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LightHeart Gear Cuben Solo W/Awning

in Shelters - Double Wall Tents

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (3 reviews)


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John McAlpine
( HairlessApe - M )

Locale:
PNW
LightHeart Gear Cuben Solo W/Awning on 10/18/2011 12:09:13 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I picked up this tent for several reasons. I wanted a light tent; I wanted it to be waterproof right out of the bag; I wanted room inside for me and all my gear; I wanted a dry entry; I wanted to use my hiking poles for support...and most important; I wanted to buy from a small cottage business. The Lightheart Gear Cuben Solo fit what I was looking for.

I've used the tent for a total of 22 nights so far, covering over 500 miles of trail. The tent has fit all catagories above. I have yet to role up the rainfly and use the tent in 'star gazing' mode. Here in the NW no matter what the weather looks like, it's always best to have a rain cover over your head when you go to sleep. However, the tent does give me that option to enjoy the stars while keeping the bugs out.

The tent is fairly easy to set up. It took me a half dozen times in my backyard to understand the best way. Now out on the trail I set it up in around 3 minutes.

There's enough rooom to keep my gear inside. I dislike having to unzip the fly to get gear. That leaves an opening for bugs to fly in.

I've been rained on and stayed completely dry.

My tent was the awning option and I've yet to take advantage of cooking under it, but can see that happening during a downpour.

I sked Judy the maker of the tent to provide a thicker cuben bottom than standard. My tent weighs (on my scale) 24.5 ounces. That weight includes the tent, awning pole, lines, and titanium stakes....complete.

I would not hesitate getting this tent.

Emily Beers
( ebeers )

Locale:
upstate
great tent, gentle breezes only on 01/30/2013 16:29:12 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Just got back from hiking the full circuit Torres del Paine route in Chile with the LightHeart Gear solo tent (no awning) and must say I was both pleased and impressed.

Lightness is known and appreciated for an 8 day hike. Setup is easy, though I had a difficult time making perfect pitch on the uneven sleeping ledges that pass for campsites at higher camps (Campamento Torres, for example). Drenching showers were no trouble, and the tent dries quickly in the sun before packing up. I found the tent perfectly spacious as a woman of 5'6". 'Stargazing mode' is truly spectacular and was a heavily utilized feature.

The only downside to the tent was its wind intolerance. Of course Patagonia is a land of epic winds, though we had freakish, becalmed 86ºF days at first for which the tent was ideal. In the windier pitches however it was a complete nightmare. Yes, this is a lightweight tent and not intended for 35+mph gusts, and in retrospect I should have brought something more condition-tolerant. However the first windy night, despite my careful, flat, bikini-model-ass-taut pitch I had a nightmarish experience that I compare to being trapped in a plastic shopping bag full of rocks and rolled down a never-ending cliff. Since you sleep diagonally in the tent with head at the narrowest portion, the buffeting winds actually caused the tent walls to (loudly) hit me in the face all night. This followed by ten hours of steep hiking made for some serious grouchiness the following evening, but in a protected campsite things were again serene.

So in the main: a fabulous tent, but not for windy locales. Highly recommended.

[below the tent is featured at my choice site at Los Perros]LHG solo, Patagonia

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Anna T
( anzt )

Locale:
Victoria, Australia
Brilliant tent for a range of conditions on 02/28/2013 17:24:54 MST Report Post Print

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.

Edited by anzt on 02/28/2013 17:28:21 MST.

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