Mar 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm #1270875
I do most of my backpacking in the Southeast. About 50% of my time solo, the other half with the wife. We already have a 2 person shelter that I am using on my solo trips. It is the TT DR 2010 model. It is a great shelter and we love it, but I am now at a crossroads. Doing about a trip a month and half the time solo, I have gotten to the point where I need a lighter shelter. I am trying to decide if I should get a lighter 2 person shelter (such as the Squall Classic) and use it as my solo shelter, or if I should keep the TT DR, and get a solo shelter. What do you guys think? What shelters would you recommend? Looking for the lightest options that have full weather/bug protection. So I guess my options are:
A) Keep the TT DR for hiking with the wife, get the lightest solo shelter with weather and bug protection that I can afford
B) Get rid of the TT DR, get a lighter 2 person that can be used as a solo without much weight pentalty
My initial thought is to keep the DR for trips with her, and get something like a GG The One.
What are your recommendations?Mar 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm #1712174
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I'd pick option A–keep the DR and get a solo shelter.
I have the GG Squall Classic and definitely would not recommend it for two adults. It's really more of a 1.5 person tent. It's perfect for me and my 80-lb. dog, and it would be fine for me plus, say, my 6-year-old grandson (but without dog). I think that you and your wife would feel quite cramped, especially since you're used to the space and separate doors of the Double Rainbow. For example, in the Squall Classic only one of you would be able to sit up at a time.
There are other lightweight solo shelters, such as the ZPacks Hexamid (the newer configuration, tarp plus separate bug shelter with floor, sounds better than the netting floor version) and various other tarp plus bug net configurations. Or the Tarptent Contrail or Moment.Mar 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm #1712203
I agree with Mary. If it were me, I'd keep the DR and get a solo shelter.Mar 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm #1712206
Does the Hexamid have full weather protection? The lightest options I am seeing with full bug and weather protection is GG The One and Spinnshelter + Bug NetMar 22, 2011 at 6:09 am #1712544
Based on what I am reading, the Hexamid has full weather protection if you get the extended beak correct? Would this be the best option over the others (SpinnShelter + Alpinelite, Cricket, The ONE) am I missing any that have full weather/bug protection?Mar 22, 2011 at 6:35 am #1712550
I'd add the solomid to the list- available inner and very storm worthyMar 22, 2011 at 6:50 am #1712561
If you are close to 6ft and use a 2" pad, you will likely not fit in the Hexamid at the ends without touching the canopy. Especially with a high loft bag or quilt.Mar 22, 2011 at 7:06 am #1712570
I am just a hair under 6' so that may leave the hexamid off. Any other solo full weather/bug protection shelters I am leaving out?Mar 22, 2011 at 8:05 am #1712597
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
Wow, I don't how to keep my shelter list down to 2 shelters:-)
I think at the moment I have:
2 person – 3 season
2 person – 4 season
solo – summer
solo – 3 season
solo – 4 season
And this is after selling a few:-)Mar 22, 2011 at 8:09 am #1712601
I would love to keep that many around I just do not have the gear budget to support it. I am needing/wanting the following pieces of gear
Lighter Pack (thinking Mariposa Plus)
Lighter insulation piece (something like the Montbell EX Light)
New Trail Runners
Eco Mesh Pants
List goes on…Mar 22, 2011 at 8:13 am #1712603
The One, Contrail, and Sublite Sil all look nice due to weight.
The Moment will stand up to more weather than the Contrail, but it's heavier at about 32 oz.
You could get a Golite Shangri-La 1 or 2 or other shaped tarp and use a net skirt or inner bug tent. I'm not a fan of net skirts though. Crawlers keep me awake just as much as mosquitoes.Mar 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm #1712760
I spent most of the day researching, and had my mind set on the Sublite Sil. Went to the site and they are going to be out of stock for the rest of the year. I guess it is time to start the research process over.Mar 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm #1712888
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
You could always try a "WTB", you never know.
Sublite Sils show up for sale once in a while, but you've got to be quick!Mar 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm #1713012
The solomid looks intriguing as well. Any pros/cons on the solomid vs sublite sil?Mar 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm #1713028
the pyra tent might be a little more storm (wind/snow) worthy, looks like it might be a little more roomy too
weight looks pretty close (when adding the inner to the solomid) solmid + inner is more $
solomid gives you the option of using it just as a standalone shelter (when the inner is not needed)
there was a used one (mid + inner) for sale in the forums not too long agoMar 23, 2011 at 6:54 am #1713290
Set up with guylines attached, the SoloMid is rock solid. The two pole structure really helps here. I would bea little concerned with length though. If it sags a bit your head and feet will touch. But of course, it only weighs 13oz so that is a reasonable tradeoff.Mar 23, 2011 at 7:08 am #1713299
The fact that if it sags you would be touching, Is that pretty much all solo shelters in that weight range? I would imagine most of them that keep the weight down are pretty small.Mar 23, 2011 at 7:30 am #1713311
Touching the walls at the head and foot is one reason I'm not a big fan of mids. I'm always sliding or moving around at night, and I always end up moving that 3" or whatever and getting my down bag damp, especially if it's a thick one like a 0F.
You might consider a tarp with decent coverage and a netting tent. I really like my Scarp 2 and Moment, but I'm considering experimenting with a tarp + net tent. I've done the tarp alone thing in cooler weather, but I actually find it distracting because I want to stay up and watch everything going on.Mar 23, 2011 at 7:42 am #1713323
I like the Tarp + Net Tent idea but I am going for full weather protection as well as bug protection. I am afraid I will not get that in a setup like that.
The only one I can think off would be the SpinnShelter, but will I be touching the sides in that as well?Mar 23, 2011 at 8:02 am #1713339
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
"I like the Tarp + Net Tent idea but I am going for full weather protection as well as bug protection. I am afraid I will not get that in a setup like that."
Depends. The size/shape of the tarp, and, if your net tent has a full bathtub floor.
For bad weather, and when I expect colder weather ( ~32F or 0C), I much prefer my tarp and net tent. The wife and I have been out in wildly changing conditions in late fall with temps in the 80F range when we started and close to 10F on the same trip after 5 days, 3 of which were solid rain. It kept us dry. Better than our Stevenson's tent, actually, because there was a lot less condensation. At just under 3lb, (tarp, bug tent, stakes, guy lines, hiking staff all add up to 44oz) it wasn't too heavy to carry and VERY effective. Just leave a space around it at near the ends for hi/low ventilation. For breakfast/supper, we pitched the tarp, but only staked the net tent. The bug tent was dropped for breakfast/supper. Soo, we had a dry place to sit and could cook under the tarp. Tarp was a 10×10. The tent was the Lair 2 nest (no longer made.)Mar 24, 2011 at 7:25 am #1713900
Have you considered perhaps gear from Alpinlitegear.com? I think you might be able to get full bug protection and double walled for around 20oz.
If you rob a bank, you could look at the Lightheart Gear Solo in Cuben for full protection (hybrid double wall) about 14oz.Mar 24, 2011 at 9:17 am #1713957
"Have you considered perhaps gear from Alpinlitegear.com? I think you might be able to get full bug protection and double walled for around 20oz."
The Terraform option seems to be a good one as well. Seems like I have a few options around the 20-24oz mark. Now I guess I need to decide what is best for me. Here are my options, does anyone have any pros/cons for someone 6' in the Southeast looking for full weather and bug protection?
MLD Cricket – ~19oz
SpinnShelter + Alpinelite Net Tent or Bivy – ~18-20oz
SpinTwinn + Alpinelite Net Tent or Bivy – ~16-19oz (may not have full weather protection?)
Solomid + Net – 22oz (May be too short?)
Terraform MD + Net Tent – 25oz
Sublite Sil – 24oz (out of stock so would have to find on GearSwap)Mar 24, 2011 at 10:00 am #1713982
I have dealt with Gen @ Alpinlite a few times and he is fantastic (plug).
Given where I trek and the sideways rain we get periodically, I really like the look of the Terraform MD with front and rear beaks. You can really batten down the hatches so to speak. The Cricket looks very neat but I think the exposed entry way is a deal breaker for me.Mar 24, 2011 at 10:30 am #1713993
I would definitely get a solo shelter, instead of a new two person shelter. You have a good two person shelter that you both like, so I wouldn't mess with it.
There are a bunch of great solo shelters out there, and a lot depends on personal preference. If I was a value shopper, I think I would get a TarpTent Contrail. It has been tweaked (refined) over the years, so I consider it to be a very good shelter at a great price. I personally like it because the apex is by your head. Other people feel the opposite, and prefer a mid type shelter (so you can sit up in the middle of the tent, instead of by the door). Mids also have the advantage of being a bit more storm worthy, especially since you don't have to aim them away from the wind.
Other tent makers I would suggest browsing:
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
I know I'm forgetting a bunch, but hopefully that will help (although it looks like you've already browsed some of these already).Mar 24, 2011 at 10:36 am #1713999
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
I didn't see any mention of the Lightheart Solo/Awning/Wedge. There's a video review of the Solo on Hendrik's site Hiking in Finland.
Also, if you go the route of a SpinnTwinn, take a look at GoLite's SL-1 Nest. It is heavier (at 16 oz) than Alpinlite's net but the floor is a little more durable than 30D sil so you wouldn't necessarily need a groundcloth. Also, it is usually around $50 online.
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