I’m going to try to walk about 10 days along the AT in Shenandoah and northern Virginia this summer, and I’m trying to decide which shelter to take along.
As I contemplated the alternatives, I realized that I currently own more shelters than I can ever use (an “embarrassment of riches,” as the French used to say). Thus, I’m trying to decide on a shelter for a long-distance (for me) hike and to figure out which shelters to sell, as well.
Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Gatewood cape plus bug net:
The Gatewood is light at 11 oz,, and it works great during the non-bug months. I’d have to add the rather constricted bug shelter to make it insect-worthy (making it weigh almost as much as some of the all-in-one shelters below, and the thing is a bit hard to set up, with or without the bug shelter.
The Contrail is my go-to shelter for weekend hikes. At 24 oz, it weighs a bit more than the Lunar Solo or Sublite Sil, but it’s a dream to set up under adverse circumstances.
Lunar Solo Enhanced:
SO many stakeout points and sloped in such a way as to require a second hiking pole to get the advertised room inside. Tough to get a taut pitch. Still, it packs down nicely and is a tad lighter than the Contrail at 23 oz.
At 21 oz, it’s my second lightest shelter. It requires both hiking poles, and is a bit of a pain to set up. Stil, I’ve used it dozens of times for three-day hikes, and I really feel like I have the hang of it. It lacks the big, flat top of the Contrail, which makes it a bit more storm-worthy, and the pyramid shape of the two hiking poles helps, as well.
GG The One
The One (2009 edition) is the lightest shelter I own (18 oz packed with stakes). The spinnaker material seems a bit more waterproof than Silnylon, but I just might have been lucky about setup conditions. It’s tough to get a taut pitch because of the spinnaker fabric, and it does flap a bit in the wind. I’m told the noisiness goes away with continued use, but in the meantime, I’m a light sleeper.
The Moment is the heaviest of the tents at 28 oz but SO easy to set up in the rain (only two stake-out points), and SO storm-worthy. It sheds water (and snow) about as well as any-single-walled tent I’ve used. I will never sell it, but the question is, should I live with the extra weight and take it along with me on the AT? Truth is, the Moment is my favorite shelter, but 28 oz sounds pretty heavy over 10 days. It packs a bit “big, so I’d have to put it in the outside pocket of my Fanatic Fringe Alpine Trail.
All in all, I’m hoping to get by with a base weight of 7.5 pounds, adding a quart of water in the BP (and one in my pocket) and three days worth of food at 1.5 pounds per day.
Can’t really decide which one to take on the 10 days and which one(s )to sell.
P.S. BTW, if there’s any info that I’ve left out that might be helpful, please let me know.