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Perfect shelter for you?
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Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Perfect shelter for you? on 08/08/2011 18:18:09 MDT Print View

I have been on a shelter buying spree recently and have bought several differnt types. I am still not sure which type of shelter is for me. I have purchased shaped tarps, flat tarps, poncho/tarps and full tents. So far the only one I have bought and don't want sell is the Golite SL2. But I'm still looking for a single person bugproof shelter that will allow me stay to be sub 7lb (or lower). Today I purchased a Tarptent Contrail. This it the shelter that I wanted to buy years ago, but never did. I don't mine a few more ounces for the feel of an "enclosed tent". Not the lightest choice, but not bad.

what is your shelter of choice?

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
hexamid twin on 08/08/2011 18:28:50 MDT Print View

i love mine. enough space for 2 at 6 oz with a beak. its rained or poured most night I've used it and I've stayed completely dry. Least condensation of any shelter i've used. Pitches beautifully. I only wish this thing could last a lifetime. About 20-25 night so far and no signs of wear yet...

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
MLD Duomid on 08/08/2011 18:36:01 MDT Print View

Adaptable for all the conditions that I might find myself in. Went with olive silnylon for the cost and shade benefit.

Bought it, thought I might try something else. Didn't like that so I bought the very same mid back. It's a keeper

I do prefer a hammock rig for 90% of my trips though.

With a Neoair now in my quiver the ground is not so bad anymore.

Edited by kthompson on 08/08/2011 18:37:30 MDT.

Jeffrey McConnell
hammock on 08/08/2011 18:38:05 MDT Print View

My shelter of choice is a hammock and tarp. I've never slept better. Quick setup and its fun. I found instructions for making a diy hammock and became hooked. If you think you might be interested try out a traveler hammock from and give it a shot. They're only $60 and easy to re-sell on if you don't like it.

When I'm on the ground I use a large spinn tarp and head net if needed.

Edited by Catalyst on 08/08/2011 18:40:51 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Perfect shelter for you? on 08/08/2011 19:20:12 MDT Print View

I am quite fond of the Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter. I use a Alpinlite Bug Tent 1.25 when needed and still come in under 23 ounces with stakes. When I don't need bug protection, I can save 10 ounces.

Other shelters I find integrating but have not used:

Gossamer Gear The One

Six Moon Designs Skyskape X

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: hammock on 08/08/2011 19:28:07 MDT Print View

+1. No more sleeping on the ground. I have joined the Ewoks!

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Perfect shelter for you? on 08/08/2011 19:28:34 MDT Print View

if i had to go to ground, yet wanted the perfect shelter for this event, it would be something that doesnt even exist. how about a Rainbow in Cuben? i like it's design, just too heavy.

otherwise, that hexamid duo tent that Zpacks makes looks clean.

a b
MLD Patrol Shelter and Bear Paw Bivy on 08/08/2011 20:25:48 MDT Print View

My Gossamer Gear One tent was superb for over 5,000 miles.
then i seperated the floor from the roof by using a Mountain Laurel Designs Patrol Shelter as my roof and a Bear paw Wilderness Designs minimalist 1 bivy as my floor/bug shelter.
This was a quatum leap for me.
The ability to casually set up my roof in the rain then crawl under and divulge the contents of my pack into the nice, dry, inner shelter of my silnylon/mesh bivy was amazing.
I never feared getting up on rainy morning either.
Pack up everything into the Sanctum Sanctorum of the garbge bag in my pack and lastly, slip out inot the rain and doff the patrol, stuffing it into the outer pocket of my pack as i left.
My gear has never stayed drier with any other shelter system.
+5 for the Cuben fiber and it's total lack of moisture absorption.
Ironically I started my "hiking career" as a Couinard Pyramid enthusiast, switched to tents, and now full circle back to tarps.I tried the hammock thing.. just wasn't for me.

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Perfect shelter for you? on 08/08/2011 20:48:21 MDT Print View

Haven't much experience in shelters other than a few tents (Walmart hoop tent, MSR Hubba, Scarp 1. Friend has a Hexamid and Rainbow I've messed around with), I'm currently using a Hubba until I pick up a Moment this week. In the transition between lightweight and ultralight, but needing some comfort gear like tent (with easy setup, I'm lazy hiker) is making it hard. With my comfort zone, I always need a fully enclosed tent. Even used one on top of White Mountain, but looking back, I would've been fine without it. I'm hoping the Moment is the one, but this is going to be my first single wall.

I know I'll eventually try tarps, but not without a bug netting first. Hexamid is on top of my list when the time comes. The weight is certainly appealing too.

Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
Perfect shelter for you? on 08/08/2011 21:36:52 MDT Print View

I've been using a Contrail for years now and it's a great tent. Planning on experimenting with tarp/bivy soon - working on a MYOG bivy. The Contrail is a great piece of gear however - plenty of space, bug-proof, 27oz (that's for everything), and very weather-proof. The big drawback for me is no stargazing - not a fault of the Contrail though.

@Jeff McConnell - Do you happen to remember where you found the plans to for the MYOG hammock? I'd be interested in looking at them. Thanks.

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Perfect shelter for you? on 08/08/2011 22:12:02 MDT Print View

Hey Nate,

I used the instructions here. I bought my materials from DIY Gear Supply and I bought my suspension (whoopie slings and tree straps) from Arrowhead Equipment. From what I've read, its not too difficult to make your own slings and tree straps as well, but I could only steal so much of my mother in law's time.

Edited by Catalyst on 08/08/2011 22:20:48 MDT.

Ryan Corder
(demo) - MLife

Locale: Arkansan in Seattle
It really depends on 08/08/2011 23:08:23 MDT Print View

Depending on my location, my "perfect" changes.

For most of my backpacking, here in Washington (and by far my overall preferred system), I go for the tarp/bivy/groundsheet combo. I have the Solo Plus cuben groundsheet from Zpacks + MLD Soul Bivy + custom Cuben tarp from Ron at MLD. This gives me the most flexibility in various weather and above the tree line.

When I am back visiting in the South, I instantly go to my Hennesey Hammock Ultralight Backpacker A-Sym. Since there are almost always trees, it isn't a problem. Besides, being off the ground and surrounded by bug netting is never a bad thing. This is also the most comfortable option but sometimes susceptable to cold without an adjunct, such as an under-quilt.

For the few times I am either car camping, backpacking with a group, or staying out overnight in snow, I will take a traditional tent. Even so, I go with something light -- currently the Golite Shangri-la 2.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Solo Tarp or Tarptent ? on 08/08/2011 23:33:02 MDT Print View

I prefer a slightly over-sized tarp, such as my MLD Grace Duo. It affords me the space to sit under during rainy conditions, and cook (non high density bear country)under and be far enough away from my bedding. As for a free-standing tent(with trekking poles)it would probably be the TT Rainbow, or a BA Copper Spur-1 UL. Like another poster already mentioned, its nice being able to set up a tarp in the rain, while keeping the rest of you gear dry.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
"Perfect Shelter" on 08/09/2011 00:36:35 MDT Print View

I'll interpret "perfect shelter" to mean "if you could only have one shelter what would it be?", because otherwise the "perfect shelter" changes with conditions.

In which case, I'd just say that if I could only have one shelter it would be some sort of pyramid shelter with an optional inner bugnet. I currently own an MLD Supermid, and I'm probably going to get a smaller 1P or 2P 'mid, too. A Duomid with inner bugnet weighs exactly as much as a TT Moment, is a true double-wall, and has more room. Granted I'm assuming that one uses trek poles as the tent pole, and granted the Moment can be erected lightning-fast compared to a pyramid. But few would argue against the general utility of a pyramid tent- they are quite flexible, and weather worthy.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Gossamer Gear - the One on 08/09/2011 07:46:52 MDT Print View

I've been happy with my Gossamer Gear - the One. I like the side entrance geometry rather than entering from the end of an A-frame geometry. It's light weight (~17 oz) and gives me full bug coverage. I haven't been rained on yet in this tent so I can't comment on it's ability to shed water and keep me dry.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
TT Moment on 08/11/2011 00:18:25 MDT Print View

The Moment sets up very quickly. Really enjoying it.

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Moment on 08/11/2011 07:57:29 MDT Print View

The Moment is my favorite also. It's fast, simple, roomy for the weight, and is usable in winter just by adding two additional guylines connected to sticks or trekking poles.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Moment on 08/11/2011 08:29:13 MDT Print View

I sold a Moment for the DuoMid. Like going from a condo to a mansion.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Moment here too on 08/11/2011 12:03:44 MDT Print View

I've modded my Moment in several small ways, most notably to take the crossing pole inside, for more canopy support. Also recently I acquired a liner 2nd hand for the fantastic price of $10.

But I gotta say, Ron Moak's Skyscape X, of Cuben fabric, is verrry interesting for its weight and hybrid single/double wall design. Well, the weight is interesting but the price is breathtaking.

Todd Hein
(todd1960) - MLife

Locale: Coastal Southern California
Moment - So easy to set up and take down on 08/11/2011 12:27:48 MDT Print View

Excellent shelter...really easy, not as light as tarp/bivy combos but it works well for me. One caveat with tarps (and I own one) is the large number of stakes required for effective set-up. I may look into internal crossing pole mod for the Moment...