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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a tent crisis this springtime....

First my younger son, who is a 14 year old boy scout (Star) outgrew his backpacking tent... He's 6'1" standing, and the slope of the tent meant that he touched an end with either his head or his feet.

Then my heavier tent got a tear in the floor (user error), and I've been meaning to do some backpacking, but haven't had the gear, so I decided to upgrade to a backpackable version for my new tent.

I quickly found out that to make their tents lighter, tent manufacturers make their tents assuming that the user is under 6'. There are exceptions, but that is the rule of thumb.

We wanted: 2 man tents, enough length for someone to stretch out 7'+ without touching a wall at 8" above the floor (you are taller laying down), free standing, aluminum poles, full rainfly, good ratings, and under 5lbs. We are both big and strong and we'd rather carry 16-24 ounces more of tent than be uncomfortable or wet. Budget for each tent was $200 max. This is a VERY challenging set of specs as backpacking tents are generally expensive and not well suited to tall people.

For Jacob, we bought an REI Half Dome 2+ ($219 + $35 footprint, but bought with 20% REI discount for members that brought net cost under $200.. It's large for a 2 person tent, you could fit 2 people and a dog in there. Very well thought out, and easy to set up. It comes in multiple colors, and his is a maroon that is unusual for a tent (most seem to be tan/yellow/green) but a nice look.

For me, I got a Marmot Limelight 3p. List price is $299, but I was able to get it just under $200 with footprint as a wholesale purchase. We over spent on the poundage here and I got a 3 man, rather than 2 as I may share it occasionally, and 2 man is a fiction when one is as big as I am. It's just over 6 pounds... But it is a true 3 man tent, will fit in my pack, and it has.... upright walls for the first 8 inches or so. Well thought out design, the rainfly buckles to the tent body, and the guylines are exceptionally reflective to help avoid accidents at night. It is a little more difficult for one person set up, but I can do it.

We used both this weekend for the first time at Falls Lake... Despite torrential downpours, we stayed very dry inside each tent, they provided enough attachment points to be secure even in the high winds that accompanied the thunder storms, and we were both very happy with our purchases.

Next on list... tall sleeping bags. He has outgrown his, and I've got a mongo sized rectangular bag that is not backpackable.
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