Caribou Gear Tarp

Looking for Tent Advice & Insights

bucdoego

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Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
127
Location
Upper Midwest
I'd vote Luxe Hexpeak XL 3P (brown, snow skirts & vent) with winter inner and 3W stove if I planned to do any deep/late 4th season backpack hunts for Elk, Deer, etc. That is where I'd start, especially since it seems to be one of the better cost/function options. The budget would be plus/minus around $500 (at least recently). It won't break the budget, so you can spend more on the sleep system. I don't expect anything to get cheaper for a while and availability might become an issue. So, I'd act soon if I was serious about it for any 2022 season.
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
Messages
1,382
My vote would also go towards the Seek Outside Cimarron with stove. Or maybe the Lil’ Bug out since you can customize to what you are doing but since I don’t own one I can’t speak to it, but if I had to do it over again that’s the route I would go. I do love my Cimarron and it great for 2 guys and a stove. I did find that I’m 6’2 and felt a little cramped when I slept on the stove side and we laid next to the doors. E6BEFA2A-1FA9-402E-B0DC-D6EEA57FE4D7.jpeg
 

WBouldin

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Oct 27, 2010
Messages
527
Location
California
Yeah, I think you could fit two people and the stove. Will be a bit on the tight side depending on how tall you are. As far as gear, that will all depend on how much you are packing but you should be able to get quite a bit inside with you. At least the stuff you really care about. And it would be very easy to stretch a secondary tarp off of one side to stow some gear outside but under cover.
As far as condensation, you will have some. Not having a vent right at the peak impedes air flow to some degree. Firing up the stove solves that problem though in short order.
Just bought one of these. 50% off right now.
 

WBouldin

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Oct 27, 2010
Messages
527
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California
Just bought one of these. 50% off right now.
As a follow-up….I’ve seen a lot of recent reviews of customers saying they paid for a tent and never received it / phone calls and e-mails to customer service go unanswered, etc. For the price, hoping it shows up and will call it a win. If it doesn’t, that’s why you buy stuff on a CC with payment protection. Sounds like people used debit cards and are now SOL.
 
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GoGriz1234

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Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
156
As a follow-up….I’ve seen a lot of recent reviews of customers saying they paid for a tent and never received it / phone calls and e-mails to customer service go unanswered, etc. For the price, hoping it shows up and will call it a win. If it doesn’t, that’s why you buy stuff on a CC with payment protection. Sounds like people used debit cards and are now SOL.
If that is true that is really sad. I have purchased multiple items from them and never had an issue. Hopefully they correct any issues and make it right for those people.
 

JAG

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
234
As a follow-up….I’ve seen a lot of recent reviews of customers saying they paid for a tent and never received it / phone calls and e-mails to customer service go unanswered, etc. For the price, hoping it shows up and will call it a win. If it doesn’t, that’s why you buy stuff on a CC with payment protection. Sounds like people used debit cards and are now SOL.
I've seen those too. I'm in a group that talks about tipi tents and the collective masses who order from Luxe eventually do get the product. They are extremely slow and customer service is not the best.

When you upgrade to the SO product, you pay for both service and product. SO's fabric strikes the perfect compromise between being lightweight and very strong. The fabric of my 8P tipi tent from SO initially feels like it might be too light to hold onto the seams for the heavy, YKK zippers, but after setting it up and using it, this super-thin lightweight fabric is just so strong. It is even thinner than parachute silk. The Luxe product is more than 2x heavier and not as strong as the SO's Dyneema fabric.

Seek Outside 8P:
Canopy, stakes, aluminum pole 7 lb 10 oz
Canopy - 4 lb 4 oz

Luxe 8P:
Canopy, stakes, aluminum pole - 15.1 lbs
Canopy - 9.2 lbs
 

WBouldin

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
527
Location
California
I've seen those too. I'm in a group that talks about tipi tents and the collective masses who order from Luxe eventually do get the product. They are extremely slow and customer service is not the best.

When you upgrade to the SO product, you pay for both service and product. SO's fabric strikes the perfect compromise between being lightweight and very strong. The fabric of my 8P tipi tent from SO initially feels like it might be too light to hold onto the seams for the heavy, YKK zippers, but after setting it up and using it, this super-thin lightweight fabric is just so strong. It is even thinner than parachute silk. The Luxe product is more than 2x heavier and not as strong as the SO's Dyneema fabric.

Seek Outside 8P:
Canopy, stakes, aluminum pole 7 lb 10 oz
Canopy - 4 lb 4 oz

Luxe 8P:
Canopy, stakes, aluminum pole - 15.1 lbs
Canopy - 9.2 lbs
If this doesn’t show, I’ll go Seek Cim Lite with the 1/2 mesh I think
 

WIbiggame

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Jan 5, 2013
Messages
606
Location
Wisconsin
If this doesn’t show, I’ll go Seek Cim Lite with the 1/2 mesh I think

The other thing with Luxe is once the box is open you are stuck with the tent. Even if it shows up ripped, or isn't what you want. They have a return policy only if the original box isn't opened. That and the reviews of customer service was more than enough to scare me away. Hope you get your tent and enjoy it! I know a few who have them and like them and a few more with horror stories.
 

matechakeric

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Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
382
how does the Luxe tent hold up to wind?
If you are solo for most of the time then it is quite roomy and the weight for one person is not bad at all. My wife and I have used it with the stove, she is 5'4" and I am 6'1" and we fit just fine but it was spring/fall camping so not as much gear as two hunters might bring in.
 

Alpine01

Active member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
136
Location
Colorado
how does the Luxe tent hold up to wind?
I haven't had any issues with mine. Strongest winds I have been in were in the 30-40 mph range with some higher gusts. I run the second level guys out when I know there is wind or snow in the forecast and that keeps it really stable.
 

perma

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May 31, 2022
Messages
70
Location
Midwest
For those with wood stoves; where in your pack do you place it? Meat loading side?
 

bignest

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Mar 4, 2018
Messages
30
I can’t imagine packing in a wood stove on a backpack hunt. I barely have room for my jet boil lol. Weight aside, I don’t have the room. Personally I prefer hammock tents with an under quilt in late season, and they make a great base camp. They don’t take up a lot of room. Gear stays dry under the canopy and the hammock can double as a chair. If you get stuck at camp from rain or whatever weather it’s more comfy sitting under the rain fly than in a backpackers tiny tent. Plus no bugs to worry about lol.

If you are sleeping on the ground I think the pad is more important than the tent. If you hit big snow and you don’t have an insulated pad you will suffer at night. As far as tents, I own and have used as small as the helium bivy and a as large as a 4 person. I prefer a 2 person with a vestibule. I’ve used expensive name brands and cheap stuff. Oddly, my favorite backpack ground tent is an ozark 2 person. It’s super small profile with 3 very tiny tent poles and does not condensate. It was $45 and out performs all my expensive tents. Not counting the helium…that’s a different category. I would prioritize the packing size and look for a pole system that clips as opposed to slide through fabric during setup. It’s faster and more durable and you don’t want that breaking on a hunt.
 

Alpine01

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Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
136
Location
Colorado
For those with wood stoves; where in your pack do you place it? Meat loading side?
Generally wherever it best fits. For me, it is midway up the pack and up against the stays and then I pack (working out from the "back") a few soft items and then my food bin/food so the heaviest items are centered on my back. In CO you have to have bear-proof storage and I ended up using a BearVault. It is on the heavier side but the Ursack I had before didn't hold up well. I can get 6 days of food packed in that container which works well for the way I hunt.
 

Redman

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Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
1,361
Location
Indiana
I can’t imagine packing in a wood stove on a backpack hunt. I barely have room for my jet boil lol. Weight aside, I don’t have the room. Personally I prefer hammock tents with an under quilt in late season, and they make a great base camp. They don’t take up a lot of room. Gear stays dry under the canopy and the hammock can double as a chair. If you get stuck at camp from rain or whatever weather it’s more comfy sitting under the rain fly than in a backpackers tiny tent. Plus no bugs to worry about lol.

If you are sleeping on the ground I think the pad is more important than the tent. If you hit big snow and you don’t have an insulated pad you will suffer at night. As far as tents, I own and have used as small as the helium bivy and a as large as a 4 person. I prefer a 2 person with a vestibule. I’ve used expensive name brands and cheap stuff. Oddly, my favorite backpack ground tent is an ozark 2 person. It’s super small profile with 3 very tiny tent poles and does not condensate. It was $45 and out performs all my expensive tents. Not counting the helium…that’s a different category. I would prioritize the packing size and look for a pole system that clips as opposed to slide through fabric during setup. It’s faster and more durable and you don’t want that breaking on a hunt.
Really you use a hammock tent in October in CO, WY, or ID? You must have figured it out. Let me know what brand it is bro so I can get rid of my hot tent and wake up all toasty warm dry clothes and everything after hunting in all that snow. This is a game changer...or at least my last hunting trip....or any trip for that matter.
 

bignest

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Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
30
I think it’s much warmer than being on the ground as long as you have an under quilt. Will freeze without the under quilt. I’ll look in my computer for some better images later. Thats Colorado unit 70 2021. Saw a huge color phase bear about 300 yards from my camp…I’d guess 500lbs or more. Didn’t have a bear tag. This was Sept but a storm came in unexpectedly and dumped quite a bit of snow. First time I’d been in a lightning snow storm.
 

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bucdoego

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
127
Location
Upper Midwest
I think it’s much warmer than being on the ground as long as you have an under quilt. Will freeze without the under quilt. I’ll look in my computer for some better images later. Thats Colorado unit 70 2021. Saw a huge color phase bear about 300 yards from my camp…I’d guess 500lbs or more. Didn’t have a bear tag. This was Sept but a storm came in unexpectedly and dumped quite a bit of snow. First time I’d been in a lightning snow storm.
BN, tell us about your setup? Bands, Models, Down, Synthetic, Weight, etc. Did you hang your pack and box/rifle in a tree? I'm intrigued. Very interesting!
 

bignest

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Mar 4, 2018
Messages
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I am not endorsed or sponsored by REI lol. No affiliate linking going on here :) .

Tent: https://www.rei.com/product/110804/rei-co-op-quarter-dome-air-hammock
Since discontinued. It is what I would call an 'entry level' tent. Quality is good but maybe a little heavy compared to some others. It still packs very small as I just stuff it around my other gear. The only 'problem' is also one of the benefits. It has two poles that span across the shoulders and feet to keep the hammock from 'squeezing'. If you watch some videos on youtube about hammock tents you will see there is a skill to sleeping without shoulder squeeze (sleep diagonal), but those poles eliminate the issue all together allowing me to side sleep and belly sleep when I feel like it. The problem with the poles is they require a little more thought to packing. I squeeze mine between the frame and pack.

Quilt: https://www.rei.com/product/118931/rei-co-op-hammock-underquilt
Another 'entry level' quilt. Also discontinued sadly. If you aren't familiar, these go UNDER the hammock...like a hammock for the hammock. If you sleep directly on it it compresses the down and won't work. This is why I think hammocks are warmer than a tent...if you are in a sleeping bag on the ground the pressure from the sleeping pad renders the sleeping bag's insulation much less effective. If I sleep in my hammok without a quilt in 50 degree weather with a 30 degree sleeping bag I am a little chilly. With the quilt I can sleep with the same bag down into the teens if I keep my down gear on. In that picture above the temp was in teens and I had my 0 degree bag. I had to strip to my base layers.

Storage: When I'm out on my food goes back up into the tree, and any extra gear I'm leaving at camp I set in the hammock or underneath based on weather. When one actually lays down in the hammock to sleep the whole apparatus, including the canopy, will condense towards the ground. I place all my gear directly under the hammock with my boots right outside the rain fly. With the lowers profile the guy lines from the canopy will keep everything dry. I lay my rifle on my pack to keep it off the ground. During archery I usually just lean my bow against the tree if its not snowing...I tend not to worry about it getting wet so much.

Disclaimer :) My bias: I don't like the space insulated sleeping pads take up in my pack, and uninsulated just doesn't work for me if I have to sleep on snow. I've also seen two premium pads break during hunts in my 5 years hunting out west. I bought all this stuff to try out in PA during overnighters and just enjoyed it more so I started taking it out west (PA hunters can chime in about our tick issues). There are definitely lighter weight and slimmer options than what I own, but I was dipping my tow in the water. I've had two buddies that have tried it since I bought mine. One bought a cheaper amazon version, and the other asks to borrow mine all the time. Neither of those guys are hunters, just campers. A couple other buddies have tried it out for a few minutes and said they like it, but still use traditional tents on our hunts . I do run a little cold compared to the other guys I hunt with...I wear 600g beartooths for September Elk and 1400 g knee highs for late season whitetail tree stands...feet are still cold :( . For western hunts I use First Lite North Branch outers and halstead mids. Kuiu Puffys when I glass with some merino base all the way into early novemeber (colorado). (not gear bragging, just giving idea for how my temp runs) I haven't ran into issues yet with tree distance. I carry an extra set of straps if I need the length but haven't needed them yet. Every night I spend 5 minutes wondering what I would do if and Elk or moose antlers get tangled in my ropes, but hasn't happened yet lol. Overall, I prefer the hammock, but this year I will probably leave it in the truck and use the helium even though the hammock is 100x more comfortable. We plan on sleeping somewhere new every night which lends itself to the bivy, but if I was setting up a semi-permanent camp I would choose the hammock.
 

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