LightHeart Gear Duo
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200 as a demo
Original Review: January 5, 2013
Perfect hiking tent, does not leak, is ultra light and goes up quickly even in the rain. I find the Duo essential for hiking the AT. It serves as either a one-person or two-person tent, allows me to put my gear inside with me, and has enough room for a tall hiker. Love it.
- easy to set up and repack
- includes floor made in
- is sometimes difficult to set up on tent pads, unless you carry additional cord
I have carried the Duo for two years on the AT and had zero issues with it. The tent goes up quickly even in the rain, does not get soaked inside while setting up in a down pour, and offers ample room for me and my gear. The vestibule gives me room to set extra stuff or even if need me cook a meal in the dry though this is not a recommended use.
This tent was damaged by a lawnmower, patched and Still keeps me dry and secure. I have had this tent up in wind and thunderstorms, unexpected snow and ice with no issues. While any single wall tent can suffer from condensation (and with all the flaps secured down this one is no exception) I have seldom had an issue with this with the vestibule and side open to vent. It stays dry in all but the most windy rain storms with the vestibule zipped out as well.
I love this tent and have no plans to replace it any time soon. When I do I am sure to purchase another of Lightheart's wonderful tents
Update: February 27, 2013
The Lightheart Duo tent is a two-person ultralight tent weighing just two pounds. It is rain proof, easy to set up even in a downpour, and allows me to bring my pack inside with me.
- Water tight
- Ultra light
- Ridge height high enough for a tall person
- Easy to set up and wind resistant.
- Not free standing
I have used my Lightheart Duo tent from Judy Gross at Lightheart Gear for going on three years. It is simply the best tent I have ever had. I even had a neighbor run over it with a lawn mower tearing off one corner of the vestibule and ripping a hole in the vestibule which I had to patch and it Still performs like new!
The tent is nominally a two-person and certainly has room for two. But as it weighs only two pounds, no more than most ultralight one person tents, I have used it as a solo. This allows me to bring all my gear and pack inside at night so, when I sleep all that is outside is my bear bag.
It has ample length for my 6'5" height, enough ridge height that my head does not touch the top when I sit up and has wonderful ventilation when the vestibule is open or may be closed down to keep the wind and chill out.
Overall a most wonderful tent and shelter.
Price Paid: $345
First the good:
This tent is huge inside, there's tons of room and it's light enough for one person to carry it keeping all of their gear inside the tent. With the tyvek footprint, stakes, and tent the total was under 2-1/2 lbs, not counting my hiking poles which I always have with me so I never count them in the weight.
The price ($295) includes nothing but the tent and guy lines, no stakes, footprint, or rain fly.
The setup is difficult especially the first time. Most tents you can learn on the trail but you MUST set this tent up prior to taking it out the first time and never try and set it up in the rain. This tent is NOT free standing at all, which is fine but it's just something people should know before they buy it and....
There is no rain fly... it is a single wall tent. This tent is terrible in the rain, in fact I suggest if there is even the slightest chance of bad weather DO NOT take this tent or any of the LightHeart tents!
The problem is in the design and the material. The very thing that makes this tent so light (sil-nylon) is what ends up biting you in the butt when it rains. The material stretches when it gets wet and with this tent in the corners, then the water starts to pool.
The corner guy lines are a mystery... there's no actual loop for a stake so you just have to guess at the correct way to stake the corners. I'm guessing that there's a way to make this work but should I have to engineer their tents? I don't think so.
I created a loop when I first set the tent up but the weight from the pooling rainwater during the night pulled the stakes out and the tent started to collapse on me. I experienced this on a backpack in the Sierras and it got so bad I ended up packing up and hiking 4 miles out in the middle of the night.
One more thing I just noticed that they've added to their site... these tents are now being made in China. For some reason I thought these tents were hand made in the USA... this is disappointing.
Is it still a good tent? Yes, but it's a 2-season tent only to be used in good weather. I would have returned it had I not paid for the seam sealing and already used it on a backpack.
At this point I may sell it on ebay. I paid: $295 for the Duo, $35 for seam sealing, & $15 for the tyvek footprint for a total of $345. Luckily I had another tent I could use the stakes from.
2 lb 0 oz / 910 g
103 in / 262 cm
57 in / 140 cm
41 sq ft / 3.8 sq m
10.8 sq ft / 1.0 sq m
42 in / 110 cm
Where to Buy
The LightHeart Gear Duo is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
US | Canada | UK | Aus
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the LightHeart Gear web site.
Retailers: Do you sell this product? List your site here.