Tent, not roof top

PKP80

 
 
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Hey guys,
Thinking of buying a tent. Roof top is out of the question due to $$$ and as much as I love sleeping in the 80, I am getting tired of moving all the tools and gear.
SO.......are there any do's or don'ts in buying a tent? Or is any $20-$40 from the local sporting goods store?

Thanks in advance,
-Sam-
 

The Dude

 
 
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I have never had good luck with cheaper tents. They always seem to blow zippers, tear easily and leak.

My old tent (and still in great shape) was a MEC Nunatuk. A great tent, bomb proof, but heavy. I also gave the MEC snowfeild a whirl. A little smaller and lighter, but still too much wieght.

I then opted for Mountain Hardwares Trango. I love this tent. Warm, light, and I have been in down pours and had over 2 feet of snow on it in the winter with no issues. Lots more money, but you get what you pay for.
 

chet

 
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get one with a full fly not one of those stupid partial ones! Also try and get one that s self supporting. Some tents require pegs to keep them tight. Not good if you are on really hard ground! Buy a ground sheet for it too(could juts be a tarp) as it will save the bottom.
 

Cruiserdrew

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For car camping only, but perfect for cruiser trips are the "Alaskan Guide" tents from Cabelas. They are very sturdy, totally waterproff and excellent in every way. It's the best tent I've owned. Don't waste money on cheapo tents.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/horizontal-pod.jhtml?id=0006263&navAction=push&navCount=2&indexId=cat20103&parentId=cat20103&parentType=index&rid=&_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/pod-link.jhtml_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20075

That's a long link. If it doesn't work, go to www.cabelas.com, click on camping, then dome tents.
 

Mike S

 
 
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Agree with Andrew - that is a really nice tent. Not light, which is good if you don't have to pack it any distance. I have good results from various Eureka tents... I have a couple of 4 man tents for light camping, and a huge 10 X13 tent for 'luxury' camping with cots, mattresses, etc.

One caution - who ever rates tents for occupancy - they are smokin' something. If the tent is a '4 MAN' tent - plan on snug comfort for two people. Like wise - you want to fit four - go with an 8 man tent.

M
 

tabraha

Hello My Name is: TAD
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I've had the same sierra design's dome tent for 9 years now and it has performed very well and held up good in foul weather.
 

Fly Rod

 
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There are alot of options in tents and it is hard to generalize. Here are my observations from selling them for many years. Ultralite = Don't last as long (unless you really take care of them). Cheap = Cheap, you may not find this out until the wind blows hard or it really dumps rain. I have spent too many sleepless nights in tents flattened by the wind. Four man = Three man except for North Face tents = two man. Dogs and tents = wet nights in the rain.

Good Tents = Mountain Hardware, Kelty, Marmot, Sierra Designs, Black Diamond (Bibler).

I have alot of dogs so I use a Mountain Hardware Kiva, T-Pee design with replacable floor. When solo I use a Bibler Tripod Bivey, when with people in wet conditions I use a Mountain Hardware or Sierra Designs tent.

Kelty is the best value in high quality tents! They have some large family styles that will stand up to any weather you can throw at them.

Seam seal all of your seams if it is wet in your area.

Just my $.04

Fly Rod
 

nuclearlemon

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i've got a coleman that i've had for about six years...has held up fine. it's probably considered a 20 man tent cause it's 8x8 iirc. fits me and the dog. no issues with leakage (but i do spray it every season), only zipper issue is occasionally zipping the little protective edge into the zipper when drunk.
 

PKP80

 
 
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So far great info....I"m just looking for a 2 person tent, but have noticed that they come smaller than they claim. keep them coming.
 
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Stay away from plastic parts as they will break in the cold. esp. the clips that so many tents are using for the poles to attatch to the fabric. Get the kind with the sleeves.
2 Cts.
 

Cruiserdrew

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Sam-The Cabelas tent I posted about is a 4 man, but Jeff and I use it as a 2 man. It's very spacious and roomy. It fits 2 men plus full gear, or 4 men and minimal gear. Jim Brantley has the 6 man version. It's huge. The 4 man is just a bit short to stand fully inside, the 6 man I can stand up and I'm 6'1". It is also the most stable tent in a wind that I have ever seen. It is a car camp tent only though-with the fiberglass poles it's 20 pounds or so.

I also have had good luck with Eureka tents for the $-not too bad. Coleman's and the cheapo Keltys from Costco=Not reccomended for serious weather or wind. Like everything else in life, you generally get what you pay for.
 

desertdude

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Marmot Swallow -TENT

We've been using this tent for 5 years now. Solid design sets up in minutes. Tough zippers. Quality to the max. This tent has been through Big Sur California down pours - Flagstaff snow - and the great southwest - still going strong. Bundles up in a small size pack. I would not hesitate to buy this tent.

By the best you can and cry once. ;)
 

tabraha

Hello My Name is: TAD
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PKP80 said:
So far great info....I"m just looking for a 2 person tent, but have noticed that they come smaller than they claim. keep them coming.
If you want room for two normal size people, get a 3 or 4 person tent. You'll be glad you have the room for gear or to at least keep some room between 2 people. Also, anything less than a 3 season tent is not gonna be a happy place to be if the weather gets even slightly ugly. One downside to having a nice tent is that your tent will be the place to be when the other guy's tent is crapping out at the most inconvenient time :D
 
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Same on the Coleman for me. Bought it for $35 more than 10 years ago, have lent it out to people, slept in hardcore rainstorms, etc without a single issue. Easy as hell to setup, store, etc. I think it's the same 8x8 Ige mentioned - rated at 3 people, which is bunk.

I've also got a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight, it's a few years old, but it's a nice, light tent, great for backpacking. It's a 3 man, but again, 2 would fit in a pinch, if need be.

If I were taking one of the kids with me, I'd take the Coleman and not worry about it. Simple dome design, fiberglass polls, and you don't need a ground sheet, as the floor is basically a tarp. Only issue I have with it is it has a vent/mesh at the top of it, and the rain fly is suspended above it, and when it gets cold, it doesn't insulate very well...but I live in TX - that's been an issue one time only.

We also have a gigantic family tent. Don't remember the brand though - it's a pain to set up and take down, and never fits back into it's bag when you try to put it away. I want to say I got it at Academy - TexSport or some chaep thing like that.
 

Fly Rod

 
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I agree, the swallow is a great tent. Plenty of room for two, easy in and out and holds up in rain & snow. I used one for a season and it was very well built.

Fly Rod
 

lingo

 
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some thing else that i have found to be very useful is having a vestibule. doesn't have to be large just some where to store wet/muddy stuff so you don't want in your tent.

mike
 

Brentbba

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I've got two Eureka tents for my personal use. One 10x10 for car camping and a small one for backpacking. Both very good quality.

Scout troop has 20 Coleman 7x9's (I think that's the size). Had them for almost 4 years now. Realize these aren't backpacking weight. Will sleep 3, maybe 4 small boys. Two adults. They've held up remarkably well given the lack of care and abuse the kids dish out. Had a couple of the 'self-repairing' zippers cause some problems, but two out of 40 zippers over 4 years isn't bad.
 
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I won't argue with any of the guys about good tents. Like a few others I've had good luck with the Coleman tents too. I have a Coleman 7x13 that I bought dirt cheap $30 from a store going out of business. First time I used it was in heavy downpour and 20-30 gusts. I had every stake used and every guidline tied and it held up perfectly except very minor leak (quarter size pool of water) that would not have been an issue in lessor winds.

It really depends on your use. If you only camp 2-3 times a year in milder times of the year you might want to try a cheaper Coleman and more than that go with one of the better tents the others have suggested.
 
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I also have owned one of Sierra designs stretch domes for about 10 yrs. No complaints. I would recommend gettin at least a 3 man for 2 people. You dont want to be crowded. Get a ground cover for underneath it, this will extend it's life. Don't leave it setup all day in the hot sun, Sun is bad for longevity of tent .
 
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