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  1. #1
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    Default Best Personal Shelter for a Thru!?

    So I am battling between several different shelters to bring with me on my thru-hike next March. I have a OR bivvy that is obviously super small but very lightweight @ 16oz, Sea-to-Summit's new ultralight shelter called the specialist Solo (http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/161) which is super light but maybe not as waterproof as some, a Tarptent, Lightheart Solo, etc...What have thru-hikers taken and how often do you stay in a tent vs an AT shelter? Btw I count my ounces!!

  2. #2
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    I carried an MSR Hubba HP solo on my thru. It was bombproof. Since then I've switched to a Six Moon Design Lunar Solo. I swear it has more room inside than the Hubba.....

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    I used a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo, 23 oz., uses 1 trekking pole.
    Good points: Light, quick and easy to set up, no tent pole to carry, wind resistant, kept me dry, stuffs easy (no struts attached to the tent).
    Bad points: Large footprint, not freestanding (although that was never a problem).

    I also own a TT Rainbow.
    Good points: Small footprint, lots of head room, free standing (with trekking poles)
    Bad points: Need to carry poles, has a roof strut which needs to be removed if you want to stuff it, not as light as other tents (34 oz.).
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    I used a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo, 23 oz., uses 1 trekking pole.
    Good points: Light, quick and easy to set up, no tent pole to carry, wind resistant, kept me dry, stuffs easy (no struts attached to the tent).
    Bad points: Large footprint, not freestanding (although that was never a problem).

    I also own a TT Rainbow.
    Good points: Small footprint, lots of head room, free standing (with trekking poles)
    Bad points: Need to carry poles, has a roof strut which needs to be removed if you want to stuff it, not as light as other tents (34 oz.).
    Yea 34oz would be way to heavy for me but I'll def look into the SMD tent since there's alreay been 2 recommendations for it. How much is the Lunar Solo? Did you get it seam sealed?

  5. #5
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    I've always seam sealed all my tents myself. Sprinkle some talc powder on the seam after it dries.

  6. #6
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    A cuben fiber SMD Skyscape X costs $20 more, is much bigger inside, and weighs very slightly less. The height is a big factor for me.

    The Specialist has a very low roof, and I'm not sure I could deal with it.

    Long term, silnylon will probably last longer, partially because it can be recoated to regain water resistance. Short term, cuben fiber is easier to fix, especially in poor weather since it just tapes a strip of duct tape.

  7. #7
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    With care and practice this is a great ultra-light shelter - - it also goes up fast in the rain:

    www.sixmoondesigns.com/tents/LunarSolo.html

    This tent is a mainstay for a lot of long distance hikers - setting up in the rain is a little tricky and
    it's more of an "outdoor industry" tent but still a good company and certainly a solid bet - I've got this
    a few of these and it's cousin, the non- free standing MSR Carbon Reflex:

    Here is the carbon reflex:

    cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/experience-series/carbon-reflex-1/product

    Here is the basic Hubba - it's very basic - you probably can't go wrong with it

    cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/experience-series/hubba/product

    I'd recommend any of the three depending on who you are, your experience, how you like to hike, your expectations, budget etc. to
    an aspiring thru-hiker

  8. #8
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    How tall are you and what size are you? Do you want a vestibule to cook under in the rain or store wet gear? Do you want a freestanding tent?

    Lots to consider when selecting a tent.

  9. #9

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    Another option, the Big Agnes Fly Creek 1, under two pounds, almost free standing, very popular on the trail.

  10. #10

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    I used a Mormot EOS 1 Person very light and its also free standing.

  11. #11
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    Expect a wide variety of answers. Here is my advice: March, April, May. Expect full shelters and heavier rains. To stay dry and get some sleep you need a tent. June, July, August. You wil sleep in shelters for the most part so a light weight tarp or better yet a light tent with bug screen will be fine for those days you can't make it to a shelter or it's full. At some point you will swap out your heavy clothing and sleeping bag anyway, swap your tent.

  12. #12
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    While I haven't thru hiked the AT, I use a Rainbow from Tarptent.
    I like the fact that it's got tons of room. For me that off-sets the fact that it's not the lightest option.

  13. #13

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    that is TINY for what it costs.. 14 sq ft?? no wonder Sea to summit won't even put the dimensions on their site lol 1000 mmHg is not that waterproof either.. you'll probably get misted in a heavy rain. there is also not a lot of mesh so it will be a condensation maker.. or a steam oven in the summer.

    Lightheart solo in Cuben 18-20oz handmade 30sq feet of floor.

  14. #14
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  15. #15
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    I am very happy with my Z-Packs Hexamid. 1 pound with extended beak, lines and stakes, groundsheet inside. Just add one trekking pole.

  16. #16
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    A basic 8x10 tarp plus a bug net works as well. Use the money you save elsewhere.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy of PA View Post
    I am very happy with my Z-Packs Hexamid. 1 pound with extended beak, lines and stakes, groundsheet inside. Just add one trekking pole.
    Expensive but def looks awesome. What exactly does all the stuff you mentioned mean? Extended beak? Groundsheet inside?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    How tall are you and what size are you? Do you want a vestibule to cook under in the rain or store wet gear? Do you want a freestanding tent?

    Lots to consider when selecting a tent.
    6 feet tall, 160lbs so not very big...yes to vestibule for sure. Don't necessarily care about freestanding but I suppose it would be nice. Any recommendations?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa D View Post
    With care and practice this is a great ultra-light shelter - - it also goes up fast in the rain:

    www.sixmoondesigns.com/tents/LunarSolo.html

    This tent is a mainstay for a lot of long distance hikers - setting up in the rain is a little tricky and
    it's more of an "outdoor industry" tent but still a good company and certainly a solid bet - I've got this
    a few of these and it's cousin, the non- free standing MSR Carbon Reflex:

    Here is the carbon reflex:

    cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/experience-series/carbon-reflex-1/product

    Here is the basic Hubba - it's very basic - you probably can't go wrong with it

    cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/experience-series/hubba/product

    I'd recommend any of the three depending on who you are, your experience, how you like to hike, your expectations, budget etc. to
    an aspiring thru-hiker
    Can you use with a fixed trekking pole length? How sturdy is it in wind and stuff? I've heard a lot of ppl recommend this tent so seems legit

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkRat09 View Post
    Expensive but def looks awesome. What exactly does all the stuff you mentioned mean? Extended beak? Groundsheet inside?
    Extended beak is like a vestibule. The original versions had the roof stop at the door. Basically it meant if you stored you shoes outside in the rain, they'd get wet, but that's not the case now with the extended beak.

    This tent doesn't have a floor. It's all netting. You can use a groundsheet or removable bathtub floor. Some people put it inside, which is a better way to do it when it's raining. I prefer to keep my groundsheet outside and under the netting when the weather is nice because it keeps the netting clean.

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