Tent options to consider this hunting season
Let’s be honest: every year, no matter how much stuff we have, we’re always looking to upgrade something within our arsenal. For me, 2022 is the year of the tent. I’m not talking about your late November straight wall canvas tents because if properly taken care of, there’s no need to upgrade those bad boys. I’m talking more along the lines of your backpack style, spike camp or quick roadside tent. I’ve been running my old faithful for the last six maybe seven seasons and, thanks to a curious black bear, it’s time.
I’ve been running a Big Agnes two-person, three-season tent for all my scouting trips and early-season backpack trips. You might ask yourself, “Why a two-person tent when you’re by yourself?” The biggest reason for me is the extra space. I don’t like the feeling of being stuffed in a tube, so if an extra pound or two is what it takes to be comfortable, then it’s a fair trade. Now, if it’s peak summertime, I do have a couple of different tarp setups that I use for quick overnighters; however, I truly prefer a tent. So let’s take a look at some "hot new options" for this year. If you’d like to do some further research on some of these tents yourself, feel free to check out the GOHUNT Gear Shop for all the items that we carry.
From the GOHUNT Gear Shop, I’ve picked out a few options. My initial approach to deciding on which tent to purchase starts with the basic specifications (weight, footprint, season, etc.). For me, the price tag is the last thing I look at before making my final decision because I’m going to be investing in quality and something that will last me quite a while.
Option 1 — MSR Hubba Hubba
The first tent that’s on my radar is the Hubba Hubba two-person backpacking tent by MSR. I’m looking at MSR because it’s a reputable company that has been in the game for a long time. I tend to steer clear of off-brand companies because, in the end, I want good-quality equipment. Once again, I personally size up my tents just for the purpose of giving myself the extra room. The overall inside dimensions of this tent will give me plenty of room for myself and all of the stuff that I want to keep protected (I’ll put a specs table below). The overall weight, including the rain fly, gives me a total of just over three pounds, which is very manageable. I’m not a big vestibule guy, so the simple, rectangular footprint for this Hubba will make it easy to set up and tear down. For a three-season tent, the MSR Hubba Hubba should be incredibly stable, waterproof and allow me to stay comfortable while up on the mountain.
MSR Hubba Hubba
|Weight||3 lbs 4 oz|
|Minimum Weight||2 lbs 14 oz|
|Packed Size||18.1" x 4.3"|
|Floor Space||29 sq. ft|
|Vestibule Size||15 sq. ft|
|Max Inside Width||50"|
|Max Inside Length||84"|
|Tent Body Material||10D polyester micro-mesh, 20D ripstop nylon with DWR fabric,|
20D ripstop nylon floor with 1200mm DuraShield polyurethane and DWR coating
|Rainfly Material||20D ripstop nylon with 1200mm DuraShield polyurethane|
and silicone coating
Option 2 — Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2
The second tent that I have my eye on is the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL two-person tent, which is another three-season tent. I have owned two previous Big Agnes tents and they have both performed very well. I guess I’m pursuing others simply to broaden my horizons. From the start, I noticed a similar footprint and a slight weight difference; however, once you include the weight of the fly, they are really close. The Big Agnes is a couple of inches shorter in headroom; however, with any of these tents, you can’t stand up in them anyways, so is headroom really that important? Probably not. I do like the single pole setup system, which should make it a little easier for setup and teardown. If I had to choose between just these two, I would probably favor the MSR due to the extra headroom and trying something new. Below are the specs for the Big Agnes Tiger Wall.
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2
|Weight||2 lbs 8 oz|
|Minimum Weight||2 lbs 3 oz|
|Packed Size||18" x 5.5"|
|Floor Space||28 sq. ft|
|Vestibule Size||8 sq. ft / 8 sq. ft|
|Max Inside Width||52" - 42"|
|Max Inside Length||86"|
|Poles||DAC Featherlite NFL|
|Rainfly Material||Solution-dyed fabric nylon|
and polyester mesh
or material defects
Option 3 — Hilleberg Nallo
The last tent on my list of potentials is the Hilleberg Nallo two-person tent, which unlike the first two, is a four-season tent. Typically, I wouldn’t look at a four-season tent because I don’t really plan to do too much backpacking in November. However, the two things that really intrigue me about these Hilleberg tents are their durability and the fact that they are 100% waterproof. Rain flys on a three-season tent are great, but there’s something about knowing that you’ll always have the ability to stay dry that I really like. I was worried about being too hot on my early-season trips, but the Nallo has a new built-in vent within the rear wall to cool things down. One downside of the Nallo is that you are looking at a pack weight of just over five pounds. So I would be adding a little more weight than I want, but I think that just reassures me of how well-built and durable this tent is. The footprint and internal space are exactly what I’m looking for and you can find the other specs in the table below.
|Weight||5 lbs 5 oz|
|Minimum Weight||4 lbs 7 oz|
|Floor Space||28 sq. ft|
|Vestibule Size||14 sq. ft|
|Max Inside Width||51"|
|Max Inside Length||86"|
|Poles||9 mm DAC NSL|
|Outer Tent Material||Kerlon 1200|
and material defects
I’ve picked three solid options that are all fit for the job and now it comes down to what I’ll be getting for the money that I spend. There is no doubt that with most hunting equipment, quality comes with a price tag and the Hilleberg is definitely top-of-the-line quality. The MSR and Big Agnes are close enough all around, including price, but I think I will get a sturdier tent if I went with the MSR Hubba 2. So I need to decide whether or not I want a bulletproof setup with a price tag or a really good, lightweight setup. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but something tells me to break out the checkbook and enjoy sleeping through whatever conditions the mountain throws my way. (Hint: Hilleberg)