Hikers and backpackers: I need your help

Compaq

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Hi guys, what's up?

I am in the market for a new tent. I love hiking and backpacking, but have never owned quality equipment. On my recent visit to the States I started upgrading some stuff (due to the ridiculously low prices compared to Norway's). I am now researching tents and starting to get an idea of what I need, both from previous experience and from reading about different features.

I will list the points that are important to me, and elaborate on them after:

1 two person tent
2 will be used for backpacking + the road-trip-camping-with-car-close-by trips)
3 it has to be waterproof, and prevent condensation well
4 withstanding the occasional mild snowfall is a plus
5 guypoints for better handling of strong winds
6 pole sleeves for better over-all stability
7 two doors is a big plus, although I suppose one door would serve as an exit/entrance as well
8 long enough for me (6'4.5" tall)
9 fit two sleeping pads around 20" wide
10 not choke of heatstroke in (Norwegian) summer nights


This summarizes my needs pretty well. I realize this may be too much for just one tent, but I thought I would ask for help before deciding anything.

1 My girlfriend and me will be using it most of the time (read: all of the time)

2 We enjoy just walking out in the nature, either in forests, up in the mountains, by the river; pretty much anything. Also, we're big on road-trips or car vacations. We then check in at campgrounds or just find fitting campsites as we drive (in Norway you can camp anywhere as long as you're not obtrusive to others and land owners). Having good vestibules with room for some gear, and having a little wriggle-space in the tent itself, is important. We're camping to enjoy ourselves, not merely as a place to spend the night. We might play cards, watch a movie on the Mac, etc.

3 Rain is common in Norway, and often comes unexpectedly. I have slept in a tent that did not handle heavy rains once... NEVER AGAIN
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4 Snow is also common once you gain some height, even in late spring and early fall. I don't mean heavy snows that really add weight on top, but the occasional mild snowfall. I'm sure you understand what I mean?
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5 Moreover, wind is quite common in Norway. Not storm-like winds, but strong enough to deform a badly stabilized tent. Alu poles help, but how they're placed is important as well. Having the option of securing with guylines is a nice insurance. Having a structural strong tent is more about knowing it will last, rather than having it withstand every kind of weather. I hope to make a long-term investment.

6 Again, stability. I don't like how the clip-on tents look. Maybe that is because I have never used such tents. It seems most three-season tents are clipped on the poles, but sleeves are stronger and disperse the stress on the poles over a larger area. Also, the tents seem more robust/staut that way. You never know what kind of weather you get in Norway.

7 I can really see how two doors is convenient. On my recent trip with my girlfriend, she had to climb over me to exit. As nice as that may be, having two doors wouldn't be catastrophic
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8 I'm tall at 6'4.5". I have a 72" sleeping pad and I want that to fit. The tent must fit me, to put it simply.

9 Since two persons will sleep in here, there should be enough room for two pads both at around 20" wide.

10 I have also woken up a hot summer morning barely being able to breathe. I wrenched off the sleeping bag, violated the zipper until it finally opened, and threw myself out of the tent. On later trips I have paid attention to make sure I have the setting sun at the tent, but the rising sun. Nevertheless, many campgrounds in Norway are just green field cramped with tents, and choosing strategically isn't always possible. Good ventilation is thus a huge plus.

So, in short, I think a 3+ season or extended season tent is the way to go. However, I cannot find that many models to look at. With the extended season, I get a sturdier and better built tent, without the extreme weather capabilities of true four-season tents (that I do not need). I get the good ventilation as well as the sturdier construction.

I seem to always come back to the REI Arete ASL 2, even if it only has one door. This tent seems to fit my needs very well. I have also come across the REI Cirque ASL 2, but it's not on their site any more. This tent had two doors. I also looked at the North Face Assault 2, but this is a four season tent and is made to stand on the mountains. I also looked at the North Face Mica FL 2, but this tent lacks pole sleeves.

Does anyone have suggestions? Am I going in the wrong direction? Price is not a worry, I will spend whatever I must to get a tent that suits my needs. The price will be split two-way as well.

Be smart - buy once.

I highly appreciate any suggestions and guiding!

Regards,
Anders
 
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Compaq

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I am concerned when they are called four-season or all-season tents. Often are they too small and cramped for two persons with gear. I suppose buying a three-person tent would fix space issues, but expedition tents aren't what I need. I guess clips are back in, given they are of good quality. I have read about some tearing off in wind!

Thank you for chiming in!
 
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Tee

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You'll get mostly replies pushing the standard big company products like Big Agnes, REI, etc. I feel your pain as I'm tall as well. If you truly want a tent that will allow comfortability for 2 people, then look at the cottage company Lightheart Gear and their Duo tent. You use your trekking poles instead of provided poles. Honestly, not sure how much backpacking you do but sleeved pole holders are no sturdier.

I admit I'm elitist when it comes to hiking and backpacking and prefer cottage industry gear makers over brand name gear. But seriously, being 6'4", you're not going to feel comfortable in a name brand tent. Do some YouTube searches on Lightheart Gear. Also, recommend looking up fellow norwegian Hendrick Morkel who has a good following.
 

Dinardy

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I have had a pretty good experience with ALPS products. Roomy for me and I'm 6'. It has been used primarily in the Northwest mountains (Mt. Rainier) and beaches of Washington State. It has served me well in extreme weather climates.
 

cgipson1

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I am concerned when they are called four-season or all-season tents. Often are they too small and cramped for two persons with gear. I suppose buying a three-person tent would fix space issues, but expedition tents aren't what I need. I guess clips are back in, given they are of good quality. I have read about some tearing off in wind!

Thank you for chiming in!

50" wide by 88" long... not big enough? With a vestibule? I guess that depends on how much gear you have... but two people, and two 40 lb packs and odds and ends fit with no problems! And I have also had a storm hit.. and cover this tent 3' of snow... and it didn't collapse... it will handle some wicked wind way up above treeline. Even had a night with four people in it, when another tent (Don't buy North Face.. poser gear!) did collapse.

But I understand... some of those factors may not be important to you... but you might understand why I love it!
 
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cgipson1

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I have had a pretty good experience with ALPS products. Roomy for me and I'm 6'. It has been used primarily in the Northwest mountains (Mt. Rainier) and beaches of Washington State. It has served me well in extreme weather climates.

ALPS makes some good gear!
 

spacefuzz

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Id recommend the big agnes line, I think some of them might meet your needs. I liked their fast setup time and fairly light weight.
 

Tee

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Be cautious when manufacturers list length and width as its generally not useable length and width. When you include a sleep pad, useable space reduces even more. I'm slightly skeptic when someone 6'2" or taller promotes the Big Agnes line as "roomy". They are either validating a poor purchase or scrunched in.

For the record, Big Agnes makes arguably the best mass produced tents for Americans. Very good quality. However, they do not make good tents for tall people which is my beef with tent makers.
 

spacefuzz

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Be cautious when manufacturers list length and width as its generally not useable length and width. When you include a sleep pad, useable space reduces even more. I'm slightly skeptic when someone 6'2" or taller promotes the Big Agnes line as "roomy". They are either validating a poor purchase or scrunched in.

For the record, Big Agnes makes arguably the best mass produced tents for Americans. Very good quality. However, they do not make good tents for tall people which is my beef with tent makers.

Well I dont think theres any real substitute for trying the tent out, OP should go find an REI and just start seeing if he fits.
 

cgipson1

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Be cautious when manufacturers list length and width as its generally not useable length and width. When you include a sleep pad, useable space reduces even more. I'm slightly skeptic when someone 6'2" or taller promotes the Big Agnes line as "roomy". They are either validating a poor purchase or scrunched in.

For the record, Big Agnes makes arguably the best mass produced tents for Americans. Very good quality. However, they do not make good tents for tall people which is my beef with tent makers.

Well I dont think theres any real substitute for trying the tent out, OP should go find an REI and just start seeing if he fits.

OP is in Norway.. that may be an issue....
 
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Compaq

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Steep walls will greatly reduce the "effective" length of the tent. When stretching out my toes, I'd like to stay off the walls.

I'm currently looking through some Hilleberg tents. They promise lots.
 
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Compaq

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I'm currently looking at the Nemo Losi 3P tent. This seems like the perfect tent for us!

Does anyone have experience with this tent or brand?
 

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