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Tents...What tent do you use, and why?

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.

https://www.tarptent.com/product/moment-dw/

Your turn...ready, go!

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

For Car Camping with my family - I use one of the REI Kingdom tents.  Plenty of space for the family for cots and/or air mattresses.  For backpacking, I currently use the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2.  Great tent, except I'm 6ft2in tall and I can pretty much touch both ends of the tent.  I would classify that tent as a 1+P tent and not a 2P tent.  I'm looking for something a bit bigger for taller folks - namely from LightHeart Gear.  

How many people do YOU fit into a Kingdom Tent? What is your experience/opinion about its stability in some wind and its waterproofness in rain? 

aka "Boonerelli"


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

Regarding fit - I have a 2nd-gen Kingdom 8.  I've fit my family of 5 + family dog + gear in there with a combo of a cot and air mattresses.  I've fit 3 grown men with their own cots + gear.  I've fit 2 men with cots  + gear & a chair each in there.  I'm 6ft2 and I still have an inch of headroom to spare standing up.  

Regarding wind stability - I've never had a problem even with wind.  However you MUST think about which way the wind direction is coming from when setting it up.  Like boating, you want to point the bow of the boat into the waves, and same with the Kingdom tents & wind.  You definitely do NOT want to have wind blow broadside into the tent!  Also, ALWAYS use all your extra guy-out points in windy conditions, no matter what direction it comes from.  You can't ignore that without risking serious damage to the aluminum poles.  

Regarding waterproofness in rain - Again I've never had a problem.  Bone-dry every time, even in snow.  No drips at all, unlike what I've heard about the 3rd-gen Kingdom tents.  I also use the optional footprint, which aids floor protection in durability and keeping moisture out.  Another good tip - After you setup with the rain fly, get some "camp-dry" waterproofer sealant and spray the fly with a good coating & let dry.  I usually do that once a year.  

I love this tent!  Well worth the investment.

@JeffPPeters Thanks. I understand about the prevailing wind, but what do you d if the direction shifts?

aka "Boonerelli"


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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@John Well, you can’t easily shift the direction of the tent. So the only thing you can do is guy out all the extra lines possible. 

I like MSR tents because they are durable and come with a generous warranty. I mostly use the Hubba-Hubba, but also own a Fury for winter camping. (Not sure if they even make the Fury anymore.) Broken pole? No problem - even when I told them it was my own fault. Same thing with a worn out fly; they replaced it even though it was about six years old and I was offering to pay for it.

The company is committed to keeping their equipment out of landfills.

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

I started with the Saddle 2 Tarptent,  very lightweight, excellent for one, but too cramped when my daughter started backpacking with me. I purchased a Nemo Dagger 2 at the end of the season. My son uses a REI Quarter Dome SL 1, and I must say I have been impressed with its performance. He loves it, too: sturdy, easy to erect, reasonable weight. Joy

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