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[pct-l] Two-Man Tent Summary [long]

Two-Man Tents less than 4 pounds.

For years my wife and I hiked with a Stephenson 3RS [4# 6oz, $600] because
the tent was both bombproof and big enough to ride out a serious 3 day
storm. Although rare, occasionally the Sierra is beseiged with extended bad
weather. When this happens the storm will usually contain either hail or wet
snow. Either way, anything that you hike in will be soaked by day end and
will NOT dry by the next day. The result is, if you can't hike out in one
day, you have to hole up in your tent till the storm passes.
Unlike a thruhiker, my wife's hiking range is limited to about 7-10 miles
per day so many days it is not possible to hike out, hence the large tent.

However, as we age we need to reduce weight. I remember "Salesman", of
"Annie and the Salesman" saying. "We have to go light or we can't go".
That's where we are.

My plan:

1-Carol Wellman [brawnie] and David Mauldin [rainmaker] have a two person
tent design that weighs about 2# 4 oz. It is a relatively simple dual hiking
pole pup-tent design. The weight saving is in the simplicity of the design
and the use of sil-nylon and hiking poles. It comes in two models. One model
has detachable floor etc so the user can choose what to carry. The other
model is an integrated design. This model cost me $275. I have ordered the
integrated version and will test it when I receive it. Typically Carol is
very fastidious when producing gear so you can be assured with the
workmanship of her product.

I do not expect this tent to provide the comfort of my Stephenson 3R but I
am talking about a two pound weight reduction. Plus, because I am not
talking about carrying tent poles, I believe that I have enough volume in my
lightweight pack [Kelty Cloud] so I save even more weight by leaving home my
trusty Jansport Yosemite pack [5#]. Properly staked, pup tents are
relatively stable unless one sets it up on a windy ridge so I can ride out a

Other possibilities:

2-Weighing approximately one pound more [3# 2ounces] is a Stephenson 2RSB. R
stands for double sidewall. S stands for very large side windows. B stands
for Big Door. This tent ventilates VERY well on hot days. One simply opens
both side windows and uses a clothespin to hold the flaps up and away from
the opening. Except for an 8 inch strip at top the tent is essentially 100%
bug net. The double wall construction makes this tent very warm when closed
down. My estimate is 10 degrees warner than a standard tent when two people
are sleeping. This tent is a true four season tent and will hold up in
serious wind and rain. Cost, about $500 is a problem. There is room for your
gear in this tent but, compared to the Stephenson 3RS, this tent is small.
It will not be fun to ride out a storm in this tent but it will be possible.

3-Weighing about one pound more [4#4oz] is the Sierra Design Clip Flashlight
and variations. I have seen variations for as little as $100. This tent is
tight for two. Your gear really won't fit.

4-If you look you can find a two man square dome tent of cheap manufacturer
for $59. These tents work like Bibler tents. Two shock corded fiberglass
poles form an "x" inside the tent fabric. The lightest models have an
abbreviated fly that covers just the peak of the tent where the vent is. As
manufacturered, the sewing on the tent is very poor. You must go over the
stiching carefully and repair the booboos. However most of the weight is in
the poles, not the tent fabric. By simply replacing the fibreglass poles
with aluminum poles [Pole sections are available at Sports Chalet and other
places] you can create a decent 3 pound two man tent for less than $200.

What you are seeing is the classic tradeoffs between Money, Weight and
Comfort. I am spending upwards of $300 to save a pound over my Stephenson
2RS and two pounds over my Stephenson 3RS. Someone else would leave the
Slinglite Chair home but we tried it and were miserable. Someone else would
trade the Thermarest for a Ridgerest but, hell, my fat ass needs cushioning.
A third would save 12 ounces by leaving the camp shoes home. Many would
simply take a tarp but my wife won't go for this.