GoLite Hut 1 SPOTLITE REVIEW

Roomy, bombproof floorless shelter for one.

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by Mike Martin | 2006-05-09 03:00:00-06

GoLite Hut 1 SPOTLITE REVIEW

Overview

The Golite Hut 1 is a one-person, fully-enclosable, floorless shelter with a number of unique features. Rather than the typical guyline cords seen from other manufacturers, it uses the easily adjustable tieout strap system borrowed from its older and  larger cousin, the Golite Hex. This allows re-tensioning the tieouts from inside the shelter, and the reflective straps are easily spotted with a flashlight at night. The front and rear ridgeline guyouts are more conventional, but they do employ guyline tensioners to minimize fumbling with knots. The Hut 1 can even be pitched over an adjustable trekking pole at its apex without any external guyline in front - the vestibule tieouts can support the front of the shelter in this configuration alone. Plus, when set up this way, only six stakes are needed for a fair-weather pitch. The large vestibule has a sturdy zipper closure, complete with a reinforced snap at the bottom to reduce stress on the zipper. Finally, the 1.76 oz/yd2 silnylon used is sturdier than the lighter silnylons and silicone-impregnated polyesters used by Golite's competitors.

All these robust features come at a price, however. Competing shelters made from lighter materials are available with weights under 10 ounces, while the Hut 1 weighs in on the BPL scales at 17.4 ounces (not including stakes and stuff sack). Also, it's fortunate the tie-out straps are easily adjustable, as the fabric stretches noticeably when wet, causing the Hut 1 to sag from rain or condensation. Those same straps are also too short to pitch the shelter more than a couple inches off the ground for ventilation. Finally, while the zippered entrance is convenient, opening and closing the zipper alters the tension on the fabric panels, causing minor pulling and sagging that requires more fiddling with the tieout straps to correct.

What's Good

  • Bombproof - potentially a winter shelter for experienced ultralight backpackers!
  • Fully enclosable - rain, spray, and spindrift proof.
  • Convenient zippered vestibule.
  • Easily adjustable reflective tie-outs.
  • Very roomy for one person.
  • Requires only six stakes for a minimum pitch; up to ten for a storm pitch.
  • Catenary Ridgeline - easy to achieve a taut pitch.

What's Not So Good

  • Requires collapsible trekking pole or nearby trees to erect. (Poles which cannot be shortened to less than 40 inches are not usable without modifying the shelter.)
  • Heavier than competing products; heavier than advertised.
  • Strap tieouts are not long enough to allow an elevated pitch for ventilation.
  • Fabric sags when wet, requiring re-tensioning guylines.
  • Fabric tension changes with zipper open and closed, making it hard to achieve a taut pitch without adjustment.

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Lengthen strap tieouts to allow an elevated pitch. (I ended up replacing the straps with longer lengths of cord, as shown in the photo above.)
  • Include a hole with a weather flap near the apex to allow using a longer, protruding pole.  (I ended up making this modification myself.)
  • Use a more stretch-resistant fabric.

Features and Specifications

  • Manufacturer's Claimed Weight: 15 oz
  • BPL Measured Weight: 17.4 oz
  • Manufacturer's Claimed Floor Area: 39 ft2
  • Body Material: SilLite™ (1.76 oz/yd2 silnylon)
  • MSRP: $130


Citation

"GoLite Hut 1 SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Mike Martin. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/golite_hut1_spotlite_review.html, 2006-05-09 03:00:00-06.

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