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Discussion Starter #1
Im familiar with campmore, sierra trading post, REI closet sale , but looking for other options for a new tent. I have had a sierra design comet # season/3 person since 2000, and its time for it to be put-down.

Im looking for w mutha hubba MSR, and the cheapest I found was 369.00 Vs. 399.00 full retail, any thoughts?

I have other tents for ultra light stuff, but this will be a river/car camping tent.

I havn't looked at paha que in a while, and may look into them as well. other suggestions appreciated

Ob~
 

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I got a big agnes this spring (parkview 3) and love it. Tons of mesh for when you want to see the stars, but be in a tent. Nice and roomy also. Weird pole system, but it works just fine. It's also nice the mesh doesn't go all the way down to the ground, so you do have a tiny bit of visual privacy if you are camped near others. It has a poled vestibule, which is absolutely necessary, in my book. Also has 2 doors. Not as tall as the Mutha (looked at that also) but lighter. But, not tall enough to stand up in.

Too bad Walrus is gone. We have a car camping tent that looks exactly like a backpacking dome (from far away you couldn't tell it wasn't), except it is HUGE. Tall enough to stand in, poled vestibule, very nice.
 

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If you sign up for notifications from the retailers, they send out random 'on-line coupons.' I know backcountry.com, rei.com, ems.com and sierratradingpost.com do it.

Also, if you aren't signed up for REI's GearMail, you get a 15% coupon for signing up. That would make it $340 vs. $399.

Laurie
 

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Good cheap tents

When I was writing gear reviews I tested tents from all the major US firms and quite a few European makers (VauDe, Hilleberg). A mountaineering tent has to stand up to extremes of wind, cold, and snow, and condensation that you seldom encounter on a river trip. Plus you have to carry it on your back.

On river trips, you camp in sand pretty often: hard on fabrics, pole joints, and zippers— the trick ultralight stuff wears out fast. Since your boat carries the tent, it doesn't have to be light— just rugged.

So my favorite river tents are relatively cheap and simple. For the Grand Canyon (sleeping alone) I took a Eureka Zephyr XT, a solo wedge or X tent with a peak-vented fly and big opposite openings for super ventilation even zipped up for bug pro. Five-minute pitch. As I recall, the Camp-Mor price was about $125. After six years and many trips, it's holding up well.

Zeus 4 EXO.jpg

A few years ago, Eureka sent me a Zeus 4EXO to test. It's a single-wall design of coated (not breathable) fabric with excellent venting options, ample room for mate & dog, and a big vestibule for gear stacks or foul-weather cookery. About 9 lbs., less than ten minutes to pitch. Nice not to have to piss about with a separate fly. The pole setup is stout— it's stood up to a couple black squalls when you couldn't see for blowing sand and cottonwood limbs were snapping and raining down. Don't know the price, but estimate about $225.

Not sure what the current models are, but expect you could get a nice river tent for $250 or less.

Chip
 

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Jeremy,

You may not want to do this for your upcoming Grand trip but an alternate approach would be to catch the end of season sale at Sports Authority or some other mega store that actually stands behind the cheap Chinese tents they sell under their logo. I got 5 years of use out of about 6 SA tents for a total of $20 (granted it WAS in 2003 dollars so it wasn't as great a deal as it sounds these days) - usually the zippers would go first. Caught a Mt. Edge on SteepandCheap just before Christmas but still have the most recent Gart/SA tent as a backup.

Y'all let me know if you need any tent stakes...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for the advice folks. I have heard horror stories of tents basically being "done" after a GC trip, and the last thing I wanna do is drop 400 on a tent that is going to be toast. Im thinking in the fall, that weather wont be as brutal on gear, but i have been wrong before.

one thought i have with the mutha, is the privacy thing. 95 percent of the time it wont be an issue, BUT....

and also the Hub design one the poles......any more thoughts?

I have also heard that lots of outfitters are using eureka timberline 4's.

but they arn't giving those away either
 

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One thing that probably makes tents last longer on some GC trips is whether or not you sleep on your boat. Less sand getting into everything there than if you are on the beach. And there was a lot of sand in April.

That is one nice thing about the one layer tents, the privacy, but hot as sh!t. If you find the need for privacy, then you put up the fly?
 

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You should just get a huge hunting wall tent.they are built to be rugged and if its a car camping boat tent you wouldn't need a light one...
Their tough as rocks
 

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Tent Tips

For GC trips during the high heat, sleeping on a boat is great. Unfortunately I was paddling a little solo cat, so was stuck sleeping on the sand.

A couple easy drills to keep your tent in good shape on a GC trip.

1) Take a little pump spray bottle (rinse out an empty liquid sunscreen jug). When you make camp, get into the tent and wash the zips (aiming the spray outward). You can do it zipped up, but it's more effective unzipped. Takes about 3 minutes and gets the sand out of the nylon zipper teeth. Every third night or so, and after sandstorms. Don't use zipper lube: it collects sand.

2) Shake out your tent really well before stowing— turn inside-out & repeat. Never fold the tent— stuff it. Folding tends to wear the coating in the same places, worse if there's sand on the fabric. Stuffing makes the folds random. Tent lasts longer.

3) Don't scatter food (especially greasy food) or spill beer in the tent. Mice, packrats, rock squirrels, ringtails, marmots, and similar toothy buggers will chew holes in it. Especially if you pitch it and then leave it unattended. (Also had holes chewed in heavy-duty dry bags on GC trips.)

You probably know all this. I have to keep reminding myself. The payoff is not having a zipper blow the first night out on an 18-day trip.

have a good run‚
Chip
 

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I also have a Zeus EXO tent. The only bad thing about it is the condensation. You need to bring a sponge with you to wipe down the walls, even with all the side vents staked out it still traps a lot of mouisture. The sponge is also helpful for people with normal tents and wet rain flys. It lets you dry them a lot faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks for all your help, and advice. a friend had the fall 08' sierra trader, and I found exactly what I was looking for!!

Marmont "MONARCH" 3 season, 4 person, 51" head room, 2 doors, 2 vestibules, 4 pole, 2-sleeve, 2 clip. I was looking for a High quality "family tent", and I belive I found it!

thanks again

OB~
 
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