Mar 27, 2006 at 8:53 am #1218160
Looking to conserve space/weight for 3 season solo camping >40 degrees with bug protection. Considering Six Moon Design Lunar Solo or TarpTent Rainbow. Also considering Western Mountaineering Highlite sleeping bag.
Any opinions?Mar 27, 2006 at 9:35 am #1353540
Although I can’t comment specifically on the Lunar Solo or Rainbow, I do have experience with shelters from both Six Moon Designs (I just recently purchased the Gatewood Cape) and Tarptent (I’ve used the Squall 2 for about a year now). Both are top notch companies, and both Ron and Henry are great people to do business with. Therefore, I imagine you really couldn’t go wrong with either. I do believe the packed size of the Lunar Solo is just a bit (5 inches or so) smaller than the Rainbow, and is also about 2 ounces lighter (although the Rainbow may be a bit roomier and may be able to accomodate two small adults).
Are you looking for protection from just flying insects (mosquitoes, no see umms, black flies, etc.) or are you looking for something with a built in floor to protect you from crawling critters as well? If you’re not too concerned about the latter, you might also consider the Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter (which I owned for a very short period of time, and it seemed like a quality product) or some of the Mountain Laurel Design options.
It might be worth a bit of extra money and time to order a couple of shelters, ‘test’ them both out by setting them up in your yard, and returning the one which seems inferior. Ask before you buy – most likely you’ll be given this option.
I’m afraid I can’t really give you any advice in terms of a good lightweight sleeping bag. Most likely, you’re looking for something down, and I only use synthetics! Best of luck,
-Dave:)Mar 27, 2006 at 9:40 am #1353541
I own and love both the SMD Lunar Solo e and the WM Highlite. They are probably my favorite pieces of gear. The Lunar Solo is an extraordinary shelter which provides all you need and nothing you don’t for as little as 23 ounces. The Highlite has been awesome for me as well and has been basically immortalized amongst a lot of the ULers I know. The rating is true, the weight and compressibility is awesome, and it is a WM bag so it is top-notch quality all the way. Some are bothered by the half-zip, but this is not an issue for me. All in all, I don’t think you will find a better all around combo than this. You certainly wouldn’t be disappointed. If you have any questions about particulars, do not hesitate to ask them. Thanks!Mar 28, 2006 at 7:54 am #1353618
I was also considering the Gatewood Cape with a bug bivy. How do you like the Cape? Would you consider this just an emergency option? I am a little concerned about rain.Mar 28, 2006 at 8:16 am #1353620
I haven’t had a chance to use the Cape in the woods yet, but my impression has been positive thus far (from setting it up in my yard). I do intend to use it as my primary rain gear and my primary shelter. It’s a bit tricky to pitch at first, but with a little practice (4 times for me), you can have it setup in under 3 minutes pretty easily. Were you worried about rain while sleeping, or while setting up the tarp? I assume its the latter (while sleeping, the Cape can be set up to be flush with the ground on all but on side, the vesitubule side, which is close enough to the ground and far enough away from the sleeping area that theres no way rain will be able to reach you). For setup, I’ve found that the center pole harness, which takes just as much time to setup as the shelter itself, can be attached while still wearing it as a poncho, thus minimizing the amount of time that you’re exposed to the elements. After its attached, you merely remove the poncho, stake out three corners, put the pole in place, pull out and stake the front guyline, stake the remaining two corners, and you’re done. With a little practice, I’m sure that I’ll be able to have the Cape setup in 1.5 minutes after removing it from my body. My wind shirt should be able to keep me dry enough during that time to avoid a wet nights sleep. I have some pictures if you’d be interested in seeing them. My email is email@example.com
-Dave:)Mar 29, 2006 at 2:14 pm #1353773
Any problems with condensation from the SMD Lunar Solo getting the WM Highlite soaked?Mar 30, 2006 at 9:19 am #1353828
That is the best part of it. There is literally no way that the bag can touch silnylon with condensation on it. There is mesh from the bottom on up fifteen inches (I think). It was designed to keep the bag totally away from condensation. In this it is completely successful. There is either no or only light condensation above that point (on the ceiling), nothing that would be a problem at all. The ventilation and condensation prevention of the shelter are fantastic.Apr 2, 2006 at 7:59 am #1353972
I too have the SMD Lunar Solo e and love it. Adding a Tyvek ground cloth, 6 stakes and the 45 inch pole SMD sells, the total weight is 32 ounces. I have no experience with the WM Highlite, but use a Nunatak Arc Alpinist and have had no issues with condensation at 9500 feet below 30 degrees. Like Matthew mentioned, the mesh wall going up from the tub floor allows for that excellent ventilation and keeps the bag away from the silnylon wall.
The only issue I have with the Lunar Solo is the vestibule. For me the Velcro closure seems a little awkward when closing from the inside. I am looking at getting a zipper to take the place of the Velcro which will add a little weight, but should make it close easier. I have the 2005 model, and heard that the 2006 model has made changes to the vestibule.Apr 4, 2006 at 11:25 am #1354077
Yes, the 2006 has a zipper for the vestibule. That would be nice to have. The velcro isn’t bad, but the zipper would be great.
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