REI Dividend Time has me thinking of buying a one-person tent to take up less space in the hatch while kayak camping. Anyone out there use any of these three (if so, what’s your verdict): REI Quarter Dome, MSR Hubba, Marmot EOS?
I have an MSR (hot Hubba) one-person and the quality is great. Light and easy to set up. The Hubba looked cool the first time I saw it, but I like to sleep without the fly, get the airflow and look at the sky if the weather allows. The Hubba gives 0 privacy without the fly.
REI 1/4 dome T2
I have the Quarter Dome T2 (2-man … yeah right! 2 very small men maybe), that I purchased for backpacking. Set up is quick, 10-15 min’s if you’re taking your time, and at 3 lbs, the weight is great. Like the previous poster said, this one is pretty much a screen tent with a rain fly as well, but it is warm and dry. First night out in it had 40 degree temps and torrential storm, didn’t guy anything, no leaks and stayed warm and dry. It is small though. I’m 6’ and about 220 and I am just comfortable with my carcass and my back pack inside. Two people is a snug fit and you had better be very close friends. You will just get the two bodies in, but don’t count on getting anything but very little gear in with you. It does have vestibules that will fit a 65 liter pack and boots. I use a 3 man for my kayak tripping and soon to be new canoe tripping.
the REI is a good tent
…and IMO a bargain at sale prices.
But if you’re the least bit claustrophobic, like to keep things inside of your tent or are on an extended trip, a two-person is the ticket. You can find a duo that isn’t much heavier or takes up much more room. The classic Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight is one that comes to mind, anywhere from $150-200 new.
I have a Hubba as well. It’s a nice warm-season tent, and pretty quick and easy to set up. There’s no room for extra gear inside, but you can put a lot of stuff just outside the door, under the fly extension.
2nd the Clip Flashlight
I really like this 2 person for weight and size. I think it’s under 3 pounds, and the right size for me. Nice vestibule space. It may not be the best choice for really hot environments, but for my climate it’s a good mix - decent ventilation for warm nights, but also cozy enough when closed up on really cold fall nights (like 30s).
It fits 2 people, assuming those two are intimately acquainted. Better for one.
Not on your list
The Sierra Designs Lightning XT1 is my favorite solo tent. I like the way the vestibule works better than the Marmot Eos 1 and there is a little more headroom. I have a Marmot twilight 2-person and the fly works the same as on the Eos. I could never get it guyed out as tightly as the one on the Lightning XT. The vestibule in the Lightning XT1 seems to have more usable space because of the shape. The setup is a little weird, but once you figure it out, it is very easy and secure. The SD Lightning is on sale as a closeout at Campmor: http://www.campmor.com/sierra-designs-lightning-xt-1-tent-2009.shtml
where are the hammock aficionados?
May be just me, but I think if I were considering a solo tent I’d look at hammocks and bivys instead.
I was going to say look at a Hennessey
but Coffee is out there somewhere.
For hammocks that is!
(I am going to try one out this spring…)
I think the Quarter Dome won an award
Backpacker Magazine a few years ago?
If Eureka still makes them, the Mountain Pass 1XT also packs small and is suitable for 3-season use with a full fly and real fabric walls (not mesh). The door’s panel can be unzipped so it’s just mesh. Easy to set up.
I used the above tent on a month-long paddle excursion in Alaska. My only gripe is that with only one door, ventilation was sometimes inadequate. The other wall does have a bottom vent hole (sealable), but I would recommend that you buy the Mountain Pass 2-person version instead–it’s a little wider, not much heavier, and you get TWO full doors with windows/mesh panels. Very reasonable price, too. Check out Campmor’s listings for this tent. I don’t know if REI sells them.
REI half dome
I use the REI Half Dome T2 Plus as a one-man tent (I'm quite tall and like space). I've also used it as a two-man tent, though I find it a little cramped for that. Its dimensions are the same as the Quarter Dome you are considering, it just has more fabric and less mesh.
I find it to be an adequate but not outstanding tent. Its comfort level and size are quite good, but the rainfly is too small for the rains we get here in the Pacific Northwest. When the fly is staked out, there is too much gap on the short edges of the tent between the fly and the ground. On the long edges (vestibule edges) the coverage is fine, but the short edges don't go down quite far enough. On the plus side, this gap between fly and ground means the tent has excellent ventilation, so condensation won't be a problem!
The T2 Plus is quite bulky, which can be an issue depending on what kind of boat you have. Obviously the one-man versions are going to be smaller.
The price of the REI brand tents is excellent for the quality of gear you receive, but if I had it to do over again, I would choose a tent with a better fly and maybe slightly less bulk.
To the poster recommending hammocks: I usually take both the Half Dome and a Hennessy Hammock on my kayak camping trips. If there are trees available, the hammock is indeed much superior to the tent.
*IF* there are trees available!
Already have two-man tents
I already have a Hubba-Hubba and another two-person tent that’s less meshy (for colder weather) that I can’t remember the name of right now. Just thought a one-person would be a nice option to save space in the hatches and use my dividend/coupon.
MEC Tarn 2…
…is another possibility. Have have a Tarn 3 for years - good, tough tent, compact, easy to handle, excellent fly. Never gotten wet in it - and this is Newfoundland calling…
Search for Tarn 2
If I had unlimited $$…
… I’d get a hammock and try it out. Seems simple, lightweight and comfortable.
I use to do a lot of solo backpacking with only a bivy sack. Didn’t see the point in packing the weight of a tent for one person. Sometimes on a gentle snowy slope I’d wake up further downhill. Other than that I loved it. It feels less sheltered - I liked the feeling, some might hate it.
I just don’t get why this tent is not a lot more popular. quality is excellent, has features found in much more expensive tents, and is reasonably priced.
I have now the zephyr 1 and 2 and could not be happier.
(I’m trying to decide how to spend my dividend also!)
Sierra Designs Vapor Light XL 2
Very light weight, around 4 lbs, wraps up small and the best thing is the 94in length(no head and feet touching the tent wall if you’re over 6’ tall. It would be very cramped for two people, but as a solo its roomy. Sierra Trading Post has them on sale now at a great price. I’ve had mine now for 3 months and after multiple canoe trips, I have no complaints. The tent material is light weight, so probably wouldn’t be a good choice for children. I’ve owned two other Sierra Designs tents in the last 10 years and they have lasted well.
Went with REI
Thanks for the tips. It was a tough choice, but I wanted to use my dividend and coupon, so that limited it to what REI carried. Their Quarter Dome was 50 bucks cheaper than the Hubba and got good reviews, so I went with that. Thanks again for the input.