Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Forums Newsletter
solo winter tent
Display Avatars Sort By:
Charles Frost
(frostcha) - F

Locale: PA NJ border
solo winter tent on 02/21/2007 23:03:07 MST Print View

I'm looking for a good solo winter tent/shelter (preferably free-standing). My stomping grounds include PA/NJ AT up to the Daks and White Mnts so I would like something that handles cold rainy humid conditions through high winds and heavy snow loads. I'd like ~90 inches of usable length and 36 inches of usable width to accomodate my winter bag. I think I have it narrowed down to 3 possibles: Sierra Designs Solomente or Assalant or Hilleberg's Unna. Any other considerations (Bozeman's Bivy)?

I'm open to suggestions, anything going to be better than my current tent...Marmot swallow (I wish it only weighed what the manufacturer claimed).

Thanks

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: solo winter tent on 02/21/2007 23:51:24 MST Print View

IMO, the best solo tent is a small 2-person tent. No direct experience, but this one looks good:

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=3&prod=296&cat=26&viewAll=False

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
MY CHOICE on 02/21/2007 23:51:38 MST Print View

I'd go for the Hilleberg tent in a heartbeat. No doubt the lightest, best designed, highest quality double wall winter tent line out there.
Also consider the Hilleberg Nallo. Bombproof.

Eric

Edited by Danepacker on 02/21/2007 23:52:23 MST.

Randy Brissey
(rbrissey) - M

Locale: Redondo Beach, CA
Solo Winter Tent on 02/22/2007 00:36:24 MST Print View

I think that I second Ben's choice. Mine would be a small 2 man tent, either a Bibler El Dorado (which I used in Alaska) which was great in high humidity there or my second choice (make that first choice now) a Mountain Hardware Spire 2. When you are stuck in a snowstorm "ya got's to have space".

Randy

PS After I get offloading some of my "extra" gear I am buying a Spire 2.

Edited by rbrissey on 02/22/2007 00:39:50 MST.

david fausnight
(rckjnky) - F
spire 2 on 02/22/2007 01:47:21 MST Print View

Ive been in a skyledge 2(three season version on the spire), which makes me think the spire would be a decent choice. It should give a very taut pitch with the stronger poles on the 4 season version. It will also be a palace for one, but they are pricey at $425.

Randy Brissey
(rbrissey) - M

Locale: Redondo Beach, CA
Pricey? Relatively Speaking on 02/22/2007 02:18:43 MST Print View

I think that spending $190 for a tarp is expensive. $425 for a 4-season tent is not really out of line if it keeps you alive. I never want to go to mountains thinking "I should have bought the other item" once I am out on the trail. Sometimes I do wish I had a warmer bag when I wake up at 3am and realize I am cold and still have to get up and "relieve" myself.

Randy

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:solo winter tent, EV2 on 02/22/2007 02:26:03 MST Print View

Well, you didn't mention your budget, that constraint requirement is just as important as performance requirements for a product.
So, since money is no object ;) I chose for you a very expensive tent, the Mountain Hardware EV2. My recent research and purchase of a 4 season tent led me to the $240 Firstlight, but the EV2 is what I would buy if I had $625 and expected snow drifts. This is a bomber single wall expedition tent with windows, pockets, etc. etc.. and still only weighs 5 lbs. I dare say you could live out of it for weeks on end. No personal experience with it, just desktop research.
Let us all know what you decide on?
mountain hardware ev2

Edited by Brett1234 on 02/22/2007 02:26:34 MST.

Adam McFarren
(amcfarre) - F
spire2 on 02/22/2007 09:38:30 MST Print View

I used a MH Spire 2 for summer mountaineering and car camping about 20 nights last year (Mt Baker [WA], Granite Peak [MT], etc). It's not the lightest, cheapest, most expensive, most bomber, etc, but is a really good compromise and is very versatile. I found it had enough ventilation for humid car camping while being really sturdy in summer storms (sorry, no snow load testing).

Definitely liveable for 1, I haven't yet slept 2 in it.

-adam

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: MH Skyledge 2 and Spire 2 on 02/22/2007 10:23:51 MST Print View

Ye owners of MH skyledge and Spire -- you noticed that they are the exact same configuration? Wouldn't it be nice if say you buy the Spire 2, that MH would offer the inner tent of the Skyledge as an optional purchase? Just by swapping the inner tent, you would be set for all four seasons! Or vice versa -- buy an optional Spire inner, and convert your 3-season Skyledge to 3-plus.

Ezra Newick
(ezra) - F
re:solo winter tent, EV2I’m going to second Brett. In fact, I also went for the BD Firstlight (and love it), but if you’re going for an all out winter expedition tent, the EV2 would be my choice. on 02/22/2007 16:02:01 MST Print View

I second Brett. In fact, I also went for the BD Firstlight (and love it), but if you’re going for an all out winter expedition tent, the EV2 would be my choice.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Hilleberg on 02/22/2007 16:12:08 MST Print View

I recently had the same decision to make. After eliminating all but the Akto, Unna, and Nallo 2, I personally went for the Akto, but with a stronger 10mm pole. I, too, sort of wanted to go the freestanding route, but decided that the Akto had all the features that I wanted...particularly the great vestibule. If you need the extra space and don't mind the slight extra weight, then either the Unna or Nallo 2 are great choices. I can highly recommend Moontrail for extremelly fast and helpful service, as well as the best overall price (I basically got the footprint and the extra upgrade pole free).

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
solo winter tent on 02/22/2007 19:22:18 MST Print View

I received my red Akto about a week ago. Since I knew I could not get out for a while, I set it up in the back yard.
Although I purchased the foot printed ground cloth with it, I did not use it.
After hammering the aluminum stakes thru the ice, it set up real nice. It was fast and easy and the small tensioner divices (a plastic gripper which allows you to tighten the guy lines no matter what distance from the tent you have hammered the stakes) works like a charm.
It has snowed one day and rained or ice rained the next four. After shaking off the layer of ice covering the outer shell, I can say the inside basin has remained dry as a bone…. and although I have had to adjust the tension on the guys once in a while to maintain a good shape, there has been absolutely no trouble.
The only thing I could possibly say about this remarkably well made tent is ‘what on earth possessed them to make it just a few inches short of the full sitting height of the normal human being?’
Now, my wife will never attest to me being normal, but that’s another subject.

Charles Frost
(frostcha) - F

Locale: PA NJ border
thanks on 02/22/2007 21:42:16 MST Print View

Thanks all. The BD tents seem a little short in length for my taste. I'd be curious to hear if the head and foot of your bag is wet from coming into contact with the walls. I do salivate over the EV2, but I WOULD be living in it for several months until my wife calmed down : ~ ).

I am going go with the Akto, it's where I end-up everytime I look into this. I'll test it out in the house to see how it feels, if I don't like the hoop design I'll go with the Unna.

For those of you with hoop designs, ever have a hard time getting a good pitch due to lack of suitable anchors??

I'll re-post when I have this sorted out (just checking with HB to see if they've tweaked things for 2007).

Thanks again and Happy Hauling.

D T
(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: solo winter tent on 02/22/2007 21:46:41 MST Print View

As a Spire 2 tent owner I thought that I would throw in my 2 cents. This tent for one person is and absolute palace. For two people it's a little tight. On cold nights, this can be a blessing by placing you and a friend very close together to help share body heat (just hope you comfortable sleeping hip to hip). Having two doors and two vestibules on this small tent helps alot.

Holds up against snow load well but not as well vs. a Trango 2. However, it does shed wind better than the Trango 2. The vestibules are nicely sized but slope quickly, so be very very careful when cooking under them. I prefer to melt snow and cook outside of the tent. The risk is too high for me to start a white gas stove under the vestibule. Another technique you could use is to start the stove outside of the tent then, once the stove is burning hot, carefully carry it under the vestibule.

I weighed the tent on a food scale so the weights are only ballpark figures:

Body- 35 oz
Fly- 27 oz
Poles- 17 oz
Stakes- 7 oz
Footprint- 8 oz

Total 94 oz or 5 lbs 14 oz

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: solo winter tent on 02/23/2007 11:21:34 MST Print View

MH Spire - published minimum weight is 73 oz. Actual per above is 79 oz. So typical...

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Re: thanks on 02/23/2007 11:47:36 MST Print View

One other thing. I'm not sure my Akto is a 2007. I think they've added more vents and a stronger hoop pole, in which case mine is a 2006. Since I've had mine out already, it's too late for me. So just a word to the wise, take a good look at it out of the box.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/23/2007 15:09:14 MST Print View

I just verified with Hilleberg that there are NO changes in the 2007 Akto. I purchased the upgrade 10mm pole as an option, but the 9mm is still the standard.

Message from Hilleberg this afternoon: "There are no changes between the 2006 and 2007 Akto. The 10mm pole is an option that will fit in the Akto but the 9mm pole is standard. The venting is also unchanged."

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Re: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 05:05:55 MST Print View

Ok then..I have a 2005?
The link shows what happened in 2006/7

see link
http://moontrail.com/hilleberg/hilleberg-details-2006.php

Edited by jbaird on 02/24/2007 07:09:55 MST.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Re: Re: RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 07:11:30 MST Print View

OK, so here’s the scoop.
I’m not looking for seeing:
The 2006/7 Akto does, in fact, have new zippered vents at both foot and head of the fly.
Because of the angle of both head and foot ends, they create an overhang which is water shedding. The reflective addition to the fly is ‘in’ the material and not an appliqué to it’s surface.

So…when the plane crashed over the mountain, where did they bury the survivors?
Guilty, I looked for a nice resting spot for them.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 08:28:55 MST Print View

OK, ok... I have never actually seen an Akto. But I own a Lunar Solo which has the same basic interior configuration -- sort of a pentagon -- a rectangular sleeping area plus an area that juts out for storing gear. Maybe I am really a space hog, but I find the 36" width of the Lunar just about right for solo use. I can't imagine a tent with only 24" width. Even Wal Mart coffins are wider, no?

Scott Toraason
(kimot2)
Re: RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 09:59:55 MST Print View

I went with the square footage of my Lunar Solo E as a guide in my decision to purchase the Unna over the Akto and the fact that I like the ability to sit up and move around in the tent. The Unna is a very roomy tent with a lot of interior volume and it even has a small lip to offer some protection against weather over the top of the large side door separate from creating your own vestibule by disconnecting portions of the interior tent. I am so impressed with the quality of manufacture and regardless of Unna or Akto, both are outstanding choices for a single person tent. I’m jealous others have had the opportunity to take their new tents out, I hope to take mine out soon. This is what happens when you have no children and no social outlet other than hiking, backpacking, scrambling, one collects stuff.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 12:49:06 MST Print View

Scott:

Hmmm... 24 inches of width, I still can't picture "a very roomy tent with a lot of interior volume...". But I'll try to keep an open mind until I see one "live".

One thing however that I can identify with: I too am blissfully single and love hiking, backpacking... and collecting stuff! :)

Edited by ben2world on 02/24/2007 12:49:58 MST.

Scott Lloyd
(scottlloyd23) - MLife

Locale: Swedish Lapland
Re: RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 13:00:34 MST Print View

Ben,
The "very roomy tent" Scott refers to is the Unna, which has 44 inches of width.

Edited by scottlloyd23 on 02/24/2007 13:01:36 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 13:05:34 MST Print View

Thanks. Need another cup of coffee, obviously. I kept thinking that he was referring to the Akto! Interestingly, he and I apparently thought alike -- we both looked at our Lunar Solo, mentally pictured losing a third of the width with an Akto, then decided to look elsewhere...

Edited by ben2world on 02/24/2007 13:09:31 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 13:43:28 MST Print View

NM

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/31/2013 14:40:50 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 13:56:07 MST Print View

I am not convinced that 24" tent width can be "a lot of room" for someone with 24" shoulders -- although I can appreciate the fact that people have different needs for space...

I think you should send your tent over here for an objective examination. :)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: RE: No Changes in Akto for 2007 on 02/24/2007 15:57:53 MST Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/31/2013 14:41:30 MDT.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
solo winter tent on 02/24/2007 16:24:58 MST Print View

David
I am 5'10", 190 lbs (most of this weight is around my waste)
The Akto has plenty enough room for a full pad and bag.
Hang a light from the center clip (provided) and a small pocket for stuff on one side. Unless you use the fly without the inner tent, you will not need the foot printed ground cloth. But it's nice to have.
The vestibule is ample for cooking and shelter for your pack.
After the past week (7 days)of rain, snow and freezing rain the tent shook out and packed up like new. I'd like to find some better tent stakes than they provide (soft aluminum)
They are already bent like pretzels.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Akto on 02/26/2007 13:04:40 MST Print View

Akto in the snow

Lots of room for me at 6'1" 192 lbs. Just had to stretch out in it today. Vestibule is huge for a tent this size.
Snow in the photo is about knee deep.

Edited by Quoddy on 02/26/2007 16:11:12 MST.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Re: Akto on 02/26/2007 15:56:09 MST Print View

Looks good John, and your using the footprint.
and 6'1" is no problem when sitting up?

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Akto Height on 02/26/2007 16:02:26 MST Print View

I am a long backed 6'1" and as long as I don't try to sit "bolt upright" it's fine. Sort of a natural sitting up is no problem from the ground level. Sitting on the BA Insulated Air Core will make it a bit tight.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
solo winter tent on 03/07/2007 02:23:26 MST Print View

ya know John that your justifying because you like the tent. It's too darn short for the normal human being. That having been said, it's a great tent. For me, it's 3/07/07, and last weekend it had to be -10 on the A_T.but I don't really know. 50 - 70 mph winds had no effect, buffered by the trees of coarse. If 'the tent makers 'are listening, they would learn and act by our comments on this great but not perfect tent.
As an engineer for the past 35 years as well as an Emt (and I've read your posted biopsy) you come with great credentials. We most probably could help them improve what they have. If they are looking, maybe they will ask.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Wow, on 03/07/2007 11:15:00 MST Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/31/2013 14:42:02 MDT.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
solo winter tent on 03/07/2007 11:29:25 MST Print View

There I go, making assumptions again.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
I Said No Such Thing! on 03/07/2007 11:33:46 MST Print View

Hey! David, I never said that you needed therapy! That would be so rude -- I would never say anything like that -- not out loud anyway... :)

Edited by ben2world on 03/07/2007 11:49:59 MST.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
solo winter tent on 03/07/2007 11:46:54 MST Print View

hit enter by mistake

Edited by jbaird on 03/07/2007 11:48:54 MST.

DONALD DYRLAND
(BOWSINGER) - F
Re: solo winter tent on 03/07/2007 11:50:44 MST Print View

All my winter backpacking is going to be below tree line and it will be (by next season) either a 3-pound titanium Goat or a 5-pound Kifaru tipi/wood stove system. I will have external heat-period. I have much more on this on my 40 BELOW thread on the winter hiking forum.

Edited by BOWSINGER on 03/07/2007 11:52:23 MST.

Donald Browning
(docdb) - M

Locale: SE USA
Confessions of a gear junkie on 03/08/2007 10:45:12 MST Print View

My name is Don and I am a gear-aholic. I currently have the BD Firstlight with vestible, and have spent several night in it in my native Georgia mountains. Here is me in about 40 degrees and fog in the tent, notice the condensation, and I'm six feet tall and touching when extendedBD

I also have an EV-2, and have had it in similar situations with much less condensation, but it's lack of a floorless vestible has cause some theoretical concerns. I think a tarp our front would let you get off some wet gear before retiring. It is very long inside, plenty of roomev2

I have had and sold my Akto. I took it on a trip last year about this time and Georgia got some decent snowfall during the night, and dang near pushed the Akto down on my face. I was up all night pushing snow off the tent. I was freezing my kester off, and driving in all the pegs and then removing them with numb fingers was hard. I see the merits of this tent, but decided to pass.

I have other tents that I haven't fully tried out (ID MK3), as well as an ID eVent bivy. The eVent bivy I slept in this past Saturday on the North Georgia/N. Carolina border on a Mount called "Dick's Knob" (4600ft) trying to see the lunar eclipse. It got colder than I expected and I had a couple of cold spots on my 20 degree bag, and I found out why when I awoke to light sleet accumulation on my eVent Unishelter. I had frozen condensation around my mouth area when I awokeUnishelter

In conclusion, the winter tent I've been most happy with has been the EV-2, but I've read some negative reports of condensation on the web, but I've not experienced them.

Don

joseph daluz
(jfdiberian) - F

Locale: Columbia River Gorge
BD firstlight on 03/12/2007 17:11:20 MDT Print View

I own the BD first light and really like it, albiet small, it is comfortable sleeping diagonally, and with my rain jacket pulled up over my feet, there's no condensation on the foot of my bag anymore, when condensation does occur.