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Introduction

The Seek Outside Tipi is a large-footprint “hot tent” or “stove tent” (i.e., a tent with a built in stovepipe jack designed to be used with an ultralight titanium wood-burning stove).

The Seek Outside 6 Person Tipi isn‚Äôt a shelter you would typically find on Backpacking Light. At 6 lb 7.9 oz (2.9 kg) including the pole, it isn‚Äôt exactly light when compared to say, a solo tarp made of Cuben Fiber! Then, add a titanium wood stove, and you‚Äôre easily over 8 lb (3.6 kg). As what may be the largest shelter we’ve ever reviewed at 150 square feet, the Seek Outside Tipi is bigger than¬†the usual ultralight backpacking tent designed for one or two people. But for those who have discovered “hot tent” backpacking, this shelter is like a portable cabin, making trips in cold and snowy conditions warm and comfortable. Also, the extra space becomes necessary when using a wood stove while camping with a family or group. The Seek Outside 6 Person Tipi stands as an excellent choice for luxury ultralight backpacking in 4 season conditions. In that context, the sheer size and functionality of this tent makes its weight remarkably light.

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The Seek Outside 6 Person Tipi is huge, but it blends in beautifully in Arizona’s Superstition Wilderness.

Features

  • Dual doors with two-way zippers;
  • Single peak vent with no-see-um mesh; an adjuster to close;
  • Silnet seam sealer included (factory seam sealing service is $75 extra);
  • 21 perimeter ground level stake out points;
  • 10 mid-height guy-outs for increased interior space and storm protection;
  • Included aluminum pole (optional carbon pole reviewed- $100 upgrade, saves approx. 11 oz.) for support or supported by overhead tie out;
  • Integrated stove jack with a¬†waterproof cover;
  • Integrated sod skirt with interior and exterior stake points (exterior for internal sod skirt, interior to cover sod skirt with snow);
  • Adjustable height for increased ventilation, or increased storm protection;
  • Available with dual sewn-in screen doors ($99 upgrade- reviewed, adds approx. 20 oz);
  • Color choices: olive green or brown (olive green tested);
  • Options: interior double-wall liner ($150 for half for use with a stove, not reviewed), half nest inner tent ($439, not reviewed), half floor ($149, not reviewed), and Seek Outside stoves.

Specifications

6 Person Seek Outside Tipi-Pyramid Tent, with Dual Sewn-in Screen Door Option:

  • Sleeps¬†6 (3-4 with a stove);
  • Materials: 30 denier Sil nylon;
  • Weight: floorless mid (with optional sewn-in screen doors, seam sealed): 4 lb 15.7 oz/ 2.3 kg;
  • Weight-carbon pole: 1 lb 8.2 oz/ 0.6 kg (pole extends 93.5 – 100.0 in/ 237.5 – 254 cm);
  • Total Weight: mid and carbon pole: 6 lb 7.9 oz/ 2.9 kg;
  • Diameter: 165 in/ 419.1 cm (circular);
  • Interior Height: 94 in/ 238.8 cm (variable, based on pole height);
  • Protected area: 150 sq¬†ft/ 12.9 sq m
  • Stakes Required: 10;
  • Packed Size: 9.0 x 9.5 x 16.5 in/ 22.9 x 24.1 x 41.9 cm;
  • Cost (as tested): $998 ($799 with aluminum pole and without screen doors);
  • Includes: shelter, shelter stuff sack (1.3 oz/ 37 g), aluminum or carbon pole, pole stuff sack (.6 oz/ 17 g), 10 aluminum stakes (.5 oz/ 14 g each), stake stuff sack (.4 oz / 11 g), Silnet seam sealer.

Review Context

For the last several years, I’ve immersed myself in the world of hot tents- shelters that use an internal wood stove. In fact, I first took our family’s Golite Shangri-La 5 and converted it to a hot tent, thinking it would work well for our family of four. What I found, though, was that the stove made this 4-person shelter ideal for two people, but way too small for the four of us. As you may have guessed, we kept bumping into it and melting our nice gear! ¬†For this review, I considered the use of the shelter both with a stove, and without it. I was also looking to see how well it worked with a stove for a maximum of four people.

Someone who is looking for a hot tent might want to consider the following factors:

  • The shelter needs to be stove-ready¬†with an integral stove jack¬†from the manufacturer. Modifying other shelters is an option as well.
  • The shelter has to be bigger than you would customarily need. There needs to be extra space, not just for the stove, but for wood, firestarting supplies, and to walk around the stove.
  • More than one door is very helpful. This feature makes it easier to get in and out without bumping the stove, and it makes it simpler to bring in firewood.
  • Airflow is a slightly different concern with a hot tent. You need to have sufficient airflow for safety. Open airflow at the bottom of the tent allows more cold air to enter. Having a seal at the base of the tent, but good ventilation at the top is a good setup. Also, the heat from a stove can reduce condensation quite a bit, especially if you’re not on snow.

Description of Field Testing

We tested the 6 Person Seek Outside Tipi in a variety of settings in Washington and Arizona: under heavy bug-pressure, downpours in the rainforests of Olympic National Park, without a stove in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains, in sub-freezing conditions in Eastern Washington, and during heavy snowfall and moderately-high winds in the Cascade Mountains.

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The 6 Person Tipi in sub-freezing conditions in Eastern Washington.

Performance Assessment

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