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Looking for light solo tent: your help needed
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Katja Sauer
(Katja) - F
Need a one-person tent on 12/12/2004 09:18:42 MST Print View

Hi, I would need a 3-seasons tent, very light, one person (or two), enough room to put the boots or backpack in case of rain, resistant to heavy rain and wind. I found the following products (the lightest ones) but I am not sure which one to buy (price does not really matter):

- Terra Nova Laserlite
- Sierra Designs Utra Light Year
- MSR MicroZoid
- Black Diamond Firstlight (single-wall but I don't know what the difference is with the other ones, what is best, etc.)
- North Face Mountain Marathon (a bit heavier)
- MSR Hubba (heavier)
- Lightwave ZRO Cylq

Can someone give me any recommendations? Or maybe do you recommend other brands?

Most important points to me: ultra light + good protection againt rain/wind (patagonia weather)

Thanks upfront for your help!

Eduardo Lartigau
Eduardo Lartigau on 12/12/2004 09:38:19 MST Print View

Dear Katja: I have the Rei Roadster, is very light 2.75 pounds with 5 ul titaniun stakes, no stuf bag, have a good among of space, for one person, is very stable in hight winds, dont leaks, good price and if you buy in Rei you cam return if you do not like, sory my poor english.Good luck.

Colin Thomas
(fullofadventure) - F
a list of UL shelters on 12/12/2004 10:05:33 MST Print View

Here is a list I created for people looking to buy a lighter shelter. This list might not be up to date as it was made earlier in the year.

Some of these shelters are from the cottage industry and some are from the big boys. There are quite a few European tents in this list too for people like me who think there gear is great. I left out tarps and tarp/bivy combos because there is just to many out there and we already know that they are the lightest setups.

All the tarptents on this list are with floors and the weights are written down in packaged weight first, minimum trail weight second, and fast fly setup last, if that option is available. The (+) sign at the end of the DLG products is there to let you know that the weight stated is just the tent. You have to include stakes and guy line weights onto those products.


The weights listed are from the manufactures sites, so no bashing me if they are off an ounce or two. ******This list may also not be in the exact order of lightest to heaviest because some tents packaged weights are heaver than others but their trail weight is lighter, so I just put the tent with the lighter packaged weight first*****. This list is here to show you what your sub 2lb, sub 3lb, and sub 4lb shelter options are. If I missed a few products let me know please.


Now I have to choose one of these shelters, man this is going to be hard.

Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo 1lb 8oz
Dancing Light Gear U.L. Tacoma Solo 1lb 7oz +
Dancing Light Gear U.L. Brawny Tent 1lb 7oz +
Henry Shires Tarptent Virga 1lb 9oz
Dancing Light Gear U.L. Arapaho Solo 1lb 11oz +
Henry Shires Tarptent Squall 1lb 14.5oz
Hennessy Hammock U.L. Backpacker Asym. 1lb 15oz

Six Moon Designs Europa 2 2lb 1oz
Hennessy Hammock Explorer U.L. Aysm. 2lb 4oz
Stephenson’s Warmlite 2X 2lb 5oz
Dancing Light Gear U.L. Tacoma For 2 2lb 5oz +
GoLite Lair 1 + Nest 1 2lb 6oz
Clark Jungle Hammock U.L. 2lb 6oz
Henry Shires Tarptent Cloudburst 2lb 6.5oz
Hennessy Hammock Cocoon 2lb 7oz
Hennessy Hammock Scout 2lb 7oz
Slumberjack Bivy Tent 2lb 8oz / 2lb 1oz
Terra Nova Laserlite 2lb 8oz / 2lb 3oz
Ketly Dart 1 2lb 8oz / 2lb 4oz
Eureka Solitare 2lb 8oz
Henry Shires Tarptent Rainshadow 2lb 9oz
Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym. 2lb 10oz
Hennessy Hammock Explorer Deluxe Asym 2lb 12oz
Stephenson’s Warmlite 2R 2lb 12oz
Mont-bell Diamond 2lb 12oz / 2lb 5oz / 1 9oz
Moutain Hardwear Waypoint 1 2lb 13oz / 2lb 2oz
M.S.R. Micro Zoid 2lb 13oz / 2lb 5oz / 1lb 10oz
Big Agnes Seedhouse S.L. 1 2lb 14oz / 2lb 8oz / 1lb 14oz
Lightwave zr0 cylq 2lb 14oz / 2lb 10oz
Terra Nova Laser 2lb 14oz / 2lb 10oz
GoLite Lair 2 + Nest 2 2lb 14oz
Clark Jungle Hammock Tropical 2lb 14oz

Black Diamond Firstlight 3lb / 2lb 11oz
Kelty Dart 2 3lb / 2lb 12oz
Sierra Designs Ultra Light Year 3lb 1oz / 2lb 9oz / 1lb 14oz
Force Ten Race Tent 3lb 1oz
R.E.I Roadster 3lb 3oz / 2lb 10oz
Stephenson’s Warmlite 3X 3lb 4oz
GoLite Trig 2 3lb 4oz
T.N.F. Mountain Marathon 3lb 5oz
Vaude Hogan U.L. 1/Argon 3lb 5oz / 3lb
M.S.R Zoid 1 3lb 6oz / 2lb 14oz / 2lb 1oz
Mont-bell Hexagon 3lb 6oz / 2lb 15oz
Coleman Inyo Solo 3lb 6oz
Eureka Zeus 3lb 7oz / 3lb
M.S.R. Missing Link 3lb 7oz / 3lb
Outdoor Designs Summit Extreme 3lb 5oz
Terra Nova Laserlarge 1 ?/3lb 5oz
Integral Designs MK1 Lite eVent 3lb 6oz
Hilliberg Akto 3lb 8oz / 2lb 14oz
M.S.R. Hubba 3lb 8oz / 3lb
Clark Jungle Hammock The North American 3lb 8oz
Big Agnes Seedhouse S.L. 2 3lb 9oz / 3lb 3oz / 2lb 7oz
GoLite Den 3lb 9oz
Sierra Designs Light Year CD 3lb 10oz / 2lb 15oz / 2lb 1oz
L.L. Bean Microlight 3lb 10oz / 2lb 15oz
Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1 3lb 10oz / 3lb 6oz
Mountain Hardwear Waypoint 2 3lb 12oz / 3lb 1oz
Black Diamond Lighthouse 3lb 12oz / 3lb 3oz
Vaude Hogan U.L. 3lb 12oz / 3lb 3oz
Mountain Hardwear PCT 1 3lb 12oz / 3lb 6oz
Lightwave zr0 Trek 3lb 12oz / 3lb 8oz
Stephenson’s Warmlite 3R 3lb 12oz
Vango Phantom 150 3lb 12oz
Exped Vela 1 Extreme 3lb 14oz / 3lb 1oz
T.N.F. Canyonlands 3lb 14oz / 3lb 7oz
Integral Designs MK1 Lite 3lb 14oz
Big Agnes Seedhouse 1 3lb 15oz / 3lb 8oz
Macpac Microlight 3lb 15oz / 3lb 8oz
Alps Mountaineering Taurus AL 1 3lb 15oz / 3lb 11oz
Integral Designs MK1 XL eVent 3lb 15oz

Kelty Crestone 4lb / 3lb
M.S.R. Zoid 1.5 4lb / 3lb 8oz / 2lb 7oz
Outdoor Designs Raceraider 4lb 1oz / 3lb 10oz
Vaude Odyssee 4lb 2oz / 3lb 10oz
Alps Mountaineering Mystique 2 4lb 3oz / 3lb 14oz
Eureka Zeus 2 4lb 4oz / 3lb 10oz
R.E.I. Quarter Dome U.L. 4lb 4oz / 3lb 11oz
Vaude Taurus U.L. 4lb 5oz / 3lb 13oz
Bibler I-Tent 4lb 5oz / 4lb 2oz
Slumberjack Voyager Bivy Tent 4lb 6oz / 3lb 8oz
L.L. Bean Microlight 2 4lb 6oz / 3lb 12 oz
Vaude Lightwing U.L. 4lb 6oz / 3lb 12oz
R.E.I. Coupe 4lb 6oz / 3lb 13oz
Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD 4lb 8oz / 3lb 15oz / 2lb 9oz
Kelty Flight 4lb 8oz / 3lb 14oz
Moutain Hardwear Air Jet 2 4lb 8oz / 3lb 15oz
M.S.R. Trekker Tent 4lb 8oz / 4lb
Sierra Designs Lightning 4lb 9oz / 3lb 15oz
T.N.F. Slick Rock 4lb 9oz / 4lb 1oz
Cabela’s XPG Solo 4lb 9oz / 4lb 2oz
E.M.S. Starlight 2 4lb 9oz / 4lb 2oz
Hilliberg Nallo 2 4lb 10oz / 3lb 11oz
M.S.R. Zoid 2 4lb 10oz / 4lb 1oz / 2lb 13oz
Terra Nova Laserlarge 2 ?/4lb 3oz
M.S.R. Hubba Hubba 4lb 10oz / 4lb
Kelty Quartz 1 4lb 14oz / 4lb 6oz
Coleman Inyo 2 4lb 14oz
T.N.F. Tadepole 23 4lb 15oz / 4lb 3oz
Exped Solestar 5lb 1oz / 4lb 3 oz

Jerold Swan
(jswan) - F - M
check the BPL reviews on 12/12/2004 12:29:53 MST Print View

BPL just did a long series of reviews on single-wall lightweight shelters. Of the tents you listed, the Black Diamond gets a rave review:

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
tent for patagonian conditions on 12/12/2004 12:47:01 MST Print View

Having climbed and trekked in Patagonia, I would strongly encourage Katja to consider a 4 season/ mountaineering shelter.
Any thing less, you would have to be very,very careful in choosing a campsite.
Relatively lightweight 4 season tents I have had good luck with in really windy,rainy and blizzard conditions would be the single wall Bibler I-tent and the Integral Designs Mk 1. I own a BD Lighthouse (larger version of Firstlight) which I love for use in
the Sierra Nevada but question whether the Epic fabric would keep you dry in multi day rainstorms and the worst of a Patagonian storm.
The BackpackingLight reviews of single wall shelters are very useful. Please check them out.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
ulite tents on 12/12/2004 13:13:42 MST Print View

Hi here is some insight on lightweight tents. I own a Henry Shires Tarptent Virga and I can tell you from experience that this tent will fill your need. It is light (see last post above) and water resistant. I was stuck in a nasty Sierra storm in Oct. which dumped 2-4 ft of snow and trapped many hikers (some for 3-4 days until rescue). My tent did extremely well in high winds and wind driven rain and snow flurries. I picked an area with natural protection and staked the tent out completely. I had all my gear with me in my small vestibule and in my tent. Needless to say I slept like a nice warm, dry baby while mothere nature reminded us why she is the boss. Love my tent.

Vic Lipsey
(vlipsey) - MLife
Ulite Tents on 12/16/2004 01:30:46 MST Print View

Ditto on the Tarptent. Love it. Light and fast up, even in the wind. And around Seattle, the rain factory, I prefer the no-floor option for better drainage of wet gear.

The only drawback I've had is rain clinging to the side bug netting. The floor isn't there to hold the netting under the edge of the tent. So, fixed that by tying two lengths of AirCore 1 (or anything durable) to the netting hems on both sides. The strings are about 3 feet apart, keeping the full length pulled with a slight tension toward the center of the tent.

Carl Zimmerman
(CarlZ993) - MLife
Stephenson Tent on 12/16/2004 13:17:32 MST Print View

I did some backpacking in Patagonia (Torres del Paine -Chile- and around Fitz Roy -Argentina) in Jan/Feb 2003. I did the circuit in del Paine by myself using a 2-person Stephenson double-wall tent. My wife was supposed to hike w/ me but she got a stomach virus and didn't get to hike in del Paine. The tent was 3 lbs 2 oz (only using 3 stakes) and was cavernous for a single hiker. I experienced rain every day on the 6-day circuit. Some of the rain was pretty heavy. I had some condensation problem at the two ends of the tent (single-wall at the ends). No problems with the wind. Most of the designated campsites were fairly sheltered from the wind. At one refugio campsite, they had erected wind barriers at each campsite. They needed it there because the wind was really verocious.

Have fun on your hike! The scenary is spectacular!!

dan kutcher
(danscapes49) - F
One of the best in wind, stuffy in warm weather on 01/16/2005 20:07:10 MST Print View

Hilleberg Akto. You have to be diligent in knocking snow off of it in wet snow conditions, otherwise, an excellent tent. The best made one I own, and the smartest (by far) design.

dan kutcher
(danscapes49) - F
One of the best in wind, stuffy in warm weather on 01/16/2005 20:08:19 MST Print View

Hilleberg Akto. You have to be diligent in knocking snow off of it in wet snow conditions, otherwise, an excellent tent. The best made one I own, and the smartest (by far) design.

James Godsey
(JHGodsey) - F
wanderlust on 02/03/2005 06:11:00 MST Print View

check these out as well

Colin Thomas
(fullofadventure) - F
RE: wanderlust on 02/03/2005 08:59:31 MST Print View

I do not want to come out negative here or put down Kurt’s company but if you do your research you will find many unsatisfied customers. Some people paid for their tents but never got them and some finally got them well over a year later. When they did arrive people were happy with the product though. Perhaps things are running smother over there, who knows.

Search on these sites for info on Wanderlust.

James Godsey
(JHGodsey) - F
RE: RE: Wanderlust on 02/03/2005 15:52:44 MST Print View

My suggestion was not meant as an eandorsement. Like you I hit alot of trail forums etc. and have read good and bad. The bad is almost always wait times. I am sure there are folks who were not 100% satisfied but I think they are the exception and not the rule. Many times when purchasing custom gear whether it be a tent or a custom leather holster from a 1 man operation the wait list can be long. I have waited as long as 9 mos. for custom items.

E. H. Clemmons
(sclemmons) - MLife
Wanderlust on 02/26/2005 07:51:22 MST Print View

There is a lot to like about a Hennessy Hammock if you have not tried one. Use a pack cover for your gear.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Hammock as solo shelter on 02/27/2005 23:49:26 MST Print View

>There is a lot to like about a Hennessy Hammock if you have not tried one.

I'll second that comment. The best part is waking up without creaks and groans; I definitely slept much better in my Hennessy than on the ground, even on my 5-pound car-camping sleeping pad. The diagonal sleeping orientation in the Hennessy makes it quite different from the curve in a regular hammock. I have a ruptured disc in my spine, but I can sleep on either my side or back in the Hennessy without trouble. A hammock makes it very easy to find a campsite if there are trees, and it can set up like a bivy shelter if there are no trees.

The downside is that it's much colder than sleeping on the ground. I used a 20-degree down bag on a 45-degree night in Colorado and slept warmly. I thought this would work for a trip in the Olympics in mid-September, but early snow and 28-degree nights had me shivering within two hours. The problem is that the sleeping bag compresses underneath and the heat just blows away. A space blanket, tent footprint, two fleeces and a shell allowed me to survive but I'm not going back out in cold weather without at least a sleeping pad and probably something more. I've found a lot of information on hammock insulation on the 'net since that trip.

My Hennessy Explorer Ultralite A-Sym weighs 2lb 4oz complete with tarp and snakeskins (If you're under 6ft tall you can save 5oz with the Ultralite Backpacker A-Sym) so that puts its weight somewhere between my tarp and my tent. I still need to work out some kinks in hammock camping and figure out the insulation issue, but my Hennessy is turning out to be my preferred shelter for solo sleeping.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Hammock insulation on 03/01/2005 14:05:57 MST Print View

Ow, not the best introduction to hammocking in cooler weather!

I've found a reasonable interim solution: a 75x24-inch foam pad that I've trimmed down some. It's light (about 10 oz) but really bulky to pack. I usually have to strap it to the back of my pack. A wider pad is vital, as it wraps up my shoulders and sides where the hammock presses inward and compresses the down.

I suspect the best solution is an underneath-pad and a quilt, but I've not pursued those options. As it is, I sleep very comfortably in the Hennessy in a sleeping bag on my fat pad. There really isn't anything quite like a hammock!

alan genser
(alan) - F

Locale: NE
the bibler epic tents on 03/27/2005 18:02:22 MST Print View

i currently own a bibler firstlight, i initially purchased the lighthouse, but decided to exchange it for the smaller model for several reasons.

the catalyst was that the velcro that secured the poles inside the tent had poked a pinprick sized hole in the tent fabric, the folks at bibler were absolutely flabbergasted by this & in my replacement tent (the firstlight) the velcro tabs were much cleaner cut & i think it'd be unlikely for any holes happening, i'm guessing it was just a fluke that the velcro tabs were cut badly in the first tent. however/also, in the course of regular setting up/taking down of the lighthouse short, top pole that holds the awnings out must've also pinched the tent fabric & produced another pinprick sized hole. ouch. nonethless bibler was awesome about replacing the tent.

despite all this i'm a big fan of epic fabric, having had a sleeping bag & 4 jackets made of the stuff.

so, i capitalized on the holes in the lighthouse to exchange it for a firstlight, because simply, the lighthouse is *way too big*, unless you're *always* going to be camping with 2people, go with the firstlight, you can leave the vestibule at home when you're going solo & bring it along when you're doubling up, & still have plenty of room either way. this seems to offer the greatest combination of weight savings & versatility if deciding between the two models.
what might not be considered when comparing the square footage of the 2 tents floorplans to other makes'n'models of tents, is that the walls rise very steeply, giving you a greater amount of useable space per square foot than other designs.

also (maybe other readers can comment on this) i found the angle at which one had to insert the poles into the lighthouse made for a smidgen more difficulty setting up than i wanted to deal with, not a huge deal, but with the firstlight the poles are inserted lengthwise & it's easier to get them flexed into position than with the lighthouse.

i've since lent my firstlight out to a friend who treats gear incredibly badly & it returned unscathed, after a 2wk trip.

the tent has held in line with my experiences of epic fabrics weather worthiness in general, i think it's a great material, but can require some psychological adjustment, in that with garments & with the tent, the fabric can feel wet to the touch, but still not be permitting water to get through.

Jon Blomquist
(jablom) - F
LIGHT WEIGHT FOR COLORADO on 04/26/2005 16:55:38 MDT Print View

Any comments would be appreciated: I am looking for light weight - 2.5 lb or so, solo +, 3.5 to 4 season, enough protection for CO winters so that I can use it all year. I need enough room for my dog occasionally (pretty small - like 20lb) but cold blooded.

I am looking at:
Integral Designs Unishelter (seems big enough and 4 season).

The North Face Partical 13 - kind of heavy.

Sierra Designs light year and mach 1

Any suggestions? I want something that is light and close to 4 season. Would a tent do?

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Re.: Solo tent - Best choise !? on 04/26/2005 17:38:54 MDT Print View

My favorit is the Hilleberg Akto.
Winter,mountain above treeline.
Has everything, also space for a small dog. Inside the innertent or in vestibule.

Total is 2 pound 14 oz plus pole stakes etc. including everything about 3.5 pound but it can be lighted 10 oz or so. Fibraplex pole. (has the measurements ready.!
BPL Titanium stakes
BPL gyulines
Other small trick to lighten up. :-)
Mine is a bit under 3 pound total now.

(Akto is also the favorit of Chris Townsend, British Ray Jardin alike.)

Edited by skaarup on 04/26/2005 17:59:21 MDT.

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Wet snow and Akto = double poling on 04/27/2005 06:05:07 MDT Print View

Hi Dan.

Not many, if any, know that the Hillebergs tents, including Akto are made so that you can use two poles in each sleeve = double poling. So if you use a Fibraplex carbonpole for normal lite use, you can also use the original alu-pole for a very strong system in snow condition. I havent tested just how much snow this doublepolesystem can handle but its rather much.!

Also the ultimate pole can be obtained from Hilleberg as there is a 10 mm pole 293 cm long for their top of the line wintertents. This fits the Akto.!