Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1
Display Avatars Sort By:
David Ure
(familyguy) - F
Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1 on 08/10/2005 11:00:38 MDT Print View


has anyone had any experience with either the Golite Lair 1 or Cave 1? I am thinking of purchasing either but can't get my head around which might be the better overall buy. The latter appears to be bigger but I have heard it to be harder to pitch. Any suggestions (I will be combining this with a bivy)? Thanks in advance,

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1 on 08/10/2005 11:28:14 MDT Print View

I do not own either, but it seems to me that the Cave (based on to Ray Jardine's original tarp design) offers more space and much better protection (because it's bigger, has beaks and is pitched lower). But it also requires 4 poles / sticks... and probably a lot more stakes and guylines than the Lair. The Lair on the other hand looks super easy to pitch and only needs 1 (or 2 ??) poles... and if you're combining it with a bivy... the big open front won't be an issue. You might be able to get away with using the Cave without a bivy tho'. Just bring a bug bivy during bug season. Ray never used a bivy with his tarp (aside from some bug netting when needed)... but I think the one he writes about in his book is bigger than the Cave 1... and as such offered more rain protection.

Edited by davidlewis on 08/10/2005 11:29:04 MDT.

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
Re: Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1 on 08/10/2005 11:48:41 MDT Print View

You don't need four poles to pitch a cave. The side lifters are strictly optional -- I've never, ever felt the need for them myself.

I like the cave, and still use mine (although I usually carry a GG Spinntwinn nowadays). It tends to get a little saggy in the rain, and the beaks especially need to be watched closely as keeping reasonable tension on them is more difficult than with a simpler-shaped tarp. On the other hand, you get superb foul-weather coverage from the beaks (especially if you pitch the foot end really low).

Whatever you buy, figure on replacing the guy cords with something like Aircore Pro (ridgeline and corners) and Aircore 1 (everything else). Works better and doesn't tangle near as much (I replaced the side pullouts and beak lines with aircore 1 loops that I can remove when I pack the tarp -- this greatly reduces the guyline tangle, especially when packing a wet tarp). That's a blatant plug for a product on this site, but it does make a huge difference.

John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1 on 08/10/2005 13:28:35 MDT Print View

Never tried the Lair but I like the Cave. I can confirm that it is a swine to pitch, particularly at dusk, when the black guys are difficult to see let alone work with. Altering the position of one peg seems to create a need to alter two other pegs. Nevertheless, perseverance brings a satisfactory result.

The beaks are particlularly useful in windy conditions. I pitch the back low, often, but not always, with the beak closing the end of the tarp. The front is as high as possible, with the beak horizontal, for easy entrance and exit. If I always closed the back, then you could say that a Lair would have been a better purchase, but I don't because it is not always windy.

By the way, I rarely rig the side lifters so only need two trekking poles and no supplementary twigs. (My tarp camping is usually well above the tree line.)

David Ure
(familyguy) - F
Note from Golite on 08/10/2005 13:40:17 MDT Print View

Thanks all. I posed a similar question to Golite and their response was:

"The Lair is an updated version of the Cave, and the Cave is being
discontinued this season, so I would suggest getting the Lair. It's
smaller, lighter, and can be pitched with 2 poles."

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Note from Golite on 08/10/2005 13:53:42 MDT Print View

So it's probably a good time to keep an eye out for Caves at clearance prices :]

I agree with what the other posters said. If you invest a bit more work in the Cave, you'll get some more coverage. The Lairs are very easy to pitch, in my experience. I can't remember the weight specs, but I'm pretty sure Cave 1 is heavier than Lair 1, but only slightly lighter than Lair 2. Something like C1=14oz, L1=12oz, and L2=16oz.

So the Lair 2 is pretty roomy for one, and not a significant weight penalty over the Cave. You've got a bit of room to scrunch up and hide in the rear if the wind is blowing in on you.

If you're so inclined, the Lair models might be easier to modify and give you more flexibility. Maybe sew a removable beak to use for iffy conditions, and just leave it at home when you don't think you'll miss it.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Note from Golite - Cave on 08/10/2005 15:59:47 MDT Print View

I believe the "Cave" is a Ray J design & it being discontinued by GoLite may be "fallout" fr/the GoLite-Ray J "falling out". 'nuff said 'bout that.

I believe you can buy plans for a "Cave"-type design fr/RayWay.

If I understood correctly email replies fr/Ray J, they are possibly considering selling in the future completed products for those who, like me, would be unable to sew a product well enough for actual trail use.

So there still is one avenue to still obtain a "Cave"-style tarp, and hopefully in the near future a second avenue.

Sal Maestas
(CuervoBravo) - F

Locale: New Mexico
Re: Re: Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1 on 03/14/2006 10:30:03 MST Print View

Can you elaborate a bit about you switch to the SpinnTwinn? I have a Cave 1 and was considering the "upgrade".
Are there any drawbacks? Have you wished for beaks with the SpinnTwinn?
Was your motivation to switch primarily weight?
If you'd like to email: sal ATTTT enchantedtower DOTTTT com


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1 on 03/14/2006 13:06:34 MST Print View

Let me complicate things for you--- consider the Hut1 as well-- easy to pitch and you can button it down tight, or you can pitch it higher for more ventilation. Lots of room for one, okay for two, good vestibule space too.

Dane Fliedner
(dfliedner) - F

Locale: North Texas
Golite cave on 03/14/2006 13:53:10 MST Print View

Hey, there is a Golite Cave1 for sale on the gear swap under "making room"... wonder if he'll give me a commission? :)

Edited by dfliedner on 03/14/2006 14:00:38 MST.

james schardt
(jamie_s) - F
Hut 1 on 03/14/2006 16:05:14 MST Print View

I just bought the Hut 1 and I agree with Dale, it's worth considering. I wanted the ability to handle a freak, blowing snowstorm. The Hut 1 fits the bill. It's just the Lair 1 plus a vestibule/door.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Hut 1 on 03/17/2006 14:55:44 MST Print View

You get the extra reinforcement of the front panels too, let alone keeping the main body of the tarp from becoming a sail about 3 AM when the wind shifts.

A Hut1 is just an ounce more than a Cave1 and three ounces more than a Lair1. The Hut1 is easy to pitch -- I'll bet much easier to pitch than a Cave and a bit easier than a Lair in that You have the front panels to helplocate the whole front end. I've added some rope loops to the stake loops on the Hut1 and have the same for my Gatewood cape shelter so I have the option of nailing down tight to the ground or jacking it up 6" for some air flow. In good weather you can leave the front panels tied back and have all the pleasures of a tarp.

I like the rigs that can be pegged down without long sloping guy lines and then raised by just sticking the hiking pole in place and pulling a front or rear guy line tight-- fast and easier in a blow.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/17/2006 17:07:11 MST.

Michael Freyman
(mfreyman) - MLife
Re: Re: Hut 1 on 03/17/2006 15:43:48 MST Print View

Is the Hut 1 compatible with the Lair 1 Nest?

I have the Lair 1 and Lair 1 Nest but I am considering also gettting the Hut 1 for less than favorable weather forcasts.

Gary George
(Maaax) - F

Locale: Central California
Re: Golite Lair 1 versus Cave 1 on 03/17/2006 16:00:47 MST Print View

Have you looked at the kifaru super tarp? 16 ozs and can be huge! 12 ft deep. I have one on order.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Hut 1 on 03/17/2006 17:37:10 MST Print View

Good question. The Hut1 is a little lower in the rear-- it might sag and bag a bit. I've always been of the opinion that I might as well haul a double wall tent than go the extra weight and expense of a nest, or jump to something like a Six Moons Design tent. I have double-walled tents that are paid for :)

This is all said with the caveat that I don't live in terribly buggy country and DEET doesn't bother me. Those who live in areas with major mosquito populations really need the help for comfort and safety.

The way the Hut1 is laid out, you can sleep between the poles. You can take a sheet of bug screen, take a hank in the appropriate spot and tie a loop around it to hang off the front pole. That is high enough to keep the stuff off your face and arms. The rest can drape and tuck under your pad or weighted in the corners with rocks. I got a sheet of green bug net in a surplus store and I've had all kinds of fun trying different arrangements- it is cheap and light.

I picked up a remnant of some white netting that is about 3' wide and 20' long that I was going to experiment with making simple envelope type head/upper torso nets with. I have one of the Adventure 16 gizmos and I'd like something simpler.

The REI "Mombassa" bug screen has all sorts of uses with tarps-- it is a brick shaped screen made to go over a cot and it has loops on the top. You can hang it off the pole(s) the same way, or from tree branches if you are sleeping without a cover.

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Re: Re: Re: Hut 1 on 03/18/2006 08:46:59 MST Print View

They are compatible, been using this combo with much success, Hut 1 has fabric loops in the front and back to attach Nest clips, highly reccomend this combo. Good luck!

Michael Freyman
(mfreyman) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Hut 1 on 03/18/2006 19:04:35 MST Print View

Thanks Jim.