UKC

Alpkit Soloist - anyone used one?

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 Dave Todd 05 Mar 2021

I'm looking for a light (and cheap) 1-person tent.  Planned use will be generally good weather (spring / summer) overnight backpacking trips in UK.  I'm only realistically going to be able to use it a few nights per year at most (busy life!) so I'm not massively worried about having the most long-lasting tent.

The weight and price of the Soloist appeal.  However, I'm a bit skeptical about the 'thin and tall' profile - looks a bit fragile and 'sail like'...

Any personal tales to tell?  Happy to hear of other recommendations.  No urgency for purchase (which is a good thing since nothing is in stock anywhere...)

 Guy Hurst 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Dave Todd:

I have a Laser Comp and a friend I quite often go into the mountains with me using that and him a Soloist. I find the Laser Comp very stable, but the Soloist seemed to do almost as well on a few breezy nights in the Highlands. My friend said it did sway a little in the strongest gusts, but not enough to be alarming. Not sure about really strong winds, but then I would try to avoid taking the Laser Comp out in those conditions.

Overall he does really like the Soloist, especially at that price.

 Dave Todd 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Guy Hurst:

Cheers Guy - just the kind of thing I was hoping to hear!

 wbmkk 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Dave Todd:

Have you considered the NatureHike Cloud UP 1, or the slightly bigger Cloud UP 2 ?

 Dave Todd 05 Mar 2021
In reply to wbmkk:

Ha - that does look 'similar'...400g heavier tho! (and not such a nice colour...)

 Andypeak 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Dave Todd:

I looked at one in the Hathersage shop and found it very short. I'm 6 foot and felt it needed to be another 20 or 30cm longer.

 leon 1 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Andypeak: I found exactly the same (also 6' ) but I see that they now do an XL version although it's only 20 cm longer but that might just make the difference

 Jmacquarrie 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Andypeak:

They've just launched a longer version, little bit heavier.

I've no idea what they're like, seen one in the shop but went for a Odros instead (which due to covid I've never had out the bag yet sadly)

Was using a Berghaus Peak pro 3.1 before, was cheap and tough, little heavy at 1.75kg for a small solo tent though.

Post edited at 20:41
 Andypeak 05 Mar 2021
In reply to leon 1:

I would imagine the extra 20cm males all the difference. 

 Kalna_kaza 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Dave Todd:

I have one but admittedly I have only used it for about 10 nights in total.

The pole construction is surprisingly solid for a lightweight (but certainly not ultralight) tent. Pitched into the wind it sheds sustained wind pretty well. Sideways gusts can make the outer touch the inner but no more than any other tent I've owned.

Inside it's not a spacious place to be for a prolonged time. I'm about 175cm tall and can sleep in it fine but you become acutely aware of the steep sloping walls when sat up. Using my larger winter sleeping bag was issue free when it was frosty but the bottom of the bag got damp during a warmer, wetter night. My summer sleeping bag was fine.

The most annoying thing is the lack of two way zips, it's very hard to get into or out of the tent when it's wet without getting the door flapping on you.

Would I buy it again? The longer version yes, the short version, probably not.

 Dave Todd 05 Mar 2021
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Thanks - really helpful.  I'm only 173cm so I'm not too worried about space.  I'm planning to use for fair-weather camping (inasmuch as you can ever choose these things!)

Have you ever pitched it into the wind, then had the wind swing round 90-degrees during the night?

 Kalna_kaza 06 Mar 2021
In reply to Dave Todd:

> Have you ever pitched it into the wind, then had the wind swing round 90-degrees during the night?

Yes I have but not in seriously strong wind. The design of the tent leads it to be pitched quite tight, more so than most other tents I've seen. There are guy lines fitted from the centre of the side wall which really help stiffen the pitch and stopped too much movement during gusts.

Most tents take a fair bit of practice to pitch looking just like the promotional photos, the Soloist is definitely an exception. 

I think for the price it is a very good tent and I'm confident it'll last as long or longer than some of the similar sized single man tents which are 300-400g lighter but £300 more expensive. I only use it for the odd night or two in the hills, when doing something longer I take my MSR Elixer for the living space.

 Dave Todd 06 Mar 2021
In reply to the thread:

Thanks all!  I've just pressed the 'pre-order' button on the Alpkit website...!

 Andypeak 06 Mar 2021
In reply to Dave Todd:

If you go on YouTube a chap called Andrew Park Reviews tents. He does a really simple mod just using his walking poles and the tent guylines to make it more stable in side winds. 


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