Where To Go Women's Corner For Beginners Training/Fitness About Us  
The Gear Guide Fun Products Alpinistic Tales Links/Webcams Contact Us 14erFun Home  

14er Fun's Tent Reviews and Recommendations

Your tent is your home and more importantly your shelter while you’re camping. A tent can (but doesn't have to) be an expensive acquisition. Your tent is not a piece of gear with which to cut corners or make sacrifices…its function is simply too important. A tent purchase is something to which you need to give some thought. There are many types of tents from which to choose and there seems to be no real standard in price. If this is your first tent purchase, you may find yourself a bit confused or even overwhelmed. Before even starting to shop for a tent, you need to ask yourself:

  • Will I be using my tent strictly for backpacking, strictly for car camping or a combination of both?
  • Do I need a 4 season tent or will a 3 season be enough? In other words, will I be winter camping or camping in extreme conditions?
  • How many people will be sleeping in my tent and will they always be the same people? How big are these people?
  • Do I or my tent mates require lots of space or are we okay in a minimalist setup?
  • Will dogs be sleeping in my tent?
  • Am I fairly obsessive about traveling as light as absolutely possible or am I okay with carrying a couple extra pounds.

A very basic and general guideline of weights for different types of tents follows:

  • 2 person, 3 season backpacking tent…4 – 6.5 lbs.
  • 3 person, 3 season backpacking tent…5 – 7.5 lbs.
  • 2 person, 4 season backpacking/mountaineering tent…5.5 – 8.5 lbs.
  • 3 person, 4 season backpacking/mountaineering tent…6.5 – 10 lbs.
  • 4 – 6 person tent…8 lbs. and up
  • Family camping / car camping tent…10 lbs. and up
  • Solo tent and bivy sack…1 – 4 lbs.
  • Minimalist shelter (fly and footprint only)…2 – 4.5 lbs.

An excellent resource for camping information is Allen and Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book. Allen O'Bannon and Mike Clelland combine to bring you a wealth of information in an entertaining format. Cartoon like illustrations keep you amused while you pick up innovative tips not found anywhere else. For winter camping, check out Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book. These books are a must for any backcountry traveler!

3 Season Tents

The Sierra Designs Sirius 2 Man Tent weighs in at only 4 lbs. and offers 31 square feet of floor space. It is breathable, durable and easy to set up. It is an excellent choice for the fast and light backpacking couple.

The Big Agnes Parkview 2 Person Tent TPV2 Tent is a spacious, technical and versatile 2 person tent. A generous 36 square feet of floor space, 2 doors and vestibules and the option to use only the fly and footprint as a minimalist shelter all combine to offer just about anything anyone would need in a 2 person, 3 season tent. Multiple guy lines on the fly allow you to batten down the hatches and stay dry and warm through the harshest of conditions.

The MSR Mutha Hubba 3-Person Backpacking Tentis a spacious, light and strong backpacking tent. With 40 square feet of floor space it'll sleep 3 comfortably and 4 snugly. At 6 lbs. 8 oz. it won't weigh you down. This tent won the Backpacker Magazine Editor's choice award!

Weighing in at under 6 lbs. and wiith 50 square feet of floor space, the Black Diamond Vista 3-Person 3-Season Tent Marigold offers a lot of tent for the buck! Super easy to set up and take down and super strong. 5 star customer satisfaction ratings.

4 Season / Mountaineering / Expedition Tents

The MSR Wind 2 Two-Person All-Season Expedition Tentis a tough, full expedition quality tent that was designed and tested using wind tunnel technology. It sports 2 doors, 2 vestibules, 34 square feet of floor space and yet weighs in at a mere 7 lbs., 6 oz. This is one of the most stable tents available for high winds.

Bibler makes some of the most innovative and well built camping shelters available. The Bibler Tents Fitzroy Tent 3-Person 4-Season One Color, One Size is a classic. With 35 square feet of floor space, it'll sleep 2 people comfortably and 3 people snugly. Very satisfied customers report no condensation whatsoever and best of all...it weighs only 6 lbs., 5 oz.

The Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent 4-Person 4-Season is the big house of expedition tents. It offers 65 square feet of floor space and an additional 24 square feet of vestibule space. It is solid and loaded with technical features. It'll withstand any weather thrown at it. At 11 lbs., 12 oz., it sounds heavy, but split it up 4 ways each person carries less than 3 lbs.

Solo Tents and Bivy Sacks

The Eureka Solo Backcountry 1 Tent weighs less than 4 lbs., is free standing and inexpensive. It is an excellent choice in both quality and value for the solo traveler. 24 spacious square feet of floor space will comfortably accomodate a large person and a dog.

For a bit more room and the minimalist "fast fly" option of fly and footprint only, check out the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1. This tent has a 5 star customer satisfaction rating. 27 square feet of floor space and 5 square feet in the vestibule make this one of the most spacious solo tents available. Fully stormproof, it weighs less than 3 lbs. and can be trimmed down to less than 2 lbs. with the "fast fly" option. This one is awesome!

A bivy sack that has stood the test of time is the Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy. Waterproof, breathable and keeping alpinists warm and dry for over a decade, this one's a keeper. All seams are fully taped and no-see-um netting keeps the bugs out in the summer. At just over 2 lbs. you won't even know it's in your pack!

Bibler quality, innovative design...you bet! Travel light and sleep easy in the Bibler Tents Tripod Bivy Bag. The design of this bivy sack gives it the feel of a solo tent while keeping the weight under 2.5 lbs. Bibler's Todd Tex fabric is waterproof and breathable. We've seen this bivy perform admirably in conditions ranging from snow caves to downpours to warm and buggy summer camping. Check it out!

Ultralight Shelter

A slightly different approach that has become popular in recent years is to go with just a waterproof roof over your head. With 1 pole and at under 2 lbs, the GoLite Hex 3 Tent Sun offers weatherproof shelter over 65 square feet for three people. Be aware that this type of shelter does not keep out the bugs and has no floor. For weight, space and value, it's hard to beat!

For excellent bargains on tents and all quality
gear, don't forget to check out...

Sierra Trading Post

Happy Camping!!

©2007 14erFun.com. All Rights Reserved.       Disclaimer