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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:25 pm 
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Location: Crystal River, FL
I'm in the process of getting together camping gear to start overnighting with the TI. I have been planning to get an REI half dome 2+ for some time now. I was walking through wally world yesterday and saw a 2 person tent of roughly the same dimensions for 30 bucks. At this price they are relatively disposable and would not be expected to hold up for years and year, but is that a bad thing? saltwater (corrosion), shells, rocks all seem like things that would help the REI tent to not last forever either and it would sure hurt a lot more than replacing the cheap tent. obviously the cheap tent would be heavier as well, but does an extra 2-3lbs really matter on a TI?

what are everyones thoughts/experiences??

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:41 pm 
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Location: South Florida
hawk232 wrote:
I'm in the process of getting together camping gear to start overnighting with the TI. I have been planning to get an REI half dome 2+ for some time now. I was walking through wally world yesterday and saw a 2 person tent of roughly the same dimensions for 30 bucks. At this price they are relatively disposable and would not be expected to hold up for years and year, but is that a bad thing? saltwater (corrosion), shells, rocks all seem like things that would help the REI tent to not last forever either and it would sure hurt a lot more than replacing the cheap tent. obviously the cheap tent would be heavier as well, but does an extra 2-3lbs really matter on a TI?

what are everyones thoughts/experiences??

I have an REI half dome 2+, and I like it, but, that is what I would call a "cheap" tent at a couple hundred for last years model. It is a good tent. You do not have to destroy your tent on shells, rocks, etc. Buy a ground cloth with it. You MUST have a ground cloth. Corrosion is not a problem, but I spray my zippers with silicon spray at least once a season, more if they get sticky. You pay $30 bucks for a super cheap tent, and you will get what you pay for. You may wish you had spent more, if, in 25-30 mph winds, your tent rips apart, putting you at the mercy of the wind, rains, and bugs. You can use an REI half dome 2+ for 2, 3, 4 yrs and more at 20-30 days a season. How much is it costing you per night for that reliable tent? The nice thing about a decent REI tent, hardly an expensive tent, is they have 2 doors. Sometimes the bugs (noseeums, mosquitoes) will gather at one door and not the other. Of course, with 2 doors you do not have climb over your partner to get out.

After some thought, I doubt a $30 tent will have noseeum netting. All you have to do is spend a night on a south Florida beach without noseeum netting and you will look like you have measles--really! The thing about the REI half dome 2+ is, it is about 80% netting--great for south FL beaches and warm weather. If it is cool, enjoy your sleeping bag.

Keith

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Last edited by Chekika on Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:41 pm 
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Location: San Antonio, TX
I vote for a better tent as well. I can't speak for the REI brand but a friend of mine has one and it's been good to him.

I started off with a cheap $30 dollar tent. The door zippers broke on the second or third outing and if the wind picked up, the walls caved in very easily. I never had it out in the rain but I wouldn't have trusted it.

I now have a Marmot Swallow 3P. It was expensive, for me, but I got it in 1999 or so, and it's still going strong. I've only had it on the beach a few times, so I can't speak for the corrosive salt environment. I've mostly used it back packing and camping in the mountains of west Texas and New Mexico. It's kept me dry in soaking rains and withstood strong gusty winds. Unless you're camping in near perfect weather or near civilization I wouldn't trust a cheaper tent.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:51 pm 
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Location: Crystal River, FL
I am usually a fan of "you get what you pay for" and "its more expensive for a reason" so I pretty much figured it would hold true here as well. I was hoping for a first hand experience with just how bad a cheap on could be, so thanks for providing that.

chekika- so despite a slight difference of opinion on cheap vs expensive ;) we seem to think the same on the tent. you are satisfied with yours? looking back would you go a different route?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Yes, I'm very satisfied with my REI half dome 2+. Well made. I believe I bought it last year at a season end sale. My previous REI tent was not well made. It didn't rip, leak, collapse, but REI cut corners. I saw the half dome 2+ in a Denver store before I bought it. It is not so good if the winds are up and the temps are dropping into the low 40s, high 30s. The 80% noseeum mess lets out heat--still, it is warmer in the tent than out. One night on our recent 7-day trip was quite cold. So, you will want a good sleeping bag for that. In my case, I have an old sleeping bag which I like, but I had to wear some fleece to stay warm. But, I think that is the idea. You don't need to pack for the worst situation. You pack for forecast conditions, and, if it is worse, pull clothes out of the clothing bag for a night or so.

One last point. It always seems cooler on the Everglades beaches.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:40 pm 
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thanks for the advice Keith.

I'm working on gearing up for EC 2017 (I'm about 90% sure I'm going to go for it) so I need to get the gear and get to using it soon so that I can refine essential vs optional items as well as cultivate a routine. I may even try to join in on some of the trips you do as they would fit right in with my goal of getting out there and doing it.

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2015 Outback- dune with sail kit which led to the TI
2015 TI- dune


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:40 am 
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Location: South Florida
hawk232 wrote:
thanks for the advice Keith.

I'm working on gearing up for EC 2017 (I'm about 90% sure I'm going to go for it) so I need to get the gear and get to using it soon so that I can refine essential vs optional items as well as cultivate a routine. I may even try to join in on some of the trips you do as they would fit right in with my goal of getting out there and doing it.

We've got a trip to Pavilion Key out of Chokoloskee/Everglades City set for Feb 18-21. This trip is to honor the memory of Tom Turner, a WaterTriber, who passed away unexpectedly a couple months ago. Nothing formal, just a few toasts and stories around the campfire. We plan to catch fish for fish fries on Fri-Sat nights.

If you or others want to join this trip, email me at kwellma at gmail dot com or call 305 six-six-six 4184 or cell 305 nine-7-nine 3362. Do it soon, since time is short. It will be a great place to see what serious campers are using as well as see mods on peoples boats. Right now, we have 9 people and 6 AI/TIs coming. There will be more.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:20 pm 
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I appreciate the info Keith, but I will be out of town that weekend. Maybe the next one?

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2015 Outback- dune with sail kit which led to the TI
2015 TI- dune


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Send an email to me, and I will add you to the list I notify.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:20 am 
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Location: Fairfax, CA USA
We've got a few tents by The North Face from the late 80s and one from mid 90s along with a Sierra Designs one person tent and an REI gigantic dome.
The TNF tents have literally thousands of days on them, as they were what I used back in the day climbing. Rock solid still, with the exception of a couple of zipper replacements and a new floor on my venerable ve24 (all covered by the lifetime warranty).
The SD single person has about 300 days, and Gigante probably 100 family camping.
It is likely that they are all made in the same factories. When I was with TNF we contracted out with REI and made their tents (along with some other brands) in their colors from TNF designs and patterns. I'd bet a similar thing happens today.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:46 am 
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Coachstevo, you seem quite happy with your older tents. I wonder if you would get such great service today--lifetime guarantee on a tent? Wow! Does that still hold today?? I also wonder if you would be as happy with today's tents?

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:58 pm 
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I know the TNF stuff still carries a lifetime warranty, though they are a bit more careful about wear and tear now than they were back in the day.

The materials have only gotten stronger, its the workmanship i'd worry about...
That said, our REI dome is pretty new and the workmanship looks pretty good.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:20 am 
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In the "expensive" category, Springbar tents are expedition quality canvas tents best suited for car or base camp camping. They are too heavy to take on an Island but great tents for their intended purpose.
http://www.springbar.com/

Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:17 pm 
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This certainly won't be for everybody but for those who appreciate buying the best and buying once, The Hilleberg tent company offers tents that are lighter than most, yet also much stronger. I bought an Akto a few years back mainly for the light weight. The tent will easily outlive me.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:34 pm 
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I tried the $30 route and don't recommend it, condensation on the inside was bad, had to cut a trip short at Shasta because it kept the water inside better than it kept it out. Bought an REI Halfdome-2, rain stays outside now. Mike

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