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Cuben Fiber Tents

Let me start off my saying that I really enjoy my Tarptent Moment DW is lightweight (right around 2 pounds), has the rain fly attached, its free standing,  really convenient to set up and take down, and it is in the middle tier in terms of pricing.  My Tarptent has held up in torrential downpours with minimal water entering the inside lining of the tent.  The Moment also has various options to ventilate in order ot avoid condensation.

With that said, I am interested in transitioning from my Tarptent to a Cuben Fiber tent.  I've had my eyes on the Zpacks Altaplex tent for quite some time now (  I like that it doesn't require tent poles, but only requires one trekking pole.  I like that it can simply fold up and stuff into a small, ultra lightweight "ball".  HOWEVER, I do not like the price tag on it.

My questions:

1) Is there a good option to buy this type of tent, used?

2) Does REI sale any Cuben Fiber Tents?

3) Does REI sale an UL tent that only requires one trekking pole to set up?

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

Cuben Fiber or Dyneema as it is now known  (company was bought) is a bit suspect for longevity so I would be wary of buying used.  They are popular for AT, PCT and CDT thru hikes and generally tents are pretty worn out if they make it the whole way.  You could get lucky.

As far as I can tell REI only sells the Big Agnes Dyneema tents

which are all very expensive.  While I like the Tiger Wall design I would not buy this version personally...but it may suit some people that are really weight conscious.

As far as I know the only "trekking pole" tents that REI sells are their own Air1 and Air2 new this year...

I needed a solo tent this year and considered the Air1 because it has some nice features but based on some early tests I saw I think it needs a bit more refinement to do with its condensation control.  I bought the sil poly 6 moons Luna Solo (2lb 5oz with stakes, home seam sealing and Tyvek footprint) instead which is a proven design although I think its guy system could use better materials and I did not really enjoy seam sealing it although it wasn't that hard and mostly came out all can buy it seam sealed.  My other tent is a semi freestanding BA Tiger Wall UL2 (3lb with stakes, added guy adjusters and factory footprint) which I an very pleased with and previously I used to use a Gen1 Copper Spur UL2 which is still in use elsewhere in the family... 

The main issue with non freestanding tents is that they are a pita to set up in places where you cannot just stake them out.  It means you have to find rocks and use them to secure the guylines so it just takes longer.   The provided webbing guys on the luna solo while they are all adjustable are not long enough to secure around rocks so I will be replacing the some decent guy line and alternate adjusters.


@OldGuyot Thanks for the response!  The Big Agnes Dyneema tents are definitely out of my price range.  I actually believe the Zpacks Altaplex is out of my price range, so this Big Agnes is wayyy overpriced for my needs.  

Do you have any experience or knowledge of Tarptent?  It is a cottage company that has relatively low priced UL tents that compete with the Big Agnes and Zpacks of the industry.  I'd like to understand some experienced comparison of the brands.  

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

I did vaguely consider a Tarptent... I think the Notch was one I looked at but I liked the simplicity and 1.5 person floor space and sitting head room of the 6 Moons Luna Solo.  Also the price at around $240 plus tax was palatable.  The Zpacks Altaplex is a very similar design although it is a bit larger, taller, lighter because it is made of Dyneema, constructed in the US and much more expensive.   I think the Luna Solo design predates the Zpacks company and was available at least as early as 2005, the year Zpacks was founded,  at which time it was made in the US.

If you have a TT Moment and you are happy with it the Luna Solo probably doesn't provide much advantage.  The Moment looks easier to pitch and is probably better in the wind and warmer in the cold...just a bit too snug for my taste.