This Month's Gear Guru Question:by Backcountry Bob
Q. Looking for a good 2-person, 3-season tent that doesn't build up so much moisture inside. I know ventilation is everything, but I've read mixed ideas on some tents I've considered, so I'm confused you could say. Also, I figure 3-5 pounds will cover it, but do you recommend going with a heavier tent, with more options, and splitting up extra weight with a hiking partner? Thanks.
A. Ventilation is the key to eliminating moisture build-up especially in humid climates. The more mesh in the tent body, the better the ventilation; to a point. The mistake most folks make is to cinch the fly down too tightly and too close to the ground, thus not allowing air to flow up and between the fly and the tent body. This makes it hard for your warm, moist breath to escape, as well. You need the flow! Most good quality tents have what's called a "bathtub floor" which simply means the waterproof floor material extends up off the ground and up the side walls of the tent body itself. Because of this feature, the fly doesn't have to extend to the ground, allowing air to flow freely. Most free-standing, 2-person tents weigh about 4-6 lbs.; I always split up the tent parts with a partner—tent body and stakes with one, the fly and the poles with the other. I like more features such as 2 doors, and an outside covered vestibule for gear storage.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Kelty Vortex 2 – 2 doors, 2 big vestibules but not as much mesh as some. Super easy setup.
Marmot Titan – 2 doors, lots of mesh, great for humid climates.
The North Face Road Runner 2 – 2 doors, 2 vestibules. A great The North Face tent.
The North Face Tadpole – 1 door, lightweight, great value but less room.
Good luck! Happy camping.
This month’s Gear Guru question was submitted by Frank from Somerset, KY. He will receive a BackcountryStore.com Nalgene bottle for his question. Enjoy Frank!