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69RoadRunner

New Ultralight REI Brand Backpacking Tents

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https://www.rei.com/product/168564/rei-co-op-flash-air-1-tent

https://www.rei.com/product/168565/rei-co-op-flash-air-2-tent

REI will likely have these on sale at some point.  These look like a great deal and are really light, particularly if you use trekking poles.

Definitely a BIG weight savings over a Philmont tent.

Edited by 69RoadRunner
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Interesting.  I may have a reason to use that 20-30% REI members coupon they always seem to send me around March, about the same time as they release the dividend info.  😃

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The 2 man tent weighs in at 2 lbs, wonder if you can use any trekking poles or do you have to use the ones with the fancy handles?

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

The 2 man tent weighs in at 2 lbs, wonder if you can use any trekking poles or do you have to use the ones with the fancy handles?

Should not make any difference, although it does come with poles.  The 2lb weight is if you use the included poles.  Using trek poles instead knocks the weight down to 1lb 15 oz.

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On 1/15/2020 at 4:49 PM, MikeS72 said:

Should not make any difference, although it does come with poles.  The 2lb weight is if you use the included poles.  Using trek poles instead knocks the weight down to 1lb 15 oz.

Hmm.  That doesn't sound like much of a weight saving.  Yeah, 2 pounds is pretty light, but what's the advantage of "trek poles" if I'm only going to save a measely 1 ounce? (Last I checked, the difference between 2lb and 1lb 15 oz was exactly 1 ounce...

 

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On 1/17/2020 at 10:09 AM, mrkstvns said:

Hmm.  That doesn't sound like much of a weight saving.  Yeah, 2 pounds is pretty light, but what's the advantage of "trek poles" if I'm only going to save a measely 1 ounce? (Last I checked, the difference between 2lb and 1lb 15 oz was exactly 1 ounce...

 

I noticed that, too, and I suspect it's a typo.  These were just released.  There's no way the pole only weighs 1 ounce.

These do appear to be good options for anyone looking for a backpacking tent, whether an adult looking for a solo tent or scouts wanting a 2 person tent.

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I dunno guys, even after a 40% discount on the tent, I can buy a lot of tarp, netting, parachord, and stakes.

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On 1/19/2020 at 3:36 PM, qwazse said:

I dunno guys, even after a 40% discount on the tent, I can buy a lot of tarp, netting, parachord, and stakes.

I think that 40% could buy a lot of beer too.  But since we're talking backpacking, it will have to be Lite beer so it's easier to pack into the backcountry.

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On 1/19/2020 at 4:36 PM, qwazse said:

I dunno guys, even after a 40% discount on the tent, I can buy a lot of tarp, netting, parachord, and stakes.

But Philmont won't allow you to use a tarp, if that's one purpose.

I'll also bet the tarp and netting you use will weigh more than these tents.  Ultralight tarp material is not cheap.

5 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I think that 40% could buy a lot of beer too.  But since we're talking backpacking, it will have to be Lite beer so it's easier to pack into the backcountry.

AKA yellow water.  😁

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4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

But Philmont won't allow you to use a tarp, if that's one purpose.

I'll also bet the tarp and netting you use will weigh more than these tents.  Ultralight tarp material is not cheap. ...

I'm aware that things at Philmont are a little weird. I would think that after the incident where a scout couldn't escape his tent in a flood, they would have backed off that a little. There's surely a point at which are certain amount of stitched edges transitions a tarp into a tent.

But, no doubt: cheaper is heavier. Untreated netting isn't too expensive, the treated parachute cloth (my name for UL tarp) ain't cheap. But, if you're grabbing a tent just to toss its poles because you're counting on using hiking sticks or finding decently spaced trees, I suspect you'll hit cost parity quickly.

Questions:

  • Has anyone used poles that double as pack frame?
  • Do adults on Philmont crews share a tent? If so, does the advertised capacity from REI work for you?

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15 minutes ago, qwazse said:

 

Questions:

  • Has anyone used poles that double as pack frame?
  • Do adults on Philmont crews share a tent? If so, does the advertised capacity from REI work for you?

I'm a little out of touch since I haven't backpacked in a few years, so I'm not the best subject, but with question #1, are that many scouts (youth) using hiking poles? We found they (youth) just end up dragging them along more than balance their weight. 

#2. Yes, two man tents like the REI are common for two adults on backpacking treks. The 2 man I own and took to Philmont for two adults is about the same dimensions as the 2 man REI.

I have certain requirements for backpacking tents and I liked the REI. The ONLY reason I wouldn't consider this REI is because it's not self standing. Self standing tents set up faster (in the heavy rain) and don't rely on firm ground to stay up at 3:00 am in heavy winds and rain. What I like a lot about the REI are the doors and vestibule on each side. Multiple doors allow a quick entry by both occupants at the same time instead of one occupant waiting on the other while blocking entry taking off muddy boots. The vestibule on each side provides a dry place outside the tent for each occupant to store muddy boots and wet rain gear. Its a nice tent.

I have nothing against tarps, we used them when I was a scout. But I find a tent provides a little-bit of privacy from the scouts. I know, it's really not much, but after a long full day with them, every little bit of "out -of-sight" is "out-of-mind".

From our experience in a backpacking troop, backpacking tents take a beating from scouts, so the slightly lower quality tent that sacrifices a little weight usually goes a little farther. Kelty level tents provides descent quality for scouts at a reasonable price. Also, while a few of our scouts purchased a single man tent for weight, many found they would rather tent in a 3 man Kelty type tent for the camaraderie.  In fact, my 3 man Kelty backpacking tent became the most popular with the scouts so they could play cards at night. It was a great tent for scouts in Norther Tier where space was very limited. Adults tend to take better care of their tents, so they purchase higher end tents like REIs. 

Barry

 

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I don't think these will catch on with Scouts themselves. As @Eagledad notes, Scouts don't use trekking poles well, and typically don't like them. Another reason is that tents like this are difficult to pitch without practice, because they are not freestanding. Last, these tents can be delicate, and as @Eagledad said, youth tents need to have some strength. These tents have likely very thin nylon to achieve those weights. 

I used to recommend Kelty's Salida 2, which is a two person tent. It worked well for all but the biggest Scouts, and it had a very reasonable price tag at around $150-$180.  It seems that they have discontinued that model. 

The design is very similar to Tarptents Notch (1 man) or Saddle 2 (2 man) https://www.tarptent.com/product/notch/ . https://www.tarptent.com/product/saddle-2/. I own a Saddle two, and I like the design. If my Saddle two ends up damaged beyond repair, I'd probably buy another tarptent, but that REI is a solid tent, and for tents for ultralight backpacking, that's not a terrible price. 

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6 hours ago, qwazse said:

I'm aware that things at Philmont are a little weird. I would think that after the incident where a scout couldn't escape his tent in a flood, they would have backed off that a little. There's surely a point at which are certain amount of stitched edges transitions a tarp into a tent.

But, no doubt: cheaper is heavier. Untreated netting isn't too expensive, the treated parachute cloth (my name for UL tarp) ain't cheap. But, if you're grabbing a tent just to toss its poles because you're counting on using hiking sticks or finding decently spaced trees, I suspect you'll hit cost parity quickly.

Questions:

  • Has anyone used poles that double as pack frame?
  • Do adults on Philmont crews share a tent? If so, does the advertised capacity from REI work for you?

If the poles were in your pack, then they'd be be useless as trekking poles.  There are frameless packs that use a sit pad to provide some weight transfer to the hips.  These are not meant for heavier loads.  There are lighter framed packs like my Zpacks Arc Haul (23 ounces, 62 liters) as well as ones from Hyperlite Mountain Gear, ULA, Seek Outside and others.  My son used the new REI Flash 55 pack that is very light. You have to have very compact gear and not overpack if you go with a pack that size.

Adults can use a solo tent. I did this past summer and was glad I did.  I'm 6'3" and 200 pounds.  The REI solo tent is a similar size.  You're not taking much into your tent, so you don't need much room.  If you have an odd number of scouts, one scout (typically an older one) can tent solo, too.

Most trekking pole tents like the Tarptent one I used do not come with poles.  You can purchase poles separately.

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I have certain requirements for backpacking tents and I liked the REI. The ONLY reason I wouldn't consider this REI is because it's not self standing. Self standing tents set up faster (in the heavy rain) and don't rely on firm ground to stay up at 3:00 am in heavy winds and rain. What I like a lot about the REI are the doors and vestibule on each side. Multiple doors allow a quick entry by both occupants at the same time instead of one occupant waiting on the other while blocking entry taking off muddy boots. The vestibule on each side provides a dry place outside the tent for each occupant to store muddy boots and wet rain gear. Its a nice tent.

 

An advantage of most non-freestanding tents is that they set up "dry".  Freestanding tents typically have you set up the inner mesh first.  If it's raining, then the inside of your tent gets wet.

All single wall and most double wall trekking pole tents can be set up as one piece (or the fly first) so the inside is dry.

It is true that they require more skill and practice to set up.  They're for adults and older, experienced scouts.

A two person tent is good with doors on both sides, I agree.  A single person tent can get by with just 1.

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15 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

I don't think these will catch on with Scouts themselves. As @Eagledad notes, Scouts don't use trekking poles well, and typically don't like them. Another reason is that tents like this are difficult to pitch without practice, because they are not freestanding. Last, these tents can be delicate, and as @Eagledad said, youth tents need to have some strength. These tents have likely very thin nylon to achieve those weights. 

I used to recommend Kelty's Salida 2, which is a two person tent. It worked well for all but the biggest Scouts, and it had a very reasonable price tag at around $150-$180.  It seems that they have discontinued that model. 

The design is very similar to Tarptents Notch (1 man) or Saddle 2 (2 man) https://www.tarptent.com/product/notch/ . https://www.tarptent.com/product/saddle-2/. I own a Saddle two, and I like the design. If my Saddle two ends up damaged beyond repair, I'd probably buy another tarptent, but that REI is a solid tent, and for tents for ultralight backpacking, that's not a terrible price. 

Most scouts should just use the Philtents at Philmont.  Younger and less experienced scouts would be happier with traditional tents for their own tent.

I posted this mostly for adults who want their own tent, but my son used a silnylon MLD Duomid with matching inner at Philmont.  He and another skinny scout fit OK in it.  

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