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Andrew Applegate
(andrewpdx) - F
Easy to pitch sub-2 lb tent? on 10/22/2011 23:37:06 MDT Print View

I'm considering upgrading to a lighter tent, but I'm concerned about difficulties with pitching.

I've only used free-standing tents in the past (right now I have a BA Seedhouse SL2) and I like that I can easily pitch it even when exhausted from a long day or in a downpour.

I'd like to pick up a non-freestanding, sub-2 lb, single or double wall tent (no tarps or bivies, not there yet...), but I'm hoping to get recommendations on which models are more idiot-proof to pitch. Any help is much appreciated.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Easy to pitch sub-2 lb tent? on 10/22/2011 23:41:43 MDT Print View

Tarptent Moment.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
Re: Easy to pitch sub-2 lb tent? on 10/22/2011 23:44:31 MDT Print View

I have a Tarptent Moment which I like. It arrived at 2 lbs, but I tacked on 6 more ounces for customizations.

Other ideas:
Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo

Check out the Zpacks Hexamid with extended beak, netting floor, and walls, and use your own light groundsheet. Not sure on "idiot proof" with this one though.

Edited by AndyF on 10/22/2011 23:45:11 MDT.

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Lightheart Gear Solo or Solong 6 on 10/22/2011 23:53:55 MDT Print View

I have a Solong 6 but checked out the Solo too. Depending on your height and thickness of you pad and sleeping bag. Solo works for most, but I bought the Solong 6 because I really liked the extra length and footroom. Both tents weigh around 26-27oz, have room for two average size, friendly people, or lots of room for one, set up with trekking poles, and are easy to set up after practicing a few times in the backyard. www.lightheartgear.comSolong 6, a mile high on the Appalachian Trail in NC

Edited by mtnbob123 on 10/22/2011 23:56:35 MDT.

Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Could I save you money? on 10/23/2011 05:01:55 MDT Print View

If you are starting this journey into sub 2lb, go tarp and bivy/bathtubnet enclosure. I know you said you are not ready, but soon, like 5-6 outings with whatever else you choose, you will begin to think, yeah a tarp setup would be really nice. My recommendation would be the Hexamid Solo Tarp at 3.3oz and cost of 185 coupled with the HexaNet at 6.8 oz and a cost of $175. With a total cost of $360 and weight of 10.1 oz (of course add stake weight), you can have a system that sets up well in many environments and provides the options to not tarp, not net, or drop net and add bivy.

I know the transition is difficult, but on the wallet and time, I hope this saves you. However, if time and money mean nothing to you then have fun:-)

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Easy to pitch sub-2 lb tent? on 10/23/2011 08:39:48 MDT Print View

Tarptent Sublite or Sublite Sil are easy to pitch. I struggle a bit more with my Solomid but don't have much practice either. Practice at home then in the cold and or wet then in the dark until you don't have to think about it and all should be well.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Lightheart Gear on 10/23/2011 09:07:48 MDT Print View

+1 on the Lightheart SoLong 6 or Solo. Personally, I'd go with the SoLong 6, since to me it seems roomier for no weight penalty.

(Full disclosure, I haven't tried either one, just going on the recommendations of others.)

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Lightheart Gear on 10/23/2011 09:55:17 MDT Print View

I know I am biased, but it is a very easy transition from a standard double wall tent to a Solong 6, as long as you use trekking poles anyway. On my last trip, both my girlfriend, who is short and ummmm not skinny, and myself, who is 6'1"300#+, both fit fine into a tent with full weather and bug protection. We even still had plenty of storage room in the ends. I set up on a semi exposed mountaintop and I didn't have to worry about the wind changing direction. I think it took me 5 minutes tops to set up the Solong 6. All this for far under 2 pounds and under $300 including all guylines and stakes.
This does not mean that you can't get even lighter. I am playing with a SMD Vamp Tarp also, but for someone looking for the simplest, least hassle transition, check out the Lightheart gear stuff. You won't be disappointed.

BTW I have no stake in Lightheart gear, I just own one of their tents and am thinking about buying another. I own 7 tents currently, and just wish I had know about these earlier!

P.S. Plus if you are an idiot, and forget that your hiking poles were in your other car, you can always use whatever is at hand to set up the tent. I used two pieces of wood I found around the campsite, and trimmed them into shape.Stick for support!

Edited by mtnbob123 on 10/23/2011 09:56:48 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Easy to pitch sub-2 lb tent? on 10/23/2011 10:37:05 MDT Print View

Wait for about 3 weeks and the Tarptent Stratosphere will be available. Double walled (not some hybrid), inner attached to the fly so easy set up in the rain, modular so the fly can be used without the inner tent (and visa versa), sets up with trekking poles, and will handle some shoulder season snow. It also has a lot of volume - excellent headroom everywhere.

Have a look: http://tarptent.com/stratospire1.html

Note that this is not an a-frame design but a modified pyramid. Make sure to scroll to the video section.

Alasdair Fowler
(MessiahKhan) - F

Locale: Newcastle, UK
Easy to pitch sub-2 lb tent? on 10/23/2011 11:06:46 MDT Print View

We have a MLD Cuben Supermid with bug netting door, perimeter bug netting and a custom Cuben groundsheet. It comes in at about 700g. It is dead easy to put up. Between me and my wife, it probably takes all of 4-5 minutes to put up. Corner stakes in, trekking pole in the centre, then further perimeter stakes and final tightening. The design also means that it can be put up and down in bad weather, without the inside becoming exposed.

Kristin Fiebelkorn
(kushbaby)

Locale: South Texas
Another + for Lightheart on 10/23/2011 11:48:57 MDT Print View

I made the switch, and got myself a Lightheart Solong 6 (in cuben). Very easy to pitch - I got caught in heavy rain just as I was starting to set up on a recent trip, and was pleased with the fact that you can stake out the four corners quickly and then get inside with your gear and trekking poles and pitch it up from the inside (then popping out quickly to stake the fly/awning). I did find that the sides of the bathtub floor leaned inwards some if you didn't get the corners just right, but it was easy to fix with a little styrofoam spacer between the trekking pole and the tent wall (this may be a design-related thing - I noticed sagging in photos of the Skyscape, too, which is a similar design).

Solong 6 cuben
Solong 6 side fix

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Another + for Lightheart on 10/23/2011 11:54:37 MDT Print View

The only thing I don't like about the Lightheart, apart from the reviews questioning it's performance in the wind, is the fact I have to bring trekking poles inside the tent with me. Just a personal preference.

Kristin Fiebelkorn
(kushbaby)

Locale: South Texas
Re: Re: Another + for Lightheart on 10/23/2011 12:01:17 MDT Print View

> The only thing I don't like about the Lightheart, apart from the reviews questioning it's performance in the wind, is the fact I have to bring trekking poles inside the tent with me. Just a personal preference.<

You can buy adjustable tent poles, but if you use trekking poles, that's sort of redundant and extra weight.

As far as wind, though, I was in some pretty gusty conditions on an exposed rise my first night in it. I was nervous because I had read those reviews, because I think it was gusting up to 40 mph or so, and it was solid as a rock. Can't speak to higher winds, but after that experience, I'm not nervous about wind anymore. Note that the center bar is securely velcroed into place, but you *do* need to make sure the trekking poles are set high enough. If you do, it's not budging...

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Lightheart Gear Solong 6 setup on 10/23/2011 12:31:30 MDT Print View

Another observation about the Lightheart Gear ridge pole is quite a bit more solid of a connection than what I have seen on my friend's flexible connection on his SMD Skyscape Trekker. You just have to make sure that your hiking poles fit solidly into the ends of the ridgepole. When set up properly, it is a rock solid tent pole! I think that is a cool modification that was done with the foam, but I haven't needed it myself. When I set my hiking poles to the right height, I'm happy with the tightness of the pitch. JMHO

Kristin Fiebelkorn
(kushbaby)

Locale: South Texas
Re: Lightheart Gear Solong 6 setup on 10/23/2011 12:53:55 MDT Print View

> I think that is a cool modification that was done with the foam, but I haven't needed it myself. When I set my hiking poles to the right height, I'm happy with the tightness of the pitch. JMHO <

It usually doesn't matter, but in that same heavy rainstorm, where I was next to a river and it poured all evening, night, and morning, the ground was very saturated and I got some splash-in at those edges starting in the early morning (as I had rushed the pitch to get out of the rain and the ground was also very soft, the edges were a bit more saggy than usual). After that experience, I came up with this. As you say, completely unnecessary in good weather...

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Lightgear modification on 10/23/2011 14:34:27 MDT Print View

Thanks for the heads up. It looks like stacked polyfoam. Where did you get it? Packing material reuse? It is true I have been in some serious rain and in some serious wind on top of Siler Bald near the AT, but I have never had both at the same time. I will look into the foam pushouts the next time I set my solong 6 up. I might think that my tent might be a bit more flexible than yours since my silnylon will stretch a bit in rain. I'm not sure if that is good or bad in this case.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Tarptent Moment & 6 Moons Skyscape on 10/23/2011 14:55:45 MDT Print View

I have a TarpTent Moment and love it. VERY fast pitching - my Moment is always the first tent up at a campsite.

But my second choice would be the Six Moons Skyscape Trekker at 24 oz. or the Skyscape X (Cuben fabric & pricey) at 16 oz. Very well designed tents with nearly 80% double wall netting.

Kristin Fiebelkorn
(kushbaby)

Locale: South Texas
Re: Lightgear modification on 10/23/2011 14:56:02 MDT Print View

> Thanks for the heads up. It looks like stacked polyfoam. Where did you get it? Packing material reuse?<

Yup, just some packing material I had in my "to reuse" box that I cut to purpose. The cuben doesn't stretch at all, so you may be right on that one. I'll probably never need this modification, but it was very satisfying to figure it out (I had tried many different pole lengths and tieout angles and tautness in my yard, and couldn't get them vertical. And it *bothered* me! :D)

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Lightgear Solong 6 on 10/23/2011 14:59:50 MDT Print View

I have an early production model of the Solong 6 and I'm not sure how yours is set up, but I changed the velcro on my ridgepole to make it more solid. I just keep the ridgepole attached at all times. I have no problems with it. Does yours have the new vent? I just saw that they added that, but not sure if it is needed. I have had zero condensation issues.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Lightgear Solong 6 on 10/23/2011 19:35:49 MDT Print View

How did you change the velcro exactly?

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Re: Easy to pitch sub-2 lb tent? on 10/23/2011 20:43:36 MDT Print View

"I have a Tarptent Moment which I like. It arrived at 2 lbs, but I tacked on 6 more ounces for customizations."

What'd you customize?

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Re: Re: Lightgear Solong 6 on 10/23/2011 23:04:42 MDT Print View

When I bought the Solong 6, it came with two areas of velcro that wrapped around the ridgepole and fastened to itself basically. The ridgepole was still able to rotate. I cut off one side of the velcro and used Gorilla glue to fasten it to the ridgepole. Then I wrapped the other side of the velcro that is still attached to the tent around the ridgepole. Nothing major, but it seems to be more stable that way. I also never unhook the ridgepole. It is no problem to pack up the tent with the ridgepole inside. So hopefully the velcro with never weaken since I am not fastening and unfastening it each time. So far so good.

Andrew Applegate
(andrewpdx) - F
Easy to pitch AND minimal condensation? on 10/23/2011 23:06:16 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone! This is really helpful.

I like that the Lightheart Solo is double-walled, but I like the (apparent) ease of the Moment and the potential to withstand a bit of snow. For fine-tuning my wish list, how does the Moment fare with condensation? I'm in the NW, so rain's almost always a possibility.

Oh, FWIW, I'm short (5'4") so hitting the sides of the tent and shaking drops of water off is not a huge issue for me.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
Moment customizations on 10/23/2011 23:28:06 MDT Print View

@Christopher: I added these features to my Moment:

- Using 8" Easton or Groundhogs instead of standard 6" Easton stakes
- Added main pole guylines and stakes (required in any type of moderate wind)
- Added panel guylines/stakes for high winds and snow (only carry when necessary)
- Added short lengths of cord for zipper pulls
- Added small loops of cord to ends to enable use of thicker Groundhog stakes
- Seam sealed
- Coated both sides of the floor with 3:1 mixture of mineral spirits and silicone caulk (to reduce pad slipping, also makes floor more waterproof and durable)
- Added short lengths of Velcro to vent Velcro so that they can't unexpectedly stick shut
- Added grossgrain stake loop to floor at vestibule to keep floor taut
- Often cary 2-4 small titanium stakes to keep floor taut (total 0.8 oz)

Edited by AndyF on 10/23/2011 23:34:15 MDT.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
Moment condensation on 10/23/2011 23:41:45 MDT Print View

@Andrew: If it's raining, you'll have condensation. The wind or raindrops will likely cause it to drip on you all night. My down bag has great DWR, and it doesn't bother me. I shake it off of the bag in the morning. If it did bother me, or when it's below 40 F or so at night, I use the Moment liner (an extra $30 and 4 oz).

Rutherford Platt
(tunaboy999) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
another vote for the Solong 6 on 10/24/2011 06:51:29 MDT Print View

I recently used a Lightheart Solong 6 in rainy/humid conditions right next to a stream.

My hiking partner had substantial condensation in his MSR Hubba, but the Solong 6 remained dry on the inside.

I would highly recommend getting the awning or wedge versions which allow ingress/egress and ventilation in the rain. Forget the awning pole -- a stick will do.

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Moment customizations on 10/24/2011 11:09:20 MDT Print View

Thanks. Reminds me I need to reweigh my Moment with guylines, stakes, etc.

Dave Myers
(PatientWolf) - F - M

Locale: South Western Oklahoma
Re: Lightheart Gear Solo or Solong 6 on 10/24/2011 14:30:30 MDT Print View

+1 on the Lightheart Solo. Pitching is very easy given just a little bit of practice as mentioned above. The views from these tents are absolutely amazing as well.

Concerning the questions of performance in high winds I have spent several nights in 35-40mph winds in completely exposed areas and have not had any problems.

Edited by PatientWolf on 10/24/2011 14:33:52 MDT.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
LH tent on 10/24/2011 20:44:04 MDT Print View

The stability issue with LH tents seems to have got started when someone reported some looseness in the connections between the hiking poles and the spreader bar that caused problems. That, and a secure velcro or other connection between the bar and the canopy, are problems that could be checked out and observed, if present, at the time of purchase.

I would take that course before ruling out a tent, when the problem might just be its not being set up correctly. But if you are buying one of the cuben or custom nonreturnable ones, then it gets a little stickier, unless you are willing to do some serious travelling to check the product out. Not sure there are enough reports to be concerned about this. The design, IMO, is more stable than most; but the quality of the construction has to be eyeballed to be sure of it.

Marc Penansky
(MarcPen) - F

Locale: Western NC
LightHeart Tents, stability on 10/25/2011 05:19:57 MDT Print View

The issue with the 'stability' of the LightHeart Tents was before I started putting velcro in the ridgeline to secure the ridge pole. All tents now have velcro at the ridgeline and the ridgepole can be secured very easily.

At times I have shipped a 'demo' tent to people that wanted to check out the tents before placing an order. It's a pain to do this but works well for some people - you pay up front for the demo tent, I mail it out, you decide if you want to buy one, if not, ship it back and get a full refund (minus shipping cost), otherwise, if you do want to order one, ship back the demo, I make you a new one to your specs.

Also, I've been able to put people in touch with someone in their area that has a tent they can look at.

We are also planning to be at Amicalola Falls, the SO Ruck, the PA Ruck, ADZPCTKO, Franklin, Hot Springs and Trail Days. So come see us - and the tents there


Judy - LightHeart Gear