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Old 10-04-2016, 01:47 PM   #1
Schip
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back packing tent recommendation

Hello All,

I am looking to get a backpacking tent. Mostly I would use it for 1-3 night trips during spring/summer/fall. Maybe an occasional longer trip. I am 5'5" tall and I would be sharing it with one or two med size (25-35 lb) dogs.

I found this on Amazon. The price is right for me and I thought I would need the extra room for those furry beasts. Does anyone have experience with this brand of tent or can anyone recommend another brand similar in size and price? Also, is it worth buying their floor saver, or can I just use a small tarp? Thanks in advance for your help.

Kathy

https://www.amazon.com/ALPS-Mountain...ring+lynx+tent
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:56 PM   #2
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I can't comment on the ALPS brand, but I have the Mountainsmith Morrison: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00452C2IC...l_7uu9bkv2gu_b and have been very happy with it. It's cozy for two adults, but 1 person and 2 medium dogs would be fine.

I bought a piece of tyvek and cut to the shape of my tent. You can find tyvek on ebay or amazon. It's tough, lightweight and water proof. Only problem is it's rather crinkly and noisy until you've rolled it up in your pack a few times.
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Old 10-04-2016, 02:07 PM   #3
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The mountainsmith brand gives you great bang for the buck. I have their 4 person and I was very impressed with the build quality considering what I paid for it. quality aluminum poles too. That said, I have 2 solo backpacking tents, one by marmot and one by EMS and neither would fit me and two dogs, and i'm only 5'6". My two man EMS tent would be perfect, but it's not very light at 4 lbs.
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Old 10-04-2016, 02:20 PM   #4
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Generally, Alps is decent gear for people who are on a budget and don't mind carrying a few extra pounds to save on cost. It's not quite the same quality as more expensive/reputable brands, but it is at least a step up above Coleman/Ozark Trails (which are bottom barrel brands generally suitable for car camping only at best). The quality of Alps gear does also seem to have improved a little bit in recent years.

This tent specifically is really heavy, though. 6 pounds is a lot of weight for a 2 person backpacking tent. I would recommend at least looking at other options. You probably wouldn't regret spending a little bit more money on something lighter. For example, this Sierra Designs tent is still less than $200 but is also nearly 2 pounds lighter.

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Old 10-04-2016, 02:40 PM   #5
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You might want to keep an eye on this item: https://www.biddingforgood.com/aucti...n?id=266479957. It's a nice tent and a fundraiser for ADK.
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Old 10-04-2016, 02:44 PM   #6
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occasionally check into http://www.steepandcheap.com. be patient, you will find tents from time to time. I've bought a few things on there at a good price. Alps equipment comes up frequently.
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Old 10-04-2016, 02:47 PM   #7
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Massdrop is another site that's worth getting yourself on the email list for. It's a site that arranges bulk purchases of gear so that everyone can get a discount. I find that deals to be pretty hit or miss, mostly misses, but every once in a while there's some really, really good deals there so it's worth paying attention to.

Online retailers of note also include Sierra Trading Post, Campor, Backcountry.com, and Campsaver.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:15 PM   #8
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In a pinch I've used strips of 3' wide, 3 mil plastic sheeting taped together and cut to shape with very good results for a lightweight ground cloth. You may want to get info from others about protection from dogs toe nails.

I have a Midori 2 (Eureka) and don't know about room for 2 dogs with me and my (too much) gear. Most newer inexpensive small tents/fly have limited outside viewing. I'd try to check out space in a friends tent before buying.

I find the vestibule on my 2 man tent more use than I would have thought so that's worth considering.

I think freestanding tents are easiest to set up plus can be picked up and placed over ground cloth and easily moved if desired.

I'd like to know, do most dogs readily accept getting into a tent or does it usually take them a while?
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
I'd like to know, do most dogs readily accept getting into a tent or does it usually take them a while?
I've found the wetter and muddier the dog is, the quicker they are to get into the tent and onto my sleeping bag.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aft paddle View Post
I'd like to know, do most dogs readily accept getting into a tent or does it usually take them a while?
Ha! My dog basically sits there intently watching me setting it up while all but imploring me to get it done faster so she can get in and lay down for a bit! I normally have to tell her to stay out once or twice until I finish. As for being wet and muddy: let's just say that she is the reason my sleeping bag usually stays packed until it's bed time...

In her defense she has normally earned herself a good nap after a day of hiking, running and swimming. I always figure that whatever mileage I've done she has probably travelled at least twice as far when you take into account all the scouting ahead then running back and zig-zagging she loves to do. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

And as an aside to the original topic : the tent I currently use as a 3 season was purchased new on e-bay after much research for a whopping $25. It's not a name brand, obviously, but it has yet to disappoint me or let me down at any time in any weather in the backcountry. I bought it not expecting much and it has far out-preformed my expectations. It is not the lightest backpacking tent ever made, but is absolutely in the manageable range. I realize that brand name, expensive tents have their place, but sometimes a name isn't everything.

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Old 10-05-2016, 08:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by aft paddle View Post
I'd like to know, do most dogs readily accept getting into a tent or does it usually take them a while?
I had a basset who was so deathly afraid of what is out there in he dark. as soon as the sun started to fade, she would park herself at the tent door shivering, and not move an inch until she was safely inside and curled up on her bed.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:25 AM   #12
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For what it is worth, I have a Marmot Tungsten 3 person tent Link! It is very roomy and at 6' 2" I have a lot of room and can sit up and all that without hitting the ceiling. It is the same weight as the one you listed but is a little more money. I got mine on sale so if you can throw in a little more cash and shop around you can snag it. Especially if you get last year's model. Another plus was I set it up in complete darkness almost as fast as full daylight so it is a quick set up. You never know when you might end up having to do that.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by aft paddle View Post
In a pinch I've used strips of 3' wide, 3 mil plastic sheeting taped together and cut to shape with very good results for a lightweight ground cloth. You may want to get info from others about protection from dogs toe nails.
I've been using weedblock for ground cloth which has the benefits of being extremely light, easy to cut to size, and cheap. I can see a sheet of that inside the tent helping to keep wear down. Bunching would be an issue, maybe tape it at the corners.

As for tents, I've been using a Half Dome 2 which is fine for me at just under 5lbs. I'm 6' and have plenty of room, but I'm usually backpacking with someone and sharing the tent so weight is less of an issue. Lots of good tents in that same market. Solo with two dogs, I can imagine you'll have weight problems unless the pups have some nice packs!
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:55 PM   #14
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Alps Mountaineering is a decent brand, but as stated above, their gear tends to the heavy side. However, if you're interested in that particular Alps tent, it's on sale at Steep and Cheap for $88. The same site has the Alps Zephyr 2 weighing 4.5 lbs for $110. A friend uses the Zephyr 2 for solo trail crew camping and has a ton of room (he's 6'2") and the tent has held up well for the past few years.

I also agree that Mountainsmith is good product for the money. There is a 2-person Celestial tent on sale at Sierra Trading Post that weighs 5 lb. for $120.

Lastly, there is a Kelty Salida 2 that weighs 4.5 lbs. on sale at Sunny Sports for $125.

None of these tents are very light for one person to carry, but they are a manageable weight and fairly good quality for the money. I hope that you and the dogs find something that you like!
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:19 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. I ended up ordering a Eureka Midori 2 tent. I ordered a new one from Amazon and got it thru a 3rd party seller for $120.00. That's $40.00 less than any other seller. I hope it really is what I want, and not a knock off or a used/damaged item.

Kathy
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:27 PM   #16
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That looks like a pretty solid tent, especially for that price.

I've generally had pretty good luck with purchases from 3rd party sellers on Amazon.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:35 PM   #17
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look up the MSR two person Hubba Hubba tent. Funny name, I know. But that is the next tent I am going to buy.

https://www.amazon.com/MSR-Hubba-NX-...msr+hubba+huba
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:02 PM   #18
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look up the MSR two person Hubba Hubba tent. Funny name, I know. But that is the next tent I am going to buy.

https://www.amazon.com/MSR-Hubba-NX-...msr+hubba+huba
I actually just purchased this tent a week ago. I've had the 1 man version for a while now and love it, and I was able to get two coupons to combine at EMS to purchase it for about 25% off.

There's two things about it that I love- it's self supporting (i.e, it doesn't need to be staked down to be pitched), and it has a lot of room to sit up and maneuver around inside the tent (to do things like change clothes, etc.). The double doors (one on each side of the tent) are also really nice as well. Having all of these features in a sub-4 pound tent is rare.

The only drawback for many folks with the Hubba Hubba is the cost- $400 is a lot more than most people are willing and able to spend.

And you can get lighter tents for a fraction of the price, but they aren't going to have the features I listed above. Case in point: another recommendation- I have friend that has the Tarptent Motrail and he loves it. It's a 2 person tent that weighs just over 2 pounds, and retails for about $260. It's not self supporting though (and is pitched with the aid of a trekking pole), and it's pretty cozy for 2 people.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I actually just purchased this tent a week ago. I've had the 1 man version for a while now and love it, and I was able to get two coupons to combine at EMS to purchase it for about 25% off.

There's two things about it that I love- it's self supporting (i.e, it doesn't need to be staked down to be pitched), and it has a lot of room to sit up and maneuver around inside the tent (to do things like change clothes, etc.). The double doors (one on each side of the tent) are also really nice as well. Having all of these features in a sub-4 pound tent is rare.

The only drawback for many folks with the Hubba Hubba is the cost- $400 is a lot more than most people are willing and able to spend.

And you can get lighter tents for a fraction of the price, but they aren't going to have the features I listed above. Case in point: another recommendation- I have friend that has the Tarptent Motrail and he loves it. It's a 2 person tent that weighs just over 2 pounds, and retails for about $260. It's not self supporting though (and is pitched with the aid of a trekking pole), and it's pretty cozy for 2 people.
What I don't get is some people will gladly spend $129 on a "cheap" hotel room, and not spend the good money to be comfortable in the woods? For the price of three nights in a hotel, you can get something that will last ten+ years. Those first ten or so outings pay for the tent. I have an old Eureka Backcountry 1 tent--it's like being in a sardine can, so I am definitely looking for some elbow room, that's why I'm upgrading.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:27 AM   #20
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I don't get it either. A higher quality tent will be either lighter, stronger, better suited to purpose, or better designed. If you had to buy one each year and throw it away, I'd still opt for a more expensive tent.

In reality, these things last many years and provide the difference between a comfortable night or a hellish experience. If necessary, I'd bag going to restaurants/entertainment for a while so I could apply that money to better gear.

Everyone's mileage will vary....
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