View Full Version : L.L.Bean Microlight Solo Tent
Any thoughts on this? I haven't heard from a single person who's used this tent before, but it looks good to me and the price is right...
Here's a first!
I owned one about six years ago, It was a two person. I loved the mint green color (not sure if it's still used), the mesh body, and, especially, the vents above the vestibule. It was a great warm weather tent. I could also set up the fly by itself because it had grommets attaching it to the poles when most tents had nylon buckles (again, I don't know if they're still making them this way).
It was very well made and light, but it sagged unless you set it up on perfectly flat ground. It also required 4 stakes for setup. I sold it because my wife doesn't hike any more, and I use a hammock for solo summer use (I highly reccomend them). In short, used to be a nice tent, don't know what they're like now (I'll look at the LL Bean website).
I just checked it out. Looks like the same design with more mesh and a lighter fly.
If you're looking for a solo tent, I'd recommend taking a look at the REI Quarter dome. It has a bigger, more useful vestibule, just as much or more ventilation, and is "free standing" (I put that in quotes because no free standing tents are when the wind hits hard).
Looks a lot like the Sierra Design Lightyear. About the same specs and price. I have the Lightyear and it has worked great for me as a solo tent.
I have owned the Microlight 2 (two person version) since 2001. I live near bean's and
I had the opportunity to crawl into both the solo and the 2 in the store. The extra room for the added weight and $$ was worth it (i bring my whole pack in the tent with me plus the hound dog). The newer version is a little lighter now -same design -lighter sil-nylon fly and bag. I used it as my base camp for 5 days up to BSP one summer while worked building bog bridges -it poured buckets off and on everyday -all my gear stayed high and dry. On that trip by the second day i noticed that slugs were attracted to it. This wasn't really a problem because it gave me something to do at night -i would flick them off from inside and watch them bounce off the rain fly and down to the ground, very entertaining. It does not set up well in shelters since it is not self supporting but it can be done with multiple lines and rocks, tent platforms are easier but bring extra line.
I have a solo that I've used on and off for about 6 years. Great unless you get a "puddle" in the area over your feet, then it very slowly drips on you all night long. I'm switching to a tarp and bivy for this year's section hike, I'll see how that goes. I got inspired at the ALDHA Gathering last fall and made my own sil-nylon tarp!
I used this (solo version) on my section from Gorham to Grafton Notch/Rt 26 last season. Certainly a great $ and extremely easy to use. I had borrowed this and would consider buying one, though I believe my partner's Big Agnes Seedhouse (?) was lighter in weight. I was intrigued until I saw the price of the BA. It's way more. It did last very well during his entire thru though.
That said, I am confident that the LLBean one would last on a thru too, and I am sure you know about their 100% satisfaction guarantee. Their customer service is awesome so you could also go ahead and call them and see if someone there has personal experience with it.