Feb 21, 2007 at 10:03 pm #1221976
@frostchaLocale: PA NJ border
I'm looking for a good solo winter tent/shelter (preferably free-standing). My stomping grounds include PA/NJ AT up to the Daks and White Mnts so I would like something that handles cold rainy humid conditions through high winds and heavy snow loads. I'd like ~90 inches of usable length and 36 inches of usable width to accomodate my winter bag. I think I have it narrowed down to 3 possibles: Sierra Designs Solomente or Assalant or Hilleberg's Unna. Any other considerations (Bozeman's Bivy)?
I'm open to suggestions, anything going to be better than my current tent…Marmot swallow (I wish it only weighed what the manufacturer claimed).
ThanksFeb 21, 2007 at 10:51 pm #1379583
IMO, the best solo tent is a small 2-person tent. No direct experience, but this one looks good:Feb 21, 2007 at 10:51 pm #1379584
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I'd go for the Hilleberg tent in a heartbeat. No doubt the lightest, best designed, highest quality double wall winter tent line out there.
Also consider the Hilleberg Nallo. Bombproof.
EricFeb 21, 2007 at 11:36 pm #1379588
@rbrisseyLocale: Redondo Beach, CA
I think that I second Ben's choice. Mine would be a small 2 man tent, either a Bibler El Dorado (which I used in Alaska) which was great in high humidity there or my second choice (make that first choice now) a Mountain Hardware Spire 2. When you are stuck in a snowstorm "ya got's to have space".
PS After I get offloading some of my "extra" gear I am buying a Spire 2.Feb 22, 2007 at 12:47 am #1379591
Ive been in a skyledge 2(three season version on the spire), which makes me think the spire would be a decent choice. It should give a very taut pitch with the stronger poles on the 4 season version. It will also be a palace for one, but they are pricey at $425.Feb 22, 2007 at 1:18 am #1379594
@rbrisseyLocale: Redondo Beach, CA
I think that spending $190 for a tarp is expensive. $425 for a 4-season tent is not really out of line if it keeps you alive. I never want to go to mountains thinking "I should have bought the other item" once I am out on the trail. Sometimes I do wish I had a warmer bag when I wake up at 3am and realize I am cold and still have to get up and "relieve" myself.
RandyFeb 22, 2007 at 1:26 am #1379595
Well, you didn't mention your budget, that constraint requirement is just as important as performance requirements for a product.
So, since money is no object ;) I chose for you a very expensive tent, the Mountain Hardware EV2. My recent research and purchase of a 4 season tent led me to the $240 Firstlight, but the EV2 is what I would buy if I had $625 and expected snow drifts. This is a bomber single wall expedition tent with windows, pockets, etc. etc.. and still only weighs 5 lbs. I dare say you could live out of it for weeks on end. No personal experience with it, just desktop research.
Let us all know what you decide on?
Feb 22, 2007 at 8:38 am #1379628
I used a MH Spire 2 for summer mountaineering and car camping about 20 nights last year (Mt Baker [WA], Granite Peak [MT], etc). It's not the lightest, cheapest, most expensive, most bomber, etc, but is a really good compromise and is very versatile. I found it had enough ventilation for humid car camping while being really sturdy in summer storms (sorry, no snow load testing).
Definitely liveable for 1, I haven't yet slept 2 in it.
-adamFeb 22, 2007 at 9:23 am #1379640
Ye owners of MH skyledge and Spire — you noticed that they are the exact same configuration? Wouldn't it be nice if say you buy the Spire 2, that MH would offer the inner tent of the Skyledge as an optional purchase? Just by swapping the inner tent, you would be set for all four seasons! Or vice versa — buy an optional Spire inner, and convert your 3-season Skyledge to 3-plus.Feb 22, 2007 at 3:02 pm #1379693
I second Brett. In fact, I also went for the BD Firstlight (and love it), but if you’re going for an all out winter expedition tent, the EV2 would be my choice.Feb 22, 2007 at 3:12 pm #1379694
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
I recently had the same decision to make. After eliminating all but the Akto, Unna, and Nallo 2, I personally went for the Akto, but with a stronger 10mm pole. I, too, sort of wanted to go the freestanding route, but decided that the Akto had all the features that I wanted…particularly the great vestibule. If you need the extra space and don't mind the slight extra weight, then either the Unna or Nallo 2 are great choices. I can highly recommend Moontrail for extremelly fast and helpful service, as well as the best overall price (I basically got the footprint and the extra upgrade pole free).Feb 22, 2007 at 6:22 pm #1379720
I received my red Akto about a week ago. Since I knew I could not get out for a while, I set it up in the back yard.
Although I purchased the foot printed ground cloth with it, I did not use it.
After hammering the aluminum stakes thru the ice, it set up real nice. It was fast and easy and the small tensioner divices (a plastic gripper which allows you to tighten the guy lines no matter what distance from the tent you have hammered the stakes) works like a charm.
It has snowed one day and rained or ice rained the next four. After shaking off the layer of ice covering the outer shell, I can say the inside basin has remained dry as a bone…. and although I have had to adjust the tension on the guys once in a while to maintain a good shape, there has been absolutely no trouble.
The only thing I could possibly say about this remarkably well made tent is ‘what on earth possessed them to make it just a few inches short of the full sitting height of the normal human being?’
Now, my wife will never attest to me being normal, but that’s another subject.Feb 22, 2007 at 8:42 pm #1379733
@frostchaLocale: PA NJ border
Thanks all. The BD tents seem a little short in length for my taste. I'd be curious to hear if the head and foot of your bag is wet from coming into contact with the walls. I do salivate over the EV2, but I WOULD be living in it for several months until my wife calmed down : ~ ).
I am going go with the Akto, it's where I end-up everytime I look into this. I'll test it out in the house to see how it feels, if I don't like the hoop design I'll go with the Unna.
For those of you with hoop designs, ever have a hard time getting a good pitch due to lack of suitable anchors??
I'll re-post when I have this sorted out (just checking with HB to see if they've tweaked things for 2007).
Thanks again and Happy Hauling.Feb 22, 2007 at 8:46 pm #1379734
@dealtoyoLocale: Mt Hood
As a Spire 2 tent owner I thought that I would throw in my 2 cents. This tent for one person is and absolute palace. For two people it's a little tight. On cold nights, this can be a blessing by placing you and a friend very close together to help share body heat (just hope you comfortable sleeping hip to hip). Having two doors and two vestibules on this small tent helps alot.
Holds up against snow load well but not as well vs. a Trango 2. However, it does shed wind better than the Trango 2. The vestibules are nicely sized but slope quickly, so be very very careful when cooking under them. I prefer to melt snow and cook outside of the tent. The risk is too high for me to start a white gas stove under the vestibule. Another technique you could use is to start the stove outside of the tent then, once the stove is burning hot, carefully carry it under the vestibule.
I weighed the tent on a food scale so the weights are only ballpark figures:
Body- 35 oz
Fly- 27 oz
Poles- 17 oz
Stakes- 7 oz
Footprint- 8 oz
Total 94 oz or 5 lbs 14 ozFeb 23, 2007 at 10:21 am #1379791
MH Spire – published minimum weight is 73 oz. Actual per above is 79 oz. So typical…Feb 23, 2007 at 10:47 am #1379798
One other thing. I'm not sure my Akto is a 2007. I think they've added more vents and a stronger hoop pole, in which case mine is a 2006. Since I've had mine out already, it's too late for me. So just a word to the wise, take a good look at it out of the box.Feb 23, 2007 at 2:09 pm #1379814
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
I just verified with Hilleberg that there are NO changes in the 2007 Akto. I purchased the upgrade 10mm pole as an option, but the 9mm is still the standard.
Message from Hilleberg this afternoon: "There are no changes between the 2006 and 2007 Akto. The 10mm pole is an option that will fit in the Akto but the 9mm pole is standard. The venting is also unchanged."Feb 24, 2007 at 4:05 am #1379861
Ok then..I have a 2005?
The link shows what happened in 2006/7Feb 24, 2007 at 6:11 am #1379865
OK, so here’s the scoop.
I’m not looking for seeing:
The 2006/7 Akto does, in fact, have new zippered vents at both foot and head of the fly.
Because of the angle of both head and foot ends, they create an overhang which is water shedding. The reflective addition to the fly is ‘in’ the material and not an appliqué to it’s surface.
So…when the plane crashed over the mountain, where did they bury the survivors?
Guilty, I looked for a nice resting spot for them.Feb 24, 2007 at 7:28 am #1379868
OK, ok… I have never actually seen an Akto. But I own a Lunar Solo which has the same basic interior configuration — sort of a pentagon — a rectangular sleeping area plus an area that juts out for storing gear. Maybe I am really a space hog, but I find the 36" width of the Lunar just about right for solo use. I can't imagine a tent with only 24" width. Even Wal Mart coffins are wider, no?Feb 24, 2007 at 8:59 am #1379873
I went with the square footage of my Lunar Solo E as a guide in my decision to purchase the Unna over the Akto and the fact that I like the ability to sit up and move around in the tent. The Unna is a very roomy tent with a lot of interior volume and it even has a small lip to offer some protection against weather over the top of the large side door separate from creating your own vestibule by disconnecting portions of the interior tent. I am so impressed with the quality of manufacture and regardless of Unna or Akto, both are outstanding choices for a single person tent. I’m jealous others have had the opportunity to take their new tents out, I hope to take mine out soon. This is what happens when you have no children and no social outlet other than hiking, backpacking, scrambling, one collects stuff.Feb 24, 2007 at 11:49 am #1379888
Hmmm… 24 inches of width, I still can't picture "a very roomy tent with a lot of interior volume…". But I'll try to keep an open mind until I see one "live".
One thing however that I can identify with: I too am blissfully single and love hiking, backpacking… and collecting stuff! :)Feb 24, 2007 at 12:00 pm #1379889
@scottlloyd23Locale: Swedish Lapland
The "very roomy tent" Scott refers to is the Unna, which has 44 inches of width.Feb 24, 2007 at 12:05 pm #1379890
Thanks. Need another cup of coffee, obviously. I kept thinking that he was referring to the Akto! Interestingly, he and I apparently thought alike — we both looked at our Lunar Solo, mentally pictured losing a third of the width with an Akto, then decided to look elsewhere…Feb 24, 2007 at 12:43 pm #1379892
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