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Best tent for camping in pacific northwest??

The question is this: What is the best tent/ shelter combination for the pacific northwest. Better yet looking at year round comfort.

I have lived in Alaska for a few years now and am debating a tent upgrade. I currently operate off of a two tarp and one small tent system. This system works reasonably well during moderately wet weather that is normally encountered. However camping with the wife has made things more difficult as comfort is often a prime concern and we begin paddling fairly early in the season (mid March). I have met guides who swear by Tipis with wood stoves and I have used arctic tents in the winter which work well but as the price of most of these systems is fairly high I would be loathe to buy one on a whim.


  • Do you have to pack it in a kayak? I had a Snowtrekker tent and stove to go with it and no way would that fit in a kayak.
    I think even our Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 is too big for hatches. It does fit in our canoe.

  • Yeah trying to get it to fit in the main hatch. We have a Passat G3 so the center hatch is large. We were looking at a seek outside 6 person tipi with break down stove but I am unsure how much better it will be in the summer. also mildly concerned about wind on the beach.

  • edited December 2017

    I can't comment on best, as I haven't tested them all. But I used a borrowed Exped Venus II tent in Kodiak for about 10 days last summer. Liked it a lot. You can put the fly up first and then put the tent up under it (or take down ten t first, and fly after) - both good for rainy conditions and keeping the main tent drier. Has large vestibules to store gear outside of tent.

    Justine Curvengen, the kayaking film maker who does a lot of kayak camping in all sorts of conditions, promotes Hilleberg tents. She probably is sponsored, but even sponsored goods need to meet her requirements. Here is a video she did for the tent company:

    I believe Freya Hofffmeister also uses Hilleberg Tents (and likely also is sponsored).

  • edited December 2017

    My new favorite tent is a hammock. I switch to hammocks when my then wife had back problems that made sleeping on the ground painful and took the fun out of camping for her. We tried al sorts of back pads. Doubling up on back pads. Expensive inflatables such as Big Agnes. None helped. It was almost to the point where camping together was no longer an option. Then a friend who had back problems suggested a hammock. I bought my ex a Warbonnet Blackbird for Mothers Day. Our next camping trip I set her hammock up next to my tent. The following morning she said "I haven't slept this well since I was in my mother's womb".

    So I bought a Blackbird for myself and found that I slept better than ever. No more waking up all night trying to get comfortable. I was out like a light and slept through the morning. As a bonus, being a guy, if I have to pee, I simply roll over, unzip the hammock and let go. I just have to remember not to leave my shoes in pee range (learned that on an early hammock trip).

    Hammocks do sleep a little cold. Your bag will be compressed at the bottom and there is no ground to insulate you. My Blackbird has a double layer option where I can slide a Thermarest between the layers and it stays in place all night. The Thermarest and a good sleeping bag gets me down to about 20 degrees comfortably.

    Though I haven't done it, I know a lot of "hangers" who use hammocks in sub zero temps with an underqult below their hammocks. I've seen videos on Youtube with "hangers" out in 20 below temps. Many have ditched their sleeping bags in favor of "overquilts" .

    A good tarp such as a Warbonnet Superfly, Winter Haven 4 Season or UGQ Winterdream will seal out the worst weather.

    Hammock camping has changed my camping life. I have not slept in a tent in over 8 years. I even hang my hammock in public campgrounds where it becomes a bit of a curiosity among the giant 6, 8 and 10+ person tents you often see at public campgrounds.

    Al you need are two trees about 15 to 25 ft apart. No more need to worry about roots, rocks, slope, etc.


  • @BrianSnat said:
    My new favorite tent is a hammock.

    Do you have many challenges staying dry either while inside or during entry/exit? I've been seriously considering adding a hammock to my gear pile to broaden my camping options while out tripping.

    Maybe it's better to start a new thread, extolling the virtues of hammock camping rather than hijack this one. ;)

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