View Full Version : Single Wall?!?

08-27-2007, 20:46
Okay, I'm going to ask what I'm sure is a simple question, but I'm looking for some responses borne of experience. Feel free to write as if I know nothing.

For my next hike (PCT) I was planning on getting a Hubba. But at the Long Trail festival I saw an MSR tent which I believe is called a "Flight." Very light and seriously roomy, but it's single wall construction, and I've never had one of those.

Can anyone with experience with one tell me some pros and cons, especially in regards to hiking out West?

Anyone who responds to this by telling me I should tarp or hammock, you're an idiot and I will smack you when I see you.

08-27-2007, 20:51
Is this the tent (http://www.msrcorp.com/tents/fling.asp) you're talking about?

08-27-2007, 21:04
Yes, you're right! It's a Fling, not a Flight. Little overhang in the front looked good for cooking under when it's raining. Saw two of them at LTF. Any opinions?

08-27-2007, 21:06
Lightweight, spacious, awful color

08-27-2007, 21:09
If I ever considered a fling, she'd divorce me. A hammock would be safer. :D

08-27-2007, 21:16
No, Jester, I have no experience with this tent.

I have, however, enjoyed a single-walled tent for several years (Squall 2). The secret of a single-wall tent is ventilation. The Fling appears to have substantial ventilation, so it should breathe well. Given that humidity is generally lower out West, than on the AT, I would guess that this tent would perform well, albeit not the lightest tent around.

08-27-2007, 21:22
If you are considering a single walled tent I'd suggest you go with something made from silnylon that weighs a LOT less than the Fling.


08-27-2007, 21:32
Look at the Tarptents. I really like Henry Shires tents. Expecially the Squall or maybe look at the Rainbow.. Single Walls are worth the trade off for the weight..

08-27-2007, 21:33
Don't know if this post qualifies for a smack, but if you are thinking of getting a single-wall tent I would certainly look at a tarp tent (basically a single-wall tent) instead of the Fling. They are a bit cheaper, lighter and still spacious. The only difference is they are not freestanding, except the rainbow. I would take as light a shelter as possible hiking out West as you can sleep out a lot. www.tarptent.com. I did use a tarp tent. Now I have a Wild Oasis (light, not as roomy).

Jim Adams
08-27-2007, 21:41

geek here. I just got back from the PCT. I was attempting a thru but my van did not sell while I was gone and I used $2400 of hiking money for car insurance and payments and ran out of funds....did make it 1,000miles though.
Yes it is dry out there but there are still places that condensation will be a problem. Let me tell you what I learned for what it is worth.
1. Alot of the hikers out there carried tents but just ended up cowboy camping most nights so they (me included) carried the weight of a shelter uselessly.
2. Carry a piece of tyvek as a ground cloth that way if you do cowboy camp, you can put it down to keep your mat, s.bag and "stuff" out of the dirt.
3. Alot of people out there were using H.S. tarp/tents and would constantly say how much they liked them HOWEVER once in camp they would constantly complain about the constant "maintenance" to keep them erect and tight. I slept in a few...I was not impressed.
4. Once you get into the mountains, you either camp in the forest or in meadows. If you camp in the meadows, you will have condensation problems with the single wall tents.....everyone using s.w. tents had this problem.
5. If your tent is not free standing, you will find some places that it will be very difficult to tent. I was in a few places that it would have been easier to tarp than to tent with a non-free standing tent.

It was the first time that I actually tented instead of tarping while long
distance hiking. I love my tarp, but I was surprised as to how much I liked my tent. It worked great, I had no condensation problems and it was very quick to set up or take down. I considered it to be one of the most wise gear purchases that I've ever made....it was a Hubba.


The Old Fhart
08-27-2007, 21:46
Jester, that might have been the tent that was pointed out to me at the LTF. I saw the local police officer (who looked a lot like Barney Miller) walking down past the camping area and decided to talk to him:

Me-"Pretty quiet around here, isn't it."
Him-"Yes it is. Only thing is, I'd like to find who owns that tent"(points to orange tent)
Me-"Why, is there a problem?"
Him-"No, I just bought one to cut down on weight and wanted to get feedback on how well it performed."
Me-"It should be light because it doesn't look freestanding and is a one-man tent."
Him-"And it is also light being single wall. I was wondering if there were problems with condensation"
Me-"I have a tent with a fly but have got lots of condensation when I didn't put the fly on."
Him-"I plan to use it when I finish the Long Trail. I've done 2/3 of it and had planned to finish it this summer but had to go to the F.B.I. academy instead."

We continued our chat about tents and hiking in general. Just goes to show, you never know where you'll meet another hiker.

08-27-2007, 21:46
I don't have one but I have seen the Lunar Solo by Six Moon designs used by quite a few people. It only weighs 23 ozs.


plus antigravitygear has the Brawny tarptents


also the Henry Shire tarptents are nice. I have one of the older Squalls and really like it

08-27-2007, 22:03

Jim Adams
08-27-2007, 22:57
ebay...fling for sell new...$189.99 buy it now from outdoorgearbargans.
ebay # 230164007229.


Jim Adams
08-27-2007, 23:04
Hubba...$196.99 BIN...#120143416750


08-28-2007, 06:11
Jester--I haven't used the Fling, but I am a confirmed single-wall Tarptent user. In the East, I have to strategize to avoid condensation--setting up under tree cover being the best thing to do. I was thrilled along the JMT to find there was no condensation problem. None. It was amazing. But I could also wash my clothes, hang them up overnight, and they were dry in the morning. What a place! (I won't talk about how the dry air made my sinuses bleed...that's probably TMI.)

Tarptents (and I assumed all single-wall silnylon tents) do sometimes sag a bit, but they're so spacious inside that it's not much of a problem.

I can't fathom why anyone opts to carry a heavier double-wall tent for normal hiking use. It's such an easy way to save packweight. I think the Fling is somewhat heavier than HS Tarptents, though.


08-28-2007, 07:37
I'm a big fan of my HS tent, though with both that and my MH Air Jet 2, I did get some condensation in hotter weather......ventalation is key.
I have a good friend who hiked the AT with a fling last year, I'll drop him a message........it does have serious room....just a bit heavy for me

08-28-2007, 10:50
Yo Jester...
I gotta agree with Geek on all of his points, especially folks grumbling about keeping the H.S. tents /tarps adjusted. Of course I only walked 1400 miles on the PCT last year, maybe it takes folks linger than that to figure out how to set those things up correctly.
During those 1400 miles i set my tent (an old Wanderlust Nomad Lite) up about 20 times. Twice for rain, the rest for skeeters in the Sierra. Other than that I just cowboyed it on my chunk of Tyvek. Even if there was condensation from sleeping under the stars or from the single wall tent it didn't really matter. There is about 0% humidity in California and the sun shines about 95% of the time. During my lunch break I just pulled out all of my stuff and laid it out to dry. An hour later, dry as a bone. If you've turned into some sort of Light Weight Ultra Geek Mile Monster, that may not work for you. In that hour long lunch break you could cover 3 or 4 more miles and be back home and back at work weeks, if not months earlier!
If you do end up going with an MSR call me before you buy it. I know a guy who knows a guy who can get you a hell of a deal. Did you ever get your other tent fixed? The poles are absolutely covered by warranty, there may be a charge to repair the fly, or some nylon repair tape would work.

Jack Tarlin
08-28-2007, 11:14

I can't speak for the West, obviously, but a SOBO who stayed over at my place last night last night has a Fling and REALLY likes it......roomy, light, and it goes up in a hurry. If you want a good-sized lightweight tent and don't wanna do the tarptent thing, this might be a good way to go.

08-28-2007, 11:20
Can anyone with experience with one tell me some pros and cons, especially in regards to hiking out West?

I have no experience with that particular tent, but I have used single wall tents out West.

The West is higher and drier than back East. As such, single wall tents tend to do much better out West than the humid East. Single wall tents were originally used for mountaineering (very high and very dry!), but also work well for backpacking in somewhat similar coniditions you will see in the Sierra, the desert section and even the Cascades in September.

If you have a wet year, you may see some condensation in the relatively lower and humid conditions of the Cascades of Washington. When most PCT thru-hikers come through WA, though you have a 50/50 chance of lucking out an getting sunny and dry weather. If it's wet,though..boy will it be wet. :)

I think a single wall shelter will work well on the PCT if you keep in mind the caveats others have said.

08-28-2007, 11:27
Not quite the PCT but here in Wyoming the single walled tents work well. Most of our backpacking is at 10,000 feet or higher and average humidity is in the 20-30% range. Like Mags said ...if a storm blows through and the temp drops/humidity rises during the night you might wake up to find some moisture on the inner walls of the tent in the morning but we carry light weight silnylon sleeping bag covers that prevent the moisture from soaking out our down bags.

I am planning a PCT thru for 2009 and plan to carry either a tarp in the beginning and then mostl likely a silnylon single walled tent once I hit the Sierra.


08-28-2007, 12:39
The Fling strikes me as a perfectly good tent and should suit your purpose. But it is a bit overpriced, over engineered and a bit on the heavy side. I wouldn't worry about condensation, especially in the west.

My favorite tent over the years cost me $3.95 in 1949. Yes, you read the price right. It was a 2 pound A-frame, made of Army surplus coated nylon, but had no mosquito netting and no floor.

The door flaps were closed by three ties. It was erected with sticks I either found or cut in the woods. When I used it alone I used tall sticks for extra head room. When we found the Bigelow Col shelter full one rainy November night we used short poles and squeezed in three people.

Two Army buddies and I used it to retrace Henry Thoreau's footsteps of one of his Cape Cod excursions. After 25 years the nylon disintegrated and the tent was abandoned. I've never found a tent as roomy, as uncomplicated, or as light since.


08-28-2007, 18:26
For 3 years I have been using a Black Diamond First Light -- 2 lbs 11 ozs. Sets up fast, is free standing, and I have yet to have condensation problems. It is rated as a 2 person tent, but for me it is a single person with all my gear or a 2 person when I really like the other person. Gear can be put in an optional vestibule. I leave the vestibule at home when I hike solo of course or with Lone Wolf. Nice and airy and big for one person.

08-28-2007, 20:43

What kind of deal can you get for a Hubba Hubba? Santa will most likely bring me one in a few months, but I like to save him money whenever possible.:rolleyes:


08-29-2007, 19:37
I slept in a few...I was not impressed.

My, my, my. Geek ****ting it around in various tarptents.

Thanks all for the advice. I'm not a HS tarp tent kind of guy, 'cause tho' I know people who have the engineering skill to set it up perfectly, I'm not one of them.

Still thinking about the Hubba, and may look into the Black Diamond First Light. Once again Whiteblaze (and its members) comes in handy.