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Favorite Tent - Past or Present

I'd love to hear what your favorite tents are now or ones you've had in the past?

For me....I'll always love my North Face Tadpole 23.  This thing was awesome and wicked dry.  It went with me all over Europe and I spent 3 months straight in this thing while in Wales.  Alas, a storm finally destroyed it and I moved on.  

I've been using the REI Quarter Dome T2 since about 2012?  It is now at end of life and I'm looking forward to my next tent purchase 

As soon as it hits the REI distribution center, I'll be picking up the new Sea to Summit Telos and am super stoked about it.  I can't wait to share my adventures with you all this summer.  

Keep Calm and Paddle On
55 Replies

I've had a lot of tents in my 45 years of camping. My overall favorite the Hilleberg Allak for short backpack trips or car camping. For longer BP trips I use Dan Durston's X-Mid, it's a great one person tent.


I have a quarter dome 2, but I think it's kind of a pain to setup.  I want to get a Zpack, but not willing to pay $600 for a tent.  How are the Big Agnes?  Anyone have a tent that is easy to setup after a long day?




I still use my 40-year old Eureka Timberline 2-man tent with its additional alcove.  It is heavier than the newer tents, but I don't have to worry about it tearing or if a pole gets damaged, I can easily improvise with the A-frame tent design.  I've used it 4 seasons, from NH to the mountains of NC.  Since I mostly hike solo, the design allows me to keep my backpack inside, particularly in inclement weather.  I can set it up easily in the dark, and it weathered a number of wind and thunderstorms.



I'm an old school canoeist and we don't have to worry too much about the weight of our packs.  OK, heavy packs on a portage are not fun.  So, my favorite tent is a Kelty Timberline 4 person.  It sleeps two comfortably.  It sleeps 4 snuggly with all the great outside.  It's a simple A frame set up.  It can be jerry rigged in the field if a pole breaks - a stick works just fine.  I have the more rugged outfitter version.  It's 30 years old and still going strong.  The Timberline is a good rugged tent used by a lot of youth groups and residential adventure camps.

Great tent!  We used these in scouts and they were bullet proof. Very easy to field repair as well. 

Keep Calm and Paddle On

Any double walled tent I used = DRY.  Cannot understand why people think dripping water (condensation) in a tent is normal.  First priority of a shelter is dryness.  Whoever has been talked into a single walled tent to start backpacking needs to experiment with a double walled tent.  The little extra weight is absolutely worth it.


ref condensation, sometimes it just cannot be avoided, so I say it is normal, such as camping next to stream (when not possible to distance from it), or an all day/night rain, so your doors are closed and you only have some small vents and there's no 'dry air' anyway to compete with the humidity.

If a double wall tent includes a 'netted tent' covered by a rain fly, then the condensation is going to drip on the net wall, maybe it won't drip on the floor, but if you brush up against it you're going to know it.

REI Member Since 1979

My point was that it can be avoided because it is not just humidity it is a person's breath not escaping.  I usually had the nylon inner tent wall (not as familiar with mesh) and was never wet in the 30 years of backpacking, except for a while I had a Stevenson's tent with one waterproof single layer in front as the door and it dripped condensation  and ruined a camera I had on the floor.  I guess any drips on a nylon inner wall dispersed enough that me touching the wall did not create any drops on me.  Condensation seems to happen no matter the conditions outside.



well, I still strongly feel, that there are conditions whereby condensation cannot be avoided, inside a tent, only managed.

what's the phrase?....your results may vary

I suppose, (captain obvious here) that where one hikes/camps has a lot to do with it, I don't remember any condensation in the superstition wilderness (desert) in a January, or Utah Grand Staircase Escalante in a May, but do vividly recall many mornings on the AT or in west Virginia having massive moisture in the tent.

I'm trying to sort out the physics here, what difference does it make single or double wall to the amount of dew in the tent? someone help me here 😁

air moisture content the same, warmer air touches colder surface resulting in condensation...

I guess an inner surface is going to be warmer(not as cold) than the outer surface, resulting in less condensation that what's going to happen on the cooler outer surface.

REI Member Since 1979

I will concede that if there is no, or minimal, difference between the temp from the inner space and the outside (as in desert) it is less likely.  And the design of a tent regarding good ventilation is variable.  I may have just been lucky with my TNF and Sierra Designs tents.  The Stevenson was 3 lbs way back then, really light for the time and lesson was learned to always have a towel ready for the condensation up front.

FYI--Member of REI since 1972 ....mail order for bicycle packs.  Started backpacking 1976 and thankfully no electronics to distract from nature. (sorry, off subject :-))