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2008 Golite Shelters @
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John Carter
(jcarter1)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
My Hex 3 weight on 01/12/2008 03:19:21 MST Print View

My bare-bones Hex 3 weights in at 24.7oz, significantly less than stated. This does not include the pole, stakes, or cord.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
SHANGRI-LA 3 weights up dated on 01/12/2008 03:31:57 MST Print View

According to the Golite web site as of January 12

The weights for the Shangri-La 3 are

Main Body Weight : 23 oz | 650.9 g
Pole Weight: 13oz | 367.9g
Stake Weight: 3oz | 84.9g

Which appear more in line with previous posters weights

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: 2008 GoLIte shelters on 01/13/2008 21:53:46 MST Print View

Anyone out there know for certain yet about the Xanadu's materials? Surely someone must have touched one by now. Is the body silnylon and the vestibule EPic, or is the body Epic and the vestibule silnylon? To me it makes a big difference. Has anyone checked this out? I think I might get the Xanadu if the vestibule is Epic and not the body.

John Carter
(jcarter1)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Shangri-La 1 best solo shelter for 3-season above timberline? on 02/05/2008 11:26:50 MST Print View

I've been seriously considering the GoLite Shangri-La 1 as my shelter for above-treeline 3-season camping, but it seems not many people here are impressed with these shelters. I'd like to post my thoughts about this as an ideal solo shelter for high elevation camping and see what kind of input I get from those more experienced in this than I.

I have owned and used a HS Tarptent Rainshadow (original 1-pole version), a SMD Gatewood Cape, a GoLite Hex 3, a Nemo GoGo bivy, an eVent ID Micro Bivy, and an eVent ID Chrysallis (most of these I've returned or sold; I don't have THAT much money!!). While each has their pros and cons, The only shelter I would really trust above treeline is the Hex 3. The thicker fabric and reinforced guyouts really hold up to high winds. Both the Tarptent and Gatewood models attach their guyouts to the fabric by simple stitching onto the edge of the fabric. There have been times with my Gatewood that I have been seriously concerned about the seams pulling out, particularly around the neck harness. For below treeline, these are great shelters, and I know many of you use them above treeline with success. But for me, when the wind picks up, I end up worrying all night about the seams. The Hex gives me a peace of mind, and deflects the wind much better. I sleep better in the Hex. But it's not a solo shelter.

Now I know the prudent answer is to camp below treeline if it's windy/rainy. This is how I would do it on an extended hike. But most of my hikes are limited to 2-3 days, and what makes backpacking for just a weekend worthwhile to me is the great above-treeline views during sunset and sunrise. I live in the Pacific northwest, and my favorite weekenders are on the sides of the major volcanoes, above treeline but below the snow (this is where all the great wildflower displays and views are). Our weather is quite unpredictable; I spent the night last September when the nearest town was only expecting 5-10mph winds, but above treeline I could barely stand upright it was so windy. I've also gone to bed in clear, calm conditions and woken up to wind and rain that wasn't forecast. So it's not as simple as planning for the weather and only bringing what I need; I need to prepared for serious weather.

The point is, if I brought my Gatewood, I'd feel compelled to lower my camp to below treeline, which can often be a 40 minute walk back down the mountain, and thereby miss a beautiful, albeit windy, sunset. Yes, I can watch the sunset, then descend to camp, but I miss the amazing star displays if things remain clear.

I've tried bivying up there, and there are certainly advantages, but if I did more than an overnighter I'd probably wish I had a tarp. I could use the Gatewood with a wp/b bivy as a backup in case the tarp fails, but the combined weight is more than I want to carry.

Also, for the weight of the lightest 3-layer eVent bivy, I could instead bring the GoLite Shangri-La 1 and have much more interior space, but still have the reassurance of a bombproof shelter. I think of the Shangri-La 1 as a beefed up GG SpinnShelter. Also, most pictures only show the front vent, but the rear also has a large vent:

GoLite Shangri-La 1 rear

This should provide air movement even with the tarp guyed out low to the ground. And with the tarp pitched higher and the awning partially open, it should get decent ventilation for lower elevations.

I could buy a solo tarptent, and I really like Herny Shire's designs, but even Henry's lightest floorless shelter is heavier than the Shangri-La 1, so I might as well get the stronger setup! The fact that the Shangri-La 1 requires no poles beyond trekking poles really saves weight. Also, the Shires tarptents require pointing towards the wind, which can change direction, and there are very few flat spots, so I can't be choosy in which way I point my tent (which I why I've gone with the fully-enclosed pyramid-shape of the Gatewood and Hex).

Epic tents are out of the question as I am talking about rainy 3-season with possible snow, not winter.

Could this be a great compromise tarp, which allows one to explore campsites one might not consider with a lighter tarp? Perhaps there is a niche for this tarp after all...kind of a midway shelter between true UL minimalism and a single-wall shelter. Or, this could be a great week-long shelter where some of the nights will be low elevation (combined with bug netting and pitched high), and some nights will be above treeline.

Would be very interested in comments/suggestions before I splurge on yet another shelter.

Edited by jcarter1 on 02/05/2008 12:16:19 MST.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Shangri-La 1 best solo shelter for 3-season above timberline on 02/05/2008 13:13:04 MST Print View

I am not sure if I can answer your question, but back in my deep dark past, I used a shelter similar to the Shangri la 1 in Australia, I think it was made by Paddy Pallin, but that is not important now. I have often reflected on the fact that I spent many nights in a floorless, fabric shelter and stayed dry and warm.

I too have gone back and forward on the bivy/ tarp or the tarptent choices and in the end I have decided that it depends on where you are going. Above the tree line, I would probably still carry a water resistent bivy for use with the Shangrila such as a BPL Vapor for my own peace of mind, but that plus the shelter would still weigh less than the ID Crrysallis.

Do I see the Shangrila as an option above the tree line? Yes because it would provide me with sufficient shelter to relax, cook, read.

By the way I am glad you have posted the picture because I have read about 2 vents but never been totally convinced they exist.

Have you considered the MLD Patrol Shelter?

Edited by rogerb on 02/05/2008 13:14:43 MST.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
solo Hex on 02/05/2008 13:56:58 MST Print View

I too am a Hex owner and love the tent as two man shelter for all of the reasons you have stated. My son and I used it last summer doing the John Muir Trail and it is my main winter tent. It is a great tent, especially for nasty weather with convenient entry and exit. Because of all the virtues of the Hex, like you, I wanted a smaller, lightweight solo shelter similar to the Hex in design. I bought an Ettowah Meadows tarp which is very similar to the Shangri-La 1 and weighs only 17 ozs, but it is not a pyramid and doesn’t work as a solo substitute for the Hex. In fact I will sell it to you at a good price. But I don’t think it or the Shangri-La 1 is going to give you the same feeling that your Hex has provided. If you want a lightweight pyramid, save your money for a MLD or Oware cuben mid.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: solo Hex on 02/05/2008 15:07:24 MST Print View

To John's point, even the Spinnaker (rather than Cuben) version of the MLD MID 2008 is pretty darn light (18 oz)... MLD's tieouts seem to be rather bomber (and spinnaker fabric is stronger than Sil)...

SuperFly Shelter comes in at even lighter and more spacious than the Shangri-La 1... SpinnShelter™ as well...

However, none the SL-1 has the advantage of lower cost. Actually I'm really hoping my local outfitter (Backwoods) begins carrying either the new Go Lites or the ID Sildome as I get an immediate 15% off because of working with Boy Scouts... or maybe I don't want them to carry it... my allowance is streched enough...

Patrol Shelter or

John Carter
(jcarter1)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Shangri-La 1 best solo shelter for 3-season above timberline? on 02/05/2008 22:45:50 MST Print View

Thanks for the helpful tips. I'll admit the SMD Superfly looks quite sturdy and is much lighter. I guess I got scared away from Spinnaker when I read a review of a Spinnshelter where the fabric failed near the apex in high winds (can't seem to locate that review, but I was sure I saw it in this site). Granted, this could have been the result of many factors, but still, having owned a Hex 3 and made my own custom Spinnaker tarp, there's no question in my mind the 1.76oz/yd silnylon in the Hex 3 would hold up better in high winds. That said, I admire Ron's unique designs and high quality craftsmanship (I tested his prototype eVent mitts), and the Superfly looks to be well reinforced.

The patrol's optionl awning extends only 10" past the pole, so it precludes above treeline IMO. I remember a few nights in my Tarptent where the wind got up under the awning; the whole tent inflated like a balloon, and would have taken off without secure stakes. I remember thinking that if the wind had rain in it, I would have been soaked!

I am concerned that the Shangri-La 1 is not a pyramid tent, so it may behave quite differently than the Hex, especially with the large side panels. But it's also lower to the ground and uses two poles, which my make up for this somewhat.

I just discovered Ron over at Six Moon Designs is coming out with a 7oz bug netting enclosure with bathtub floor, shown here (from his blog):

Serenity NetTent

It's slightly heavier than Ron's over at MLD, but looks more spacious, includes the 'bathtubbing', and can be erected alone with a trekking pole. Assuming this will mate well with the Shangri-La 1, they would combine at only 25oz, which is comparable to the lightest tarptents from HS and SMD. Of course, it would only come to 18oz with the Gatewood cape, which is causing me to fall in love with my Gatewood all over again!

Then there's the new contender from Gossamer Gear; TheOne. Video of it here: http://www.vimeo.com/640029. Looks like a Gatewood but with more headroom, a more taught pitch, bathtub floor w/ netting, 16oz, and the advantage of two trekking poles for more stability. So many great choices nowadays!

Here's where I'm leaning now: for standard 3-season use, where I can't totally predict the weather, a Shangri-La 1 with the SMD bug enclosure will be my grab-and go setup. If I'm expecting rain and/or higher winds, I'll replace the bug enclosure with a 7oz bivy. And in midsummer I'll replace the Shangri-La 1 with the Gatewood. It's all on the conservative side, but still light enough for me (I'm the type of guy who looks at all the UL numbers on paper, gets out into wilderness all excited about my light pack, and then once I make camp I think I must have been joking when I thought this tiny pice of fabric is going to protect me from what I see coming on the horizon!). Heck, I could bring the Shangri-La 1, bug enclosure AND a bivy and still come out at the same weight as an ID Unishelter!

btw, I'm basing the 18oz weight of the Shangri-La 1 on the first review to come out of the tent. It's a French website, but I used Google to create a translated version of the website here:

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.randonner-leger.org%2Fforum%2Fviewtopic.php%3Fpid%3D54066&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF8

They measured the weight at 17.9oz. The website also lists various dimensions, and the most pictures I've seen online.

Edited by jcarter1 on 02/05/2008 23:36:44 MST.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
concerns about spinnaker for above treeline? on 02/05/2008 23:36:07 MST Print View

> I guess I got scared away from Spinnaker when I read a review
> of a Spinnshelter where the fabric failed near the apex in high winds

I don't recall anyone talking about the spinnshelter blowing out at the apex. There is a BPL owner review of the spinnshelter which indicated that the side pullouts came out. This was attributed to a manufacturing error (not properly stitched), not a fabric failure.

My experience has been very positive with spinnaker fabric used by gossamer gear. My spinnshelter has been used in locations where I was able to measure the wind blowing to 45 mph which means the gusts were higher than that. No problems (so far) after 3+ years of use.

There is an embarrassment of riches right now. I would be willing to use most of the shelters mentioned in this threadin 3 season conditions. Above treeline in the 4th season is another story. Most aren't steep enough for my taste. Historically I would have used a Hex3. The oware Alphamid, some of the new pyramids hitting the market, and the MLD superfly look pretty interesting.

--mark

Edited by verber on 02/05/2008 23:48:38 MST.

John Carter
(jcarter1)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: spinnshelter on 02/05/2008 23:51:14 MST Print View

That's very encouraging news about Spinnaker fabric, and I'm sorry I haven't been able to find the review I mentioned. But I do remember seeing a picture of the Spinnshelter, and at the top, about an inch behind the grosgrain reinforcement for the trekking pole, the fabric had ripped apart. It was clearly not at the seam, or even at the edge of the grosgrain. It resulted in a catastrophic failure of the tent, as it could no longer be pitched. I believe it was in 50mph winds. But this was a few years ago, and it may have been the result of too much upward pressure from an over-extended trekking pole. Or, it may have been an early batch of Spinnaker. Or, it may have happened in 1 out of 100 tarps no matter the fabric, and it was this particular tarps' unlucky day.

But I also know BPL tested the Hex 3 in 60mph winds with no problems. I guess it depends on where your comfort zone is with these numbers, the kinds of winds you expect, your ability to find sheltered spots on the routes you visit, and how likely you are to 'stick it out' in high winds vs retreat to a lower site. I also recognize that one could wrap a damaged tarp over one's body to make it through the night, so tarp failure does not immediately mean a hypothermic death! I'll have to give some of these new Spinnaker shelters more thought.

UPDATE:

Just found two really interesting comments about Spinnaker from the SpinnTwinn tarp review forum thread:

From Ryan Jordan:

re: guy pullouts ripping out: "This is the nature of the fabric as much as anything. I don't have experience with the Spinnshelter, but I've seen an '06-made Spinntwinn do this, along with an MLD tarp, and even our spinnaker Stealth LITE tarps. No matter how you make the reinforcements, you are stitching, somewhere, into a single layer of ultralight Spinnaker cloth and the very nature of the holes in that cloth and lack of fiber density is going to cause a weak point. This becomes obvious over time and extended use in the field."

Followed by this comment from Ron of MLD about his Spinnaker:

"I've tested our current Spinnaker tarp tieouts strength at over 140lbs strength ridgeline, 120lbs corners and over 80lbs center edge sides. I've received multiple reports of use in over 60mph gusts with no damage. In addition, we have upgraded our equipment, construction method, tape type and reinforcement design significantly since our recent relaunch in Feb 2007."

Very interesting. I suppose one could extrapolate from both comments that if you buy a Spinnaker tarp from MLD, it will hold up very well. But if it ever does fail, it will fail really badly! I could always try a Spinnaker tarp and bring an 8oz Montbell BreezeTec wp/b bivy as a backup if the tarp fails, or until I am sufficiently confident in Spinnaker fabric.

Edited by jcarter1 on 02/06/2008 01:13:43 MST.