A big change as we get ready for the PCT is sun protection, including sun gloves. I’ve gotten a little sun burn on my hands on the AT (Appalachian Trail) but it was transitory. For the PCT I decided that I should try sun gloves.
The short answer on tents is to set them up at an REI and crawl in and out of them. That will give you a good idea if you will fit and if front entry or side entry works best for you.
Then decide if you need freestanding or not. A freestanding tent doesn’t need tent stakes or pegs to set up. All of them work better if you stake them down. Eventually most people start staking them down and then become comfortable with a non freestanding tent.
Most individuals are happier with the room in a two person tent. Most couples are happier with the room in a three person tent.
For a couple, the two best choices are either a Big Agnes Copper Spur 3p tent or a ZPacks Triplex.
We’ve hiked with a 2p Copper Spur. Good tent but I found myself wanting to use shelters. And using a polycro tarp to set up under when it rained.
The triplex weighs less and is a palace. In the rain you can set it up and then crawl inside and take off rain gear. I don’t need the tarp.
It absorbs no water. Which means that being rained on doesn’t make it heavier.
Too bad ZPacks has been unable to make the freestanding kit for the Duplex size up for the Triplex (I corresponded with them and found out that they’ve been trying to do that, but were unable to so far). That would help in places where it is hard to use stakes.
But I no longer gravitate towards shelters. Good thing since the PCT really doesn’t have them.
For other tents, etc.
The Big Agnes Dyneema tents have bad reviews because they have a history of spontaneous failures from being too lightly and flimsily made. Otherwise I’d have seriously considered the Tiger Wall 3p.
We even set one up and looked seriously at it.
Tarptent makes a Dyneema Double Rainbow that looks like a great tent.