/ best solo lightweight tent?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
robw007 - on 10 May 2014
Looking to purchase a new lightweight one person tent this summer for long runs/walks around wales/lakes/scotland etc.

Suddenly lots to choose from - looking for lowest weight to stability/room index really.

Anyone got any advice on what to go for?
PPP - on 10 May 2014
In reply to robw007:


What are your requirements? Do you want/need a huge porch? How roomy does it have to be? What kind of sleeping bag do you have (well, I wouldn't risk sleeping in a Snugpak Stratosphere or similar with a down sleeping bag due to condensation)? How big is your rucksack? How tall are you? Do you want to be able to sit in the tent? Do you want it to be freestanding (freestanding means that it does not require pegs to pitch, but they add more stability)?

Generally, a Wild Country Zephyros Lite or Force Ten Helium 100 (now called Force Ten Helium 1) are quite nice. If you have higher budget, Terra Nova Laser Competition if you want to save more weight and Hilleberg Akto if you want it to be bombproof.

A tarp/bivy solution might be an option as it is lighter, but not really suitable for camping in Scotland due to midges and/or worse weather.
Blackmud on 10 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

I have a Hilleberg Akto which I love. Very stable and room enough for me and all my climbing gear, can cook in side it fairly easily, and space enough for wet stuff. It's very long too so perfect if you're tall. The first time I used it was solo camping at Cwm Cau at Cadair in 50+mph winds, gusts which blew me over so I'm thinking gusting 70 odd, and driving rain all night. Because I hadn't used it before I basically spent 11 hours cowering in the tent waiting for it to break and all hell to break loose. I had had enough by about 5am and struck camp in silly winds and sideways rain in the dark, and it was very easy to strike, which says alot about its practicality in heinous conditions. It stood the test gallantly though, and I now have every faith in it's stability in strong winds, and always sleep very soundly in it. You can also strip out the vestibule and just sleep in the fly with a footprint if you want to go really light.

There's a few videos somewhere by a guy from Northumberland putting one up in the Cheviots in some pretty hairy winds, and taking it up in winter and waking up with snowfall over the tent, and it was fine. Here we go, found them:

Downsides are that they don't come cheap, and there are lighter options out there, but for a light solo tent they're pretty damn nails.
Douglas Griffin - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Blackmud:

I have a Hilleberg Akto too.

Can't say that it's the best solo lightweight tent - it's the only one I've ever had - but I've used it many times over the past 5 years and it has never let me down. Agree with everything you say about space and ease of use - it's superbly designed.

I have had my suspicions about how it might perform in high winds - so I'm very encouraged to read about your experience at Cadair!
Blackmud on 10 May 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Same, can't compare, can just recommend. Check out that first video I posted, that should put your fears to bed!

And this one:

TMM on 10 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

I can recommend the Tarptent Scarp 1.

I am also selling a Hilleberg Akto which is perfect condition having been used on just two nights. Drop me a line if you're interested.
needvert on 10 May 2014 -
In reply to robw007:

*Not* a macpac microlight.

Not a tent, is going to be pretty high on the weight to room+stability @ 500g.

Floor wise, - 100g, $10, half that weight if you trim it for one person.

OwenM - on 10 May 2014
In reply to needvert:

> *Not* a macpac microlight.

What's so bad about these?
victorclimber - on 10 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

Had 1 or 2 over the years Akto best for me
robw007 - on 10 May 2014
In reply to robw007:
What about the new MSR Hubba? I've got a Solar 2 and really like the layout of side opening and expansive entrance area for cooking etc. it's just a. It too heavy to take on a long one. R
Run_Ross_Run - on 10 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

Had an Akto and couldn't get on with it.

Headroom was a major problem along with condensation. Used it mostly in dry conditions and it didn't matter if the vents were open or not my bag was always damp from contact with the walls. I'm 6ft and the top and bottom of the sleeping bag would always be wet.
Cant fault the quality of the build/fabrics but i sold it on here last year due to the condensation problems

Now looking at either one of the new MSR Hubba's or maybe the Exped Mira, different design to the Akto so headroom should be better. Just need to see either in the flesh first.
needvert on 11 May 2014 -
In reply to OwenM:

Was my first tent and had it for over 4 years before selling it. It got weekend usage but I don't think any trips longer. It's in a better league than many tents (decent enough materials, none of this inner-first pitching that leads to the tent being wet inside), it was heavy (I notice they've dropped it to 1.6kg in the latest model, mine 2kg and sold as a 1-2 man tent!). It was often hard to get a taunt pitch, not as easy to pitch as some other tents, had two huge faces to flap, fly required seam sealing (not a huge deal, but it is an expensive tent.), inner often would be not very taunt which reduced internal space.

It works, its not terrible. I just don't think its at the top of its category. (Sure, maybe I suck at pitching it, but I suspect its design makes it inherently harder to pitch well than a two pole design would.)

Faced with the choice again I'd go with tarp+bivy, perhaps a mid instead of the tarp is weather was a big concern.

needvert on 11 May 2014 -
In reply to OwenM:

(Also, a bit of bias:
Macpac used to be a New Zealand made and owned brand.

I think the company has gone downhill since, seemingly adopting the inflated RRP model with huge sales to bring the price down to something more affordable. Slowly moving to targeting the larger market of urban related activities instead of the outdoors market.)
OwenM - on 11 May 2014
In reply to needvert:

I can't say I've noticed any problems getting it taunt and I can't think of an easier tent to pitch. Put three pegs in on the back of the tent, put the pole in and then three pegs down the front, what could be simpler?

It is heavier than many newer designs, the groundsheet is a fair bit more substantial than on many modern tents. I see that as a plus point what's the point of a groundsheet so flimsy it needs a footprint? The pole is longer than on the Lazer comp type designs so there's more metal to carry but microlite has more head room and more internal space. It's all down to what's more important to you.

I've had mine since 1993 and it's still going strong, I've used it for some long trips many weekend ones and in some very heavy weather. So they must have got something right with it's design. As for not liking the company I've really no idea about that either way.

robw007 - on 11 May 2014
In reply to robw007:
So no one with experience of the MSR Hubba or the new Salewa Essence II?

Needs to be under 2kgs in weight - preferably closer to 2lbs! R
charliehl - on 15 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

I have a Vaude Power Lizard. Very happy so far. Light, tough floor, loads of space.
Siward on 16 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

Have a look at lightwave tents . Their t10 trek is very similar to my older version and it's very weatherproof and really light, although I don't think they make the super light versions any more. Quality is on a par with my hilleberg.
kyaizawa - on 16 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

Would recommend Terra Nova for lightweight - I use a Superlight Voyager solo (a bit heavier, but roomy as it's a two-man tent, and far more stable being semi-geo), and I've used a friend's Laser Comp (I think it' sub-1kg, and quick to pitch).
David Staples - on 17 May 2014
In reply to robw007:

I have a Rab Ridge Master Bivi - See Rab's site for details. Weighs in at 1.2 kg.

Very light weight though a bit tight on room if carrying a large amount of gear. Packs nice and small and is a very tough bit of kit. Recommended if you are looking for a lightweight shelter that is easy and quick to put up. Enough room inside for a medium size pack to use either as a pillow or as the bivi is at least 7 ft long you can store gear at your feet and still have enough room to get a good nights sleep. Have used in the recent storms back in Winter on Dartmoor, plenty of rain and high winds to test it and it stood up to the challenge like a pro.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.