-- Last Updated: Feb-12-13 10:53 AM EST --
I am in the market for a new lightweight tent to kayak camp with. I want a solo tent. I currently have an Alps and it has been awesome, bone dry (it has poured every time i have camped on the coast of Maine) my only issue is it's not free standing, so i am in the market for a free standing solo light weight around $300. A local shop is pushing Big Agnes. Anybody want to share tent stories or info. that would be helpful? I like to buy from my local people, but have not much experience in the different types of tents out there.
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You probably know this|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Feb-12-13 11:58 AM (EST)
but a solo tent is a two person tent if you want any room at all inside. My wife and I use a three person tent.
being very short and having a bivy style|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-12-13 12:34 PM (EST)
tent, anything else feels roomy. I do well with little, and can keep extra stuff in the kayak if needed. Not sure about the anklet thing...what about rain and bugs? it seems nice for a group shelter, but don't think i would need that. Cool idea though.
Big Agnes |
Posted by: deuce on Feb-12-13 12:04 PM (EST)
How do they work?|
Posted by: somalley on Feb-12-13 1:09 PM (EST)
Is the anklet a webbing outline of the tent floor with loops/grommets for the fly's poles? Hard to tell from the pictures...
Posted by: deuce on Feb-12-13 1:12 PM (EST)
Am currently |
Posted by: kanaka on Feb-12-13 12:39 PM (EST)
Doing my own tent research and Big Agnes was well regarded. Have decided against 4 season and am now looking at MSR Mutha Hubba as a good option based on price, size, well regarded manufacturer and water proofness. The Mutha Hubba got a lot of positive reviews. It was recommended to wash out the tent poles if am doing any kayakinging as they would never separate otherwise. Have decided on a 3 person tent for 2 people for that extra room.
MRS Hubba 1|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-12-13 12:42 PM (EST)
is looking good. Again...i don't hardly any room, plus this tent would save me over $100.
LLBean Microlight FS|
Posted by: gyork on Feb-12-13 3:32 PM (EST)
FS=freestanding. Saw one in their outlet store for $139. I think EMS may also be making a knock-off of the MSR Hubba family.
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-17-13 11:44 AM (EST)
Kanaka, I'd like to answer your e-mail but my IP can't connect with your IP. Send an alternative address if you have one. Thanks.
Posted by: Mattt on Feb-12-13 12:43 PM (EST)
if you are looking for a tent to use for beach camping, forget about Big Agnes - I don't know all thier models, but from what I've seen,they are not what I would call a true free standing tent - though they are sorta free standing, but you need to use a lot of stakes to pull out the sides and corners to make them livable and that's not going to work well in sand or rock
REI Half dome 2 person|
Posted by: redmond on Feb-12-13 12:50 PM (EST)
I've got this one and really like it. Very quick to set up and light weight. 2 person tent that's great for one.
beach camp with caution|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Feb-13-13 1:40 PM (EST)
Generally it's better to get behind the first rise or dune.
Big Agnes, never again|
Posted by: lackge on Feb-12-13 1:00 PM (EST)
I bought a Big Agnes Parkview 3 tent and used it about a half dozen times. The tape used to heat seal the seams on the rain fly just simply peeled off--every inch of it--rendering the tent completely useless. So, I purchased an REI tent to replace the Big Agnes. I should have gone with REI to begin with, because you can always count on REI to stand behind their products.
I have the BA Copper Spur....|
Posted by: holmes375 on Feb-12-13 1:05 PM (EST)
UL tents in the 1, 2 and 3 person sizes. I've been using them for a few years now.
I use the Marmot Limelight 3|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-12-13 3:34 PM (EST)
for two of us camping and they make a two man version. The vestibules are not freestanding but you will have no trouble finding rocks to use as a deadman.
great ideas Kayamedic|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-12-13 4:37 PM (EST)
We (not an I) used the Limelight|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-12-13 6:57 PM (EST)
on chickees on our just concluded Everglades trip. The ease of setup was a great asset, plus the tieoffs were sometimes necessary..
Mountain Hardware Trango|
Posted by: rpg51 on Feb-12-13 7:33 PM (EST)
is the tent that I have use for about 10 years now. There is a 2man, 3man and 4man. They are not for summer camping. But for fall, winter and spring, they are great tents. I have used my 3 man for many years and it has held up well. It is a 5 pole tent and very stable when all staked out in extreme weather. Not light. Not compact in the sack. But rugged and durable. It is a free standing tent except you have to stake out the vestibules. This is s tent that can bring you through the worst weather you can imagine.
My tent wardrobe|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-12-13 7:42 PM (EST)
is the Limelight 3 for summer duet use, the Trango 3.1 for spring fall duet use and the 2 man North Face for solo spring fall use . The Hubba Hubba is reserved for true summer where no sand is anticipated. Before I got wiser I camped in Quebec with it in May and nearly froze..to its credit it did not cave in with the snow.
Quarter Dome UL|
Posted by: bowrudder on Feb-13-13 12:05 AM (EST)
They advertise it as a two-man tent. More like one-and-a-half.
I spent 3 weeks on the ground...|
Posted by: johnysmoke on Feb-13-13 12:07 AM (EST)
Due to a brand new Big Agnes sleeping pad. It failed on day 4 of a 26 day trip, delaminated and couldn't be field repaired. I wouldn't buy anything Big Agnes ever again, but that's just me. It was also the third pad I had from them that failed, I should have learned the first time, but they were so compact and comfortable for the time. I've since switched over to a exped.
MEC Tarn 2|
Posted by: VK1NF on Feb-13-13 12:12 AM (EST)
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-13-13 9:43 AM (EST)
Little nervous to buy an EMS product, sounds like they are going out of business, selling out to Bob's. they laid off over 100 employees.
Don't get the Black Diamond....|
Posted by: Jackl on Feb-13-13 9:30 AM (EST)
"First Light". After a lot of useless research, it seemed to be rated among the best so we got one last year for an expedition Challenge.
No inside news but if EMS is going |
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-13-13 11:00 AM (EST)
out of business, why did they open a second store recently in Portland Maine?
Also a new store in Bourne, Mass.|
Posted by: Jackl on Feb-13-13 12:41 PM (EST)
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-13-13 1:24 PM (EST)
not really sure why they would do that, we headr it the WMUR news about 2 weeks ago. They are closing the headquarters in Peterborough,NH and laid off approx. 116 employees. I noticed that the were having great sales unlike anything i had ever seen them do in the store in Concord, NH.
Posted by: suzanneh on Feb-13-13 2:15 PM (EST)
EMs was bought by a private equity firm who ALSO owns Bob's. No stores listed to close as of now.
Thanks for setting us straight Suz.|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-13-13 5:19 PM (EST)
Mgmnt seldom really looks at details....|
Posted by: bigspencer on Feb-15-13 7:51 PM (EST)
>They are closing the headquarters in Peterborough,NH and laid off approx. 116 employees. I noticed that the were having great sales unlike anything i had ever seen them do in the store in Concord, NH.
EMS was doomed|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-14-13 8:26 PM (EST)
They were great in the 1970s, but after that they never developed a corporate image that distinguished them, as REI, LL Bean, Cabela's, and others did so well. High prices, uninspiring equipment designs (like tents).
Back to the OP's question, |
Posted by: Jsaults on Feb-13-13 7:23 PM (EST)
I have used a MSR HubbaHubba as a solo tent for years and am quite happy with it. True, now that I love hammock camping it gets less use but I love the roominess (I am a Big Guy) and gear storage room.
Posted by: Dgremlin on Feb-14-13 7:47 PM (EST)
This is a great tent for backpacking or kayaking. Very compact and light. My only issue with mine is that you want to leave the rain fly unpacked when not using it. I left mine packed in the bag for about 2 years and when I took it out, it had kind of glued itself together. Took me about 30 minutes to pull it apart. It's a bit gooey but it still works. (The tent was fine.)
Similar problem when not packed.|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Feb-15-13 8:16 PM (EST)
I store all my tents together in a loose condition inside a huge box (no folding, no rolling, no packing of any kind when in storage). All of them have been doing fine for years, but the rain fly of my MSR Hubba has turned gooey and a bit sticky to the touch after just a few years. It started happening after about two years, if I recall. It still works, but I can see how leaving it tightly packed for an extended time would be a disaster. The stuff bag, which is made of the same material as the fly, has had the same thing happen to it.
Posted by: johnysmoke on Feb-15-13 11:40 PM (EST)
They may just replace your tent for you, GREAT customer service, which is another reason to go with MSR...
MSR fly replacement|
Posted by: gyork on Feb-19-13 10:34 AM (EST)
Yes-they did replace my "gooey" fly @ no cost.
Posted by: clarion on Feb-19-13 11:22 AM (EST)
I should have bought that gooey fly MSR at the REI yard sale. Dough!
Posted by: gstamer on Feb-20-13 11:52 AM (EST)
Yes, agree. I store my tents like I do my sleeping bags -- very loose in a breathable sack.
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-14-13 8:16 PM (EST)
A two-person tent fits perfectly in a kayak and is so much more comfortable. I would never take a solo tent kayak camping. In fact I might even take a compact 3-person tent for the ultimate luxury.
Can't you read ?|
Posted by: roanguy on Feb-15-13 5:42 AM (EST)
The OP is looking for a "lightweight solo tent
Why get snarky?|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-15-13 8:16 AM (EST)
Reading all..the tents are good for solo.
Posted by: deuce on Feb-15-13 9:08 AM (EST)
These days when considering tent capacities I summarily remove one person. In my mind two person is tent speak for one person and gear or two persons who don't mind spooning all night.
in response to why a solo?|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-15-13 5:17 PM (EST)
Price is part of the factor, and my current tent is as 1 person put it "not much more than a bivy".But i am okay with that. I am short and still can get a gearbag in with me just fine. So cheaper and little is good for me.
Solo tents and comfort|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Feb-15-13 8:46 PM (EST)
Too small is very much psychological |
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-15-13 8:56 PM (EST)
Posted by: guideboatguy on Feb-15-13 9:07 PM (EST)
... that's exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of when I said that the weather can affect my priorities. In summer when I could choose the solo tent, I probably use a two-person tent instead at least half the time.
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Feb-15-13 9:02 PM (EST)
I spent several years camping out of a motorcycle and using a "solo" tent. I understand that it can be done and I did not mind at the time. But the fact is you have more options with a so-called two person tent and there is little or no sacrifice in space or weight for kayaking. YMMV, but it is easier to keep the gear you need dry if it rains and you will have more headroom. So wear a hair shirt if that fits your style. Or make things easier and more comfortable. The cost of doing so is very small.
Price and fabric|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-15-13 10:43 PM (EST)
If you want to reduce the price of a tent, going with a 1P is not the best way to do that because of what you give up. The Hubba is $280. There are many fine 2P's for less than $200. The REI Half Dome 2 is one of the best tents you can buy. It's made of rugged materials and can stand up to abusive conditions (like all REI tents). Same for the Alps Zephyr 2.
Yes, but I don't write too well|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-15-13 10:02 PM (EST)
I meant to say "Why solo?"
See OP's final choice . . . |
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-20-13 11:05 AM (EST)
. . . and learn some manners.
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-15-13 9:57 PM (EST)
We 2 just finished 2 weeks of "bliss"|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-15-13 10:21 PM (EST)
in a 3P tent. I kept wondering how person 3 would have liked all the kicks s/he would have received being in the middle. I love how all the tent diagrams show people lying on their backs with arms at sides and legs extended.
Not only that, ...|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Feb-15-13 10:44 PM (EST)
Head to foot sleeping|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-18-13 7:24 PM (EST)
Many tents now save weight and increase stability in wind by being wedge shaped: both narrower and lower at the foot. You can't sleep head to foot in those tents.
All solo tents are not the same size|
Posted by: pikabike on Feb-16-13 1:46 PM (EST)
For a long time, I used a Eureka Mtn Pass 1XT that was warm (full double-wall) and compact due to use of shorter poles than standard. GREAT for packing into kayak hatch compartments. I bought it from Campmor in either 2003 or early 2004. Last year I finally sold it via craigslist.
Maybe bit off topic - but not really|
Posted by: rpg51 on Feb-16-13 2:26 PM (EST)
If, like me, you always travel with a good tarp - one option is to carry just the body of a tent and sleep under the tarp sans tent in good bug free weather and use the tent body under the tarp if it gets buggy. It is not a great option for really bad weather - especially wind, but 99% of the time it works well. Having a nice light big tarp - such as the tarps made my Cooke Custom Sewing - adds a huge amount of comfort to the canoe/kayak tripping experience.
West Nile, Triple E, etc.|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-16-13 11:35 PM (EST)
I don't think tarp camping is a good idea these days. People aren't even doing yard work outside after dinner, much less sleeping in the woods without full protection.
So, there's no such thing as ...|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Feb-16-13 11:45 PM (EST)
... "good bug-free weather" then?
We have all been affectied|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-17-13 8:35 AM (EST)
by the marketing of fear. Now its just dangerous in some eyes to even go outside.
Insect protection for a tarp...|
Posted by: johnysmoke on Feb-17-13 9:19 AM (EST)
Goodness I hope |
Posted by: rpg51 on Feb-17-13 4:49 PM (EST)
it hasnt' come to this. I recall two one week canoe trips in the deep woods of northern maine when we did not see one single bug. Surely a night under the tarp would be safe in those conditions - no? It was delightful by the way. Warblers had all returned and the days were gorgeous and sunny with temps in the 60s and low 70s. Of course, there have been other trips as well but I wont' mention them.
Suicide by bugs|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-18-13 7:44 PM (EST)
The last time I was able to sleep outside and not get bitten by a mosquito was late August in the Adirondacks on a windy night . . . in the 1970s. I would not do that anywhere in the Northeast today. Ticks, mosquitoes, coywolves . . . they're all out to get us!
Lots of choices|
Posted by: michaelcrouse on Feb-17-13 2:16 PM (EST)
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-17-13 7:54 PM (EST)
wow, so much tent info. , someone mentioned the Alps 2 person,(Zephire?) i recieved their catalog on Saturday and am serious about this tent. No prices in the catalog, but will give them a call. I tend to camp in warmer weather and it seems as there are always mosquitoes and lil' black flies in these parts, if not then it is likely snowing. so i want more than a tarp. I do just fine in lil' spaces, but have given the 2 person tent a lot of consideration after reading everyones post. Don't like sharing a tent, good excuse to not have to if it's to little. To many sleepless nights from snoring, nature calls etc... . but will just make it clear that it is for me and me only.The hound might share, but that is it.LOL
Steep and Cheap|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-18-13 8:06 PM (EST)
Watch for the Alps Zephyr on Steep and Cheap. http://www.sacalerts.com/history.php
Black Diamond Ahwahnee|
Posted by: jsmarch on Feb-17-13 10:38 PM (EST)
One month on the SE coast of Newfoundland--wind to 60mph, torrential rain, cold, hot, black flies--and camping in NC coast and mountains. Totally fabulous--nothing like it. Only downside is cost, but it is worth every penny.
MSR, Asolo, EMS|
Posted by: WaterMark on Feb-18-13 1:37 PM (EST)
I have an MSR solo freestanding tent which I've had about 10 years and is in flawless condition. Not sure of the model name, but they've probably updated their models anyways. I find it has plenty of room for me, my clothes, whatever gear I need in the tent with me, and the rest of my gear fits under the fly vestibule.
Alps Zephyr 2 is on it's way.|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-19-13 1:52 PM (EST)
Thanks for everyones input. I was considering the Hubba, but price on this was far better.
I'm a Nemo man but....|
Posted by: old_user on Feb-21-13 1:51 PM (EST)
I spent ten days on Lac LaCroix where it rained almost every morning and evening, and we had consistently strong winds the entire time. One evening into the morning we had torrential downpours, thunder, and lightning. I didn't give it much credit at the beginning of the trip, but that two-man Eureka half dome tent proved me wrong!
If Keeping Dry is a Must...|
Posted by: old_user on Feb-25-13 10:18 AM (EST)
Then go with a Mountain Hardwear. I've had a bunch of different tents over the years from all the major mfgs, and spent more nights in ungodly southeast thunderstorms than I care to remember, from the mountains to the coast. NOBODY makes a 3 season tent that's more bomb-proof than Mountain Hardwear. My only complaint has ever been they are a tad short, but I'm 6'4", and it doesn't sound like that will be a big issue.
That's a fact|
Posted by: Waterbird on Feb-25-13 9:12 PM (EST)
I've owned two Mountain Hardwear tents. The materials and construction are very good. I do find, though, that they have some design problems. I returned one of their tents because it wasn't freestanding at all---the pole tension caused the tent to bow inward severely unless it was staked. Also I find the entries too low even on their taller tents. But they are very waterproof, that's a fact.