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Kudos to Judy @ Lightheart Gear - SoLong 6
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NW Hiker
(king2005ify) - M
Kudos to Judy @ Lightheart Gear - SoLong 6 on 12/06/2011 11:39:19 MST Print View

Just wanted to let everyone know what a great experience I just had with Judy @ Lightheart...she was incredibly helpful, very attentive even during the Holiday, and made the exact tent I asked for in less than a week!

I'll do a quick review of the tent, but in a nutshell I bought:
-Solong 6 tent, with wedge
-Included custom pole extenders for my BD poles
-Tent is absolutely spacious inside, truly need to see it to believe it, and has massive awnings/vestibules for storage
-All of that came in at 1 lb 14 oz, it's like a magic trick or something!

I love TarpTent, and really thank Henry and staff for introducing me to the lightweight tent world, but wow is this tent a game changer.

Anyway, if anyone is thinking of checking Lightheart out, just wanted you to know I would certainly say go for it.

LH SoLong 6 w/ Wedge

LH SoLong 6 w/ Wedge 2

LH SoLong 6 w/ Wedge 3

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Cool on 12/06/2011 17:36:44 MST Print View

I've been considering one of these in cuben or a Skyscape X. How tall are you Todd? Find the length OK?


NW Hiker
(king2005ify) - M
Re: Cool on 12/10/2011 09:01:08 MST Print View


I am only 5'9"...this tent would EASILY hold someone a foot taller than me! The length, height, and width are absolutely silly large for a tent that weighs less than 2 lbs. I honestly don't know why this tent isn't discussed more often here (probably just a smaller company with no large following yet).

For now, I'll thoroughly enjoy my "sleeper".

inside view SoLong 6

Edited by king2005ify on 12/10/2011 09:01:53 MST.

Francis DeRoos

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/10/2011 09:09:23 MST Print View

i got a lightheart gear solo in cuben this year and took it on a trip to the White Mtns in NH and on the JMT and it was a dream. Not only did it fit my 6 ft length, but it also fit all my gear. Additionally, during 2 particularly fierce sierra afternoon hail storms, it sheltered two people and our packs easily. It does take a few days to get a system to get the best pitch but once you have that figured out, it's really quick to set up. Lightheart Solo in Whites, NH

Edited by on 12/10/2011 09:11:19 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/10/2011 09:30:39 MST Print View

The regular version must be pretty short.

Like the color.

Setting up trekking poles inside a floored shelter is a negative for me.

As far as a game changer, isn't this a version of what Brawny did many years ago?

Edited by FamilyGuy on 12/10/2011 09:33:05 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/10/2011 09:39:56 MST Print View

This is an update of the Wonderlust Nomad.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Re: Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/10/2011 09:43:58 MST Print View

Thanks Brad - how was it updated, apart from the cuben?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/10/2011 10:40:01 MST Print View

"The regular version must be pretty short."

Not too bad, really. I fit my size large Neoair in one, some pics here.

And I'll join the kudos, my Lightheart Solo (w/awning) has become my favorite late spring/summer/early fall shelter!

NW Hiker
(king2005ify) - M
Re: Re: Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/10/2011 10:40:46 MST Print View

Yep, we are all aware that this is a updated version of previous and current tents. What Judy has done with this design is an excellent version of this design.

Trekking poles inside plug into a brace at the top, and can be prepared outside of the tent easily. My right arm is in a sling from surgery, so the tent set-up in my pictures was done one handed in about 8 minutes. Would easily be less than 3 or 4 minutes with both hands.

The regular version, as well as the double are made in China...I like the made in USA tag, hand sewn, and the only way to get this was the Cuben models, or SoLong I believe.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Re: Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/10/2011 11:51:47 MST Print View

@Doug - yes, it looks pretty short for a 6'2" dedicated side sleeper. With a high loft bag, I would touch the sloping walls. I thought it might be bigger than the Moment but it appears not.

I would have to 'rig' the poles to the outside? Anyone have some pictures of that?

Steve A. Clarke
(petuni) - MLife

Locale: Quispamsis
LHG Cuben solong on 12/10/2011 16:31:11 MST Print View

+1 For Judy @ Lightheart. I received my Cuben solong and it's exceeded my expectation! Judy goes out of her way to help you with all your questions and needs! A very nice product and Awsome customer service!

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: LHG Cuben solong on 12/10/2011 17:09:52 MST Print View

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
Lightheart Solong 6 on 12/10/2011 22:49:28 MST Print View

Great Tent!!! I am 6'2" 295# and have slept in this tent a few times with my 11yr old son and once with my girlfriend. I have pitched it on top of Siler Bald on the Appalachian Trail with no issues at all with fairly serious wind gusts. I have also forgotten my hiking poles on a trip and made poles out of local tree limbs without any problems. I am using a large Neoair with a mummy shaped Big Agnes pad in this tent at the same time with no problem. Judy and Mark have been very gracious and patient in my experience dealing with them.Solong 6, a mile high on the Appalachian Trail in NCHomemade support pole! Tent plus guylines, seamsealed, 27oz!!!!!!

Judy Gross
(heartfire) - F
Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/11/2011 12:44:34 MST Print View

The LightHeart Solo was 'updated' from the Wanderlust Nomad - bathtub floor - on the nomad, the floor seam was right on the ground, it did not wrap up the side of the tent, so was much more prone to leakage. I added Corudura reinforcement patches to the outside of the tent where the handles of your hiking poles rub the ground - my nomade had holes in this area. The windows are larger, the ridgeline seam is on the inside of the tent - the nomad had it on the outside, while this had some advantage (the tip tie out loops were all in one with the binding,) it sucked up a lot of water when wet. The nomad had all single stitched seams, mine are all double stitched. the nomad came to a point, mine has the ridge pole so you get more height, and head room inside the tent. The nomad came in "any color as long as it's gray" , I can make the LightHeart in any of 16 colors (there are actually a few more colors available, I just don't list / offer them - hot pink!) I offer several different fly styles, and unlike the nomad - and left hand doors, 2 door options etc. you only have to wait 2 or 3 weeks at the most to get a custom tent.

David - family guy, your comment about it didn't' look big enough for a tall guy - I think you might be confusing the Solo for the SoLong 6 - the picture of the cuben tent above is the Solo not a SoLong 6. The SoLong was designed around someone 6'8" with a depth of 15 inches at the head and foot ends of the tent.- there is clearance for that. The corners of the SoLong 6 are boxed off at 8 inches with carbon fiber stays to keep them boxed open. The stays are sewn in so you can't loose them, don't have to fiddle with them. The tent is all about simplicity and maximizing on minimalism.

I don't know why you have a problem with hiking poles inside the tent. I always kept my poles inside the tent with me at night (before I made my own tents) because it kept the critters from chewing on the handles! I've seen too many hiking poles with cork or neopreen handles chewed up by animals.
Judy Gross - LightHeart Gear

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Lightheard Gear sizing on 12/11/2011 19:29:58 MST Print View

Hi Judy - I dislike bringing my poles in with me because I get mine muddy, dirty, and wet where I trek. I haven't ever had an issue with a rodent chewing the ends of my trekking poles. I have had a rodent use my forehead as a launching pad underneath a DuoMid but that is another story.

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Weird on 12/11/2011 21:13:59 MST Print View

This does seem like such a minor concern. It's muddy and wet all the time here, too. A quick clanking the poles together usually does it, but if there's stuck-on mud, a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth that weighs practically nothing solves all issues.
I really like that the poles are inside the tent. When it rains, silnylon sags a bit. You can retension the tent in seconds without ever getting out.

Love my Solo. My one complaint is that I didn't wait longer, because I would have bought the porch version instead!
One day when I'm rich I'll get the porch version in cuben fiber.

Mine was one of the generic grey ones made in China. The workmanship is impeccable. Sealing it was a bit of a pain. I vastly prefer tape to seam-sealing whenever possible. These made-in-China ones actually use a silnylon with a better hydrostatic head than the fabric in the custom USA ones; something to keep in mind if you expect high-pressure downpours in your area.
Yup it's an updated version of an older design. Who cares - this is three-season shelter perfected IMO.

Edited by dasbin on 12/11/2011 21:32:41 MST.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Kudos to Judy @ Lightheart Gear - SoLong 6 on 12/11/2011 23:47:44 MST Print View


Glad you could tell us about the various improvements you made to the Nomad lite. Thank you for that.

There was also a Nomad 2-4-2 model from Wanderlust Gear that had a rectangular floor, but the 4 canopy corners were not raised like your SoLong does. And no ridge pole as well.

They were ingenious designs, and you have improved upon them. If I ever get tired of making my own tents, you will be the first tentmaker I call. So I hope you stay in business. No telling when I might have had enough of it.

Would love to know what you have learned about working with cuben, but don't expect you to give away the store anytime soon. Maybe if I work real hard, I can come up with some ideas you can use, and post them here.


Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Re: LHG Cuben solong on 12/12/2011 03:23:21 MST Print View

Steve - a little off topic here, but it's nice to see this shot of the Three Sisters. I went through that park a few weeks ago in a howling gale. We're practically neighbours. Perhaps sometime in the spring I could contrive to get a look at your cuben solong. It's been on my want to buy list for some time. Do you ever hike in Fundy NP/Fundy Footpath/Dobson?

Rutherford Platt
(tunaboy999) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Solong 6 observations on 12/12/2011 07:41:55 MST Print View

I too have a Lightheart Solong 6 and would highly recommend it.

A few observations:

1. The tent is very well constructed and solid.
2. Unlike other modified A-frames, there is plenty of room at the head and foot.
3. Having poles on the inside is not a problem IMHO and as other have observed allow you to adjust the tension from within the tent.
4. The ventilation is superb. The combination of short fly+high bathtub floor+huge volume+high vents does wonders for condensation management.
5. The wedge or awning option is highly recommended. It allows views/ventilation and dry ingress/egress during the rain. I got the wedge which is a little zipper crazy (and the zipper catches a lot). If I had to do it again, I would get the awning to save 2 ounces and $30. I do not use an awning pole -- it's a snap to set up the wedge with a stick!

Note that when comparing the weight to Tarptent options you need to add the weight for the stakes... that puts the basic Solong at ~28 oz and wedge at ~30 oz. This puts it between the Stratospire (32 oz) and Notch (26 oz). I'd love to see a head-to-head comparison of the Solong with these tents.

Judy Gross
(heartfire) - F
Re: Kudos to Judy @ Lightheart Gear - SoLong 6 on 12/12/2011 08:03:28 MST Print View

"...Would love to know what you have learned about working with cuben, but don't expect you to give away the store anytime soon. Maybe if I work real hard, I can come up with some ideas you can use, and post them here."

Sam, You want to know what I have learned about working with cuben? To be perfectly honest - I hate it! There I've told the whole world now. Cuben tents take about twice as long as silnylon tents to make, I use contact cement to glue/bond areas, it stinks, it takes a long time to dry - all this adds so much time to the production. It takes a lot more care when sewing as it doesn't want to go through the folders nicely. I make the tape that I use for seam sealing - this takes time, and then I have to tape each seam as they are sewn. So cuben tents are truly a hand crafted tent, which is why they cost so much (aside fromt he fact that the fabric is so expensive)

I keep promising myself that I'm going to quit offering cuben fiber as an option, but of course, I don't follow through with my threat.

Judy - LightHeart Gear