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Slumberjack Raptor

rated 3.0 of 5 stars

The Raptor has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2024.

I have used my Raptor on several occasions backpacking during both summer and winter in Central Florida. The large area of no-see-um mesh is a blessing in during the humid and buggy spring/summer seasons. The fly can be attached (via buckles) and the large zippered doors rolled up to allow for adequate ventilation. This setup also facilitates a quick zip-up during Florida's notorious sudden downpours. The tent is free standing but it is highly recommended that it be staked down to prevent it from becoming "free floating" during strong gusts of wind.

The headroom is sparse for my 5'11" height. Sitting in the middle of the tent, my head will scrape the apex of the roof, which is exactly where the gear loft hangs. I tend not to spend a lot of time inside the tent, except to sleep. There is no vestibule and limited room to store pack and boots. If my boots are not too dirty a place them at the foot of the tent, where the small pole supported awning allows for ventilation. During inclement weather, I place my pack at the head and use it as a pillow. It can get a bit cramped with your gear inside but the width of the bathtub floor makes it tolerable.

I have made a few improvements and additions. Luckily, my tent came with the shock-corded aluminum poles vs. the fiberglass ones that were standard. I have since replaced the original metal stakes and shoelace guy lines with Kelty no-bendium stakes and glow-in-the-dark para-cord line. I also traced the outline of the tent onto a tarp and cut out a makeshift form fitting drop cloth. During one extremely heavy downpour, I noticed a fine mist coming through the tent. I re-taped the seams with McNett's Seam Grip and have had no further problems.

Any issues I have with this tent seem to be echoed in other reviews on this page. The tent will gather condensation if the fly is attached and zipped all the way, so try to leave some opening other than the awning at the foot. The gear loft does not keep items well, and tends to send them sliding out at the slightest disturbance to the tent. Also, be aware of the limited headroom, as I have sat up many mornings and smacked my forehead on the headlamp nestled in the gear loft (if it managed to stay put overnight). The one issue I have involves the mesh no see-um doors. They are very light and when zipping them closed take care, as the mesh will fold up into the zipper path creating a snag. This is especially worrisome because even if you manage to undo a snag, the potential damage to the mesh could leave large enough gaps as to allow biting insects inside access.

Overall, I am pleased with the performance of this tent and have, over the years, adapted to it. However, tents of similar style have recently emerged that provide a vestibule and more room with less weight. I am currently considering "upgrading" to MSR's micro Zoid or Zoid 1 .

Design: Three-season freestanding
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: Set up is easy. Three shock-corded poles slide into pole sleeves. Total set up including fly attachment can be accompolished in under 5 minutes.
Weight: 4 lbs (approx). Includes body, fly, poles, stakes and guy lines.
Price Paid: $99 ( circa 1998)

The tent is well constructed and triple stitched. The bathtub-style floor is thin but seems tough enough. The ventilaton is excellent, as the entire tent (except the floor) is mosquito netting and mesh. The fly fits like a second shell and is very tight. The doors (both sides) are huge for such a small tent. It is very easy to get into and out of.

There is a lot of attention paid to detail: it has a "shelf" made of netting along the top, clips to hang a bow on (or your stuff), a sleeve on the left sideto secure a fishing rod or rifle, a "hood scoop" on the front of the tent by your feet, the attachment points of the fly have flaps to cover the ends of the tent poles, and the camouflage is excellent. The unorthodox angles and curves contribute to the camouflage effect.

When you sit inside and look at how everything was sewn together, it looks quite impossible. It's a marvel of tent engineering.

The Raptor uses the more durable fiberglas poles. There was an issue with their supplier (years ago). The section of the pole with the most stress (crosswise, overhead) would break. When I made a request to buy a new pole, they sent me one for free from their current manufacturer. the older poles can be identified by a 'crook' in the overhead section, the newer poles are all straight and not as stiff.

Pros: quick and easy setup, excellent ventilation, excellent camouflage, very versatile, looks cool.

Cons: If it rips anywhere, the tent will self-destruct because everything is stretched. Water can pool in the 1-foot triangular section on top. The floor could be thicker. I don't think it's made anymore, therefore spare parts (replacement poles, fly) might be hard to come by.

Summary: If you want a camouflage tent that doesn't look stupid, this is the tent for you. Otherwise, consider the cons and see if you can find something better.

Design: minimalist shelter, free-standing capable
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: very simple
Weight: 4 lb 5 oz
Price Paid: $130

GOOD:

I used the Slumberjack Raptor during a four (4) night five (5) day excursion in Rocky Mountain National Park. It rained three (3) of the four (4) nights during the trip. I never got wet even though some of the storms at 11,000' were violent. Pitch the tent into the wind! The Raptor accomidated my North Face Goliath (lg.) sleeping bag and Cascade Designs LE sleeping bag pad without any problems. There is alot of room in this tent.

MODIFICATIONS:

I did modify the Raptor for my trip. All guy-lines were replaced with Kelty trip-tease. All zipper pulls had Kelty trip-tease added to them. All tent stakes were replace with Simpson titanium, for strength and weight. Glow in the dark tape was added to the gear loft and side pockets as well as the ends of the third, short tent pole.

Bad:

Although the rain fly did not leak and the tent had what I consider superior ventilation, moisture did collect on the inside of the rain fly. All seams were taped by the factory, however, it appears that some of the tape seams are delaminating. This could be a problem with future use. I had a somewhat difficult time slipping the third (short pole) through the sleeve. It had a tendancy to snag. Also, I had a hard time keeping anything in the gear loft. Everything I put in it had a tendency to fall out, like my glasses. One (1) clip used to attach the rain-fly to the main body of the tent broke. I will be contacting Slumber Jack for a replacement since the tent is less than one (1) year old. I will let you know how good the warranty department is if I am able to update this transmission.

GENERAL:

Overall it is a very affordable tent with lots of head room. Although lighter one man tents are available, one needs to consider the benefits of spending additional money to save weight.

Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: Very easy - 3 poles, less than five (5) minutes
Weight: 4lbs. 10oz.
Price Paid: $89

This tent is an excellent one man tent. The weight is not too much, because I ordered aluminum poles from Slumberjack and no longer use the fiberglass poles that came with it. It is extremely strong once the 3 external guy cords are staked out. This tent is very durable and was excellent on a 2 week trip in the Wind River range in July, and is also a comfortable tent even in snow/winter conditions.

Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: simple
Weight: 4-4.5 pounds
Price Paid: $89 (sale)

Weighs more than I would like for a one-man tent, but lots of room inside to sit up and store things. Can't sleep with the pack inside though. Without the rain fly, it is all screen. Easy to watch the stars at night and the bugs can't get you. Seems like it is real sturdy, especially when you use the stakes. It is free standing though, so I usually don't.

Design: 3 season hybrid
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: Easy, about 5 minutes
Weight: about 5 lbs
Price Paid: $120

I'm not too happy with it. The tent itself is all mesh and with the rain fly on you would think that it has good ventelation but it doesn't. I had condensation all in this tent on several occasions.

Design: 3 season one man
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: moderate
Weight: 6 lbs?
Price Paid: $100

I have a Slumberjack Raptor. I would never get it again. I used it once and it is a piece of crap.

Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: It has 3 poles for easy set up.
Weight: 6lbs. 10oz.
Price Paid: $129

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Price Reviewers Paid: $89.00-$130.00

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