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Ultralight Tent options
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Yes 1000
Ultralight Tent options on 06/20/2012 10:31:14 MDT Print View

Hello Folks,
I want a ultralight single person tent.

1. I like something which is completely enclosed, not opened tarp like setup most of you folks use.

2. Good amount of space for without feeling claustrophobic.

3. Tried,tested and durable.

4. $300 range max.

Edited by mamamia on 06/20/2012 14:47:04 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Ultralight Tent options on 06/20/2012 12:00:31 MDT Print View

Can't do better than this excellent comparison by John Abela:

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Recommendations on 06/20/2012 12:24:16 MDT Print View

1) SMD Cuben Haven w/ Net Tent

2) Big Sky International UL Tents

3) Big Agnes Ultralight Tents

4) Henry Shires Tarp Tent

5) Go Lite Tents

I have a BSI tent and it's pretty amazing for the weight (or rather, the lack of weight). Very comfortable, large, and convenient (2 vestibules, 2 doors).

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Correct Link for Cuben Haven on 06/20/2012 13:19:56 MDT Print View

The link Chris sent, points to the SilNylon Haven which ways 18 oz.
Here is the correct link to the Cuben Haven which ways only 10 oz.

I own both the SMD Cuben Haven + Haven NetTent as well as the SMD Gatewood Cape + Serenity Net. I also have the Big Agnes FlyCreek UL2.

The weights are as follows

1) FlyCreek UL2: 42 oz
2) Cuben Haven (10) + Haven NetTent (16) + Stakes (2) = 28 oz
3) Gatewood Cape (11) + Serenety Net (8) + Stakes (2) = 21 oz

The FlyCreek UL2 and the Haven are 2 person tents. The Cuben Haven offers way more space and headroom for way less weight, so I prefer it.
Ideally I would like to see from SMD a 1 person NetTent as an option for the Cuben Haven. Assuming it weighs 8 oz like my Serenity net, I could use the Haven as a 20 oz one person tent or as a 28 two person tent. The Gatewood Cape is most likely too claustrophobic for you - it is truly a one person tent.
I have no personal experience with the SMD Skyscape X and the Lightheart Solo and Lightheart Solong 6, but I suggest you look at them too.

Best Regards,


Edited by Orienteering on 06/20/2012 13:20:30 MDT.

Yes 1000
Confused on 06/20/2012 13:31:51 MDT Print View

Thanks folks

what is the major difference between BG Fly creek UL and these cottage manufactured tents/tarps. More I look into these light tent options more I'm getting confused.

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
BA Fly Creek on 06/20/2012 14:52:45 MDT Print View

The main difference that I can think of without consulting the specs sheet, is that the Fly Creek only has one door.

Try not to get overwhelmed. Find, say, 4 options that interest you. Lay out all their specs into a document, weight, material, features, single-wall vs. double-wall, trekking poles vs. dedicated poles, freestanding vs. non, etc.

If you need help figuring out what any of those terms mean, googling will yield tons of results. Andrew Skurka's gear guide by National Geographic also does a good job explaining the differences in types of shelters, both tents and not.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Two more options on 06/20/2012 15:01:52 MDT Print View

Here are two more options. The first (like some of the other suggestions) requires trekking poles, which will add to the expense. The second option is maybe not-so-proven.

LightHeart Gear

Easton Mountain Products

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 on 06/20/2012 15:15:45 MDT Print View

Of the choices listed, I would say that the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Tent meets your requirements the best. It is well-proven, factory seam-sealed, and can be found for right around $300. When you add in the cost of the trekking poles that many of the other tents require, they would be well above $300.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Differences - FlyCreek UL2 vs. tarp tents on 06/20/2012 15:26:55 MDT Print View

I think the main difference that can be confusing between tents like the Big Agenes FlyCreek UL2 and the SMD Cuben Haven is the use of trekking poles for setting up the Haven. Because I use trekking poles anyways when backpacking, this saves a lot of weight. The FlyCreek has its own tent poles. The "downside" of this is that the Haven is not freestanding. You need to stake it down. The FlyCreek can theoretically be set up without stakes, which allows you to move it around or to set up easier on a granite slab.
Both tents allow you to just take the outer tent and leave the inner tent at home, when you don't have to deal with bugs. This bring down the weight of the Cuben Haven to 10 oz (+ 2 oz for the stakes), while the FlyCreek is still over 2 lbs.
The FlyCreek has only a door in the front, while the Haven has a door on each side, which is most likely irrelevant since you are looking for a one-person tent. The Haven offers 53 sq ft of room (29 in tent + 2 vestibles of 12) compared to 35 sq ft (28 in the tent + 7 vestibule) for the FlyCreek.

I hope that helps,


Edited by Orienteering on 06/20/2012 21:50:45 MDT.

Patrick Browning
(optimator) - F
re on 06/20/2012 15:36:43 MDT Print View

I'm still trying to decide on a solo tent myself. I do use poles, so I have that option. But when I go on hikes away from camp, I like to use them. So it looks like I'm leaning towards a TT Rainbow

Yes 1000
TT Rainbow on 06/20/2012 15:46:37 MDT Print View

I'm keeping an eye on the rainbow as well, but it has no rainfly and wonder how well it handles rain Oregon.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: TT Rainbow on 06/20/2012 16:11:49 MDT Print View

I have a Rainbow, and I slept in it two nights ago in constant rain. Once you seam seal it (which TarpTent can do for you for a small fee), it is excellent in the rainy weather. Here in NW Montana this time of year, it rains most days--very different than farther east where the climate can be drier. I did get some condensation on the inside of the tent (it is single wall) but it was very manageable, and almost every sleeping bag has DWR (durable water repellant) which could handle the minor moisture I had inside. I didn't miss a double wall tent in the least. There was plenty of space to spread out for one person (normally, my wife and I share it). Great tent for those conditions.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
TT Rainbow on 06/20/2012 16:23:36 MDT Print View

What do you mean when you say that the TT Rainbow doesn't have a rainfly? Our Philmont Crew brought last summer a TT Double Rainbow along. It is a hybrid tent, so you don't have a double walled tent, where you can just take the rainfly and leave the inner nettent at home. May be that is what you mean.
The TT Double Rainbow certainly held up to the rain storms at Philmont last summer.


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Ultralight Tent options on 06/20/2012 16:28:22 MDT Print View

"but it has no rainfly ..."

I see this kind of description every so often and I think it has to do with the American idea that the tent is what the rest of the world calls an "inner" .
Single wall tents (or hybrids like the Rainbows) only have a rain fly, they lack the inner...
to illustrate , take a tent like this :
HH tent

remove the inner but attach a floor like this :

HH fly only
now put some mesh between the floor and the fly and you have a tarp tent...
I see Manfred covered that as I was typing...

Edited by Franco on 06/20/2012 16:30:39 MDT.

bill billy
(LeftyMtKiller) - F
Try Six Moons Design on 06/20/2012 19:00:32 MDT Print View

I haven't used it yet but I would look into the Skyscape Trekker by Six Moons Design.
It only weighs 24 oz. before tent stakes and it uses a trekking pole set up. It has tons of room when I set it up in my back yard and SilNet only costs $5 at REI. I will be using it this summer and it seems like it will work great. Oh yeah you also have to get your groundcloth from Home Depot. It was only $240 which is cheaper the Big Agnes.

Yes 1000
Spoke to Skymoon design person on 06/20/2012 20:50:05 MDT Print View

yes I was thinking about the Lunar Solo or Scout tent options, I'm wondering about the learning curve to master using and handling these thin materials, considering I am still a newbie with some day hikes and car camping experience.

Yes 1000
Rainfly on 06/20/2012 20:53:04 MDT Print View

thanks for the rain fly knowledge :) I thought they didn't come with extra rain fly like the traditional tents.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
SMD Skyscape Models on 06/20/2012 21:32:11 MDT Print View

Should also be considered. I tried the Scout model out (33oz.) to see how I liked it, and I love it. I am on the list for the Cuben fiber "X" model. I think, in your range, the Trekker model at 24 oz. (add 3.6 oz. for carbon fiber poles and 4.6 - I think - for aluminum if you don't use poles, I don't always). After trying and dismissing most tarp / single wall configurations for my uses, the Skyscape configuration left me with that '"where have you been all my life" feeling. I cannot recommend them enough. At under 34 oz. I lovey scout and will shell out the $450 for the cuben version once they are in stock. Happy huntIng.

EDIT: So easy. My first pitch was fast and stayed taught through 35+ MPH winds all night. This tent Also fully converts to netting as if it were a standard double-wall tent with the fly off. Also pitches taught with 5 stakes (3 uncovered if no moisture), never needing more.

Edited by bcutlerj on 06/20/2012 21:39:14 MDT.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Gossamer Gear The One on 06/21/2012 03:06:55 MDT Print View

complete with lines, seam sealing, GG ground sheet etc. weighs about 18 oz.

You didn't say tall you are, but I find it plenty roomy. At 5'-2'', I have almost 2 feet extra length overall.

Edited by veganaloha on 06/21/2012 03:08:50 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Rainfly on 06/21/2012 13:30:32 MDT Print View

Well, you are correct- they DON'T come with a separate extra rainfly. But you should think of a tarptent differently than other tents.

Instead, think of them as ONLY a rainfly, with a integrated floor/footprint attached to the lower edge of the rainfly with mesh to keep the bugs out.

What they LACK is a mesh inner tent. So if there is condensation on the inside of the "fly" it can drip directly onto you, whereas in a traditional double-walled tent it will drip onto the mesh inner and possibly not pass through to drip on you. Also, if you roll around in your sleeping bag in a normal tent you would just rub against the mesh inner tent, but in a tarptent you could potentially brush against the inside of the fly when it is wet with condensation.

This is why we obsess about condensation...