Dec 6, 2011 at 10:39 am #1282766
Just wanted to let everyone know what a great experience I just had with Judy @ Lightheart…she was incredibly helpful, very attentive even during the Holiday, and made the exact tent I asked for in less than a week!
I'll do a quick review of the tent, but in a nutshell I bought:
-Solong 6 tent, with wedge
-Included custom pole extenders for my BD poles
-Tent is absolutely spacious inside, truly need to see it to believe it, and has massive awnings/vestibules for storage
-All of that came in at 1 lb 14 oz, it's like a magic trick or something!
I love TarpTent, and really thank Henry and staff for introducing me to the lightweight tent world, but wow is this tent a game changer.
Anyway, if anyone is thinking of checking Lightheart out, just wanted you to know I would certainly say go for it.Dec 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm #1809491
I've been considering one of these in cuben or a Skyscape X. How tall are you Todd? Find the length OK?
RyanDec 10, 2011 at 8:01 am #1810678
I am only 5'9"…this tent would EASILY hold someone a foot taller than me! The length, height, and width are absolutely silly large for a tent that weighs less than 2 lbs. I honestly don't know why this tent isn't discussed more often here (probably just a smaller company with no large following yet).
For now, I'll thoroughly enjoy my "sleeper".Dec 10, 2011 at 8:09 am #1810680
@fderooscomcast-netLocale: Mid Atlantic
i got a lightheart gear solo in cuben this year and took it on a trip to the White Mtns in NH and on the JMT and it was a dream. Not only did it fit my 6 ft length, but it also fit all my gear. Additionally, during 2 particularly fierce sierra afternoon hail storms, it sheltered two people and our packs easily. It does take a few days to get a system to get the best pitch but once you have that figured out, it's really quick to set up.Dec 10, 2011 at 8:30 am #1810690
The regular version must be pretty short.
Like the color.
Setting up trekking poles inside a floored shelter is a negative for me.
As far as a game changer, isn't this a version of what Brawny did many years ago?Dec 10, 2011 at 8:39 am #1810692
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
This is an update of the Wonderlust Nomad.Dec 10, 2011 at 8:43 am #1810696
Thanks Brad – how was it updated, apart from the cuben?Dec 10, 2011 at 9:40 am #1810710
"The regular version must be pretty short."
Not too bad, really. I fit my size large Neoair in one, some pics here.
And I'll join the kudos, my Lightheart Solo (w/awning) has become my favorite late spring/summer/early fall shelter!Dec 10, 2011 at 9:40 am #1810711
Yep, we are all aware that this is a updated version of previous and current tents. What Judy has done with this design is an excellent version of this design.
Trekking poles inside plug into a brace at the top, and can be prepared outside of the tent easily. My right arm is in a sling from surgery, so the tent set-up in my pictures was done one handed in about 8 minutes. Would easily be less than 3 or 4 minutes with both hands.
The regular version, as well as the double are made in China…I like the made in USA tag, hand sewn, and the only way to get this was the Cuben models, or SoLong I believe.Dec 10, 2011 at 10:51 am #1810725
@Doug – yes, it looks pretty short for a 6'2" dedicated side sleeper. With a high loft bag, I would touch the sloping walls. I thought it might be bigger than the Moment but it appears not.
I would have to 'rig' the poles to the outside? Anyone have some pictures of that?Dec 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm #1810775
+1 For Judy @ Lightheart. I received my Cuben solong and it's exceeded my expectation! Judy goes out of her way to help you with all your questions and needs! A very nice product and Awsome customer service!Dec 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm #1810784
Jolly Green GiantParticipant
@regultrLocale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.comDec 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm #1810837
@mtnbob123Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Great Tent!!! I am 6'2" 295# and have slept in this tent a few times with my 11yr old son and once with my girlfriend. I have pitched it on top of Siler Bald on the Appalachian Trail with no issues at all with fairly serious wind gusts. I have also forgotten my hiking poles on a trip and made poles out of local tree limbs without any problems. I am using a large Neoair with a mummy shaped Big Agnes pad in this tent at the same time with no problem. Judy and Mark have been very gracious and patient in my experience dealing with them. Tent plus guylines, seamsealed, 27oz!!!!!!Dec 11, 2011 at 11:44 am #1810941
The LightHeart Solo was 'updated' from the Wanderlust Nomad – bathtub floor – on the nomad, the floor seam was right on the ground, it did not wrap up the side of the tent, so was much more prone to leakage. I added Corudura reinforcement patches to the outside of the tent where the handles of your hiking poles rub the ground – my nomade had holes in this area. The windows are larger, the ridgeline seam is on the inside of the tent – the nomad had it on the outside, while this had some advantage (the tip tie out loops were all in one with the binding,) it sucked up a lot of water when wet. The nomad had all single stitched seams, mine are all double stitched. the nomad came to a point, mine has the ridge pole so you get more height, and head room inside the tent. The nomad came in "any color as long as it's gray" , I can make the LightHeart in any of 16 colors (there are actually a few more colors available, I just don't list / offer them – hot pink!) I offer several different fly styles, and unlike the nomad – and left hand doors, 2 door options etc. you only have to wait 2 or 3 weeks at the most to get a custom tent.
David – family guy, your comment about it didn't' look big enough for a tall guy – I think you might be confusing the Solo for the SoLong 6 – the picture of the cuben tent above is the Solo not a SoLong 6. The SoLong was designed around someone 6'8" with a depth of 15 inches at the head and foot ends of the tent.- there is clearance for that. The corners of the SoLong 6 are boxed off at 8 inches with carbon fiber stays to keep them boxed open. The stays are sewn in so you can't loose them, don't have to fiddle with them. The tent is all about simplicity and maximizing on minimalism.
I don't know why you have a problem with hiking poles inside the tent. I always kept my poles inside the tent with me at night (before I made my own tents) because it kept the critters from chewing on the handles! I've seen too many hiking poles with cork or neopreen handles chewed up by animals.
Judy Gross – LightHeart GearDec 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm #1811051
Hi Judy – I dislike bringing my poles in with me because I get mine muddy, dirty, and wet where I trek. I haven't ever had an issue with a rodent chewing the ends of my trekking poles. I have had a rodent use my forehead as a launching pad underneath a DuoMid but that is another story.Dec 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm #1811077
This does seem like such a minor concern. It's muddy and wet all the time here, too. A quick clanking the poles together usually does it, but if there's stuck-on mud, a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth that weighs practically nothing solves all issues.
I really like that the poles are inside the tent. When it rains, silnylon sags a bit. You can retension the tent in seconds without ever getting out.
Love my Solo. My one complaint is that I didn't wait longer, because I would have bought the porch version instead!
One day when I'm rich I'll get the porch version in cuben fiber.
Mine was one of the generic grey ones made in China. The workmanship is impeccable. Sealing it was a bit of a pain. I vastly prefer tape to seam-sealing whenever possible. These made-in-China ones actually use a silnylon with a better hydrostatic head than the fabric in the custom USA ones; something to keep in mind if you expect high-pressure downpours in your area.
Yup it's an updated version of an older design. Who cares – this is three-season shelter perfected IMO.Dec 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm #1811104
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Glad you could tell us about the various improvements you made to the Nomad lite. Thank you for that.
There was also a Nomad 2-4-2 model from Wanderlust Gear that had a rectangular floor, but the 4 canopy corners were not raised like your SoLong does. And no ridge pole as well.
They were ingenious designs, and you have improved upon them. If I ever get tired of making my own tents, you will be the first tentmaker I call. So I hope you stay in business. No telling when I might have had enough of it.
Would love to know what you have learned about working with cuben, but don't expect you to give away the store anytime soon. Maybe if I work real hard, I can come up with some ideas you can use, and post them here.
SamDec 12, 2011 at 2:23 am #1811124
@pkhLocale: Nova Scotia
Steve – a little off topic here, but it's nice to see this shot of the Three Sisters. I went through that park a few weeks ago in a howling gale. We're practically neighbours. Perhaps sometime in the spring I could contrive to get a look at your cuben solong. It's been on my want to buy list for some time. Do you ever hike in Fundy NP/Fundy Footpath/Dobson?Dec 12, 2011 at 6:41 am #1811148
@tunaboy999Locale: Mid Atlantic
I too have a Lightheart Solong 6 and would highly recommend it.
A few observations:
1. The tent is very well constructed and solid.
2. Unlike other modified A-frames, there is plenty of room at the head and foot.
3. Having poles on the inside is not a problem IMHO and as other have observed allow you to adjust the tension from within the tent.
4. The ventilation is superb. The combination of short fly+high bathtub floor+huge volume+high vents does wonders for condensation management.
5. The wedge or awning option is highly recommended. It allows views/ventilation and dry ingress/egress during the rain. I got the wedge which is a little zipper crazy (and the zipper catches a lot). If I had to do it again, I would get the awning to save 2 ounces and $30. I do not use an awning pole — it's a snap to set up the wedge with a stick!
Note that when comparing the weight to Tarptent options you need to add the weight for the stakes… that puts the basic Solong at ~28 oz and wedge at ~30 oz. This puts it between the Stratospire (32 oz) and Notch (26 oz). I'd love to see a head-to-head comparison of the Solong with these tents.Dec 12, 2011 at 7:03 am #1811152
"…Would love to know what you have learned about working with cuben, but don't expect you to give away the store anytime soon. Maybe if I work real hard, I can come up with some ideas you can use, and post them here."
Sam, You want to know what I have learned about working with cuben? To be perfectly honest – I hate it! There I've told the whole world now. Cuben tents take about twice as long as silnylon tents to make, I use contact cement to glue/bond areas, it stinks, it takes a long time to dry – all this adds so much time to the production. It takes a lot more care when sewing as it doesn't want to go through the folders nicely. I make the tape that I use for seam sealing – this takes time, and then I have to tape each seam as they are sewn. So cuben tents are truly a hand crafted tent, which is why they cost so much (aside fromt he fact that the fabric is so expensive)
I keep promising myself that I'm going to quit offering cuben fiber as an option, but of course, I don't follow through with my threat.
Judy – LightHeart GearDec 12, 2011 at 7:07 am #1811155
This may be the wrong 'thread' to ask this , but since it's somewhat about cuben fiber I'll ask all of you here for your opinion. I use a very light weight cuben for the top of the tents, I'm considering going up to a slightly heavier but much more durable grade of cuben – this might add a couple of ounces to the tent, but would make it a tougher tent (and it would make it cooperate in sewing a little bit better).
So what do you think, for the price I charge for cuben tents, which is considerable, would adding on a couple of ounces to get a more durable tent work, or would you rather have the lighter tent?
Judy – LightHeart GearDec 12, 2011 at 7:13 am #1811161
Hi Duane….I sent you a pm….
steveDec 12, 2011 at 7:16 am #1811162
Well, I'm a bit of a heretic, but it wouldn't matter to me either way. A couple of extra ounces wouldn't stop me from buying it, but it also seems durable enough for my use.Dec 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm #1811289
If/when I get one of your cuben tents, Judy, I would personally prefer the more durable fabric in exchange for a couple ounces. Just my take. Something that high-end should last a long time.
Quick question about the wedge/awning options: If you get the non-zip option (just "awning"), does that preclude any ability to setup the tent in an awning-less configuration? For bad storms / high winds etc. Or, is there still some way to batten down the hatches?Dec 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm #1811296
Yes, you can put the Awning into 'Storm Mode". There are 3 tie out loops near the tip – one on the tip, and another one about 18 inches down each side from the tip. all you have to do is remove the awning pole (don't pull up the stake the line is on) hook the 3 loops together on a carabiner (now supplied with the tent) and tighten the line with the line lock at the tip.
If you look at the website under the solo awning, you will see some pictures of this – the blue tent shows a close up of the 3 loops on the carabiner, and the orange tent shows how it looks closed up – it's the same exact concept for the SoLong 6.
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