Hoops can be pitched tight
My first tent was a SierraWest (one of the first ultralight makers) with two hoops. Weighed all of 2.5 lbs and was so low even I had to enter by, basically, crawling in on my back.

Comfortable for anything more than sleeping overnight, no. But it did its job surprisingly well. On a trip to Hawaii, my first night the sweltering humid heat had me appreciating the mainly-mesh body with the roll-back fly. The second night, the flooding rains pounded down literally all night–tree over 100 ft tall were losing limbs and I began to fear being speared by one of them. No leaks whatsoever. The third night, high winds made the two hoops repeatedly flex down so they were on my face, but in the morning, mine was one of only two tents in the campground that were still intact (the other one was also a hoop design).

I would not enjoy being holed up during the day in such a tent, but it was a supercompact, light, easy to pitch tent, and sometimes I actually miss it.

big agnes seedhse 2
yuo can get it for $137! I got the sl (superlight) version for 200! Great tents light discreet color which is something to consider if you ever plan on stealth camping…forget the orange "hey I am over here color!

North Face
When I bought my backpacking tent, I ended up paying a little more and getting a North Face tent. My tent was damaged by an animal on a trip to Canada last summer. I did some rough patches while I was there, and when I got home I sent it to TNF’s repair department. I knew that the repairs wouldn’t be covered by warranty, but the tent was new and I wanted it repaired right. I had decided ahead of time how much I would be willing to spend on repairs. When I got the call with the estimate, they were a little under my figure. They repaired my tent the same day, and shipped it the next day. The whole process took 10 days, including shipping it to California and back to Michigan.

When buying gear, I don’t rule out TNF because they are more expensive. The great customer service is worth it!


– Last Updated: Sep-12-07 8:49 AM EST –


you can find it cheaper at other places on the net. its slightly longer then the seedhouse.. you can also get the smaller versions.

I own and use an Eureka Spitfire. I like it a lot, though my buddies call it “The Coffin”. :slight_smile: But there is enough room for me and a change of clothes, flashlight, and book. Plus there is a small vestibule for boots and a water bottle. The one thing I don’t like is that there is a second vesitibule but it is not accessible from inside the tent. Weird.

It has been on six BWCA trips. As you may know, getting a stake into the ground at a BWCA campsite is very iffy. Seldom do I get all the stakes in and a couple of times where I have gotten none in. The nice thing is that the Spitfire only needs two stakes to hold it up (one at each end), and actually doesn’t need a stake at all as long as there are rocks around, or tree roots or shrubs to tie to. I just tie a cord to the stake loop, wrap it around a 10 pound rock, and pull the tent tight. Works well.

Backcountry 1
I have both the Spitfire 1 and the Spitfire 2 adn both a really nice tents. Solid.

If you really need something freestanding, look at the Eureka Backcountry 1 at campmor.com.

zephyr 1
I ended up getting the alps mountaineering zephyr 1 tent. 3 lbs 9 oz true weight (digital scale) with stakes and fly. I have tyvek for a groundcloth so I will be at 3lbs 11 oz.

The 3lbs 14 oz total weight stated on the website is being conservative.


got it for 66 bucks and I can give up the 150 bucks for the half pound. :slight_smile:


Sweet Tent!
That is a really nice looking tent. I’m 6’5" and found the Spitfire 1 a big too short for me - that is why I got the Spitfire 2. The Zephyr 1 looks like it might provide more useable length, even though it’s overall length is shorter than the Spitfire 1.

Did you use the Scouter discount?

I use a Alps Mountaineering Meramac 6 for my “Scoutmaster’s tent” and REALLY like it. I can even stand up in it to put pants on. Its just for car camping - way too heavy for backpacking or hauling around.

The Spitfire 2 makes a VERY roomy solo tent weighing in at about 5 lbs with footprint and sack.

I’ve long been a Eureka buyer/user, but the Alps tent is impressive. I don’t think I’ll ever buy a tent with pole sleeves again, that’s for sure.

No-one mentioned Hilliberg yet. Maybe less known in the States but very well respected in Europe. I have not tried their solo tents but used the Jannu, Keron GT and Nallo GT a lot. They are probably the most useful, weight efficient and robust tents I have ever used, and I have camped out in some extreem conditions. GT means the porch is big enough to sleep in, we had 5 people comfortable dry and warm in a 3 man tent when their well know “name” tent failed. The worse the weather gets the more I know I made the right choice.

I have heard great things about those tents. I am just geting into backpacking and just like a new kayaker, looking for the do all tent with the usual compormises. this one fits the bill perfectly for now. As I start cutting my toothbrush in half and using a quarter of a scrubbing pad, one soap for washing everything from my hair to my teeth to save weight, then maybe a 9 oz tarp and ground sheet will be appealing.


Some things to consider, Paul.
I’m fairly attuned to the go light philosophy, having read Ray Jardine’s book Beyond Backpacking, which I recommend. For a tarp I would consider the Integral Designs sil-nylon 8x10 which weighs less than a pound. It was perfect for 2 guys to sit under on a 9 day backpacking trip.

Regarding tents, I try to make them light, roomy and built to take rough weather. Single wall shelters are good on weight, however, some designs breath better than others. My Black Diamond Skylight breathes well and is roomy. However, single walls can be a pain in rainy conditions as you might have to put a wet tent into a bag in the morning and put up the wet tent in the evening, then mop it out a bit. Tents that have inseperable fly and body construction also have this issue. It’s not a deal killer for me, but it is a consideration.

I’ve got at least 6 weeks logged into my Hennessey hammock, but it requires trees. When it’s cold you need to have an insulated pad along to sleep over. Ground bivies are ok, but I can’t down with the idea of sleeping in one for more than 3 nights. Trying to put on kayaking clothes in the bivy is nothing short of ridiculous.

The other tents you should look at are Exped, a Swiss company, Black Diamond and Hilleburg. I was never impressed with the freestanding is better than non freestanding argument. A tent not staked down well will be a free sailing tent in a matter of minutes.


I also have the hennessy and it is my preferred mode of shelter too. However I do not have the down pod for it and wanted a small lightweight tent for the occasional times i may be over a tree line or camping in fields with no trees. so am pretty happy with what I got. I will always take the Hennessy whenever possible.

have you experimented with making the hennessy into a ground shelter? I need to do that.


I was ona trip where I thought I would
have to, though I ended up not having to. That said, my plan was to use 2 paddles, one on each end. I would tie off the rope around each paddle. the paddle would be anchored well into the sand. I would then use the rest of the rope to further anchor the paddle with a deadman or rock or something. By doing that on the bottom and top of the hammock I could get enough tension for the fly to keep the rain off of me and enough height of the canopy to blouse out for the mesh to protect me. The sides can be staked out to also create a useable sleeping area. Hope this helps.

Oh, if you want a great solo tent, check this out:



How about
one of these






Too many good ones out there…

Best Wishes