My wife and I are planning a 10-day trip to Olympic National Park for next summer. I've been there a number of times, and have quite a bit of backpacking experience over the past 35 years. She has been with me and our son on a few backpacking trips, but nothing this long and nothing with just the two of us. (We've occasionally car camped together.) I'm looking to minimize weight and maximize comfort, both hers and mine.

She's little... 5' 2" and 115 pounds or so. I'm 6' 1" and 190ish.

We could certainly do the usual sleeping bag and mattress combination, for each of us, but I'm wondering if there's a double mattress option with a double bag or possibly a quilt that would work well.

I'm also looking for a reasonably lightweight, preferably freestanding, tent with adequate floor space and room to sit upright. We have a Big Agnes Fly Creek, which works but is a little cramped. (I've used it by myself quite a bit and it's fine... with her, there ain't much room to spare!)

All suggestions/advice appreciated!



My thoughts....

For backpacking I would not even try to do the couples thing for sleeping.  Separate mats and sleeping bags will be far more comfortable for actual sleeping if only that she will almost certainly want a warmer pad and sleeping bag/pad combination.  If you both used quilts or bags that fully unzip then you can adjust around for lounging...which you may need to do in Olympic NP since I hear it rains a lot there.  Some straps to attach the pads together might be good for that situation.

For a couples backpacking tent the BA Copper Spur UL3 is the gold standard to compare other options to.  Two doors/ vestibules is the main requirement.

Gold standard? I recommend you take a look at the ZPACKS DUPLEX

REI Member Since 1979

Triplex for two probably.  Not freestanding and single walled so not great for couples of divergent enthusiasm in my opinion plus its trade off is great expense and dyneema tents are bulky to pack and fairly translucent... so not the sweet spot for this use... again imo... but one to compare.  Dyneema does have advantage in rain and if weight is paramount and cost isn't it might be the one but I probably wouldn't unless it was for a long distance/through hike... even then halfwayanywhere pct and cdt surveys generally rate BA tents higher in user satisfaction.


I have never used a double sleeping bag.  I would agree that it is worth thinking about the weight.  Is one person going to have to carry the double.  Also, if I recall, thee are some sleeping bags that can be unzipped and two of that same model zipped together (to make a double).  But, in any case, have you gone to an outdoor store 9retailer) like REI and checked out the sleeping bags?  maybe you can find a store that have those and can both try them out before considering a purchase.

On tents, again you might check the outdoor retail stores to see about the tent choices.  Certainly ZPACKS has both the Duplex and Triplex which are very light.  But, they are pricey due to being made from Dyneema.  There are certainly lots of choices in tents.  Like also mentioned you have the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 (Big Agnes does not appear tot make the 2 person version any longer).  Then, you can find choices by REI, MSR, Nemo, Tarptent and others.

Also, you could look at websites like Outdoor Gear Lab ( for reviews (and there are others sites as well).  I don't know off of the top of my head if they have reviewed doubles sleeping bags.

Good shopping and enjoy



You're definitely going to want a 3-person tent for the two of you. Any 2P backpacking tent is really a "1.5" person tent.  Also, I strongly recommend a tent that has a little longer floor length to accommodate your height of 6ft1.  The typical 2 or 3 person backpacking tent is very tight for taller guys, not a problem for someone that's 5ft2, but it is for 6ft+ guys.  If I stretch a little bit, I can touch both ends of my Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 with my toes & head.  The problem with the most of the zpacks tent is that the roof is very close to the floor where your head & feet would be.  

If you're care camping and just day-hiking, you can't go wrong with REI's "Kingdom" series tents.  Easily large enough to accommodate a queen-sized air mattress.


I would agree with Jeff.  And, add that this also depends on the manufacturer.  For example, Hilleberg (the founder of Hilleberg is over 6ft tall) makes tents that are a bit longer.  Note they make some premium tents and, they call the rain fly an outer tent and the poles attach to the outer tent.  The inner tent clips to the outer tent.

Also, the width at the shoulders can be an item to consider.  A friend of mine, 6ft+, purchased the ZPACKS Duplex (I don't recall him having issues with length) but being a bit broader in the shoulders felt there would not be enough room there for two folks and return the Duplex to purchase the Triplex.




There is always some give-and-take with this stuff, right?

Individual sleep systems will certainly inhibit quality snuggling, but your comfort and sleep will be enhanced.

Rainy Olympic NP!

When I’m out by myself, I carry a Duplex, which is superb in rainy, wet conditions. It sets up quickly, and—owing to the single-wall design—the inside stays dry if you need to set it up in the rain. Keeping the inside of a double wall tent dry during setup in the rain is sometimes challenging.  If I was sharing a tent with a partner at Olympic, I would probably shell-out the clams for a Triplex, but you are interested in free standing tents, so let’s look at something else.

My long-range hiking buddy (who is 6’4”) really likes his BA Tiger Wall UL 3. It has served him very well over the last couple of years when he backpacks with his two young sons. It is still his tent of choice when we embark on longer trips. BA makes a great shelter, and you already know that as you own one yourself.  Have you looked at this BA offering?

My Duplex is just not big enough on those occasions when I hit the trail with my son, so I’m really close to picking up one of these tents. I love the awning feature, which I think would add a lot of functionality to a tent in a rainy place like Olympic. Stuck inside a tent is just not that fun. With this model I can imagine myself sitting under the awning in a gentle rain drinking some coffee. Nice.