Tent packing

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Dougcraft, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Dougcraft

    Dougcraft Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    334
    It's been awhile since I've posted here- I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer.

    We just moved to Idaho and want to take advantage of the outdoor beauty of the Gem state. As such, I want to upgrade to some quality gear.

    For all around purposes, what are some good tent options? Broad question yes, and if there's a starter thread on this, I'm happy to be directed there (didn't see one after an arduous 2 second search).

    Basic needs- not too heavy, 4-6 person, 3 season capable, $300 or less.

    Sorry if these parameters are too wide open, but looking forward to responses.
     
  2. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,716
    Likes Received:
    7,769
    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    I’m curious what’s suggested as I’d be interested in that too!
     
  3. wizard

    wizard Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,761
    Likes Received:
    833
  4. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    2,759
    Likes Received:
    15,978
    Location:
    Shell knob mo.
    Plus one on Sierra trading post they have some great deals.
    Kellty makes a good tent in your price range.
     
  5. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    2,259
    Location:
    Redneck Rivera
    Your wants are almost self cancelling I would suggest a pair of two or three man tents for several reasons. Four persons might be doable six persons and backpacking is hard to make happen at that price point. One fine day I would like to have a Kifaru or Seekoutside tipi which would give tremendous space for the weight and pack size not to mention the stove option.

    Can be spread amongst packs
    Combined weight will be less
    Pack size is smaller
    If one fails you still have one
    Privacy for changing ect
    Fit in smaller spaces than one large tent.
    Less condensation issue
    A tarp over two smaller tents makes an awesome place to hang out in the rain

    Check Campmor they have some decent clearance deals. I have personally had good luck with my Eureka Tents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  6. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,956
    Likes Received:
    18,882
    Location:
    Montana
  7. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,928
    Likes Received:
    9,614
    Location:
    Portsmouth Virginia
    I'll second the suggestion of going with a pair of tents. I don't see any way to keep a 4-6 person tent light weight. A 3 and 2 person tent would be more versitle and make finding sites suitable for the tents footprint more manageable.

    How many people will be going with you on trips? Will the tent(s) weight be split between backpackers? How far are you planning to hike, and how many days? Will your group always be the same size? Does anyone use trekking poles? These can be used in place of tent poles on some tents to save weight and space in your pack.

    If part of the concern is gear storage, most backpacking tents come with vestibules which are covered areas just outside the door for gear storage. Packs, shoes, and anything without a sent to it can be stashed there and kept out of the elements freeing up room inside the tent for sleeping. If you're backpacking with kids you can generally stash all the gear you want at their foot end taking advantage of their height. I actually fit myself, my two sons, and all of our gear minus food, cooking gear, and toothpaste inside tent that is marketed as a 2 man. The rest goes up in a bear bag.
     
  8. Dougcraft

    Dougcraft Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    334
    Great responses- thank you.

    I should have been more specific on the number of people. I don't need a light tent for 4-6 people; I just want the space to accommodate 3 + dogs and stuff. I don't necessarily need it for backpacking either.

    I guess I'm fully exposed as a camping rookie!:D

    I do like the Sierra Trading Post prices; I'll keep my eyes open at Cabelas too.
     
  9. Big ian

    Big ian Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2017
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Western Canuckistan
    REI Kingdom 6?
    Couple of smaller tents with a tarp strung up between them (I guess it depends how friendly you are with your dog)?
    Large pyramid tarp (a la MLD SuperMid)?
     
  10. TerBear

    TerBear Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    873
    Location:
    Central Oklahoma
    I think people assumed you were looking for a backpacking tent because you posted in the Backpacking section.
     
    superpaco and GoKartz like this.
  11. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    2,259
    Location:
    Redneck Rivera
    Dougcraft likes this.
  12. PaPa K

    PaPa K Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,020
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    Northern Idaho-finally!
    I have a Kodiak brand truck tent and it has been very reliable, breathes well and has never leaked, even during a couple of frog stranglers. Their wall tent are supposed to be very good.
     
    bosque bob, Winterhorse and Dougcraft like this.
  13. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    2,293
    Location:
    NH
    https://luxe-hiking-gear.com/collections/lightweight-camping-tents/products/octopeak-4p-tent-system

    Luxe Octopeak - $275 -- outer tent only (6-person), less than 3 pounds. You can use trekking poles for the center pole or suspend it from the top tie-out if you are near trees.

    No floor = good for dogs.

    If you plan on getting the floor + inner / screen tent (4-person) -- it will be a snug fit.

    A new version with a snow skirt is planned for this November.

    Bushcraft Outfitters is also planning a tipi tent -- so you might want to wait and see what they surprise us with.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  14. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,928
    Likes Received:
    9,614
    Location:
    Portsmouth Virginia
    Ah, 3 people plus dogs is a different story. Can't exactly stick the dogs or one person plus dogs in a separate tent ;-)

    A gear vestibule really is the best way to deal with stuff. If the dogs and people aren't too big, otherwise I think you're spot on with a 4-6 person tent. You'll definitely want to go with something with a full coverage fly.

    Here's a couple to look at
    • ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4-Person Tent
    • Eureka Midori 4 Tent
    • Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
    I'd measure out the floor space for each of the tents you look at and size it out at home. Lay out your sleep systems and see how much space that leaves behind. It may seem tight, but remember generally you are only going in the tent to sleep at night. We go camping to spend time in the great outdoors after all. I've seen people convince themselves that a 3 man tent is just enough for one person.
     
    M.Hatfield, Winterhorse and Dougcraft like this.
  15. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    3,497
    Location:
    LITH Illinois
    Take a look at the Snugpak Cave thats on the trade blanket right now, thats a killer tent and priced under $300.00 and way below retail.
     
    Dougcraft likes this.
  16. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    16,784
    Likes Received:
    19,704
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Couple thoughts. How buggy is it? Can you get by with just a tarp or 2?

    4-6 person tent is huge... not really backpackable in my opinion. or do you have kids? in which case, 2x 2-3 man tents might be a better option... at a certain age, kids want to be with their parents at night...but once they get used to it, sometimes things work better with kids in one tent, parents in the other. up to you. one of my daughters is a thrasher, and i eventually got her her own small kid's tent and slept in a hammock (she's 5' tall, fully grown, and has used that kids tent for years.)

    If you're car camping, then I've been impressed with the Eureka Timberline series.
     
    Dougcraft likes this.
  17. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    2,941
    For car camping, there's a tent by Field & Stream that is essentially a pop-up.

    I think I paid $125 for mine.
     
    Dougcraft likes this.
  18. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    2,941
  19. Dougcraft

    Dougcraft Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    334
    Lots of great direction here! Thank you. Keep 'em coming.
     
  20. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    2,259
    Location:
    Redneck Rivera
    Im Sure you will enjoy whatever you get but ask yourself a couple questions before you buy.

    Is the purchase only for car camping? If yes buy a tent you can stand up in and walk not crawl into and out of.

    Are those going with me as enthusiastic as I am? If not see above, the more homelike it is the more they will enjoy it.

    Do you plan to backpack camp? If you only want to buy once and want to backpack also get two small tents and put a tarp over both.
     
    Dougcraft likes this.
  21. Dougcraft

    Dougcraft Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    334
    Great comments. At first, it's most likely to be car camping, or off trailer camping. For backpack camping, it will be with equally enthusiastic fellow trekkers. So at the end of the day, as I'm sure is true for most folks here, I'll end up with a few different tents/shelters.
     
  22. SideshowRaheem

    SideshowRaheem Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2017
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    396
    If you're car camping you can go the stupid heavy route and save yourself some money on something thats quality but just happy. Lots of good recommendations already like the REI Kingdom, some of the base camp Eureka tents and really even a properly seam sealed Coleman tent will suit you fine.

    Save your money for a quality backpacking tent. To get anything good that you'd be OK hiking with will cost you some coin unless you get a good deal on a used one.
     
  23. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,928
    Likes Received:
    9,614
    Location:
    Portsmouth Virginia
    Yup sounds like you'll need two tents eventually. One for the dogs and family and you and one just for you. I'd worry more about quality, design, and space for the first tent. Keep in mind larger tents tend to be prone to water leaking in foul weather. That's why I stated you'll want a full coverage rain fly. You shouldn't need to set up a tarp over your tent, if you do the tent is not doing job.

    I've got a 1 man, 2 man, another 2 man that I use for 3, and a 3 man that I use and a one man that I'll probably let one of my sons have when they are older. Camping gear has a tendency to multiply. But each has it's use from solo backpacking or with other hikers who have their own shelter, to backpacking with one or both of my sons, or car camping with both of them.
     
    Dougcraft likes this.
  24. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    920
    Location:
    Central Mass
    I would look for the one with the most screen area on the inside and the most complete rain fly coverage we have 3, 2 man tents 2 north face rock 22 and tehey have been bulletproof tents doors on either side of the tent as well as vestibules on both sides with full rain flies. The other is a eureka and has one door and one vestibule and the backside rain fly only comes about 3/4 of the way down and I have had leakage issues in the rain. all 3 tents are essentially fully screened inners. I would also recommend aluminum poles over fiberglass having been a scout master for many years I have help jury rig more than one split fiberglass pole but the only issues I have had with aluminum poles is stretched out shock cords.
     
    Dougcraft likes this.
  25. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    2,941
    For car camping just get a 10x10 pop-up tent by Field and Stream, Dicks sells them.

    You'll never want another car camping tent after using of them.
     
    Dougcraft and GoKartz like this.
  26. batosai117

    batosai117 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    South Texas
    I can spend an arm and a leg on knives but for camping gear I’m cheap, lol.

    For car camping you can get a lot of tent from Wally World easily for under $100 or even under $50 depending on the style that you want. Growing up I had a no name 2 person square tent that lasted years of camping until it disappeared during a move. A lot has to do with if you take care of your stuff.

    Get out there and make some memories.

    Editing to add I just re-read your post. If I had $300 to upgrade I’d get the best I could find too :cool: REI has a few nice tents online. I’d double check the denire on them. I was checking right now and it varies per tent. The higher the better and less likely it will tear on you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  27. Dougcraft

    Dougcraft Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    334
    Those Field and Stream tents do look pretty nice. I tested out a few other tents at Cabelas and there are definitely some nice options out there.
     

Share This Page