Looking for a slightly larger tent ( than my Saunders jetpacker or Hilleberg Akto ) to do a bit of yoga in when touring and lounge about in palatial comfort for one I snapped up a bargain of this tent for my longer tours of 2 weeks or more. Spending all day in the cycling position and then retiring to a cramped tent where rounding of the back and shoulders occurs is something I wished to do away with, alongside having the great 'space' and breadth experienced in travelling by bicycle, not curtailed by ones canvas sojourn.
Basically this is an inexpensive version of the original and popular Go Lite Shangri La or the Nigor Wickiup 3 ( it's made by the same company as the Wickiup ). The compromise being the materials, weight and increased bulk, but a price tag of £130 which is nearly 1/4 of the Wickiup. It weighs around 3kg with all the bits ( A groundsheet is available for circa £20) which is nearly 1kg more than the £500 expensive version. A extra kg to me when touring is nothing whilst £400 would pretty much pay for the entire trip.
I took it on a 3 week tour through UK, Holland, Belgium, France and then finishing with the South Downs Way.
I immediately replaced the guy tensioners with some sliding Hilleberg style glow in the dark line locks I sourced from ebay, and some of the guys with dyneema cord. Utilising all the pegging points can take c. 15 pegs, although sometimes I pitched it with the mimimum 6 pegs when in woods or on a campsite etc. I ditched the bog standard pegs that came with the tent in favour of a mix of sand/snow stakes, msr groundhogs, hilleberg pegs and ti alpkit nails and v pegs that I have accumulated over the years. On top of the Downs I used all the pegging points and tent is like a limpet, it never moved in a storm and substantially less flapping than the proven Akto due to the design and the profusion of guys anchoring the wind shedding shape . The tent has factory taped seams so as long as these hold out rain ingress is not expected.
Some points. Being a Hexagonal tipi or pyramid...this tent casts very little shadow, and so one cannot lie in its shadow on a very sunny day at this latitude, something I've often done with the Jetpacker and Akto. However due to the internal size it remains a more stable internal temperature inside in hot weather, as the back of the tent remains cool, where a smaller tent will turn into a hot house. It's made in China to a low price point and initially I was concerned at some of the less than Hilleberg standard sewing. So far this is only a cosmetic detail. When cooking in high winds one can quickly and easily roll back some of the inner and cook in draft free efficiency.
Camping by the sea there was often heavy dew or mist so a bit of a wait for most of it to dry off, as the surface area is obviously of greater extent than smaller tents. I never experienced drips from condensation, but opening the door in the morning inevitably let a few drips onto the tent floor. Supposedly the tent pitches inner first, but one can link the inner and outer together and cunningly pitch it as a single unit, but just inserting the central pole once the prime pegging points of the hexagon have been established. I goes up remarkably quickly, and despite seeing reviews of folks who struggled pitching the Wickiup, I never encountered an issue or delay after sorting my method after two pitches.
I really enjoyed the palatial 'roundhouse' style of this tent. The rear of the tent lends itself to the sleepin quarters, whilst camp tasks and whittling are naturally destined to be done in the light and shelter of the door. Having an array of ones gear around the perimeter inside the tent makes the best use of that space and it was nice to have everything in view both aesthetically, pragmatically and from a peace of mind point of view. The highest I pitched it was on the downs at 240m on top of Harting Beacon Hill fort ( a worthy place for a 'roundhouse'). Many times I wlld camped in the dunes and sandy conditions.
So, initial impressions well worth the money. Having a bit of 'lebensraum' really is worth its weight and it may be some time before the other tents get a look in again.
Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
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