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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking for a well-made tent for skiff camping ENP(chickees and beach), 10K Islands, FL Keys, etc.

Those of you that have done this.....can you recommend a quality tent. I don’t mind spending the cheese for quality. As you know the tent must have the following qualities:

- no-see-um mesh on windows and doors
- ventilation
- waterproof/weatherproof
- relatively lightweight and compact

....and most importantly...

- must stand up to strong winds

I’ve done a lot of camping and backpacking, and most of the tents I’ve used...fit all the above requirements, but don’t hold up well in strong winds. I’d like a cabin tent large enough to hold a cot but a dome tent may be the way to go. Recommendations?
 

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I’ve used several Eureka tents and a Mountain Hardware with great success in the past. The mountain Hardware is a small two man and I use it for chickee camping along with an exped self inflating mat. It’s almost 10 years old and still going strong. It also packs down to the size of a nalgeen bottle and fits great in a kayak.

I used a eureka sunriver 3 for a few years that held up great in some terrible weather, but wasn’t big enough to accommodate a cot. So, Last winter I purchased a eureka suite dream 4 to specifically use with a cot. Held up well to a pretty bad cold front last winter where several other tents in our party had failures (REÍ grand huts). Although, it really wouldn’t fit on a chickee as it’s quite a large footprint. I don’t really like the set up of the doors, but it breathes well and has also done really well on really humid nights as well as in rain. My smaller Sunriver3 breathes almost too well as it gets cold in weather under 50° or so. Zero problems with bugs in any of the three tents.

The longevity and quality of the mountain hardware is impressive but you’re gonna pay for it! I bought both eureka tents as demo on their clearance site.

http://www.eurekacampingctr.com/eureka/dept.asp?s_id=0&dept_id=3068
 

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I have an MSR Hubba Hubba I’ve been very happy with. I think it maybe a bit small for what you’re asking but I believe any MSR tent will work well. Most of my last trips I’ve slept in my Kammock with a big net though.
I really like my Hubba Hubba as well. It can even be set up in the cockpit on my Egret if no land available. .
 

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North face/kelty/bass pro brand. Honsetly any netted dome tent with a full rain fly, especially if youre under a chikee because you have 360 degree ventilation with the rain fly off. Really like my Northface.
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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I’ve used several Eureka tents and a Mountain Hardware with great success in the past. The mountain Hardware is a small two man and I use it for chickee camping along with an exped self inflating mat. It’s almost 10 years old and still going strong. It also packs down to the size of a nalgeen bottle and fits great in a kayak.

I used a eureka sunriver 3 for a few years that held up great in some terrible weather, but wasn’t big enough to accommodate a cot. So, Last winter I purchased a eureka suite dream 4 to specifically use with a cot. Held up well to a pretty bad cold front last winter where several other tents in our party had failures (REÍ grand huts). Although, it really wouldn’t fit on a chickee as it’s quite a large footprint. I don’t really like the set up of the doors, but it breathes well and has also done really well on really humid nights as well as in rain. My smaller Sunriver3 breathes almost too well as it gets cold in weather under 50° or so. Zero problems with bugs in any of the three tents.

The longevity and quality of the mountain hardware is impressive but you’re gonna pay for it! I bought both eureka tents as demo on their clearance site.

http://www.eurekacampingctr.com/eureka/dept.asp?s_id=0&dept_id=3068
Interesting -- I've got a Eureka too (I believe it's actually the Sunriver 3), and I've had 2 cots in it. No room for much else, but we were at a camp site so most of our stuff stayed in the truck or boat. Even made some goofy contraption to hang a box fan from the roof, since it was hot and calm and the bugs would bite you if you accidentally touched the mesh.

So far it's been a great tent for the money -- my focus was on keeping dry rather than dealing with the wind, but I think most dome tents do pretty well against the wind.
 

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I love the hammock/bug net combo for chickee camping and outdoors in the dry season. I have a tarp and a hilleberg nallo 2 which is a bombproof palace for one but it’s not free standing so it wouldn’t work on a chickee.
 

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Interesting -- I've got a Eureka too (I believe it's actually the Sunriver 3), and I've had 2 cots in it. No room for much else, but we were at a camp site so most of our stuff stayed in the truck or boat. Even made some goofy contraption to hang a box fan from the roof, since it was hot and calm and the bugs would bite you if you accidentally touched the mesh.

So far it's been a great tent for the money -- my focus was on keeping dry rather than dealing with the wind, but I think most dome tents do pretty well against the wind.
I’ve stuffed a queen sized air mattress into my sun river! It’s crazy how underrated that little tent is. That was the main reason I stayed with Eureka when I upgraded. I have to admit, going slightly bigger along with a cot has really improved the camping experience. No more getting dressed while laying on my back or on my knees. Also, the larger tent handles the heat better it seems. All good stuff!
 

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I use the Black Diamond Mesa tent that i've had for a decade for my kayak camping. It provides a comfortable amount of space and holds up good in the wind when staked out properly. It was a top of the line tent back in it's day, and is still sold, but other companies have more modern iterations with better materials. However, if you can find a good deal on one, it should suit you well. The modern equivalent would be something like the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV, which is around $500.. You should be able to find the BD Mesa readily around $300 these days, just know you are buying old technology. I would stay away from a flat sided cabin style tent if you are anticipating high winds. I would also make sure to buy a freestanding tent, and one you can lift up an shake the sand out of.
 

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Eureka fan here as well, but the older style Eureka Sunrise. Dry, very well ventilated, not sure about no see ums as I am never in there at dawn or dusk. Can tell you though mosquitoes cannot get in!!
I have a 6 person, 9'x9' and it has a 6'5" height so I can stand up and get dressed. I only camp in ENP and it works perfectly. The key to it holding up in wind are the stakes you use.
When we camp on the beach get sand stakes. They are wide! For Flamingo campground you want heavy metal stakes and for ground sites in the back country you want the plastic yellow ones.
If I was shopping around today, I would look at Eureka's Copper Canyon or the Jade Canyon would be at the top of my list.
Lastly, get a ground cloth that is exactly the same dimensions as your tent. In this case bigger is not better. And for easy clean up put another tarp or floor saver inside as a floor.
 

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So this is kinda interesting to me. I was hoping to camp on a chickee this winter, but the tent I have is for 6 people and maybe 9x9.
Does anyone have pics of their gear set up on a chickee? How big and tall are the platforms really? Better to have a hammock maybe?
 

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So this is kinda interesting to me. I was hoping to camp on a chickee this winter, but the tent I have is for 6 people and maybe 9x9.
Does anyone have pics of their gear set up on a chickee? How big and tall are the platforms really? Better to have a hammock maybe?
I remember years ago one of our friends was all hyped on his new ENO hammock and insisted on using it on our first night. He woke up in the morning wet from the dew and covered in dead bugs. Needless to say, it was a one and done for him.

One of the tricks on the chickees is how to secure your tent. I’ve used deck stakes in the past and have also relied on just the weight of my gear in the tent. I have had my tent blow off one time, but that was my fault since it was empty and not secured on a windy morning as we were packing up. You can buy deck stakes on amazon for like $10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I’ve got some research to do.
 

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I have a Marmot three man and it’s very well made and built to last. I’ve had Bass Pro throw away’s that aren’t bad for the money but side by side comparison will show the difference in quality. I’ve had good luck with Kelty gear too.
The higher dollar gear is stronger but lighter and easier to assemble. When backpacking, it makes a huge difference (vs car camping). Minimalist camping is along the same lines as skiff fishing, less is sometimes more.
 

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I have a North Face. I spent some coin on it, but I'll have it for lifetime. I treated it with permethrin--a couple of coats. I leaned a hard lesson with a cheaper tent several years ago. We put it up on the Chickee after a day of fishing only to find the zipper was broken. So we had a tent full of mosquitoes all night. The second night, we debated staying again but left after dinner! Here's a link with more information..

http://www.camping-tent-reviews.com/north-face-mountain-25-tent.html
 
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