Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Solo Tent Feedback Request
Display Avatars Sort By:
Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
a few different reasons on 12/22/2011 17:32:41 MST Print View

For me things are a bit different. I do need something with bug netting, that will setup easy, be somewhat freestanding, have good ventilation, will keep the rain off, is light but for which I will not shed a tear if it gets a small rip in its $400 self. I need the bug netting because here in the midwest there are bugs 5 months out of the year. I need somewhat freestanding because the winds will get up very high here on the plains and stands of trees usually attract lightning. I need easy setup because I am not going to wake up three different times in the night to adjust it. It has to have good ventilation because 90F+ with high humidity is not something you want to be enclosed in. I don't need a whole lot of room because I basically use it as a Japanese coffin motel just to sleep in, not read, paint, or cook. I am not going to spend multiple days in it. I have tried to find alternative methods and tents but what limits me is my 6'5" frame and the fact that I side sleep. I think I will just have to end up going with the TT Moment. I could just wrap a tarp around me while I sleep int he colder times but have not found a good bug shelter to use for the warmer times and drape the tarp over it. Sorry if this seems a bit spotty but I have been sick the last few and really needed to get this out of my head.

Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Re: Solo Tent Feedback Request on 12/22/2011 19:02:02 MST Print View

I'm going to take some exception to your premise. I did choose a solo tent for nterior living space, privacy, views, and bugs. But the trump card was weight.

Now, to be fair, I don't exactly have the lightest Tarp/Bivy/groundcloth system - ID Siltarp, Titanium Goat Ptarmigan bivy w/ full net bug hood and a Tyvek groundcloth. But when I added it all up, I found the LightHeart Gear Solo was lighter. It's capable of outstanding, bug-free views, it's roomy, and it provides privacy.

"How do you feel about owning, carrying, and using a solo tent when you might know that *something else" might give you *something more* for less weight and cost?"

Not sure what you mean by *something more*. If you're referring to a tarp/bivy combo, I don't know how that gives one "something more" for less weight or cost. I got all the attributes you mentioned for less weight than a comparable silnylon system for $199. If I wanted less weight, I could plunk down considerably more for a cuben tent, or I could give up all those attributes and leave my bivy and groundsheet home.

The Tarp/Bivy combo does offer a bit of flexibility. I'm heading out for an AT thru attempt next spring. I considered the tarp/bivy for the flexibility of using the bivy in shelters, and the tarp/bivy when stealth camping. But I would much rather stealth camp than stay in vermin-infested shelters whereever regulations allow And I do like the wx protection, privacy, and the protection from bugs the tent provides.

The fact that I saved a few ounces was the deal clincher.

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
Solo Tent Feedback on 12/22/2011 20:43:31 MST Print View

My primary consideration for using a solo tent was bugs as well. Specifically for Mid-Atlantic, USA conditions, I wanted protection from tick borne diseases. More specifically, I wanted a private space that was large enough in which to conduct a daily tick check.

Of course, it was more a lack of sufficiently refined technique. My current technique is to just conduct a tick check during those times I use the bathroom. Now I prefer the bivy bag/tarp combination for the aesthetic benefits of bivying and because tarps seem more obsolescence proof than tents.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
HUH? on 12/23/2011 18:41:29 MST Print View


Explain how tents become obsolescent and tarps do not.

Tent DESIGNS change and some newer, clever designs are neat but older designs don't become obsolescent unless some new miracle fabric like Cuben emerges, in which case earlier tarps become "obsolescent" too.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Solo tent use versus tarp system on 12/23/2011 18:42:50 MST Print View

I currently used the GG The One. It's fair to say that it has had under-performance issues regarding living up to it's advertised specs and abiitiies, but I do prefer a tent for now. Mainly, bugs, weather and privacy issues as many posters have stated. But really, when it comes to being UL, after seeing countless tarp users need a heavier ground cloth, bag, bivy and extra cord, the total weight of said tarp systems is usually more than a UL tent, especially with the Cuban versions coming out.

With a tent, I don't need a bivy and my bag and ground cloth weigh less as well. Besides,, I can always open the flaps for ventilation in nice clear weather,or just choose to cowboy camp on nice warm nights.

Edited by veganaloha on 12/23/2011 18:43:52 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Solo Tent Feedback Request on 12/23/2011 19:54:39 MST Print View

"- You don't really select a solo tent for severe weather protection,"

No, but neither would I use a tarp for severe weather protection. That said, I use either for general 3 season weather protection and, if things start to look really nasty, try to compensate by site selection. But there will always be times when the mountain gods decide it's your turn in the barrel and you're going to end up miserable no matter what. Life in the mountains.

"So, is it really all about the bugs?"

Definitely, bugs are the main advantage of a solo tent over a tarp, IMO.

For the Sierra, I use a TT Sublite Tyvek up until October instead of a tarp now. It performs exactly as Henry advertises it, which is plenty good 99% of the time down there. As for the other prepared to spend some time drying things out. After that, my TT Rainbow works fine even in moderate snow.

I confess to a fantasy, though. I am positively drooling over Ron Moak's Skyscape X.
At 15 oz and totally waterproof, it would replace my tarp/bivy, Sublite, and Rainbow, saving serious ounces in the process. Now for the hard part, justifying the $450 to my wife. :(

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Solo Tent Feedback Request on 12/23/2011 20:58:51 MST Print View

You might consider a silnylon version that would be less expensive. I have been hoop testing Thru-Hiker's current silnylon for a week or so, and it is much less saggy when the temp drops than the many other sils I've looked at. Is 2-3 ounces really a deal-breaker for a complete shelter?

It seems like everybody now, after five years or so, is making versions of Kurt Russell's Nomad. Created by one thru-hiker.

Wonder when the industry will come out with these. Never, I hope, so the small makers can stay in business; but it is probably a naive hope. Then we will get the 15D nylon with sil/PU coatings, maybe even polyester. Bet they will be heavier anyway, though.

One puzzle: The video of the X setup clearly shows the short ridge that helps a lot with headroom. But did not know it was there from anything else on the SMD site until looked at the video.

After first inquiring about the sil and the return policy, one could choose one of the modified sil versions of the nomad, set it up in the sunshine during the fall or early spring, and see how much it sags after dark. And if not satisfied, send it back the next day.

What does this have to do with Ryan's survey? The answer I guess is in the features of the nomad design that make it so popular.

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
Solo Tent Feedback on 12/24/2011 09:16:16 MST Print View

@Eric B.-Perhaps you would prefer I had said that tarp designs change more slowly than tent designs?

If you'd like, feel free to PM me and we can discuss this in further detail.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Solo Tent Feedback Request on 12/24/2011 11:52:16 MST Print View

"You might consider a silnylon version that would be less expensive. I have been hoop testing Thru-Hiker's current silnylon for a week or so, and it is much less saggy when the temp drops than the many other sils I've looked at. Is 2-3 ounces really a deal-breaker for a complete shelter?"

That is definitely a consideration. The downside is the sag, plus the weight difference is 8 oz according to the specs on the website. Still, $450 is a ton of Washingtons, which is why I said "fantasize" in my post. We'll see. The spirit is willing.....