Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Looking for light solo tent: your help needed
Display Avatars Sort By:

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Akto weight reduction on 05/05/2005 12:13:45 MDT Print View

For Kim Skaarup, could you explain some of the other tricks to lighten an Akto 10 oz?

It looks like the fibraplex pole will save about 3 oz, and Ti stakes and lighter guylines another 2 or 3 oz.

I have an Akto and would love to get the weight down.


Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
AKTO weight reduction - how to .. on 05/06/2005 18:08:50 MDT Print View

Im abroad at the moment but from memory:

Fibraplex poles
BPL titanium stakes
BPL Guylines

Nip off all metal zipper pullers and exchange with cord (I used the original Hilleberg guylines).
There are quite many and heavy metal pullers.

Exchange the structure-webbing and cord at the bottom with BPL spectra bearbag cord.(The thick yellow one)

The next step is a bit difficult.!!
The four small cornerpoles are made of fibreglass and quite heavy. Exchange with four small poles from fibraplex. Saves nearly an oz.

Exchange the metal rings for stakes with spectra cord. Think twice about this. It cant be reversed.!

Finally the Hilleberg bags are heavy. Buy or make some much lighter ones.BPL spinsacks or some even lighter ones. You dont need silnylon, just some nylon.

Maybe I did some more tricks but at the moment I cant remember them.:-)


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Thanks Kim (Akto weight) on 05/06/2005 21:15:11 MDT Print View

Kim, thanks for the tips. It looks like you have squeezed every ounce of weight savings out of the tent!


Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Akto Fibraplex poles on 05/08/2005 15:21:32 MDT Print View

Kim, What has been your experience with these poles in the wind? Would you or have you used them above timberline?

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
AKTO and Fibraplex on 05/09/2005 06:31:07 MDT Print View

Yes without doubt.
Remember to set all the guylines.!!

I have ones tested the AKTO with fibraplex in a storm. No problems.
The AKTO is a very weather and wind resistance tent.

Actually I dont know if the carbon fibre is stronger than the aluminium poles.!

Also you could look at this old review, its the original AKTO model. A lot has ben charged to the better since. :-)

robert mcmahon
(mcmahonr) - F
lightweight tents on 06/07/2005 13:27:56 MDT Print View

Comment regarding a couple of tents mentioned. I have been using a Stephenson's 2R for a couple of years and have mixed feeelings about it. First and foremost it is very light!(2&3/4lb) And is pretty spacious. But it has some drawbacks. Dubious sewing has made for a couple of blowouts at stakeout points, there is no mosquito netting for use in buggy areas, and the tent has condensation problems. Most evenings in Peru I had ice chunks on the inside front of the tent. That said, it is often the tent of choice because of its weight, especially when I don't think I will use a tent, but need to carry one, just in case. I have recently purchased a Hilleberg Nallo 3 and I am hugely impressed. Very well designed and solidly built. It will hold up much better than the Stephenson I predict. I debated long and hard between the Nallo 2 (4lbs 10oz 30sqft/15sqft vest) and the Nallo 3 (5lbs 4oz 37sqft/ 17sqft vest). I chose the Nallo 3 because of the extra space (I'll use it for 2 persons)and I anticipate a trip to Patagonia requiring extra weather protection. A big selling point is that the outer tent fly can easily be set up without the inner tent saving weight for those times you can get by without an inner tent. It effectively becomes a super-solid tarp tent. My best previous lightweight mountaineering tent was an old Early Winters Winterlite. Again a solidly build hoop-style tent, made with now banned Goretex. Finally wore it out after years of hard use.

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
eureka spitfire? on 07/08/2005 13:32:57 MDT Print View

I'm thinking about getting a Eureka Spitfire (2lb 14oz according to manufacturer).

This seems like an incredible deal (around $75 delivered). I figure I can by 3 or 4 of them for the price of one of the pricier alternatives.

Has anybody actually weighed one? I've seen some brief reports of use (mostly favorable) but no confirmation of the weight.

Bill Law

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: eureka spitfire? on 07/08/2005 18:10:13 MDT Print View

No experience with this model, but my old Eureka Backcountry Solo's weight was understated by quite a few ounces. I would almost expect the Spitfire to exceed 3 pounds.

For a bit over 3 pounds, there are freestanding tents that you can actually sit up inside, if that's desirable for you.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: eureka spitfire? on 07/08/2005 19:39:08 MDT Print View

Take a look at this review:

Jim Ells
(ellsfamily) - F
Eureka Spitfire on 07/09/2005 17:55:21 MDT Print View

I have a Spitfire, and it is a nice tent but I agree the weight is understated. Mine weighed in at 3 lbs, 6 oz. on my baby scale(not necessarily the most accurate!). I liked the tent and still own it, but switched to a Tarptent Cloudburst for the room and the ability to have all my gear inside, and it weighs less than the Spitfire. The Spitfire is still a nice tent and was roomy for a solo tent, but I did not like the vestibule size. There certainly are plenty of choices. Good Luck

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: eureka spitfire? vs. MSR Zoid 1 on 07/10/2005 04:03:56 MDT Print View

a more expensive option, but perhaps a better one, is the MSR Zoid 1. they very similar type of tents.

Zoid 1 perhaps has better ventilation when zipped up for wet weather. however, this is just a guess on my part since i have never owned/used the new Spitfire.

normally, one tries to face the rear/foot of the tent into the wind. having the top vent facing into the wind may not be as good as having it face away from the wind (as in the Zoid 1) since the top vent is used to vent/'exhaust' warm air. the thought is that the rear facing vent might be in a relatively low-pressure area during a breeze (simple aerodynamic principles at work here. hopefully?) which would help to establish convection to assist the warm, humid air to vent/escape from the tent. normally, you want humid, warm air exiting the top vent, rather than cooler air entering this vent which would be more likely if that vent was facing into the wind. also, could wind driven rain enter the Spitfire vent if you faced the foot of the tent into the wind? perhaps, you could face the head of the tent into the wind to correct these two issues. however, having said that, generally speaking with all other factors being equal, having the rear of either tent facing into the wind should make it more wind/storm worthy in higher winds due to the lower initial 'profile' the tent would present to the wind when the rear/foot is facing into the wind. [we're talking about inertia here & air has mass, so Newton's First Law of Motion applies here. the rear/foot of the tent offers a more gradual change in direction to the air flowing over the tent, and less force from the wind applied to the tent (2nd Law), and so less resistance/reaction force pushing back on the wind (Newton's 3rd Law) . if any of you 'Aero' types disagree here, please correct me.] just some things to consider.

you can sometimes find last year's Zoid models on sale for 40% off & therefore only slightly more expensive than the Spitfire.

adding just spectra guys & a min. # of Ti skewers to the tent's min. weight (the way i carried it at one time) gives pack wt of 2lb 15oz for the Zoid 1.

sorry i don't have 1st hand experience w/the Spitfire. it looks nice & has a very attractive price.

hope this info helps.

Edited by pj on 07/10/2005 04:42:32 MDT.

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
eureka spitfire on 07/11/2005 15:31:17 MDT Print View

I went ahead and bought one (for $71.34, deliverd, from eBay). Will have my daughter carry this one for an upcoming outdoor research class, since it is much lighter than the one she would use otherwise.

I normally use a Europa above treeline (I prefer a hammock below treeline). I'm thinking the Spitfire might be a better winter option. For the price, can't go wrong.

J Kitchen
(TarHeel) - F
Bivy vs. Tarp Tent on 07/11/2005 22:24:17 MDT Print View

For a 4 day marathon hike thru the AT, I'm considering purchasing a Bibler Tripod Bivy Shelter (which weighs 2.5 lbs) or a TarpTent.

Was considering altering the Bivy to make it more breathable by adding some ventilation at the feet. This model has a hood, some netting to ventilate, is completely waterproof.

Am a little concerned about rain and want something I can set up easily since we're hiking 18 hours per day.

Any strong feelings about sleeping in a bivy "shelter".

Edited by TarHeel on 07/11/2005 22:31:26 MDT.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Bivy vs. Tarp Tent on 07/12/2005 00:13:33 MDT Print View

Sounds like a great trip--what's the itinerary? I've also got a couple AT traverses in mind for the next few months.

My leaning would be towards the TarpTent, probably the Virga2. Both the Tripod and TarpTent are fairly easy to pitch, but 2.5lb/person vs. 1lb/person? No question there for me, Virga wins, especially with ambitious mileage. [You mentioned 'we'--I'm assuming a partner. Correct me if that's wrong.]

TarpTent also gives you a place to put your stuff, and somewhere to cook if you're planning on it.

In this situation the only big advantage I can see for the bivy is being able to squeeze into ad hoc campsites late at night--you don't have to look for as much empty real estate or be too picky.

The GoLite Lair2 is the only other alternative I could recommend, mostly for a weight cut. Less than 18oz with cords and ti stakes [9oz/person]. Pitching is fairly straightforward, especially if you're using trekking poles, and it's got room for 2 familiar people.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Bivy vs. Tarp Tent on 07/12/2005 03:02:29 MDT Print View

i'm a die-hard bivy user. have several, but not the Tripod - too heavy. i do have the Bibler Bipod bivy however.

if you're not used to a bivy (even one w/some type of "hoop"/pole overhead to give more space/volume at the head end, they can be a bit claustrophobic. i don't mind at all however. to me, it's sort of like a "den". perhaps, if you've never used one, you will like it also.

small footprint: so easy to find places to "pitch" it.
light: need i say more
packs small in the pack: can use smaller/lighter pack or load in more food for longer resupply intervals.

condensation can be a problem at times. try to position yourself so that as much of your exhaled breath goes out through a mesh opening (even/especially if raining).
potentially claustrophobic
L/UL philosophy: to keep ALL of your gear (except maybe trekking poles & food which you've "hung" somewhere) in your bivy with you, you might need to adopt a L/UL philosophy about using your pack under your legs while sleeping. [NOTE: I don't consider this a "Downside" actually. To me L/UL is a real PLUS/"upside" - but i just mention it as a possible "downside" here since i'm not sure of your extent of committent to a L/UL philosophy. It may involve using a different pack than the one you are currently using???]

'OK'. now onto a diff matter. having pushed bivies on you. i just rcv'd a SixMoonDesigns Lunar Solo 'e' tarptent yesterday & haven't tried it out yet. Looks great. This might be your preferred shelter (it may actually become mine in/for certain situations/treks when i don't want to go as light as possible or am expecting rain most of the weekend). It's only ~26 oz. plenty of room. great in the rain. you need to use either one trekking pole or purchase the custom pole SMD also sells.

Didn't time myself setting it up in the backyard, but it had to be around 3min - not too shabby for first time, especially for a klutz like me. It appears that you can set it up in the rain w/o getting the inside wet - very nice indeed! Better ventilation than a bivy - especially in heavy rains. It's major downsides compared to some bivies are: 1) heavier than some (but far lighter than most "hooped" pole bivies - even the Bibler Bipod is 28 or 29 oz, depending upon whose numbers you read). 2) larger footprint than a bivy, so just a tad harder to find a good place to pitch it. however, having said that, it's footprint is only ~88x54 (not counting the vestibule which doesn't change this figure much since the vestibule is floorless). 88x54 is NOT an overly large footprint for a tent.

Check it out for yourself HERE (is a link) Note also, the 2person Europa if you are sharing your wilderness accomodations. Note that both of these shelters have been significantly upgraded to address any shortcomings mentioned in the BPL review of these two shelters - they are vastly improved over their first generation models. oh..., BTW, make sure you point at the graphics/pics of the Shelters (and packs if you check those out). Just place your mouse pointer over the Lunar/Europa/StarLite images and keep it there for 1 or 2 seconds & the the PIC changes. Move the mouse pointer off of the PIC & it reverts back to its prev. image.

Additionally, search these Forum posts (using the 'Forum Search' feature Forum Search. In the past, there have been many positive comments on both of the SixMoonDesign tarptents [and also both generations of the HS Virga(2) & Squall(2)]

hope this info helps.
enjoy your trek, and vaya con Dios.

Edited by pj on 07/12/2005 03:07:36 MDT.

Dr. John Reynolds
(jbreynolds) - F
Hubba on 07/14/2005 11:45:04 MDT Print View

I never see anybody comment on the MSR Hubba. I just finished 11 days in New Mexico and really enjoyed it. After cutting out all the tags and dumping the extra stuff sacks the poles, stakes, tent and fly were under three pounds. Pretty good for a free standing double wall tent with the versatility that implies and enough room to sit up in without touching the ceiling and a vestibule big enough for all my gear. I though about the zoid, microzoid, tarptent ,etc but was really pleased with a little extra room. I didn't use a ground cloth, and that saved quite a bit of weight.

J Kitchen
(TarHeel) - F
TarpTent on 07/14/2005 12:56:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input. Went with a Virga 2 TarpTent. Spoke with Henry Shires on Tuesday, he expressed me one and got it today (Thurs). He's a great guy. At 1.5 lbs. it's considerably lighter than my 3.5 lb. Tri-Lite. We're starting 15 miles south of Blood Mtn. and hiking to NC in 3 days. Anyone have any comments/usage suggestions?

Had a small Archterex pack but just bought a Gossamer G5. Anyone have any comments/suggestions?

Just got my first backpackinglight newsletter. Anyone know how to get one in html format? Or is html = premium?

best tent? on 07/14/2005 20:37:27 MDT Print View

I have been backpacking for 44 years [ what a bizarre thought! ] and have owned most of all the tents named. I don’t think you want the Zoid. In my experience i have never had a solo tent made as a solo that I really liked. Always too small for me at 5'11", always too cold in any type of 'weather', vestibule too small, always get soaked putting up in rain, takes 4 times as long in dark with headlamps, always sagged, etc. So, I bit the bullet and bought a Bibler Eldorado. Four pounds, eight oz., 2 poles; I can put it up in 3-5 minutes in driving rain fom the inside[!] and stay dry. Thirty square feet of room inside, single wall, bombproof, no condensation, and COMPLETELY waterproof, made of that Todd-Tex stuff, whatever that is. I have never regretted the couple extra ounces, for protection from the downpours, and the cold clammy wetness. I would say if you can save the money, you won’t regret it when the sky turns dark, and the temp drops, and the monsoon hits.

John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Light Solo Tent on 07/16/2005 13:00:49 MDT Print View

Another vote for the Akto. Exceptional use of space inside. Room to store boots, wet rucksack and still cook under cover. Thanks to the vertical door on the inner, the tent can be left open when rain is falling.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Light Solo Tent on 07/16/2005 14:23:04 MDT Print View


How's the Akto's inner tent relative to breatheability and condensation? It's not really mesh right??? Does exhaled water vapor pretty much pass through it, or does it condense on it?

Thinking about an Akto being my first ever real winter tent, but would like to know more about it.