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Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter
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Kurt Suttell
(krshome) - F
Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 09:50:08 MST Print View

Looking for advice on a 1 person 3-season silinylon shelter with bug protection and floor. These are single wall ones I have found that interest me the most. I’m not rich but I will pay for the best: Tarptent Contrail 24.5 oz, GossamerGear The One 16.2 0z, Zpacks Hexamid solo tent 8.2 oz, Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo 23 oz, Anti Gravity Gear 10’ Tarp Tent 22.9 oz, Big Sky Wisp 1 person Shelter 15.8 oz. Other options are tarps with a removable bugtent, pretty much a double wall setup: Vamp Tarp 16 oz and Vamp NetTent 11 oz, Alpine Gear Stratiform 1 tarp 8.9 oz with Bug Shelter 1 9.7 oz, MLD Serenity Shelter 8oz with Patrol Shelter 11.5 oz or any MLD Solo tarp, Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter 8.8 oz with Alpine Gear Bug Shelter 1.25 10.5 oz. If anyone has any likes or dislikes on these shelter, other ideas or general help, please send it my way. Thanks!

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 10:18:02 MST Print View

A decent, solid (though not really UL) 1-man tent for the beginner could be the Eureka Solitaire. Saw recent threads on here regarding resales (under Gear Swap) and sales (under Gear Deals).

I have an old TarpTent Contrail.

Joey Dawson
(inabag) - F

Locale: Northern VA
Lunar Solo on 01/21/2011 10:36:37 MST Print View

My vote would be for the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo 23 oz

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 10:40:02 MST Print View

My answer is that it really depends. They all have trade offs between ease of use, amount/shape of space, level of protection. To make a useful suggestion would require knowing things like:

1) what conditions are you going to face
2) how idiot proof do you want the experience
3) is space to sleep enough for you, or do you want enough space to ____ (sit up,cook, etc) under cover

I am sure there are other issues... these are off the top of my head.

I have written my some notes about shelters with a few more thoughts. you will find a few notes about the first generation "the one" and a link to my hexamid review there.


(adamconfair) - F
SMD Lunar Solo on 01/21/2011 10:45:02 MST Print View

I have a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo for sale in the Gear Swap if you decide to go that route. It's a great solo shelter: works well in the wind, sets up taut and only requires one pole. It actually weighs 27 ounces, the 23 ounces would be with the ultra light floor which is more costly and also not as water proof if you intend to use it in an area prone to rain.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 11:20:39 MST Print View

Mark is right that it depends. Henry's Tarptents are fantastic. You can't go wrong there. The combinations of tarp and bug net can work equally as well, but can sometimes prove to be a bit more fuss than a Tarptent or regular tent. It's all in what you're looking to get out of a shelter.

Just to throw it out there, you may also consider an MLD Trailstar, with a SMD Serenity net tent underneath. The Trailstar is very adaptable and can withstand some major storms. It's also huge. The bugnet under the Trailstar works well, but expect to spend a bit of time experimenting with pitch and setup. It's also a bit heavier than the other options you've listed, but a versatile, neat shelter none the less.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 12:46:43 MST Print View

You are just going to do a lot of research, here on BPL and other sites. I prefer a tarp, and bugs just don't seem to bother me. If they did, I would get a net, or use my Six Moon's Wild Oasis.

If a more "conventional" tent is what you want, you might want to consider a TT Moment. I bought a Scarp 1 for winter/snow use only, and it has a lot of impressive features. TarpTent considers it their only 4 season tent. However, their Moment tent is very similar, but much lighter, and most owners just love this tent.

Kurt Suttell
(krshome) - F
Re: Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 12:46:46 MST Print View

Hey Mark, Thanks for the input. I'm not new to backpacking just new to the one person shelters idea. I have a TarpTent Double Rainbow and a Six Moon Designs Duo Lunar and like them both. What I'm looking for is something that will keep me dry in a rain store, keep the blood suckers out and not to heavy. I would only use it when the leaves are on the trees, I'm not much for winter camping in the snow anymore. I don't cook in my tent and only need enough room to sleep and sit up (not a coffin though). Oh by the way I'm 6'2". As far as idiot proof, just something that I don't have to work at NASA to figure out I'm comfortable with a tarp setup too.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 12:59:06 MST Print View

Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter is a good shelter, but I don't think that you can sit up inside it without punching a hole in the roof. In fact, you might want to sit on the floor and measure how high the top of your head is. Add about an inch or two to that number, and that will tell you how high your shelter needs to be inside.

Also, if you decide on something like that, you may not need to have a separate bug shelter inside it. On my SpinnShelter, I simply sewed a skirt of mosquito net all the way around the bottom edge, and then a couple of pieces of net in the entry/vestibule. A few square feet of net weighs less than a separate bug shelter.


Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
Solo Shelter on 01/21/2011 14:41:44 MST Print View

How about a LightHeartGear Solo? It is double-walled, has plenty of room for one with gear, is tall enough to sit up in, and only weighs 27 ounces.

Edited by taedawood on 01/21/2011 14:51:16 MST.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Gatewood Cape on 01/21/2011 15:34:44 MST Print View

Can you fit in a gatewood cape with inner net?

This seems like a good trade off since you can only bring what you'll need when it comes to the bug net and rain gear. You don't have to wear it and could still carry rain gear at times but on those trips where a poncho is all you'd need it's a nice boon.

Kurt Suttell
(krshome) - F
Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 20:18:38 MST Print View

Ok I have narrowed it down to these: Tarptent Contrail 24.5 oz $199, Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo 23 oz $235, GossamerGear The One 16.2 oz $295, MLD Trail Star Shelter 16 oz $159 with SMD Serenity NetTent 7 oz $120 23oz total, Alpinlite Gear Stratiform III 13.8 oz and Bug Shelter 1.25 10.6 oz $119 24.2 oz total, All you peeps that live in these things most of the year what would you do?

James McDaniel
Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 20:38:26 MST Print View

I'm with Mark. Your not going to get a majority vote here.

Your stuck with doing research reading all the different forum threads out there that talk about the plus's and minus of each shelter and then comparing it to your priorities.

This hobby is packed with OCD people (like myself) that beat a dead horse and call it fun, the byproduct is some good write-ups and debates.

You know all the top brands and they all have good products getting their sales by being different in their own way. It just comes down to your priorities versus's their characteristics.

I feel your pain with being tall though. There are a lot of products that are discriminating toward the taller folks. You'll want to look for vertical sides to maximize the length. I personally think the LightHeart Solo is the ticket for taller people and versatility....and no folded poles in your pack(if you hike with poles). If my solo setup wasn't a hammock that's what I'd get.

Edited by BigEarth on 01/21/2011 20:46:10 MST.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 22:42:34 MST Print View


Just emphasizing what Travis said about the MLD Trailstar and SMD Serenity combo: you will have to play around with the pitch mostly because the two structures don't necessarily pitch optimally at the same height. However, you do get a lot of storage/hanging out space in the half of the Trailstar that doesn't have the netting.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 22:47:43 MST Print View

RE: Trailstar and bug net, didn't someone just come up with a bug net designed for the Trailstar? Seems I saw it on a post recently.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 22:56:31 MST Print View

In regards to the SMD Serenity.... I poked a small hole in the grosgrain nylon that the zipper is sewed to near the peak. Through that I threaded a piece of paracord (probably about 20 inches or so) so that there was a loop sticking out of the top of the Serenity, and both loose ends were inside the Serenity. On those ends I put a simple cord-lock (spring loaded kind). The loop that is protruding out of the Serenity hooks on to the Trailtar's peak mitten hook. This allows me to adjust the needed height of the Serenity compared to the Trailstar's pitch by cinching up the cord lock until the peak is taut. However, if you pitch the Trailstar low enough, you simply won't get a taut bugnet. Chances are, if you need to pitch the Trailstar that low, winds and/or rains are bad enough that you'll not have to worry about bugs. Hopefully that made sense. It's actually quite a simple concept, but hard to describe in words. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 22:58:30 MST Print View

Doug, you posted while I was typing....

Yep, I think John from BearPaw Tents came up with a five sided inner for the Trailstar. I'm pretty interested to see that in person, but simply can't afford a new shelter. Wedding and packrafts.....have to get my priorities straight!

Where'd you grow up in the Adirondacks? I've been to the Elisabethtown area near Lake Champlain. Beautiful country up there.

Edited by T.L. on 01/21/2011 23:08:03 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 23:16:04 MST Print View

"Where'd you grow up in the Adirondacks?"

Lake George, born and bred.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Help Me! I need a 1 person shelter on 01/21/2011 23:28:31 MST Print View

Doug, you the artsy type? I spent a summer at the Meadowmount School of Music ('97 I believe) in Westport. Sorry to thread drift...

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
RE Solo tent on 01/22/2011 00:40:43 MST Print View

I love my Moment

WOW !!

Mine holds up well in the snow, easy to set up, 2 stakes and your done, light too!!!