Ultralight Backpacking Tents and Shelters

Ultralight Tents and Shelters

Ultralight Tents and Shelters – How to Choose

In first part of this series (How to Choose an Ultralight Tent or Shelter: Part 1), I explained why the livability, adaptability, and skills required to use different types of ultralight shelters are critical to picking the right shelter for your needs. In this part, I go into more depth about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of ultralight tents and shelters and explain the types of conditions they’re best suited for. This survey is intended for people who are interested in buying their first ultralight shelter or in replacing an existing one.

Ultralight Tent and Shelter Types

There are six basic types of ultralight  tents and shelters:

  • Double-Walled Tents
  • Tarptents
  • Pyramids, including modified pyramids
  • Catenary-Cut Tarps, including augmented cat-cut tarps
  • Flat Tarps
  • Hammocks

For purposes of this article, I am defining an ultralight tent or shelter as one that weights 3 pounds or less, and focus on single person tents and shelters that fit within that weight range. Some of the categories listed above overlap, so if you think I’ve mis-classified a shelter or left one out, just leave a comment and I’ll try to address your question.

In addition, I’ve listed the most popular makes/models for each shelter type with the weight of the shelter in silnylon, if available. Some of the shelters listed are also available in cuben fiber and weigh considerably less. For brevity, I’ll cover the differences between silnylon, cuben fiber, and polyurethane coated nylon or polyester in a separate post. Still, I note differences in fabrics when it has a material impact on shelter utility or performance.

TarpTent Scarp 1 Double-Walled Tent

TarpTent Scarp 1 Double-Walled Tent

A. Double-Walled Tents

Double-walled tents are designed to protect occupants from internal condensation (see How to Prevent Internal Condensation). They’re called double-walled because they have a separate inner tent and an outer rain fly which protects you from the rain and wind. All internal condensation or moisture inside the tent evaporates through the mesh walls of the inner tent and adheres to the underside of the rain fly, away from you and your gear. In recent years, the weight of double-walled tents has plunged, to the point where they’ve become competitive with other ultralight shelter types.

Some of the most popular lightweight double-walled tents include:

Note: Tarptent is the name of a company and a type of ultralight shelter characterized by single walls called a tarp tent or (tarptent.) It’s doubly confusing here, because Tarptent has started making double-walled tents in addition to the single-wall shelters listed in the next section. 

Advantages

  • Easy to set up
  • Bug proof and slither proof
  • Usually has a vestibule for covered gear storage
  • Can be used in virtually all three-season weather conditions provided you have enough space to pitch the shelter on flat ground
  • Inner tents tend to have deep bathtub floors that can prevent flooding if water pools underneath
  • Higher ambient temperature than other ultralight tents and shelters

Disadvantages

  • Prone to internal condensation because they have relatively poor ventilation
  • Tend to be heavier, bulkier, and more expensive that other types of ultralight shelters
  • Most double walled shelters (with the exception of the Tarptents listed above) require that you pitch the inner tent before the rain fly, resulting in a wet inner tent in pouring rain.
  • Usually require that you carry tent poles which are awkward to pack in a backpack
  • Warmer in hot weather
  • Requires that you dry off the rain fly in the sun to manage dampness level of your gear on multi-day trips

Best Used When…

  • When camping at established tent sites that have packed earth tent pads or dished out tent sites that pool water
  • In sustained bad weather when you want more interior room to hang out and keep your gear under cover in a vestibule
  • Some double-walled tents are freestanding and can be pitched without tent stakes making them very convenient for camping on rock ledges, sandy soil, or wooden tent platforms.
Tarptent Squall 2

Tarptent Squall 2

B. Tarp Tents

Tarp tents are single walled shelters where the walls are part solid and part mesh. This improves airflow through the tent and helps to prevent internal condensation. Most tarp tents have a fully integrated bathtub floor which is sewn to the walls of the tent making it easy to pitch and keep dry if you have to set up in the pouring rain. Many tarp tents also have an integrated front beak or awning that can be used to cover gear or cook under in bad weather. These awnings do not come down to the ground like a full vestibule in order to maintain good airflow through the shelter.

Some popular models, include:

Advantages

  • Easy and fast to set up
  • Excellent airflow which virtually eliminates internal condensation
  • Living area of the tent stays dry when pitched in pouring rain
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Usually set up with trekking poles, which helps eliminate some weight
  • Fast drying
  • Bug proof and slither proof
  • Aerodynamic  shapes  provides good wind resistance
  • Most provide some covered storage for gear outside the living area
  • Waterproof, after seam sealing, providing good protection from rain as long as you pick campsites that don’t pool water

Disadvantages

  • Lower ambient temperature due to increased airflow through the shelter
  • Walls of bathtub floors are not as high as on double-walled tents, requiring somewhat better campsite selection skills to avoid being flooded out at night by pooling water
  • Difficult to pitch on wooden platforms and rock ledges because they require tent stakes
  • Seam-sealing is required before use because these shelters are usually made by small manufacturers that skip that step to save cost

Best Used When…

  • Pitched on flat ground for maximum comfort
  • Winds are moderate to light
  • Great in warm weather when other tents are too warm
  • Your campsite is large enough (long and wide) to secure required guy-lines
Ultralight Pyramid Shelters

Ultralight Pyramid Shelters

C. Pyramids

Pyramids, often abbreviated as “Mids”, are floorless shelters with a pyramid-style shape that have solid floor-to-ceiling walls on all sides (except for the side with a door). They’re designed to shed high winds from all directions, eliminating the need to repitch your shelter if the wind changes direction at night. Most mids do not come with a bug proof inner tent or bathtub floor, but one can be added for more comfort. Mids are commonly pitched with a center pole, although smaller mids can be pitched with trekking poles arranged in an inverted V so they take up less interior living space. The best way to regulate the amount of internal condensation in a mid is to pitch it so that the base of the walls are a few inches off of the ground. Many mids also have top vents which can help vent moisture in stormy conditions.

Some popular models include:

Advantages

  • Excellent multi-side wind and weather protection in less-protected environments above treeline or on open ground
  • Most mids come with top vents which help limit internal condensation buildup
  • Bottom edges can be pitched off the ground to provide an air gap for better ventilation or pitched flush with the ground to protect against rain in bad weather
  • Large enough to cook inside with adequate ventilation and a well-controlled flame like a canister stove
  • Pyramids with highly angled walls shed snow well in winter, enabling 4 season use (silnylon is more slippery than cuben fiber and better for winter use)
  • Provides good cover in winter over a dug out snow pit
  • Provides excellent privacy

Disadvantages

  • Many pyramids pitch with a center pole, which cuts down on the internal space available
  • Must be pitched on a level surface because the corners are all the same length and must be pulled taut for structural integrity
  • Requires a large footprint, making them difficult to pitch in tight spots such as forests
  • Slanted sides can reduce interior livability. Most pyramids have a fixed wall angle, although the MLD Trailstar can be pitched taller or flatter based on conditions
  • Adding an inner tent to a pyramid shelter adds a significant weight penalty
  • Requires some form of bug protection such as a bug net or bug bivy

Best Used When…

  • Camping in high wind and/or horizontal rain
  • Bad weather with little landscape protection
  • Long distance, expedition style travel in hostile environments

Modified Pyramids

There’s also a sub-genre of modified Pyramids that have a pyramid shape but have one open side for better ventilation and livability is less extreme environments. These have become very popular in recent years but are not as windproof as four-sided mids.

Gossamer Gear CubicTwinn

Gossamer Gear CubicTwinn (Not Currently Available)

D. Catenary Cut Tarps

Catenary cut tarps or “Cat-cut” tarps for short, are simple tarps with curved edges that improve their aerodynamic performance and help ensure a very taught pitch without wrinkles. They have open ends and are usually pitched in an A-frame configuration using trekking poles or trees. In bad weather, cat-cut tarps can be pitched close to the ground to prevent rain or wind from blowing onto the occupants, but they’re normally pitched higher up to improve air flow. Cat-cut tarps are frequently combined with inner tents with bath-tub floors or bug bivies which drape over sleepers at night. Users also frequently sleep inside ultralight bivy sacks  that can add warmth to a sleeping bag or quilt by reducing heat loss from wind or prevent rainfall from bouncing off the ground and onto the occupant (called bounce back).

Campsite selection skills become more important when using a Cat-cut tarp because it doesn’t have a floor or end cap protection against the wind. Ideal campsites are protected from the wind by forest or landscape features and on level ground with good drainage to prevent rain pooling.

Some popular makes/models include:

Advantages

  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Catenary cut provides good wind resistance, a taut pitch, and eliminates flapping
  • Cat cut eliminates some fabric making this type of tarp lighter weight
  • Ends can be pitched using trekking poles or trees/shrubs
  • Excellent airflow virtually eliminates internal condensation

Disadvantages

  • Eliminates the flexibility of a tarp because you need to always pitch it in an A-Frame to get a taut pitch
  • Lower ambient temperature due to increased air flow
  • Requires some form of bug protection such as a bug net or bug bivy
  • Limited privacy

Best Used When

  • The weather is fairly dry
  • In well protected settings on fairly flat and well-drained ground
  • The wind is moderate to calm and doesn’t shift direction at night

Augmented Cat-Cut Tarps

There’s also a subgenre of Cat-cut tarps that have been augmented with additional beaks,vestibules, or end doors/walls for improved weather protection. These used to be much more popular in past years (you may have heard of the famous Rayway Tarp) and help extend the range of Cat-cut tarps in wetter and windier environments.

A Variety of Flat Tarp Pitches or "Shapes"

A Variety of Flat Tarp Pitches or “Shapes” all made with Square Tarps

E. Flat Tarps

Flat tarps are simple tarps that have a square or rectangular shape with 90 degree angles in the corners.  They can be pitched in many different ways, including ones that incorporate landscape features such as tree trunks or hillside. The most basic A-frame style configuration is very easy to master when tied out to trees or trekking poles but many other pitch “shapes” are possible ranging from awnings, caves, and garages to pyramids, depending on the size of the tarp, how you fold it, and tie it out. Unlike Cat-cut tarps, the guy lines on flat tarps are attached when pitching (since different tie-outs are needed for different shapes), and knotted rather than tensioned with line locs.

As with Cat-cut tarps, campsite selection become more important because flat tarps don’t have floors. Flat tarps can also be augmented with an inner bug bivy or bivy sacks to provide more bug or thermal protection, or to mitigate bounce back.

Ideal camps sites are protected from the wind by trees or landscape features with good drainage to prevent rain pooling. Unlike Cat-cut tarps, flat tarps don’t require level ground and can be bent around obstructions to create workable shelters.

Advantages

  • Very lightweight and compact
  • The most basic A-frame pitch is easy to master
  • Can be pitched using trekking poles or tied to trees/shrubs
  • Easy to adjust the amount of ventilation and eliminate condensation by raising side walls or orienting open ends towards  the wind
  • Does not require a flat surface to pitch
  • Can be configured in an infinite number of ways, including ones which incorporate landscape features such as fallen logs, boulders or pitches that are very weatherproof such as pyramids.

Disadvantages

  • Does not provide as much protection as a shelter with a floor that is fully enclosed on all sides
  • Requires some form of bug protection such as a bug net or bug bivy
  • Takes considerably more skill and practice to master advanced or ad hoc tarp “shapes” and guy line knots
  • Takes more skill to get a very taught pitch than using a Cat-cut tarp
  • Requires that you carry more stakes and guy lines because you never know what shape you’ll pitch in advance
  • Limited privacy depending on the pitch used

Best Used When…

  • You enjoy adapting the shape of your shelter to landscape features that present themselves
  • You’re bored with A-frame pitches
  • You have extra time to fiddle with your tarp pitch before it gets dark or the weather turns nasty
  • In protected settings on well-drained ground
  • The wind is moderate to calm
Andrew Skurka's Warbonnet Ridje Runner Bridge-Style Hammock

Andrew Skurka’s Warbonnet Ridgrunner Bridge-Style Hammock

F. Hammocks

Backpacking hammocks are very similar to double-walled tents except they’re suspended in the air rather than pitched on the ground. They have two components primary components, a nylon sling covered with a headnet that’s draped over the ridgeline and a tarp which is suspended overhead. Some popular models include:

Advantages

  • Great for camping in forests, especially when good ground-level campsites are scarce, because they can be suspended between trees
  • Bug proof and slither proof
  • Never have to worry about ground moisture flooding your shelter
  • Provides coverage for your gear at night and a place to cook out of the rain
  • Easy to pack and re-set up when used with snakeskins
  • Great leave no trace or stealth camping option

Disadvantages

  • Limited to warmer 3 season temperature ranges unless augmented with an insulating underquilt
  • Bulky and relatively heavy when compared to other ultralight shelter types

Best Used When…

  • You can get a good nights sleep in a hammock (terrible if you can’t)
  • Camping or backpacking in forested areas

Where to Start

Picking an ultralight shelter can be a confusing process, even for experienced ultralight backpackers, because it’s difficult to anticipate the livability, adaptability, or usability of shelters in different types of terrain and weather. This is further complicated by the fact that you can’t try most of the ultralight shelters available because they’re sold by smaller manufacturers with less flexible return policies. While you can do a lot of reading about different ultralight shelter types online, there’s nothing quite like trying one out to see if you like it in real life. Give it a couple of nights out so you’re not to hastey in passing judgement and by all means practice pitching it at home before you have to do it for real in the wild.

If you’re transitioning from a heavier double-walled tent and mainly want to cut your gear weight without sacrificing  much comfort, I recommend you borrow or buy a tarp tent from Tarptent.com of Six Moon Designs to get started. Tarp tents are easier to pitch than double walled tents, they have a fixed shape, they’re bug and slither proof, they have the widest range in terms of weather conditions, they’re largely immune to internal condensation, and relatively affordable. Both of these manufacturers will also seam seal their tents for you for a small fee, so you don’t have to do it yourself.

If you’ve already gone through the tarp tent “phase” and want to try a lighter or more adaptable shelter, carefully consider the environmental conditions you expect to use it in and the skills you are willing to learn. I’ve owned 12 different UL shelters in the past 6 years and sold most of them because I didn’t fully understand what I wanted (mainly in terms of comfort) or what I needed (in terms campsite types and weather conditions.) Do your homework and you’ll probably have to buy fewer UL shelters than me!

Most Popular Searches

  • how to choose an ultralight tent
  • ultralight tents
  • UltralightBackpackingTentsandShelters|SectionHikersBackpackingBlog

, , , , , , , , , , ,

40 Responses to Ultralight Backpacking Tents and Shelters

  1. Tim October 30, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    Great post!
    I would add a mention that most double walled tents have a fast pitch option. If at all possible I carry my BA Copper Spur UL1 fly and footprint only and it’s worked great (on Pemi platforms). A cheap polycro groundcloth extends the space underneath too since most footprints are short and narrow. Sorta hybrid tarp tenting I guess

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      I have heard that option doesn’t work so well in rain on all tents that provide that option because the footprints are too big and water drips down the lashings that attach the floor to the poles and fly. Have you used it on the Copper Spur in rain?

      I like the Copper Spur because it’s freestanding, which is the most convenient way to deal with platforms.

  2. Marco October 30, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Phillip, there is one category you missed, I think: Tunnel Tents (or Hoop Tents.) These are single or double walled. They are narrow but have plenty of living space due to the near vertical sidewalls. They are for singles (Eureka Solitare) or couples (MSR Hoop) and have many different weights from heavy (over 5 pounds) to light (around 2 pounds.) There are several overseas manufacturors, Hildeberg, Exped, and others. They are often lightened by removing the inner net/floor and using only the fly (not always possible.) Generally they have excellent 4 season performance (snow compresses the sides in only minimally.) They require a small ground footprint, depending, because they do not require a lot of guy-lines. Example: the Stephensons 2XC weighs about 2#5 and is extremly weather proof, even using just 3 stakes to set it up. Condensation can be difficult, since ventilation is limited to one or two tip vents and the lower sides.

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      No, almost 100 percent of the hoop tents you mention are over 3 pounds. I’ve also heard mixed reports about stephensons quality and service. I’d have to check whether they make the 3 pound cut but even so, there are so many other tents available that weigh less and I have no hesitation recommending to people trying out UL tents for the first time. Make sense?

      • Janek cieszynski October 30, 2013 at 11:06 am #

        My Stephenson 2c came in at 2 lbs, 10 oz. 3 stakes to set.
        I will weigh my hilleberg nallo set as single wall to see where this might come in at.

  3. BeeKeeper October 30, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Excellent and comprehensive as usual. I have the Tarptent Rainbow 1 which I’ve been using for the last two seasons. The cooler ambient temperatures, the lower bathtub walls, and futzing setup time makes me envy the freestanding double wall construction. I have yet to be in a bad thunderstorm but I feel much more vulnerable than I did in my previous bombproof 5lb shelter. Check out the Big Sky Revolution 1P my friend used this past season, my current gear envy item. http://www.bigskyinternational.com/SummitShelters/Big_Sky_Revolution_1P_details.htm

  4. David October 30, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Philip, one tent you missed in your review, which I have been using for several years now and like a lot, is the MSR Carbon Reflex-1. It is a double walled tent that uses poles, and if you carry the inner tent, it is probably on the heavier side now, at just under 3 pounds. But, I don’t often carry the inner tent and usually just use the outer tarp with a footprint. This combination, even with a Z-packs superlight bivy for splash protection, is under 2 pounds. I recently spent 10 days in Torres del Paine in Patagonia in HEAVY winds under this tarp and the thing was a rock!

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      My intent for the shelter lists was to put up the best and most popular choices available not to be exhaustive, but the Carbon Reflex is definitely down there in weight. I think it’s rather overpriced though for what you get. Lists for $450 or something and really isn’t very different than the Hubba 1P.

      • David October 30, 2013 at 9:57 am #

        You are probably right about it being a bit overpriced. I had the luxury when I bought it of waiting until I found it at a price I thought reasonable. On the other hand, when I had a problem with one of the poles a couple of years after I bought the tent, they were replaced immediately and for free. Can’t argue with service like that. :-)

        • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 10:06 am #

          In my experience, most manufacturers wil bend over backward to help you out, but MSR’s customer service is legendary (and I’ve used it!)

  5. Louis Brooks October 30, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    I used my Ridge Runner Hammock on my recent section hike and loved it. It was windy and cold but I slept nice and warm. I used the windsock for the Ridge Runner plus an underquilt and was fine sub 25 degs. Bit heavier than other options but I like it.

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Comfort trumps weight! Andrew loves his – says its good for backsleepers.

      • Louis Brooks October 30, 2013 at 10:30 am #

        I like to alternate from my back to my side which was fine in the bridge. Harder to do in a gathered end hammocks. My only complaint with the hammock is you can’t spread out your gear inside to get out of the weather like you can with a tent.

  6. David Woodson October 30, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    The weight of my GoLite SL3 tarp is 676 gm or 24 oz.

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Thank you! Pretty amazing actually. Really makes that a viable shelter for winter use and the steep walls make up for the slanted ones on other pyramids. I may need to buy one afterall. LOL! Martin Rye will be amused.

      • Martin Rye November 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

        Get one as its a terrific shelter. SL3 all the way for me.

      • David Woodson November 5, 2013 at 12:35 am #

        I went to Martin’s site and saw that his came a few grams more than mine, probably guy line differences. Anyway I usually use mine with a Bearpaw Designs inner tent in the winter up here in the Pacific Northwest.

  7. Doug Layne, Portland, OR. October 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    First really likde this article, a good cross section of shelters. Could make it hard to decide.
    My BA CS UL1 though comes in at almost 44 oz. which about what the BA site states.Just wondering how you got 34. I am going with something a bit lighter. Trying to get to a lighter base weight. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this series.

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks for catching that – fixed. I haven’t weighed that one personally.

  8. Dan Smith October 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Great job, Philip, and in two parts! It was like reading a serial thriller!
    You did not mention the classic Noah’s Tarp by Kelty, a tried and true lightweight alternative. I use mine with a bivy, and although I don’t save much weight with that combination in the end, esp. when compared with modern tarp tents, I still have fun setting it up and sleeping in the open.
    Keep these longer comparison pieces coming!

  9. mayake October 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Great post, and fine analysis. From my part, as I fear either floods or noseeum-mosquitoes, and that I give priority to speed of setting up in the smallest possible space and the largest interior volume as possible, I had to be forced to design and build my own shelter.

    Thus made in cuben fabric with :
    · Dimensions –>less 2,30m*0,80-1,20m*1,25m and
    · Weight 630g including all the guying and pegs.
    I think this type of shelter may interest and give ideas to some other hiking myogers.

    If you want to have a look on it, you can watch some pics and plans there in my blog –>
    http://mayake.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/le-mini-tipi-mayake-termine-interieur-exterieur/

  10. RevLee October 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Excellent series, Philip. I wish someone would have highlighted the site and environmental factors earlier as well as you have here.

    I’ve been using one of the BearPaw Canopy Tents almost exclusively for the last couple of years with great success. That has been limited to camping in the Mid-Atlantic, primarily in Spring and Fall, so it is appropriate for the local conditions. It always goes with me on Scout trips just to show the boys that the standard double wall tents aren’t the only option.

    Noticed you didn’t include the poncho/tarp shelter. It sounds like a great ultralight idea until you realize you might need to leave your shelter in the middle of the night while it is still raining.

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      There’s a lot more to say about campsite selection – I’ve got something in the works about that. Lots of dimensions to it. I like the looks of those BP canopy tents. Surprising that they’re not more popular.

  11. whalen October 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Really enjoyed your two part series. Perhaps you’ve already considered this, but I’d love to read an article about your “12 different UL shelters in the past six years” and why specifically you moved on from each. I think that would be a valuable addition to this series. Thanks again for the time and effort you put into your articles.

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      That’s a good idea – It’s a long story coupled with evolving tastes and needs. Still it’d be useful to reproduce the thinking behind it for others.

      • Albert Kim October 31, 2013 at 12:28 am #

        I second the interest on reading about the “12 different UL shelters in the past six years.”

  12. WinterCampers October 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Phil – Nice treatment of the shelters and a good range of pictures illustrating the variations.

    Unless one is camping in dry or western climates or an advocate of winter camping (YEA!) then bug protection is a key consideration of most shelters. I would recommend tweaking your article to treat bug protection consistently across all shelters
    .
    You mention a lack of bug protection as disadvantage of flat tarps, but I would argue bug protection is also an issue with catenary cut tarps and pyramids. You mention bug protection as a feature of the tarp tents but not of double wall tents or hammock sleeping systems.

    Good stuff. I follow your blog consistently via RSS feed. Thanks again.

    • Philip Werner October 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      easy to fix – thanks for the consistency edit – it’s hard doing it on a small computer screen!

  13. Bfayer October 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    I don’t think I would put the Lightheart Solo into the tarp tent category. It is more more of a hybrid design that combines the features of a double wall tent with the light weight of a tarp tent.

    It has vestibules that completely cover the doors and other than a very small area at the ridge, there is no part of the tent that is single wall. It does not suffer from the same interior condensation issues that most trap tents have, so in that respect it is much more of a double wall tent.

    Since it uses hiking poles and the rain fly is connected to the tent body it is also much like a trap tent. I don’t think it fits neatly into either category.

    Having said all that, overall very informative article.

  14. Marla October 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Great article! I have 3 UL shelters and use them all. Which is best just depends on the conditions.

  15. Craig November 3, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Phil, what are your thoughts on the Six moon designs Lunar Solo ? I hike in the whites most of the time. Peace

    • Philip Werner November 3, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      It was the first tarp tent I ever bought and I loved it when I owned it. Six moons has made some design improvements in recent years which made it even better – one end used to flop down a bit on your feet – but Ron Moak reportedly fixed that. It has a pentangular inner which lets you store gear inside as well as a front vestibule. Pretty easy to pitch in small space but still comfortable. Why do you think you want one?

      • Albert Kim November 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        Philip – didn’t you recently post somewhere that you sold your MLD Duo and went to an SMD Lunar Solo? Do I have that correct?

        • Philip Werner November 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

          Tarptent Notch. I expect to have my entire shelter history documented in tomorrow’s post – per your request, sir!

  16. Craig November 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Well, honestly I recently bought one after having my eye on it for a while. I was interested in your opinion based on your extensive experiance in the whites as well as shelters.I have been in a hammock (warbonnet blackbird ) for a couple of years now. I love the hammock,I just wanted a good option for going to the ground at times. Thanks for the opinion.Peace

  17. mayake November 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Hay Philip,
    I want to send you a long comment with a table. It will enclose html code, how can i send it to you ? I think it may interest you and your hiking community
    jack

  18. Jimmy Childs November 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Bivy tents? Tent/sleeping bag combo. Under 2 lbs.

  19. Michael Barbosa January 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Back in the 1960s my favorite tent was the Sierra Designs 2 person mountain tent. Heavy at 6.5lbs, but very spacious. Like you, Philip, I pack in the northeast where humidity is a given. Just by chance, I discovered a solution to tent condensation. I would use one or two candle lanterns, which added just enough heat to burn-off any moisture collected in the buttoned-up tent, while waiting out a heavy rain storm in the fall.

    • Philip Werner January 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

      Thanks for reminding me about that – good option on long trips, I think.

Leave a Reply