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Advice and questions about backpacking 3 person tents and sleeping pads.

Which do you recommend Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 ….or AG Tiger Wall UL 3 Solution- dyed or Nemo Dragonfly 3...or something different?

What is minimum weight?...Fly/Footprint Weight? …. Packaged weight?

Sleeping pads; Therm a rest, we have semi mummy bags?

How do I arrange talking to an expert on the phone?



3 Replies


Thanks for reaching out!

These are some great questions! There is a lot to unpack here so we'll take care of a few of these questions and then hopefully the community can weigh in with some specifics around what has worked for other users.

Minimum trail weight is the weight of the bare essentials: Tent body, rainfly, and poles. You will likely need to add tent stakes and a footprint as well, but the minimum trail weight is what tells you the weight of just the tent parts.

To save weight (typically ounces), some tents can be pitched without the tent body, just as a footprint, poles, and rainfly. The Fly/footprint weight reflects how much that system would weigh. Effectively it is similar to the 'minimum trail weight', but if you swapped out the tent body for a footprint.

Packaged weight is the weight of all the components that come with the purchase. Typically the tent body, rainfly, poles, guy-lines, stakes, pole repair sleeve, and the bags for carrying everything. The weight you will be carrying on the trail will normally be somewhere between the packaged weight and the minimum trail weight.

For some more good information about backpacking tents, we recommend reading the Expert Advice article, How to Choose a Backpacking Tent.

In terms of sleeping pads, there are many different options depending on what level of comfort you are looking for and what kind of conditions you will be camping in. Pad thickness, inflation method, r-value, and compressibility are all important considerations when choosing a sleeping pad. We also encourage you to check out this Expert Advice article, How to Choose a Sleeping Pad, it has lots of helpful information as well.

Personally, as a bigger guy and a side sleeper, I use the REI Co-op Flash 3 season sleeping pad. I find that the way it is chambered gives me the support I need at night and is thick enough to keep me off the ground.

In terms of speaking with an expert, we highly recommend booking a virtual outfitting appointment with one of our backpacking experts. That way you can talk through all of your questions (and perhaps think of some more!) in real time and get some personal, one-on-one advice.

We'll move this question over to the backpacking board to see if there are any users in the community who can weigh in with their experience.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Why a three person tent?  Do you routine backpack with three people? Offhand, I would suggest a two person and a one person tent.  This might cost more, but you will have flexibility and the ability to cut weight.  A two person and a single tent can be pitched in all sorts of useful combinations when used together, or can be used singly, one person when you really want to pare weight down, or the two person when you want a bit more room or you have a companion.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Thanks for your suggestions, particularly on the virtual appointment. We had the appointment yesterday & Liz was awesome, answering all of our questions & making suggestions. 

 We ordered a Big Agnes Copper Spur2 person tent.