Snow Peak LandBreeze Solo Original Tent

This two-pole, wedge, solo, double wall tent is quite something at 4 pounds.

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by Ken Knight | 2007-02-01 11:39:00-07

The world of tents can be a daunting one. Tents come in so many types and sizes that it can be hard to keep up. That world grows a bit more with Snow Peak's latest entry. The LandBreeze Solo Original should give consumers quite a bit to think about.

The LandBreeze Solo Original tent is a double wall tent with floor space of 6.75' by 3.25' and ceiling of 3.3'. The wedge shaped design opens up the interior volume quite a bit making this feel, in a quick sit down test, like a quite roomy 4 pound tent. The inner tent is made of 20 denier nylon mesh and 40 denier ripstop nylon with a PU coating that is water resistant up to 1800mm of pressure. The fly is made of 30 denier PU coated ripstop nylon with a water resistance rating of 1500mm. This is a minimalist tent with one large front door and no vestibule.



Snow PeakLandbreeze - 2



Snow Peak Landbreeze - 2


Citation

"Snow Peak LandBreeze Solo Original Tent," by Ken Knight. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/02800.html, 2007-02-01 11:39:00-07.

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Snow Peak LandBreeze Solo Original Tent
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Forum Admin
(ForumMP) - BPL Staff - F
Snow Peak LandBreeze Solo Original Tent on 02/01/2007 11:39:02 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Snow Peak LandBreeze Solo Original Tent

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Snow Peak LandBreeze Solo Original Tent on 02/01/2007 11:53:03 MST Print View

Is it possible to include a photo of this tent?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Snow Peak LandBreeze Solo Original Tent on 02/01/2007 13:50:50 MST Print View

Thanks for posting the photos!

I think the tent looks good in and of itself -- but this 4-lb. solo tent with no vestibule pales in comparison to Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 SL -- a much bigger tent with vestibule weighing just under 3 lbs.

scri bbles
(scribbles) - F

Locale: Atlanta, GA
too heavy! on 02/01/2007 14:00:30 MST Print View

Tarptent Rainbow's got it beat!

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Snowpeak Landbreeze Tent on 02/01/2007 14:54:59 MST Print View

The MSR Hubba also has it beat, by nearly a pound, a vestibule, and easier ingress/egress with the door on the long side. (This also applies to the Rainbow, except that it's two-pound-plus lighter.)

Snow Peak is usually pretty good about producing light gear - wonder what prompted this detour?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Snowpeak Landbreeze Tent on 02/01/2007 22:00:43 MST Print View

Snow Peak has always struck me as an oddity. Yes, they make really good gear, but there's just something quirky about their gear as well.

Example 1 - Snow Peak 700 titanium mug. This piece is wildly popular, but SP just had to match it with a stainless steel lid!

Example 2 - Snow Peak Gigapower Stove -- Another great piece, but in order to compact it down, you have to leave the valve open -- which of course means the next time you use it, you have to remember to close that valve before connecting it to the stove! Surely they can fix that -- but they won't...

Example 3 - Snow Peak 600 titanium mug. This mug can also double as a cookpot and is sized to house the Gigapower stove along with a small fuel canister -- but nooooo, it doesn't come with a lid! So no cookpot unless you fashion a lid yourself (which fortunately isn't difficult, but still...).

Great products -- but quirky at times. However, regarding this tent, unfortunately, I see more quirkiness than greatness.

Edited by ben2world on 02/01/2007 22:15:46 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Snowpeak Landbreeze Tent on 02/02/2007 00:48:12 MST Print View

Want a Snow Peak "detour"? Look at this from Summer OR: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/snowpeak_introduce_ultralight_orsm06.html

Truth is that Snow Peak makes really nice UL stoves and cookwear (so most of us know that stuff) but in Japan, they are much larger and broader in their scope. For instance, they have the most premier car camping gear I have ever seen. Incredible fine wood camping tables, hugely expensive tents for 40, and large heavy cookwear.

You know, Coleman is a bit like that- they make some of the lightest and most advanced stoves for UL hikers and mountaineers but they also have the biggest car camping market in the US. Just think of Snow Peak as a super-fancy Coleman and you're starting to get the idea. Check out their Japanese site and you'll see what I mean.

I think the defining factor at Snow Peak is not weight but meticulous attention to quality.

They also sell the only backpacking Tea Ceremony kit. I've often wanted to get it because it's so cool...but I wouldn't have a clue what to do with it!

Doug

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Re: Snowpeak Landbreeze Tent on 02/02/2007 05:16:26 MST Print View

They also sell the only backpacking Tea Ceremony kit.

Actually MontBell sells two kits (scroll down about halfway), one made with really nice materials, the other cheaper and lighter.

Snow Peak caters primarily to the car camping crowd here in Japan, where they make far more money than they ever would for backpackers. And though Japanese generally have been going backpacking quite lightly for generations, the ultralight movement hasn't really quite caught on. The new tent by Snow Peak has to cater to walkers who camp in crowded above treeline campsites with very small sites and where high winds and heavy rains on exposed areas are a very big concern (the backpacking high season coincides with the beginning of typhoon season), so that is who Snow Peak designs their tents for. All of the tent companies in Japan basically design bomber tents, even for the crusty, very experienced mountaineers.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Vestibule??? on 02/02/2007 18:04:43 MST Print View

No vestibule? So to get into the tent in bad weather you have to open the door and let the rain pour down on all your gear? Really? Or am I missing something?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Vestibule??? on 02/02/2007 18:34:33 MST Print View

Roger:

Some folks will readily forgo a vestibule if doing so translates into less weight. But this solo tent is HEAVIER than some 2-person tents with vestibule(s)!!! Almost like a "double insult". So no, I don't think you are missing anything. :)

Edited by ben2world on 02/02/2007 19:20:58 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Vestibule??? on 02/02/2007 20:28:54 MST Print View

Roger, the Landbreeze Solo Original does have a vestibule (go to the Japanese homepage and scroll down to the 13th item in the left sidebar, after you see "6LX", and click on that item. You will see a side view of the tent with the vestibule deployed). I completely agree with you about the need for a larger vestibule, but nearly all mountaineering tents in Japan (and almost all backpacking in Japan is done above treeline, the only places where there there is no development or towns or where easily maintained trails can be built) are manufactured with small vestibules. This is not because they don't have a clue, but because here in Japan you are usually not allowed to camp outside the designated campsites (to protect already very beleagued fragile habitats) and the campsites are nearly always jam packed with people and the space for your tent is very often minimal. It is not uncommon to have several dozen (sometimes several hundred) tents pitched so close together that you can barely walk between them (A typical view of campsites in Japan. Here is another typical campsite view. And here is typical terrain that you walk and camp in...these are not my pictures by the way and that person in the last picture is not me... I haven't carried that much stuff in a long time!). And the very steep mountainsides very often have very little level ground to pitch a tent on. So, to keep the footprint as small as possible the manufacturers include only minimal vestibules. Most of MontBell's tents are like that. I've tried using a European-style tunnel tent (a Tatonka Arktis... similar to one of yours) quite a number of times here over the years and always ended up regretting the amount of space it took. I even have trouble with my Hilleberg Akto because the lines always end up in other people's sites or pushed in at awkward angles at the drops offs around the site.

And aren't there a lot of high altitude mountaineering tents made by other companies that don't have a vestibule at all? To get the smallest footprint possible? Bibler, Integral Designs, Outdoor Designs...

Ben, you have to think differently about tents when going backpacking in Japan. Most of the silnylon ultralight shelters would be torn to shreds by the ferocious winds in the high mountain campsites where the Landbreeze was designed for. 1.85 kg is not so heavy for a bomber tent, don't you think?

Edited by butuki on 02/02/2007 20:31:54 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Vestibule??? on 02/02/2007 22:02:33 MST Print View

Miguel:

Thanks for the insight and photos. The dome tents clustered together look cute. :)

Edited by ben2world on 02/03/2007 00:19:18 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Vestibule??? on 02/03/2007 01:01:59 MST Print View

Thank you Miguel for the images and perspectives about backpacking in Japan. You really opened my eyes to what backpacking means in your country.

And I agree with you that 4 pounds is quite light- that is, once you realize that this is actually a bomber solo tent and not a standard backpacking model with a mesh inner tent and lighter materials. I'm currently testing a solo tent from Rab that is over 4 pounds. Sounds heavy until you realize that it's designed to be pitched on the side of K2 and that it can easily shed HUGE winds and snowloads. A Big Agnes SL tent is nice and light, but isn't designed for those conditions.

But I love the image of the tents in that rock field. The only place we get scenes like that in Washington (west coast US) is on the side of very popular volcano climbs such as Rainier. Those are some beautiful mountains you have in Japan!

Doug

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Lightweight Japanese Bomber Tents on 02/03/2007 03:49:08 MST Print View

Doug, yes the mountains in Japan are truly wonderful. But no less so than the Cascades and Coastal Range that I backpacked in in Oregon back in the 70's and 80's. Just very different. I'm always envious of the people in photos of the PCT and John Muir Trail where walkers have these great gradually graded trails with hours of level walking! It's psychologically pretty daunting at times here in japan when you start on yet another vertically inclined trail that does nothing but climb and climb and climb all day, only to end up on this slanted, rock infested campsite with not a level patch of ground in sight.

The Snow Peak tent wouldn't be my first choice were I to get a bomber tent for the Japan Alps, though. My favorite Japanese bomber tents are those made by Heritage. Click on the "Espace" link and take a look at the offerings. Some really nice stuff, with absolutely flawless construction. (the Espace Solo weighs only 1.5 kg) But pretty expensive, though. If I can I am thinking of getting one of these tents some time this spring. I also like the tents made by the outdoor store Nippin (click on the little rectangles at the top left corner of each box to get more details on each tent) and designed by Reinhold Messner.

Edited by butuki on 02/03/2007 03:49:47 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Lightweight Japanese Bomber Tents on 02/03/2007 11:26:27 MST Print View

This SnowPeak tent uses only two poles criss-crossed once at the top -- which is just about the simplest configuration -- and very popular for 2 and 3-season tents. The fly fabric is 30 denier coated ripstop -- a material used in some 3-season tents but never in 4-season tents. What am I missing that makes this tent especially bomber?

And if, as I suspect, the SP is really only good for 3-season use, then the choice of all-solid fabric for the inner is actually suboptimal for warmer weather.

Now, I am not saying this is a bad tent by any means. But comparing to 3-season tents already on the market for years, an REI Quarter Dome with tons more living space plus two doors and two vestibules weigh just 3 lbs and change. And casting all of that aside, the QD inner tent's blend of solid fabric around the bottom half and mesh above actually makes more sense to me for 3-season use.

Edited by ben2world on 02/03/2007 12:08:35 MST.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Re: Re: Lightweight Japanese Bomber Tents on 02/03/2007 12:59:15 MST Print View

Miguel: I'm not trying to start a fight here, so please don't take this as a contradiction. I fully understand what you're saying about them making a tent to meet the needs of backpacking in Japan, and agree that this may be an excellent product to meet those needs.

But: they've chosen to show it at an industry show in the U.S., which implies that they're trying to introduce it to the U.S. market. So, I think our criticisms (which are, by implication, criticisms of its applicability to backpacking here) are probably valid, in context.

You do make a good point: there is no objectively "best" gear; you have to understand the context in which you're going to use it.

By the way, you mentioned that silnylon tents would get shredded in the Japanese mountains. Didn't you post somewhere about using a Tarptent in those same mountains? :) Sorry - too good to pass up!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Vestibule??? on 02/03/2007 14:12:07 MST Print View

Hi Miguel

Fantastic pics and scenery! Love the rocky camp site with all the tents - reminded me of Nepal.

> So, to keep the footprint as small as possible the manufacturers include only minimal vestibules.
OK, I understand about the limited tent space, but even within the confines of the footprint you CAN create a vestibule which will keep pouring rain out of the tent. Sure, it alters the design somewhat, but I am far more concerned about functionality (keeping my gear dry). So while I am sure the Snow Peak gear is well made (I love my GST100), that does not mean that one should accept a design which lets rain in.
Of course, if you are designing a tent for conditions where you won't get rain, fair enough. This may be dry weather - or snow country.
Yeah, a hard line attitude, and focused on handling bad weather.

However, I am NOT convinced that silnylon would be shredded - with the right design. I have seen some bad weather over the years, and I have never seen a tent damaged due to a weakness of the fabric. Bad design, broken poles, inadequate guys, all of those, but never due to the fabric. Just my 2c.

Cheers
Roger

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Backpacking in Japan on 02/03/2007 14:26:02 MST Print View

Hi Miguel -

This is slightly off topic, but I am considering a trip to Japan this summer for some backpacking. Can you make any recommendations? I was considering Hokkaido, just to be cooler, but any thoughts you had would be much appreciated. This would be with my family - 4 of us.

You are not set up for offline email - so please forgive the intrusion into this thread.

Thanks,
Don

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Vestibule??? on 02/03/2007 17:38:21 MST Print View

Umm ... let me jump in. "Snowpeak" didn't decide to sell these tents in the US, presumably it was their US distributor so I don't think "Snowpeak", meaning the Japanese company, have any obligations at all to UL board-posters. Roger - these tents are actually modulable and you can choose from mesh inner versions or nylon and match those with either the mountaineering - i.e., vestibule-less - flysheet or a fly with an extended vestibule. Which does stop the rain dripping in. And these tents are often used in Japan for motorbike touring and the Snowpeak catalogue usually has a photo of someone doing exactly that. So UL or SUL is not necessary. As one of the BPL staff observed, Snowpeak are actually not an UL company, with the exception of a couple of items that get sold in the US - they're probably best known in Japan for their CAST-IRON cookware, which is most definitely NOT ultralight. But the gear they make is staggeringly good.

I second Miguel on Nippin - they have some extremely light sleeping bags as well as the breathable but non-WP mountaineering tents.

Family walks in Japan? It's mostly vertical - so Oze in Honshu (a crowded but beautiful alpine marsh area) or Hokkaido. Try catching the ferry up to Rishiri, an island off the north of Hokkaido with some good walking. Depends of course on the age of your kids.

Edited by Arapiles on 04/23/2007 15:46:17 MDT.

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Japan - steep is OK on 02/03/2007 18:28:52 MST Print View

Steep, even real steep, is OK. My kids are experienced and have both hiked above 17000 feet in Peru without any difficulty. They're 14 and 17. They both have a lot of climbing experience too.

So, if anyone has any input on the best hikes, let's hear it.

Thanks,
Don