/ 2 man wild camp tent advice

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plodding painter 11 Aug 2019

Hi all.

looking to expand my walking into overnighters and need some tent advice

itll be myself and the Mrs or me and the dog so the tent needs to meet following criteria

big enough for 2 but light enough for 1 to carry

good room to sit up 

decent vestibule on both sides

double opening

ventilated but not too drafty

suitable for mainly spring and autumn use but occasional winter ( above 2000ft) use

Reasonable packed size and weight (around 2kg Max) 

£450 max spend 

perform well in wind 

big asks I know. Contenders are msr Hubba Hubba nx (2018 model) and  Msr access 2 ( possibly tougher and less drafty?)

loved the look of the tarp tent scarp 2 but can’t find any online and taxes push price up

any thoughts greatly appreciated 

Stu

Stichtplate 11 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

Sportpursuit have got some cracking deals on Terra Nova and Sierra Designs light-weight tents. This one is £290 down from £490 and weighs 1.2 kg.

https://www.sportpursuit.com/catalog/product/view/id/1469931?click=eyJxdWVyeSI6MTY5MzQsInBhZ2UiOjEsInBhZ2VTaXplIjoyNSwicG9zIjoyfQ==

In reply to plodding painter:

It'd be worth checking out last year's 2-person tents group test Stu:

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/camping/tents+bivvys/2-person_3-season_tents-10452

plodding painter 11 Aug 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

That’s a great write up of some of the main contenders . No mention of the Hubba Hubba nx. Looked at one today and that flysheet is really not very low. Looks very geared for summer. Access 2 is getting more appealing each time I read about it. I realise no one tent does all so am I better with a summer tent and then a winter shelter? Winter tents may be weight to lug around 

Laser seems the wrong shape for my access needs 

🤔

In reply to plodding painter:

Here's a write-up of the Hubba Hubba NX https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/camping/tents+bivvys/msr_hubba_hubba_nx_2-person_tent-6451

Also a good tent (I use still it a lot) but yes, definitely less weather-worthy than the Access 2.  

plodding painter 11 Aug 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Dare I ask if you would use the Hubba Hubba nx in a moderate wind at 2500ft in winter? 

richlan 11 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

Define moderate wind ? Also in winter it can be -20 or +10 at 2500ft.

if you have a good sleeping bag and a half decent tent then most stuff in the U.K. is fine (excluding 110mph winds on the Cairngorm plateau)

Also i wouldn't discount the Laser Comp 2, it’s got all of what you specified and at that price it’s a steal.

Post edited at 18:36
charlie.wilkinson 11 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

Terra Nova Southern Cross 2 isn't far off what you are asking for, probably more 4 season than 3 and at the upper end of your weight limit but is freestanding and should cope with the winter weather.

Can be found on sale around your budget or Terra Nova have one used listed as grade B for £300 direct.

SouthernSteve 11 Aug 2019
In reply to charlie.wilkinson:

Agreed: The Southern Cross will easily stand the weather - its pretty intimate for 2 people though! 

SenzuBean 11 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

I do highly recommend Tarptent and have a scarp 2 which I rate very highly. Used it quite a few times in the UK, and I felt it was excellent.
Huge amount of space inside (it's really a 2.5 person tent), and the twin vestibules are great. Has the option of extra crossing poles, which I bring if it's going to be windy.

plodding painter 11 Aug 2019
In reply to richlan:

I suppose I’m thinking would the Hubba Hubba nx feel structurally sound at 40mph wind and around -15 would that wind be really noticeable in the tent? I’m guessing that it’ll be a big ask of a 3 season tent? People do say they’re tougher than you might think though 

Has the laser comp got much headroom ? 

Stu

plodding painter 11 Aug 2019
In reply to SenzuBean:

Tarptent would be number 1 on my list if I could get a scarp 2. I don’t know if they’re discontinued but their site doesn’t show them anymore ☹️

In reply to plodding painter:

Hmmm... I wouldn't choose to camp in that sort of weather but I'd say the Access 2 would be by far the better choice. The Hubba Hubba has less structure, and it's a lot more draughty  

TobyA 11 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

I used one of the original Hubbas for a decade - they originally were made just of mesh for the inner tent and were quite draughty - I even found that in windy weather very fine powder snow (in Finnish winter) and a fine mist from wind driven rain (in the UK) could get through the mesh, in part due to the high cut of the fly. The NX versions seem to have a lot less mesh in them and the flys go lower as a result. Having said that, I still used a supposedly summer tent in -15 to -20 blustery weather in Finland, and in windy wet and cold conditions in the Scottish highlands and it was structurally sound. I reviewed the Elixir from MSR as well last year, and think its ace. For a "cheaper" range, I've found it works fine in miserable weather. https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/camping/tents+bivvys/msr_elixir_1_tent-11398  The 2 man version of that might be worth considering.

I really think that pitching is crucial to how well tents stand up to poor weather. I'm a bit of a pitching-perfectionist (even when its in the big 5 person family tent), but then I've had some pretty cheap basic tents that have survived horrible weather fine, so I'm not going to stop making sure everything is drum tight!

Stefan Jacobsen 11 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

Pitching a tent like the Hubba or similar at 40 mph is not easy. Tunnel tents are better suited.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eFAyKMz314&t=0s

TobyA 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

I've pitched my Hubba in lousy weather, not sure if it was that windy but in stormy weather. Because you peg the inner down first, and the frame goes up without the tent attached to begin with, its not that bad. You can attach the windward end of the fly too before pulling it over. 

Tents that go up all in one are the easiest, but I wouldn't over do the difficulty of putting up free standing inner first models.

richlan 12 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

I think you need to go and look at one, they are a very similar layout to the Scarp which you seem keen on ? SportPursuit also have the WC Hoolie in the sale and as mentioned the Sierra Designs whihc are all worth a look at.

TobyA suggested the 2 person MSR Elixir, i have one of these, its a great tent and also fits all your criteria, it has less mesh than the other MSR tents so should be warmer, i would be happy to use it in winter, its around 2.2kG though.

plodding painter 12 Aug 2019
In reply to richlan:

Lots of viable options to consider now. I’ve read a few things online about TN poles breaking. Is this still an issue? Like the look of the TN durability and they’re British 👍🏼. 

Agree I need to look at laser and Southern cross, the latter being good size (particularly height as this is important due to neck injury) but slightly weighty compared to the msr access 2 but pitching looks a breeze in it

so many things to compromise on. Looking at assembled tents is not as easy as I thought to. Finding a stockist near stoke is tricky at best. Viewed a Hubba Hubba in Sheffield but wasn’t sold on the fly being so high  off floor.

Post edited at 17:59
DaveHK 12 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

> Lots of viable options to consider now. I’ve read a few things online about TN poles breaking. Is this still an issue? Like the look of the TN durability and they’re British 👍🏼. 

QC and warranty service seem to be an issue in general with TN/WC. I returned 3 tents to them due to stitching separating after 2 or 3 nights. After the third I went elsewhere!

Stefan Jacobsen 13 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

My mistake. I was not aware of the Hubba NX and Elixir pitching method. Thought it was by threading pole channels. Actually they have hooks in stead, and that works brilliantly. I have pitched expedition tents like Mountain Hardwear Trango with that system in very high winds (we could hardly stand up) with no broken poles and no torn fabrics.

On the other hand I have pitched tents like the TN Ultra Quasars under similar conditions. They have similar geometry, but with mesh pole tunnels, a system less than optimal. The mesh catch the pole ends, and once threaded you have to erect the whole tent at once instead of gradually like with hooks. As a result poles have been bent and broken.

Toerag 13 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

Hilleberg Kaitum2 secondhand (if you can find one - peopleseem to prefer the Nallo). Many of my criteria were the same as yours, and I struggled to find a 'double porcher' that pitched outer first and was light enough.

Toerag 13 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

>  Tents that go up all in one are the easiest, but I wouldn't over do the difficulty of putting up free standing inner first models.

It's not that inner tent first models are difficult to pitch, it's that it gets soaked if it's raining properly.

TobyA 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Toerag:

They get wet but most are made of lightly proofed nylon, so they don't get "soaked" unless it takes you an age to put your tent up and get the fly over. Having owned and used inner first tents for over 25 years I remain unconvinced that this is the big problem that many make it out to be.

DaveHK 13 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

An advantage of inner first over all in one is that the inner doesn't get wet from condensation on the outer when you pack up. I've packed up my Nallo 2 when the condensation was bad and found everything soaked when I pitched it next night. To get round this I took to packing up the inner first and re-attaching it the next night.

ScottTalbot 13 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

I have a Hubba Hubba NX and as much as I love it, I wouldn't use it in severe winter weather. It is VERY drafty, which doesn't matter too much, as long as you are aware I guess (you can always bring a warmer sleeping bag), but I'm not sure that it would stand up to serious winds.

It does handle condensation extremely well though...

plodding painter 13 Aug 2019

I  was pretty struck on the msr access until I watched a video of a woman who had done 2 months in hers and broke 2 poles and the condensation was awful. The groundsheet was getting puddles it was that bad.( slight exaggeration)Granted it was winter but it looked pretty grim. She had undone the fly a bit and had used a footprint to prevent drawing moisture through the  groundsheet too 

was tempted by the grade b southern cross 2 on the TN site as reviews are good aside from TN customer service  but with no warranty and a £165 pole replacement bill if they break, I’m very hesitant 

Will investigate the hilleberg offering but these will be like rocking horse poo second hand I’m guessing 

Post edited at 18:01
jethro kiernan 13 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

I happy with the MSR Access size and weight its good, not had any issues, havn't had it up in wet and wild conditions, but have used it in winter and its a lot less draughty than the Elixer that I had previously

plodding painter 13 Aug 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Did you get any condensation issues? 

plodding painter 14 Aug 2019

Well. I’ve plumped for the access 2

i don’t camp much in summer as I’m bike touring so it fits my needs better

plus I wasn’t impressed by customer service at TN and that was when I was asking about a sale!!

thanks for all the help guys

ScottTalbot 14 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

TN have notoriously bad customer service, which is why I'd buy a TN tent from Cotswolds. Their Customer Service is excellent!

DaveHK 19 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

> I  was pretty struck on the msr access until I watched a video of a woman who had done 2 months in hers and broke 2 poles and the condensation was awful.

Our school DofE has MSR tents and almost all of them have had to have poles replaced. To be fair to them MSR have done this promptly and without quibble.

jethro kiernan 20 Aug 2019
In reply to plodding painter:

Less so than the elixir actually, with the elixir the condensation sometimes came back in to the tent through the abundant mesh in windy conditions 


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