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Two wildly different solo shelter options... thoughts?
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Veronique Dault
(verndo) - MLife
Two wildly different solo shelter options... thoughts? on 05/16/2013 10:37:45 MDT Print View

ZPacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp + Wild Things eVent bivy with netting
Tarptent Moment DW

I own and love a Tarptent Scarp 2 w/ crossover poles. Major love with the product and great service from the brand. I call her Boulder and she rocked in high Patagonian winds.

I also own a Wild Things eVent bivy with netting. Specs: 1 lb 8 oz (0.68kg) or 1 lb 10 oz with netting, 76" long x 31" wide x 19" wide at feet. Easy peasy setup, worked fab around the Lake Superior area but comes with the cons of a bivy (no place to hang in the rain, no shelter for gear, etc.)... but I own it and SHOULD USE more since it was def expensive at the time ;). Currently also being used as an added warmer layer to my sleep system since my cheapest piece of gear is a synthetic Kelty Light Year 3D Mummy Style Sleeping Bag, 30F rating.

So, as a solo option should I opt for the Zpacks tarp (3.5oz + 6/8 stakes) + bivy 26oz combo... Regardless of terrain, I'd always have the bivy safety

Or the Tarptent Moment DW (34oz + 2/4 stakes). Easy peasy setup, vestibules, etc.

Or stick it out with just the bivy and get a better sleeping bag dammit!


Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Two wildly different solo shelter options... thoughts?" on 05/16/2013 11:38:44 MDT Print View

It really depends on your priorities. For me, of those three options, it would be the Moment DW hands down. The area I'm in is prone to having weather, and if I'm going to be trapped inside my shelter I'd like to have a little space. I also would want some protection from bugs.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
Re: Two wildly different solo shelter options... thoughts? on 05/16/2013 11:49:12 MDT Print View

I would vote for putting your money into a lighter and warmer sleeping bag. Using a 26 oz bivy to add insulation doesn't sound very efficient.

Get a cheap tarp to play around with (or MYOG) to see if you like the tarp-bivy combo enough to do it all the time. If yes, you can upgrade the tarp eventually if you feel the need. If no, you can sell the bivy to fund buying the tent of your dreams.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Two wildly different solo shelter options... thoughts? on 05/16/2013 11:55:19 MDT Print View

Tough one. The bivy tarp combo gives you more flexibility but the Moment DW gives you 'all in one' ease of use.

Regarding the bivy - no sleeping bag will protect you from heat loss through convection in an effective manner. This is where the bivy comes in. An eVent bivy will block any wind and add about 7C to your sleep system without any fear of heat loss.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
psychology? on 05/16/2013 12:12:31 MDT Print View

". . . worked fab around the Lake Superior area but comes with the cons of a bivy (no place to hang in the rain, no shelter for gear, etc.)... but I own it and SHOULD USE more since it was def expensive at the time. . . "

Seems like you've got mental issue that's got you wanting to make use of the bivy even though it doesn't really fit with way you want to camp. If so, you could just buy a Hexamid with netting floor and end up way happier, or staying with HM tarp-only just add an SMD Serenity Nettent (or Bearpawwd or . . .) for $120 and it will add less than 10 ounces to total rather than the 26 ounces of the bivy.

I still have an old pre-2000 laptop computer that I paid a pretty penny for, most expensive computer I own. I don't let that guilt me into using it, which is now a dreadful experience. Only reason I don't sell it is I wouldn't wish it on anyone; and nonprofits don't want it even if I try to give it away.

I figure someone who's actually into bivies would be willing to pay a fair sum for yours. No?

Edited by hes on 05/16/2013 12:13:24 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: psychology? on 05/16/2013 12:18:51 MDT Print View

I would get the tent, personally. A .34oz/yd cuben HM and a 1.5lb oz bivy seem mismatched.

Veronique Dault
(verndo) - MLife
Re. Psychology on 05/16/2013 12:37:22 MDT Print View

It stings to know you bought something that you aren't using to its full potential. It's like I want to repurpose it somehow but the newer things seem so much better suited to my style.

I still think the bivy is super cool and badass... when the weather plays nice, as a backup emergency shelter, when the ground is no good for proper staking, in high winds, if and when I rock climb since it has a tie up thingie built in so I can sleep on a rock wall somewhere...

BUT, if I am going to go on a 10+ day hike (or a short local trip which means maniacally possessed mosquitoes and deer/horse/fat biting flies) and I usually unwind after a long day by reading a book... the UL luxury of a tent seems like a worthwhile addition.

The tarp looks wicked cool and fun (like a cool gadget to familiarize myself with) but kind of like the wicked cool bivy. It's like the hardcore version, drinking your scotch neat and your espresso (never from Starbucks) black. But 6-8 stakes, being mindful of the wind, side-rain, bugs, ...

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re. Psychology on 05/16/2013 13:34:21 MDT Print View

I get that feeling. I have an awesome quilt that's slightly too narrow and I kept trying to make it work long after it was clear it wasn't going to. I think assessing how you actually use your gear is the key.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
TT Moment DW vs. Tarptent Notch on 05/16/2013 13:42:56 MDT Print View

If you carry two hiking poles anyway the TT Notch could also be great choice. They're very similar tents. The Notch is 8 ounces lighter and I think slightly easier to setup (no need to thread long hoop through sleeve). If the ability to do freestanding setup is important then Moment DW does that, Notch no. The Notch's inner is also a touch smaller (slightly less width) than the Moment DW's. Otherwise main difference is just that the Moment DW has hoop pole where Notch uses two trekking poles.

Fred Eoff
(fredeoff) - F

Locale: Northwest
Re: Moment vs Notch on 05/16/2013 14:20:28 MDT Print View

+1 for the Notch suggestion. But the Moment and Notch are both great tents(I own one of each!).

Veronique Dault
(verndo) - MLife
Notch vs. Moment DW on 05/16/2013 14:24:02 MDT Print View

I really like both. I love the potential views from the Notch. I own trekking poles but I've never used them!? Most of my trips are a combo of backpacking and outdoor stuff so I always leave the trekking poles behind... too much of a hassle on trains, buses, planes, and such.

Plus, I recently purchased an alpacka raft and I bike so the moment seems more adaptable for those situations.

But the Notch looks top Notch and would save weight when hiking...

Oh if I could buy it all and store it all somewhere...

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Tarp Tent or Borah Gear Bivy Tarp Combo Try-Out on 05/16/2013 14:52:20 MDT Print View

You definitely don't need/want to combine the eVent bivy and cuben tarp. It's a one or the other thing I'm afraid. For you, I think the TarpTent is the best answer to your dilemma, and the notch the better tarp tent (for weight, shelter from elements, and 360 views free of bugs in the warmer/wetter climes. Light, full protection in any environment, and room to move around if you have to hole up. That said, if you're looking to try something less traditional ... you're not without options.

I'd pick up a lightweight bivy - probably $50 used / $80 new (Check out AND a small tarp. You can get both for around $150 I would think. You may find it's all that you need. You may find you like a simple tarp and bivy, or you may find that you want bug protection and a floor. In any case, it's an inexpensive way to learn what you need. As to the 26 oz. bivy, I'd leave that for winter camping where you have a snow trench or cave to slide into. It seems like overkill for fair weather and confining for foul. If you like the cheap tarp and light bivy combination, upgrade to cuben fiber from Zpacks or any other maker.

Another option that I would consider is no bivy and a shaped tarp and groundsheet. An Oware pyramid or MLD trailstar might be just the ticket for you full coverage/protection, and an opportunity to hang out in rain with company if need be.

Edited by bcutlerj on 05/16/2013 14:56:10 MDT.