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What do think of Lightheart Solo tent?


Looking at the lightweight solo tents available, I saw the Lightheart Solo tent which weights 27 oz before seam-sealing.

I reckon that it'd weight about 32 oz with seam-sealing and 6-10 stakes.

Anyone used it before?

It says the rain fly comes down 3 inches off the ground, but the bathtub floor is 8-inch high, would that protect against the wind from coming inside the sleeping area?

Would you recommend to carry Tyvek footprint for it?


You will get breezy when the wind at ground surface picks up.  Do note wind velocities decrease in the air under 18" above ground, so what feels like a 10mph breeze in your face is only about a 2mph breath 2" off the sand.

I have not used this tent before.  Your chosen tent is a pyramid variant, a simple and stable, reliable geometry.  And I like high ceilings.  A 5" overlap between your fly and tub floor should keep you dry.  While they may state a 3" gap at the bottom of the fly, the images show a near flush pitch to the ground.  Tarps often have a degree of flexibility in how close to ground you may pitch.  The design concept is all good, but I do not know the reputation of Lightheart and its products.

Ground cloths - I ALWAYS bring one.

  • They are cheaper/easier to replace than damaged tent floors.
  • It gives me options.  I prefer sleeping under the stars, or under a personal bug net.  I want my bag to be surrounded by a deck of dirt free surface area.  Ground cloth covers that.
  • And my current solo tent is a floorless pyramid tarp.


How tall are you ?

The Lightheart Solo is a single wall hybrid tent.  Great design because there is the weight savings that comes with a single wall vs a double wall tent.  Bad for condensation.  To combat condensation issues which may arise is the tent's ability to have good airflow.  Single wall hybrids normally have excellent airflow.  That overlap is going to keep precipitation out but not the wind.  If you try to decrease the height of the fly by lowering the height of your trekking poles in order to bring the fly closer to the ground, the chances of condensation forming increase because the airflow will be diminished.  I have owned a couple of hybrid tents and have not had issues with condensation but I've set them up the way they were designed.  

I've researched the Lightheart tents and the Solo is designed for people that are 5'10" or less in height and the Solong is designed for people over 5'10".

Never hurts to have a footprint and tyvek or polycryo are the lightest options.

I like the looks of this tent.  It would be possible to close the tent and leave the fly on the right side a foot above the ground which would help with condensation problems.

You are going to stay dry from rain with the tent closed up, but you are going to have issues with condensation.

I would set it up in the yard, and spray it with a hose and see if the seams need sealing. Many tents don't.  If you are going for light weight, why add a foot print? Just clear the area before you set up your tent. Nobody used foot prints for decades, and then they became popular in the 1990s. I have never used one except for under a tarp with no floor. I have Sierra Designs tent that is over 25 years old and floor is perfect.

I own the LHG Solo and like it a lot. They have been around a while and their workmanship is high quality. Judy and Mark (the owners) designed the LHG after thru-hiking the AT and wanted to design a shelter specifically for AT thru-hikers, though it works well anywhere in 3-season conditions.

Since the floor is a diamond shape and a person sleeping takes approximately a rectangle in the middle, that leaves you with four generous corners/triangles for storing gear. The design is pretty bombproof, the way the trekking poles angle inward and connect into the spreader bar creates a single rigid "frame" across the center.

Mine is a 2012, they must have modified the design a little because the old instructions say that the side corners of the fly should be 6-8" off the ground. You can see that in this pic:

The head and foot corners are flush to the ground because they are stitched to the ridgeline all the way down.

Having the fly side corners up at that height has never been a problem for me, allows lots of ventilation to reduce/eliminate condensation. I've never had an issue with wind. Also never had an issue with rain splash, the side corners of the fly are far enough out from the bathtub floor.

The LHG has a typical silnylon floor, so use a groundsheet or not as you would for any other sil tent, the LHG doesn't have any special considerations in this area. If you use one I would suggest making your own from polycryo (insulating window film), it's lighter than Tyvek.

Rob, I would not call this a single-wall, there are no panels that are on the outside that you can contact directly on the inside. There's a very small area at the very top where the spreader bar is, but otherwise the fly panels are stitched to the ridgeline and are separated from you by a separate layer of mesh inner all the way around. Here's another photo showing the fly panels rolled all the way up, you can see that there is essentially a distinct inner mesh tent within:

I'm not wild about the cranberry color they're using now, I see they've added a blue option but I prefer the good ol' forest green I got several years ago.

JR, didn't know that. I thought the ceiling was exposed. Neat. Would you say the user height is correct? 5-10 or less for the Solo and over 5-10 for the Solong?

Yeah, the LHG is better described as a double-wall, to the extent that any shelter win an inner mesh tent can be considered double-wall. Here's another shot from the inside with the fly on both sides rolled up:

The fabric you see at the top in the center is the fly rolled up on either side and outside of the net tent.

As for height, there's plenty of room for sitting up and even for stretching out. The challenge for a taller person is that, as you can see, the ridgeline from head to foot tapers down, so a taller person sleeping there will need their head or feet or both to extend deeper into the corner areas, where the height is tapering down lower and lower. So it depends on how much you care about your head brushing against the net when you sit up, what kind of sleeping pad you use (air mattress will put you a couple of inches higher and closer than a CCF would), how tall of a pillow you use, etc. As for the tipping point between the Solo and Solong, I would say to trust the manufacturer's recommendation, they should know better than anyone.

I have the Solong 6 and so does Phil another TS member..Like JR is saying its more than a single wall...To aleve the condensation issues I  recommend  get the awning pole thats an added cost. This  opens the tent to more air  circulation..The vents were redone in the new models to   push out at the top of the tent..The old ones were half moon and water would actually come in on a  light rain..Happen to me in Georgia...JR provided  really good pictures to see the vents and how its open...Its a pretty good tent  and the redesign happened in 2015..I have 2014...

Denise covered the improvements in the Solong well...I also have the older version. I would classify the Solong as a1.5 wall as two wedges on either end are single walls. The Solo is more of a double wall design,  but I felt constricted in it at 6 ft tall. Not a fan of tent walls right near my face when I sleep. The carbon fiber struts on the Solong give you more room in that regard. 

Both give excellent almost 360 degree bug free views when the weather is good and the ability to quickly tie down the solid walls if rain crops up without getting out of the tent.

Thank you so much for the vital info!

Thanks to you I will definitely go for that tent!

It seems to satisfy all I need!

JR (you are amazing! thanks for the detailed review!), Phil, Denis, Rob, Ed and Ppine,

Thank you very much!

I have one more decision to make regarding the footprint.

Lightheartgear sell Tyvek with the tent for 15$, while the Polycryo is lighter.

You think it's worse the hassle to try and get the Polycryo?

Also, Lightheartgear told me their Tyvek is cut to the size and shape of the tent, only 1 inch smaller all around so it hides underneath the tent.

That sounds weird to me, should I ask them to make the Tyvek larger than the tent, rather than 1 inch smaller?

Thank you fellows!

Foot prints are smaller than the tent so they don't collect the runoff from your tent and channel it under your set up.  If you use a ground cloth that is generically dimensioned such that it larger than the tent's floor dimension, tuck in any excess under the tent to prevent the channeling I just described.


^What Ed said. The groundsheet is to protect the floor from abrasion, which generally won't occur on the outmost 1-2 inch perimeter of the floor so less need to protect that outer edge, while not running the risk of collecting rainwater to collect directly against the underside of your tent floor.

As for choice of materials, I had gotten the Tyvek footprint from LHG and it weighs 5.25 oz including a rubber band to hold it rolled up. The polycryo one I made weighs 1.83 oz, so a savings of nearly a quarter-pound. Is that "worth it"? Only you can determine if the weight savings is worthwhile to you, but as an ultralighter I'm prone to shave ounces and grams anywhere I can, it all adds up. The cost would be about the same. The polycryo is a little challenging to work with because it's so thin and light, it doesn't take much of a breeze to blow it around so you will want to use rocks to hold it down after you spread it out but before you get your shelter on top of it.

Thank you so much Ed and JR!

You made me wiser.

I'll go for the Tyvek one.

Tyvek weighs 1.85 oz per square yard and probably remains the toughest cheap light weight material for ground cloths/footprints.  When new wash it in a machine and hang dry it so as to make it much less noisey.

September 24, 2020
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