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SMD Wild Oasis

in Shelters - Tarps & Floorless

Average Rating
4.75 / 5 (4 reviews)

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Peter Atkinson
( sewing_machine )

Yorkshire, England
SMD Wild Oasis on 06/12/2008 07:16:53 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I'm just back from 2 nights' backpacking in Scotland, with my Wild Oasis, the first time I have used a floorless shelter. I think that for Scotland this shelter is as minimalist as I dare go, bearing in mind the midges this time of year! At 13oz it felt so light compared to my 4lb tent.

The first night saw temperatures drop to 7 oC (at a guess) after a day high of 25oC+, and without any wind my worries over condensation were confirmed - there was a lot of it. But what else can you expect with any tent in these conditions? The second night was different, a lot windier and not as cool, and the shelter stood up well to the wind, feeling very stable and safe, without any condensation the next day, nor a feeling of draughtiness through the night.

The issue of the velcro mentioned in the BPL review has been rectified with the inclusion of a full length zip.

I'd like to give this a 4.5 ish score as it isn't perfect - but I don't know how to make the improvement needed to give it a 5. Anything else would increase weight or decrease the protection, and SMD seem to have the balance right. The shelter manages to feel stable, secure; it dealt effectively with midges and insects, and it weighs next to nothing. So it just deserves a 5 in my book.

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josh channell
( JoshChannell )

Mid West
Best Tent Used to Date on 03/31/2009 19:53:02 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I used this tent last year on two trips, the Superior Hiking Trail (northern MN) as well as the John Muir Trail (CA).

I'm sure this is technically categorized as a tarp, however, it feels like a tent. All admit that I was a definite skeptic when it comes to bug resistance, but I was very impressed. I was not bit once, nor did I find one bug on me.

Disclaimer: I realized early on, in my yard, that if set up in grassy areas, this becomes somewhat of a buy trap... While on my trips I avoided the grass and it worked out great.

Great buy!

Edited by JoshChannell on 03/31/2009 19:55:48 MDT.

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Ryan Bozzell
( rybozz )

Good, but a little small on 03/22/2010 10:07:51 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I used this tarp for about 4 or 5 different trips in New Mexico, Colorado, and California. It was easy to set up and provided good coverage. Being a nearly inclosed tarp, a bivy was'nt really needed on some more wet nights. The bug skirt was great at keeping bugs out, but could easily be damaged by the velcroe that is part of the closing of the zipper entry. My main complante about the shelter was the fact that it is a little tight inside. I'm 5'11'' and I had to sleep at just the right angel so my sleeping bag did'nt touch the sides. I decided to sell it after a cold still night that created a lot of condesation and I ended up with a wet sleeping bag due to my bag touching the inside of the tarp.

Buck Nelson
( Colter )

Performance per ounce on 12/14/2010 17:20:02 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I got my Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis for the Pacific Crest Trail. I already had the SMD Lunar Solo, which I love, but decided to save a few more ounces with the Wild Oasis. I planned to switch to the Lunar Solo, with it's built in floor, when the conditions warranted.

After setting up the Oasis, the design looked good, but I decided to make one change. The netting comes down to the ground all the way around the perimeter, but I sewed netting across the floor to make a fully enclosed shelter to keep out ants and other insects that might get in under the edges. For me that was a good choice and was easily done, making the shelter about 16 oz. (Used on the floor, good quality netting will hold up surprisingly well if handled with care.) I simply left some extra netting to overlap at the door to avoid having to install a zipper.

I found the Wild Oasis to be roomy. I'm 5'9" and consistently set up the shelter in areas protected from wind and raised the pole height several more inches which gave me even more room inside. There was clearance at both the head and the foot of my sleeping bag. I'd angle the bottom of the pole a bit towards the door which also increased room. There was plenty of room for my gear inside the shelter, with room to spare. I find all single wall shelters will get some condensation inside under certain conditions, but it was never a significant problem for me in the Wild Oasis. The Oasis shed wind better than most tarps I've used. It rained hard at times and I slept dry every night. By the way, if the ground was damp, my Ridgerest served as my "floor." I never rely on a shelter floor to keep out pooled water, for that I rely on site selection.

Some tweaks I might suggest would be to replace the black tie-outs with a bright color, such as yellow, to minimize tripping. If it could be done with a minimal weight penalty, the netting should be sewed in another 1/4" or more from the edge to prevent the possibility of shed rainwater following the netting inside, although that wasn't a problem for me.

When it got ridiculously wet in Washington on the PCT, I switched to my Lunar Solo mainly because it has a built-in water-proof floor. But for the first 2,000 miles the PCT the Wild Oasis was a great choice. If I had sewn in a floor, I could have easily used it the whole trail. As a matter of fact, I know people who used unmodified Wild Oasis shelters the whole way.

In lightweight backpacking it's all about trade-offs. In my opinion, staying out of the bugs and rain for 13-16 oz. is an unusually good value in protection vs. weight. Here's my Wild Oasis in action in the Sierra.

Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis

Edited by Colter on 12/14/2010 17:21:52 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis Shelter priced at: $174.95

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