Following their revamped backpack line that we reported on at the Summer 2006 Outdoor Retailer; GoLite now introduces their re-designed and coordinated shelter and sleeping bag lines. The lineup now makes more sense - with light, lighter, and lightest packs, sleeping bags, and shelters coordinating with each other.
The Shangri-La group of six single wall pyramid shelters will accommodate from one to eight people. All are made of SilLite, which is GoLite's proprietary version of silnylon that is slightly heavier (1.7 ounces/square yard) and stronger than ordinary silnylon. The one and two person models use two trekking poles. The three and four person models are a revision of the popular GoLite Hex, and use one provided center pole. The 6+ and 8+ person models have two provided poles, and are expecially useful as a group shelter. Ventilation is a combination of a perimeter gap and top vent(s). All models are floorless, and an optional floor is sold separately.
The new GoLite Shangri-La 2-person (left) and 4+ person (right)
The Utopia group is claimed to be the “world's first free-standing ultra-lite tarps”, and consists of three shelters for one, two, or four+ people. Each shelter uses two DAC Featherlite poles in an X-configuration, that is attached to the canopy by several hook and loop tabs to create a solid unit. There is a front zippered door and ventilation is a combination of a perimeter gap and large sidewall vents. All models are floorless, and an optional floor is sold separately.
Utopia 1 and 2 tents are in the center background.
The Xanadu and Valhalla group are full-featured breathable fabric free-standing tents. They're a hybrid design, with Epic fabric in the body and SilLite fabric in the vestibules. The vestibules are technically double-wall because they are separated from the tent interior by a mesh wall/door with dual directional zippers. These tents also use DAC Featherlite poles in a X-configuration held secure with hook and loop tabs. All are four-season tents, but the Valhalla series is more adapted for cold weather with an extra fabric door and more floor space.
Xanadu 1 (left) and 2+ (right).
Overall, we like the designs of the new shelters. They are a tad heavier than many comparable tents, due mostly to the use of heavier fabrics. We have been testing the Xanadu 2+ for the past month and find it to be very roomy and extremely wind sturdy, but a bit heavy by our standards and the ergonomics are not convenient a few respects.
Here are the all-important weights (in ounces) of the new tents:
And here are the MSRP's: