A one-man fortress that's just as reliable as shelters twice its size.
Even if you're a weight-shaving ultralight-adventure addict, you'll find space for the Sea to Summit 3-Season 1-Person Specialist Solo Shelter. After all, this shelter packs down to the size of a water bottle. Although it was designed with minimalist appeal, there's still enough room inside to sit up, and just outside the door there's a small vestibule for your pack and boots. At a feathery 625 grams, this fully-enclosed shelter houses cyclists, backpackers, and sea-kayakers from the elements without sacrificing weather protection.
- Pertex Endurance fabric used in the canopy is ultralight, breathable to help mitigate condensation, and waterproof in normal rain conditions
- Double stitching and bar tacking offer extra durability at stress points
- Mesh-panel doors offer plenty of ventilation and protect against bugs
- Reflective guy lines keep you from tripping over your shelter in the dead of night
- Shelter can be erected with only trekking poles and natural anchors, eliminating the need for poles and shaving the weight down to 445 grams
- Other details include internal storage pocket, fully seam-sealed construction for waterproofing, ultralight aluminum poles for less weight without sacrificing overall structural strength
- Item #STS0122
- Q & A
Sea To Summit Specialist Solo Shelter Review
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Its called a shelter not a tent, so make of that what you will. My interpretation is that you should not expect tent-like roominess and that is pretty much accurate. The ultralight weight specs are spot-on and I highly recommend this shelter if you can deal with the interior size. I prefer this shelter over a tarp and am willing to sacrifice a bit of floor space for the insect and weather protection that it provides (my opinion entirely).
Usage: I put about 500 miles of backpacking on this shelter in 2016 including usage in the High Sierra late in the season. I am 5 feet 10 inches in height and have over 10,000 miles of long distance hiking experience.
Roominess: The bottom (where your feet go) of the shelter is about 13 inches wide, fine for me since I keep my feet in my bag. I am a side sleeper and find that the widest part of the shelter could have been substantially wider without adding weight if the manufacturer did not include the small vestibule. The vestibule is a nice touch, but I think that given the choice, most people would prefer a bit more floor space.
Wind/Rain: No leakage with heavy rain and the wind resistance was impressive. I spent a very sleepless night near the summit of Mt. Whitney in late September with sustained winds easily in excess of 50 mph. The shelter was knocked around a bit, but stayed put the entire time. The shelter breathes well with no condensation.
As far as set-up goes, after you do it once its is a breeze. I use a small piece of a polycryo sheet (window shrink insulation) as a ground cloth for super-light abrasion resistance. I also shaved a little weight by replacing the supplied stakes with lighter titanium ones, but they are not as strong. I do not use hiking poles and appreciate the fact that the included poles break down small.
Pros: Super lightweight, small packed size, pole choice versatility, breathability, wind resistance, watertight
Cons: Price (find used if possible), floor space could be better without the vestibule
Ultralight and Packable
Love this tent. I'm 5'3" so I have lots of room in it. It's comparable to the REI quarter dome in footprint and height but it weighs less and packs really small. I mean REALLY small. For me this means I can take a very small pack. It's also highly functional. It's easy to set up (except for the first time). I was pleased that there hasn't been much of a condensation issue. Note that this is not a freestanding tent; it must be staked. I like the vestibule and find it quite sufficient, but I do carry a small pack and mainly use the vestibule for my boots. Though I have trekking poles I mostly use the tent's native poles. I agree with the comment about needing to be careful seating the pole in the correct spot.
Somewhere between great and excellent
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I love most things about this tent. The easy set-up, the tiny pack size, the ridiculously light weight, reflective guy lines. I love that I have the option to use trekking poles or included tent poles. I love the durability of this tent.
But, it's tiny. Very tiny. Very coffin-like. I've seen pictures of keeping a backpack in the vestibule, but I seem to have to get up in the middle of the night while I'm camping more than I do at home. I don't feel like tripping over my pack, so my clothes end up in a stuff sack in the tent, and my pack is under a cover leaned against a tree. If it's just you, spring for the Specialist Duo if you want to be able to keep your pack nearby you. The floor is thin, so make sure to pick up the groundsheet or make a groundsheet if you plan on using this on any kind of damaging terrain. Would also recommend using a sleeping bag with a right-handed zipper with this tent if you get up a lot. The door will be on your right when you are in the tent. I've also had some issues with condensation as the tent is single-walled. Nothing too major, but something to be aware of when looking at this tent.
Overall, I would recommend this tent. It's light, durable, and easy to set up and comfortable for sleeping.
Bivy killer -wind boss
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
First time using it I pitched on a windy ridge broadside to the wind at 11,000 ft. Despite gusts hitting me broadside all night, it held up.
The next trip was windless and cold - no condensation. Pitching is easy and it is far sturdier than it looks.
One weak point is that the poles sit on a reinforced patch on the tent floor. They can slip off and poke a hole in the floor if pitched on hard rock. On dirt they divit in the ground and stay there. I might glue some o rings on the patches to corral the poles but that would add two grams....
The dimensions at the feet are listed at 11" wide. Is this a problem for sleeping pads? I'm 6 ft tall.
Since this is 7' long, with it tapering down to 11" at the foot, you should have an issue since there would be some space down there for extra items.
Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!