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Hardy, compact, reasonably priced tent

Old 08-15-23, 11:40 AM
  #1  
abdon 
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Hardy, compact, reasonably priced tent

I need a compact 2 person tent. I haven't bought one in ages. What are my options for something hardy that packs small and won't break the bank?
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Old 08-15-23, 01:47 PM
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What do you mean by “reasonably priced” and “compact”?
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Old 08-15-23, 02:11 PM
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Not a standing two person tent that the folded version is 2+ feet long. Think tent suited for hiking and bike touring.

As for price, well the Osmo dagger looks awesome but at $500+ a tad bank breaking. There are $50 tents for which my first reaction is not to trust. Do you have something in-between you would recommend?
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Old 08-15-23, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
Not a standing two person tent that the folded version is 2+ feet long. Think tent suited for hiking and bike touring.

As for price, well the Osmo dagger looks awesome but at $500+ a tad bank breaking. There are $50 tents for which my first reaction is not to trust. Do you have something in-between you would recommend?
I really like mine:

https://www.rei.com/product/188353/big-agnes-fly-creek-hv-ul-2-solution-dyed-tent?sku=1883530001&store=&CAWELAID=120217890011282180&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=109431034468&CATCI=aud-1396942686915la-413065863986&cm_mmc=PLA_Google%7C21700000001700551_1883530001%7C92700053582160437%7CTOF%7C7170000006 6692663&gclid=CjwKCAjwxOymBhAFEiwAnodBLGlBupBqImAd_x1UVKoJfSGIVhJxAsGydBguy5fK7ncvIbNtPmc8RRoCSIYQAv D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds


Got mine on sale from REI. IIRC, paid $330 for it.

Don’t know why REI doesn’t seem to carry their Quarter Dome SL 2, at least right now. I have one as well. A bit heavier, but more hearty with more room and two doors. I take it on flatter trips.

Last edited by indyfabz; 08-15-23 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 08-15-23, 03:05 PM
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Over the years I have been very happy with Sierra Design tents. I usually go tours that last 3 to 4 months using my tent almost every night. I have no complaints about Sierra Designs' durability, functionality or weight.

Last edited by gerryl; 08-15-23 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 08-15-23, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gerryl
Over the years I have been very happy with Sierra Design tents. I generally speaking go tours that last 3 to 4 months using my tent almost every night. I have no complaints about Sierra Designs' durability, functionality or weight.
I’ve had a couple of SDs over the years. Definitely good quality. My last touring tent of theirs (Slickrock 2) got destroyed in a forest fire 23 years ago. I have a Bedouin 4 for car camping. It’s 16 years old and still going strong.
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Old 08-15-23, 04:33 PM
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REI has some nice stuff. I picked up a 1-1/2 person tent a few years go, it’s a very dry and light tent. This is probably what I would look at now

https://www.rei.com/product/216300/r...with-footprint
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Old 08-15-23, 04:42 PM
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Just today I received my Marmot Tungsten 2P (two person) tent. It's not super light at almost exactly 6 lbs (2690 g, I weighed it) but it's a lot lighter than my Eureka K2-XT which I bought just two years ago not knowing that I'd be getting rid of my car and going back to bike touring. I've spent weeks/months going over reviews and specs and ended up on the Tungsten. Price was a big factor as going lighter was mostly more expensive. At first I was looking at one-person tents but then decided I wanted my panniers in the tent with me and still be able to move around a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing if it was a good decision or not, hopefully in a few weeks.
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Old 08-15-23, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
REI has some nice stuff. I picked up a 1-1/2 person tent a few years go, it’s a very dry and light tent. This is probably what I would look at now

https://www.rei.com/product/216300/r...with-footprint
Where does half of the other person sleep?
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Old 08-15-23, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Where does half of the other person sleep?
The REI tent I linked is a 2 person tent
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Old 08-15-23, 06:12 PM
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Another thumbs up for Sierra Designs. Good value for money. Although my last one, a Meteor 2 IIRC wetted through in a big storm after just a couple of years of use. I've treated the rain fly so it should be good to go now.

We also got a Big Agnes Blacktail 3 Hotel Bikepack for a steal. It's got shorter poles to better fit in bags and a large vestibule to store the bikes and panniers when we travel. Might be too much for OP but if you Google you're likely to see the same deal that I got on Aventuron.
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Old 08-15-23, 06:45 PM
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Been through a couple rain storms in this one, one storm was nothing less that a horizontal rain white squall and we stayed dry.

Nice tent, easy to set up..doesn't weigh much, very reasonably priced. I think it was Outside magazine's tent of the year at one point.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Eureka used to have an Outlet tent website where you could get some screaming deals on like-new tents, but it's not coming up.
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Old 08-15-23, 07:48 PM
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Big Agnes is the way to go.
These are bike packing specific so they pack up small and at least on the Copper Spur I have it has MOLLE webbing on it so I can attach it to my bars easily if I needed to:
https://www.bigagnes.com/collections...41a69c64&_ss=c
https://www.bigagnes.com/collections...a4fc7b03&_ss=c

Yes they seem expensive but they are good quality, lightweight, long lasting tents and they are easy to set up, pack up nicely and are well supported. I can buy cheap tents or I can buy one good tent and keep it for years and years and years.
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Old 08-15-23, 09:27 PM
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When you say two person, is this for two people or is this for one person and their gear.

A lot of two person tents are too small for two people. The one I use for bike touring is rated for two, is perfect for one with gear but would not work for two people.

The one I use is no longer produced, so I won't waste your time by recommending one you can't buy.
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Old 08-15-23, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
When you say two person, is this for two people or is this for one person and their gear.

A lot of two person tents are too small for two people. The one I use for bike touring is rated for two, is perfect for one with gear but would not work for two people.

The one I use is no longer produced, so I won't waste your time by recommending one you can't buy.
Actually just one person plus gear and sharing a tent if push comes to shove. I prefer my tents roomy.
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Old 08-15-23, 11:36 PM
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These are available in purchases of 6 each making them about 30 USD each. They are well proven in moderate weather. At 3 pounds they are a fair weight and are even Boy Scout proof... Ha

Texsport - Saguaro Bivy Shelter Tent with Full Fly (Case pack of 6)
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Old 08-16-23, 02:45 PM
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The ugly truth is that by the time you finish nickel and dime and compromise then you would have moved on from the real low end that would not work and moved slowly toward the high end and the difference in price is probably the price of taking your honey to a nice restaurant.

We're not talking about buying a TESLA...

Maybe I'm just too testy as it has been a tough day at work haha .
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Old 08-17-23, 09:39 AM
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The beautiful truth is that I have zero debt and a fully funded retirement account because of the accumulation of decisions like this over decades. I could buy a $1k tent without breaking a sweat, I chose to have a more sensible budget.

I'm not gonna lie, the Big Agnes Cooper Spur does shake my frugal resolve but I'm a veteran at this, I know that there has to be a tent half the price almost as good. Maybe a big almost but half is also big.
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Old 08-17-23, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
These are available in purchases of 6 each making them about 30 USD each. They are well proven in moderate weather. At 3 pounds they are a fair weight and are even Boy Scout proof... Ha

Texsport - Saguaro Bivy Shelter Tent with Full Fly (Case pack of 6)
Zandoval, I'm looking for a better tent for cycling but these seem pretty awesome. I'm in Alaska and it doesn't hurt to throw in a tent (and a bunch of other stuff) on the trunk of every vehicle you own. For example there is a single coastal road that separates the entire Kenai peninsula, Girdwood, and Whittier, from Anchorage and beyond. One rock slide can leave you stranded on the wrong side for a day or two depending on how big it is. I'm still going to look for a better cycling tent but I'm probably going to get a six pack of these for emergency kits.

If you prepare enough what other people call emergencies are just inconveniences
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Old 08-17-23, 10:12 AM
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Used?

https://backpackinglight.com/gear-sw...helter-systems
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Old 08-17-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
...coastal road that separates the entire Kenai peninsula, Girdwood, and Whittier, from Anchorage and beyond. One rock slide can leave you stranded on the wrong side for a day or two depending on how big it is.
Yikes... Alaska demands good equipment, and in many cases unaffordable equipment. My son did a few contracts as a ParaMedic over in Naknek on Bristol Bay AK. He said when the roads are open you still need protection from the cold and more important protection from the bugs!

These 30 USD Sugaro tents are well worth the money. The weakest part of the tent is of course the poles. Aluminum poles would make this tent worth much much more but would add about 50 USD to the cost. One of my scouts did spend some time in this tent over in Minnesota in February. He said he placed plastic on the snow. Pitched the tent. And then after adding support to the apex of the tent threw a 12x12 tarp over it. Essentially he made a tent within a tent. He said it was perfect and after 10" of snow made a solid dome.

I am a Central Texas guy. For me 40°F is cold so I am not a good advisor for Alaska trekking. I do know that every vehicle I have has in it a 12x12 tarp with suitable cordage.
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Old 08-17-23, 11:38 AM
  #22  
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There have been some 'lively' discussions here in the past concerning ultralight vs. all the comforts of home vs. budget. One way or the other, though, every gram you pack on the bike has to be pedaled over that mountain pass.

(Well, or walked.

)

The biggest delta impact on overall weight will be with the heaviest items.

Unless you bring a cast iron Dutch oven, your heaviest item will probably be your tent.

Light tents: Durston, Tarptent, ZPacks & etc.
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Old 08-17-23, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
Yikes... Alaska demands good equipment, and in many cases unaffordable equipment. My son did a few contracts as a ParaMedic over in Naknek on Bristol Bay AK. He said when the roads are open you still need protection from the cold and more important protection from the bugs!

These 30 USD Sugaro tents are well worth the money. The weakest part of the tent is of course the poles. Aluminum poles would make this tent worth much much more but would add about 50 USD to the cost. One of my scouts did spend some time in this tent over in Minnesota in February. He said he placed plastic on the snow. Pitched the tent. And then after adding support to the apex of the tent threw a 12x12 tarp over it. Essentially he made a tent within a tent. He said it was perfect and after 10" of snow made a solid dome.

I am a Central Texas guy. For me 40°F is cold so I am not a good advisor for Alaska trekking. I do know that every vehicle I have has in it a 12x12 tarp with suitable cordage.
I don't overnight when it gets really cold so I wouldn't know a thing about that myself :} I used to carry Percocet on my backcountry bag to make sure I could hike out on a broken ankle. Those were the days before the opioid crisis and your doctor would not look at you weird if you asked for a few for emergencies.
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Old 08-17-23, 12:02 PM
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We have the non-light version of this tent:

https://sierradesigns.com/meteor-lite-2-prior-year/

It has served us well, even through some big storms. I just retreated the fly and floor so it should last several more years.

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Old 08-17-23, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
There have been some 'lively' discussions here in the past concerning ultralight vs. all the comforts of home vs. budget. One way or the other, though, every gram you pack on the bike has to be pedaled over that mountain pass.

(Well, or walked.

)

The biggest delta impact on overall weight will be with the heaviest items.

Unless you bring a cast iron Dutch oven, your heaviest item will probably be your tent.

Light tents: Durston, Tarptent, ZPacks & etc.
Yeah, ultralight comes at a cost to durability, I prefer to lean on the hardy side. An extra few pounds can easily translate into longer life and less mishaps.
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