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SMD Skyscape Scout
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Patrick Browning
(optimator) - F
SMD Skyscape Scout on 06/04/2012 21:45:45 MDT Print View

First off, I'm a dedicated hanger. But I do 4-5 trips per year where I have to go to ground. I'm looking to lighten up on my tent, and a friend here highly recommended the Scout. I just want to get some opinions from other owners of this tent. I do know there are lighter and better options, but I really don't want to spend a bunch of money on a piece of gear that will rarely get used. It looks like the best bang for the buck. But I sure like that Notch...

Edited by optimator on 06/04/2012 21:57:55 MDT.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: SMD Skyscape Scout on 06/04/2012 21:56:39 MDT Print View

Well, they both have pros and cons. I have the Scout but never seen the Notch in person.
-Wider more room.
-possible problems with the foot end sagging and collecting condensation- but will need to use it more to see it that is a real problem.
-one piece easy set up
-small vestibules
-one door
-true double wall
-not as wide
-large vestibules
-two doors

I think it comes down to how much room you need to sleep vs how much vestibule space you want.
You may also look at Lightheart tents.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
There's other options on 06/04/2012 23:40:18 MDT Print View

I know you're looking at the newer shelters, but there are some other tents in that price range and weight, maybe even cheaper. One that comes to mind is the Eureka Spitfire Solo. It was my first solo tent and I still have it around for a back up. You can find them on sale or Ebay for around $90.00 and if you don't use the fly it comes in at a respectable weight.

Edited by jumpbackjack on 06/04/2012 23:45:22 MDT.

Patrick Browning
(optimator) - F
Re: There's other options on 06/04/2012 23:59:16 MDT Print View

I actually thought about the Spitfire. But for about $30 more I can get the Scout. And I know where there's a Notch right now for $220. I like the idea of not packing around tent poles.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
Re Scout on 06/05/2012 00:23:08 MDT Print View

My friend has the Scout, but personally I prefer the Eureka, poles and all, just my preference though. I think the Spitfire is easier to set up and has less filldle factor for me. My friend also owned a Spitfire, but sold it, and when the Scout went on sale he couldn't pass up the great deal.

Edited by jumpbackjack on 06/05/2012 00:29:49 MDT.

Patrick Browning
(optimator) - F
Re: Re Scout on 06/05/2012 00:29:08 MDT Print View

Hahaha! Your talking about Kevin, right? He's the one that told me about the Scout!

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
RE Scout on 06/05/2012 00:30:22 MDT Print View


Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
scout on 06/05/2012 06:57:09 MDT Print View

I have had my Scout for about a year now and I still think for the $, it is hard to beat. Mine weighs 33.5 ounces seam sealed and I bought it used once on BPL forum for $90 shipped.

Sets up in 2-3 minutes, never had condensation problems. I added the two guy lines at the foot and head to help keep it taut. I usually go with a couple other guys, one hanger, and the other has the Skyscape Trekker. They are 9.5 ounces different in weight, but $100 difference in price.

Point is, I don't think you can find a better tent when considering price vs. weight under $100 used or $125 new.

Just my two cents.


Patrick Browning
(optimator) - F
Re: scout on 06/05/2012 07:50:28 MDT Print View

Jason, by using the bottom guyout, does it keep the tent of your feet? I use a Big Agnes pad and a Montbell bag. That combo along with my size 13 hoof might be a little tight.

Chris Ruis
(Tinker) - F
Notch on 06/05/2012 08:20:34 MDT Print View

I have the NOTCH. It sets up fast and easy once you do it a few times. It is really a great tent. You have the option of pitching high for great ventilation, or low for a bomb proof storm shelter. I love having the two vestibule's. Pack and gear one one side, exit and entry on the other. I mostly use the fly for a shape tarp. Sealed sealed and all it comes in at 18 oz. It is plenty long and wide. The only thing that can happen is if you have it pitched high and get a rain during the night you will get splash. I solved this problem by sewing a 6" wide piece of no see um mesh all along the bottom. Now I have almost the perfect tent/ shape tarp.

Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
yes on 06/05/2012 08:49:31 MDT Print View

Yes it helps with the feet. I use a guy line at both the head and feet to help with this and keep any rain or whatever causing sagging. I usually am a side sleeper in the fetal position apparently so I actually keep my pack at the foot end also. I am 6'0 200lbs and find it with adequate room on the sides for ditty bag or light and with room to put my pack at the feet.

I can try to take a pic of the guy lines or anything else in the next day or two if you want?

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Notch on 06/05/2012 08:54:06 MDT Print View

Just a quick note about the Notch. Recently when using it, the rainy weather and drop in temps conspired to create some condensation on the inner. Given it was raining when I was packing up, I quickly unclipped the inner tent (45 seconds) and left the outer standing. I packed the dry inner into my pack and then disassembled the outer and packed it in an outer pocket. When I arrived at camp later in the day, I reversed the process and was greeted with a completely dry inner.

The outer fly first set up is really nice and may be a consideration for you.

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: SMD Skyscape Scout on 06/05/2012 10:29:53 MDT Print View

I also have a SMD Scout and have been very impressed with its performance in some pretty rough weather, it seems like every trip I have done so far this year has resulted in some pretty gnarly storms overnight.

A few observations I have made so far in over 40 nights of use:
*The poly doesn't stretch in the cold/wet, so I have never needed to re-tension which is nice.
*I have only had rain spray under the fly once in a high wind/heavy rain storm while I had it pitched a little higher than recommended, although the spray was not significant enough to wet out my bag.
*I have only experienced notable condensation once on a night with 8+ hours of rain when the temperature dropped significantly; even then it was not significant enough that I wasn't able to manage easily enough with a pack towel.
*On hot humid nights when the mosquitos are out in swarms, using the tent in bug tent mode with fly tied up is a godsend.
*The tent has been very stable in the wind. I have been in gusts up to 30mph without issue.

As far as foot room, there is a tie out for a guy line right above the foot of the fly that you can use to get a bit more height if needed.

The Notch also looks like a very nice shelter, but I think you are talking apples and oranges if you are looking at the price tags.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
good thread on 06/05/2012 10:42:12 MDT Print View

I've also been looking at the Scout recently, also interested in a cheap'ish solo tent for certain outings. Has anybody used it with tent poles, and not with trekking poles? I don't use trekking poles and so have been wondering how stable it is otherwise. ... Once I add weight of poles I might be inching toward weight of Spitfire or other double wall tents. Thanks.

Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
tent poles on 06/05/2012 11:40:05 MDT Print View

I bought the tent poles from SMD as I do not use trekking poles either. They are a minimal weight IMO and cut to fit this setup exactly.

I guess the differences between the scout and the spitfire are:
- 10 ounces in weight
- 4.88 sq ft inside area
- 5" in height
- 6" in width
- You can adjust your ventilation from inside the tent on the door side without having to take off the rain fly of the spitfire
- If you use trekking poles, saves the weight of tent poles
- Has an optional porch from SMD to add

Check out the links for more info and videos

Review (

Video Review (

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
thanks on 06/05/2012 11:49:00 MDT Print View

Thanks Jason, and sorry for hijack OP. Do you find the tent to be sturdy enough then in wind, etc. with tent poles? I supposed, properly guyed out, all would be fine. I would just be interested in hearing about actual experiences with poles.

Edited by mediauras on 06/05/2012 11:49:55 MDT.

Patrick Browning
(optimator) - F
SMD on 06/05/2012 12:19:21 MDT Print View

If I can get that Notch for a better price I think I'll go that route. If the seller is firm on the price then I'll order a Scout. I noticed you don't see either one for sale used very often. That's a pretty good indicator for both tents.

Daniel Smith
(scissor) - F
re scout on 06/05/2012 14:19:46 MDT Print View

I'm 6ft 3 with a 13 shoe and fit in the Scout fine with a 78in BA pad. I really like my scout and would buy it again. My only complaint is I wish it had a 2nd zipper in the mesh for a door, it would be worth the weight penalty IMO.

Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
wind on 06/05/2012 14:25:42 MDT Print View

First off I use the 5 initial guy lines also adding two more at the feet and head. I have not experienced really windy conditions here in the southeast. Most of my camping is lower elevations with the highest I have camped being 4000". I have had this set up in a hard down pour that lasted 6-7 hours with very minimal spray inside. You can guy this down to the ground if necessary. I have also used this in a winter trip with temps in the single digits. I woke up the next morning with snow on the tent, but none inside. Come to think of it, the winter trip was probably the windiest conditions also.

The only drawback I have had so far, is I want to upgrade to the skyscape X cuben fiber model of this same tent. $450 is hard to let go of though :)


Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Both great tents on 06/05/2012 22:03:08 MDT Print View

I've looked at both offerings (notch/skyscape). For my use, the notch really hits all the high points. Double wall, two doors, big storage, and a net inner that can be purchased with partial material walls. That's great for dust and for trapping heat when it gets colder than you think and you sleep system could use a little help. OP, good luck in your choice.