Rating: 5 / 5
I had Judy whip me up a Cuben Solo with Awning and double doors late last year. So far, I have used this for about five nights in dry, but extremely windy (gusts around 100km/hr), conditions. I'll edit this review once I've had it in rain.
This little tent is brilliant. My friends gave me a bit of rubbish about it looking like a UFO or a trash bag, because they'd never seen cuben before. Joke was on them when I tossed it to them and watched their eyebrows shoot up - this tent is LIGHT for a double-walled, fully featured shelter!
The tent is very spacious. I often use it with my sleeping pad shoved into an end-corner, and right up against one wall. Using this setup, I confidently believe I could actually fit two people on inflatable pads PLUS UL GEAR into this tent. For one, it is palatial.
I haven't yet used the awning, but I can imagine it would be great to cook under in the rain. The tent is well-sewn, and can handle high winds - as long as it is staked out perfectly.
There are ten points to stake. I bought the UL tent pegs from Lightheart, and find these pretty useless in dry, rocky Australian soil (they bend). I'm going to get new stakes. (This is an optional extra, so I'm not going to take points off the tent.) Staking it out requires a bit of work and a bit of re-staking to get the perfect angles. Being cuben, you can get the angles really perfect, as long as you put in the work. This makes it pretty bomber. I'm quite careful with site selection, and give the site a 'clean' of sharp bits before I set up my tent, as I have a thicker cuben floor. No holes to report yet - it seems pretty solid. As a nice surprise, I received some cuben tape in my package, which will be great in future. The stuff-sack is sil-nylon, and the packed size is a bit bigger than I expected, but still manageable.
I haven't tried it with hiking poles yet, but bought the optional poles from Judy. These work well, but are pretty flimsy, and can fall apart, which is a bit annoying, but not critical.
I didn't take my instructions the first time I set it up, and it took me a while to figure out how to buckle down the awning using the little carabiner. Now that I've got this figured out, there is only minor flapping noise in wind. The tent is pretty good at shedding wind, and even in massive gusts, the inside of the tent is pretty still.
I've not yet experienced any condensation in the tent, which is great. I also like the reflective bits on the tent - makes it easy not to trip at night.
Note that being cuben, this tent can let in a lot of light on a bright moon night. I don't find this an issue. I was a bit worried about privacy when getting changed in it, but this has been OK. The edges of the tent batten down enough that nobody can see in unless they're lying on the ground and actually trying to, and between sleeping bag placement and some speed, it's easy to get changed without giving an accidental peep show! Note that it's basically see-through if you're in there with a light on at night.
The tent is not free-standing, FYI. The full mesh enclosure works well to keep out flying and crawling insects. The zip pulls are tiny, and would be hard to grab with gloves, but I'm OK with this to reduce weight (I would add a piece of string to them if this was a problem).
The thing I don't like about this tent is extremely minor: the flaps which protect the fly zips don't stay down (I will put a little latch on these to fix this issue).
I love this tent (it is my primary shelter), and highly recommend it. I'm going to keep this for a long time.