Sea to summit , The solo specialist tent review

June 14, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

/// Sea to summit , The solo specialist tent review \\\

As a hiking photographer, I need very lightweight gear. There were some options to chose from. A couple of factors combined together drove me towards this tent. The main factors: weight, durability, price.

 

/// Weight \\\

- Tent + two poles* to put it up + the bag it's in: 552gram (tent alone is : 445 gram)
- Spikes to attach it to the ground (not needed if using rocks): 65 gram
- Groundsail** + the liltte bag I put it in (aslo put the spikes here): 112 gram
*You can also put up the tent with adjustable trekking poles !
**The groundsail, use it, to protect the bottom and to keep it from getting wet in rainy circumstances !

==> This is a very light tent, with a maximum weight of 729 gram and a minimum weight of 445 grams. You will not find much lighter stuff then this, certainly if you use trekking poles to hike!

 

/// Durability \\\

-Pertex ® Endurance 20D nylon shell fabric that has a 1,000mm waterhead and a 7000MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate).
-15D waterproof nylon walls, vestibule & floor has a 1,200mm waterhead.
-Double stitched and bar tacked at all stress points for strength and endurance.
-Fully tape seam sealed and reflective guy lines
- The groundsail helps protecting the bottom from the tent.

==> I break fragile things fast, if something is not decent I will always notice it very fast. I've used this tent on a couple of multi day hikes and it's still good as new. With the extra protection on the fragile points, I see it staying in a good condition for a long time. The waterproofness: 800mm is considerated the bare minimum. So it's waterproof , but probably not for a full night of very heavy rain. I have been in the rain, and stayed dry so far.

 

/// Price ///
€2
70 for the tent, €30 for the groundsail, makes a total of €300.
There are other brands, that have higher prices as a starting photographer, my budget could not reach that high. I looked at intermediate prices....

 

/// Comfort \\\
This is a single wall bivaktent, with a small mesh ventilation, the only down side that you have to keep your front tent open if you want more ventilation. And there is not much space inside the tent, its just to sleep. I put my ICU bag inside the tent with camera and other important gear. The rest of my rainproofbag, i put inside the half open foretent. This is not a problem when it doesn't rain or storm.  In bad weather, when you close it, you will have some moist inside when you wake up. But then I get up and I'm usually out for the rest of the day or beneath my tarp... 

 

 

==>My last trip was to the Pyrenees, for 5 days in the wild. I had rain the first day and rain and a thunderstorm on day 4. I did never get wet and I did have small troubles with the moist inside,but when waking up, I swept away the moist with some tissues. And then go out of my tent for the rest of the day. It only to sleep in.  Do keep in mind that this is moist problem is probably known to all small single walled BIVAK type of tents. 

 

/// Conclusion \\\
This Bivak tent is an affordable, durable shelter that is easy to set up, and that will protect you from heavy rain. Because it is so small and single walled, moist can form more easily, but not if you put your foretent open. I'm very happy with the tent, it serves it's purpose: a confortable super lightweight bivak shelter, but not a tent to stay inside,  this weighs you 550 grams if you use trekking poles to set it up (extra groundsheet included)! It's easy to pitch and take down and it's a freestanding tent. Side note, this bivak tent won an award for best solo hike tent in 2014! (2017 Edit add on, I now have another tent for longer trips, but that thent weighs DOUBLE the grams as this one here, so when hiking mountains, I will still take this one! The moist can be there but if it's just for one or two nights, it's not a problem. The problem for longer hikes can be that if your tent is a bit wet inside and it rains all day, you can't let the tent dry very well, and then you start carring a wet thing with you. So this tent is not so good for longer trips but it's the best for a one night sleep on a mountain. The hardcore hikers will say, just sleep in the open on a sleep pad, but this bivak tent gives you some more comfort and you can use it in in the rain, I don't see me sleeping in the open air when it rains all night... This tent is the sollution to have super light gear, but with the moist downside.  The moist does not make you wet, it just makes it a bit annoying to wake up (and if you do longer trips your tent could be in the problem that it doesn't get time to dry when its a rainy week). 

I'am 1m72cm, I have some 20 cm at the head where I can put my camera gear, big people prolly won't fit in well, you should look up the excact dimensions on google. I do sleep on my belly, so I take alot of space when I sleep. People sleeping on their side probably take less space then me even if they are bigger.

 


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