Best Tents for Sale
Camping has for long being one of the most memorable times for family bonding, soul searching and lots more. One thing that is commonly associated with camping is the tent particularly those that fit into the average back packs. The type of tents available is not limited to camping but also includes pop ups and instant tents. Since we understand how much this event is to most blokes, it became pertinent to provide detailed information into which tent is ideal and why. First things first, there are several good quality products but then again when you consider certain specifics, you realize that there are actually something that set men apart from the boys. From a very wide range of products to pick from, we took how time to closely observe and learn about not less than 60 tents from the pop up, instant and camping categories before bringing this few to you. We also considered the pricing such that the man round the corner with less than $100 to spare can get one while the lady next door with as much as $300 can weigh in on it as well. Some of the things that played pivotal roles in our selection includes but are not limited to weight, space and the level of comfortability.
How we tested
Coming up with a review of some of the best tents around isn’t a mean feat and because we choose to be objective in our assessment and testing, we considered so many factors based on the standard structural specification of the average tent and also combined adaptability of each tent to function as either pop-ups or instant tents. Since quality is what most campers aren’t ready to pass off for anything, all the tents reviewed fall into the totally enclosed 2-person camping tents that are propped using the usual single pole that is sold with it. We then made a comparison of them all based on 10 requirements which makes it easier to sift through the tons of product out there and provide you with enough information to make a decision.
To most people, the decision making process of choosing a particular product begins from identifying the exact need that the tent is intended to meet. The two major usage categories for these tents are hiking and camping and so if you are the hiking freak, then you probably need an ultralight backpack because you will need a tent that can be carried over several miles without causing you backaches. Then again, you might be the guy who needs a very comfy place to lie after lots of energy sapping in the wild and could really use every bit of luxury there is, then the heavier ones with ample space for head and legs coupled with at least one vestibule for extra space. These different specifications are the major reason why most campers align to a particular product.
The need for a very durable and weather resistant tent becomes pertinent especially when lots of harsh weather conditions are prevalent. It is human nature to want to cozy up in one corner of the tent while piecing together in one’s mind all that happened during the day. These tents are designed to have very high flanks with strong tops. Some of these tents have very efficient flooring which means that even during torrential rainfall, you can be rest assured that you stash are safe on the bath tub floor. Others like the floorless tents do not have this level of protection so that is another thing that is critical to the product selection. Some of the tents reviewed are also very useful for people who camp or plan to engage in canoeing in the riverine areas and because of the flies commonly associated with such areas, the tent has to be fully covered otherwise, the chances of getting sick in the wild becomes alarmingly high. Since the tents are designed with full enclosure, the windy and or snowy nights become bliss. Improvements in the wall structure of some tents such as Hilleberg Anjan 2 ensures that you are not harmed by small particles blowing around. This is a major improvement on the level of protection which the mesh walls provide and is actually good value for money.
Categories of Tents Reviewed
Right of the bat, it is important to note that all of the tents analyzed in the course of this review are all two-person structures but have other bigger variations which have extra space for between 2 to 4 people. The number of doors and their location are some of the major differences between the tents reviewed here and their other versions. Pop Up and instant tents which can be speedily set up for sports and beach outing were also so exhaustively considered in the preparation of this review.
Despite the temptation of having more space in the instant tents in case there are other people who are joining on the trip, our assessment shows that the most ideal tent in terms of comfort and storage space is the 2-door tents. Consequently, they are about the heaviest of the lot and suit perfectly for short but luxury styles camping. The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 and the very reliable REI Half Dome 2 Plus fall into this category so if you are looking at which to acquire for car camping, there you go.
Another type in the pop-up tent category is the Single Side Door Tent which is cheaper than the others and offers the least comfortability level as well. The single side door tent was not roundly tested particularly as the balance between efficiency and cost isn’t ideal. The last types of tents are those with single front doors. The Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 and the Hilleberg Anjan2 are two of the most popular products in this category and provide a very amazing level of low weight balancing and comfort.
Factors for Evaluation
From our research and interactions with several campers, we discovered that some of the cogent parameters that backpackers consider before acquiring any type of tent are resistance to harsh weather conditions, weight and size, ease of use and setup and durability. The weighted aggregate of their scores is what informed the overall idealness of each tent.
We asked our testers about how comfy they felt inside each tent during camping and the responses received suggested that the NEMO Galaxi2 and the REI Half Dome2 Plus both of which fall into the 2-door tent are clearly more comfortable than tents of other categories mainly because the each of the two doors can be used for either entry or exit as the case may be. The tents in mono-doors were described as being the least comfy because in a scenario where one person is sleeping while the other wants to take a walk, the active one will have to climb over the other person to either go out or come in. Other factors considered in the level of comfortability is the design and size of the vestibule, type of wall structure (solid or mesh), the height particularly for the very tall blokes, the floor area’s ability to handle water, and whether or not the tent drips during rainfall. The fly which is supposed to protect the inner section of the tent from spindrift and splash back was also tested. Since most of the newer products now tilt towards more luxury, extra space pockets that can be used to store gears and other stashes were put into consideration at some point. Other top of the range products were also tested for magnet clasps which easily ties the back flaps when compared to the traditional ropes currently in use.
To be more granular, the summary of the reviews show that campers who are least concerned with comfortability will best stick to either the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 or the Mountain Ghost UL 2. This assessment is borne out of the fact that both products have single doors with very small interior. Campers above six feet will have difficulty using these tents and to accommodate two adults in them becomes very harsh. Being that they are both relatively lighter than those of other categories, some testers felt it is worth their while even though they had to pass of on some level of comfort.
Weather Resistance and Durability
To what extent does your tent protect you during harsh conditions? This is the first question that comes to mind when we tried to measure each pop up tent’s resistance to weather. In the wild, there are lots of windy and rainy periods and your ideal tent must be one that constantly offers protection from both. Some of the factors that we took note of are the design and diameter of the pole which informs how effective the prop on the tent will be from the middle. The number of times the pole intersect the tent structure was also considered in addition to the structural alignment of the body to the fly and the one that connects the fly to the poles. The quality of construction was exhaustively considered as this summarily suggests how the effective the tent will be in the wild. Having weighed all these options, the Hilleberg emerges as the most weather resistant of the products reviewed based on how strong its vestibule zippers are. The zippers have in fact been reinforced in the newer models making the reliability second to none. Its bathtub floor also offers very effective protection from splash back and spindrifts which are actually a worry that all campers confirmed. The internal nylon finishing ensures that all the impact of blowing sand and snow condensation that seeps through the roof doesn’t enter the tent which is a significant advantage over tents like the MSR Hubba Hubba NX which is designed with inner walls made from mesh.
From the above listed factors, the North Face Stormbreak2 and the REI Passage2 are the least in terms of weather resistance. This is majorly because of their tall heights which gives room for drips during rains and offers very little protection during wind storms. Both also have poles with very small diameter which often times act poorly and might even snap during storms. Another product which although isn’t as the Stormbreak2 and the Passage2 weak in terms of weather resistance but also falls short of the industry standard is the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 which surprisingly isn’t free standing and has a not too strong center pole that most likely will snap if exposed to strong winds.
Despite the fact that many of the camping tents reviewed here can handle very strong rain storms and windy upbeats, our tests revealed that the ultralight versions are actually more reliable in terms of ruggedness and safety since the trekking poles that they do not break. More so, the cuben fiber used in the ultralight tents have more strength than the silnylon that was adopted in the production of the heavier tents and since they can be adjusted to be lower to the ground, it allows for a better balancing of the structure. Also the floorless design of these camping tents has made it pertinent for users to be very thoughtful when selecting the camping site.
The durability of the instant tents reviewed on the long term was also tested to be able to get the most granular estimate best-before period of each tent. This test cannot be said to be conclusive yet as none of the tents were tested over very long periods even though the in the little time that they were used during the test, all of them were pushed to the limit. How we were able to arrive at this result is the summary and compilation of the breakages and failures that were noticed. Some of the other things considered are any gaps in the manufacturer’s specifications with regards to fabric, poles and even vestibules. On the overall, it was discovered that tents manufactured using nylon is more reliable than polyester and those with polyurethane-coated fabrics aren’t as strong as those designed using fabrics coated with silicone.
Another thing that must be duly noted is that most of the ultralight tents discussed here was not actually designed to handle usage in very harsh conditions. Only few of them are embedded with clip like features which allow for the reduction of stress on the zippers working the vestibules. Based on this particular test, the Nemo Blaze comes last in terms of reliability because its fly is very thin and cannot handle pressure. The Ghost UL2 used to come up short at this level but with the new improvements like the 15D weight fly in the current version, this gap has been bridged. The Hilleberg Anjan also sports several additives that are typically associated to many four-season tents which makes it very durable. It also became obvious that the more trips campers go on; the durability of the tent is improved. In essence, the durability of your tent is very important as the repairs
Weight and Portability
The parameters considered when testing these pop up tents for weight and compactness includes the heaviness of the attached poles, the exterior and interior of the tent, guylines and how the tent are staked out.
In terms of weight, the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 at 33.4 ounces is considerably the lightest while the North Face Stormbreak is the heaviest at 94.2 ounces. The average ultralight tents with enough space to accommodate two adults weighs about 16 ounces with the weight of the lightest ultralight shelter stated at as low as 7 ounces. The weight statistics adopted is basically the weight to space ratio derived from the combination of the total storage space of the attached vestibule and floor area in ounces. This analysis put the average score at 0.78 with the heaviest being 1.09 and the lightest at 0.53. At this point, the Tarpent Double Rainbow emerges as the product with the best space-to-weight ratio followed closely by the NEMO Blaze 2P.
Usually, the weight of the tent is as stated on the pack but most of the tents around have other features which include extra vestibules, hubs for accommodating the poles and gear lofts. All this other additives contribute to the total weight of the tent. They also do not allow for easy collapsing of the tent structure after usage. However, the good thing is that these tents don’t have to be housed in their factory packs so even if they don’t fit, it is not technically a problem. Having considered each tents ability to compress and the weight of material used in its manufacturing, the Fly Creek is clearly the best in this regard even though the Anjan and the Nemo Blaze also did pretty well particularly because all the materials even the pole are all compressible. If you are concerned with compactness though, the Half Dome 2 Plus, Stormbreak and also the NEMO Galaxi aren’t what you should be looking at.
Many of the tents we reviewed here are designed to stand alone to an extent although some with extra vestibules must be well propped to ensure an effective pitch. These self-support designs include tunnel tents with hoop shaped poles which although very light are more difficult to pitch because they leverage on the tension from the guylines. The best example of a tunnel tent is the Hilleberg Anjan 2. The REI Passage 2 and Galaxi fall into the two pole category and are very easy to pitch. However, the one-pole design of the Tarpent Double Rainbow makes it the easiest to pitch although its downside is the level of weather resistance that it has. On the summary here, we believe there are no tents that can’t be pitched easily but then since this attribute is not really too important in the selection process of a tent this test didn’t have much influence in the total weighted score of each tent.
The requirements of each user from their tent differ. One some days you might need protection from vertical downpour and on others it could be from horizontal windstorm. There could even be days when all you need is efficient protection from insects and bugs, hence the tents that you should be considering are those that can adapt to any conditions that suit your use. The level of adaptability of a tent particularly in areas where ideal pitching may not be achievable is sure to save money and time in the long run. From our own assessments, we noticed that double wall tents are much more difficult to pitch while the ultralight tents in their own right are the most adaptable to the variations of the environment even though site selection is critical for the better adaptability.
Of the tents reviewed, the Hilleberg Anjan and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX are the most ideal when it comes to adaptability because both their inner compartments can be detached to support the floorless shelter using the pole structure. This means it stronger and by extension more comfy. These tents are very good if you wish to be able to control how your camping tent protects you but the light weight actor must be considered and unless you are sure that there’s good weather otherwise you might want to consider other products.
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 (Good)
As earlier implied, hundreds of products have flooded the market but one product that has weathered the storm for years unabated is the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. The UL2 is a pop-up tent that is designed to bring comfort, quality and portability. With ruggedness which is second to none combined with reliable protection from stormy winds, there is no doubt that this product is one that will be considered by many. For just $449.95, it offers some very comfy fittings like attached pockets, twin doors, vestibules with very roomy compartments all in the bid to give great balancing to the UL2. Weighing just slightly over 50oz, this tent is very ideal for diverse kind of camping trips and adventures from the bloke who enjoys climbing the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or the Atlas in Morocco to the ambitious youth who takes on the Colombian Andes. If long distance trips are what you desire, the UL2 is able to offer you the best value for your money. Although when compared to the Hilleberg Anjan 2 which is more of a luxurious variety, it falls short in terms of durability but despite this failings, it handles the storms in an efficient way. Some of our testers who took part in this research sent in some very interesting reviews for the UL2. A buyer also shared some very interesting experience about a very scary night when rain storms came raging. He and his partner were dry all night which testifies to the reliability of the UL2. The fact that it is also less heavy than the Anjan 2 makes it easier for a long distance two-person journey. The Cooper Spur variety of the UL2 has lights pre-installed internally for just $50 more. Recently, the manufacturer introduced the much more efficient Copper Spur HV which is larger than the Copper Spur UL2 by a whopping 20%. On the average, our pick is the Hilleberg Anjan 2 but the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
Alps Lynx-2 (Fair)
For those who aren’t great travellers and can handle some extra pounds on their luggage, they might want to look in the direction of the Alps Lynx-2 which is barely $199.99. When compared to the more popular Half Dome 2, it is significantly heavier but just like the Half Dome 2 it has a more spacious room for your heads and legs and is also very easy to set up. While it is not as efficient as the Half Dome, the fact that it’s costs about half of the price of the Dome 2 makes it a very strong competitor especially for buyers who are new to the backpacking sphere and are not willing to commit financially to the costlier options.
Tarptent Double Rainbow (Good)
Looking for a pop-up tent that is both efficient and light? Good, so many backpackers are searching just like you but if you look closely enough, you’d realize that products that fit this bill abound. For instance if you are considering travelling light and want to pay less, have you considered the Tarptent Double Rainbow? There are fewer tents in the market that combines prudence in cost and weight and still maintains considerable quality. Our testers concentrated on the durability of the materials used and the maximum space and weight statistics. The assessment found out that the comfy level is encouraging and is in fact very ideal for 2 adult human beings. Its rectangular shape and vestibules are designed to allow for extra space to accommodate about 2 gears. Setting up this tent is considerably easier that most as long as a pole that is long enough to hold it in the middle is available, however, because it is not the usual free standing type of tent, you might need to be quite artistic with your imaginations while putting up especially if you are camping on hard rocky ground. The manufacturers have also done well to include a user’s manual with very detailed directions to aid with the setting up. Be sure to follow the guide religiously to ensure that the tent is properly set such that its rugged nature and weatherproof ability can come in handy for your camping needs.
Tarptent Double Rainbow ($289.00)
REI Half Dome 2 (Good)
In terms of conduciveness and comfortability, the REI Half Dome 2 at $199.00 is arguably the best thanks to its generously roomy interior and structural design that is sensitive enough to consider our above six-foot blokes. As a matter of fact this tent is very ideal for those who would like to go camping with their pets or with some extra luggage that other products might not offer. More so, it gives you all these luxurious camping style at a much reduced price making it the tent with the best value for money. While it is true that the NEMO Galaxi 2 provides you with same level of opulence, the pricing which is almost double of the Half Dome 2 is what steers most campers in the direction of the latter. Rest assured that our assessment was devoid of any bias and the technical and livability factors like ventilation, storage capacity and the ration of space to weight were duly considered and tested. Since it only weighs about 93 ounces, it is easier to adopt this product for non-frequent backpacking adventures and or car camping then the Half Dome is your short bet particularly if it’s a short trip. Again, if your partner is very tall and you have a pet that is eager to go along on the trip then you should be weighing up a possible REI Half Dome 2 Plus.
REI Half Dome 2
NEMO Blaze (Fair)
With the global economic crisis, it is a no brainer for everyone to tilt towards a product that is less on the costly side however badly the product is needed. So if you are so particular about cost reduction and can pass off on some luxury and a little bit of space, then the NEMO Blaze for just $ 150 is another product that might catch your fancy. With regards, to space-to-weight, the Blaze falters when compared to the Half Dome or even the Double Rainbow. More so, if you are considering climbing the Alpines then or very long walks during the camping session, then the weight and size reduction is something that will prove very important for you. Despite its smaller size, it is amazingly comfy and also some of our testers who favored portability over space surprisingly sent in mind-blowing reviews about the Blaze.
Unlike the other single pole hanging tents that are designed to prop at the middle, the NEMO Blaze is manufactured to align its single pole across the tent structure in a diagonal fashion leaving the attached anchors to sustain the corners of the tent. This design is such that the Blaze is not totally in the free standing category of tents and might give you some headaches when you set about the initial setting up even if you have had previous experience with other products but then the fact that it is compact is enough to make you forget the hassles of the first installation experience. Summarily, the NEMO Blaze is specifically structured to allow for enough room for the head and has two doors for cross ventilation and easy access. The vestibules with extra space to store baggage are also why this product took the market by storm. However, if you are camping solo and need something smaller and obviously cheaper, the Blaze 1P Ultralight shares almost the same specifications except for its weight that is about 4 oz lighter and it’s cost saves you at least USD 130. The manufacturers of the Blaze have done well to provide varieties and you can chose to elect for whichever suits your needs.
Hilleberg Anjan (Best)
Another product that we tested in the process of coming up with this review is the Hilleberg Anjan. It is particularly choosing for a camping trip when it was stated that some very unpleasant weather conditions where prevalent in the region of the camp. Based on the assessment of more than four testers, the Hillberg was up to the task and provided considerable level of comfort even with the treacherous thawing. So we are happy to recommend this product to you if your camping period falls around with the early spring thawing shows up or even the first signs of winter. With the Hilleberg Anjan at $ 650 is ideal for the lady who is touring the globe on her bike or the group of guys planning to face the Pacific Crest Trail this spring season. With a classic low weight balancing the Hilleberg is able to combine strong resistance to the weather, durability and ruggedness to provide campers with pleasant camping memories. Also amongst the tents tested in its size and price range, the Hilleberg Anjan is the best in terms of performance and so if you are searching for the most efficient light duty tent then search no further. The testers who used this tent exposed it to very harsh weather conditions for several days on bicycles some of them riding to Washington from Maine and other from the areas around Baja to as far as Napal. Weighing just 57 ounces, the Hilleberg while not being the lightest, provides an amiable level of protection during very strong storms without lacking on the durability and comfortability levels. Across board it is the most durable even ahead of the highly sought after REI Half Dome 2 and the NEMO Galaxy2 and this is why despite its high cost, some buyers with class still opt to buy it since it’s durability means that it will stand the test of time and eventually pay off in value in the long run. For those who need more space, the Anjan 2 GT was designed to provide considerable larger space with its roomy vestibule which is about 74” of extra space and to top it all, it weighs a minimal 10 oz more than the Anjan.
Shopping for tents whether instant, camping or pop ups is a process that can bring you some sort of headache in the fact that you will be spoilt for choice based on the number of products out there. The size, weight, durability and resistance to weather which we have exhaustively discussed here are some of the most important factor to consider in your product selection process. Just for the sake of emphasis, if you favor weight, the Tarpent Double Rainbow and the Nemo Blaze are your likely pick while those with a knack for durability and resistance to weather will lean towards the Hillerberg Anjan 2. Luxury and level of comfy gives the REI Half Dome 2 Plus an edge and we believe that weighing all your options and reaching a compromise on what you will want to have in a tent is the most essential of the selection process.