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Shelter Crossroads
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Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Solo Shelter Choices - Full Weather/Bug Protection - Southeast on 03/21/2011 13:49:46 MDT Print View

I do most of my backpacking in the Southeast. About 50% of my time solo, the other half with the wife. We already have a 2 person shelter that I am using on my solo trips. It is the TT DR 2010 model. It is a great shelter and we love it, but I am now at a crossroads. Doing about a trip a month and half the time solo, I have gotten to the point where I need a lighter shelter. I am trying to decide if I should get a lighter 2 person shelter (such as the Squall Classic) and use it as my solo shelter, or if I should keep the TT DR, and get a solo shelter. What do you guys think? What shelters would you recommend? Looking for the lightest options that have full weather/bug protection. So I guess my options are:

A) Keep the TT DR for hiking with the wife, get the lightest solo shelter with weather and bug protection that I can afford
B) Get rid of the TT DR, get a lighter 2 person that can be used as a solo without much weight pentalty

My initial thought is to keep the DR for trips with her, and get something like a GG The One.

What are your recommendations?

Edited by Ultralite on 03/22/2011 14:11:15 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Shelter Crossroads on 03/21/2011 14:57:51 MDT Print View

I'd pick option A--keep the DR and get a solo shelter.

I have the GG Squall Classic and definitely would not recommend it for two adults. It's really more of a 1.5 person tent. It's perfect for me and my 80-lb. dog, and it would be fine for me plus, say, my 6-year-old grandson (but without dog). I think that you and your wife would feel quite cramped, especially since you're used to the space and separate doors of the Double Rainbow. For example, in the Squall Classic only one of you would be able to sit up at a time.

There are other lightweight solo shelters, such as the ZPacks Hexamid (the newer configuration, tarp plus separate bug shelter with floor, sounds better than the netting floor version) and various other tarp plus bug net configurations. Or the Tarptent Contrail or Moment.

Diana Vann
(DianaV) - MLife

Locale: Wandering
Re: Shelter Crossroads on 03/21/2011 15:28:18 MDT Print View

I agree with Mary. If it were me, I'd keep the DR and get a solo shelter.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Weight on 03/21/2011 15:33:57 MDT Print View

Does the Hexamid have full weather protection? The lightest options I am seeing with full bug and weather protection is GG The One and Spinnshelter + Bug Net

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Hexamid on 03/22/2011 07:09:14 MDT Print View

Based on what I am reading, the Hexamid has full weather protection if you get the extended beak correct? Would this be the best option over the others (SpinnShelter + Alpinelite, Cricket, The ONE) am I missing any that have full weather/bug protection?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
solomid on 03/22/2011 07:35:47 MDT Print View

I'd add the solomid to the list- available inner and very storm worthy

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Shelter Crossroads on 03/22/2011 07:50:47 MDT Print View

If you are close to 6ft and use a 2" pad, you will likely not fit in the Hexamid at the ends without touching the canopy. Especially with a high loft bag or quilt.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Shelters on 03/22/2011 08:06:25 MDT Print View

I am just a hair under 6' so that may leave the hexamid off. Any other solo full weather/bug protection shelters I am leaving out?

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Multiple shelters on 03/22/2011 09:05:14 MDT Print View

Wow, I don't how to keep my shelter list down to 2 shelters:-)

I think at the moment I have:
2 person - 3 season
2 person - 4 season
solo - summer
solo - 3 season
solo - 4 season

And this is after selling a few:-)

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Gear Budget on 03/22/2011 09:09:52 MDT Print View

I would love to keep that many around I just do not have the gear budget to support it. I am needing/wanting the following pieces of gear

Solo Shelter
Lighter Pack (thinking Mariposa Plus)
Lighter insulation piece (something like the Montbell EX Light)
New Trail Runners
Wind Shirt
Eco Mesh Pants

List goes on...

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Shelter Crossroads on 03/22/2011 09:13:57 MDT Print View

The One, Contrail, and Sublite Sil all look nice due to weight.

The Moment will stand up to more weather than the Contrail, but it's heavier at about 32 oz.

You could get a Golite Shangri-La 1 or 2 or other shaped tarp and use a net skirt or inner bug tent. I'm not a fan of net skirts though. Crawlers keep me awake just as much as mosquitoes.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Sublite Sil on 03/22/2011 14:10:06 MDT Print View

I spent most of the day researching, and had my mind set on the Sublite Sil. Went to the site and they are going to be out of stock for the rest of the year. I guess it is time to start the research process over.

Edited by Ultralite on 03/22/2011 14:10:36 MDT.

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
Sublite Sil on 03/22/2011 16:35:29 MDT Print View

Robert -

You could always try a "WTB", you never know.

Sublite Sils show up for sale once in a while, but you've got to be quick!

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Solomid on 03/22/2011 18:59:58 MDT Print View

The solomid looks intriguing as well. Any pros/cons on the solomid vs sublite sil?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
solomid on 03/22/2011 19:13:05 MDT Print View

the pyra tent might be a little more storm (wind/snow) worthy, looks like it might be a little more roomy too

weight looks pretty close (when adding the inner to the solomid) solmid + inner is more $

solomid gives you the option of using it just as a standalone shelter (when the inner is not needed)

there was a used one (mid + inner) for sale in the forums not too long ago

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
SoloMid on 03/23/2011 07:54:09 MDT Print View

Set up with guylines attached, the SoloMid is rock solid. The two pole structure really helps here. I would bea little concerned with length though. If it sags a bit your head and feet will touch. But of course, it only weighs 13oz so that is a reasonable tradeoff.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
All on 03/23/2011 08:08:28 MDT Print View

The fact that if it sags you would be touching, Is that pretty much all solo shelters in that weight range? I would imagine most of them that keep the weight down are pretty small.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: All on 03/23/2011 08:30:22 MDT Print View

Touching the walls at the head and foot is one reason I'm not a big fan of mids. I'm always sliding or moving around at night, and I always end up moving that 3" or whatever and getting my down bag damp, especially if it's a thick one like a 0F.

You might consider a tarp with decent coverage and a netting tent. I really like my Scarp 2 and Moment, but I'm considering experimenting with a tarp + net tent. I've done the tarp alone thing in cooler weather, but I actually find it distracting because I want to stay up and watch everything going on.

Ultralite Hiker
(Ultralite) - F
Tarp on 03/23/2011 08:42:08 MDT Print View

I like the Tarp + Net Tent idea but I am going for full weather protection as well as bug protection. I am afraid I will not get that in a setup like that.

The only one I can think off would be the SpinnShelter, but will I be touching the sides in that as well?

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Tarp on 03/23/2011 09:02:19 MDT Print View

"I like the Tarp + Net Tent idea but I am going for full weather protection as well as bug protection. I am afraid I will not get that in a setup like that."

Depends. The size/shape of the tarp, and, if your net tent has a full bathtub floor.
For bad weather, and when I expect colder weather ( ~32F or 0C), I much prefer my tarp and net tent. The wife and I have been out in wildly changing conditions in late fall with temps in the 80F range when we started and close to 10F on the same trip after 5 days, 3 of which were solid rain. It kept us dry. Better than our Stevenson's tent, actually, because there was a lot less condensation. At just under 3lb, (tarp, bug tent, stakes, guy lines, hiking staff all add up to 44oz) it wasn't too heavy to carry and VERY effective. Just leave a space around it at near the ends for hi/low ventilation. For breakfast/supper, we pitched the tarp, but only staked the net tent. The bug tent was dropped for breakfast/supper. Soo, we had a dry place to sit and could cook under the tarp. Tarp was a 10x10. The tent was the Lair 2 nest (no longer made.)