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Snugpak Ionosphere

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Snugpak Ionosphere three-season tent


Price Current Retail: $164.99
Historic Range: $164.99-$254.15
Reviewers Paid: $130.00
Weight 1520 g / 54 oz
Pack size 48 x 14 cm / 19 x 6 in


2 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

I've used this tent for three-season camping in Minnesota. Lightweight (54oz or 3.4lbs), durable, easy to pack and set up. I'm 5'11'' and 160lbs. It houses me and my pack comfortably. It's more of a 1.5-man bivy than strictly a one-man. And if you really needed to, two people could snuggle up tight inside. Seams are sealed and I haven't had any water intrusion when camping on damp ground.


  • Light (54oz)
  • Houses pack
  • Durable
  • Low-profile
  • Packs small (19x5.5)


  • Crawling in/out is a little awkward

Setup: A little more tedious, as the poles do not support the shape of the tent on their own. Staking or guy lines are required.

Stability: Once up, tent is very stable. Low profile shape helps with wind/water resistance. I never get water intrusions. Haven't had any issues with the structure caving in at all.

Weather Resistance: Polyurethane coating on the wind/rain fly does its job and keep the tent light. keeps wind and water out. Floor of the tent rises 3.5-4 inches along the perimeter. Mesh keeps the bugs out. Without some sort of insulating barrier, I've gotten cold through the floor when camping with blankets (no sleeping bag or sleeping pad).

Ventilation: Excellent. Haven't had the issue of feeling damp and sticky in the morning after a night of sleep in the tent. Breathes nicely and isn't cold.

Room and storage: Excellent for a tent this size. Houses my bag and I comfortably. Doesn't feel claustrophobic at all. It feels bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. You won't feel like you're sleeping in a coffin. My girlfriend and I need to test its two-person usability... That might be pushing it for space, but it'd be nice to only need the one, small, tent.

Packability: Excellent.

Ease of Use: Everything works as reasonably expected.

Features: This tent, its size/weight/dimensions seem to fill a niche among shelter products. Many bivies are so small and minimal that you have to find a solution for protecting your gear. Others are a bit too big and take up too much space/weight. A lot of this tent is "juuust right," as Goldilocks might say.

Construction & Durability: This is kind of a subjective category. I have had no durability issues with the tent at all. Is it as durable as 1000 denier cordura? Probably not, but it's a hell of a lot lighter and weather resistant. Would I use the rain fly to drag a deer out of the woods? No... When considering the size, weight, cost, and the designed purpose of the item, the durability is excellent.

Conditions: I have used this tent over a year of camping in various locations in Minnesota.


I've owned and used various tents in my life Coleman/Ozark Trail/Kelty/Clark Jungle Hammock... I have a Kelty I really like for 2-3 person camping. I moved around (military) and have camped in Virginia, Alaska, Texas, and now Minnesota. This tent would have been more ideal in several past situations but I survived.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130


Nice review of your tent, Devin! Thanks for taking the time to share it. If you have any pictures of its setup, those would be great to see in your review. One thing I wondered about: you said it weighs 10.6oz and the brand says 54 oz; do you know what makes up the difference? Thanks!

2 years ago
Dr. Bryan Ryles

Hey Devin, I would side with Alicia: that puppy MUST weight more then 10 ounces! Btw...what WOULD you use to drag a deer out of the woods???? Tow hooks? Tractor?? Sorry, we don't get much deer hunting in L.A. and just curious!

2 years ago

Interesting tent and objective review.Thanks. My recommendation for a light 4 season solo tent is the Tarptent Moment DW (Double Wall) with the ripstop inner tent option. When the fly sides are staked down and the 4 guy lines are attached my DW has easily withstood steady 40 mph. winds and 65 mph. gusts. While not fun I have stayed in this tent a night and a day in driving rain with room to sit up and cook in the vestibule with gear stored in the other vestibule.

2 years ago
Devin Brown

After seeing the questions regarding weight I decided to double check. SnugPak does say it weighs 54oz... which is just under 3.5lbs. Hard to believe holding it in my hands, feels incredibly light. I had a short list of notes written down to help me write the review and I must have copied down the wrong numbers somewhere. My mistake. Apologies! I'll edit above.

2 years ago
Devin Brown

Dr. Ryles, you would use a heavy duty tarp or game bag ;)

2 years ago

Thanks for confirming that, Devin!

2 years ago

BTW, the Tarptent DW (Double Wall) weighs 37 oz. (the Snugpak Ionosphere is 54 oz.) so for ease of entry with 2 doors and 2 vestibules, the ability to sit up in the tent and its fast pitch - hence the name "Moment" - the Moment DW is, IMHO, a better choice for long term livability and ease of carry. If the Ionoshpere was made of silnylon it would definitely lighten it up.

2 years ago

A large bivy, not a hiking tent.


  • Light for a small tent
  • Pitches quickly and easy
  • Small packed size
  • Very warm in summer
  • Bug proof when fully closed


  • No headroom
  • Cooking inside the vestibule in the rain
  • impossible.

I bought this a couple of years ago for section hiking part of the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand South Island. Though it did the job keeping me dry and snug it became very claustrophobic after a while especially when confined by rain.

If the ground sheet tray is fully pegged down which covers the vestibule area too, cooking in wet weather is dangerous and therefore impossible. It can be unpegged and drawn back inside the main body but cooking is still not a safe option.

My conclusion is this is great for an overnighter in dry weather on flat ground, just bearable for three nights, anything more my tarp or a Trailstar is a vastly superior choice and both are 2/3rds the weight.


60 plus years of outdoor activities worldwide

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125


Thanks for sharing your experience with the Ionosphere, Heath.

2 years ago

Snugpak makes clothing and tents for the British military and thus their products are on the heavy side but very durable, as you would expect.

2 years ago

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