User Review: GoLite Shangri-La 2
Price Paid: $112
I have all three components to this system. This review is of the shelter tarp only.
Mine is the 2009 model, and does not have the extra guy loops midway up the side panels or the nest loops at the same locations but on the interior (affords more interior clearance in the nest by drawing it closer and more aligned, from a planar standpoint, to the outer tarp).
Mine also lacks the newest model's factory taped seams, although my version's seams (silicon impregnated threads) passed my 30 minute sprinkler test while I sat inside the shelter.
The newer model has larger peak vents, although one can debate a perceived advantage with larger vents with respect to high winds and spindrift.
Pitching the tent was simple in varied environments where the ground was penetrable. I have a freestanding tent that I love, but this structure is highly adjustable and flexible for height and width (without the nest, and limited when using the floor). When pitched properly (read the directions!) this is a very taut structure, and is superbly stable using trekking poles.
I have also pitched this in adverse winter conditions (on purpose, to assess its capabilities, without cover or a snow berm for protection). I was on a ridge at 19 degrees without wind chill during sustained 25 mph winds. There were gusts (reportedly to 50 mph).
After a quick prep of the site to level it out, I pitched the closed end into the wind with the trekking poles lowered to provide a lower profile (about 6 inches below normal). There was no crust on the snow, so I used my smc snowstakes (pre-guyed) for a dead man layout and set the first 6 main points of the pyramidal shape. There are 6 additional guy loops at the base of the shelter at midpoints between the mains.
I then used my Snowclaw as a snow anchor for the guy loop at the peak and attached it with a cinch line. I set the windward pole in the interior (using wide powder baskets at the base) and then the pole toward the door. A quick tightening of the snow anchored guyline and I was ready to test it out. Set up took 20 minutes in these conditions (my first experience with this shelter in extreme conditions).
It was moderately noisy during the highest gusts from flapping material, but I was comfortable inside. I always carry earplugs for the backcountry just in case the winds are howling. Good sleep is a must.
I only noticed a small amount of spindrift coming through the windward vent, but after an hour of sitting inside, there was no condensation. This is a true 4-season shelter, as the Shangri-La 2 didn’t budge a bit during the test. The door seals up tight as well.
I haven’t tried pitching this using overhead trees and no poles, but even pitched with poles it is large inside (two 6+ foot men plus gear are no problem). Considering the excellent y stakes included and the ultralight H20 proof stuff sacks, this 1 lb 13 oz structure is nearly perfect in my iteration, and with a few modifications to emulate the 2010-11 model, will be a true 5 star shelter.
I almost forgot to mention that it includes interior gear pockets and multiple loops for hanging gear or using a gear loft. Kudos, GoLite.