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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 picked up a Salawa tent when I was living in Germany, it must of weighed  in at 7-8lbs.  It was roomy and easy to set up, and bomb-proof, but you didn't want to have to carry it very far.

When I returned to VA, I pick up an REI half-dome, but that was 5+lbs, then bought a REI quarter dome, about 3.5lbs, still use this one today when I need a free standing tent, lots of room and really only needs 2 pegs to hold it down, great tent.

I replaced that with a 2lb Tarp Tent Notch and used that for about 4yrs, then replaced that with a Z-Packs Duplex and used that for about 3yrs until the material started shredding apart.

Then I I bought a Durston X-Mid 2, huge footpring, but a bit over 2.5lbs, very solid tent.

Recently I have biten-the-bullet and purchased another Duplex. Plan is to use the XMid locally to save wear and tear on the duplex.


above are pix of the salawa tent at the campground in Zermat (sandwiched between the bahnhof and tracks), this is what you do when you can't afford a hotel, lol, but it was fun.

REI Member Since 1979

40 years has passed, and many different tents has been part of my hiking life. In the past, the choices was limited, and packability and weight was the two main challenges. That meant the tent I had, was the tent I used on most hikes.

We have a different "tent culture" over here in Scandinavia as we prefer tents that all goes up in one setup. No inner pitch first, only outer first, with the inner already attached.

So my first tents was made by brands like Helsport, Norrona and Fjellreven. The shape of the tent was more like semi pyramid with vertical steel or aluminium poles in each end. Similar to todays two person tents from Flames Creed, LanShan, or Zpacks, Duplex. But this is where the similarities ends. My two person cotton Fjellreven tent weighing in at about 5kg. My next tent, same shape and size, but with polyester outer, weighing in at about 3,5kg. I had nothing to compere with so the lightest was my favorite tent.

Then the tunnel style of tents was introduced to the market, and most of us up here in the cold north started to use them. Still outer pitch first! Helsport "Snohetta" was my favorite for many years. It was roomy inside, with a huge vestibule in front and a small in the back. In other words, plenty of room for cooking and storing gear. Years went by, new models entered the market, and new uses changed my needs.

The two major changes came from 1. more solo hikes. 2. on earlier hikes, we slept both two, three or four persons in the same tent. However, as lightweight 1-2 person tents got introduced to the market, we started to sleep in separate tents on our hikes. If this is being environmentally conscious, is another discussion.

For several years now three tents has covered my needs for hiking all five seasons. Tarptent Scarp 2, Golite Changri-La 2-3 and Exped Venus 2. Especially Scarp 2 and Venus 2 has worked well as I really love to have two vestibules. But, disaster strikes, and I lost my Venus tent in a fire. Moreover, the Scarp 2 found a new home as a gift to my 12 year old nephew.

Today I use a budget pyramid shaped tent on solo summer hikes, the updated 2020 version of Lanshan 1, weighting in at 1,3kg. For winter hikes I use Robens Raptor 2. That said, on many hikes throughout the year, I only use a tarp if the conditions is good enough.

This summer my son is coming along on a three weeks adventure into to wilderness. For this hike, since father and son enjoy each others company, I bought a roomy pyramid style tent. Half is covered with the inner sleeping section, and the other half for storing gear and cook food.


Totally depends on what you are using it for. This is the best I've seen

I have had actually a Cabelas branded tent (before the bass pro buyout) that has been absolutely amazing. Just a simple 2 person tent super light for backpacking great open design mostly screen so leaving the rain fly off is fabulous on those nice nights! We just upgrade to the Mountain Hardware Mineral King 3p and are already in love with it. It gives us more room side to side as well as more height! Super easy set up with their pre-bent poles, double vestibule and pockets all around. Can’t wait to really break er in this summer! 


I recently part with a Mountain Hardware “Room with a View” two person tent.  It was great shelter in many many adventures.  I had zero complaints about the tent.   

I also have very fond memories of sleeping under a tarp for a month in the Wind River Range Wyoming.  Those were good days.  

“Take care of the earth”

My favorite tent was my first one and I will never forget it (sound familiar?). It was the REI Crestline Expedition. I purchased it in the mid 1970's and used it well up into the 1990's when I sold it to a friend and upgraded to a dome tent. That REI Crestline Expedition served me well near Mount Washington in the winter, along the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the summer, on a through hike of Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, and in West Virginia's Dolly Sods Wilderness in fall, winter, and spring. It was an A-frame with thick aluminum poles, slept two to three, rainfly, vestibule, two doors, and a half circle in the floor that zipped open to cook on. They just don't make tents like that anymore. 

aka "Boonerelli"

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