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Fuggedaboudit

Hilleberg Nallo 2/ Bibler I/ Stephenson 3R- Best?

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Hey Guys-

 

Thinking about buying a top notch tent. Primary use would be for 3-4 day climbs. Obviously the big concerns are weight, weather resistance and practicality as a mountaineering shelter. The tent will be pitched on snow most of the time.

 

I have been kicking around three options- the Nallo 2, the Bibler I-Tent (Integral Design), and the Stephensons Warmlite 3R. A few considerations are that I am 6'3" and 195#. Second, for me a vestibule without a floor is a very important feature (that boot/cooking hole). Although the Stephenson is the lightest, and extra pound or two is not going to be the #1 factor for me. Also the Stephenson is about $200 more seam sealed than a Nallo 2(which would add a few oz.s anyway right?). The big turn off with the Stephenson for me is that there isnt a vestibule without a floor for cooking. I also think the material they are made of isnt flame resistant. The turn off with the Bibler/Integral Design is that you have to buy a vestibule which, once added makes it more expensive than the Nallo 2 and weigh about the same packed. Furthermore I've read reviews by guys over 6' who are squashed in a I-Tent. All I've heard about the Hillbergs are that they are Bomber Bomber Bomber and have an awesome customer service/warranty and really stand behind their product.

 

But all of these are assumptions by me. I'm hoping to hear from any of you out there who have used one of these three tents, especially on "up and over" climbs such as Liberty Ridge. I also feel that any tent for $500 or more should be durable, and last for a dozen climbs at least. Thanks ahead of time for you input!

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I bought the I Designs MK2 XL w/ vestibule and have taken it on a few trips so far.

 

It's really nice. The seams were taped when I got it (I've heard that bibler doesn't do this any more but that is unverified). I like the fact that there are two doors and that the mesh is on the outside of the door. I'm 6'-0" and I can fully stretch out with a little room to spare. 6-3 might be pushing it though.

 

Good luck w/ whatever you deside to go with.

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Bibler is still taping all seams. It's the new BD EPIC tents that have unsealed seams.

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I've an Eldo and an I-tent that BD/Bibler made specifically to fit on BD ledge (zippers in the floor for the fins, abrasion resistance on one side of the tent, etc) but can also be used with out the ledge. These two have preformed within my expectations such that I have had no reason to want to change teams. BD has also given excellent warranty coverage on the eldo (always free of charge even though it was my fault). A good person to talk to would be Jim at Pro Mountain sports; he could offer a lot of insight into this question that no other shop (even REI… that’s for you cracked) could offer. I would encourage you to lay down in an I tent (and any others you are considering) to ensure its the correct height.

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The I Designs MK1 XL is a nice compromise between the Eldo and I-tent...the MK1xl is as long as the Eldo so taller folks can still stretch out, but its as narrow as the I-tent, so you can keep the tent weight to a minimum. Opting for the MK1xl's lightweight floor option makes up for the added weight of adding the second door option and still the two-door Mk1xl ends up being lighter than a one-door Eldorado.

 

..whoops, I had written "MK2" in this post earlier, thanks for noticing my mistake Josh, sorry for any confusion.

Edited by pete_a

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One doored Bibler Eldorado with a hanging butane stove is your ticket..... Perfect for Lib Ridge... At least we thought so...

 

-Fear

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Do you guys mean the MK*1* XL? I wasn't aware there was an MK2. The Integral tents are awesome; cheaper and better than biblers. There pole attachments and corner cups are of a much better design and I think the vents are superior as well.

 

I would personally never get a hilleberg or stephenson for an alpine tent. Ease of pitch and footprint size are a much bigger concern for me. Pulling out my MK, throwing myself and pack inside it, *then* setting up while the snow and wind blew outside was awesome. Can't do that with any other style of tent.

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Hey Guys-

 

Thinking about buying a top notch tent. Primary use would be for 3-4 day climbs. Obviously the big concerns are weight, weather resistance and practicality as a mountaineering shelter. The tent will be pitched on snow most of the time.

 

I have been kicking around three options- the Nallo 2, the Bibler I-Tent (Integral Design), and the Stephensons Warmlite 3R. A few considerations are that I am 6'3" and 195#. Second, for me a vestibule without a floor is a very important feature (that boot/cooking hole). Although the Stephenson is the lightest, and extra pound or two is not going to be the #1 factor for me. Also the Stephenson is about $200 more seam sealed than a Nallo 2(which would add a few oz.s anyway right?). The big turn off with the Stephenson for me is that there isnt a vestibule without a floor for cooking. I also think the material they are made of isnt flame resistant. The turn off with the Bibler/Integral Design is that you have to buy a vestibule which, once added makes it more expensive than the Nallo 2 and weigh about the same packed. Furthermore I've read reviews by guys over 6' who are squashed in a I-Tent. All I've heard about the Hillbergs are that they are Bomber Bomber Bomber and have an awesome customer service/warranty and really stand behind their product.

 

But all of these are assumptions by me. I'm hoping to hear from any of you out there who have used one of these three tents, especially on "up and over" climbs such as Liberty Ridge. I also feel that any tent for $500 or more should be durable, and last for a dozen climbs at least. Thanks ahead of time for you input!

I've used both the Bibler Eldorado and the Stephenson Warmlite 3R. For bombproof shelter in the alpine, there really is no comparison. Go with the Bibler. During a windy night at Camp Muir, the Warmlite 3R ripped open. The winds were maybe 40 kph, not super windy but pretty gusty. The Warmlite 3R tent is a terrible design for alpine use, because it is very vulnerable to a strong cross-wind, and because it requires tremendous longitudinal tension on the guy lines to give any structural integrity for the tent. The Bibler at least has some structural integrity even without guy lines-- if the weather is really nuking outside, you can get inside the tent and erect the poles from inside. Furthermore, the Stephenson manufacturer claims the middle hoop for the 3R is "optional" and really not needed, and that the tent can withstand hurricane force winds (150 mph or something crazy like that). The "optional" middle hoop is the only way the thing seems to have a prayer of withstanding a strong crosswind, and the 150 mph claim, well, that's pretty hard to believe. I don't know, maybe they've changed the design of the 3R since 1999. But I'll never use a Warmlite on an alpine climb again.

 

For alpine climbing, sometimes one has to pitch the tent in a sub-optimal location or a confined space. Perhaps on a snow platform in a schrund, or on a small ledge. It may not be feasible to optimally guy out the tent. With the 3R, it seems like you'd be kind of screwed in such a case. I know there are quite a few fanatics of the 3R, and probably they will cry "user error", but it seems to me that for alpine climbing, you want something that is bombproof and idiot-proof. The Bibler is as close as I've ever seen to satisfying those two conditions. Then again, I've never tried the Integral Designs tents...

 

However, no tent is perfect. The Todd-Tex fabric won't breathe quite as well as many other tents on the market. The problem is less of an issue if you have the two-door version of the tent, because you get good cross-ventilation. If you go with the single-door tent (which makes sense, to save weight), you'll want to consider the somewhat sub-optimal ventilation of the tent in selecting a sleeping bag. Folks commonly gripe about the small reinforced areas in the corners where the pole end sticks; it's a valid complaint, but not a show-stopper for me. If I could change one thing about the tent, it would be to enlarge/improve the ventilation openings at the top of the tent. Just a bit more ventilation for the single-door model, and it would truly be perfect.

 

These days my partner and I use an I-Tent exclusively, since we are both under 5'6" in height. I could totally see how someone over 6 feet tall would not fit into the I-Tent. It's quite small, even for a short person like me. But of course, it's very light.

 

About the Bibler vestibule, yup, it's expensive and adds weight. Have you considered a hanging isobutane-propane stove setup instead? I do own the Bibler vestibule, but have only used it once within the last 30 trips or so. It never seemed worth the weight. As for stowing boots, we just put the plastic shells in a garbage bag and keep the inner boots in the tent. Particularly on carry-over type climbs, the vestibule seems like an unnecessary luxury.

 

Finally, regarding durability, you can expect that the Bibler tent will last a lot longer than a dozen trips, at least for short trips in the Cascades (probably different if you're talking a dozen Alaskan expeditions). I've used my I-Tent on at least 30 trips, and it still looks like new.

 

Anyhow, the Bibler is a fantastic tent, especially for pitching in confined spaces and carry-over type climbs.

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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FYI...The integral tents use the same fabric as the biblers. "Todd-tex" is just the name for that DuPont PTFE laminate and fuzzy lining.

 

Compare the "cups" that hold the poles in the corners between the biblers and the integral. The biblers use this small little "button" that you have to get the pole into. The integrals use a big strong hypalon-type pocket that you could get the pole into even if you were blind. The integral design is wwaayyy better...that is what sold me. The lower price helped too.

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Yikes! Those tents are tiny! Shorter than me, if I stand on my toes. hellno3d.gif My bivy sack is five inches longer!

 

And that Firstlight would be SO cool. cry.gifcry.gif

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FYI...The integral tents use the same fabric as the biblers. "Todd-tex" is just the name for that DuPont PTFE laminate and fuzzy lining.

 

Compare the "cups" that hold the poles in the corners between the biblers and the integral. The biblers use this small little "button" that you have to get the pole into. The integrals use a big strong hypalon-type pocket that you could get the pole into even if you were blind. The integral design is wwaayyy better...that is what sold me. The lower price helped too.

True, the "button" is kind of lame. But I'm already too heavily invested in Team Bibler, to switch teams now...

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Yikes! Those tents are tiny! Shorter than me, if I stand on my toes. hellno3d.gif My bivy sack is five inches longer!

 

And that Firstlight would be SO cool. cry.gifcry.gif

Hey Paul, it's all about perspective. Those tents aren't tiny. You're just gigantic. tongue.gif

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Guys thanks alot, especially Stephen Ramsey, Fear and NOLSe. I have decided to throw out the Stephenson and the Hilleberg so now its down to the Eldorado and the Integral Designs MK1 XL. I have checked out the Pro Mountain Sports website, and a friend who is an AMGA guide had previously told me that that was an awesome store and they REALLY know what they're doing over there. They recommend the MK1 XL with the light floor option. They also offer the tent in Event for $80 more which drops the weight 6oz. That brings the packed weight down to 3lbs 15oz!!

 

How You Dooin?

 

The MK1 XL in Event with the light floor sounds like the hotrod setup right there, and I wont always be worried about its durability or strength in wind like with the Stephenson. I also want to thank you guys that pointed me towards the hanging stove setup. I've never used it before but had thought of it (every time my white gas stove flares up during priming). I'm going to get an MSR hanging kit and use it on a few overnights in the Aidirondacks before I try the system for the first time in the NW. That takes care of the vestibule (thanks Fear).

 

By the way, Integral's customer service told me the tent comes fully taped and sealed except for the eight points on the inside where the velcro straps holding the two poles are stiched onto the tent (since this happens after the tent is sewn and sealed). They supply sealer for this with the tent.

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FYI...The integral tents use the same fabric as the biblers. "Todd-tex" is just the name for that DuPont PTFE laminate and fuzzy lining.

 

Compare the "cups" that hold the poles in the corners between the biblers and the integral. The biblers use this small little "button" that you have to get the pole into. The integrals use a big strong hypalon-type pocket that you could get the pole into even if you were blind. The integral design is wwaayyy better...that is what sold me. The lower price helped too.

True, the "button" is kind of lame. But I'm already too heavily invested in Team Bibler, to switch teams now...

 

FWIW my 1-door Eldo (made 1-2 years ago) has the corner button AND large hypalon-type pockets.

 

I just stab the pole in there and worry about finding the button later... Oh wait... we're talking about tents...

 

Averages a 4 minute setup time(For poles and basic structure). 30 minutes to anchor it....

 

-Faer

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Compared to the ID tent, installing the Bibler vestibule is a pain in the ass as well. All those little velcro thingies are hard to fix when my fingers are frozen and the wind is blowing.

 

The ID vestibule just zips on. No gaps.

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I have the Eldo and now I got the setup down to 45 sec…

the one thing I done and it works better them those metal dinky snaps is, I used an old rubber crampons point guard on the tip of the pole (4 all together) and I don’t even bothers finding the metal snaps thingies. Just let the poles do their natural curve thing and fasten it with the Velcro thingies

BOMBER

Now there is an Idea for BD make a rubber feet that u can put on the poles about 1-1/2” -2” long and ½ Dial and forget about the metal snaps thingies altogether with those rubber feet the setup time is less then a minute the tent is even more waterproof and less time consuming to make and easier to seal…

BTW I will be the first costumer for commercially made specific poles feet if BD went that route

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Well, you threw out the 3R, but here are my comments anyway.

 

If you're camping on snow and or have a large tentpad, the 3R is great. I used mine for innumerous days in the N. Cascades over the years and took it on my recent trip to Bolivia.

 

Me, and all my climbing partners, are 6'+ and love the space of the 3R. 2 climbers and all their gear no problem. for short trips 3 people fit.

 

As for the middlepole - I just bought one and like how it tensions the tent. I went years without it, but it does cut down on the flapping.

 

Windproof and stormproof, you bet. It's big so setting it up in a crosswind will be noisy, but it's bomber.

 

As far as a general alpine tent (summers in the cascades), I might look into a 2X as a future purchase.

 

my 2 cents

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Fuggedaboudit: This is probably too late, and while I've never used the ID, I ended up getting the Bibler I-tent Alpine instead. The choices were down to the ID v. the Bibler. The only thing that nudged me toward the Bibler was the lack of velcro in securing the poles to the tent. A guiding buddy of mind pointed this out, stating the velcro is a bitch to get around the poles when cold, with gloves on - and god forbid if the velcro gets snow in there.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

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For what it is worth, I thought I'd be the lone supporter of the Hilleberg. I bought the Nallo GT 2 last year and it has proven itself over a dozen trips since on Rainier, the Olympics and in Wyoming's Wind River Range in really crap conditions. It comes seam sealed, packs light and small (you can find the numbers) and has a monster vestibule without floor. It took the first 2 trips to get the set-up dialed in, but once I got it tuned in it has proved itself to be the best tent I've ever owned. Anyway, I saw no one commenting on the Hilleberg's, in case you've ruled them out on that basis alone.

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I also have Hilleberg Nallo, but not the GT version - just a regular one. Excellent quality tent. Very lightweight. The vestibule is great for cooking and storing gear. Even had 3 people in the tent for 2 days in a stormy weather on mt. Baker. It's been with me to Bolivia, to the Alps, etc.. The only drawbacks - condensation may be an issue if you do not vent accordingly and the setup time is longer than for Bibler or ID. It's a double wall tent but the fly is attached to the tent when you set it up so there is no separate step for the fly setup. Definitely the best weight to space/comfort ratio of the 4-season 2-person tents.

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