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November 2017 Issue
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2017’s best three-season tents

Featured tent: MSR Hubba Hubba NX ($859.99)
Camping brings us closer to nature and these three-season tents, with mesh canopies that protect from biting insects and allow unimpeded views of the night sky, get us closer still. 

Fly
The fly creates an insulating air layer between it and the inner. Silicone and polyurethane (PU) coatings increase water-resistance and improve waterhead ratings.

Floor
Tub floors will keep water and snow out of the tent. Like the tent’s fly, floors are waterhead rated, generally between 1200mm and 10,000mm. Lighter floors are less durable and can allow seepage in very damp conditions. It’s essential to carry a footprint for these models.

Inner
Mesh is used liberally to promote airflow and provide a bright, breezy environment. Summer-use tents can be constructed almost entirely of mesh while colder weather tents will have a combination of mesh and ripstop fabric.

Livability
The tent’s floor area and vestibule space indicate how much room there is, but equally important is the ceiling height. Vertical walls provide a more livable interior by creating more space and headroom.

Access and vestibules
Double entrance tents have several advantages: they typically have two vestibules for storing gear and provide convenient access. They also allow more airflow and ventilation options than single entrance tents.

Ventilation
Mesh inners and vents on the fly reduce condensation and regulate temperature. Fly vents should maximise airflow without the risk of rain blowing inside. Most vestibule doors unzip from top and bottom to create airflow when needed.

Guylines
These help the tent maintain its shape and prevent poles from snapping in strong winds. There will be multiple guy attachment points but, often, a bare minimum of guylines. It may pay to buy extras.

Pegs
Shaped to hold in soft soil and snow. The manufacturer will supply the bare minimum and it may pay to buy extras.

Poles
The more poles, the sturdier, and heavier, the tent will be. Many tents come with a single pole with a ‘hub’ that has extra lengths of pole branching off. Poles are designed to bend, though they can break if the tent is not pitched correctly.

Pitching
Tents are often referred to as multi-pitch and freestanding.
Freestanding means the tent supports itself once the poles are inserted (it still needs to be pegged out). Multi-pitch refers to the ways the tent can be used: with or without the fly, or fly only.

Now you know what to look for, it’s time to choose a tent…

Marmot Force UL $1099
Two person
Two entrances and vestibules, vertical walls, full coverage fly with vents, free-standing, seam taped floor, colour coded easy-pitch clips, poles and fly, headlamp pocket, interior pockets. Fly 20D Polyester, PU coated, 1500mm Inner 15D No-See-Um mesh Floor 20D nylon, 1800mm Poles 3, DAC Area 2.6m², vestibules 0.73m², 0.35m² Weight 1320g (max); 1100g (min).

 

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2 Platinum $1049.95
Two person
Two doors and vestibules, double wall, dual zipper door, mesh inner, pre-cut guy lines and tensioners attached to fly, taped seams, mesh pockets, 107cm ceiling height. Fly Nylon ripstop, PU coating, 1200mm Inner Polyester mesh Floor Nylon ripstop, PU coating, 1200mm Poles DAC Featherlite Area 2.7m², vestibules 0.84m² each Weight 1088g (max), 952.5g (min).

MSR FreeLite 3 $999.99
Three person
Freestanding double wall tent, two entrances, two vestibules, vertical side walls, 100cm ceiling height, interior pockets. Fly 15D ripstop nylon DuraShield coated, 1200mm Inner 10D nylon micromesh Floor 15D ripstop nylon with DWR, 1200mm DuraShield Poles 1, 7000 Series aluminum Area 3.67m², vestibules 0.81m² each Weight 1560g (max); 1340g (min).

 

Terra Nova Laser Competition 2 $949
Two person
Two doors, single vestibule, multi-pitch, fly and inner pitch as one, mesh ventilation panels, seam-sealed floor, 100cm ceiling height. Fly Terra Nova Watershed, 5000mm Floor Terra Nova Watershed, 6000mm Poles DAC Featherlite Area 2.07m², vestibule 0.92m² Weight 1250g (max), 1080g (min).

Marmot Tungsten UL $899
Two person
Vertical walls, two entrances and vestibules, free standing, lamp shade pocket, seam-taped full coverage fly with vents, seam-taped catenary cut floor, colour coded poles, interior pockets, jingle-free  zipper pulls. Fly 20D ripstop polyester,1200mm Floor 30D nylon 2000mm Poles 3, DAC Press-Fit Area 3m², vestibules 0.91m², 0.48m² Weight 1603g (max), 1470g (min).

Exped Venus II $899
Two person
Two entrances and vestibules, freestanding, 105cm ceiling height, numerous guylines, float pole sleeves to reduce wind resistance, double seam construction, guylines attach to the pole sleeves, seamless bathtub floor. Fly 40D ripstop polyester, 1500mm Inner 20D No-See-Um Mesh, flame retardant Floor 70D taffeta nylon, 10,000mm Poles DAC Featherlite Area 2.7m², vestibules 1.15m² each Weight 3100g (max), 2700g (min).

 

MSR Hubba Hubba NX $859.99
Two Person 
Two vestibules with stay-dry entrances, rainfly vent, adjustable vestibule for stargazer view and ventilation, reflective guylines, 100cm ceiling height, unified pole and hub system, multi-pitch. Fly 20D x 330T ripstop nylon, 1200mm Inner Ripstop nylon, micromesh Floor 30D x 262T ripstop nylon, Durashield PU, 3000mm Poles 1, DAC Featherlite NFL Area 2.7m², vestibules 0.81m² each Weight 1720g (max); 1540g (min).
The North Face Triarch 3 $850
Three person
Two entrances and vestibules, freestanding, multipitch, vaulted head and footbox, vertical side walls, dry entry, privacy mesh, high-low venting, footprint and gear loft included. Fly 15D ripstop nylon, 1200mm PU coating Inner Nylon, no-see-um mesh Floor 75D polyester taffeta, 3000mm PU coating Poles DAC, 9mm Area 3.7m², vestibules 0.69m² each Weight 2380g (max), 2180g (min).
 Exped Gemini II $799
Two person
Two entrances and vestibules, 110cm ceiling height, mesh pockets and gear loops, partial mesh inner, fly vents, tub floor. Fly 30D ripstop polyester, PU coated, 1500mm Inner 20D No-See-Um mosquito mesh, 30D ripstop polyester Floor 70D taffeta nylon, PU coated, 5000mm Poles 4, DAC Featherlight NSL Area 2.75m2, vestibules 2m2 Weight 2400g (max), 2200g (min).

Big Agnes Tufly Superlight 2 $789.99
Two person
Two entrances and vestibules, vertical walls, 109cm ceiling height, double zip door doubles as awning, privacy mesh, storage pockets, fly vents, reflective guylines, seam taped. Fly Nylon ripstop, 1200mm PU coating Inner Nylon ripstop, mesh Floor Nylon ripstop, 1500mm PU coating Poles DAC Pressfit Area 2.97m², vestibules 1.11m² Weight 2154g (max), 1899g (min).

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 $749.99
Two person
Free standing, steep sidewalls, 101cm ceiling height, two doors and vestibules, privacy mesh, multiple pockets, fly vent, taped seams, reflective guylines. Fly Nylon ripstop, PU coating, 1200mm Inner Nylon, polyester mesh Floor Nylon ripstop, silicon and PU coating, 1200mm Poles 2, DAC Featherlite NSL Area 2.69m², vestibule 0.84m² each Weight 1247g (max); 1388g (min).
Macpac Duolight $649.99
Two person
Two entrances and vestibules, seam taped, multi-pitch, mesh inner, internal pockets and lantern hook. Fly 20D Polyester ripstop, PE coating, 1200mm.  Inner 40D nylon ripstop Floor 40D nylon ripstop, 10,000mm Poles 3, DAC Featherlite NSL 9mm Area 3.08m², vestibules 0.66m² each Weight 2170g.

Marmot Catalyst $449
Two person
Seam-taped catenary cut floor, colour-coded poles, two entrances and vestibules, seam-taped, full-coverage fly with vents, interior pockets, lamp shade pocket, jingle-free nylon zipper pulls, footprint included.  Fly 68D polyester taffeta 190T, 1500mm Floor 68D polyester taffeta 190T, 2000mm Poles 3, Velocity 8mm Area 3m² , vestibules 0.88m², 0.62m² Weight 2130g (min) 2360g (max).

Wild Country Hoolie 4 $549
Four person
Single door and vestibule, seam taped fly and floor, fly and inner pitch as one, 125cm ceiling height, corner mesh pockets, half mesh front door. Fly Stormtex, 4000mm Floor Aqua Stop, 6000mm Poles 9.5mm Wild Country Superflex Alloy Area 5.06m², vestibule 1.21m² Weight 3600g (max), 3300g (min).  

Kiwi Camping Ruru 4 $399
Four person
Two doors and vestibules, tri-pegging system, roof loft door storage, tri-tensioners, speed clips, accessory pockets, fire retardant and SPF50 UV coating. Three year warranty. Fly 75D, 185T polyester, 4000mm Floor Poly-Oxford, 4000mm Poles Colour-coded aluminium Area 5.3m², vestibules 2.4m² each Weight 5200g.

Wild Country Zephyros 2 $329
Two person
Single door and vestibule, fly and inner pitch as one, seam-taped fly and floor, reflective guylines. Fly Stormtex, 4000mm Floor Aqua Stop, 6000mm Poles 1, 8.5mm Wild Country Superflex Alloy Area 2.1m², vestibule 0.85m² Weight 1810g (max), 1650g (min).

Kiwi Camping Weka 2 $249
Three person
Two doors and vestibules, tri-pegging system, roof loft door storage, tri-tensioners, speed clips, accessory pockets, fire retardant and SPF50 UV coating. Three year warranty. Fly 75D, 185T polyester, 4000mm Floor Poly-Oxford, 4000mm Poles Colour-coded aluminium Area 2.7m², vestibules 1.3m² each Weight 2400g.

 

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