Lightweight backpacking has become very popular in the recent years. One of the big three items to help get your pack weight down is shelter. Of course, for those that are hardcore super ultra light gram-counting weight weenies tents are not an option, but here are 5 tents under 5lbs that you won't have to spend big bucks on.
Eureka Pinnacle Pass 2XTA
I personally own the Pinnacle Pass 2XTA Tent 2-Person 3-Season tent. I really like this tent, it has held up very well and has some very competitive specifications for the price. The Pinnacle Pass comes in two models, the 2XTA being the lighter model mostly due to the lightweight aluminum poles and pegs. It has two doors measures 89" x 59" internally, just shy of 5ft wide which makes it 35sqaure feet and offers 13.4sq ft of vestibule space. Weight: 4lb 11oz (2125g) Packs down to 6 x 18.5in. I paid $110 including shipping. Look out for a full review soon!
REI Camp Dome 2 Tent
The Camp Dome 2 is the cheapest in this list at $99 and is a classic. Just read some of the reviews on REI.com and find out why. It is 1oz under the 5lb limit offers 31.5 sqft of living space but zero vestibule space. It packs to 7" x 23" which is rather large but still for the price, it is hard to beat.
Kelty offers the Trail Ridge 2, that fits the bill for this post. It is MSRP of $170 it will hold up well and would be a good investment. It is 4lbs 15oz, 1oz under the limit but offers 32sqft of internal space and 8.5sqft of vestibule space. At 87" x 54" it's not quite as big as the Pinnacle Pass but is considered by some to be a more reputable brand. It only has one door.
Mountain Hardwear Drifter 3 Tent
Ok, so I lied, well sort of, there is really six tents but this one comes in two models. The drifter 3 is only 3Oz over and worthy of a mention. The Mountain Hardware Drifer 3 Tent sleeps 3 and, when you have 3 people rooming with you, you can split up the weight by giving one person the poles, another the fly and the base. I'd opt to carry the rain fly, that way if you get separated you'll still have some shelter. It has 40 square feet with 10 of vestibule space. At $235 it is not bad for a 3 person lightweight tent. Packed size: 7 x 26 inches. It also comes in the Drifter 2 model that you guessed it, sleeps 2. You'll save about $40 and 8oz making it under our limit of 5lbs at 4lbs 11oz although it packs down to the same size.
NEMO Espiri 3
The Nemo Espiri 3 tops the scale for price, but man what a tent. I've always liked the way they look, kind of like an alien spaceship with their front window. At 4 lbs. 8 oz it is light for a 3 person, plus as mentioned before you can split it up. It has 38 square feet of floor space and 15 sqft of vestibule space. It packs down really small for a 3 person to only: 5.5 x 20 inches, way smaller than the mountain hardwear but it comes at a price. The list price is $370, making it not work with the affordable part but if you pick it up as of this posting you can get it for $240 making it a better buy than the Drifter 3.
And there you have it, it's pretty obvious which one I'd pick out of them and I'm happy with my choice, however I'm sure I'd be happy with any of these except for the Drifter 3, I think I'd rather have the NEMO if I needed the space for 3.
Browsing around the Gizmag website, I happened upon an article about the Bison Flint and Steel Survival Bracelet. Unlike other paracord bracelets, this one offers a few special additions. From Gizmag:
For the average paracord bracelet, "survival" might be a bit of hyperbole - the paracord will probably be used for simple tasks like replacing a broken bootlace or guying your tent as opposed to life-lining your dangling hide off a 2,000-foot cliff. It's more of a utilitarian bracelet than a survival bracelet.
The Flint and Steel, on the other hand, brings a little bit more legitimate survival cred to your arm. Not only do you get the 15 to 17 feet (4.6 to 5.2 m) of 550-test paracord, the bracelet includes a one-inch (2.5 cm), stainless steel eye knife buried inside the woven paracord. The knife won't exactly take the place of a full blade, but it will work in conjunction with the flint clasp to start a fire. It should also be ample for small cutting tasks like slicing through the paracord or duct tape.
Funny I should make a post about the future of adventure gear with an article from the past (2009), but when I came across news, even old news, of the Orange Glastonbury Solar Concept Tent, I thought it was too cool to pass up.
From the original article:
Orange today revealed their vision for the tent of the future. Utilising cutting edge eco-energy technology, the Orange Solar Concept Tent will allow campers to keep in touch and power their essential camping gadgets.
The Concept Tent has been designed in association with American product design consultancy Kaleidoscope and builds on learnings from the original Orange Solar Tent that was trialled at Glastonbury in 2003, as well as 2004’s Orange Text Me Home Dome. Having worked closely with Glastonbury for the last eleven years, Orange know the importance of keeping in contact with friends while onsite and undertook this concept project to look at how the festival goers communication and power supply needs might be met in the future.
I've slept on many sleeping pads and used to take a USGI foam sleeping pad backpacking until one day at my local REI attic sale I came across a used
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Pad. I couldn't resist, since then I've taken it on many backpacking trips and have a few things to say about it.
The Dark Glow of the Mountains is a TV documentary made in 1984 by German filmmaker Werner Herzog. It is about an expedition made by freestyle mountain climber Reinhold Messner and his partner Hans Kammerlander to climb Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I all in one trip without returning to base camp. The film is not so much concerned with showing the climb itself or giving guidelines on mountaineering, but seeks to reveal the inner motivation of the climbers.
When stumbling about the internet, looking for interesting stories to post for Ridgeline, I came across a wingsuit video entitled Experience Freedom. It was one of the most amazing short films I've seen on the subject. As I sat there, watching, slack-jawed and wide-eyed, I had to know more. Searching around (and after watching the video a second time, paying attention to the credits), I found the video came from InfinityList, a group who, from what I can tell, exist purely to make some of the best adventure/outdoor sports videos I've ever seen. If you love adventure, you'll love the vids on this site. Check 'em out.
Over on T.E. Lewis's Outdoorsman blog, Outdoor Access, he's posted an excellent article and video on a very important, yet basic, core rule that is, at times, overlooked (Aaron Ralston) when heading out into the wild. It is vital that someone knows your backcountry plan and return time estimate in case of emergency. With all the tech we're taking out there these days, the GPS devices, mobile phones, and SPOT beacons, we can sometimes get a little too cocky when it comes to personal safety. What if, for example, these things fail, or are somehow lost? And then, imagine, what if something were to happen to you. Calculating an estimated time on when you will be returning and then leaving that information, along with a planned route into the wilderness, could potentially save your life. It's the smart thing to do.
Though I myself have yet to commit to it, I'm enamored with the dirtbag lifestyle, living very simply on the road, often out of a van or camper; living for what you love. The freedom, hardship, and sheer determination to do what makes you happy is an inspiration.
Alf Randell is a self-described "dirtbag" who has spent nearly a decade of his life climbing amongst the soaring sandstone cliffs of Indian Creek, Utah. In November, 2011, I spent some time climbing with Alf and documented his life in "The Creek," his love of tall splitter cracks, and his decision to shun city life in favor of a small camper in the middle of the Utah desert.
In keeping with the amazing Hi-Def landscape photography of Yosemite posted a week or so ago, here's an amazingly beautiful timelapse of Patagonia, one of the last truly wild places on earth.
Like any other timber burnin’ stove, the BioLite CampStove is great for cooking, since there’s no risk of fire-starting chemicals flavoring your grub. Lugging fuel isn’t an issue either, as long as pellets, sticks, pine cones, or other random flammable biomass are lying about. Unlike every other stove out there, however, the Biolite can convert heat energy from the fire into electric power for charging gadgets via USB. How much power is generated isn’t directly shared, but BioLite says charge rates are similar to a laptop USB port. The complete kit also weighs a feathery 2 lbs and can pack down to 8.25 x 5″ (which is roughly the size of a Nalgene), making it suitable even for ultralight backpacking.
All of this innovation will surprisingly come at a reasonable price point of $129 when it goes on sale later this spring. Eager buyers can reserve the first series off the factory floor today, though, via the link.