by Alan Dixon | 2004-08-14 03:00:00-06
Lightweight shelters aren’t getting too much lighter, but you’re getting more for your weight. Solo tents from Marmot, Sierra Designs, and YES! Eureka! are getting bigger, smarter, and/or stronger, and a few new tarps from Outdoor Research and GoLite are worth a long look.
Marmot EOS 1P
The Specs: Trail wt 2 lb 14 oz, 20 sq ft tent, 6 sq ft vestibule, 39 in head height.
The Skinny: Ultralight solo, freestanding with large side door and high ceiling. A light and fairly storm worthy double walled free standing shelter. Similar in design to the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL, but truly freestanding (the SL requires two stakes for maximum usable floor area) and possibly, more storm worthy (the EOS series incorporate more pole stability at the foot end. EOS offers side entry with better views than the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL.
What Else: Don’t forget the 2-person Marmot EOS 2P: Trail wt 3 lb 14 oz, 25.6 sq ft tent, 11 sq ft vestibule.
Sierra Designs Mach 1
The Specs: Trail wt 3 lb 1 oz, 22 sq ft tent, 13.5 sq ft vestibule, 30 in head height
The Skinny: Ultralight solo, 3-pole design with large side door. A light and storm worthy double walled free standing shelter. Quite short – bivy tent height – but a totally protected side door in the rain with fantastic views and airiness.
Sierra Designs Solomente AST
The Specs: Trail wt 3 lb 1 oz, 22 sq ft tent, 4 sq ft vestibule, 39 in head height.
The Skinny: 4-season, solo single walled waterproof breathable tent body. High roof and near vertical walls increase livable space. A no-brainer and FAST to pitch. Nice tent!
The Specs: Trail wt 2 lb 12 oz, 18.1 sq ft tent, 4.4 sq ft vestibule, 40 in head height.
The Skinny: 2-pole hoop. New for ’04 this is a roomy solo tent with lots of head room and easy entry, good views and ventilation in the rain, through a large side door. Only two stakes needed to secure the main tent body.
The Specs: Trail wt 2 lb 9 oz, 21.5 sq ft tent, 28 in head height.
The Skinny: 2-pole hoop bivy tent. Significantly redesigned for ’05. New vertical door (sunroof entry?) via a top zipper in the mesh body for fair-weather entry/exit. Hallelujah Eureka! A new tent body material reduces sag and the number of stakeout points has been reduced. Fly rolls back for killer views and ventilation – without exiting the tent. A gorgeous, fresh, and innovative design in what has pretty much been a static category for the past several years.
OR Helium Solo Awning
The Specs: Trail wt 15 oz, 125 in long, 100x80 in wide.
The Skinny: 1 – 2 person tarp – deep body! A huge flexible pitch SilCordura shelter that provides will provide great overhead protection in foul weather – long length allows you to tuck way back into the rear of the tarp and enjoy the fruits of a pseudo-vestible. Two pole pitch (rear inside the tarp) and catenary bound side seams – only one guyline required – make this one a breeze to pitch. Tension buckles, strong fabric, tape-bound seams allow for a very taut and stable pitch in high winds. What Else: The two-person version, the Helium Awning (not pictured): Trail wt 1 lb 4.8 oz, 130 in long, 125x80 in wide.
GoLite grabs its ultralight roots with the Ultra-Lite Poncho/Shelter.
The Specs: 10 oz, 8’8” x 4’10”, hood, 1.7 oz SilLite.
The Skinny: Only marginally heavier than the 1.3-1.4 silnylon poncho tarps from other manufacturers, the GoLite version will be more abrasion resistant and the fabric allowing for a tighter pitch (especially in cold and wet conditions). Keep on eye on this one.
"More New Lightweight Shelters Announced (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2004)," by Alan Dixon. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/more_lightweight_shelters_announced.html, 2004-08-14 03:00:00-06.