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Single person 3-season shelter for rainy environment
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Rishi Sugla

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Single person 3-season shelter for rainy environment on 12/19/2013 10:29:17 MST Print View

I'm overhauling all my gear soon, and I'm a bit overwhelmed with the options for shelters. I'm looking for something that will be suitable for one (maybe 2?) people in rainy/cold environments.

I'm not a great cold sleeper, but I'm willing to make sacrifices for weight. I have some funds, although limited, so I want to make sure I get it right the first time. My current tent is a big agnes fly creek 2, for the record. Versatility and weight are important to me. I also want to be confident it won't fail in high(er) wind speeds. I do use trekking poles.

Any suggestions?

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Single person 3-season shelter for rainy environment on 12/19/2013 11:19:09 MST Print View

Definitely look at Six Moon Designs' shelters - either the 11 oz. Gatewood Cape (shelter + poncho) or its 13 oz. shelter-only twin, the Wild Oasis. Both are floorless, shaped tarps, so the entire covered area is useable, and the peak height is adjustable since both use one trekking pole. I would not try to put 2 adults in either one except in an emergency. For bug protection, add the 8 oz. bathtub-floored Serenity Net Tent.

Personally, I use the Gatewood Cape on the PCT and CT. It has seen a lot of rain and high winds with no failures. I set mine for a 45 inch peak height.

If you want a larger shelter with integral floor and netting sidewalls, consider the 23 oz. Lunar Solo. I have one of these as well and have used it on the PCT without issues.

My hiking partner used a 24 oz. Skyscape Trekker and loved it. I'd buy a cuben fiber Skyscape X if I could afford the $565.

hwc 1954
What don't you like about the Big Agnes? on 12/19/2013 13:40:56 MST Print View

Maybe the best way to start would be to define what it is that you don't like about the Big Agnes.

Is it not providing enough wind/rain/cold resistance? If that's what you want to improve, then you will probably have to go a bit heavier tent. Less mesh. Stronger pole configuration...

Is too heavy? If so, then you are (realistically) going to have to give up a significant amount of wind, rain, snow, cold, or bug protection to save some ounces. You have to decide how much you are willing to sacrifice versus how much weight you can save...

If it's too small, then, you would have to look at bigger, slightly heavier tents.

Personally, I probably wouldn't want LESS weather protection than the Big Agnes, but I hike in New England where rain or bugs or cold or wind could be on the menu on ANY given day.

Anthony Huhn
(anthonyjhuhn) - F - MLife

Locale: Mid West
Tarptent on 12/19/2013 13:48:45 MST Print View

The stratosphere 1 by tarp tent seems really popular these days and would be my purchase. I don't have any real experience with it though


Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
2 similar tent choices on 12/19/2013 18:41:41 MST Print View


Tarptent makes 2 very similar solo tents.

1. TT Notch at 26 oz. does use your trekking poles.

2. TT Moment DW at 34 oz. uses a hooped pole insteade of trekking poles

-> Both tents have 2 doors and 2 vestibules. The vestibules are great for pack and gear storage. The larger vestibule is barely OK for cooking in rainy or windy weather.


I just sold my (discontinued) single wall Moment and will replace it with a Moment DW with a ripstop inner for 4 season use.

The Notch will not be quite as wind-worthy as the Moment DW and has NO crossing pole option to help against wind load.

P.S. The Moment (but not the Notch) has the option of a X-ing pole and I'll shorten mine to run inside the fly as I did on my original Moment. This retains the freestanding ability as well as making it able to resist a heavy snow load. The optional X-ing pole will work on the exterior of the fly as Henry Shires designed it but when it's changed to run inside it gives much more support to the fly.

Edited by Danepacker on 12/20/2013 02:03:57 MST.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Single person 3-season shelter for rainy environment on 12/19/2013 22:00:38 MST Print View

>>> Any suggestions?

If your wallet does not care about pain, take a look at my Solo SUL/XUL Fully Enclosed Shelter Comparisons article.

Rishi Sugla

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Re: Single person 3-season shelter for rainy environment on 01/07/2014 13:36:56 MST Print View

Hey Bob, how does the Gatewood cape work as a poncho?

The price seems great if its truly effective as a shelter and rain protection.

Jeff Hollis
(hyperslug) - MLife
Misting on 01/07/2014 13:44:03 MST Print View

Both my Tarptent and SMD mist. I found it unacceptable trying to sleep with cold mist hitting me in the face, you may enjoy it.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Single person 3-season shelter for rainy environment on 01/07/2014 13:47:07 MST Print View


"Hey Bob, how does the Gatewood cape work as a poncho?"

I'm not Bob, but .....

It works very well as a poncho. The zip front is nice for venting. The one caveat is I am 6'1" and am happy with it. A few inches shorter and it will be too long as a poncho, but GREAT as a shelter.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Single person 3-season shelter for rainy environment on 01/08/2014 08:46:04 MST Print View

Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape Rainwear/Shelter REVIEW

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: What don't you like about the Big Agnes? on 01/08/2014 09:03:28 MST Print View

"Maybe the best way to start would be to define what it is that you don't like about the Big Agnes."


This is important to know for recommendation purposes. For example, when I hiked a section of the Wonderland Trail last summer, I was rained on for two days and the humidity was high. The condensation in my Hexamid Twin was very bad but the lady in the campsite next to me who was using the Fly Creek did not have the same problem.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Misting on 01/08/2014 09:04:37 MST Print View

I agree with Jeff. I've never read anyone talk about misting associated with Tarptent, so I always thought it was just the Tarptent Contrail I bought that had the problem.

I bought a new contrail and took it out on two separate overnight trips here in the PNW. It rained both times out. Throughout the entire night I felt misting on my face. The top of my down bag, from head to toe, was damp/wet both mornings. The tent was sealed.

I immediately sold the tent here. I love the looks of their tents, but I can't have a misting tent in the PNW. I've switched to cuben fiber tents.

Jeff Hollis
(hyperslug) - MLife
TarpTent No Misting on 01/12/2014 10:12:42 MST Print View

Henry wrote me a nice email after seeing my comment on misting and offered to treat my TarpTent so it wouldn't continue to mist. I asked him if his shelters still misted and he said about 18 months ago he switched to the same silnylon MLD is using which from what I have heard doesn't mist. Based on that I wouldn't rule out TarpTent as they have nice designs. And thanks for the great customer service Henry!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Misting re-coat cure on 01/12/2014 13:51:05 MST Print View

I re-coated my TT Moment (single wall) with a 5:1 ratio (by volume) of odorless mineral spirits to GE cear silicone caulk. I brush it on and wipe it down with a blu paper "shop towel" for more even and thorough coating.

This adds an insignificant amount of weight, especially if you coat only the top 1/3 of the fly.

Re-coating the floor like this in the entrance wear area helps with reducing abrasion and, for me, eliminates the need for a ground sheet.

I mix the ingredients by shaking in a clean peanut butter jar every 5 minutes. This insures better mixing and there is then no need to stir.