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Tarptent Virga II vs SMD Lunar Solo E


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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Tarptent Virga II vs SMD Lunar Solo E

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  • #1218810
    Summit CO
    Member

    @summit

    Locale: 9300ft

    Here’s what I’ve narrowed my selection down to after much research here is my comparison between the Virga II and the Lunar Solo E:

    BASICS
    Tarptent Virga II
    /w built in floor:

    $210
    32oz
    22sqft + 45″H + fairly shielded large beak vestibule

    Tarptent Rainbow /w built in floor:

    $215
    32oz
    23sqft + 43″H + fully shielded tiny beak vestibule freestander

    Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo Enhanced (what a mouthfull!) light floor version:

    $275
    29oz
    27sqft + 45″H + 10sqft fully shielded vestibule

    IMAGES:
    Virga II


    Rainbow


    Lunar Solo E

    My Comparison Notes:
    Virga II and nonfreestanding Rainbow require 4 stakes min instead of 6
    Virga II & Rainbow are far cheaper
    Virga II & Lunar have larger vestibules
    Lunar & Virga II have higher ceilings
    Lunar has far more protected vestibule
    Lunar seems to have superior protection from penetration by wind/blowing precip with Rainbow in second
    Lunar & Rainbow are more roomy and more ergonomic (highpoint in the middle)
    Lunar & Rainbow seem better vented
    Rainbow can be free standing
    Rainbow is structurally the most wind/snow resistant, Virga II seems to come in 2nd

    WHAT SAY YOU BASED ON THIS? LUNAR/TARPTENT OWNERS WHAT DO YOU SAY CONSIDERING YOUR EXPERIENCE?


    My Intended Usage: I’m primarily summer/fall backpacking above 9000ft in Colorado. Since I’ll be in the Gore Range too, bugproofness is vital so the built in floor tents make the most sense. I’ll be doing a lot of approach/camp/ski for multiple days, so my pack is still heavy and poles will be used during the day while the camp stays.


    Other tents I considered: Mountain Hardwear Skypoint 1CF, MSR MicroZoid, Eureka EXO 1LE & Spitfire UL, Tarptent Squall 2, Dancing Light Arapaho & Tacoma & Brawny, GoLite Lair 1 /w bug/floor.
    Current tent: Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD 2 person older model used REI rental. (With footprint, poles, 6 al stakes, compression sack, it is a ghastly ~90oz). It is an awesome and bomber tent but I hate all the stakes, weight, and size in the pack. It is spacious but more than I need.


    Math notes:
    Virga II is 24oz $175 + 6oz $35 sewn in floor + 2oz small silnylon groundcloth

    Rainbow is 25oz $215 + 5oz sewn in floor + 2oz small silnylon groundcloth

    Lunar Solo E /w UL floor is 23oz $235 + 1.8oz $25 carbon pole + 6x .3oz $4 Ti stakes + 2oz small silnylon groundcloth

    -Summit from 9300ft
    </first post>

    ETA Price corrections per Mr. Shires himself.

    #1358025
    Henry Shires / Tarptent
    BPL Member

    @07100

    Locale: Upper Sierra Foothills - Gold Rush Country

    A couple of corrections re: pricing for the Tarptent models.

    Virga 2 with sewn-in floor: $205
    Rainbow with sewn-in floor: $215

    -H

    #1358028
    EndoftheTrail
    BPL Member

    @ben2world-2

    All 3 are excellent tents in design, materials, workmanship and after-sale service/warranty.

    For me, I like to minimize the number of conditions that I need to satisfy when selecting a campsite. So, with this in mind, I would choose the Rainbow and Lunar over the Virga. You need to be somewhat careful with pointing the foot end of the Virga to the wind, but the other two tents will throw off the wind from most all directions. So that leaves the Rainbow and Lunar — and no worries about guessing wind direction (which you know will change in the middle of the night).

    If light weight is critical, then choose the Lunar. It’s a beauty, easy as heck to set up, and provides plenty of space for one. I am 5’9″ and I can sit up comfortably inside — although I must position myself under the apex.

    If you crave generous headroom (instead of the adequate but rather “pointy” head space of the Lunar) — and don’t mind lugging a few more ounces, then go with the Rainbow. This tent has so much headroom that two people can sit across each other, playing cards!

    #1358029
    EndoftheTrail
    BPL Member

    @ben2world-2

    BTW, if you include the weight of stakes and tent sack in the Lunar, then you should also include them in the other two tents. The Rainbow, while technically freestanding, really needs to be staked down as well — or you risk having it blown away.

    #1358032
    Summit CO
    Member

    @summit

    Locale: 9300ft

    I’m really leaning towards the Rainbow. Of the three it seems like the most likely to lend itself to being a “3.5 season” tent. A major reservation is, though Rainbow has more headroom, it lacks other room inside for gear while at the same time lacking well protected vestibule space. I also wonder about blowing rain from the wrong direction.



    Re Weights:

    OK add <1oz to the Rainbow for 2-4 Ti stakes assuming they aren’t included already.

    As I understand it:

    Mr. Shires’ http://www.Tarptents.com quoted weights include the weight of stakes, stuffsacks, and collapsable poles. It additionally states how much lighter your weight is should you replace the collapsible pole with ski pole(s).

    The Six Moon Designs website quoted weights include the weight of ONLY the tent fabric. If you wish to know the true trail weight for the Lunar Solo e you must track down the additional component weights (and prices) and add them up as I have.

    If I am incorrect here please say so.

    -Summit

    #1358034
    Miguel Arboleda
    BPL Member

    @butuki

    Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan

    The space inside the Rainbow is huge. You can lie down full-length with your head near one side of the tent and have enough space for your full pack at your feet and then alongside you enough space for a tight fit of a partner. That in addition to the space under the vestibule and the great space above your head gives the Rainbow way more than enough space for a solo hiker, especially going ultralight. I don’t think you have to worry about the space inside the Rainbow.

    #1358036
    Summit CO
    Member

    @summit

    Locale: 9300ft

    These pictures seem to suggest that the beak can be extended almost flush with the ground if need be.
    RAINBOW

    Shows the vestibule is pretty small, but usable, probably usable for cooking from the tent, and that it can be full protective just like the Lunar.

    #1358038
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Plenty of room at the bottom, the pink bit is the end of my Prolite 4 (R size)

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Franco

    #1358043
    Ron Moak
    Member

    @rmoak

    “The Six Moon Designs website quoted weights include the weight of ONLY the tent fabric. If you wish to know the true trail weight for the Lunar Solo e you must track down the additional component weights (and prices) and add them up as I have.”

    Actually the weight listed for the Lunar Solo includes the tent, guylines and stuffsack. It doesn’t include stakes or pole as they will vary from user to user.

    Here’s a photo of the Lunar Solo used outside your normal 3 season usage.

    Lunar Solo in Snow

    Ron

    #1358063
    Summit CO
    Member

    @summit

    Locale: 9300ft

    Mr Moak, how did that work you? Was there heavy snow? Heavy wind? Temps? Condensation? Warmth? Frost?

    And weights corrected…

    #1358064
    Patrick Baker
    Member

    @wildman

    He survived with that poor guy in the picture taking him hot drinks all the time !

    (sorry I just could not resist)

    How was your recent trip Ron ?

    #1358065
    cary bertoncini
    Spectator

    @cbert

    Locale: N. California

    HAHAHAHAHA

    #1358075
    Dondo .
    BPL Member

    @dondo

    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Here’s a photo of one of Ron’s earlier creations, the original Europa, pushing three seasons just a bit. My camp was high in the Gore Range just below Zodiac Ridge.


      

    It’s important to remember with any kind of tarp/tent hybrid that under certain conditions you WILL have to learn to manage condensation. The best primer I’ve found on the subject is on the Six Moon Designs website in the FAQ “Using Ultralight Tents.”

    #1358078
    EndoftheTrail
    BPL Member

    @ben2world-2

    There’s just something about that hot pink sleeping pad and those pointy stockings that guys should stay away from…

    #1358080
    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member

    @dwambaugh

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Nah– that is “Thermarest Orange” filtered through the color of the tent fabric. Now, if the *stockings* were hot pink, we would have a problem. If that is Ron Moak’s toes, you already know his “fashion sense” from his party dress designs:

    Ron's party dress

    #1358084
    EndoftheTrail
    BPL Member

    @ben2world-2

    Dale:

    This is the Thermarest ladies’ model sleeping pad in hot pink:

    I worry about that Franco kid…

    #1358085
    Miguel Arboleda
    BPL Member

    @butuki

    Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan

    Not only that… aren’t those his PANTS, topped by a pair of BINOCULARS, sitting loose in that pile? I know that Australia can be hot and it’s very easy to be miles from the nearest neighbor, but…

    #1358087
    EndoftheTrail
    BPL Member

    @ben2world-2

    Miguel, you certainly caught that one — something is very wrong with this Franco kid…

    #1358090
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Not from me.
    The socks are the elite model from the Superfast Go Hard and Light brand, 42% faster than any competitor .
    The Mat is Salmon Red ( you guys are obviously colour blind), part of my attempt into luring the female of the species to my castle.
    Unfortunately this mat is letting me down at the moment ( it has a slow leak somewhere)
    I was not wearing pants in that picture.
    Franco

    #1358104
    Ron Moak
    Member

    @rmoak

    Summit >> Mr Moak, how did that work you? Was there heavy snow? Heavy wind? Temps? Condensation? Warmth? Frost? << Actually that photo was sent in by a customer. According to him, “I simply shook off the ice that had built up in the hail storm and smiled as the mountain guide stared in disbelief at how well this little shelter had performed.” I must add that the Lunar Solo is not recommended by me as a four season mountaineering tent.
    Patrick >>How was your recent trip Ron ? << Actually my recent trip was quite fun. Though it did get cut short. The thought of basically road walking a 100 miles through New Mexico Deserts in 100 degree heat with little water did not prove to be all that enticing. On this trip I carried the Essence Pack and Gatewood Cape. Will Rietveld joined us for the hike through Northern New Mexico and demonstrated his preferred method of setting up the Gatewood Cape as a shelter. His setup is much higher and provided enhanced headroom and the steeper walls provided better sleeping for taller individuals. Hopefully, he’ll provide some photos of the setup for the BPL final review. It only rained on us fairly lightly one night and we were able to stay quite dry. Decending the mesa into the Ghost Ranch, we did encounter a major thunder, lightening and hail storm with pea size hail, ouch. Glad to be back!
    Ron

    #1358192
    Coin Page
    BPL Member

    @page0018

    Locale: Southeastern USA

    Have not seen the other tents, but the Lunar Solo Enhanced is a pleasure. One thing I haven’t seen emphasized enough is the flexibilty of the pitch height. In bad sideways blowing rain or fog or snow, it can be pitched with the pole adjusted about 6 inches shorter, and the tarp staked tight flush with the ground. Cozy, but really storm proof. I don’t know if the other tents will do that.

    #1359041
    Summit CO
    Member

    @summit

    Locale: 9300ft

    OK, I’m think I’m going to order my Rainbow tomorrow!

    If I end up feeling that I can’t lower the beak (and walls) enough for crazy blowing snow/rain protection, I’ll sell it and order a Solo E.

    If the condensation issues are too much then I’ll bite the bullet and get a heavier, smaller, 42oz double wall Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 1. I don’t think that will be a problem. Though it is often cold at night (40s is warm in the summer at altitude) at night in my regular areas, it is not humid and I’ll just learn to manage what condensation there is.

    #1359137
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Note that the gap by the pole in the low set up is just a dip in my lawn..
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    Franco

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