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4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and Andes

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4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and Andes

Postby tommyg » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:44 am

Hi all,

I'm a climber based in New Zealand and am looking to upgrade to a lightweight tent that I can use for a 4-season mountaineering but also at low elevation for long trans-alpine trips. I know this is a pretty big ask but ah well. So far I've got on OK without such a tent by using a bivy bag, snow cave, huts etc, but I'm going to be taking the next summer off here to do some long trips so feel like I need to bite the bullet. I'm also planning a climbing trip to the Peru and Bolivia next year so ideally it be able to handle higher altitude conditions as well. My main criteria are:

Lightweight: In NZ there's no option to have porters etc and it will be carried for week long or more trips with a lot of elevation gain.
Bug protection: This is an absolute must in NZ for camping in valley approaches and on trans alpine mixed hiking/mountaineering trips.
Enough venting for warm weather: Again a must for trans alpine trips. Seems to rule out most single wall tents.
Strong enough for high wind and waterproof. And not too expensive...

I know strong lightweight single wall tents seem to be the way to go for many people but I'm hesitant about how useable they would be at humid sandfly infested low elevations.

The options I'm looking at so far are:

Macpac Minaret: Classic, strong design that is very popular in NZ for everything from hiking to mountaineering. I would ideally like something a bit lighter (it's 2.4 kg). https://www.macpac.co.nz/minaret-tramping-tent.html
Some kind of pyramid shelter (e.g. BD Megalight): Strong and lightweight, yet fiddly and a bit heavy with bug netting inner.
Stephensons Warmlite 2R: Looks good but is extremely expensive and some reviews note shoddy build quality. https://www.warmlite.com/product/climbe ... rson-tent/
Tarptent Stratospire 2: Very lightweight and versatile, looks great for NZ conditions (apart from maybe wind resistance?). But am I crazy to consider using this in the Andes? https://www.tarptent.com/stratospire2.html
Tarptent Scarp 2: Pretty lightweight, looks strong enough with extra cross-poles. With cross-poles is almost as heavy as the more well-proven Macpac Minaret however... https://www.tarptent.com/scarp2.html

Any other recommendations or comments are very welcome. I know I'm asking a lot, basically for the perfect "goldilocks" tent!
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby sharperblue » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:32 am

Man I miss your mountains!

I've had two great seasons in the southern Alps using a Black Diamond Lighthouse, since superceded by the FirstLight - crazily light, single wall and strong. Used the same tent in Peru for 5 seasons and the Canadian Rockies for 2 and it's finally on its last legs.

Recently upgraded to the heavier but stronger hilleberg nallo 2; a genuine double wall and an engineering marvel, but 2 pounds heavier and 3x the set up time, but utterly bombproof and still only 5 pounds

Good luck!
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby tommyg » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:15 am

Thanks for the reply! Did you use your Lighthouse below the alpine in the Southern Alps much? The FirstLight looks like a great tent, I'm just hesitant about condensation and waterproofness when using it in rainy valleys.

The Nallo 2 looks like a nice tent, very similar to the Macpac Minaret by the look of it.
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby sharperblue » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:23 pm

I did, and quite a bit, including in the Darrans - the Lighthouse is an earlier model and uses a silicone fabric - the newer models (HighLight etc) use a different treated fabric that are apparently quite water resistant and lighter, though i never had any issues with the older fabrics even in long downpours. Ultimately, they are alpine tents, meant for frozen precip and not day long rain showers. For prolonged (multi-season) use in NZ, i would likely opt for a Nemo Tenshi (best) or the Hilleberg, but all are pricey - definitely tap a friend for a pro deal if you can
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:33 pm

Integral Designs sells eVent as well as PTFE laminated fabric (Gore-Tex) tents. I have the Gore-Tex model, and have never had condensation issues. The vents on ID tents are more functional than on other single wall tents like Bibler/Black Diamonds. I have it on good authority (Colin Haley) that the eVent versions have excellent weather resistance, on par with Gore-Tex, with significantly better breathability than Gore-Tex. eVent IDs are heavier than the newest single wall tents, but they more storm resistant are in every regard.
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby tommyg » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:01 pm

Hmmm... Apparently Rab bought Integral Designs and the Latok is the current version. They look like nice tents, I'll definitely consider them. Lately I've been leaning more towards a tough pyramid tarp like the Mountain Laurel Designs Supermid. Pretty tough by all accounts and a lot lighter/cheaper than 4 season single wall tents. Do you think I'd be crazy to go for one?

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/c ... s-supermid
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:15 pm

tommyg wrote:Hmmm... Apparently Rab bought Integral Designs and the Latok is the current version. They look like nice tents, I'll definitely consider them. Lately I've been leaning more towards a tough pyramid tarp like the Mountain Laurel Designs Supermid. Pretty tough by all accounts and a lot lighter/cheaper than 4 season single wall tents. Do you think I'd be crazy to go for one?


You are not crazy at all. I like tarps quite a bit. Here is some random thoughts regarding tents.
1. I a disappointed to see Rab only offers red tents. DON'T EVER BUY A RED TENT.
2. I own multiple tents, some double wall, some single wall, all costs upwards of $500.
3. I use a Black Diamond Betamid tarp on 90% of my overnight trips. It is tough, cheap, light, storm worthy, and I have pitched it in very buggy areas with no problem.
3. I particularly like the MountainSmith Mountain Shelter LT tarp, I'd buy one if I already did not own too many shelters. 2 lbs, hard to beat that: https://www.steepandcheap.com/mountains ... lsrc=aw.ds
Last edited by ExcitableBoy on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby tommyg » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:21 am

Yeah I guess nothing is perfect and likely one tent doesn't cover all the circumstances I'm considering!
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby sharperblue » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:11 am

Why no red tent...?
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:42 pm

sharperblue wrote:Why no red tent...?

I had one, an Integral Designs MK1 Lite. The color of the light that filters through is very, very depressing. There is a reason most tents are yellow or similar colors. It creates a cheery interior.
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Re: 4-season + all rounder tent recommendation for NZ and An

Postby cycle61 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:43 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:
sharperblue wrote:Why no red tent...?

I had one, an Integral Designs MK1 Lite. The color of the light that filters through is very, very depressing. There is a reason most tents are yellow or similar colors. It creates a cheery interior.


I figured it would be a protest regarding how they stand out in the woods or on a snowfield.

Our red Hilleberg has a very pleasant light color inside, probably due to the yellow inner.
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