/ 2 man wild camp tent advice
looking to expand my walking into overnighters and need some tent advice
itll be myself and the Mrs or me and the dog so the tent needs to meet following criteria
big enough for 2 but light enough for 1 to carry
good room to sit up
decent vestibule on both sides
ventilated but not too drafty
suitable for mainly spring and autumn use but occasional winter ( above 2000ft) use
Reasonable packed size and weight (around 2kg Max)
£450 max spend
perform well in wind
big asks I know. Contenders are msr Hubba Hubba nx (2018 model) and Msr access 2 ( possibly tougher and less drafty?)
loved the look of the tarp tent scarp 2 but can’t find any online and taxes push price up
any thoughts greatly appreciated
Sportpursuit have got some cracking deals on Terra Nova and Sierra Designs light-weight tents. This one is £290 down from £490 and weighs 1.2 kg.
It'd be worth checking out last year's 2-person tents group test Stu:
That’s a great write up of some of the main contenders . No mention of the Hubba Hubba nx. Looked at one today and that flysheet is really not very low. Looks very geared for summer. Access 2 is getting more appealing each time I read about it. I realise no one tent does all so am I better with a summer tent and then a winter shelter? Winter tents may be weight to lug around
Laser seems the wrong shape for my access needs
Here's a write-up of the Hubba Hubba NX https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/camping/tents+bivvys/msr_hubba_hubba_nx_2-person_tent-6451
Also a good tent (I use still it a lot) but yes, definitely less weather-worthy than the Access 2.
Dare I ask if you would use the Hubba Hubba nx in a moderate wind at 2500ft in winter?
Define moderate wind ? Also in winter it can be -20 or +10 at 2500ft.
if you have a good sleeping bag and a half decent tent then most stuff in the U.K. is fine (excluding 110mph winds on the Cairngorm plateau)
Also i wouldn't discount the Laser Comp 2, it’s got all of what you specified and at that price it’s a steal.
Terra Nova Southern Cross 2 isn't far off what you are asking for, probably more 4 season than 3 and at the upper end of your weight limit but is freestanding and should cope with the winter weather.
Can be found on sale around your budget or Terra Nova have one used listed as grade B for £300 direct.
Agreed: The Southern Cross will easily stand the weather - its pretty intimate for 2 people though!
I do highly recommend Tarptent and have a scarp 2 which I rate very highly. Used it quite a few times in the UK, and I felt it was excellent.
Huge amount of space inside (it's really a 2.5 person tent), and the twin vestibules are great. Has the option of extra crossing poles, which I bring if it's going to be windy.
I suppose I’m thinking would the Hubba Hubba nx feel structurally sound at 40mph wind and around -15 would that wind be really noticeable in the tent? I’m guessing that it’ll be a big ask of a 3 season tent? People do say they’re tougher than you might think though
Has the laser comp got much headroom ?
Tarptent would be number 1 on my list if I could get a scarp 2. I don’t know if they’re discontinued but their site doesn’t show them anymore ☹️
Hmmm... I wouldn't choose to camp in that sort of weather but I'd say the Access 2 would be by far the better choice. The Hubba Hubba has less structure, and it's a lot more draughty
I used one of the original Hubbas for a decade - they originally were made just of mesh for the inner tent and were quite draughty - I even found that in windy weather very fine powder snow (in Finnish winter) and a fine mist from wind driven rain (in the UK) could get through the mesh, in part due to the high cut of the fly. The NX versions seem to have a lot less mesh in them and the flys go lower as a result. Having said that, I still used a supposedly summer tent in -15 to -20 blustery weather in Finland, and in windy wet and cold conditions in the Scottish highlands and it was structurally sound. I reviewed the Elixir from MSR as well last year, and think its ace. For a "cheaper" range, I've found it works fine in miserable weather. https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/camping/tents+bivvys/msr_elixir_1_tent-11398 The 2 man version of that might be worth considering.
I really think that pitching is crucial to how well tents stand up to poor weather. I'm a bit of a pitching-perfectionist (even when its in the big 5 person family tent), but then I've had some pretty cheap basic tents that have survived horrible weather fine, so I'm not going to stop making sure everything is drum tight!
I've pitched my Hubba in lousy weather, not sure if it was that windy but in stormy weather. Because you peg the inner down first, and the frame goes up without the tent attached to begin with, its not that bad. You can attach the windward end of the fly too before pulling it over.
Tents that go up all in one are the easiest, but I wouldn't over do the difficulty of putting up free standing inner first models.
I think you need to go and look at one, they are a very similar layout to the Scarp which you seem keen on ? SportPursuit also have the WC Hoolie in the sale and as mentioned the Sierra Designs whihc are all worth a look at.
TobyA suggested the 2 person MSR Elixir, i have one of these, its a great tent and also fits all your criteria, it has less mesh than the other MSR tents so should be warmer, i would be happy to use it in winter, its around 2.2kG though.
Lots of viable options to consider now. I’ve read a few things online about TN poles breaking. Is this still an issue? Like the look of the TN durability and they’re British 👍🏼.
Agree I need to look at laser and Southern cross, the latter being good size (particularly height as this is important due to neck injury) but slightly weighty compared to the msr access 2 but pitching looks a breeze in it
so many things to compromise on. Looking at assembled tents is not as easy as I thought to. Finding a stockist near stoke is tricky at best. Viewed a Hubba Hubba in Sheffield but wasn’t sold on the fly being so high off floor.
> Lots of viable options to consider now. I’ve read a few things online about TN poles breaking. Is this still an issue? Like the look of the TN durability and they’re British 👍🏼.
QC and warranty service seem to be an issue in general with TN/WC. I returned 3 tents to them due to stitching separating after 2 or 3 nights. After the third I went elsewhere!
My mistake. I was not aware of the Hubba NX and Elixir pitching method. Thought it was by threading pole channels. Actually they have hooks in stead, and that works brilliantly. I have pitched expedition tents like Mountain Hardwear Trango with that system in very high winds (we could hardly stand up) with no broken poles and no torn fabrics.
On the other hand I have pitched tents like the TN Ultra Quasars under similar conditions. They have similar geometry, but with mesh pole tunnels, a system less than optimal. The mesh catch the pole ends, and once threaded you have to erect the whole tent at once instead of gradually like with hooks. As a result poles have been bent and broken.
Hilleberg Kaitum2 secondhand (if you can find one - peopleseem to prefer the Nallo). Many of my criteria were the same as yours, and I struggled to find a 'double porcher' that pitched outer first and was light enough.
> Tents that go up all in one are the easiest, but I wouldn't over do the difficulty of putting up free standing inner first models.
It's not that inner tent first models are difficult to pitch, it's that it gets soaked if it's raining properly.
They get wet but most are made of lightly proofed nylon, so they don't get "soaked" unless it takes you an age to put your tent up and get the fly over. Having owned and used inner first tents for over 25 years I remain unconvinced that this is the big problem that many make it out to be.
An advantage of inner first over all in one is that the inner doesn't get wet from condensation on the outer when you pack up. I've packed up my Nallo 2 when the condensation was bad and found everything soaked when I pitched it next night. To get round this I took to packing up the inner first and re-attaching it the next night.
I have a Hubba Hubba NX and as much as I love it, I wouldn't use it in severe winter weather. It is VERY drafty, which doesn't matter too much, as long as you are aware I guess (you can always bring a warmer sleeping bag), but I'm not sure that it would stand up to serious winds.
It does handle condensation extremely well though...
I was pretty struck on the msr access until I watched a video of a woman who had done 2 months in hers and broke 2 poles and the condensation was awful. The groundsheet was getting puddles it was that bad.( slight exaggeration)Granted it was winter but it looked pretty grim. She had undone the fly a bit and had used a footprint to prevent drawing moisture through the groundsheet too
was tempted by the grade b southern cross 2 on the TN site as reviews are good aside from TN customer service but with no warranty and a £165 pole replacement bill if they break, I’m very hesitant
Will investigate the hilleberg offering but these will be like rocking horse poo second hand I’m guessing
I happy with the MSR Access size and weight its good, not had any issues, havn't had it up in wet and wild conditions, but have used it in winter and its a lot less draughty than the Elixer that I had previously
Did you get any condensation issues?
Well. I’ve plumped for the access 2
i don’t camp much in summer as I’m bike touring so it fits my needs better
plus I wasn’t impressed by customer service at TN and that was when I was asking about a sale!!
thanks for all the help guys
TN have notoriously bad customer service, which is why I'd buy a TN tent from Cotswolds. Their Customer Service is excellent!
> I was pretty struck on the msr access until I watched a video of a woman who had done 2 months in hers and broke 2 poles and the condensation was awful.
Our school DofE has MSR tents and almost all of them have had to have poles replaced. To be fair to them MSR have done this promptly and without quibble.
Less so than the elixir actually, with the elixir the condensation sometimes came back in to the tent through the abundant mesh in windy conditions
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