I just returned from a trail run in which I was daydreaming quite a bit about what gear I'd be taking on the JMT with me this summer.
I've decided on carrying my Shangri La 3. Thinking more about this shelter and my experiences with it, I'm very impressed and have begun to wonder why it doesn't seem to get more praise, especially as a solo shelter. Providing you already carry trekking poles and are into floorless shleters without netting...Some thoughts:
-Mine is 23 oz., with sealed seams. Add a polycro groundsheet, pole connector/extender, and Ti stakes and I'm weighing in at ~26 oz. Considering that my old Tarptent Contrail weighed ~32 oz. with everything (seam sealed and with stakes), I think this shelter has an absolutely amazing space-to-weight ratio. I carried the Contrail on my first JMT thru-hike. While I liked it, I felt there was just too much fiddling to set it up and, as a 6'2" man, not all that much headroom, especially when sitting out long stretches of bad weather- it was hard not to constantly rub the wet walls.
-This is an amazing solo shelter for bad weather. You can comfortably sleep at one end while having the door nearly wide open for cooking and still stay dry.
-The large footprint is easily mitigated. Instead of staking 6 corners, stake only four and you have a duomid.
-When compared to a much lighter tarp, it's big enough to not need a bivy and all the PITA's associated with them (condensation and the "Midnight Bivy Shuffle" getting in and out).
-You can actually RELAX in this shelter. Plenty of room for gear, kicking up your feet, not rubbing the walls, and even STANDING UP (albeit bent over) to change.
-I realize that the MLD Duomid offers many of the same benefits for less weight. But considering the Shangri La 3 can reasonably be used as a 1,2, or even 3 person shelter (I use it with my two kids all the time), I feel the versatility is really amazing.
I found mine on clearance for $140. All this for 26 oz.? I'd say it's a pretty sweet piece of gear.