Rating: 4 / 5
I have owned the Golite Shangri La 1 for several months now and have used it on about 3 trips so far in the desert southwest with variable weather conditions in the mountains and lower regions.
First thing to mention is the layout/design. This shelter is a shaped tarp with fully enclosed ends utilizing 2 trekking poles for setup, or the 2 optional tieouts for suspending from a tree above. There are 2 vents, one at the foot end and one larger vent at the head of the shelter, both incorporate lightweight shaped hoops sewn within the seam of the vent allowing the vents to remain open and not collapse under snow or moisture.
The fabric body is silnylon reinforced with grograin webbing, the craftsmanship is very good and durable. Golites website states that this shelter doesn't need to be seam sealed due to a hydrophobic thread used in all seams, I haven't sealed it yet, and didn't have any leaks under light rain on one occasion, but cannot verify to the validity of this comment.
Pitching the Shangri La 1 takes some practice, it isn't as simple as a traditional ultralight tarp. Easiest way is to pitch four of the stakeouts and then raise the tent body with trekking poles, then adjust and stake the remaining stakeouts. You can find a nice pitch with this shelter that sheds wind and rain very well, the steep walls of the tent would allow for snow to not accumulate. Ventilation is adequate, by raising the adjustable tieouts by simply loosening the buckle and raisiing your trekking poles, you can moderate ventilation as needed, I have yet to experience condensation in the SL1.
Interior space is sufficient for solo use only and your gear. I am 6' tall and about 165 lbs and find there is plenty of room for sleeping and my pack and cooking if weather doesn't permit. Contact with the sidewalls isn't an issue. I found sleeping on a slight diagonal works around the dual trekking pole setup.
Optional accessories include the bathtub floor and also an inner bug tent setup that clip to loops inside the shelter of the SL1. I own the bathtub floor and have yet to use it as I prefer a simple groundcloth setup for the desert.
Overall, this shelter is designed very well, the materials are top quality and it truly would work for 4 season use as stated by Golite. The only downside to the shelter in my opinion is the weight, at over 1 lb., there are definitely other solo ultralight options to save ounces, though the Shangri La 1 is a very robust lightweight shelter for solo use when the weather can be variable. I would consider this tent for anyone who wants to leave their bivy sac behind and could encounter precipitation, wind, and fair weather all in one outing, it is a do all shelter.