User Review: Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
I love the options and weight of this tent, but the foot area needs a little work, and perhaps a slightly roomier vestibule.
- fly/footprint set up
- pole strength
- number of stakes needed
- vestibule space tight
- air circulation when tent zipped shut
I used this tent for 6 months extensively in the Central Sierras, just south of Lake Tahoe. I primarily used it with the footprint, tent, and rain fly (rainfly more for privacy and blocking early morning light than for rain). I like the weight, durability, and options this tent provides, but I question the stakes and number of stakes needed, and the ventilation of this otherwise airy appearing tent.
I found immediately that in pumice/sandy soil the provided stakes were difficult to keep in the ground, especially when it got windy, or when I tried to put the footprint loop, tent body loop, and fly loop over it. Thus, I dug out some MSR stakes from a tarp tent I owned and used those.
At first I kept knocking the foot area loops off the stakes while rolling around in my sleep. Or if I didn't bring extra stakes the fly would flap in the wind. When trying to minimize tent stake use, the foot area doesn't set up well. It also in an area with NO humidity (I was in the Central Sierra High Desert), it doesn't breathe as well as you'd think if you don't bring extra stakes to tautly stake out the foot area. Staking the fly out further and separate for the footprint and tent body increased ventilation, but required I bring more stakes.
I would wake up in the morning with condensation all over my toe box area, on a night with no rain. This was with the tent door fly propped up on my backpack in the vestibule, and not fully open. I started sleeping with the door fully open and an eyemask on to block light from my eyes, yet increase ventilate. For a mostly mesh body tent, and it not being single wall tent, and me being in the HIGH Desert I can only imagine how moist the inside will get when I try this tent in Vermont.
I really love the tent weight, and know this tent has been around for years, but please improve the footbox staking and ventilation options. Also, as the first reviewer said, it is hard to get out of the tent when your backpack hardly fits under the vestibule. I'd keep my boots inside. The one time I put my pack inside for interest of space in the vestibule, I POPPED my Big Agnes Clearview Mat. Which is an UL mat, that apparently contacted a tiny part of my frame on my Osprey Ariel 65 pack and popped. It was not a fun night.
It is nice that taller folks (I'm 5'8") can fit in here with plenty of footroom, and that this tent is very durable and packable. It isn't as quick to set up when you bring the extra stakes to improve ventilation.