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Wesley Laws

Backpacking tents: Freestanding or not.

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I just recently purchased a tent from REI.com and I didn't know it wasn't a free standing tent. My question is what tents do you prefer, which is better, etc? I'll be using it for mostly mountain climbing Hood, Rainier, Baker, etc..

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I'm just another newbie, but here's my 2 cents worth, based on limited experience. Last June my buddy and I hunkered down on Hood for about 24 hrs, with snow, freezing rain and probably 40-50 mph winds, in an REI quarterdome tent. We got alot of wind and some snow inside thru the mesh tent walls. The day before when we hiked up to the triangle moraine, it was sunny and temps in the 40's, so things can change quickly even in summer. To its credit the tent held up, but especially after going online afterwards and seeing that shortly after we bailed there were gusts up to 91 mph, we decided we needed something with less mesh and so I bought a NF Mtn 25. It's probably overkill, and I know there are tents just as storm-worthy which weigh less, but we'll try it out on Baker soon. So I guess I have to agree w/ Lou Whittaker that saving weight in a mt tent by using alot of mesh, is like saving weight by drilling holes in your spoon. Many many times I've wondered about what we'd have done if we'd stayed another night up there, and the tent would've ripped to shreds......in the dark, 91 mph winds, 2 feet of new snow,and the temps dropping.

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What are the benefits to having a non freestanding tent if any?

 

Fewer poles generally = lighterweight.

 

 

Non-freestanding tents might make sense for backpacking, but they are not a good choice for above treeline/mountain use.

 

For your stated uses, I'd recommend you look for a 4-season tent. Four season tents are built to take higher wind loads and they don't have mesh walls, or the mesh can be sealed/covered, thereby preventing snow and cold air from blowing into your tent keeping you drier and warmer.

 

Peruse THIS FORUM for some advice.

 

THIS RECENT THREAD in particular should help you out.

 

 

Regarding:

I just recently purchased a tent from REI.com and I didn't know it wasn't a free standing tent.

For christsakes at least take a tent out of the package and set it up in the store before you buy it. :rolleyes:

 

 

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I've only had freestanding tents, so I can't compare. I will add that for features in a 2 person tent, I like 2 doors and 2 vestibules.

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Which is better - freestanding or not. Well...depends on the tent. Theoretically an identical tent in either version should perform the same, the freestanding model would be easier to set up; and you can always stake down a freestanding tent after it's been set up. If you're on rock a non-freestanding tent becomes a bit problematic. The biggest factor in deciding on a tent for climbing is a 3 season or 4 season model. A 4 season will withstand far greater wind and snow loads, but will be heavier.

 

For any of the volcanos around here I would prefer a 4 season. I've seen some 3 season models flattened by wind, poles bent, or worse ripped to shreds.

 

What tent did you buy?

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I dislike non-freestanding tents. I had one and ended up giving it away to a friend. I'm a bit lazy and the hassle of having to stake it out correctly wasn't worth it. If weight is a concern bivy without a tent or splurge for a single wall tent from BD. Also if you are looking for a tent to take above tree-line a freestanding tent is the only way to go.

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Regarding:

I just recently purchased a tent from REI.com and I didn't know it wasn't a free standing tent.

For christsakes at least take a tent out of the package and set it up in the store before you buy it. :rolleyes:

 

Hence why I put REI.com. They don't have the tent I bought in the store. I think I'm going to return it and get a freestanding tent. Thanks everyone...

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Look for a scrath and dent sale. Call the different locations.

Great deals and there are always a few tents.

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I have two tents I take out for trips other than car camping. First is a BD megalight (non-free standing) and an integral designs MK3.

 

Both tents at the sh^t but have thier place. Mega for at or below tree line. MK3 for above tree line or exposed areas. Have had both in heavy snow and both work for that. Blowing snow MK3. My first choice is the Megamid for any trip but if conditions warrent it I will take the MK3.

Edited by letsroll

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Thanks Y'ALL for remembering me.

 

Zat ez so cool...

 

Ze suppozed inventor of ze spring-loaded camming device and former Yosemite hard-man particularly recommends ze builders' plastic among other no-fuss alternatives. Ve spek of Ray Jardine........

 

Ef Wal-Mart carries zat stuff ve dunno, but ouh knows about ze "Eypermartz" in your cuontry?

 

Meanwhile, good luck to all on ze next trip into "ze orrible Death Zone" of summer Cascades, where "only ze finest equipment" can keeps ze bravest uf man from ze blackest and sadest of ze endings. Etz about ze jhob? No? U vent to Uhneverzity?? Zo nice to byu vat chou like vom ze lovely katalog dat ve like.

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That guy really is on crack.

I gots me a wallymart tent, and it is nice to car camp with in balmy weather. But I also have a 4 season tent which goes in the pack when I am doing something other than car camping.

I would get rid of the non-freestanding tent and get one that stands up alone. The REI half-dome tent is pretty ballin'.

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That's like OMG so true dude, fer shure, that like fer sure when you like go to those like totally rad places? Like, fer shure, man when I soloed Cho Oyu or like that time on like Mt Erebus, fer shure, with my old chick friend and like that chick dog?

 

Like dude, oh, baby, I'd like so totally wanna buy, fer shure, like those Swedish jobs or if you're a Pisces I'd like wanna buy somethin' from like REI or like definitely check out one of those Chouinard stores at thuh mall! Gag me with a pitchfork!! Oh, wow!! Oh, wow!

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That's like, dude, so articulate fer shure, and cool, like I dunno like even know what to say!!!

 

It's like, vhen I was on Makalu wiz my dog wrapped in builders' plastic, I zed zis guy dat "consumate douchebag" would know zat "ze finest ekvipment zat Geld kan buy is vat you vants alvaayz ven nozing elz vill doo fhu ze azent until you die!!"

 

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It's pretty clear that you are mountaineering and not backpacking. You want a 4 season tent if you are climbing volcanoes. There are some nominally three season tents that will work, for example the Walrus Rapeed, but you want to go freestanding.

 

Having said all that, I've backpacked in the Sierra with an ultralight tarp tent and it did great in a big thunderstorm (well guyed out).

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The California Sierra in summer is the classic "Death Zone" for tents.

 

Washington's North Cascades are well-known as a far more dangerous place and requires nothing less than "Technical Tents."

 

Anything less is simply asking for death.

 

It's a very complex subject, not readily understood without many years of experience as well as a substantial credit card limit....

Without these prerequisites...

You Will Certainly Die.

 

 

 

Edited by johndavidjr

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no insurance

 

Oh....AND PLEASE DON'T ASK US TO RESCUE YOU ---effen y'all don't buy a very expensive tent.

 

I for one, have ten chil'en and three wives dat needs me sorely.....ah don' need'ta go dyin' on account y'all bought some tent dat wazn't 'zpensive 'nuff........

Edited by johndavidjr

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YO John what is the deal man? Somebody is asking for honest advise on something, and you are just spraying up a storm with what reads like dribble. How about instead of attacking, or mocking, the other posters you offer up your piece of advice and why/how it works for you. Think about it if you had just bought your first piece of gear for a new hobby and you had a few questions..... Would you want somebody writing nonsense?

 

Wes, if you pick your weather windows right almost anything will work for you. One of the most important features that I have found is how well the tent guys out. The more taught the tent is the quieter it will be and the less likley it will blow away when you are not there (I am sure you know this).

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The California Sierra in summer is the classic "Death Zone" for tents.

 

Washington's North Cascades are well-known as a far more dangerous place and requires nothing less than "Technical Tents."

 

Anything less is simply asking for death.

 

It's a very complex subject, not readily understood without many years of experience as well as a substantial credit card limit....

Without these prerequisites...

You Will Certainly Die.

 

 

 

ROTFLMAO!!!

 

If there's enough room for a tent, you're not on a hard enough route.

 

seriously now...

 

free standing a little more usable, non a little lighter

 

prefer single layer gore tex for less weight

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a tent? shit if you can't drag an RV where ever it is you're going...why the fuck are you going there? One of them nice country coaches for sure. Totally wind and waterproof. Plus a place to shag.

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