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SMD lunar duo for my hippy dad??
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Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
SMD lunar duo for my hippy dad?? on 03/05/2013 20:39:15 MST Print View

I'm looking for a true 2-man tent/tarp for my dad (65, VERY arthritic hippy who may have trouble finding his shelter at night...especially if he's actually consumed the mushrooms he found on the trail....)

When he hikes with me (which, thanks to going lighter, he's been able to do for the first time in 20 years!) it's mostly during really buggy seasons (Mosquitos, biting flies, ticks...). He not the limberest of guys, and actually couldn't even get in my hexamid to see the inside.

So I'm looking for something easy to get in/out of, easy to pitch, and I can use it as a back up shelter myself or as a real 2-person space if I need one.

Looking around I'm intrigued by the SMD lunar duo, but I haven't seen much mentioned about it in the past year or two. Does no one like this one anymore? Is there something better I should be looking at?

It can't take up too much space because he usually fills his pack with a lot of rocks. So packing small is important!! I don't want to have to carry his stuff.....

Edited by Jenmitol on 03/05/2013 20:40:08 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: SMD lunar duo for my hippy dad?? on 03/05/2013 20:50:30 MST Print View

I don't understand why it needs to be a 2-person shelter. A large one-person just wouldn't work (I'm thinking of a Lightheart Gear Solo, perhaps even a Solo Plus)?

And have you considered hammocks? Doesn't have to bend way over to get in, many folks who use them will tell you it's the most comfortable sleep they get in the backcountry, and is easy on pressure points. Just a thought.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Mids on 03/05/2013 20:50:41 MST Print View

A taller mid with a tall zipper might help a lot for getting in. And if you get a yellow MLD one it should be easier to find. A duomid might work well to get in and have lots of space

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Tarptent on 03/05/2013 20:53:59 MST Print View

What about the Squall II?

I liked it when we had it.

Or if you REALLY want room, the CB3. Also looks really easy to get in and out of. If it doesn't work out, you can sell it on Gear me......

Whatever you do, make sure to replace any guylines with something reflective, like Kelty Triptease.

Edited by T.L. on 03/05/2013 20:57:36 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Needs to be a 2 on 03/05/2013 20:58:40 MST Print View

Because my dad insists that at some point he can convince my mother to join him on an outing. She used to camp quite a bit, but hasn't in a looooong time. But my dad is so excited about getting back out there he's trying really hard to get her to join him.

Plus I was thinking something more enclosed or mild snow worthy than my cuben hexamid (net floor) so that my dog and I (and possibly a gentleman friend...) might use it as well. Multiple functions, right?? This way ill have a bit of flexibility with shelters...right now all I have is the hexamid.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Needs to be a 2 on 03/05/2013 21:02:03 MST Print View

Double Rainbow? Openings on both sides makes it easy for two to get in and out of.

Nick VanBurkleo
(EnvyBee) - F - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Hammocks on 03/05/2013 21:02:30 MST Print View

A good hammock setup seems like the smartest solution to me. I can't imagine that severe arthritis and sleeping on the ground would increase his enjoyment of the outdoors.

Lightweight two-person hammocks do exist and can be quite comfy.

Edited by EnvyBee on 03/05/2013 21:04:22 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
SMD lunar duo for my hippy dad?? on 03/05/2013 21:20:26 MST Print View

Highly biased opinion but I would think that the Strato Spire 2 has to be one of the easiest tents to get in and out particularly in rainy weather.

The poles should be set at 50/52" so the inner is around 45-47" high at the top of the zip.( I can measure if you like...)
16" x 4" packed,40 oz.(plus trekking poles)
If not using trekking poles than the new CB3 could be even easier but will take more room in the pack.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Stratospire on 03/05/2013 21:24:58 MST Print View

Oooo I forgot about that one. That does look awfully easy to get into and out of. He was using my old big Agnes fly creek 2 person but had a heck of a time getting out. Sold that one and need to find something better. He actually might like the hammock idea, but that doesn't help ME with a nice two-person-1-dog shelter option.

And it's always about me.

How easy is the SS2 to set up? Is the net separate?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
SMD lunar duo for my hippy dad?? on 03/05/2013 22:01:13 MST Print View

how easy ?
For me very, but all tents are...
Here is how I do it:
that really is my second set up and the first time I did it "my way"
i did that to show Henry how I was setting it up in my head and then never bothered to try a smoother or faster attempt.

yes it is a genuine double wall ,integral pitch. You can set up the inner by itself and you can also get a fabric inner too.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
2 + dog on 03/05/2013 22:52:36 MST Print View

I love, love, love my Stratospire 2, but I don't think I could convince my parents, 70 and 68, to stoop down to look inside let alone attempt to get in and out. Given your dual use thoughts, I'd second the idea of a 'mid. But I'd upsize to a shelter that your folks could almost stand up in. Have you considered the MLD Supermid with the perimeter bug net, or the GoLite Shangri-La 5?

Edited by lotuseater on 03/05/2013 23:12:57 MST.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Lunar Duo on 03/06/2013 07:18:16 MST Print View

I really like my Lunar Duo, I use it when hiking with my daughter or son. It easily fits the 2 of us, gear and a 85 lb German Shepherd, so it's a palace inside compared to some. You still need to squat down to get in and out, but I have REALLY bad knees with a limited range of motion and it's easy for me.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
SL5 on 03/06/2013 08:05:21 MST Print View

The GoLite Shangri La 5 is a little heavier, but the entrance is very tall and there would be plenty of room for your mom to join him. You could fit 5-6 people in it sitting up very easy if need be. The top vents would be very beneficial if he turned it into a "smokehouse". Comes in Yellow also so it should be easy to find.


Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
SMD Lunar Duo for my hippy dad on 03/06/2013 08:11:24 MST Print View

I have both the SMD Lunar Duo and the TT Double Rainbow also mentioned... SMD LD is a palace for 2 people and you can actually both sit up inside of it at the same time.... can't do that in the TT DR conveniently. Problem with the TT DR is the slope of the side walls reduces the interior space where as the side walls on the SMD LD don't slope until they are over the vestibule area.
LOVE my TT Rainbow as a solo shelter, TT DR would be a palace for 1, but use the SMD LD as my 2 person. My 14yo daughter and I spent 2 weeks in it this past summer... plenty of room.
Not sure how limited your hippy dad is in mobility, but entering and exiting would be similar to any other 'low' tent - door height is less than 45',probably 42-43" usable height, but drastically more than the 26" entry on the Hexamid. I'd mock up an entry way for him to attempt to crawl into... both the SMD LD and the TT DR have about the same opening size 45x45 right angle with about a 2" lip at the bottom (TT DR is 43hx44l).

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
MontBell ThunderDome on 03/06/2013 08:19:28 MST Print View


It's not ultralight, but the MontBell ThunderDome 2 meets all your other criteria. I reviewed this tent for, see for a detailed review. The quick and dirty - exceptionally easy to use, really fits two people plus a dog, very versatile. Especially nice in the summer in fine weather.

A Scarp 2 might work as well.

Cheers, Richard

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Smokehouse on 03/06/2013 08:29:01 MST Print View

"The GoLite Shangri La 5 is a little heavier, but the entrance is very tall and there would be plenty of room for your mom to join him. You could fit 5-6 people in it sitting up very easy if need be. The top vents would be very beneficial if he turned it into a "smokehouse".

LOL....she said he liked 'shrooms but nothing about herb :)

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Shrooms AND the herb!! on 03/06/2013 10:02:20 MST Print View

It's just that with the herb he has no trouble finding his way; last year he was showing us how to identify the "special" kind of mushrooms on the trail, and he apparently helped himself at some point. He thought we were sitting on a patio and the downed tree at the edge of our camp was a road.

But back to the tents, you guys have certainly given me lots to think about - as always.

I wonder how he'd like a mid...we need to play around a bit, I think. He COULD get out of the fly creek, i think he mostly had a hard time maneuvering around in the front loading tent. Thats one reason why i was thinking the side entry might be better. Heck, I was even thinking of using this as an opportunity to get one of those awesome hilleberg tents, but not sure I can REALLY justify that.

How do you guys feel about the lightheart gear tents? Don't hear much about them, either.

So I'm thinking:
TT double rainbow
Lightheart Gear duo
MLD duomid
Still like the idea of all the space of the lunar duo
TT stratospire 2 (that does look nice...)
I'll check out the montbell...hadn't heard of that one

What am I missing?? What should I discard??

Edited by Jenmitol on 03/06/2013 10:05:50 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Shrooms AND the herb!! on 03/06/2013 10:23:14 MST Print View

I love my Lightheart Gear Solo, and have been waiting for a Duo in cuben which Judy has said she's considering making this year. I'm always surprised it doesn't get more attention - it's a very well made shelter with great ventilation, great views, fairly easy to set up. My favorite shelter.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Shrooms AND the herb!! on 03/06/2013 10:25:42 MST Print View

Based on our experience with the Lightheart gear duo, I'm a little worried that your dad might end up knocking the inner poles down. That happened with my BF, who was not on shrooms nor herb, nor stiff with arthritis, just being his own sleepy self, so your dad might have even more problems. It's not a tent for the spatially impaired to get in and out of as easily, due to the poles not being firmly held in place. A lovely tent otherwise (sigh).

I was thinking something like the smaller Oware pyramid (or an MLD Supermid) might be easiest for him, having a nice tall door:
It does have a single center pole, but I think those would be easier to avoid than one next to the entrance.

The duomid is nice, but a little tighter to maneuver in than a larger pyramid, and the door is probably lower than the full pyramid above.

I think the Lunar Duo might be very nice. Poles are outside, so that would eliminate that hazard, and I think the poles are anchored at the bottom so harder to knock out of the way. Double Rainbow would also be good, maybe even better since there is NO pole at the entrance.

If you don't mind slightly higher weight, the Double Rainbow/Lunar Duo might be the most hassle-free for him. Otherwise I'd recommend the full size pyramid, I think.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: SMD lunar duo for my hippy dad?? on 03/06/2013 20:33:21 MST Print View

I hope no one is making fun of 60-something year old hippies.

Mids are good for us folks in the demographic group. Bugs really don't bug us.

Now if you really think Mom is going to go, then get a mid without a center pole, something that sets-up with a "V" in the front. We might be old, but we ain't dead and that pole in the middle gets in the way.

scree ride
hiking hippie hut on 03/07/2013 09:58:29 MST Print View

I think I may know your dad.
I just ordered the Lunar Duo. Almost went with the Stratosphere, but the Duo looked like I could use a couple fewer stakes. A little simpler tent I thought. The SS was more of a 4 season tent. Both Ron and Henry promptly answered any questions I had. It was a hard decision. Both good deals as far as the market goes, yet a lot of money to me. Unfortunately I could only get one. The LD just seemed to fit me better and was a couple bucks cheaper to boot. Besides "Six Moons", wasn't that going to be your birth name? how hippie can you get?
You have to have room for the wife, even if she never goes. If you have to ask why, either you've never been married, or you're divorced.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Actually I wonder sometimes if some of you might BE my dad... on 03/07/2013 18:20:23 MST Print View

I sent him some of my favorites from the list (particularly the supermid, lunar duo, LHG duo, trailstar - cause i want that one - and the statospire 2). Now I think he wants to make one.

Of course, he also thinks he can do his own appendectomy in his workshop, so perhaps I'm not surprised.

I've sent him the thread about what happens if you try to sew a cuben tarp without knowing what you're doing; hopefully no good cuben will be harmed.....

Lance Stalnaker
Lunar Duo on 03/07/2013 22:05:28 MST Print View

I have the Duo and had the solo. The Duo has a lot of space for the weight. I have seen the TT DR and the Duo has quite a bit more usable space and feels quite a bit bigger. It also has a simple design and is easy to pitch. I use it when my wife is along, although, I think she is ready to switch to Hammocks. I started using a hammock after a pretty bad lower back injury, it is the most comfortable I have ever slept in the back country. If your dad is willing, he should give a hammock a try, he could just find a local hammock hang and try a few out to see if he likes it. when you have bad knees, back, arthritis, etc, a hammock can make a difference.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
I think I'm going with the stratospire 2 on 03/08/2013 21:31:43 MST Print View

First of all, now I see why so many of you have so many shelters. How does one decide??!! I get out quite a bit for short weekend jaunts, but boy can I not justify having all the shelters I want to buy!!

Anyway...I am soooo leaning towards the stratospire 2...seems like a great space, lots of flexibility, I can use it for a mild winter shelter as well, and not too heavy.

Now I just have to talk my dad out of why he needs a free standing tent. He just can't get out of 1973 when it comes to camping gear. You should have seen the trouble I went through to get him to toss the dry rotted, rusted be-buckled external frame behemoth he used during all his trips through boundary waters, MN. In 1970.

I really need to get him active in this forum...he's so excited about his svea 123 and his plastic green army he wants to make a canvas pup tent. He gets very excited about making alky stoves, too. He'd fit right in with a lot of you :)