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Your Favorite 3-Season Solo Tarp Tent, Double Wall Tent or Tarp + Bivvy?


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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Your Favorite 3-Season Solo Tarp Tent, Double Wall Tent or Tarp + Bivvy?

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Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 58 total)
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  • #1489474
    William Puckett
    Member

    @beep

    Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes

    After finding that my 6'5" frame doesn't manage well within the SMD Lunar Solo (sob!), I ordered a TT Contrail. I had a chance to set it up today and I am pleased to report that it works for me.

    Although I'm sure you've seen photos of the Contrail, I've included a few for inspection. This was my first time out with pitching this model and it WAS easy. For scale, I show a 72" Thermarest inside. As far as headroom goes, there is none to spare, but at the front I can manage (better than in the Lunar Solo).

    Contrail 1

    contrail 2

    Contrail 3

    contrail 4

    #1489479
    Dan Cunningham
    Member

    @mn-backpacker

    Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons

    Nice Bill – Glad to hear you can fit.

    Hey, isn't that the first site on the left at Afton after you get up the hill? I know it's Afton, that's for sure. Love the place. :)

    Now that you have seen both, if you could have fit in the Lunar Solo, would you have preferred it, or now that you see the Contrail, do you like it better?

    #1489480
    Michael Fogarty
    BPL Member

    @mfog1

    Locale: Midwest

    Nice first pitch William. I too once had a Lunar solo, but didn't like the silnylon so close to my head. I like the high headroom of the Contrail while your in the actual sleeping position. I think this aids with ventilation. I had some serious condensation with Lunar Solo, especially, when the back was staked down tight. The Lunar seemed roomier, and had a larger vestibule though. I prefer the pitch of the Contrail too, seemed like I had to fuss more with the Lunar. I believe one of the reasons Henry designed the Contrail was that Thru-Hikers had issues with rear pole breakage, like the Virga had. It was a shorter pole, so it was more prone to breakage.
    With the Contrails short rear strut poles, there is very little chance with breakage, and if one did break, it would probably be easier to fix, in the field, or could even be set-up with a trekking pole at the rear ridge-line.

    #1489492
    Ross Bleakney
    BPL Member

    @rossbleakney

    Locale: Cascades

    Hey Micheal,
    Nice to see someone else values that in a tent. My wife and I have a Squall 2, which is basically the two person version of the same tent. I hesitate to call this feature headroom, because it could be misunderstood to mean the overall length of the tent, so my pet term is "space above the face" (when lying down). No matter what you call it, I think it is nice to have.

    #1489494
    William Puckett
    Member

    @beep

    Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes

    >>Nice Bill – Glad to hear you can fit.

    Hey, isn't that the first site on the left at Afton after you get up the hill? I know it's Afton, that's for sure. Love the place. :)

    Now that you have seen both, if you could have fit in the Lunar Solo, would you have preferred it, or now that you see the Contrail, do you like it better?<<

    Good eye, Dan! It IS Afton State Park (campsite #12) where I stopped for lunch in an otherwise empty campground. Roleigh refers to Afton State Park as "the Stairmaster", a fitting nickname. I was giving the GG Gorilla Pack (and me) a workout today with about 25 lbs of gear. So, after 12 miles, the pack was fine and I was ready for a beer. I really like the three outside mesh pockets and the overall fit of the pack on me (large size pack, large belt).

    Honestly, I think the Lunar Solo may be a more elegant design that should stand up to winds better than the Contrail. I also like the side opening better. When Ron and Brandon come out with the Lunar Solo XL version I'll be tempted, sorely tempted I tell ya!

    That being said, I like the Contrail a lot based on my brief "first date". I've learned over time that things that fit are way better than items that don't.

    Now that the ground has thawed a bit (!), I'll also have to set up the Lunar Duo and invite the Mrs. for a tour.

    I'm not sure I'm ready for the tarp/bivy combo yet, but I have the MLD Grace Duo and TiGoat Raven XL bivy queued up for another backyard trial.

    #1489506
    Roleigh Martin
    BPL Member

    @marti124

    Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group

    William, Dan, others. Which Camp Sites at Afton State park are good for setup for 2 tents?

    http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_parks/spk00100_camp.pdf

    I am used to site 7 but only have had one tent there.

    I'll be doing many training sessions there at Afton in May, June and July prior to doing the entire JMT with 5+ others, hitting the trail on July 19.

    Thanks!

    Maybe I'll bump into some of you others training at Afton.

    #1489512
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Contrail in the wind…
    Set it up like this and it will do pretty well
    Franco
    Contrail in the wind

    #1489515
    John Carter
    Member

    @jcarter1

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    William:

    Okay, I'll be the gullible one and take the bait: is there a Lunar Solo XL on the horizon, or is this wishful thinking? Because that would totally rock!!! At least for those of us in the +6' crowd.

    #1489529
    Dan Cunningham
    Member

    @mn-backpacker

    Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons

    Regarding the XL – I'm pretty sure that he mentioned in another thread that Brandon/Ron told him that an XL version for taller people is actually in the works and is due out sometime this year!

    #1489534
    Roleigh Martin
    BPL Member

    @marti124

    Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
    #1489542
    William Puckett
    Member

    @beep

    Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes

    >>Regarding the XL – I'm pretty sure that he mentioned in another thread that Brandon/Ron told him that an XL version for taller people is actually in the works and is due out sometime this year!<<

    Correct! In my brief email correspondence with SMD regarding the return of the Lunar Solo, Ron included a comment that they are working on a new solo tent that's more
    compatible for taller people. It will weigh slightly more than the Lunar Solo but have significantly more head room for sitting up. They hope to have it available in the next few months, though whether it will be in time for summer isn't clear. As far as a "Lunar Solo XL", that's just my wishful thinking in specific terms.

    #1489543
    William Puckett
    Member

    @beep

    Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes

    Franco,

    In looking at your photo of the TT Contrail pitched in storm mode, it looks as though you've added loops at the midpoint of the sides. Is that correct? If so, did you sew grosgrain loops or some other material? Close up shots would be great to see!

    #1489550
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

    The loops (guy out points) at the mid-point come standard from TT.

    #1489559
    Joseph Reeves
    Spectator

    @umnak

    Locale: Southeast Alaska

    Since the 3 seasons were not defined, I'll take my Oware Pyramid for Fall, winter and spring, which is really pretty much the same here in Southeast Alaska. Sheds rain and snow, keeps the wind at bay and provides a great deal of space.
    Pyramid Tarp

    #1489569
    John Carter
    Member

    @jcarter1

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Wow, thanks for the info! Looks like it will be called the Vamp Solo.

    #1489630
    William Puckett
    Member

    @beep

    Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes

    >>The loops (guy out points) at the mid-point come standard from TT.<<

    Yep! They do (after closer examination)! Thanks for pointing it out.

    #1489631
    William Puckett
    Member

    @beep

    Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes

    Ok…so the pictures below are for a Lunar Duo, but the tent is palatial! My tall size is quite comfortable…and so is my much shorter wife. Now I realize this thread is about solo shelters, but the Lunar Duo (around 2 1/2 pounds with stakes, seam sealing and Tyvek ground cloth) is definitely feasible for solo use. It is, quite honestly, the largest two person interior I've experienced…overkill for one, but the space!!!

    Pics for inspection.Lunar Duo 1

    Lunar Duo 2

    Lunar Duo 3

    #1489636
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    William
    Just my opinion but I think is time you start to fold and roll that tent for storage…
    Franco

    #1489639
    Michael Fogarty
    BPL Member

    @mfog1

    Locale: Midwest

    Please you must stop showing us/me all this new gear. You already influenced me into buying the Gorilla pack!

    #1489648
    James Dubendorf
    BPL Member

    @dubendorf

    Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT

    I'll second William's comments about the Lunar Duo. It delivers a ton of space with minimal weight. Here are some shots of the Duo in light but sticky Utah snow. This was car camping, which explains the snow brush…

    Lunar Duo in Snow

    Lunar Duo in Snow II

    It held up nicely, stayed taught, and if the snow had kept up the additional guyline points offered plenty of options for a stronger pitch- particularly the point in the center of the seam where the bathtub floor meets the fly. This could run straight to the ground, or off a stick or trekking pole.

    James

    #1489666
    William Puckett
    Member

    @beep

    Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes

    >>Just my opinion but I think is time you start to fold and roll that tent for storage…
    Franco<<

    Franco, you're absolutely right. Today was its first trip out of the stuff sack since I purchased it last December. I blame the wrinkles on the manufacturer! ;-)

    Mostly what I need to do is get out and use the new gear for some weekend trips…

    Up until about 2 weeks ago, I had a foot of snow (or more) in my backyard, followed a few warm days that melted the snow but left the ground still frozen. Next was 4+ days of rainy weather, so this weekend was the first real chance to get out and pitch a tent in "normal" conditions.

    #1489682
    Matt DeWitt
    Member

    @tritan

    Locale: Midwest

    I have a friend with the duo and he stated his first night in the backyard was he had alot of condensation? How about you Duo owners? I have a outter limit double wall( 6lbs) and looking to lighten up so all input would be great.

    I find this thread funny as most tent choices hear are the more inexpensive models which is great compared to some of the double wall or single BA, Northface, marmot,MSR etc for 350 plus. I live in Mi and mainly summer camp so looking for good ventilation for the wife and I is number one with our humidity.
    I attended a clinic on Backpacking this week and the instructor for the most part pushed high end tech gear go figure. Sorry for the railroad.

    #1489683
    EndoftheTrail
    BPL Member

    @ben2world-2

    For sultry, humid nights — probably nothing will make you feel comfortable. But IMO, a double wall tent with an "all mesh" inner will probably be your least worst option. It'll let you enjoy the night sky too.

    A single wall tent or tarptent will likely exacerbate your discomfort in the above scenario.

    If you and your wife don't need a lot of space, the BA SL2 is just half the weight of your current shelter.

    #1489691
    James Dubendorf
    BPL Member

    @dubendorf

    Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT

    Matt,

    Condensation is influenced by many variables, and different shelters deal more or less effectively with different causes of condensation. So, the same features that make a tent very well suited to winter conditions make it poorly suited to summer ones. This article is a great starting point for your question:

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/single_wall_shelters_condensation_factors_tips.html?forum_thread_id=8253&disable_pagination=1

    A thread with tons of info on the Duo:

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=7052&disable_pagination=1

    Given the general pros and cons of any single wall shelter, and the ways in which the design of the Duo takes these into account (such as the bathtub floor, top vents, mesh walls, large vestibules, tons of interior space, and options for pitching with edges off the ground), I have found it very well-suited to much of my hiking, especially when accompanied by another human and a dog. I think it does what it sets out to do very well- great weight/space ratio in most 3 season conditions. Like any piece of gear, of course, it has its limitations: I wouldn't ask it to carry a foot of snow or keep out spindrift in a blowing winter storm! As Benjamin mentioned, there also may be options better suited to extreme heat and humidity. But if you are willing to handle a shelter like the Duo with a bit more technique and planning in exchange for the weight savings, it is worth a look.

    James

    #1489696
    Jeremy G
    BPL Member

    @gustafsj

    Locale: Minnesota

    I also tried out my new to me (used) floorless contrail last night up at Governor Knowles State Forest in Wisconsin. A lot of bushwacking due to parts of the trail being under water brought me to this campsite…

    I pitched the back end pretty low because of the cold and the wind and found quite a bit of (frozen) condensation. Not a big deal as I just wiped it off in the morning. I think I only brushed it a few times over night as I was tossing and turning trying to stay warm in a 32F bag in 20F coldness. It was definitely a bit drafty, but I made it through the night only waking up once shivering. Keep in mind that I am 6'4" and found it reasonably roomy.

    I am anxious to incorporate some of the Franco and other's mods into it. I like the idea of adding the additional pole in the back middle to "peak" that. It turns out that the carbon fiber stays in my GG Mariposa are 22", the same height that Franco used on his. Franco, did you fashion a boot of sort for your pole to set in to keep it from sliding around?

    I also found that the silnylon sagged a fair amount overnight and will definitely be adding some elastic to keep this taught.

    As you can see from the pictures, I incorporated the two-pole inverted V and definitely like the extra clearance getting in and out of the tent.

    tarptent1

    tarptent2

Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 58 total)
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