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Three Person Shelter Question: Golite SL3 or TT Rainshadow 2? Others?
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TJ Mullen
(TJny699) - F
Three Person Shelter Question: Golite SL3 or TT Rainshadow 2? Others? on 03/11/2013 12:52:38 MDT Print View


I'm trying to decide on a 3P shelter and am leaning toward either a Golite Shangri-La 3 or a TT Rainshadow 2. Not married to either of these, but would need something of comparable size, in the same price range, and of course the lighter the better.

My trips will mostly be in New England--White Mountains in New Hampshire, Baxter SP in Maine, etc--with occasional trips to the Sierra's, Utah, and Colorado. I've heard that the SL3 can serve as a winter shelter while the Rainshadow can't--is this true? Is the extra weight of the SL3 justified for some other reason? Would love to get some general comparisons from people that have used either or both of these tents.


Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Three Person Shelter Question: Golite SL3 or TT Rainshadow 2? Others? on 03/11/2013 13:00:05 MDT Print View

I wouldn't want to put 3 in the Shangri-la 3, two fits fine, but 3 is really pushing it. The Shangri-la 5 would be much better for 3.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
TT rainshadow on 03/11/2013 14:42:11 MDT Print View

I own 2 of the Rainshadow and love them, however it won't handle true winter weather in my opinion. Great 3+ season and will handle some wind load.
It's pretty nice for 3 with some room for gear in and under beak.

With 8 MSR Y stakes it weights 46 .4 ounces.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Re: 3 person shelter on 03/11/2013 16:10:48 MDT Print View

I had a RS2, which I liked a lot, but switched to an SL3 to go floorless. I agree that 3 would be really tight in the SL3. And it's pretty heavy if you take the nest which I never do. If you want a fully enclosed shelter for 3 that can be used in the winter, I'd look at the Tarptent Cloudburst 3. Fairly light for 3 and optional center pole for snow loading. And an optional solid liner. Carry what you need based on the season.

Tim Anderson
( - F
I have a TT Rainshadow on 03/11/2013 18:10:49 MDT Print View

I have owned a Tarptent Rainshadow for 3 years and it is my go to tent for bike touring with my 2 sons. It is a sufficient in all but the worst gusty winds. The highpoint is the weight, it is right around a kilo (sorry don't have a scale).
TT has also just come out with a new 3 person, which looks promising (much more head room)

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: 3 person shelter on 03/11/2013 18:12:55 MDT Print View

I had an RS2 but found it to small for 3 six foot tall 200lb guys. 3 smaller people would work well. It was just a bit to small to keep off the sides of the tent.

TJ Mullen
(TJny699) - F
Re: Re: Re: 3 person shelter on 03/12/2013 10:07:06 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of your input.

The Cloudburst 3 sounds like an intriguing option--at a glance it seems to top the SL3 in almost all I missing something?

A few more quick ones for TT users: can the Cloudburst be used without the floor/mesh screens? Anyone had condensation issues?


Tim Anderson
( - F
condensation in single wall tents on 03/12/2013 10:16:02 MDT Print View

In response to your 2 questions :
- it think the cloudburst has attached mesh and floor. You can ask Henry to leave them out and use your own ponchos or ground cloth.
- as far as condensation is concerned, you will almost always have it in a single wall Si tent, but it's not very high on my priority list. If I camp near a river, I'll have to wipe out the inside with a little sponge in the morning (3 minutes), that's probably the only difference with a double wall.

TJ Mullen
(TJny699) - F
Re: condensation in single wall tents on 03/12/2013 10:45:11 MDT Print View

Thanks, Tim. Good to hear that there aren't any abnormal condensation problems.

Probably not totally fair to compare a pyramid style shelter like the SL3/5 to a free-standing like the TT, but I'm just wondering about the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two shelters. The SL3 seems to be fairly popular, so I was hoping to get some firsthand opinions.

Jan S
Re: Re: Re: Re: 3 person shelter on 03/12/2013 10:50:06 MDT Print View

As already said ask Henry about the floor. Looks pretty fixed to me though.

I wouldn't expect condensation to be much of an issue. If you don't close down the tent completely there should be enough vents to prevent most of it. And I've had good experience with well designed vents at the top of the vestibules in the past.

Apparently there will be a liner for it though, so you can always convert it to an (almost) double wall tent if you know you are going to very humid areas.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
TT vs SL3 on 03/12/2013 22:39:28 MDT Print View

The SL3 is an awesome shelter but IMHO for 2, not 3. I like some extra room and originally went with a RS2 for me and my dog and for possible use with 3 people occasionally. It was great and I highly recommend it, but the SL3 works a little better for me. It's heavier as a complete shelter but has the flexibility to just take the fly, which a lot of people do. Where I live, bugs are pretty manageable with good camp site selection. So I never take the nest or the really heavy pole. I use a 1.5oz pole extender with a trekking pole. And I use a 1 person sized piece of Tyvek for a ground cloth. With the fly, the extender, ground cloth, stuff sack, and stakes, the whole thing is just over 31 oz. That's pretty light for a sizeable shelter if you don't need the bug protection. I have a thick coated dog that stays as wet as he possibly can. No floor means no no messy, muddy, dog hair covered floor. That's a big plus for me. It's really just a shaped tarp without the nest but a very nice shape. I have a bad back and bad knees (hopefully only one as I'm recovering from a partial knee replacement) and a light chair is not a luxury item for me. With the SL3, I can easily sit in my Slinglight inside (see my avatar pic). Very nice to sit and read during a rainy night rather than laying down for 3 or 4 hours before sleeping. I always hated that.

I'll admit that what I value in a shelter is probably a lot different than most people, but since you asked, that's why I like the SL3 so much. But my youngest is starting to want to come along and if she does, I'll regret having sold the RS2. The CB3 looks like it might be just the ticket for those trips. If I can keep the dog dry.