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Best bang for the buck solo shelter
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Eli .
(Feileung) - F
Best bang for the buck solo shelter on 12/03/2010 18:58:50 MST Print View

What do you think the best "Bang for the Buck" solo shelter is right now?

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: Best bang for the buck solo shelter on 12/03/2010 19:12:19 MST Print View

Well, if my deadbeat friends are any guide, I guess I'd have to say: your parent's basement...

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Hard to say? on 12/03/2010 19:12:52 MST Print View

There are so many, it would be hard to say without zeroing in on a few requirements, lightest, most usable space, vestibule,pitching,built in bug protection etc.......

I like my TT Rainbow, good amount of space, free-standing,(with treking poles) good headroom and vestibule space.

My 2nd choice is a MLD Grace Duo Spinntex tarp, with and without the MLD Serenity shelter.

Had a TT Contrail and liked it a lot too.

Eli .
(Feileung) - F
hmm on 12/03/2010 19:23:43 MST Print View

@TommyD: Should have specified for backpacking, not video gaming and pot smoking;)

@Michael: I guess I had "balance" in mind, whatever that means. For me, personally, I'd want a tent that was as light as possible but that offered enough space for my long bag and a vestibule (or inner space) for my backpack and some bug protection.

Edited by Feileung on 12/03/2010 19:25:06 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Best bang for the buck solo shelter on 12/03/2010 19:28:39 MST Print View

One suggestion is what I use. I have a Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter. It might be big enough for two skinny people, but I consider it to be a roomy one-person. Mine is a couple of years old now, so I used it for two weeks in Alaska this year.

I added Fibraplex CF poles to mine, since I don't use any trekking poles.


Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: hmm on 12/03/2010 19:38:41 MST Print View

If I were buying a solo shelter today it would be an MLD Speedmid or Duomid...Likely the Speedmid, as I'm not worried about a large footprint.

While not a true "1 man" tent...$185 for an 18oz, 8.5 x 8.5 ft storm-worthy palace is a great deal in my opinion. You can fit a few people, sit upright/kneel/squat easily when getting dressed, get in with your muddy shoes on, quick setup in foul weather without worrying about soaking the inside, fit tons of gear, and never have to rub up on wet walls, all for less weight than a Tarptent Contrail (Had one, too claustrophobic in prolonged storms). I'm not into small, tight, clammy, condensation-prone 1 man tents...I thinks mids are the way to go.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Best bang for the buck solo shelter on 12/03/2010 19:39:29 MST Print View

It's hard to beat the blue tarp for value. If weight is really important, then George's (end2endtrailsupply) tarp is a great value at $90 with tie out loops (not grommets), 10'x10' of space and 18.5 ounces. Appy Trails is a great value too, but their shelters are HUGE.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Best bang for the buck solo shelter" on 12/03/2010 19:40:09 MST Print View

MLD Trailstar.

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Re: Best bang for the buck solo shelter on 12/03/2010 19:52:37 MST Print View

I'd go with my Oware 9 oz. 6x8 tarp at $76 and the 6 oz. drawstring bivy at $99.

Inner Point Camp

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
As always.... depends on 12/03/2010 20:16:09 MST Print View

It depends on your priorities and where you are going to use it but I just voted with my wallet today for a Tarp Tent Sublite.

Uses trekking poles but 19-20oz for a single person abode $179 plus the UPS man.

I like supporting cottage industry guys in the USA too so that is a bonus.

Jeffrey McConnell
trailstar again on 12/03/2010 20:24:23 MST Print View

Another vote for the mld trailstar. Loads of space and very versatile.

Eli .
(Feileung) - F
. on 12/03/2010 20:26:59 MST Print View

@Joseph That does seem like a good combo. The Oware web site makes me want to gouge my eyes out though. Oh, I browsed your pics a bit. I really like this one:

@KevinH Where do you plan to use your tyvek Sublite? Have you used a tyvek shelter before? I was considering that model but in silnylon.

Mike Sobr

Locale: Southeaster
Spitfire on 12/03/2010 20:29:50 MST Print View

If you are really on a budget and don't mind carrying some extra weight the venerable Eureka Spitfire Solo tent can often be found on Ebay for around $75. or so and it is a bulletproof shelter that was state of the art not long ago. Great ventilation, easy set-up and bone dry in any weather.
They have a newer so-called ultralight version to replace it with but the older one is loads cheaper and better designed for just a small weight penalty.
There are definately lighter tents out there but if your budget calls for some compromise this could help out.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Re: . on 12/03/2010 20:37:57 MST Print View

Pretty much all my hikes these days are in the Olympics. I have a family and a business so I have to get my fix on long weekends.

I'm not aware of another Tyvek tent let alone have I tried one. I'm in the perpetually wet PNW but it drizzles a lot here.... not much driving rain. I hike year around but most of my use is in the summer when we actually have excellent conditions (don't tell anyone).

I'd also concur with Mike. That Eureka tent will be just fine for most general backpacking and at $80 for that perfectly crafted Chinese domicile it is hard to beat if you are on a Ramen budget and don't mind the 3lb carry weight.

Edited by kevperro on 12/03/2010 20:39:35 MST.

Eli .
(Feileung) - F
.. on 12/03/2010 20:51:48 MST Print View

I seriously considered the Spitfire but I guess I'm looking for a more....modern(?) shelter. I also like the idea of buying from the cottage industry suppliers.

@Kevin I'm from OR and spent the last 10 years before moving to SF in Portland. Whenever somebody mentions the rain I always nod then follow with "but nobody beats our summers". The tyvek is tempting but I have no experience w/that material and I think I'd have a hard time relaxing in the rain.

Edited by Feileung on 12/03/2010 20:53:58 MST.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Compromise on 12/03/2010 20:57:54 MST Print View

Picking a tent is like picking a wife. They all come with their own set of compromises.

I'm sure it will be fine. All I care about is keeping my bag relatively dry and in my experience condensation is a bigger issue than rain. If it is raining so hard that it is coming through the walls of the tent I'm probably not going to be sleeping much anyway. I'll throw a trash bag or two over me and pray for dawn.

Ultralite Hiker
Moment on 12/03/2010 22:00:20 MST Print View

TT Moment when I get the cash.

Sid Riddle
(shiree) - F

Locale: Southeastern US
solo shelter on 12/03/2010 22:12:44 MST Print View

I've had pretty good luck with my SMD Gatewood cape, But I'm ~5'11 and it is just enough room (lengthwise) for me when pitched all the way to the ground, so I don't know if you could fit your long bag in it. You could use any bug bivy or waterproof bivy in conjunction with it to make a fully waterproof and/or bug-proof shelter.
I have never used a tarptent, but i prefer the versatility of a poncho tarp or the lightweightness (def. not a word) and freedom of a tarp.


Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Best bang for the buck solo shelter on 12/03/2010 22:32:16 MST Print View

Eugene, I've got one of those monster Appy Trails shelters. They are big, light weight and good in strong winds. However, I prefer my MLD Grace Duo that was a gift from a friend on BPL. It's big for one person, but the perfect size for me and my 2 labs or a another person. I really like it.

My vote for quality would be any MLD solo shelter. Although, if you're on a tight budget, Appy Trails isn't bad.

Edited by socalpacker on 12/03/2010 22:55:53 MST.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Solo shelter on 12/03/2010 23:16:42 MST Print View

Eugene, I'm lovin my 8X6 spinn tarp. I bought it here, a great deal so keep watching for your future something perfect! I've also spent quite a few dry and comfy nights in the cold, wind, rain, sleet and snow in a Coleman Kraz X. Double-walled, 3 pounds and side entry too. My full sized neo-air fits in but the gear has to spend the night out. Not bad for under $80 new.