• Happy National Pin-up Day! 📌🧀🎂

New tents: they all have too much inner screens

Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
699
Reaction score
439
Something happened to tent design when I wasn't looking and I don't much like it. Somehow all the walls of the tent, instead of being fabric, are mostly mesh screens. I have tried these tents and can't sleep in them. Even with the fly on tight, a sharp wind whistles right into the tent and leaves me chilled.

I want a tent with an outer door that is solid and waterproof and an inner door that has a screen. They are all single doors, with screen mesh. I want ventilation, but I also want to be able to close it in bad weather.

Does anyone know if anyone is making these (now apparently) old fashioned tents? Or want to sell an old one?

Thank you, friends
 

still a classic. Heavy for backpacking but manageable for canoe camping.
The door is solid mesh. No way to close it on the tent as far as I can see.

You need what is usually referred to as a "4 season" tent. They typically have solid fabric inner tent walls, or at least, half height solid with mesh upper walls.
I have been looking at 3 and 4 season tents. Yes, some have half height solid, but I haven't seen any that are all solid.
 
Though you may not need all the capabilities of a dedicated 4 season tent, they are most likely to have solid body inner tents. Keep in mind however, that solid body tents often have breathability issues, particularly in humid, damp weather. A half-wall body should keep out drafts while promoting ventilation.

There a number of REI tents with half-walls at reasonable prices. Their return policy is liberal in case you're not satisfied.
 
Thank you, Patrick. I understand the problems with solid wall tents and condensation, etc. I've been doing this for more than 40 years. This obsession with mesh walls is fairly recent, I think.

I am really too cold in a tent that has so much air circulation. I need to be able to close up the tent to the breeze to stay warm.

I have been a member of REI since the 70s; they have gotten a significant portion of my pay over the years. I have reviewed all their tents. I've searched with google. I can find ultra expedition tents in the $1000 and up range, but that is out of my price range and really is over kill.

Here is the tent I did buy. The description said some of the mesh screens had closures, but I do not see them when I set up the tent. If all else fails, I will sew covers for all the mesh panels. Yuck!

Plus, don't you want to have the doors open to screen mesh when, for example, you are packing up in daylight and the bugs are bad? I want a mesh door with a zipper that is covered by a solid door that also zips closed. So much of the functionality of the tent is lost without that kind of door.

MSR Hubba Hubba
 
Tarptent Cloudburst3

Would this have been OK?.
I really am happy with it as I can really close it up in a storm.
Thank you Marten,

I was looking at those tarptents. They seem to have quite an understanding and ability to sort of personalize the tents to the buyers' needs.
It wasn't clear to me if the mesh doors could be closed with something solid besides the outer fly. Except for that, they look like great tents.
 
I looked online at the Eureka 2-person, outfitter grade tent. The pictures hint that it has a solid fabric which will cover the screen door.

Probably most tents are designed for the masses, and the masses camp in the summer, so staying cool is a priority. Maybe that explains all the screen in tent body.

Those little prop-open vents don’t make much difference, at least in my current tent. It still gathers condensation, even with all the screening.

if the weather is cold enough to suppress bugs and creepy-crawlies, I prefer sleeping without a tent. My bivy sack offers good wind protection. A bivy packs small and doesn’t weigh much. You might consider a bivy in the tent to minimize heat loss from wind blowing through the tent.
 
The door is solid mesh. No way to close it on the tent as far as I can see.


I have been looking at 3 and 4 season tents. Yes, some have half height solid, but I haven't seen any that are all solid.
The Vestibule is sold separately. It is not mesh.

had one for many many years and spent 3 months in Wabakimi(work crew) in all sorts of weather .
 

still a classic. Heavy for backpacking but manageable for canoe camping.
It's a great tent - my go to for car/no portage canoe camping - but all mesh/screen above bathtub floor. There are solid panels on front and back - at least on mine. They zip over the mesh or there are Velcro tabs to roll them up at bottom of mesh. I've done fine I it at -20°F in Wisconsin Januaries. I still leave the peaks in unzipped.

Did you look at Exped tents?
 
Last edited:
I'm happy with the Exped Venus II. It's doors have mesh screens with an additional layer of inner tent fabric for cold nights. The only downside is that it's not completely freestanding.

DSCN3168.jpeg
DSCN3079.jpeg
 
It's a great tent - my go to for car/no portage canoe camping - but all mesh/screen above bathtub floor. There are solid panels on front and back - at least on mine. They zip over the mesh or there are Velcro tabs to roll them up at bottom of mesh. I've done fine I it at -20°F in Wisconsin Januaries. I still leave the peaks in unzipped.

Did you look at Exped tents?
It is now? Mine had no mesh at all except the door !
Because we cold weather camped we had a Mountain Hardware Trango 3.1
Heavy beast but no mesh : used at Everest Basecamp

A bit much for one

And pretty hot.
 
Heres a picture without fly. All that white is mesh. Netting on doors. Pretty sure that's the way it's always been, at least 20-25 years. Started using them around 2002.

1688857252695.png
 
Erica - Not saying things haven't changed over the years but every Eureka "Timberline" I've ever used/purchased, regardless of size or style, had two doors. The outer one is solid nylon and the inner one is all screen. The zippers were designed so you could have them fully open, partially open, one open/one closed, etc. There were lots of variations which allowed you to allow as much ventilation, or as little, as you'd like.

If you think you might be interested in one but can't find it anywhere, I do have some old 4 person Timberlines from my guiding days. They've been in storage for a few years but everything is there so if you're interested, let me know. I'll get one off to you.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...

be well.

snapper
 
Hi Erica,
I also would champion the cause of the 4-season tent. About four years ago my late 1990's Mountain Hardwear Nightview tent gave up the ghost and I too had to find a solid wall tent. After exhaustive searching I settled on the EXPED Orion 3. I like a 4-season tent that can be adjusted from well vented to a "batten down the hatches" tent to adjust for current conditions. A 4-season tent will be a bit heavier and pricier, but will provide a much better rain, wind and cold weather protection than I have found in any meshed walled tent. North Face, Marmot, Mountain Hardware, Hilleberg, EXPED and others produce some very nice 4-season tents.
You may want to check online with EverestGear, Moosejaw and Backcounty; they often run some very good sales.
 
Last edited:
Of course the change came about due to single issue tent buyers. What is the cheapest tent I can buy that weighs less than all the others on the market?
The answer the manufacturers provide is to use as much mesh netting as possible, as the cheapest and lightest weight fabric available. Lets make and market a cheap liightweight tent. Sold.

I have a 4 season Moss Outlander that I bought many years ago. It is all solid fabric with a couple of high mesh vents. Too warm for usual summer nights and a bit on the heavy side for backpacking. But it works well in cooler weather, especially when canoetripping, or for winter use. Otherwise I am usually a hammock camper, or sometimes use an Alps solo, or Alps "2-person" tent with a fair amount of net mesh inner walls construction.

This is what my Moss Outander looks like without the outer solid rain fly installed the light tan color fabric is solid, not mesh, the door has a mesh screen and a separate solid flap closure:
1688867473823.png
 
Last edited:
Heres a picture without fly. All that white is mesh. Netting on doors. Pretty sure that's the way it's always been, at least 20-25 years. Started using them around 2002.

View attachment 136387
I had one in the 1980 's The only mesh was the doors. The white was a lighter nylon and decidedly not mesh. I also have in the barn a North Face Tadpole 23 No mesh but only one door so its a crawl in The door is at the head end.. Free if I find its still usable.
 
Hello Aslowhand - The Venus II looks good, but is sold out, or available for $1200, which is higher than I can go.

Hello Yellowcanoe - I realize some of the tents with mesh doors have a rain fly which will cover the door. This type of construction still allows wind to rush is under the fly and through the mesh. I checked out the Northface Tadpole here:
Northface Tadpole
I like it. I don't mind one door or crawling in, although two doors is nicer for ventilation. At $550, it is at the high end of what I want to pay, but worth consideration.

Hello Snapper - all the Eureka Timberline tents I see when I google have mesh walls, or at least mesh doors without a nylon cover. I'd love to take you up on one of your older tents, but a four-person tent would be way too big for me. I am traveling solo. I do like a 2-person tent though. I like the extra room. Thank you.

Hello SouthernKevlar. This tent looks perfect, but I haven't found it for sale yet, except by this company which may be fraudulent:
Expedsale.com
I will check out the retailers you list. Some I am already familiar with, but others are new to me. Thank you.

Hello Yknpdlr, This Outlander tent looks good, but I cannot find it for sale anywhere, except used on ebay, which I am reluctant to do, considering the used tents are selling between 400-600$. I agree with you about the lightest weight craze these days. It has brought some innovations and has ruined other products. Like tents. Thank you.

Someone suggested a bivy. I have two. I have considered bringing the bivy and setting it up inside the tent. This is a 3-4 week trip, so do not want to be in a bivy that whole time.
 
Last edited:
Back
Top