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PostPosted: January 28th, 2023, 12:22 pm 
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Joined: September 8th, 2006, 7:11 pm
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Location: winnipeg
Hi All,

I'm considering a new tent. I had a MEC Wanderer for years, but it is no longer. I have an old MEC Lightfield that is going strong, but not the best for warm summer days.

Those TentLab Moonlights look amazing, but with the exchange rate, shipping, and duty, it looks like the 2+ model would be close to $1100.

I'm considering the MSR Elixir 3 and Mountain Hardware Mineral King, but am open to other options (2 people, but I like a bit of extra room). I'd like something that is comfortable, durable, and stable in wind, and I prefer freestanding models with 2 doors/2 vestibules.

I once knew the difference between the aluminum alloys, tempers, and pole construction, but don't anymore, and manufacturers (excepting TentLab) don't seem to provide that info in any case.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: January 28th, 2023, 12:52 pm 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
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Location: Warkworth
I just ordered a Moonlight 2+ tent. I had a hard time deciding between their polyester tents vs more traditional nylon tents. In the end I went with the fella who had the most impressive background, Mike from the tent lab.

If it helps, my decision was between the moonlight 2+ or Slingfin’s Indus 2. I feel the poles are nicer on the Moonlight 2+ and I already have a couple dedicated winter tents so I really only needed a sturdy 3 season tent.

Also, I was close on purchasing the Big Agnes Expedition Copper Spur 2 person tent. But I do feel the moonlight and Indus are built better.

I also have a Eureka El Capitan 3+ Outfitter tent and the Eureka Mountain Pass 2 person tent. The first of which is a pretty bombproof tent and priced decently.

Sam

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PostPosted: January 28th, 2023, 12:52 pm 
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Location: Warkworth
Also…the Moonlight 2+ tents are on sale now!

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PostPosted: January 28th, 2023, 1:04 pm 
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Location: winnipeg
Thanks Sam - I've read all of the Tentlab info, and certainly learned quite a bit. I wasn't sure what to make of his opinions until I saw the resume! I had always wondered why floor coatings were so thick, but fell for the "more must be better, right?" way of thinking.

Hopefully when you get the Moonlight you'll share your thoughts. I'm certain they are better than the ones I am considering, but probably more than I need, and even on sale they are more than I'd like to spend (Don't think I'm a cheapskate because I live in Winnipeg . . . I am . . . but not because I live here).


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PostPosted: January 28th, 2023, 4:21 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 2216
Location: Manitoba
The other thing I like in a tent is a fly first setup when the inner tent hangs under the fly and the whole tent goes up at once because it sets up fast and its waterproof layer is already on the outside protecting the inner tent.

I'd be curious is someone already has a list of such tents. Tarptent, Hilleberg, others ????

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PostPosted: January 30th, 2023, 7:24 am 
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
I picked up a X-Mid 2 last spring and it's become my favorite tent over the past year.

https://durstongear.com/product/x-mid-2p

I love the fly first pitch.

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PostPosted: January 30th, 2023, 3:10 pm 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
I almost pulled the trigger on a MHW Trango last winter. Actually did buy it, then returned it in favour of a Hilleberg Keron I found used. Decided it's not worth buying a PU tent for that much $$.

I had a terrible experience with an MSR Hubba and Papa Hubba. Nylon will sag and it seems only Hilleberg drops their inner tent far enough from the fly to be functional long term.

Big downside to a PU tent is that it degrades faster than silicone.

The Moonlight has the polyester low sag benefit and the silicone durability benefit.

I really like the fly first setup of the Hilleberg.


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PostPosted: January 30th, 2023, 5:56 pm 
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Location: winnipeg
Thanks again to all.

Neil, I'm assuming you mean polyurethane coating when you speak of a pu tent. My old MEC tents probably have at least 15 years on them, and maybe more, and I've only had a few issues on the seam tape. How quickly do the new coatings degrade? How much longer does silicone last?
One of my first proper tents was a Quest Cornice 3 aluminum, which was a simple dome but with a hooped vestibule. I liked that feature, and the Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel is another one I'm considering.


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PostPosted: January 31st, 2023, 1:26 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
I've had the PU coatings degrade on several products before other aspects of the product failed.

This is a good read on PU and more.

Waterproof Fabric Coatings 101: PU vs. PE vs. Silicone
https://www.slingfin.com/blogs/the-beta ... s-silicone

I still have a Quest Viper tent. Quest made good tents.

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PostPosted: January 31st, 2023, 7:51 pm 
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Location: winnipeg
Thanks Brian - that was a good read.

Seems like so many things, the more I learn, the more I have to spend to be satisfied! Ignorance was bliss when I thought Polyester urethane was good enough (and maybe it is for me, given how dry it typically is here). Hopefully the SlingFin people are right and more tent makers will adopt the PE and Sil coatings.


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PostPosted: January 31st, 2023, 11:18 pm 
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Location: HFX, Nova Scotia canada
We have an Elixer 3. Lots of room for two and a big dog. Very good in wind, seems to handle it better than some of the newer more upright poled tents that have more room in the ends. Ventilation is ok( not as much mesh as other offerings). Vestibules are biggest we could find but not quite the size of the Wanderer. We like it. Not the lightest out there but good value.


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PostPosted: February 1st, 2023, 1:25 pm 
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Joined: February 26th, 2009, 11:13 am
Posts: 160
Location: Eganville, ON
I'll throw my 2 cents in for you.

20 plus years ago I bought a mountain hardware 2 person tent; its been on hundreds of days camping and is still a great tent after a little work to reseam the fly.

Given that performance, as kids started showing up I bought a 4 and 6 person mountain hardware within the last 5 years or so. Both are much inferior quality, and started causing issues after a single use. The biggest and most frustrating problem is the garbage zippers.

Always sad to see good brands sellout the name and have their reputation destroyed.


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PostPosted: February 1st, 2023, 6:12 pm 
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Joined: October 28th, 2011, 8:51 pm
Posts: 113
check out QingKong 3 by 3fUL gear.

I have the Taiji2 and am happy with it. It satisfies Paddlepowers' desire to just pull the tent up to the poles...it's an exoskeleton tent. Waterproof level is 5000mm. Quality is good and price is right. but i think Taiji2 might be too small for you. It's more like a palace for one person, tight quarters for 2.

The QingKong looks to be a bit bigger. I think the vestibules will require one stake each, though.

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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2023, 2:35 pm 
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I was looking at the Taiji2 but I feel they were out of stock at the time.

Have exhanged a few emails with Mike from thetentlab. He has been great to deal with and so far I recommend at least contacting him about his tents if you have any questions.

Sam

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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2023, 6:06 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
re: polyurethane vs silicone

PU tents can last a long time if they spend little time in the sun and are stored properly. They are damaged by UV faster than silicone (or so the internet says) and can rot when stored damp without being able to breathe. That old tent smell is the polyurethane. I always think I'll store tents perfectly and extend their life but no one is perfect.

One big disadvantage to silicone is that you cannot apply fire coatings. It's actually a positive because a lot of people are bothered by the chemical coatings but when you live in Canada, it means you have to import the tent and risk paying duty.

Silicone also has some stretch, so if you have a nylon tent (like Hilleberg) you can put a little more tension on it.

MSR (and other brands) solution of combining PU and silicone in practise, seems like the worst of both worlds to me.


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