Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

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keth0601

 
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Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by keth0601 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:40 pm

Looking at options for a good foul weather long-term expedition tent.

I may or may not be using it for Denali, and I have other plans on using it in the arctic as well.

Right now I'm torn between a Hilleberg Keron 3gt or a MH Trango 3. I know they're both solid expedition tents with good reputations. I like the added wind shedding ability that I would assume the Trango has over the Keron, but I like the layout better in the Keron (big fan of tunnel tents when weather allows). The Keron is also just a bit lighter, but at those weight I would consider the difference negligible.

The Trango is obviously cheaper, but this is a tent I plan to use over a longer span of time. My biggest concern about the longevity of the Trango is the PU coated nylon and the plastic windows. I've seen a good number of the windows that have gone bad on older tents (though admittedly have not seen it on a Trango specifically). PU seems to tend to break down over time no matter what you do, and I've not seen that silnylon has that same issue (plus the 40d silnylon on the keron should be much stronger in the first place).

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by ExcitableBoy » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:39 pm

Over the last 15 years more MH Trangos have been used by guide services on Rainier, Denali, and Everest than any other tent. They are very solid, very durable, and very roomy. I have spent many nights in a Trango2 and MH Annapurna (same tent, but with lighter, techier materials). The floor plan is very roomy for two people for extended trips.

Its true that silicone is more UV resistant than polyurethane, however, if you get out enough to wear out a Trango, you are a very lucky man. My most used tent is PU coated nylon and it is going strong after 17 years of a lot of use.

Can't really go wrong with either tent, but I would question if you really need a three person tent. If your plans are for extended trips with three people then a three person tent makes sense. If most of the time your trips are with two people, occasionally adding a third, then a Trango2 would work just fine. These tents are heavy, and personally I would want the lightest tent that fits my needs.

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by keth0601 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:54 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:Over the last 15 years more MH Trangos have been used by guide services on Rainier, Denali, and Everest than any other tent. They are very solid, very durable, and very roomy. I have spent many nights in a Trango2 and MH Annapurna (same tent, but with lighter, techier materials). The floor plan is very roomy for two people for extended trips.

Its true that silicone is more UV resistant than polyurethane, however, if you get out enough to wear out a Trango, you are a very lucky man. My most used tent is PU coated nylon and it is going strong after 17 years of a lot of use.

Can't really go wrong with either tent, but I would question if you really need a three person tent. If your plans are for extended trips with three people then a three person tent makes sense. If most of the time your trips are with two people, occasionally adding a third, then a Trango2 would work just fine. These tents are heavy, and personally I would want the lightest tent that fits my needs.


My main concern with the Trango 2 was the interior height. I'm 6'2" and wonder if I would be able to sit up properly in the Trango 2? Normally I wouldn't be too concerned, but potentially spending 5+ days in a tent weather-bound I'd want to at least be able to sit up straight and stretch my back a bit... Haven't had a chance to try it in person yet (might get to this year), but just going off my experience in other tents I think it will be cutting it close.

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by ExcitableBoy » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:19 pm

keth0601 wrote:
My main concern with the Trango 2 was the interior height. I'm 6'2" and wonder if I would be able to sit up properly in the Trango 2? Normally I wouldn't be too concerned, but potentially spending 5+ days in a tent weather-bound I'd want to at least be able to sit up straight and stretch my back a bit... Haven't had a chance to try it in person yet (might get to this year), but just going off my experience in other tents I think it will be cutting it close.


My partner on a Ruth Gorge trip that we spent 11 days storm bound in his Trango 2 is 6'1" had no issues. If the Hilleberg has better height and is lighter I would go with that. My only complaint of the Trango is that it is very heavy.

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by 96avs01 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:15 pm

Excellent info as always from EB. His comment about the weight of the Trango 2 is why they'll have to pry my Annapurna from my dead hands. Everyone that's spent a night/trip in that tent loves it. They show up on ebay every now and then if you're patient.

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by Sunny Buns » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:04 am

Both look like nice tents, but too heavy. Hilleberg looks more durable. Video says you can use 2 poles per sleeve if you want extra rigidity and I like the continuous pole sleeves - seems like that would distribute forces more uniformly to the fly and tent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kCnvaO ... e=youtu.be

Hilleberg not quite as large length x width but may have steeper walls and that might give the people on the sides more room. Length on Hilleberg is only 86" so your sleeping bag may be rubbing against the cold wall at your foot or head. I like my tent to be really long so my bag does not touch the tent walls to keep it dry and toasty.

For less weight, take a peek at a Stephenson Warmlite 2-man for each member of the expedition. 3 of those will weigh about the same as 1 of either of the 2 you mentioned. Or 2 of their 3-man tents would weigh a couple pounds less than either of the 2 you mentioned. This gives flexibility in case of an injury, burn the tent down, etc. They are sil-nylon (similar or same material that parachutes are made from) - light and strong. I have a 2R (bought in ~2000) and I can sleep in the tent with all of my gear. It weighs something like 3.5 pounds, inside dims: length is 104" and width is 60", 37" high at the high point. If going to use it at high camp I would get the optional 3rd pole for less billowing in a side wind (probably not needed for the shorter version). Every Stephenson Warmlite tent is custom made, including the colors. I have the big door option, reflective liner, interior X-bracing, big side windows (rarely use them). They're about $800 to $900 depending on options chosen. Downside: no vestibule, but they are light enough you can buy one big enough to put all your gear inside. Vestibule would be good for cooking when the weather is nasty so that's something to consider. Another thing I don't like is no mosquito net door on the entry door - guess that's why I got the big side windows, but don't need unless camped in hot weather. I've never camped in it in heavy snow but I think it would do OK - the extra middle pole would be handy for that I think. I camp a lot in dusty volcanic pumice in the pacific NW and that stuff is hard on the door zippers - need to keep them lubed with silicone, and be ready to do some zipper maintenance if necessary.
Link: https://www.warmlite.com/product-category/tents/

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by ExcitableBoy » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:09 pm

96avs01 wrote:Excellent info as always from EB. His comment about the weight of the Trango 2 is why they'll have to pry my Annapurna from my dead hands. Everyone that's spent a night/trip in that tent loves it. They show up on ebay every now and then if you're patient.


I purposely sold my Alaska Range kit (-15 F FF sleeping bag, big FISH duffel, extra thick sleeping pad, tent, down parka), vowing never to go back after it became so expensive to travel and climb there. I sold my MH Annapurna to a fellow here on SummitPost. Definitely worth the weight savings over a Trango 2 if you can get your hands on one. Same great floor plan, but at least two or more pounds lighter.

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by ExcitableBoy » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:22 pm

Sunny Buns wrote:For less weight, take a peek at a Stephenson Warmlite 2-man for each member of the expedition.

Good call. Their large diameter, RIGID poles make these tents very wind resistant. I spent a couple of rainy nights in my partner's and we had plenty of room for both of us.
we were even able to cook inside with a JetBoil.

As a funny anecdote, I woke up in the middle of the night with my face smashed against the wet tent wall. My partner was smashed tight against me. I mentioned the next day that I thought I had leveled the tent platform well, but I guess it was not flat since we both ended up smashed against one wall. She replied, no, I was just cold and wanted your body heat. :shock:

That said, Stephensons are probably the strongest, roomiest tents for the weight. I did notice condensation was an issue more so than any other tent I've used. They are basically made to order so you could get a long version with the double wall option that they claim reduces condensation. For comparison, my partner had the 2R, single wall version.

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Re: Expedition Tent- Trango VS Keron

by Sunny Buns » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:32 am

I did notice condensation was an issue more so than any other tent I've used. They are basically made to order so you could get a long version with the double wall option that they claim reduces condensation. For comparison, my partner had the 2R, single wall version.


I have the 2R with double wall (inner wall is the "reflective layer" - it has an aluminum color, think it's the same sil-nylon as the rest of the tent.) Only place I get much condensation is on the ends which are single wall - I just wipe it off with a wash cloth or sponge. You can buy double wall for the ends but adds a little weight and $$. Might be worth it if you were going to live in it for weeks in the arctic. Think you can also get the outside of the tent in aluminum color but I think that costs more but is supposedly more UV resistant. Read all the info on Stephensons before you buy one so you understand the pros and cons. I like mine - only cost about $500, but now they're 8 or 900.

The pole diameters for the 2R are 5/8" for the big pole and 3/8" for the small one. Both very lightweight. The x-brace option does provide extra rigidity in high winds, but it gets in the way a little bit. One night at Aconcagua base camp there was a very high wind perpendicular to the tent and it billowed considerably - kind of wished I had the extra pole - I piled gear against the windward side of the tent (on the inside) and that helped. Not sure if the middle pole is still an option for the 2 man tents. Next day some of the cheap tents people use at basecamp were flattened.

And don't wear a ring when setting up the tent. Mine wore a hole in the big pole sleeve - I sent it back and they fixed it. Also, the tent is not seam sealed so they included a tube of silicone adhesive to seal the seams. I set up the tent, got inside and sealed it all up, no leaks yet but the silicone did stink up the house for a few hours. :) The sil-nylon is slick so I made a grid of "blobs" of silicone on the floor so my sleeping pad, etc would not slide around when on a slope - works great. :wink:


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