The Six Moon Designs Serenity Net Tent is designed to integrate with their Gatewood Cape to form an eighteen-ounce weather and bug proof shelter. It can also be set up by itself in fine weather. The Serenity has a half pyramid shape with a silnylon bathtub floor and no-see-um netting upper with a double zipper side entry door. The peak clips to the Gatewood Cape harness or can be supported by a trekking pole for stand alone set up. Elastic tieouts on the four corners can be hooked to the same stakes used for the Gatewood or staked independently.
The Serenity Net Tent set up near the CDT for bug protection with ventilation. The Gatewood Cape behind the Net Tent is ready to be pulled over the Serenity in case the threatening clouds begin to leak.
Specifications and Features
|Six Moon Designs|
|2008 Serenity Net Tent|
|Canopy – ultralight no-see-um netting; Floor – 30 denier silynylon; Zipper – number 3 YKK|
|Width – 31 in at head, 22 in at foot; Length – 84 in; Height – 42 in (79 x 56 x 213 x 107 cm)|
|15.5 ft2 (1.44 m2)|
|None when used with Gatewood Cape, five for stand alone|
|Full zip entrance, peak clips to harness of Gatewood Cape with a mitten hook (older harnesses can be sent to Six Moon Designs to be retrofitted with a D-ring), pocket at the peak to hold a trekking pole tip for stand alone set up, elastic loops on end panels that align with Gatewood Cape inner snaps, elastic loops at the corners of the floor to attach to Gatewood Cape stakes|
|Mesh stuff sack 0.1 oz (3 g)|
|measured weight Carol 7.5 oz (212 g), manufacturer specification 7 oz (198 g)|
The elastic tieout from the Net Tent stretched over the top of an Easton aluminum tent stake used to secure the Gatewood Cape.
The Serenity Net Tent is easy to set up, but it takes some experimentation to create the roomiest setup. After the Gatewood Cape is pitched, clip the glove hook on the Net Tent peak to the D-ring on the Cape harness (Six Moon Designs will retrofit older harnesses), then from outside the Gatewood, stretch the elastic tieouts at the Serenity floor corners over the stakes securing the Gatewood. Lastly, attach the two side loops on the Net Tent to the snaps on the inside of the Gatewood.
The Serenity can be set up by itself by staking out the four corners, fitting the tip of a trekking pole into a pocket at the peak and guying out the pole. Six Moon Designs recommends a trekking pole height of forty-three inches, but I found the Serenity very saggy at this height. The bug shelter had much more interior room with a forty-eight-inch long pole.
The instructions for the Gatewood Cape recommend a forty-two-inch trekking pole if the shelter is set up in a low pitch, or a forty-five-inch pole when extender loops are used to raise the edges of the shelter for increased ventilation. I sleep under the Gatewood a lot and typically use a 48.5 inch (123 cm) fixed length pole with it. Even with adjustable poles, I set them long, since the Gatewood is roomier with a taller pole. Will Rietveld also prefers a taller pitch. He describes his setup method in his Gatewood Cape Review, and in more detail in his review of the similarly shaped Wild Oasis Tent. I use a tall pole and lengthen the front guyline as Will describes, but I stake out the front entrance without using a second pole.
The Gatewood Cape is quite roomy for such a lightweight shelter when set up as described above. When the Serenity Net Tent is set up inside the Gatewood, interior space is significantly reduced. The rear triangle of storage space is lost as well as some of the height and length. There is plenty of length for me (5’10” tall) and the netting is well off my face when I am lying down, but it is difficult to prevent the Serenity from sagging and, unless you are quite short, the netting will drape on your shoulders when you sit up. (I soaked the Serenity in Permethrin to keep bugs from biting through the mesh.)
The Gatewood Cape and Serenity Net Tent double wall tent. Note that the sides of the Gatewood are tied out to increase room inside the Serenity, and that the Serenity reduces space under the Gatewood Cape significantly.
To optimize interior space in the Serenity, use a higher pitch and a second trekking pole or a stick to pull out the head end of the Gatewood, where the elastic loop on the Serenity is snapped to it. Also, I found that staking at least one end of the Serenity independent of the Gatewood allowed me to fine tune the Serenity pitch to improve interior space. I’d like to see a method of pulling out the back of the Serenity to create more space. Either a tieout on the center back of the Serenity floor (which could be done without needing to retrofit older Gatewood Capes) or an elastic loop and corresponding snap on the Gatewood. Note: I’ve used the snaps on my Gatewood Cape only once or twice, but one snap refused to open during my trip. I ended up tying the elastic loop to the snap since this connection is crucial to creating space in the Serenity.
The lightweight no-see-um netting is delicate. The mesh squares were already elongated where the elastic loops are sewn on when I received the Serenity. After a five-day trip, there were several spots in other places in the netting where the mesh holes have become larger. Bug resistance won’t be affected at this point – especially with the Permethrin treatment.
I used the Serenity on a trip on the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado in July – the season for mosquitoes and thunder showers. The Gatewood can be stuffed back into its built-in pocket with the Serenity still attached, although it’s a tight fit. When rain threatens, the Gatewood can be set up quickly, then the Serenity can be put up (whether it is stored attached to the Gatewood or separately) under the cover of the Gatewood. The only tough part is attaching the corner tieouts to the stakes from inside the Gatewood. It is easier to stake the Serenity separately. I used Lazr Hi-Vis Titanium tent stakes (about 0.8 ounces for four) to stake the Serenity, but four Lazr Nano stakes would be adequate and weigh less than 0.2 ounces.
A glove hook attached to the peak of the Serenity Net Tent clips into a D-ring on the multi-colored Gatewood Cape harness (supported by a trekking pole).
Staking the Gatewood high using extension loops put the stakes too far away for the Serenity tieouts. I either staked the four tieouts separately or put two tieouts over Gatewood stakes and staked the other two independently.
The door on the Serenity is large. A two-way zipper goes to nearly the peak and one end of the tent. Rain was more present than biting bugs on my trip, so I often sat under the Gatewood with the door open while I was cooking or just lounging. The netting door was continually getting in my way until I took a fold and tucked it into the elastic loop on the Gatewood used to hold the door rolled back. I don’t use a chair inside a floored tent for fear the stays will press through lightweight fabric, but I found I can use a chair (the Big Agnes Cyclone SL Chair Kit) under cover with the Serenity/Gatewood combination by pushing the floor back far enough that the stays didn’t press into it.
I normally use a six-ounce Bozeman Mountain Works Vapr Quantum Bivy with the Gatewood. The Serenity was my bivy on my CDT trip. Even when bug pressure was low, the Serenity added a bit of warmth and splash protection.
The Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis is essentially a Gatewood Cape with the rainwear option removed and a perimeter of bug netting added. It weighs thirteen ounces. In October 2007, Will Rietveld posed this question in his review of the Wild Oasis: “Why not simply develop a detachable mesh skirt for the Gatewood Cape? Then one could have the Gatewood’s dual benefits of rainwear and shelter, plus bug protection when needed by adding the skirt. The challenge would be to devise a lightweight attachment system that is convenient and bug-proof. Velcro is not necessarily a good solution because it would add too much weight, and it snags badly on the mesh.” The Serenity Net Tent is almost certainly not what Will was envisioning, but it functions as he requested.
If you already own a Gatewood Cape, the Six Moon Designs Serenity Net Tent is a nice addition to one of my favorite shelters. It decreases the roominess of the Gatewood, but provides full bug protection.
No other shelter in this weight range has full mosquito protection, modularity (netting and rain fly can be used separately), and a rainwear option. Even bypassing its use as rainwear, the Gatewood Cape/Serenity Net Tent is unique as a shelter with the option of full bug coverage with the door open, modularity, and to-the-ground shelter on three sides when conditions warrant. The Tarptent Sublite and Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis (13 ounces) have mosquito coverage only with the fabric door closed. The Gossamer Gear The One is not modular, so weight can’t be saved by leaving the netting at home in non-buggy conditions. The Mountain Laurel Designs Serenity Shelter and one of their tarps, such as the Patrol Shelter, have the most similar features but they can’t be pitched to the ground without reducing sitting height under the netting. Another difference is that the Mountain Laurel Designs shelter has an end entry, while the Six Moon Designs shelter has a center door.
- Light weight
- Modular – can be set up alone or left at home if it’s not buggy
- Large door with double zipper
- Netting is off face when sleeping
What’s Not So Good
- Netting is delicate
- Netting drapes on shoulders when sitting
Recommendations for Improvement
- Add a center back tieout or loop to create more sitting space.