2-person tent for kayak camping

The time has finally come for me and my wife to acquire a 2-person tent for kayaking, to supplement the loner and the luxury 3-person model that we used for canoing in the past. The 3-person baby will fit in either kayak, but it takes up a lotta precious space.

So, I’d be grateful for recommendations pro and con.

This is for three-season camping in the northeast. Apart from the usual criteria for kayaking tents, we like decent height at the peak.

Thanks. --David.

out Mountain Hardware. I love their tents and we’ve been using the 2 person versions for kayak camping a couple of years now.

Vector 22
I’m currently using a North Face Vector 22 and couldn’t be happier with it. I’ll admit I have little experience with other tents though so their could sure be things I’m missing.

It’s a free standing dome tent using 2 poles that I can set up in under 2 minutes and a couple more minutes for the rain fly. Nice and light and compact, the whole thing (tent, fly, poles) weighs under 5 pounds and compresses quite small if you take the poles out of the bag and store them seperately. I got mine at Campmor.com for a little over $200 this spring.

I haven’t had a chance to do any kayak camping yet, that’s coming next year.


REI Half Dome
Just used it for the first time on a 2 week trip and loved it. You need to have plenty of ground room at your campsites though, as the 2 vestibules take up some serious real estate.



REI Halfdome HC-2
Yep, was just looking at it in REI. Glad to hear an endorsement.

Can you choose not to deploy one or both vestibules if in a tight spot?


Which Mountain Hardware?
REI carries three… Light Wedge 2, Hammerhead 2, Skyledge 2.

The Skykledge is certainly too small for ~my~ comfort (at 26 sq ft). The Hammerhead has a nice peak (45"), 2 doors/vestibules, and packs down to 6x17, as small as anything in the category. But it’s pricey at $255.

(Yes, reading from the absolutely lovely REI Product Information brochure on tents).

Eureka has a lot of stuff…
…and they’ve got 2nd’s as well, cosmetic blemishes or returns from people who didn’t want them. they are super cheap compared to full retail price too :slight_smile:

Why a tent?
Do you need a tent or do you need a tarp? We camp with a 10x12 or 8x10 lightweight tarp that works well on rainy or clear nights, and provides a huge set of options for melding the shelter to a particular camp site. On shorter trips we often bring the body, but not the fly, of our Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight and use it as a double bivy and set it up under the tarp. This allows for great amount of covered space either hung low for rain or high for headroom. On our longer trips we use our single bivies.

I know you probably really want to buy a new tent ( we are all gear freaks) but would ask that you consider a tarp as well.

Second the Half Dome!!

– Last Updated: Sep-15-06 5:34 PM EST –

Great tent, roomy, but not huge and -very- cheap. Takes me 2 minutes to set it up. It's nice not having to shove poles into and out of a sleeve. You don't have to use vestibules as they are created by the rainfly. Just move the fly a little bit away from the tent wall to avoid condensation. Check out REI's Outlet store, too. They have good deals throughout the year.


REI Half Dome
I own Eureka, Kelty and REI. The 2 man Half Dome is SUPERB as solo or w/“soulmate”. I’m 6’5" x 250lb. Fine piece of equipment. I got it for $90 at end of season web special in 2005.

kayak camping
I solo camp with a half dome 2 canoe campimg. For backpacking I use a Big Agnes solo one. take a look at Big Agnes 2&3 light and roomy

Like Eureka also
I like the Timberline 2 and 2xl.

They pack a bit larger than some tents, but they set up soooo fast. (I often enough catch myself paddling until the first drops of rain start falling and then have to pitch in a hurry. Bet I’m not the only one.) No sleeves to fish the poles through - a good feature, IMHO. Its free standing so, unless wind is expected, you can skip the time spent setting stakes. Heck, you can even skip the tent - just set the frame and fly if all you want to do is sit out a shower. Can’t do that with some tents.

Its a bit cramped for two if you’re hanging out in it for a couple of days, but then, most tents are.

Pretty affordable too.

There’s a reason why so many outfitters in the BWCA use Timberline 2’s or 4’s. Of course, there are plenty of other good choices available these days. Just putting in my two cents worth. Hope it helps and I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for. Good hunting.

I Vote MSR Hubba Hubba
I’ve only had mine for a few months and have not had it any epic conditions, but early indications are that this is another quality MSR product.


Yes. I needed to choose that option
a few times but you obviously still need to keep the fly away from the tent body. I pitched it in some very marginal sites and stayed dry and comfortable. Lyn

MSR all the way

– Last Updated: Sep-15-06 7:43 PM EST –

MSR tents rock, I don't think even Arc'Teryx could make a tent more bomb-proof than MSR.

Seriously, check their line out:

The Zoid series rocks, but you were asking about 2-person tents (unless you are WANTING to get close outdoors... hehe).

The "Fast and Light" line is what you're looking for. Hubba Hubba will keep out the bugs, pack's light, and has plenty of ventilation. Not to sound like a nut, but I will never again buy a tent from a different manufacturer.

PS- Their kitchen items rock too! (pots, stoves, etc.). I an't comment on the water filtration systems, never needed one.


Big Agnes I
I brought this tent to Nova Scotia last year. Two reasons I didn’t bring it to BC… the front entry which I really disliked and the rainfly. I had to reach too far out to unzip the fly to make it a dry and graceless operation each morning (and worse, quite frankly, at least once each night). I still liked the tent, but the features I most liked weren’t useful in a very moist environment. It’s a keeper but will be used sparingly.


Eureka Tents
If you decide on a Eureka check out the unbelieveable prices here


It’s their outlet in Binghamton NY & bargains are incredible. I’ve bought every tent I own there. Last purchase was a 1 person Solitaire for $29 !

Sierra Designs
I’m gonna have to go with a Sierra Designs model. They give a lot of bang for the buck,light, small stuff size, and when you can find a year-old model in Campmor or Sierra Trading Post…they even better.

If your kayak trips take you to rocky islands (ours have little soil often and sometimes are pure rock) make sure it is freestanding. You will still need to anchor it(with rocks) but this feature makes the tent initially steadier and you can move it around a little.

I have a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight and while I like it it has some sag when the fly gets wet( I often am out most of the summer) but its not freestanding. I just got a HubbaHubba and like the feature of no flat spots that can puddle and the fly is well clear of the tent.