Tents: The good, the bad and the worthy.

As a tester I had the pleasure to work with multiple companies,  I have learned plenty along the way inside and outside the business and pretty often tap deeply in my wallet from steep to cheap until I found my choice. Remember, what works for me is not necessarily suitable to your needs; so I will stick to performance and technical characteristics to rate such products which are still in the market. Instead of providing a scale, I’ll be adding content and you can judge yourself. I have tested  around 60 tents in the last 3 years, so my list will only display the keepers.

rei kingdom 4  (You can fit up to 6, flimsy in high winds, easy to set up, super heavy 19lb, hard to pitch in the sand, the tunnel breeze is immaculate) YAY for 3 season basecamp.

 

mountain_hardwear_hammerhead_3_imagen1
HAMMERHEAD

 

Mountain Hardwear Hammerhead 2 (beast, 3 season 4 season convertible, not enough guidelines, not longer manufactured, cozy for 2, strong hold, high quality, double wall at 6lb, totally worth it with 6 inches of snow and no flapping, interior removal panels for stargazing or enclosing) YAY for Hell yes totally worthy.

Alps Mountaineering  Extreme 2 (beefy poles, 70D all around, heavy at 7lb +, roomy, huge vestibules, double wall and free standing, always on sale, alpine structure but not rated for mountaineering) YAY for car camping.,

Nemo  Nano Elite ( interior alpine structure, no vestibule, waterproof and not breathable, detachable door mesh, 2 person ul at 3lb) NAY there’s better for the same price.

 

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RANGE

 

Kelty Range (versatile, 2 person capacity, single wall, floorless, 40D, good zippers, no interior loops for hanging, built in guidelines, plenty space for 2 plus gear, 2lb 4oz, exterior poles, light 4 season, snow flaps built in) YAY for price, versatility and weight.

Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1 (bombproof 70D expedition fly, low profile, double wall, semi freestanding, plenty ventilation, quality seams,waterproof, 3lbs, decent vestibule,not longer produced) YAY for one of the best solo tents ever made.

Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1 (rugged, heavy at 4lb, double wall, low profile, double vestibule and entrance, always on sale, quality poles, plenty ventilation) YAY for budgeting.

Nemo Veda 1 (hybrid tent, easy to pitch, trekking pole structure, plenty ventilation, fully waterproof, quality seams, good amount of guidelines for heavy winds, not free standing, super packable, 2lb 3oz, enormous vestibule ) YAY, so far my favorite.

Rab Siltarp 2 (10 x 8 ft, 30D silnylon, waterproof, hail and storm tested with no dents or rips, no side guidelines or reinforced trekking pole points, lightweight at 14oz packed) YAY, hard to beat performance.

North Face Eclipse ( easy to pitch, 42″ interior height, single wall and floorless, 40D, lightweight at 2lbs, good ventilation with 3″ gap all around, multiple entrance options, awning built-in, single pole) SPLIT, good for 2 seasons

Winterial Solo (nonbreathable and cheap materials, low profile, not free standing, light at 2lb 4oz, inner mesh with good ventilation, too many stakes, double wall, short interior perimeter for sleepers up to 5’7, not quality seams, fly stretch fabric creates leak by entrance baffle) NAY

Other Tents Tested:

  • MSR Flylite (Split for ul) no vestibule,sagginess with condensation, great 3 season in good weather.
  • MSR Fast Stash (YAY for ul) 3lbs easy to pitch,plenty guidelines, single wall, condensation issues
  • Sierra Designs Tensegrity (NAY) great for summer, bad in winds, great awning.
  • MSR Twin Sisters (NAY) expensive and over-rated
  • Eureka Alpenlite 2xt (NAY) good but poles broke with 4″ of snow
  • Sierra Designs Origami (YAY) rugged,  a bit heavy, worthy not longer produced
  • MSR Dragontail (SPLIT) good for mountaineering above 10k feet

 

NOTCH
NOTCH 

 

  • Tarptent Notch (YAY) nearly perfect
  • SixMoons Scout (NAY) delicate, seam seal issues, no vestibule
  • Tarptent Protrail (YAY) only con is front entrance
  • Sea to Summit Specialist Solo (NAY) coffin, delicate, condensation issues, expensive
  • MSR carbonreflex 1 (NAY) expensive, tiny interior, crossed pole is hard to insert.
  • MSR Hubba 1 (YAY) proven to be one of the best
  • Sierra Designs Lightyear CD (NAY) vestibule design is plain stupid.
  • Marmot Starlight (NAY) glorified bivy
  • Marmot Pulsar 2 (YAY) cozy for 2 and else is good
  • Nemo Gogo (NAY) claustrophobic, expensive, no vestibule.
  • North Face 02 (SPLIT)great for 3 season, no guidelines, easy to pitch, roomy for 1
  • Mountain Hardwear Mountain Wing (YAY) not longer produced, cut 45mph winds.
  • Alps Mountaineering Chaos 2 (YAY) heavy, family tent,car camping or basecamp, rugged materials.
  • Eureka Solitaire (NAY) front entrance, bad poles, cheap stakes, massive condensation
  • Eureka Spitfire (YAY) amazing interior space and height but no vestibule
  • North Face Assault Bivy (YAY) great interior headroom, minor condensation but best used above tree line or fall/winter conditions.

 

And the list goes on, but we simply decided to list what is worth of looking at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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