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Six Moon Designs?

12:44 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Well here goes another thread about tents.

Started these adventures trying to buy what was quality and functional for the money. All items I purchased have been just that,decent and functional. I've made some upgrades all ready ie. pack, boots, cooking setup and such. I've been thinking my next upgrade in gear will probably be the tent. I have a Kelty Gunnison 2.1 I do like but is on the heavy side. Also have a Eureka Spitfire 1, I like the wieght but is cramped and doesnt vent very well.

I dont have a big budget so that is limiting my choices. Dont want to go with a single wall design, but like the idea of using my trekking poles as tent supports.  I like the looks and have seen good reviews on the Shangra La 1 three piece system. But Im getting intrested in a Six Moon Designs setup. I was wondering if anybody has used a SMD  or some input on the tent itself

http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_smd.tpl&product_id=55&category_id=7&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=110

 

6:57 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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I have never used that particular tent, but six moons designs makes some really great tents in general. I use the Nemo Meta 2P which is a trekking pole tent, and I really like it. However, it is gathering dust more and more as I am now a hammock convert!

10:25 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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I had some issues with a first generation Lunar Solo - both build quality and overall design.  However, 6 Moons has come a long way and Ron Moak has improved the quality control of his products.  Not to mention that he has been on a design frenzy - some really neat designs.

A direct competitor would be www.tarptent.com.  

The Golite Shangri-la products are a bit more robust.  The tieouts have thick plastic linelocs with 1" wide strapping v.s. just cordage.  The fabric is silicone coated instead of impregnated with silicone and will have a higher UV resistance (and potentially tear strength).  

My Shangri-la 1 has stood up to some surprising storms.  Guyed out it is rock solid.  The only issues being the sides - because of their 'flatness' they tend to bow in when the wind is substantial.  But the shelter never fell down on me.  I also like the modular approach of the shelter - double walled, no inner net, floor or no floor, etc.

2:16 p.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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lots of room for a single, looks good.

9:50 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Thats what appeals to me about the Shangra La, the versatility. I look at the Six Moon as kind of a Tweener. Double wall on the sides but looks like the roof area is single. It still not as roomy as a 2 person but looks like it has has more usefull space then my Spitfire.  I really like the wieght of the SMD.  OH NO! Am I becoming a UL'r? Doubtfull, but something about that SMD has my attention.

I could use a Hammock on some trips up north where the trees grow, but alot of my trips are in the deserts, not to often ya can find 2 trees close enough together. Might be kinda dangerous tieing up to 2 cactus.

9:56 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I am really liking the design of some of these SMD tents.

10:31 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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azrhino-

The Skyscape doesn't seem like a bad deal at $225. I really like free standing shelters for the convenience but this looks to be pretty nice. I don't see a usable vestibule which may be something ya want to take into consideration. Or you can always pack trash can liners. I do anyways. Overall I like it.

I also notice no vents up top. This may be a hot one in the desert when ya have to batten down the hatches for a storm when combined with the dark colors of the fabric. Dark colors attract heat as I am sure you know. I would definitely look into the ventilation on this model. 

11:01 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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No vents is a concern of mine. My Spitfire has a little roof vent but doesnt do much when totally closed up. Was alright when temps where in the 40's. With temps in the low 60's it was warm inside, fortunatlly it didnt rain so was able to leave vestibule open. I think its main problem is walls are to close to the netting and fly is to close to the ground for good air movement.

I think Im gonna have to contact SMD and ask some questions. If I can adjust fly to allow for more or less ventilation would be a plus.

11:10 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I would definitely contact them. Anytime I purchase gear whether it be a tent, boots, packs, etc I ask as many questions as I possibly can. The reps from the companies I have dealt with in the past have been quite informative. Better to know what you are getting than the surprise ya may get if ya don't. 

The whole vent thing I mentioned was from what I saw in the pics as well as there is no reference to vents on the site other than what they mentions as far as rolling the fly back. This may be a problem in wet weather. 

11:23 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Just fired off an Email to them asking about vents and ventilation issues. Thats the approach Im trying to take. I want to know as much as I can before making my purchase. Thats why I ask these questions here on TS, If I dont think of the right questions someone else will!

11:33 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Typically when it comes to tents I like designs that utilize vents up high. With the air coming in under the fly and exiting around the peak of your shelter you have a chimney effect. Another little thin I like in a shelter is a ridge pole. This is usually found in modified a-frame tents. 

Here is a pic of my current solo so ya get an idea what I mean:


2011-05-02_18-39-24_142.jpg

The nice thing about a ridge/spanner pole is it help a great deal when entering/exiting the shelter in rain because it produces an overhang with you fly that protects the interior of your tent from a deluge. It also maximizes your interior space as far as your sidewalls are concerned making them pretty much vertical which in turn maximizes your vestibule space being they're no ate up by a sloping sidewall.

All the little things add up.

11:35 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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The small vestibule doesnt bother me, figure its a trade off for wieght/size. Putting pack in a trashbag Im already carrying works fine for me. Aslong as I can get boots and a few small items under vestibule Im good.

11:36 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Definitely look into the ventilation. The lack of can make for one miserable trip.

11:41 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Is that the Copper Spur? Id like to get one but the price tag is real hard to swallow!

11:47 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah, its the Copper Spur 1. It is pricey for a 3 season solo. I was also looking at the MSR's Carbon Reflex. I am not a fan of carbon because as with trekking poles if the poles break they are toast. They give ya a splint with this tent for pole repair. Overall, I am very happy with it. I like being able to fast pitch it w/o an inner.

11:58 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I also prefer free standing myself. But trying to get one that doesnt wieght a lot means ya gotta spend alot. Ive also been considering the Shangra La but by the time you get all 3 pieces the price is up on it too.

I carry a splint tube with duct tape rapped around it for pole repair. Havent had to use it yet (knock on wood) I could see where the fast pitch would be nice on a non-buggy night.

12:19 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Fast pitch set is nice. This is my go to set for the fall. 


2011-05-13_13-47-10_29.jpg
2011-05-13_13-47-57_873.jpg


1:48 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah dats a nice setup. Im gonna see what SMD has got to say and continue research on it as well as others. Its gonna be a little while before I decide what to get, who knows maybe I'll have saved more pennies or changed my mind a couple dozen times by then :)

I just saw a couple of videos on youtube for the SMD, definitly no roof vents. Looks plenty roomy enough. In one video it looked like the guy had some good space between the ground and the fly that might help with the venting.

11:02 a.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I have the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 1 and like it for all the reasons Rick outlined above. I also have a few nit picky "complaints" about it.  Overall, though, I am happy with my choice in buying this tent.  At this point in time, if something happened to this one, I'd by another one.

I'll try to write a review soon, though I've been holding off since I've only used the tent on a half dozen nights so far, all in warm dry weather.

One thing I noticed in looking for a tent of this type is that many (most???) of them are extremely claustrophobic.  Many have sloped walls (so you can't really use the full length/width), some are so low that you can't sit up in them, etc, etc.  For example, the Six Moons tent referenced by the OP seems to slope down to a point at the end, so your feet would cause the sleeping bag to brush against the tent wall, presumably getting damp from condensation.

The Copper Spur actually feels quite roomy for a light-weight solo tent.  It's less roomy than my Mountain Hardwear Skyview 1.5, but the packed weight is less than half.

BTW I have the footprint , but haven't used it yet. Instead I've been using a piece of 3ml (??) plastic that I cut to fit, as suggested by others here including The OGBO.  So far this has worked fine.  With such a lightweight tent I'd definitely recommend using something to protect the floor.  The plastic sheet is a little less convenient than the footprint (it blows around when setting up/taking down the tent, doesn't have convenient grommets for the poles, etc) but it saves a couple ounces :).  Also it's totally waterproof. However you can't use it to set up the fly without the tent body - though I don't see myself doing this, I prefer to keep the crawling critters & insects away from me when I'm sleeping.

2:21 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

I have the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 1 and like it for all the reasons Rick outlined above. I also have a few nit picky "complaints" about it.  Overall, though, I am happy with my choice in buying this tent.  At this point in time, if something happened to this one, I'd by another one.

I'll try to write a review soon, though I've been holding off since I've only used the tent on a half dozen nights so far, all in warm dry weather.

One thing I noticed in looking for a tent of this type is that many (most???) of them are extremely claustrophobic.  Many have sloped walls (so you can't really use the full length/width), some are so low that you can't sit up in them, etc, etc.  For example, the Six Moons tent referenced by the OP seems to slope down to a point at the end, so your feet would cause the sleeping bag to brush against the tent wall, presumably getting damp from condensation.

The Copper Spur actually feels quite roomy for a light-weight solo tent.  It's less roomy than my Mountain Hardwear Skyview 1.5, but the packed weight is less than half.

BTW I have the footprint , but haven't used it yet. Instead I've been using a piece of 3ml (??) plastic that I cut to fit, as suggested by others here including The OGBO.  So far this has worked fine.  With such a lightweight tent I'd definitely recommend using something to protect the floor.  The plastic sheet is a little less convenient than the footprint (it blows around when setting up/taking down the tent, doesn't have convenient grommets for the poles, etc) but it saves a couple ounces :).  Also it's totally waterproof. However you can't use it to set up the fly without the tent body - though I don't see myself doing this, I prefer to keep the crawling critters & insects away from me when I'm sleeping.

 Ahhhh the coffin effect with solos. This was a big selling point for me when I bought the Spur. Its definitely a roomy solo. I think a big problem as far as tents go today are the specs. 

I spoke with the rep for BA and knew the answer but wanted confirmation. Tent dimensions are based on grommet to grommet measurements. They said that this method has become somewhat of an industry standard.

If ya purchase a tent based on the dimensions you may get a "surprise" when you get it. It may be smaller inside than what ya originally thought and for many this can make or break a deal. 

My response to this was "I don't know anyone who sets up their tent and then sleeps outside of it but maybe I am missing something." I personally think this is pretty silly method and for those that do not know about how they are measured it can be quite misleading.

I think its about time I fire out a review on this model. I have been getting over strep so this may very well be a good time to do this. 

11:22 p.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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So, Rick, where's the review? :) I'm in the market for a lightweight tent and sleeping bag. Suggestions?

11:37 p.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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jackdaniel said:

So, Rick, where's the review? :) I'm in the market for a lightweight tent and sleeping bag. Suggestions?

I have been in and out of the hospital. Going back in tomorrow for a few more tests. As soon as I get this stuff situated I will fire one out. It typically takes me a few to do a review. I like to get somewhat in depth on things. Sometimes this requires me to contact the manufacturer to get more info than what is available on their site. 

Shouldn't be much of an issue with the Spur though. I harassed BA quite a bit before I bought it.

I am also hitting the trail for another week long adventure in 2 weeks. :)

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