost a bit more and add more weight. I always hike with poles so it works well for me.



            35/46 get'n closer
            18/46 barefoot ;-)
            ~Tristan

            Comment


            • Adirondackiteer
              Adirondackiteer commented
              Editing a comment
              FFaB nailed it, well sort of on the 4th try. Still I am shocked! The pic doesnt even look like how I remembered it, must have been the angle of the shot.
              Just behind the Orebed Lean to. Fantastic trip, where I took that pic in my avatar on top of Gothics too, my first mountain I climbed barefoot (2013), first solo, and first trip for the Notch. I think it's a bit more wrinkly now. Best trip ever though. Magnificent views, end of July perfect weather (it was much cooler than average), no bugs, and surprisingly had every single summit in the Great Range to myself.

            • t.farrell
              t.farrell commented
              Editing a comment
              There's definitely some threads on BPL about the added weight of seam sealing. I think at most it adds around 1oz (and that's if you have a ton of seams) but can't remember exactly.

            • FlyFishingandBeer
              FlyFishingandBeer commented
              Editing a comment
              That was a combination of elimination and a lucky guess. The trees and the slope at the end of the site were strong clues.

              I'm not quite enough of a weight snob to be overly concerned with the weight of after market seem sealing. While I try to go light as possible I still pack enough comfort items to not qualify as a true UL minimalist. I was just curious about how much weight it actually would add. 1oz is probably enough to deter some folks but not me.

          • #11
            Thanks everyone for the advice. Steelandcheap.com is the place to shop! I pulled the trigger on a Brooks-Range Tension 30, 2 person tent, 2 lb 8 oz. Only $209. Original retail was $450. Can't wait to try out this light weight double wall. Backpacker Magazine rated it pretty high when the did a gear test on it.
            ADK 46er #9204, 8/46 W

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