Tarptent, SMD or Lightheart? Opinions? (Cross post)

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Juany118, May 31, 2018.

  1. Juany118

    Juany118 Tracker

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    Okay I have narrowed my backpacking tent to one of three; the Tarptent MoTrail, Six-Moons Designs Duo and the Lightheart Duo.

    They all seem solid. The MoTrail being a better price, the SMD Duo seems to have more useable space, the Lightheart Duo can be had in multiple colors, including camo, which would help with stealth camping in some areas, though the gray of the other two would be bad either.

    Anyone with experience with any of the above. I keep bouncing between the three because I am not sure on the quality or design execution of any of them.

    Thanks
     
  2. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    The SMD has more room and side entrance (easier to get in and out) but is pretty heavy. Only 6oz lighter than my cheap Chinese freestanding tent. And the Flycreek UL2 is lighter as well.

    I don't like the exposed seam on the bathtub floor on the Lightheart. It screams leak issues to me. Also are the ends not ventilated? Could cause issues with condensation dripping into the tent verse going through mesh and out of the tent. I'd say the other two are better designs.
     
  3. Tiogatires

    Tiogatires Supporter Supporter

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    I have the Motrail. And highly recommend it. Pack is a Seek Outside Gila, also highly recommended. I think under 5.5 for both. I picked up the rear, short pole for the Motrail, but like the two trekking pole setup for the front personally. It can bet set up with a single trekking pole in front as well.

    81BCE5A8-F70B-4522-9FF1-54E569BDCB54.jpeg 8531D4B2-2FD6-42DB-B601-5FCA36911A2C.jpeg
     
  4. UAHiker

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    do you have room for your pack inside or do you put in front outside in the vestibule? i'm really digging it especially for just 1 person
     
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  5. Tiogatires

    Tiogatires Supporter Supporter

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    For one person the pack would more than likely fit in there. My daughter and I have room with packs in the vestibule.
     
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  6. Tiogatires

    Tiogatires Supporter Supporter

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    In action
    05FB0FC3-4498-4846-968A-9FD38D4DE322.jpeg

    For the record, both our packs fit in the vestibule mighty fine. Had room for the Zseat entry pad as well. Tent condensation was epic, BUT I failed to open the vent at the rear and should have raised it a bit. There’s a tyvek ground cloth under there. Highly recommend it. Also, the tub is like an ice rink. I’m going to get some silicone sealant to seam seal then use it to add lines in the floor to offer up some “grip” for our pads. My daughter and I woke up a dozen times tangled up like Roman wrestlers and laughed our butts off. Definitely need something to keep your pads put.. overall it’s a great tent so far. Highly recommend it.

    Also want to throw out a “highly recommended” for the Seek Outside, Gila. Wonderful pack. Carried superbly over many, many miles. My base weight on this trip was 15#.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  7. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    I have a Tarptent Contrail that has served me well over the years, recently bought a Tarptent Scarp 2, I have a SMD Haven with inner net tent and a couple Gatewood Capes with inner net tents that I like. All being said I like the Tarptent build quality much better than the SMD products. The Tarptent design and build quality IMHO is much better than SMD but I have no complaints with the SMD products that I own.

    IMG_2991.jpg IMG_2988.jpg
     
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  8. Tiogatires

    Tiogatires Supporter Supporter

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    How is the condensation with your tarp tent?
     
  9. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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  10. Juany118

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    Thanks for the advice all. Somehow I missed the responses and ended up going sideways and ended up with this. In the wild...

    20180629_200002.jpg
    In the back yard with the munchkin being silly
    20180621_160203.jpg

    It's silnylon, and yes essentially a knock off of the Zpacks Duplex, and yeah I bought it from AliExpress. The only think I don't like about it is that while there are doors on both sides, they are "half doors."

    I stumbled on this about a week after I made the post. What I liked about this is that it is still only 2 lbs total and it is a true "double" wall tent
     
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  11. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    Looks like an SMD haven tarp tent knock off.

    IMG_2988.jpg
     
  12. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    They must have recently started making it in Green. I have the one man version of this tent. So far it's been great, though I agree a full sized door would be an improvement. It's a 3F UL Gear Lanshan 2 for anyone who is interested.
     
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  13. Juany118

    Juany118 Tracker

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    Indeed it is. I can't believe I omitted that. Overall I've been very pleased with it myself. My first experience with silylon though. Wasn't expecting the floor to be slippery lol.

    The only quibble I have with it is that everything is seam sealed and taped but there was a minor issue with where they soak loops on the Fly for the inner tent to hang. Where the loops mount it is taped but but when they sewed in the loops they did not seal those so I had to seal it myself. Apparently that is a consistent issue because it was all over YouTube so I'm glad I watched some of the review videos.
     
  14. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Yup, I never bothered testing to see if they were actually and issue, I just added some seam sealer to them. Far easier than doing long runs on seams trust and believe me. I haven't had it out in rain yet myself, but it will be my tent for trips without the kids in the future. I've been using a Naturehike Cloud UP 2 for years with zero issues so I'm confident the Lanshan will function well.

    We have another 7 days of rain ahead, perhaps I should set it up in the yard ;-)
     
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  15. xrayit

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    Looks like SMD is changing up the current line up with different fabrics, I have been pretty happy with my SMD stuff so far but interested to see what the new fabric from SMD looks like.

    I have had pretty good luck with the Naturehike products, no real issues other than a few leaks that required some seam sealing. Stitching and overall quality has always been good. Would expect the Lanshan products to be the same.

    I always switch out the guide lines to Lawson or Lash it lines regardless of the manufacture, don’t really like the lines that are shipped with the products.
     
  16. Nightflyer

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    I have a similar one person single wall tent from River Country Products that is made here in the USA. I found that lightly spraying waterproofing on the interior cut down on the condensation quite a bit. In fact I like the tent so much that I ordered the two man, semi double wall they just came out with. At 35 bucks on the big river site I couldn't pass it up! And it weighs between 2 and 2.5 lbs. with the included stakes.
     

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