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Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout three-season tent

This tent is very difficult to set up alone. Even with assistance it is not easy.
The tent was cramped and I am only 5'7". The tent has a poor design for getting the rain fly to cover the tent in an even manner.

Pros

  • Tent is light and compact for backpacking.

Cons

  • Very difficult to set up.
  • Rain fly needs more places to stake out so it can fully extend for coverage.
  • Tent is not breathable so condensation builds up and drips and drains to foot of tent.

I won this tent in a backpacking bundle auction over a year ago. I used it on one trip last summer and had a difficult time setting it up. Weather conditions were great so I was able to manage.

This past week I had a week-long trail project I was going on with the Idaho Trail Association. I watched videos in order to make sure I could set the tent up. The videos made it seem super easy to set up. I practiced setting it up and had difficulties each time. The two-pole system is a balancing act and trying to get it to prop up while then adjusting the stakes to make it stand straight was not easy.

The real problem with setup is that no matter what I did, I could not get the tent's rain fly to extend evenly. I did exactly as the videos showed, but I could not get it to work right. If the sides were extended properly it meant the frong part of the fly was collapsed and leaning against the front of the tent. If the front was extended, then the sides were against the tent.

I had backpackers with years of experience present and they were trying to help. No matter what adjustments we made, we could not get it to evenly work. We finally found some big rocks and were able to use them to pin down the sides so the side flies would stay out while the front was staked. BUT it took rocks to do this. It was not user-friendly, and even with the rocks, it did not look as it should.

Second problem is that the breathability of the tent is horrible. I woke up the morning after the first night and water was dripping on my head and the foot of my sleeping back was soaking wet because the condensation had run down to that part of the tent. I used a shirt to wipe down the ceiling and the shirt could be wrung out due to the amount of water in it.

The second night I tried to keep the rain fly up as much as I could. Still woke up with water falling off the ceiling and again the foot of the sleeping bag was soaked.

Third night it rained. The fly did keep the rain out, but condensation from inside was present and everything was wet again. This time, however, the floor was wet from the rain outside. The attached tent footprint did not repel the water. 

After three nights of bad experiences, I hung the tent to dry and decided to sleep inside another person's dry tent.

Background

I have set this tent up numerous times, either practicing at home with the help of videos from the website or out on the trails while backpacking.

I have only been on two trips with it, this last one being the longest. This most recent trip had a variety of weather: rain, wind, hail, sunshine.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150

A great lightweight shelter that doesn't break the bank!

Pros

  • Lightweight at 34 oz.
  • Study
  • Fast and easy pitch
  • Affordable
  • Uses trekking poles

Cons

  • Requires seam sealing

For the past year, I've been looking for a lighter tent to replace my MH Lightpath 2. After months of research, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased the Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout.  

The Skyscape Scout is a 34 oz. non-free standing tent.  It utilizes trekking poles to pitch the tent. One of the many features I really like about this tent is that it only requires a total of 5 stakes to pitch (only 3 to set up initially, 2 stakes are used to pitch the vestibules).

Compared to the other tents I have reviewed and used like the TT Contrail and the aforementioned MH Lightpath 2, the Skyscape Scout is a side entry tent...I actually prefer a side entry tent as opposed to a "tunnel" style entry tent - it just makes entering the shelter that much easier.  Lastly, I like how the inner net tent and fly are all attached and can be pitched all at once for a quick pitch.

I personally opted for the Polyester version primarily because of the price.  For a 2 pound shelter, you just cannot beat the price.  

Some manufacturer specs (from SMD Site) for the Skyscape Scout

Materials

  • Canopy - 190T Polyester
  • Floor - 190T Polyester
  • Netting - 40D No-See-Um
  • Zipper - #3 YKK

Structure

  • Type - Hybrid Double Wall
  • Frame - Dual Pole (not included)
  • Entry - Side Entry
  • Floor Space - 23 ft2 - 2.2 m2
  • Vestibules - 2
  • Vestibule Size - 16 ft2 - 1.4 m

Overall, I'm really happy about the tent and I am looking forward to using this on my trips this year and on.

Some setup photos:

Storm mode
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Dual vestibules
860677_10151296457863848_933161959_o.jpg

Side view, vestibule has enough space for a pack and shoes.
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On a summer day, you can completely roll back both vestibules for maximum ventilation
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Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125

The Skyscape Scout is a lightweight, inexpensive, single person tent.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Hybrid double/single wall
  • Inexpensive
  • Uses trekking polls
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Small stuff sack

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I've used this tent over a dozen nights in conditions ranging from light rain to heavy wind or warm nights. Its versatility allows you to open it like a tarp or buckle it down like a double wall tent.  

All of my gear fits in the tent with nothing relegated to the vestibule. Six Moon Designs says there are two vestibules, but only one can be accessed from inside so I don't consider the second one usable.

I did replace the cross bar with PEX plumbing pipe which added a couple of ounces to the weight. The stuff sack is 5" x 15" which is just large enough if you roll the tent tight so I replaced it with a 7" x 15" which made it easier to roll and stuff the tent. My total weight is now 40 ounces (1.3kg).

Depending on your setup three to six stakes are used. You can open either or both vestibules or one side of either or both. The foot has a tie-out so you can lift the wall off of your feet if necessary.

I recommend this tent for anyone who doesn't want to spend multiple hundreds of dollars for a single person lightweight shelter.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125

Good value, very well constructed, just the right price point to get involved with UL hiking.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Well constructed
  • Relatively light

Cons

  • Marginal instructions
  • Low bathtub
  • Needed seam sealing
  • Small vestibules

I purchased the SMD Skyscape Scout tent to take on a 100-mile Colorado Trail segment hike. The Skyscape Scout from Six Moon Designs was the best choice to get started. The Scout is the same tent as the Trekker, but in poly. Only a slight weight penalty separates the Scout from the Trekker, so the choice (for me) was obvious. 

The tent is easy to set up, has good headroom, but small vestibules. Ventilation is good, and the tent packs easily into its sack.

Source: bought it new

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Specs

Price MSRP: $160.00
Current Retail: $160.00
Historic Range: $145.00-$160.00
Reviewers Paid: $125.00-$150.00
Weight 40 oz / 1134 g
Pack size 15 x 5 in
Product Details from Six Moon Designs »

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