Forum Index » GEAR » Solo Shelters


Display Avatars Sort By:
Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Solo Shelters on 06/08/2013 14:04:13 MDT Print View

OK folks I'm looking for something specific in the area of a new shelter. I need it fully enclosed to mitigate the bugs in western US (specifically Ca and Oregon). So far I have looked at the Zpacks Hexamid Solo and the SMD Skyscape-X. The BPWD Lair has also caught my eye as a possible shelter alternative along with some of the lighter Tarps on the market and their bug bivy.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
CG

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: Solo Shelters on 06/08/2013 14:11:28 MDT Print View

Have you looked at any of the Tarptent models yet?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Solo Shelters on 06/08/2013 14:13:00 MDT Print View

" need it fully enclosed to mitigate the bugs in western US (specifically Ca and Oregon)."

OK that's one specific requirement. Many fit that.

Do you use poles?

Are you very tall?

Do you prefer side or end entry?

Will you pay the premium for cuben fiber?

Do you have a weight limit in mind?

etc...


Edit: Looked at= narrowed down, gotcha.

Edited by kthompson on 06/08/2013 16:18:38 MDT.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Solo Shelters on 06/08/2013 14:55:19 MDT Print View

@ Tim yes I have the Squall 2 for when my wife and I go together and its great but i'm hoping for something sub 17 oz for a solo shelter.

@ Ken No I don't use poles (wiling to buy a carbon fiber pole to minimize weight), I'm 5'9", either entry point is fine but side is easier in and out. However I have used a bivy for years and have gotten pretty good at it. Yes I'm willing to pay for Cuben. Yes I want something sub 17 oz hence the reason I narrowed it down to the above options.

If I can't get a enclosed tent that meets these options then I may go with a really light tarp and a bugy bivy. Not ideal but that may be what I'm left with. In that case i would like to go sub 10 oz.

I've been looking at the Hexamid quite a bit and found that you can get the bottom netting cutout and the ground sheet sewn in to minimize weight. This seems like a great option for me.

Thanks
CG

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
lair on 06/08/2013 16:03:08 MDT Print View

It's only 16 ounces with bathtub floor.

not working will post later, but it's a good value for the money.

Edited by M.L on 06/08/2013 16:05:41 MDT.

Jason Cravens
(packpack) - M

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
SMD Trekker on 06/08/2013 17:10:02 MDT Print View

I use a SMD Trekker and love it. Mine weighs just a little under 24 oz. If you can swing the SMD skyscape X, I would recommend their design. Good luck!


J

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Solo Shelter on 06/08/2013 17:11:39 MDT Print View

I'd give some serious thought to a MLD DuoMid + inner net tent. With a cuben mid, you're at about 20-22oz for the pair which is a bit heavier than your goal but you get these advantages:

1) Fast, simple setup with just 4 stakes (super nice when the weather is poor)
2) Double wall protection from condensation
3) A lot more space and vestibule area
4) Outside of bug season you can leave the net tent behind and go out at 15oz fall, winter & spring.

Or get perimeter netting sewn on if you want to go lighter in the summer and heavier the rest of the year.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Solo Shelters on 06/08/2013 17:25:34 MDT Print View

"Any thoughts?"

The Skyscape X has worked well for me in the Sierra for 3 season trips. Its major drawback, IME/O, is lack of a zippered entry/exit on the right side. Not only does it render the right side vestibule more or less useless, but it is a royal PITA to get in and out of a right zip bag to pee at night. It bothered me enough to take it to Rainy Pass Repair up here and have the zipper added. I asked Ron at SMD about it and he wouldn't do the mod for me, nor does he have plans to make it part of the production model. Too bad, as it would make the Skyscape X a great tent instead of merely a very good one.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Solo Shelter on 06/08/2013 18:49:09 MDT Print View

Thanks Jason and Tom for the insight on the Skyscape products.

Ken,
Why the Duomid and not the Solomid at only 11 oz + 6.5 oz for the pair plus stakes, poles, foot print and lines. It looks as though these units require 2 poles though so that is an additional expense and weight vs. The Hexamid with everything comes in around 17-18 oz WITH a single carbon fiber pole. I'm trying to balance the weight vs. cost. I don't mind spending the money to satisfy my obsession of getting my weight down but i want to make a smart buy.

Michael,
Please tell me more about the lair......

Do any of you know if there is a new line of products coming out from any of our favorite cottage suppliers that i might be best off waiting for? I currently have equipment to get me by for this season if needed.

CG

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Mids on 06/08/2013 19:42:53 MDT Print View

"Why the Duomid and not the Solomid..."

With the Solomid, the sleeper occupies all of the floor area so an inverted V setup is required. With the DuoMid you sleep in the back half of the pyramid, so you can use a single center pole to support the mid (you can slightly offset it to make entry into the inner solo nettent easier). Additional benefits of the DuoMid are that your sleeping area is protected from rain fall when you open the door, and you gain a large vestibule area. The DuoMid is cramped for two, but it's an excellent solo shelter, particularly in sloppy conditions when you need a little space. It's a lot of benefit for 3oz and there's nearly no weight penalty if you'd have to carry two poles to setup the solomid.

My DuoMid is a prototype with a few less features and it weighs 11.6oz. It's such a great haven. Simple, spacious, light and strong.

Edited by dandydan on 06/08/2013 19:43:38 MDT.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Solo Shelter on 06/08/2013 20:58:59 MDT Print View

So I see a combo that intrigues me....

Suluk 46 Bug Bivy 3.1 oz or a BPWD Minimalist 1 Bivy 7.5 oz
Hexamid Pocket tarp 3.1 oz (10.4 with everything)for a total of 13.5 or 17.9 oz....

Although this is not a fully enclosed tent it is a pretty decent alternative.

I know I'm probably going down a rat hole looking at the tarp combos but in order to make a good decision i think i need to look at the possibility.

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Shelters on 06/09/2013 13:45:16 MDT Print View

I'm in the same boat as Christopher Gilmore. Just having a ton of trouble figuring out what I want to buy, though I better do it quickly since I sold my 1-man tent. One moment I'm convinced the Solomid is the way to go, next minute Duomid, next minute Hexamid. Then I'm staring at Bear Paw Wilderness Designs stuff. Today I'm in a Hexamid phase, especially since the Skyscape X is not available, but can't decide whether to use the netting or not.

Anyone here wish they didn't get the Hexamid with netting? Or, is everyone with a Hexamid generally happy with the netting? How's the perimeter netting--does it work--when it comes to the Solomid?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Shelters on 06/09/2013 14:14:11 MDT Print View

Its worth checking out the Tarp Tent Notch and Stratosphire, I have used the Stratosphire for the last 18 months and
really like the space, I find it has far more headroom than the Duomid.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Solo Shelters on 06/09/2013 14:50:53 MDT Print View

Stephen,
Aren't those both rather heavy shelters compared to the ones listed?

CG

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Solo Shelters on 06/09/2013 14:56:29 MDT Print View

To me they are lightweight, but then again are they are not cuben.

josh jordan
(jjchgo) - F
BPWD Lair on 06/09/2013 15:06:47 MDT Print View

i have the bpwd lair and absolutely love it. the price was right, the weight was right, set up is easy enough. it was really an easy choice for me. if you have any specific question feel free to ask and i will do my best to answer them.

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Bear Paw Lair on 06/09/2013 15:45:38 MDT Print View

Did you get any options with your Lair, like netting? What does it weigh with options, assuming you got some? And how's its construction? It's cheaper than the Hexamid so it is enticing.

robert v
(mtnbob123) - F

Locale: Upstate South Carolina
+1 Lightheartgear Tents on 06/09/2013 15:48:19 MDT Print View

Check out Lightheartgear.com

They have excellent large one person tents!! I have used several and have never been disappointed.

josh jordan
(jjchgo) - F
Re: Bear Paw Lair on 06/09/2013 15:57:51 MDT Print View

i got it with the side netting but still floorless. the construction is flawless. i have all my weights on my work computer. i will get the weight for you tomorrow.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Presence
Re: Solo Shelters on 06/09/2013 16:19:09 MDT Print View

Well, while it isn't exactly "fully enclosed", I thought I'd post a link to my shelter since perimeter netting and Hexamids were mentioned. Here's my modified Hex with zippered door and perimeter netting: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=62945&skip_to_post=567295#567295 Perhaps it'll give someone an idea....

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Shelter on 06/09/2013 16:54:02 MDT Print View

Rusty, That's pretty cool looking. Did it work in terms of increasing the storm and bug worthiness?

Edited by KC on 06/09/2013 16:54:54 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
lair on 06/09/2013 16:55:12 MDT Print View

Ask bpwd about it, it's a great shelter because it only takes 1 pole and I'd surprisingly roomy, if I had to I could fit two people in mine I'd there was a rainstorm. It's bigger than the hexamid solo.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
GG The One on 06/09/2013 17:15:20 MDT Print View

I'm very happy with my Gossamer Gear The One. Unfortunately they are taking their time in getting the redesign back to market.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Presence
Re: Shelter on 06/09/2013 17:42:48 MDT Print View

Christopher,

Thanks. I've used it a number of times since those mods but in seasons that bugs were not bad. I've only been rained on twice too....both short rains. Obviously, it's going to be heads and shoulders above the stock Hexamid when there's wind involved.

That said, there's nothing about it that leads me to believe that it won't work great in prolonged showers....or where the flying bugs are bad...at least in the environments I'm in (Rocky Mountain region). If the crawling bugs were unusually bad, I could see wanting more than a perimeter skirt. I just don't see a lot of those bugs that are bothersome where I go.

For my needs/wants, it's damned near perfect.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Solo Shelters on 06/09/2013 22:55:49 MDT Print View

Josh,
Can you throw up some pics of your Lair?

CG

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Lair on 06/09/2013 23:03:51 MDT Print View

Same question as Christopher--can you throw up some pics of the Lair?

Many thanks.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
lair on 06/10/2013 01:16:08 MDT Print View

[IMG]http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk73/lipuid/20130530_065614.jpg[/IMG]hhb

Edited by M.L on 06/10/2013 01:22:59 MDT.

josh jordan
(jjchgo) - F
Lair on 06/10/2013 05:18:52 MDT Print View

http://i400.photobucket.com/albums/pp83/jjchgo/lair1.jpg

http://i400.photobucket.com/albums/pp83/jjchgo/lair.jpg

hope this works. this was my first time setting it up so please forgive the not so perfect pitch but still not bad for the first time.

sorry but i clearly have no idea how to post pics...lol

btw weight is 20.4 oz w/ tarp, stakes, lines and stuff sack. btw I do not remember what stakes i'm using but i'm sure their our lighter options out there.

Edited by jjchgo on 06/10/2013 08:52:56 MDT.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
SMD Gatewood Cape. on 06/10/2013 06:52:52 MDT Print View

SMD Gatewood Cape and inner serenity net tent.
Even if you don't want to use it for multi-purpose as raingear.

It's a true double-wall shelter that's 19 ounces total. This not only prevents bugs from getting in, but double-wall also prevents most/all condensation from getting on you, which is the problem with most of the single-wall shelters which are usually mentioned.

It has excellent coverage on all sides, and has a zippered door that can tie back.
The floor is a real floor that can keep water out, which is not the case with any tents using mesh as a floor.

The inner net tent can be left home if you are going out when you don't need it, so you don't have to carry it in situations where the outer tarp alone would suffice. Conversely, if you have a clear night and want to star-gaze, you can just set up the inner net tent if you want to.

And even though it is commonly thought around here that it isn't good to have the poncho be your shelter too, I disagree, and it can be very effectively used in a dual role, which is one of the central aims of SUL backpacking.

When you consider all these points, including the weight for what it can do, and the price, you will have a very hard time finding anything else that can really compete with it. To compete, it would have to be a cuben fiber set-up with separate rain gear that would cost much more money, and even then it would have very little or no weight advantage over the GC.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Gatewood Cape in Cuben on 06/10/2013 08:27:11 MDT Print View

On the Six Moon Designs website Ron suggests that they're looking at "doing the Gatewood Cape in Cuben."

By itself the Silnylon GC isn't that heavy (mine is 13.23 ounces with six stakes and guylines) but I'm guessing that doing it in Cuben will cut the weight almost in half.

Herbert Sitz
(hes)

Locale: Pacific NW
Gatewood/Serenity not 19 ounces on 06/10/2013 08:59:42 MDT Print View

"It's a true double-wall shelter that's 19 ounces total."

No, it's not 19 ounces total. I ordered a Gatewood Cape and Serenity nettent a few months ago expecting around 19 ounces for the pair. Instead the pair was 22.3 ounces, plus you need to add six stakes to that. The "Serenity 8 ounce Nettent" came in at 9.9 ounces. The Gatewood "11 ounce shelter" came in at 12.3. I emailed Ron Moak and response was that published weights are set when product is first released (i.e., years ago for Gatewood and Serenity) and that it's "not possible" to update published weights later when materials and/or production runs change. (The issue with Serenity was changed materials, similar to what was discussed in thread last year for Haven nettent, which also weighs several ounces over published weight.)

So while Gatewood/Serenity might be nice combination, it's not a 19 ounce combination. At least not currently. I assume you can contact SMD directly to find current shipping weights, but that's a step that shouldn't be required, IMO.

Edited by hes on 06/10/2013 09:04:01 MDT.

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Shelters on 06/10/2013 09:12:58 MDT Print View

Michael and Josh, thanks for the pics, though I had trouble with the links provided (probably my network).

I guess I'll hold off on the Gatewood Cape given the weight. I'd rather go up a couple ounces and get something fully enclosed.

I'm surprised by the 20 oz weight of the Lair. I figured it would be less given the listed weight of the tarp itself on the website. That's with inner net too I guess or in Silnylon? Looks like combining it with the MLD bug bivy in bug season would get it down to a pound.

Edited by KC on 06/10/2013 09:14:21 MDT.

josh jordan
(jjchgo) - F
Lair on 06/10/2013 09:53:08 MDT Print View

yeah i'm not thrilled about the weight either but then again where I came from, its damn good. yes that is w/ the netting. now you have me thinking, i'm gonna bring it into work w/ me tomorrow to check the weight of just the tarp w/o everything else.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
lair on 06/10/2013 09:58:42 MDT Print View

Mine is only 16 ounces, maybe you got a heavy batch of being out some thick sil for the floor.

josh jordan
(jjchgo) - F
Re: lair on 06/10/2013 10:15:34 MDT Print View

or it could be the scales here at work now that I think about it. damn that would suck having to re-weigh everything...lol. on the bright side, "I" might lose some weight.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Gatewood Cape in Cuben on 06/10/2013 10:37:54 MDT Print View

This is easy to visualize. Whether or not it occurs is up to SMD.


Based on the ratio of the weights for a silnylon Skyscape Trekker (24 oz) vs. a CF Skyscape X (15 oz), a Gatewood Cape in 0.74 Cuben would weigh about 7 ounces. These are the exact same shelter; only the material changes.

15/24 = X/11
24X = 11 x 15
X = (11 x 15)/24
X = 6.875 ounces


I also compared the cost difference due solely to material changes by comparing the pricing for the Skyscape series. At $550, the Cuben Skyscape X is twice the cost of the $225 silnylon Skyscape Trekker. Logic suggests this ratio would hold true for converting any other SMD shelter from silnylon to Cuben. Accordingly, I estimate that a $135 silnylon GC would cost approximately $270 in Cuben.

NOTE THESE ARE MY ESTIMATES, NOT SMD's.

Edited by wandering_bob on 06/10/2013 10:45:12 MDT.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Re: Gatewood/Serenity not 19 ounces on 06/10/2013 10:39:06 MDT Print View

My GC is much lighter than yours, and it's a fairly new one.
It's less than 19 ounces as a combination.
Of course, that isn't even mentioning that it's saving me from carrying at least 12 ounces of unnecessary rain suit, since it doubles as a very good poncho, making it's weight to performance ratio just that much better.

I'd suggest that EVERY other manufacturer out there has variation in their actual product weights. My Western Mountaineering bag is a little bit more than it is spec'd out at, but I allow for that with hand made products of premium quality like SMD and WM, and even MLD which has been reported to be an ounce over on some things from time to time, and under on others.


And for Christopher, the GC is fully enclosed with the inner net tent as part of the package.


And Kevin B, thanks for mentioning that Ron might do a GC in cuben fiber! I immediately sent Ron an email endorsing that idea, and saying that I would buy one of the first ones he makes.


I hope Ron does make the GC in cuben fiber. I have been hoping for that product for years. IMO, the GC is the best solo shelter available for SUL use, and in cuben there would be nothing else that could even come close.

Edited by towaly on 06/10/2013 11:13:56 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Skyscape X on 06/10/2013 13:27:11 MDT Print View

My choice, if I wanted to spend that much, would definitely be the Skyscape X. (And maybe with a Cuben front "porch" as well if I expected rain. Gotta have SOMEwhere to cook.