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Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

I'm 6'2 and want to backpack the Continental Divide here in New Mexico with my medium size K-9. Looking for 2 person tent, any suggestions. Thanks

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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

Hi @mcdudr3 , that's like asking, what's my favorite color? , because you're going to get MANY responses.

REI sells lots of lots of tents, I suggest going thru them and see what jumps out to you.

Lots of factors, your hiking season (summer or winter), your budget, the tent weight (huge factor for many), durability, how many doors, how many vestibules, free standing or trekking pole supported (saves weight big time)

Look at the lengths, pick a 2 person tent, under 3lbs, 2 doors, 2 vestibules, freestanding, 3 season, backpacking category; after that, we're only looking a budget.

My criteria is largest area square-footage X weight X cost, 2 vestibules (necessary for going in/out in heavy rain and storing soaking wet stuff)

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

@mcdudr3 thanks so much for reaching out to us - these are some of our favorite kinds of questions to weigh in on! First, we'll start by recommending this article: how to choose a backpacking tent. Without knowing your budget (typically less expensive = heavier) and if you'd prefer a free-standing tent, here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus - 92" in length, heavier at a little over 5lbs, free-standing with 2 doors, easy set-up, full rainfly
  • REI Co-op Quarter Dome SL 2 - 88" in length, weighs less than 3lbs, free-standing with 2 doors and lots of mesh for warm/dry nights, and full rainfly for wet ones
  • Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 - 86" in length, weighs just over 2lbs, not fully free-standing, 2 doors with lots of mesh and a full rainfly

There are certainly lots of options - let us know if you have additional questions or other tents you'd like our perspective on!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.
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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

@REI-JenK, ...to "weigh in on", no pun intended! 😎

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

Full disclosure, I'm very much a newbie here but I'm 6'2" myself and just bought an REI Passage 2 as my first backpacking tent.  I've only used it once so far (not counting setting it up in the yard to play with it like a kid on Christmas Day) but I had plenty of room at the head and foot as well as plenty of room to lay out my gear beside my sleeping pad.  I've been very pleased so far and the tent didn't break the bank.

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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

HI @mcdudr3 .  Looks like you've already gotten some good advice.  I personally have several tents, of various brands (Coleman, Sierra Designs, Mountainsmith, REI), sizes and designs.  And each has features I like, but also a few things I'd improve on to make them ideal.  Other than the weight, as @Philreedshikes mentioned, I think another big factor is ease of set-up and tear-down.  If you can, go to your local REI and see how intuitive the set-up is.  You may have times when you are setting up in the dark, or in adverse weather conditions.  Tents that have a footprint/fly-only option add some flexibility you may find advantageous.

Like @nathanu , I have a Passage, only mine is a 1 person.  Overall a solid tent that I can recommend, but for your purposes, as you mentioned, the 2-person version is a better choice.

Good luck and enjoy your journey!

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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

This may be of interest although I suspect you are not thru hiking so your needs may be a bit different.  

https://www.halfwayanywhere.com/trails/continental-divide-trail/cdt-gear-guide-2019/

And issue to consider is that dogs nails will puncture a tent's bathtub floor.  NM is not noted for excessive rain most of the time but I believe it can rain hard when it decides to so you probably want to keep the floor waterproof.  You could use something like this..

https://www.rei.com/product/813512/sol-emergency-blanket

to line the inside floor.  Tyvek might also work...often used to make a cheap footprint to protect the tent from the ground.

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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

While definitely not an ultralight tent, but if you like a bit of space and are on a tight budget, I love the older Sierra Designs Sirius 2 tent.  It can be found  its used very reasonably, is roomy, near 4 lbs, and very easy to set up. of course there are smaller and lighter ones and there are some great options if you have a bigger budget I found this one though to have good reviews and it has served me well on a slimmer budget.

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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

It's been 2 weeks & I'm wondering IF you've made a command decision by now?

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Re: Suggestions for my first backpacking tent

@AZClaimjumper  me too! you can get dizzy trying to select a first tent.  especially with the sticker shock!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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