tent question

MEC Tarn 2

– Last Updated: Feb-13-13 12:12 AM EST –

Canada's Mountain Equipment Co-op has the Tarn2 for $219 - great value, imho. Have used one for years, in wind and rain - when paired up with the Guide tarp, it's bombproof.

Don’t get the Black Diamond…
“First Light”. After a lot of useless research, it seemed to be rated among the best so we got one last year for an expedition Challenge.

We didn’t get to use it for that, but used it on a six day five night trip, and were very disappointed to find that the inside wall would get soaken over night.

We called them about it when we got back, and they passed it off saying that it just needed more ventilation. We had lots of ventilation and it didn’t make any difference.

Jack L

Thanks everyone
Little nervous to buy an EMS product, sounds like they are going out of business, selling out to Bob’s. they laid off over 100 employees.

No inside news but if EMS is going
out of business, why did they open a second store recently in Portland Maine?

Also a new store in Bourne, Mass.
Jack L

not really sure why they would do that, we headr it the WMUR news about 2 weeks ago. They are closing the headquarters in Peterborough,NH and laid off approx. 116 employees. I noticed that the were having great sales unlike anything i had ever seen them do in the store in Concord, NH.

Time will tell.

Don’t know only what i saw on the news and in the store.

beach camp with caution
Generally it’s better to get behind the first rise or dune.

EMS News
EMs was bought by a private equity firm who ALSO owns Bob’s. No stores listed to close as of now.

The layoffs in Peterborough were associated with the closing of the warehouses. I believe the plan is to consolidate with the warehouses that they already own/service in Wilton, CT.

For news, read here:


Thanks for setting us straight Suz.

Back to the OP’s question,
I have used a MSR HubbaHubba as a solo tent for years and am quite happy with it. True, now that I love hammock camping it gets less use but I love the roominess (I am a Big Guy) and gear storage room.

I will be doing a cycling trip on the GAP trail from Pgh to Cumberland and back this June, and for the longest time I lusted over a MSR Hubba. But it is essentially a tall bivvy, only 26" wide and I got to thinking how “close” it would feel on a humid and rainy night. The HH is very well ventilated, and I have been happy when it sheltered me from the rain. And it ventilates relatively well to boot. The H would save about 1 lb, but I can do that by losing weight!


MSR Hubba
This is a great tent for backpacking or kayaking. Very compact and light. My only issue with mine is that you want to leave the rain fly unpacked when not using it. I left mine packed in the bag for about 2 years and when I took it out, it had kind of glued itself together. Took me about 30 minutes to pull it apart. It’s a bit gooey but it still works. (The tent was fine.)

Who solo?
A two-person tent fits perfectly in a kayak and is so much more comfortable. I would never take a solo tent kayak camping. In fact I might even take a compact 3-person tent for the ultimate luxury.

Desirable qualities: two side doors; brow pole (also called a spreader pole—stretches the top out); large vestibules for air flow; simple design with minimum of stakes.

I’ve owned these two-person tents that I can recommend:

Kelty Grand Mesa: light, but front entry and small vestibule.

Kelty Trail Ridge 2: spacious, tall. Defect: no side pullouts on fly. That can be remedied.

REI Camp Dome: cheap, rugged, just 2 stakes hot in summer (not enough mesh).

Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2: My favorite of all. Good headroom; large vestibules for air flow; lots of mesh; rugged and waterproof; simple design (4 stakes); large doors with easy entry; rain doesn’t enter when you open the doors. There are tons of positive reviews for this tent. You can usually find it for $99. It is well worth that price, equal in quality to tents costing much more.

EMS was doomed
They were great in the 1970s, but after that they never developed a corporate image that distinguished them, as REI, LL Bean, Cabela’s, and others did so well. High prices, uninspiring equipment designs (like tents).

Can’t you read ?
The OP is looking for a "lightweight solo tent


Why get snarky?
Reading all…the tents are good for solo.

Today tents that are marketed as solo tents often are simply a tall bivvy.

Totally agree.
These days when considering tent capacities I summarily remove one person. In my mind two person is tent speak for one person and gear or two persons who don’t mind spooning all night.

in response to why a solo?
Price is part of the factor, and my current tent is as 1 person put it “not much more than a bivy”.But i am okay with that. I am short and still can get a gearbag in with me just fine. So cheaper and little is good for me.

Thanks for all your tips…leaning toward the MRS Hubba solo.

Mgmnt seldom really looks at details…
>They are closing the headquarters in Peterborough,NH and laid off approx. 116 employees. I noticed that the were having great sales unlike anything i had ever seen them do in the store in Concord, NH.


That’s so mgmnt can party more vacation-style wkends. You might think I’m joking…well go ahead, but I’ve seen my share of US Corporate bozos who don’t know their business…and relish looking to a company’s future plans like our politicians look forward to paying off the national debt.

Similar problem when not packed.
I store all my tents together in a loose condition inside a huge box (no folding, no rolling, no packing of any kind when in storage). All of them have been doing fine for years, but the rain fly of my MSR Hubba has turned gooey and a bit sticky to the touch after just a few years. It started happening after about two years, if I recall. It still works, but I can see how leaving it tightly packed for an extended time would be a disaster. The stuff bag, which is made of the same material as the fly, has had the same thing happen to it.

Solo tents and comfort

– Last Updated: Feb-15-13 8:57 PM EST –

I know what you mean. I use a solo tent quite often, though only in the summer because that's the only season my solo tent is good for. Actually, I use the same tent you are considering and I like it a lot (though you might check out my "very slight complaint" about the tent which I posted in response to an earlier remark in this thread). I find that I can put as much overnight gear and clothes to be needed in the morning as I could ever need, along with my shoes, inside the vestibule, and still have more than enough empty ground leftover on which to walk/crawl in and out. Usually I use a solo tent to reduce the weight and volume of stuff that I carry, because sometimes I simply enjoy having less stuff with me. Other times I don't care as much about gear size and load, or perhaps the weather will help me decide to use a two-person tent instead. It's all a matter of what my priorities are for a given trip.

Anyway, I usually just chuckle when someone is adamant that solo tents are way too small. In most cases when someone says that, my immediate reaction is "okay, here's another guy who became really big on his path toward middle age." That's not an insult to anyone in general or in particular, especially because many of my very good paddling friends fit that description, but of course that's something that colors a person's perception of what size tent is "too small". I didn't become huge in reaching this age, and I also didn't become less flexible as I got older (much the opposite in fact, and that was my choice even more so than not getting bigger), and therefore I can be just as comfortable in a solo tent now as was the case when I was in high school (and even more comfortable for things like changing clothes on account of my greater flexibility). This means I can understand perfectly when a small person says a solo tent is what he/she wants.