2 man Tents and heavy wind

Right now I have a Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent. Its a 2 pole dome free standing type. I was in Georgian Bay last week with heavy shifting directional wind. Now my tent held BUT I thought it wasn’t going to hold. It really got pushed onto its side. I had it guide all out.

Now others in the group had other types of tents (more that 2 poles) but none are still in production and several were 3 man. So no using what they had.

What I notice is more expensive tents cost more because they make them lighter with high end materials for back packers. I ONLY kayak camp so I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for some super light tent BUT want a heavy duty tent for strong wind. I see 4 season tents are stronger BUT they look like they would be way way to hot in the summer which is ONLY when I will use the tent. NO cold tent camping for me.

So with all that any recommendation’s for 3 season 2 man strong tent for wind. Weight of tent has no bearing on my decision. Few pounds heavier is meaningless to me.

Hilleberg Allak

– Last Updated: Jul-28-16 2:03 PM EST –

You will get a lot of opinions, but my two-person, heavy-duty expedition tent of choice is a (freestanding) Hilleberg Allak; http://us.hilleberg.com/EN/tent/red-label-tents/allak/. It's a great sea-kayaking, expedition tent.

It's not light, it's expensive, but is bombproof. Mine has withstood gales with hardly a flinch. It's palatial for a single camper, but a bit tight (yet still acceptable) for two.

I switched to this tent for my Newfoundland circumnavigation, after using a Hubba Hubba in Iceland, where the Hubba didn't fare well in very strong winds.

What's amazing about the Allak (but adds to its weight) is that much of the inner tent has a separate panel of mesh, than can be zipped open to provide excellent ventilation (I even use it in Florida).

The large vestibules, along with the full footprint, give a great place to store your drysuit and other items.

My Allak has been going strong for nine years, and is only now showing some signs of its age due to UV exposure. While the ultralight tents that I use for racing change every few years, I wouldn't hesitate to replace my Allak.. assuming, of course that it doesn't outlast me.

Greg Stamer

4 season tents are just that
They have extra poles for snow and wind loads

I have a Mountain Hardware Trango 3.1. There are two person models

We use it in areas of high heat and high wind. It holds where summer tents are destroyed.

4 season tents are typically engineered for better insulation

Don’t let the lack of mesh scare you off

light tents can be sturdy
I have an old Sierra Design Clip Flashlight CD that has been through windy conditions, including waiting out a 2 day gale warning on Lake Superior.

Beach camping can be very exposed

– Last Updated: Jul-29-16 11:19 AM EST –

Back packers value light weight over anything else, and where they are camping probably isn't as exposed as getting stuck near a beach during a storm. A lot of the new ultralight backpacking tents sacrifice durability and strength for weight savings. Seems like 3 season tents from 15 years ago were stronger than the current high end ultralight stuff. So unless you want maximum ventilation and light weight, they might not be the right tent for the job.
I used a Hubba Hubba in Patagonia for probably close to 10 weeks out in remote exposed backcountry beaches. The tent held but I wouldn't repeat, had many nights as you describe, with the tent blowing flat a few times. Hard to get any good rest when the tent is flapping like crazy around you. All the mesh lets a lot of wind and dirt and or sand through. Camping on the odd sandy beach I would wake up in a sand box. Was using a zero degree synthetic sleeping bag which kept me warm despite the significant breeze, would probably have been chilly with a 20 degree bag.
Some things to help a 3 season tent, or any tent, in knarly conditions. Try and find a protected location to setup. Tie about four feet of p cord on each corner, and piling rocks on that, or using it for a dead man in sand, instead of using the stakes can help. Also doing the same on any reinforced guy out point, basically getting the fabric as taut as possible, can help keep it in one place when the wind picks up.
With a full on four season tent you can really get a storm proof setup, the reinforced poles, multiple guyout points, and stronger fabric allows you to strengthen your setup. But it takes longer to get a good pitch. The four season tents breath pretty well, you can open up the vestibule and many have vents, but I've never used one in really hot muggy weather.
Hillberg has their yellow series tents that are 3 season, which I'm guessing are still burly, but I've never seen one in person so I'm just guessing. If I was going to spend that much I'd get a lightweight four season tent like the Nallo or Nallo GT and use a 3 season for the summer.

wind resistant features

– Last Updated: Jul-29-16 11:23 AM EST –

As a rule, more poles makes for more stable tent. So forget about 2-pole light weight tents. I think that's where you've gone wrong. Stick with old fashion 3 pole tents. (it's not all that "old", I bought a 3-pole tent a few years back)

More guide lines also help to reduce the flapping. And the lower the tent profile, the less wind will affect it. But the latter may mean you can't knee inside the tent.

Look for features, not price.

Position of tent
I use a Big Agnes Blacktail 2 tent. Had some pretty gusty winds on Leigh Lake in Grand Teton Nat. Park last weekend and it did just fine. It’s a three season tent that weighs about 4 lb. and packs well in my kayak. One thing to think about in addition to the already suggested stuff like extra guylines, and setting up in sheltered areas, is how your tent is positioned in relation to the wind. Most back packer tents are designed to shed wind to a certain extent, but if you set up your tent so that the prevailing wind is hitting it dead on from the side, you will get the buckling issue. Try turning the tent so that the top/short end is facing the wind, not the long side and see if that helps.

A less expensive alternative to the Hilleberg Allak is the Exped Orion 2 or 3. Very similar design for about 1/2 the cost. I’ve never seen one in the flesh, but it looks very sturdy and well vented.


check these tents in 80mph winds
Check these videos of the strongest tents in wind.




Eureka Expedition
I have an old Eureka Expedition A-frame tent that is rock solid.



Unfortunately, they don’t make them anymore, and mine is getting old. I now have some small rips in the floor fabric. I was wandering if the Timberline would be comparable.

Kelty Gunnison
35-50 mph …with fly on …2 guys per pole …added loops at mid wall staked…vestibules staked down n guyed…tent setup diagonal to wind with setup x=vestibule downwind n other side closed flat.

the design blows down onto the ground bending poles as the shape squats out under wind force.

I have 5 hurricanes in tents. Entertaining.

Thanks for the replies
Wish I could afford a Hilleberger 1000 dollar tent. That’s too much money for me even though it would last a long time. My current tent was only about 110 bucks. It did hold BUT I thought it wasn’t. I was thinking about just a tent that has more poles for extra strength.

Guess I have to just look around more. I did email some tent makers will see if they email me back. Like I said most show how light there new tent is which I don’t care about lightness.

Check out the REI site
they have a number of two person three pole three season tents.

Eureka Alpenlite 2XT
Great tent but it is a tight fit for 2 people

Gunnison is very tight for 2 people plus gear but the 2 vestibules swallow gear.\The vestibules find a top view diagram allow the dome shape for squat to assume an aerodynamic advantage pointed into the wind.

I’m impressed.

My 2nd Gunnison, a pro bathtub model shrunk 4-6" in height for unknown reasons. The newfangled hub-tent connector walked

Those Expeds look nice
Never seen one in person before though.

I believe folks are absolutely right in noting that tents that work well for mountaineering or hiking aren’t necessarily the best for canoe/kayak camping. I think a couple of things that need to be considered for a canoe/kayak tent which are less important in other kinds of tents is the ease of pitching rapidly and taking into consideration that you’ll probably be staking down in sand (which doesn’t always hold stakes real well) with some regularity. Beaches are different from many other camping locations that other tents are well suited for.

I’ve tried a variety of tents - sort of a “sucker” for tents, I guess - but I keep coming back to the Eureka! Timberline 2XT. Its sort of a Boundary Waters standard and hasn’t changed a lot in forty years. Its a lot like the one ecklison mentioned. If its oriented properly to the wind, as also has been previously mentioned, it stands up pretty darned well. I know, of course, that sometimes winds are variable and the pitch may be less than ideal.

I think the vestibule that comes with the XT variant of the Timberline, when placed on the upwind end, goes a long way in preventing wind from getting inside the tent and turning it into a kite. The vestibule also adds two more stakes to the standard Timberline which can’t hurt. I’ve heard of folks adding a couple more loops to the rain fly to allow the addition of yet two more stakes on the side. Not a bad idea. And there are two rings at the fly’s top which can be used for yet more rope/stake rigging or for tying to a tree.

The lack of sleeves speeds set up time considerably. (I believe the sleeve tents are stronger though and handle snow better, but you said that’s not a concern for you.) I too often find myself on the water, it gets cloudy, I plug along thinking it might clear or just be a shower until the wind or rain starts to pick up, maybe a little distant lightning, and it gets a bit more serious… And there I am out cruising around looking for a good place to set camp. Often enough the weather is getting fairly rough by the time I’m actually landed and setting up the tent. I bet I’m not the only one here who that occasionally happens to. Set up speed matters quite a bit at such times.

Carrying along some nice long stakes helps, even 18" lath strips for sand. Nobody wants to be out in the storm looking for something to make a dead man anchor with, though they’re great if you’ve got the time before a storm hits and materials are at hand.

BTW, Eureka! was selling a tent, the Downrange 2, that looks like it might have canoe/kayaking potential also. Might want to look that one over. Its a two pole dome tent with a large fly that puts a sizable vestibule on each side of the tent and should help keep wind out pretty well also.


– Last Updated: Jul-30-16 7:52 PM EST –

When I started the transition from whitewater rafting (big tent & cot) to kayak touring, I had certain criteria for my kayak tent. Clips only, no pole sleeves for speed & ease of set-up. Two person (for just me) with decent space & height. Two doors & two full sized vestibules. Good mix of fabric & mesh for ventilation. Lots of guy out lines. I wanted all of this for under 5 pounds and in a packable size that would easily fit between the scupper pillars in my SOT kayak. After a lot of looking, I found the Big Agnes Blacktail 2 for under $200. Total weight with footprint & 12 MSR Ground Hog stakes is 5 pounds. 12 total stake spots, 4 corner, 2 vestibules, and 6 guy outs on the tent ends (1 low center, 2 high corners). The fly has two roof vents, and I LOVE the 4 good sized stash pockets that are located on the ceiling of the tent instead of around the floor level. Two of the ceiling pockets have openings so you can stick an iPhone up there and run the earphones down to watch a movie. Handy if you are tent bound because of bad weather. It's a three pole design if you count the short pole that goes across the door area, otherwise it's the traditional 2 pole X configuration. Sturdy little tent that works great for me.

I tried out the Sierra Designs Lightning 2 first, but couldn't tolerate the condensation inside the pseudo single wall design.


– Last Updated: Jul-30-16 8:49 PM EST –

we're tight in muh E250 big windshield facing a AA Squall Line come down the peninsula off the sand ridge following with RSS and SSD NOAA GOV GULF via a MiFi Inspiron on the doghouse.

Fans running.

SSD in AVN JSL n FUNKTOP all implied via the color RED/MAROON a large storm below Tampa and a pop up storm off Sanibel.

RSS did not display a Tampa or Sanibel storm. I can see Sanibel from here n sky was clear.

My info was RSS derived from SSD.


another vote for the eureka timberline
for canoe camping- if you don’t mind the weight the outfitter model is rock solid, any tent you get will have to be staked for windy conditions.