Three-season tents prioritise weight and breathability by using a mesh canopy and lightweight fabrics. These tents are designed for use in all but the coldest weather.
Access and vestibules
Double entrance tents typically have two vestibules for storing gear and provide convenient access to the tent whilst avoiding trampling over your companions. They also allow more airflow and ventilation options than single entrance tents.
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 both top and bottom to create airflow when needed.
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.
The tent’s floor area and vestibule space indicate how much floor space there is, but just as important is the ceiling height and angle of the walls. Vertical walls, created through clever pole geometry, provide a more livable interior by creating more space and headroom.
Interior pockets can be found at the ends or sides, while loops on the ceiling can be used to attach a gear loft.
Guylines provide added support, particularly in strong winds. They will help the tent maintain its shape and prevent poles from snapping. There should be multiple guy points spaced around the tent, though in order to keep weight down, many manufacturers supply insufficient guylines. If that’s the case in your chosen model, buy some spares.
The fly creates an insulating air layer between it and the inner. It will be made from ripstop nylon or polyester fabric with some fly fabric weights being as light as 20 denier. All flys are treated with silicone or polyurethane
coatings to increase water-resistance and improve waterhead ratings.
Aluminium pegs are shaped to hold in soft soil and snow. As with guylines, the manufacturer will supply the bare minimum and it may pay to buy extras.
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.
Most tents have one or two poles. Those with a single pole have a ‘hub’ that has extra pole lengths branching from it. Poles are flexible and designed to bend, though are prone to breaking if used incorrectly or not adequately supported with guylines.
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. Lower rated floors will be lighter, but less durable and can allow seepage in very damp conditions. It’s essential to carry a separate footprint (which adds to the weight) for these models.
Big Agnes Fly Creek Carbon HV2 $1979.99
Semi freestanding with single-door and vestibule, single-pole, stay dry side-access vestibule, oversized ceiling pocket, media pockets, colour-coded webbing and buckles, guylines and tensioners. Fly Dyneema polyethylene Inner Ripstop nylon Floor Dyneema polyethylene Poles 1, Easton carbon fibre Ceiling height 101cm Area 2.6m², vestibule 0.65m² Weight 652g. www.gearshop.co.nz
MSR Hubba Hubba NX, $999.99
Two vestibules and stay-dry entrances, unified pole and hub system for maximum interior space, multi-pitch design, colour-coded adjustable stakeout loops, adjustable vestibule for ventilation, rainfly vent. Fly 20D ripstop nylon Xtreme Shield coated, 1200mm Inner 15D nylon micromesh, 20D ripstop nylon Floor 30D ripstop nylon, Xtreme Shield coated, 3000mm Poles 1, Easton Syclone Ceiling height 100cm Area 2.7m², vestibules 1.62m² Weight 1760g. www.ampro.co.nz
MSR FreeLite 2, $999.99
Freestanding, double-wall tent with micromesh canopy, easy-to-find red doors, Xtreme Shield waterproof coating, two vestibules, vertical side walls, interior pockets. Fly 15D nylon ripstop, 1200mm Inner 10D polyester micromesh Floor 15D ripstop nylon, 1200mm Poles 1, Easton Syclone Ceiling height 100cm Ceiling height 101cm Area 2.7m², vestibules 1.62m² Weight 1330g. www.ampro.co.nz
Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepack 2, $899.99
Freestanding with Shortstik poles for packing on bikes, two doors and vestibules, taped seams, internal mesh pockets, daisy-chain webbing loops on fly for drying clothes or storing helmet, colour-coded webbing and buckles. Fly Nylon ripstop, 1200mm Inner Ripstop nylon, polyester mesh Floor Nylon ripstop, 1200mm Poles 1, DAC Featherlite NSL Ceiling height 101cm Area 2.7m², vestibules 1.6m² Weight 1560g. www.gearshop.co.nz
Mont Moondance 2, $899.95
Freestanding, multi-pitch design, factory-taped seams, dual entrance and vestibules, zippered roof vent, internal mesh pockets, 3-point attachment reflective guy cords, eight pegs, tub floor. Fly 30D rip-stop nylon, 2000mm
Inner 20D rip-stop nylon, No-See-Um mesh Floor 40D nylon, 10,000mm+ laminated TPU Poles 2, DAC Featherlite NSL Ceiling height 100cm Area 2.76m², vestibules 1.23m² Weight 1910g. www.mont.com.au
Big Agnes Copper Spur, HV UL 2, $899.99
Freestanding, steep walls, two doors and vestibules, multiple internal pockets, fly vent, hook-and-loop tabs connect fly to poles, taped seams, reflective guylines. Fly Nylon ripstop, 1200mm Inner Nylon, polyester mesh Floor Nylon ripstop, 1200mm Poles 2, DAC Featherlite NSL Ceiling height 101cm Area 2.69m², vestibules 1.68m² Weight 1400g. www.gearshop.co.nz
Macpac Minaret, $899.99
Tunnel tent, sheltered vestibule, multi-pitch design, internal double doors and mesh stash pockets, four-vent airflow system. Fly UV30 SI – 30D nylon ripstop, 3000mm Inner 40D nylon ripstop, micromesh Floor Torrentwear XP 70D nylon, 10,000mm Poles 2, DAC Featherlite NSL Ceiling height 100cm Area 2.3m², vestibule 0.57m² Weight 2400g. www.macpac.co.nz
MSR Zoic 2, $799.99
MSR Xtreme Shield coating, two doors, built-in gear lofts, full micromesh canopy, wide floor, hubbed pole system allows for quick setup. Fly 40D ripstop nylon, 1500mm Inner 15D nylon micromesh Floor 70D taffeta nylon, 3000mm Poles 2, 7000 Series Aluminum Ceiling height 100cm Area 3.07m², vestibules 1.67m² Weight 2190g. www.ampro.co.nz
Exped Gemini II, $799
Two entrances and vestibules, steep walled, mesh pockets and gear loops, partial mesh inner, fly vents, guylines attach to poles, tub floor.
Fly 30D ripstop polyester, 1500mm Inner 20D No-See-Um mosquito mesh, 30D ripstop polyester Floor 70D taffeta nylon, 5000mm Poles 4, DAC Featherlight NSL, 9mm Ceiling height 110cm Area 2.75m², vestibules 2m²
Weight 2400g. www.bivouac.co.nz
Marmot Tungsten UL 2P, $799
Vertical walls, D-shaped doors, two vestibules, free-standing, lamp shade pocket, seam taped vented fly, seam-taped catenary cut floor, colour-coded poles, interior pockets, jingle-free zipper pulls. Fly 20D ripstop polyester,1200mm Inner 15D nylon mesh Floor 30D nylon, 2000mm Poles 3, DAC Press-Fit Ceiling height 107cm Area 3m², vestibules 1.39m² Weight 1603g. www.marmotnz.co.nz
MSR Elixir 2, $599.99
Two doors and vestibules, freestanding, colour-coded poles, skylight, dual rainfly vents, multiple pockets, vertical sidewalls, footprint included. Fly 68D ripstop polyester, 1500mm Inner 40D ripstop nylon, 20D micromesh Floor 70D taffeta nylon, 3000mm Poles 2, 7000 Series Aluminum Ceiling height 102cm Area 2.69m², vestibules 2.22m² Weight 2770g. www.ampro.co.nz
Marmot Catalyst 2P, $399.95
Seam-taped catenary cut floor, colour-coded poles, D-shaped doors, two vestibules, seam-taped, vented fly, interior pockets, lamp shade pocket, footprint included. Fly 68D polyester taffeta 190T, 1500mm Inner 40-denier
polyester mesh Floor 68D polyester taffeta 190T, 2000mm Poles 3,Velocity 8mm Ceiling height 109cm Area 3m², vestibules 1.5m² Weight 2360g. www.marmotnz.co.nz
Sierra Design Clip Flashlight 2, $399
PVC-free seam tape, Superseal floor, reflective door trim and guy outs, hanging pockets, D-door, colour-coded main door, inner clips to poles. Fly 68D 190T Poly Taffeta, 1500mm Inner 15D nylon mesh Floor 70D nylon tafetta, 3000mm Poles 2, DAC pressfit aluminum Ceiling height 106cm Area 2.78m², vestibule 0.81m² Weight 1760g. www.furtherfaster.co.nz
Kiwi Camping Weka 2, $299
Double entrances 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 Ceiling height 105cm Area 2.7m², vestibules 3m² Weight 2900g. www.kiwicamping.co.nz
Kiwi Camping Rifleman 2, $299
Double entrances with vestibules, tri-pegging system, fire retardant and SPF50 UV coating. Three-year warranty. Fly 75D, 185T polyester, 3000mm Floor Poly-Oxford, 4000mm Poles Aluminium Ceiling height 100cm Area Floor 2.1m², vestibules 3m² Weight 2400g. www.kiwicamping.co.nz
Vango Banshee Pro 200, $279.99
Pre-angled poles, fly and inner pitch together, walking pole attachment props door open, two doors, inner pockets, mesh ceiling pocket, door vent, taped seams. Fly 68D ripstop polyester, 5000mm Inner Polyester Floor 70D polyester, 6000mm Poles Yunan Eco Alloy Ceiling height 90cm Area 2.2m², vestibule 0.6m² Weight 2390g. www.bivouac.co.nz