I'm interested in learning about what tents (or other kind of sleep system) the folks in this community use for their backcountry trips, and why? Do you like your tent because it is free standing and easy to put up in inclement weather? Do you like it because of the vestibule room or inside dimensions? Or do you simply trust the brand and know it will hold up over many years?
For me, my current tent is the Tarptent Moment DW. I would consider Tarptent a cottage company that Henry Shires started many years ago when he was in search of a lightweight backpacking tent that was also highly functional....he couldn't find any, so he decided to make one! I enjoy using this tent because the rainfly is attached to the inner walls but you can still remove the fly if you desire, it has an all mesh interior (accept the bathtub floor), it can be free standing that doesn't require stakes or guylines (this is possibly my favorite feature but it does require the addition of a crosspole), it has two adjustable vestibules to create additional room inside the tent or to increase the vestibule's square footage, it is considered a lightweight tent at 36 oz, and it won't COMPLETELY break your bank account compared to an UL tent from Big Agnes or Zpacks.
Your turn...ready, go!
Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2UL...3 season double walled semi freestanding tent made of sil-nylon ...replaced a Gen 1 Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 double walled freestanding tent. Both tents bought with the intent of solo carry and the possibility of sharing. Mostly used in good to moderately wet blustery thundery weather in the Sierras both for 1 (me) and 2 people (a couple I lent it to for 2 weeks on the JMT). I chose the TW because it was 8oz lighter than the Gen 2 Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. I considered a Gen 2 Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 which was the same weight (and price at the time) as the TW UL2 but liked the brighter color and space of the TW better. The TW is definitely more of a pain to set up than the Copper Spur UL2 was and needed to be modified with adjusters to make it practical in non ideal sites. It comes with fixed length guys. I also customized the stake set replacing and amending stock with a few groundhogs and titanium shepherds. I use the factory footprint to keep the tent clean and avoid punctures or abrasions...so far so good...was going to make one but thought better of it while the sale was on because it adds a "fly only/first/last" feature. Generally pleased with the TW after adding the adjusters...a few remaining niggles which I may "fix" are that the velcro pole attachments on the fly are hard to use (only necessary if wind is expected) and the door holdback toggles are hard to use from inside the tent. Other than that the vestibule doors are a little small and it's probably not a great heavy weather tent. Total weight with the footprint, bags and my additions is 3#. Total Price on sale with foot print and the extra bits was probably just shy of ~$400 plus tax and some minimal work on my part to add the adjusters.
Six Moons Luna Solo...3 season single wall single trekking pole tent made of sil-poly (currently). Bought for solo carry so I could lend my TW 2UL to my daughter. Price was part of the equation and I was curious to try a trekking pole tent. Used in good to damp weather in the Sierras. Some concern that the vent is a bit too open for driving rain if the wind changes but wasn't an issue in the drizzle. The LS is a 1.5 person tent, generous inside you could get cozy in a pinch or bring a dog or spread out your gear. Kind of a pain to set up anywhere that's not dirt for staking since it must be guyed out to hold the single hiking pole. Optionally you can use a second pole to bow out one end increasing the head room which I did. It is a bit stuffy on a still day unless the doors are rolled back. Not a fan of the built in webbing adjusters and will probably replace them. The pole guy line tore out the first night I used it possibly due to my over tightening or maybe it was poorly sewn but I was able to improvise with some knottage around the hiking pole so it didn't matter. The tent must be post factory seam sealed which I chose to do myself...it is some work and you need a well ventilated place you can set up a tent that requires staking so I don't recommend doing it yourself unless you have a backyard, a dry warm day and are keen...I wasn't too messy but the silicone sealant did get away from me in a couple of places. I made a Tyvek footprint which is a bit loud when spreading out and if the wind catches it. Total weight with the footprint, bag and stakes is 2# 5oz. The package I bought came with the tyvek which I cut to size, grommetted and added loops and some light titanium shepherd stakes which I amended with mini groundhogs etc. Total price with the extras so far was ~$260 plus tax and quite a lot of work on my part.
Here they are together in the Sierras in August 2020...
As to sleep "systems" , I use a Thermarest regular X-Lite, a Kelty Lightyear 20 650 fill goose down sleeping bag and a Trekology Aluft 2.0 inflatable pillow. The X-lite is legendary so needs no recommendation from me although I would probably get the regular wide. The Lightyear 20, now discontinued, was a value purchase. It works well but I have been considering lighter better ventilating options. The Aluft 2.0 is good but I would like something thicker than 4 inches and am considering a Sea to Summit Aeros Large @ 5.5 inches.
I think all photos have to be approved by managers. They do not automatically appear as soon as you upload them. Personally, I don't mind the policy.
I personally LOVE my ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent. It has plenty of room for me to store my gear inside with me during bad weather, and works great all-year round! (I've used it in 100 degree heat as well as freezing blizzards lol). One of my favorite attributes is the little window on the rain fly, which allows me to still see outside when the fly is on. It's also super durable, compactible, and relatively lightweight, so it makes it great for solo backpacking! It's small size also makes it perfect for placing it pretty much anywhere!
I also have an REI Half-Dome tent, which I use when I'm traveling with a friend, but this is not a tent for cold weather / sever weather, so I only use it in less harsh conditions. Great tent, but wish it held out the wind better!
I used a lynx 1 for several years, still have it but have switched to the quarter dome 1. Considerably lighter, basically the same size with more vertical walls so feels bigger. I found a bad pole on the lynx 1 after a trip, but I didn't have any problems getting a replacement set from them.
@SILHiker Have you found the Quarter Dome 1 to work as well as the Lynx 1 in colder environments? Personally I've found that I can take the Lynx into the snow, but not the Quarter Dome. Do you have any experiences with this?
I have no experience with the Lynx. I think the Quarter Dome 1 would shed even wet snow, but it has mesh upper side walls and would not keep you as warm as a double walled tent. It looks like the Lynx also has mesh side walls, so same problem in the winter as the Quarter Dome 1, which is rated, I believe, as a Three Season Tent.
@bryndsharpI haven't had it in snow yet, we don't typically get a lot, usually a few inches that's gone in a few days. I used it last winter and didn't find the cold to be an issue, I had to shake ice off the inside of the fly every morning LOL.
I recently reviewed just about every tent out there trying to find one that actually fits me. I'm 6'2 and I hate having a wet footbox. Very few tent companies sell anything longer than about 86 inches. I found LightHeart Gear Solong6 and decided to drive over to their factory in Fletcher NC. I was so impressed with the size of the tent and at 100 Inches long, I dont fear the dreaded wet footbox any longer. In addition, I find that the tent really does have enough room to put my gear in comfortably. If you look at youtube reviews, it seems it alway's put up against Zpack Duplex but that is a two person tent and I feel it does well against that product as well. It really is a one person tent so depending on what your use case is, choose wisely. https://lightheartgear.com/products/lightheart-solong-6