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      Best Tent for Spring / Fall (when we camp)     
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Cretbo
member (16)member
 
10/15/2018 08:13AM
Hi ... Read about the good North Face VE-25 tent for winter camping but would that be over kill for Spring / Fall camping with most likely temps of any where from 30's for Lows(would be our limit for Tent camping) ? My wife & I like camping in non-bug camping times :) and don't mind low temps down to 30's but are looking for a good tent that will not leak and keep dry inside ... The North Face VE-25 would work but is there cheaper models that will work and keep us dry as we would not winter tent. (Thanks ... great site!!)

Bob
 
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HowardSprague
distinguished member(2900)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/15/2018 08:58AM
OK, I'll start,... Kelty Gunnison?
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13235)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/15/2018 08:59AM
I was just going to suggest a North Face VE 25. This is my go to tent in the Fall. In the summer I have a lighter one from REI. If you saw the weather up there this week it was snow and windy. I would think you want to be prepared for nasty weather IF needed. That tent has heavier tent material and heavier tent poles to carry the loads of snow and wind. They also have more tent fly tie downs than other tents. I’ve seen tents of lesser quality fold down in winds. The heavy wet snows of a spring or fall is nothing to these style tents. The rain fly also goes down to the ground and spreads out,not like other summer tents. This will give you a warmer tent. Yes it will be more money, yes it will be heavier, yes it could be just what you need. Just something to think about in your decision.
Tomcat
member (31)member
 
10/15/2018 09:26AM
10/15/2018 10:07AM
I was up there the last two weeks of Sept. and was glad my [solo] tent wasn't one of those with a full mesh body and a fly that didn't come to the ground, which would normally be OK during that time. Just another thing to consider. There are a lot of tents that will keep you dry, but some are more "ventilated" than others, if that's a consideration for you.
10/15/2018 01:57PM
Maybe look at the Eureka Mountain Pass 3 for $350. It is a 3+ season tent. Looks to be less weight than the VE25 for about 3 square-feet less floor space.
10/15/2018 02:02PM
I have a Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 that I use in inclimat weather. On the expensive side, but I bought mine from a member of BWCA. Com at a great price. The Trango is a cold weather expedition tent that is bomb proof, and will keep you warm and dry under any circumstance you may encounter. It is on the heavy side, but it’s benifits are well worth the added weight.
Cretbo
member (16)member
 
10/15/2018 06:43PM
Thanks for the great suggestions .. very helpful
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/15/2018 07:01PM
I just recently picked up a Big Agnes Slater SL 2+. It's designed for the shoulder season. I haven't tried it yet. There is a small mesh section in one end. The door has a solid cover but it also has a zipper that reveals a full mesh screen when you need more ventilation. The main tent body is breathable but stops the wind and does hold in some body heat. Reviews say it is 10° - 20°F warmer than a normal tent in cold conditions. REI has it on clearance, BA discontinued them last year. Originally $399 I just picked it up for $218 and received a $20 gift card. Sale ends tonight. It's larger than many 2 person tents, but smaller than some also. It's pretty short on one end and has only 1 door (in the end). I actually prefer this style of 2P tent.
troutdude
distinguished member (187)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/15/2018 08:54PM
Marmot, Thor 2P. It's bombproof for unexpected conditions, great guy line placement and is able to ventilate quite well. Just dont use it in warmer conditions. My viewing window on the vestibule delaminated out in Colorado on a warm day of whitewater kayaking, 90°. Fortunately, Marmot has a great warranty and gave me a brand new fly for free.
Chuckles
member (31)member
 
10/16/2018 11:01AM
We love the shoulder seasons when fewer people are out and about. We generally go last weekend of September or first weekend of October. We use the Mountainsmith Equinox 4-person tents for two people. I'm sure they're better tents out there, but for the money, they're great. They go up easy are stable in wind and we haven't had a drop of leakage in days of serious rain. For $129 they're tough to beat.

MountainSmith Equinox
arctic
distinguished member(5175)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/16/2018 07:26PM
I have the VE-25 which I have used on trips in the arctic where there is a lot of wind exposure on the tundra. It's also a great winter tent. I think it's a bit of overkill for most BWCA-Quetico trips, except very late or very early in the season, but if you don't mind the weight go for it.
10/16/2018 07:42PM

Savage Voyageur: "I was just going to suggest a North Face VE 25. This is my go to tent in the Fall. In the summer I have a lighter one from REI. If you saw the weather up there this week it was snow and windy. I would think you want to be prepared for nasty weather IF needed. That tent has heavier tent material and heavier tent poles to carry the loads of snow and wind. They also have more tent fly tie downs than other tents. I’ve seen tents of lesser quality fold down in winds. The heavy wet snows of a spring or fall is nothing to these style tents. The rain fly also goes down to the ground and spreads out,not like other summer tents. This will give you a warmer tent. Yes it will be more money, yes it will be heavier, yes it could be just what you need. Just something to think about in your decision. "

Savage Voyageur pretty much nailed it!

Before I purchased my VE-25, I used a North Face VE-24 that we'd rent out at a small, outdoor specialty store I worked for several years during the early to mid-80's. We had several in stock and employees could use them free of charge. The VE-24 was basically the same as the VE-25, but had an awning instead of the vestibule. (First photo on the left shown below.)

In case anyone is interested, the numerical naming moniker denotes; 2-person, 4-pole for the VE-24, and 2-person, 5-pole for the VE-25, for what it's worth. (The 5th pole being required for the vestibule of the VE-25.)

I have an older VE-25 I bought when I worked at the store back then. Even at that time, it was one of the most expensive tents of its kind, but North Face offered an employee discount of 15% below cost, so naturally I couldn't pass it up. :-)

The North Face VE-25 is pretty much the "Rolls-Royce" of tents in my opinion. Impeccable construction, stainless steel zippers, etc. I can't speak to the quality of the VE-25 now, but my 1985 North Face VE-25 was one of the Berkley, California made tents before The North Face re-structured and started outsourcing much of their clothing and equipment manufacturing.

It's my understanding that the VE-25 is still a very high quality tent. That said, they have changed the design somewhat from my old, original Berkley, CA. built version. They eliminated the "portals" that would allow exit and entry from the tent during heavy snow storms or blowing snow, thereby preventing the influx of snow into the tent's interior. They have since replaced those "portals" with a second door. (Probably more practical for most users and provides better ventilation than the original version.)

As Savage Voyageur mentioned, the VE-25's construction provides for a very strong tent and the full coverage rain fly also allows for a certain degree of warmth vs. a lighter tent with a considerable amount of mesh for the inner walls. That said, it doesn't make for the best summer or hot weather tent though.

My VE-25 is now over 30-years old and still going strong! In fact my wife and I recently used it on our latest Quetico/BWCAW trip where we experienced overnight lows in the upper 20's and low 30's, as well as 4-inches of heavy, wet snow on our last night of the trip.

If cost is not an issue, it's hard to go wrong with the North Face VE-25 in my opinion.

Hans Solo




10/16/2018 08:45PM
Slightly less expensive, just posted about my Alps Extreme 3 Outfitter. Have used a VE24 and owned a Walrus Hurricane Hole, and rate this a close second and very affordable (I did buy mine on Ebay $190). 10 pounds all up, lots of room inside and huge vestibules, you could sleep in. door screen have zippered inside covers. Just got back from it's first use by me and it is a true 4 season capable shelter, temps dropped to freezing, 0 interior condensation, easy setup. Strong frame structure. I do like it and bought it for cold weather camps.
Obviously ain't no such as "best tent" that is something you need to decide on yourself.


butthead
 
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