Tents - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-04-2015   #1
 
InflatableSteve's Avatar
 
Cave Creek, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 688
Tents

I am looking for a small, super simple 1 person tent that preferably doesn't need a rain fly and doesn't brake the bank. All the tents I am finding are mostly if not entirely made up of mesh. Basically being glorified bug nets and they cost like $200 and up. I would like to be just big enough to fit a Roll-A-Cot, but I could go smaller if need be.

Any suggestions?

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Old 02-05-2015   #3
 
Redmond, Oregon
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I'd consider going to an REI Garage Sale near you.

REI Store Locator: Find an REI Store Near You

then hunt for a garage sale on a Sunday listed under coming events.

No returns but you might find your best economic deal although not your ideal tent.
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Old 02-05-2015   #4
 
albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I bought a big agnes seedhouse SL2 tent 11 years ago, and it has been used hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times spread across two continents and in every imaginable condition. It lived in a compression sack it's whole life, I rarely cleaned it, and never treated it with anything.
This last september on the san juan, the fly tore pretty bad on a dull rock. I taped it up and it was fine, but I noticed most of the fabric on the fly was getting a little brittle and weak.
I wrote big agnes and asked if it was worth it to get a repair,or a replacement fly and they said to send the tent in and they would check it out. I made it really clear that I was willing to pay for repairs or for a new fly, as the rest of the tent was still in 100% good condition.
I got an email yesterday that said my tent had a "warranty issue" and a brand new one is already shipped out for me. I have no doubt it will last another decade, and if I buy a differently purposed tent for some reason in the future, it will definitely be big agnes.

The SL1or 2 can be set up as a fast fly, without the mesh inner portion, and both are ridiculously light and pack down crazy small. Mine fits in a compressed sack the size of a big grapefruit.

Retail is definitely over 200$, but I got mine at a HUGE discount at a local big box store liquidation, and just in the last week or so I have seen them in the 150$ range in online sales.

Not trying to be a total product b*tch but they make a good tent and the warranty is legit.
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Old 02-05-2015   #5
 
Redmond, Oregon
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I bought a Sl2 at an REI Garage sale about 4 years ago for around $75.
There is no warranty with that type of purchase.



Gave it a light wash, a simple repair and made a footprint.

Gave it to one Nephew.
(I have done this before)

==========

Big Agnes is probably the tent maker you want to focus on first.
They make good innovative stuff.
This specific tent for a person from Arizona is a very good idea.
Well ventilated and buggy.

The main tent poles are a one piece affair.
They have two joints that scare me. From the standpoint of being nowhere and needing repair.
Be sure and take a decent repair kit.
Duct tape alone is not enough. But is necessary in any repair kit.

========

Tents like this one with the clips for poles set up really really quick.
This is a free standing tent and it needs no guide cords unless in a strong wind.
That is not always the case.

Have a tendency to avoid too much sleeve pole routing.
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Old 02-05-2015   #6
 
Redmond, Oregon
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This is how neat many of these tents are getting.

Look at the pic.
In the top front there is a square area of sewing in the netting where you'd bump your head getting out. That is a pocket meant to hold your headlamp or mini LED light. Nice.

Common in the better products today.

The rainfly wearing out like was mentioned is just going to happen. Sunlight is a destroyer. If you wear out your fly you've done well.
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Old 02-05-2015   #7
 
albuquerque, New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BilloutWest View Post
The rainfly wearing out like was mentioned is just going to happen. Sunlight is a destroyer. If you wear out your fly you've done well.
I agree. I think ten years is a totally acceptable lifespan for a 200$ tent, if you use it enough...I was already preparing to drop about that much on a new one if I couldn't get it fixed.

I'm a little worried because the new seedhouse has a different pole design, with only one support pole in the back. I'm sure it will be fine but i like my feets to be dry.
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Old 02-05-2015   #8
 
Redmond, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigscottone View Post
I'm a little worried because the new seedhouse has a different pole design, with only one support pole in the back. I'm sure it will be fine but i like my feets to be dry.
One thing to shy away from is the extreme competition to reduce weight in backpacking gear.
This is a backpacking tent and not a conventional rafter/comfort tent.

The single rear pole can be compensated for by two guide cords holding the fly away at the feet. Doing what the two poles did slightly better. But that's a hassle.
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Old 02-05-2015   #9
 
Redmond, Oregon
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When judging a tent on display note how smoothly the zipper runs as you close the front and any rear doors.

This varies and is probably an indicator of time before failure.

In most cases you'll want to upgrade your stakes to say MSR. At least for the four main ones.
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Old 02-05-2015   #10
 
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Charleston, West Virginny
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Posts: 462
I have a Eureka Tetragon 3 that I use as my boat camping tent...pretty light, pretty small....just big enough for a queen size single thickness inflatable mattress and bags on side, It's a good tent and I think I got mine for $100ish. It does have a rainfly though.

Hammocks are way awesome if you are going solo and have trees.
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