User Review: GoLite Shangri-La 2
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £222
A good three-season tarp/tent but ventilation could be improved. A roomy nest, but the door needs improving.
- Small porch
- Indifferent ventilation
- Length of nest ridge
- Nest door
I bought this tent as a deluxe, lightweight backpacking tent for one (I don't like to rough it too much). I liked the idea of using my walking poles as the uprights, thereby saving weight, and I do like traditional ridge tents.
The nest is large with a bathtub floor which seems very robust and mesh walling that even the most determined midge can't get through. The porch area is small but there is sufficient room within the nest to store rucksacks, etc, and still have room to lie down fully extended and not touch the nest ends.
The door of the nest is peculiar in that its asymmetry makes ingress and egress awkward given the presence of the pole. Why not just use a traditional central zip and have both halves of the door fold back fully?
It became clear after a couple of times of putting the tent up that the ridge of the nest is shorter than that of the outer. The consequence of this is that the front apex of the tent with pole patch slips forward and the pole rests on the unprotected ridge seam.
The solution to this is to suspend the door end of the nest from the loop on the fly inner and have the pole stuck into the ground immediately in front of the nest footprint. This solution also remedies the excess tension in the nest forcing the mesh onto the fly inner and causing condensation to drip onto the footprint and me!
Speaking of condensation, this is clearly a tent designed in a part of the world where they expect low humidity. The first few times I used the tent the fly was very wet in the morning and I was dripped on quite a lot. This tent does require a considerable amount of ventilation to prevent this unless it is windy. It is too easy to draw the sides right down to the ground — it's important to leave a gap of several inches all round the tent at the base of the fly and in very still conditions the door needs to be at least half open. Of course, windless conditions with fine persistent rain are not ideal conditions for this tent.
Internal space for one or two is excellent. I've shared the tent with a friend for a three-night trip and there was enough room for us and all our gear inside the tent and we didn't get fractious.
The tent has endured some very strong winds and rain at times. Gusts of 40-50mph were experienced in Snowdonia in September when wild camping and the tent performed very well, even if our sleeping bag fabric fluttered in the breeze inside the tent!
The additional side guys points on the 2011 model do make a difference to this tent's performance in high winds. I've used Dyneema (Spectra) tree-surgeon 1.4 mm line for my guys with Clam Cleats. Once the guys are correctly adjusted, they don't move or sag. This is a tent that takes a while to get right, in terms of pitch, until you've had some practice.
The tent is extremely waterproof and withstood 36 hours of steady heavy rain in Snowdonia with only one slight seam leak. It also survived a remarkably nasty cloudburst in the Brecon Beacons where more than 10mm fell in less than two hours.
Overall I'm very pleased with this model as a lightweight trekking tent. Although the porch is not huge it does provide some shelter to cook in and store boots, cooker etc. I feel this tent could be used for three seasons in the UK but the netting inner would present no obstacle to blowing snow.