Two separate products that can work together or separately,…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160 for the tarp, $120 for the net tent, plus tax+ship
Two separate products that can work together or separately, this is a lightweight 2-person shelter system with full coverage and adequate space.
- Lightweight for a 2-person shelter
- Full coverage with tarp+full inner bug net+bathtub floor
- Dual side doors and vestibules
- You can set up the tarp first
- Vertical side walls on the net inner help make it feel more spacious
- Lots of connectors for the net tent
- Connection points hard to reach
- Net tent use of elastic – will it last?
The SMD Haven tarp and net tent are sold separately and can be used separately or together to create a lightweight 2-person shelter system that offers full coverage from the elements and adequate space. It is only available direct from the manufacturer, Six Moon Designs, a "cottage shop" that makes a variety of tarps, tents, packs, and raingear. I am not affiliated with SMD or any gear manufacturer.
The prices are $200 for the tarp and $150 for the net tent, I remember I got them during a 20% off year-end sale.
When I bought it they listed the tarp as 18 oz and the inner net as 14 oz, they since have changed the listed weight of the inner to 16 oz. On my scale the tarp in provided stuff sack is 19.82 oz and net tent in sack is 14.24 oz, so total is about 34 oz or about 2 oz more than spec.
These two products are a matched but separate tarp and inner net tent with bathtub floor. The tarp and inner bathtub floor are 30D silnylon, the netting is 20D. Used separately or together, the system requires 6 stake-out points. Also requires two trekking poles or dedicated tent poles for support, or has tie-out points on top so that the peak could be suspended.
The net tent can be clipped up inside the tarp or it can be set up to stand alone, with sleeves for the trekking poles at the ends of the peaks. This gives you the flexibility to set up just the tarp, just the net tent, or, with the net tent clipped up inside the tarp you have a complete shelter system. Acting in harmony, the Haven tarp and net tent offer room for 2 in a double wall shelter with dual side doors and dual vestibules, full rain and bug protection, for just over 2 pounds.
Overall I give the tarp about 4.5 stars and the inner net tent about 3.5 stars for an overall average around 4 stars.
The tarp is shaped, meaning it can be set up taut really in only one configuration. The pitch is pretty straightforward — trekking poles fit on the sides tips-up, with the tips sliding into narrow sleeves at the two ends of the peak. The tarp includes a clever design using ultralight buckles and ribbons for easy guying out and re-tensioning — in fact, with the Haven tarp you don't even need additional guylines, saving a bit of weight overall.
Each side of the tarp can be closed, opened partially, or opened fully. The tent poles dictate the usable width you have, you can angle them out slightly for a bit more room but the tips at the peak are about 48" width. Plenty of vertical head room. The tarp has vents on each side at the peak, we have not used it yet in high condensation conditions so not much of a test, but so far no condensation issues.
To use the tarp and net tent together, you set up the tarp first and then clip the net tent onto the tarp from underneath. There are 10 connection points between the tarp and net tent. I found the process of clipping the inner to the tarp to be tedious and fiddly, and while the more connection points the sturdier the setup, I would prefer if there were fewer connection points (of if it were easier to do those connections).
Potentially one could clip the inner to the tarp while remaining completely under the tarp (such as setting up in a rainstorm), though in practice this would be very hard to do as many of the connection points are deep in the corners and are easier to reach from the outside.
The net tent is likewise a straightforward design. The space is adequate — certainly enough for 2 standard width sleeping pads. There certainly is enough length at 88", we were able to put our clothes on the floor above our heads. Width could be a little tight for some at 44" at the head and foot ends and about 48" in the middle.
We just about filled the floor width with one regular and one wide/long NeoAir Xlite. I could see two wide/long being squeezed in but it would be tight. The side walls are vertical, which helps the net tent feel more spacious (more side-to-side headroom for 2 to sit up). There is plenty of vertical head room to sit up.
The corner connections of the inner are elastic, and I just wonder about its usable life — elastic eventually loses its spring and is degraded by UV exposure. These corner connections attach either to the underside of the corners of the tarp or they can be guyed out if setting up the net tent separately.
The inner has two small pockets, one by each door, made of the same netting as the net tent. These pockets are small and low, where I was afraid I might roll over and crush something in the pocket (like eyeglasses). Like with all UL silnylon floors, it is very slippery, so you will want to paint some stripes or dots of seam sealer on the floor and the underside of your sleeping pads.
While this is a great system overall, I did find it fiddly to connect and disconnect the inner net every day, and the silnylon material is prone to relaxing so you will need to readjust the stakes and tensioning to maintain a taut pitch.
I wish that the stuff sack for either the tarp or the inner net was large enough to hold both tarp and net tent so I could leave the inner clipped inside the tarp, but neither stuff stack is large enough (of course I could, and probably will, just find one larger stuff sack from somewhere else and then can just leave the tarp+inner connected together).
All in all this checks all the boxes for a versatile, full coverage shelter system for two. The low weight is a huge benefit for this product, but it does come at the expense of any extra elbow room. Still, space is adequate and protection from the elements pretty good.
Here's the interior of the net tent, enough room for 2 but not much to spare:
More pics from my first setup attempt on the screened-in porch. Not a perfect pitch but these photos show the interior and space a little better:
Clever connection design on the tarp: