I have a Bibler Ahwahnee, which is a brilliant tent, but I see new options for tents that are a kilo or more lighter. Having compared Black Diamond’s HiLight and Nemo's Nano, they look sturdy and light. But how can I check for breathability to match my Bibler?—IanJohannesburg, South Africa

Do you recommend using a hammock or tent when camping in the tropics?—The EditorsSanta Fe, New Mexico

I'm from Colorado but living for a short while in the UK. I'd like to buy a two-person tent that can withstand the rain and has excellent venting because I love my down sleeping bag. Can you recommend one? Jie Oxford, UK

In your experienced opinion, who makes the best three-season, solo, CONDENSATION-FREE, tent? Michael Santa Fe, NM

I'm looking for the lightest breatheable bivy sack out there, any suggestions? Gabe Lander, WY

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What is the lightest two-person three-season tent? I define a tent as something that is big enough to lie down or sit in, and keeps the rain and bugs out. All the manufacturers are trying to confuse me by listing minimum weight, packaged weight, trail weight, fastpack weight, packed weight... Erik Rochester, NY

For hiking in the Andes, what four-season tent would you recommend? Looking for one that'll give me the best weight-to-strength ratio with least condensation and a proper vestibule? Christien Pretoria, South Africa

We have a great 20-year-old 14x14 Eureka family tent. This summer a branch came down and tore a 36 inch vertical rip in the tent. Can it be repaired? Is there a company here in Northern California that does that or a kit I can buy to repair such a long (clean) tear? Gloria Millbrae, CA

Is an expedition or burly mountaineering tent (such as The North Face Mountain 25 or Mountain Hardwear's Trango) needed for Aconcagua? Will a sturdy four-season tent suffice? Azad Los Angeles, CA

We are in need of a new tent! Our wonderful ten-year-old, well-used Walrus has served us well, but the dog ate the vestibule two years ago and the duct tape is old, the pole sleeves are starting to shred, and the poles are fatigued. We need to accommodate four people as well as one dog in the vestibule, and will be camping in the Idaho mountains. We typically car camp, but I would like to add short backpacking trips as our kids are getting older. We tried a tent from REI and we froze over Memorial Day. It is not uncommon to have snow on the 4th of July. We also camp in the more temperate areas of Oregon, so ventilation is good. I really want a new tent just like my Walrus, but I find the choices overwhelming. Can you help limit our options? Thanks! Love your column. Michelle Boise, ID

What is the minimum recommended thickness for a backpacking tent floor to prevent early wearing out of the tent? Big Agnes sells a Seedhouse 2 tent with a rated trail weight of 3 lb, 14 oz. It sells a Seedhouse SL2 tent—the se size and design except for different materials—with a 2 lb, 14 oz. trail weight. One difference that saves weight: a 1,500 mm polyurethane-coated floor for the Seedhouse 2; 1,200 mm for the SL2. Marshall Atlanta, GA

I've been a conventional tent guy for years, but the Hennessy Hammocks intrigue me. How much of an adjustment would it be a for a tent guy to switch to a hammock? Do they really live up to the hype? Andrew Shreveport, LA

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My son is completing Cub Scouts this spring and moving on to Boy Scouts in the summer. I searching for a sturdy tent for his use in the Boy Scouts, who average about a three- to four-mile hike in on most of their trips. I would like to find a one- or two-person tent that would allow for his gear to be stored inside and still have some room for dressing and sleeping. The weather in our area (Southeast United States) is hot, wet summers with thunderstorms and moderately cold, dry winters. Cost is a consideration because I expect this tent to be replaced at least once before he finishes Scouts. Jack Charlotte, NC

I have a Moonstone bivy sack—it has seven graphite rods with both graphite and metal ferrels (similar to tent poles). Does Moonstone still exist? If so, how do I contact them? If not, is there another source for these graphite rods? Geoffrey Cbridge, MA

What is your recommendation for a largish two-man tent? We're both six foot, two inches tall. I'd like to use it for an upcoming AT thru-hike, starting in Georgia in January, and also for some winter Pennsylvania camping. Any chance we can find one that weighs under five pounds without sacrificing durability? Luke Scranton, PA

What is the lightest solo tent, one that also offers serious protection in storms? Peggy San Jose, CA

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What is the minimum recommended thickness for a backpacking-tent floor? Big Agnes’s Seedhouse SL2 tent has a trail weight of two pounds, 14 ounces, with a 1,200mm polyurethane floor coating. Should I instead opt for the similar Seedhouse 2, which has a 1,500mm floor coating but weighs three pounds, 14 ounces? Marshall Atlanta, Georgia

My wife and I are trekking in Chile and Argentina next summer, so we’ve decided to exploit the circumstances and replace most of our equipment with newer and lighter items. Can you build the ideal shopping list for us? Yonathan Tel Aviv, Israel

The 37-year-old Victor, Idaho, resident spends over 100 days a year in the field, often chasing the world's best skiers around in snowy ranges from Bolivia to Morocco. Here's what he usually takes along.

Could you recommend a good freestanding, lightweight two-person tent? My husband and I often take multi-day kayaking trips and cp on rocky islands (e.g., in Sweden or Canada) where pegs can be difficult to use. We’d also like to take it on hiking trips of up to a week. We tend to go places that aren't particularly warm and can be wet. Katrina Cbridge, United Kingdom

I have always stored my sleeping bag loose in a large plastic bin or a pillow case. But what about long-term storage of nylon tents? Should I be concerned about storing them rolled up in the original bags? Sadly, it could be a year or so before they get used again. Jay Fredericksburg, Virginia

We go to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival every year in mid-June, when temperatures reach mid-80s in the day but can dip into the 20s at night. We need a tent that’s large enough for a double bed, duffel bags with 10 days of clothes, guitars, and headroom to stand up in without tripping over the bed. And, of course, the tent should hold in warmth. We were thinking a 10’x18’ cabin-style tent would work. Any suggestions? Bill Colorado

My hiking buddy for Vancouver’s North Coast Trail already has a solo tent, so I'm looking for something for me. Is a freestanding tent worth the extra weight and the extra pole? Dan Calgary, Alberta

I've been a backpacker for 30-plus years, and recently I've noticed my knees complaining after steep downhill stretches. I'm considering making a shift to ultralight gear, and I think a lightweight trail-running shoe is a good start. Can you offer some suggestions for someone making this switch? Kurtis Seattle, Washington

Do you have any recommendations for a good weather-tight, car-camping, summertime, family tent (for six people)? Charles Fort Smith, Arkansas

I have just acquired a Quest Starlight tent that’s in pretty good shape. But, the older fellow who sold it to me said that it likely wouldn't hold up to several days of rain. Can I make the fly waterproof enough so it won't wet-out if rained on for a long time? What about the floor? Ken Calgary, Alberta

I would rank my outdoorsyness at a seven. I love backpacking, but I don’t get out as often as I would like. I did, however, recently backpack South erica and survived winter in southern Argentina with a cheap-o tent. Now I want to invest in a good two-person tent. What do you suggest? Alex San Francisco, California

My buddy and I are planning a mega-hike down one of Colorado’s mid-length trails during summer 2009. What type of preparation and equipment will we need for a 250-mile hike? What about an overnighter that I'll be doing later this summer? Jason Pace, Florida

What’s the best three-season, ultra-light tent for Rocky Mountain backpacking? I've looked at the The North Face Vario 23, MSR Hubba Hubba, and Marmot Aura 2P. Gabe Montana

My son and I winter cp, and we want to buy a new tent that will last many years and survive his solo trip to Alaska. Would you recommend the Hilleberg brand? Van Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I noticed that Sierra Designs rates its tent-floor waterproofing at 165 psi, while Mountain Hardwear rates its tents at 5,000 mm. Which of these two fabrics is the most waterproof? And why the different rating method? Grant Birmingh, Alabama

I'm looking for a tent that can do it all. I’ll be in New Zealand in July (their winter) biking around the North Island. I also really like to backpack here in Oregon. Which tent will work for both pursuits? Zach La Grande, Oregon

I have a Marmot EOS 1 tent that I love for three-season camping in Colorado. I would like to use the EOS occasionally for winter camping, but I wonder how well the EOS would protect me from blowing snow. Would it be a wise investment for me to purchase a bivy to use inside my EOS for those few times I may camp in the winter? Sherry Parker, Colorado

I’m looking for a relatively inexpensive tent for winter camping. I’ve seen some tents advertised for three-and-a-half-season use, but I'm not exactly sure what this means. What is the difference between a three-and-a-half-season tent and a four-season tent? Michael Poynette, Wisconsin

I’m curious about the ARB Simpson II Rooftop Touring Tent, which attaches to a vehicle's roof rack. It makes sense in a place like Australia, where sleeping on the ground could be riskier. But for the North American camper, is this a revolution in car camping or just a waste of money? Jay Dana Point, California

I need a light tent that comfortably fits two people but can fit three in a pinch. I leery of single-walled tents because of numerous reviewers citing condensation problems. What is your recommendation? Mike Midland, Texas

I rolled out my tent fly after not using it for a while and it was all stuck together. With difficulty I was able to unstick it for use. But if I roll it up again, I’m sure it will get stuck and perhaps rip when I try to use it again. I've aired and sunned it out on the line for many days. No change. Help! Charles Fairfax, California

I have a single wall Garuda tent, and I recently noticed that the fabric had separated into two pieces of fabric with water pooling between it. I planning on sealing it with techtron. Will this also help the fabric to rebind into one piece? John San Luis Obispo, California

I'm hiking the Teton Crest Trail soon and want to try out a solo tent in an effort to lighten my pack weight. Could you give me your opinion on a few ultra-light solo tents? Doug Saint Louis, Missouri

I live above the Arctic Circle, and a friend wants to come up this winter to help out with the dogs. He wants to stay in a tent on our property. I'm leaning toward a Cabela’s Outfitter canvas wall tent or ISQ tent with two pods. What’s your opinion of these tents? Jeff bler, Alaska

I do a lot of camping on float trips, and the river canyons can be awfully hot. I’m looking for a tent that provides maximum ventilation even with a rain fly on. The Quest tent I use has good air flow, but it doesn't hold up to high winds. Is there any hope? Sue Great Falls, Montana

How can I prevent my tent from warping in all the worst places, shrinking at some points and stretching elsewhere? This leads to sagging in the rain. I never pack them wet and never let them dry in the sun. And thanks for all the advice; I have been a reader for the past ten years.

We purchased a Sierra Designs Bedouin 6 tent thinking it would be the perfect size for our family of four. But it’s just a little too small. We need something that’s just a foot or two wider and longer. Any suggestions? Dawn Minneapolis, Minnesota

I’m interested in your opinion of the single-walled Mountain Hardwear EV3 expedition tent. I haven’t seen a valid review anywhere, but I have heard that there are some concerns with ventilation. The tent is obviously bomber, but what else can you tell me? Joe Los Angeles, California

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I’m an avid hiker, and now I’m expanding my horizons to the water via a kayak. I’m thinking about getting a new tent for these trips. Which tent works well on the beach? Andy Baltimore, Maryland

I looking for a lightweight tent for summer camping and have considered the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight. But it seems like I can get a larger tent without sacrificing weight. Any suggestions? Chris Helena, Montana

I'm in the market for a tent and down to the Black Diond Mesa and the Marmot Swallow. I like the four-season convertibility of the Swallow, and the Mesa looks sublime. I trust BDs products, but I'm concerned about how warm the Mesa will be. My other concern is condensation. What’s your advice? Beth Stone Ridge, NY

Can you recommend a durable tent with room for me to stand up inside (I’m five feet, six inches tall)? I work at Renaissance Festivals around the country and live in a tent ten months out of the year. I have a car, so weight is not an issue. Craig Edinburg, Virginia

I’m in the market for a new two-person four-season tent that will keep me dry in snowy conditions but won’t weight me down too much while snowshoeing. Any recommendations? Missy Portland, Maine

I need a new two-person tent (for my tall self and my gear). I spend a lot of time backpacking in wet, windy, and cold weather, so I don't mind spending $300+ if the tent is worth it. I had a Sierra Designs Half Moon Tent, but all my gear was destroyed in a house fire. Any ideas? Kerry Hannibal, New York

I'm looking for a good four-season tent to take on England’s Pennine Way in March. I’ve looked at the Eureka! Alpenlite 2XT, thinking that a tent from a few seasons ago might be cheaper. Do you have other suggestions for $300 or less and around 7.5 pounds or less? Dave Asheville, North Carolina

There are so many backpacking tents out there; can they all be that different? What is a solid two-person tent for $250 or less that best combines light weight with durability? Bill Columbia, Missouri

I like the idea of single-wall tents such as the Black Diond Skylight for more room and less weight, but I worry about weatherproofing and condensation. What does one do in this world of tents? Benjin Moose, Wyoming

Are there any solo, self-supported, rainproof tents available? It sure would be nice to wake up with a dry sleeping bag. Ron Tahlequah, Oklahoma

My Marmot Peapod tent, useful in my glory days, just doesn't have the real estate needed for a two-adult, one-child family. Neither does the single Therm-a-Rest. Can you recommend a quality family tent that is available in Canada? Ditto for a good inflatable double mattress. Bernard Quebec City, Quebec

I’m guilty of not properly storing my Lafuma tent over the last few years, and the polyurethane coating has completely peeled off. I’d like to keep this tent instead of buying another. Can I reapply the waterproof layer? Francis Singapore

As an East Coast flatlander, I'm at a loss as to whether I can get by with a lightweight three-season tent (an MSR Zoid 1.5) for my upcoming backpacking trip to Wyoming's Wind River Range. Can you help? John Wilmington, Delaware

I want to make a tent by myself. Any advice on where to buy ten feet of gray or blue polyester taffeta fabric that will suit my needs?

I’m planning a climbing trip on Mount Denali and shopping for a three-person tent. Will Sierra Designs’ Alpha stand up against the high wind? Also, what are your thoughts about tent poles reinforced with short "legs,” like on Sierra Designs’ Stretch Dome? Dmitri Bloomington, Indiana

I’m looking for a new family tent and confused about fabric ratings. One store’s website says something about 1,000mm coatings, but I don't see any references to that on other sites. I did see one that said "70 denier." What's that and how do I compare? Robin Highland, Indiana

What are your suggestions for the best five- to six-person family tent? My husband’s six-foot-three, so a tent with some height all the way around is preferable. Also, are budget tents at so-called “big-box stores” ever worth considering? Angie Auburn, Alabama

I an avid outdoors photographer, but I’m tired of shooting the se things that tourists shoot. The solution: an overnight (or two-night) hike. I’m a newbie at this, so what type of pack and other gear do I need for these trips? Bill Pasadena, California

I need a two-person tent that provides plenty of ventilation for fall and spring Southeast backpacking trips, but that’s also good for below-tree line trips to the Northeast in winter. I like the Black Diond Skylight, but concerned about how it will hold up to snow. How does the Skylight stack up to other tents in the se weight and roominess categories? Rich Decatur, Georgia

My wife and I are looking for a three-season tent to take on backpacking trips in New England. One condition: The tent must be roomy and rugged enough for us to bring along our chocolate lab puppy that we just can't leave at home. What kind of tent would you recommend? Jim Watervliet, New York

Do I really need a tent footprint? I've used a piece of plastic in the past (actually a clear plastic tablecloth), which turned out to be really light and durable. Now I have a brand-new tent and have bought its footprint for $35, but I'm wondering if I should just go back to my $2.99 plastic tablecloth. What does the footprint do? Protect the bottom of the tent, keep moisture off the bottom? Jo-Jo Victoria, British Columbia

My son insisted on growing up and moving on, so I now find that I have to carry everything by myself when backpacking. As our three-man tent is just too big and heavy for me to lug, any ideas for a solo shelter that's not too pricey? I've looked at the REI Chrysalis and Kelty Teton 2, both freestanding and under five pounds. Joe Raleigh, North Carolina

My friends and I are in the middle of a debate about the insulating qualities of single-wall tents versus those with a separate rain fly. We're strictly talking winter tents, and really the only single-wall tents in question are from Bibler. However, none of us has one, especially given the hefty price tag (I currently own a Sierra Designs Omega). I think a Bibler single-wall would carry enough thickness and protection, but my friends think a tent with a rain fly can keep a layer of warm air in between the tent and fly. So, overall is a four-season tent with fly warmer than the best four-season single-wall tent? Brian Fort Collins, Colorado

Do backpackers make lifetime investments? I'm 21 and just got into backpacking last year. I didn't have any gear, so I bought the cheapest of everything, which was a mistake! In my second round of purchases, can I realistically expect that boots, tents, packs, and sleeping bags will last a lifetime if I buy good quality? What about proper gear maintenance? Kate Wooster, Ohio