Buying ultralight tent

8:01 a.m. on February 24, 2017 (EST)
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Hi,

I am looking for an ultralight tent, less than 1KG to serve me in south America mountains.

The 4 that I looked at are: (Weight descending order)

1. Laser Competition 1

2. Telemark LW 1

3. MSR Carbon Reflex 1

4. Sea to Summit Specialist Solo

Which would you recommend? (or perhaps other tent, my budget is around 300£).

The Sea2Summit requires a customized sleeping pad as it's very narrow, and seems like a groundsheet as well.

Has anyone used it before and could detail about the experience and which supplement gear he used? (mat, sleeping bag, groundsheet)

Thank you.

8:57 p.m. on February 26, 2017 (EST)
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I doesn't need a customized sleeping pad, but I definitely wouldn't use a wide pad. Most any of the standard pads out on the market would work fine. A thermarest prolite would fit fine for example.

11:57 p.m. on February 26, 2017 (EST)
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What mountains?  Are you doing something like the Inca Trail, or will you be doing high altitude mountaineering?  I'll assume herein you are tourist hiking. My experiences with South American mountains is in Peru.  Rain was very frequent on all of my trips.  I was glad I had a two person dome tent; otherwise I'd go nuts being hunkered down in some tiny tent. 

I found the one feature that always made sustained tent confinement unbearable was not being able to sit up in the tent.  A glance at the specs indicate none of the tents listed have adequate head room IMO.  Furthermore the Sea to Summit tent looked tedious to set up. 

I currently have a MSR Hubba, a cousin to the Carbon Reflex.  It is a solid three season mountain tent, real good at shedding rain and medium wind, but I find the minimal interior dimensions just barely adequate.  It is now a tent I bring when rain is not anticipated.  If I was going on a trip that anticipated riding lots of weather I would want something more roomy.  Tarp tents accomplish that in two pounds or less, albeit there is a learning curve to perfecting the pitch.  And in fact my tarp has replaced the Hubba on long summer trips.  My tarp is a large 2 person shelter, more than enough room for me and all of my gear, and weighs about 20 oz, including guy lines.

I've always used a ground cloth under my tent.  But I prefer to sleep under the stars whenever possible and pad is too narrow to keep my bag out of the dirt, so I also use a ground cloth when out in the open.  Ground cloths are cheaper to replace than damaged tents or bags...

Ed 

 

 

 

4:24 p.m. on February 27, 2017 (EST)
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Take a look at the Tarptent Bowfin 1.

Just over 1kg but it has a 100cm (40") headroom  and can take a wide mat.

Sets up fly and inner together so no problem in setting it up when raining. 

Freestanding apart from the vestibule .



bowfin1_21_zpshsfrfeur.jpghttps://www.tarptent.com/bowfin1.html

If you  use trekking poles , the Tarptent Notch is about 300g lighter and still has good headroom and does take (just) a wide mat but you need a minimum amount of skill in setting it up correctly.

(I am with Tarptent , the Notch is the one I use) 

5:02 p.m. on February 27, 2017 (EST)
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I really like my Tarptent Moment DW (Double Wall). With its ripstop inner it is a good 4 season tent with the optional Crossing pole for heavy snow loads.

Two doors/vestibules, well ventilated bottom to top, fast to set up, thus the name "Moment". 

And I also like Tarptent's customer service!

BTW, Henry, your "spreader bar" for the Bowfin's end struts is great. It should become standard on the Moment DW and other triangular end strut tents (but not the Scarp corners where it won't work).

Eric B.

10:12 a.m. on February 28, 2017 (EST)
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Why have you narrowed your choices to those four specific tents? Headroom on those is pretty small. Frankly, among ultralighters, none of those would be on the list of most popular. There are many other manufacturers you could consider: Tarptent as mentioned and also Zpacks, Six Moon Designs, LightHeart Gear, Mountain Laurel Designs, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Nemo, Big Agnes, Marmot, Sierra Designs, REI, and more.

8:00 a.m. on March 1, 2017 (EST)
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Hi,

Thank you very much for your great inputs!

I prefer not to use Tarp tent as it seems to have less privacy, I'd like my shelter to be fully closed when I'm inside.

Am I wrong about this?

For that reason, I'd rather not have Zpacks, which seems to have a gap between the ground and the flysheet.

JR,

I am aware of these great brands that you mentioned, could you be more specific regarding which tents of them are under 1kg (hopefully around 850gr) and within 300£?

Thanks a lot!

2:47 p.m. on March 1, 2017 (EST)
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Hi again JR,

I looked in Lightheart Gear, and reviewed their LightHeart GearSolo

 

It doesn't detail there the type of Flysheet and Ground Fabrics (e.g. Nylon / how many mm of waterproof).

 

Do you have info about this tent or experience with it?

 

Thank you.

5:16 p.m. on March 1, 2017 (EST)
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Sol said:

Hi,

Thank you very much for your great inputs!

I prefer not to use Tarp tent as it seems to have less privacy, I'd like my shelter to be fully closed when I'm inside.

Am I wrong about this?

For that reason, I'd rather not have Zpacks, which seems to have a gap between the ground and the flysheet.

JR,

I am aware of these great brands that you mentioned, could you be more specific regarding which tents of them are under 1kg (hopefully around 850gr) and within 300£?

Thanks a lot!

A pyramid configuration tarp has 100% privacy, if you stake it flush to the ground. 

Quite a few brands to choose from, just for the pyramid configuration.  Read up on-line.  Each brand's interpretation of the pyramid will have features and options that influence personal preferences.  I happen to be breaking in a 2 person Hyperlite Ultra Mid.  The interior space made me wonder why I did not make this conversion long ago.  I also like the white tent walls, makes everything bright, which helps psychologically when tent bound.  (Whatever you do, avoid dark walls; a dark tarp is dreary and cave like.)  Too preliminary to comment on my tent, other than the craftsmanship is good on my purchase.

I've used Black Diamond pyramids at various times.  They were used as snow shelters.  All Winners in their time. 

Ed

9:39 p.m. on March 1, 2017 (EST)
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As Ed said, virtually any shelter is going to give you the ability to close it up for privacy, though most of us achieve our privacy by camping far from other people. But if a shelter is going to provide storm protection then it also will protect from prying eyes (unless it's made from extra-light cuben or polycryo).

I actually own a LHG Solo and like it a lot, though I have switched it out for a much lighter poncho tarp that shaves weight not only in the shelter category but in rain gear as well. The LHG is lightweight silnylon everywhere except, obviously, the netting. It has a nice design with the fly panels stitched to the ridgeline so it's all one "piece", less fiddle factor than shelters that have separate inner and outer. And easy to roll up the fly on one or both sides to use it as a net tent.

Being a mid the walls all slope in, so you have peak headroom only in the center, but you get some breathing width due to the spreader bar. The vestibule is small, but that's OK because the shelter has lots of spare room inside so you can keep all your gear but your muddy shoes in with you. You can set it up in the rain without getting the inside wet, but overall setup is a little awkward as you need to climb inside it while it's fully collapsed and set up the poles and spreader bar from the inside. It does require two poles, which I found out the hard way can be a problem if you break a pole while on the trail (hint: don't use carbon poles that, while strong, still can break into two separate, jagged pieces). The upside of this design is that the two poles plus the spreader bar form a single, super-strong frame that, together with the wind-shedding mid shape, make this shelter very storm-worthy.

I'm not wild about the cranberry color they use now (mine is a nice, discontinued forest green). But all in all a very solid UL solo shelter with a lot of interior room (could be used for 1+child or 1+dog).

Some pics:
P1100080.jpgP1100453.jpg5.jpgP1090557.jpgP1090967.jpgP1100271.jpg6.jpg

7:40 a.m. on March 2, 2017 (EST)
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JR has covered the Solo well...I almost bought it a few years ago but went with the Solong 6 as I am 6 ft tall and liked the slightly better headroom and length of that tent (which I got in the same forest green - totally agree with you JR on the Cranberry!).  The downside of the Solong is it is a partial single wall and has two strips of single wall at either end that need an occasional wipe down with a Pack Towel or bandana during high condensation times.  It weighs a bit more but I highly recommend for folks 6ft and over.

12:48 p.m. on March 2, 2017 (EST)
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I have 2 tents that weigh (with stakes) just over 2 kg (2.1 in both cases). The weights I will give here are weights I weighed for the tents, not something listed in a catalog.

The one I have used most in our American Climber Science Program expeditions to Peru is the Bibler ElDorado. Nominally this is a 2 person tent. It is made by Black Diamond. I think they have recently dropped the Bibler label but have the same tent under the BD label. There is a slightly smaller version called, I think, First Light or something similar. I have used my Eldorado in heavy storm conditions. It has plenty of headroom. Both the Eldorado and First Light are single wall, but with a fabric called Todtech (named for Todd Bibler, the original designer). The facing on Todtech is fuzzy and wicks condensation out of the tent even in heavy storms.

I have also have a Hilleberg Suolo. This tent is set up with a sleeping section plus what you might consider a large vestibule. The sleeping section has plenty of headroom, but is a bit narrow (Thermarest and similar pads do fit without a width problem). The sleeping section is double-walled, so no condensation problems. The "vestibule" is the same width and length, but lacks a floor. That's ok for storing your pack or boots. The only problem with the Suolo is the usual Hilleberg high price. Considering the high quality, though, the Suolo is well worth its price in my opinion.

Here are 2 photos of the Suolo in action following a serious blizzard.
20120317Hille2.jpgThe second photo below was what I woke up to. The storm dropped about 2 feet during the night. I shook the snow off in the below image.

20120317Hille3.jpg

Both tents are pretty easy and fast to put up.

I also have a ZPacks Triplex, which is a 3-person ultralight. You worried about the space between the top and floor. The version I have (attached floor) has a mesh "breather" with the roof coming down below the mesh, so no visibility unless someone lays down on the ground to peek underneath. However, since the tent is made of Cuben, it is translucent. That means someone outside when you have a lantern on inside will see a blurry figure. I have not found that to be a problem. I haven't used the ZPack in heavy weather and am not sure it would stand up to the blizzard or to 40+ knot winds.

6:46 p.m. on March 3, 2017 (EST)
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Hi

Bill, Phil, JR, Ed.

I thank you a lot!

I enjoyed reading about your experiences with your tents! oh that snow storm Bill looks tough!

I finally came down to either Skyscape Trekker of SMD or Telemark LW 1 of Nordisk,

Mainly due to budget.

Which one would you recommend please?

Do you know if that gap between the flysheet and the ground can be closed in the Skyscape Trekker?

Thank you.

December 7, 2019
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