My new Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo tent showed up on my doorstep today! I bought this to replace my heavier and smaller Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent for when my wife or my son goes out with me. I will save approximately 30 oz but my interior space is much more usable/livable. It may not sound like much but going from 29 ft2 (which was limited all around the perimeter due to a sloped wall and shorter dimensions) to a 34 ft2 floor has a huge advantage.
In the Kelty tent my sleeping bag would always rub the foot-end of the tent and the hood would even touch the door on the front. This was due to the sloped walls at the head and foot. I didn’t like my bags touching the walls which is why I wanted such a large floor space for two. However, I also wanted something that was as vertical as I could get it. This is the cool thing about the Lunar Duo, all around its perimeter the walls are indeed vertical. Of course there is some compromise here though. At the head and foot the bathtub floor is sewn to a fine no-see-um mesh which goes straight up about a foot or so where it meets the walls going up. (The picture below shows this.) Due to such a long floor length and this vertical area, there is so much room my sleeping bag on top of a NeoAir or a taller Exped air pad will not even come close to hitting the tent walls!
I opted for the UL floor since I plan on using a ground sheet under the tent. I thought about using a polycro ground sheet but I figured that the silnylon by itself is slick enough, so I ordered a large Tyvek ground sheet from Six Moon Designs with the tent. The Tyvek sheet is listed at 48″ x 84″ which is just a little smaller than the tent’s floor but that will be ok.
As far as the inside of the tent floor, well it is silnylon so as anyone that has had a silnylon floor knows, it is a little slippery. I was pleased to find that my NeoAir did a pretty good job at not slipping around so much, at least on level ground. However, I plan to use some of my SilNet and making dots inside on the floor once I get a nice sunny and dry day. I do feel like things will feel like they are moving around on the floor a little when actually it is the floor that is moving. This is because the floor is not staked down, but rather stretched using some elastic cord at each of the four corners. (This is the same idea I had for a DIY bathtub floor not to long ago…)
As well, I opted to have the tent factory seam sealed. I was a little hesitant since I have the SilNet already, but figured I would be happier to let some one else do it. Now that it is here I have found some spots that will need to be touched up, but that shouldn’t be a problem. That said, if I were to do it again, I would have saved the $30 and did it myself. (Seems like I have heard that before…)
The tent came in a green stuff sack made of the same silnylon as the body of the tent with a cord lock to cinch the top closed. Of course the tent also came with the two ceiling poles. As far as the tent, there are a few loose threads that I will cut away that are mainly found where the no-see-um mesh is sewn, however, they do not give me any reason to worry. Although, there is a seam on the top of the vents that is directly over the tip of the trekking pole (can be seen in very first picture). I figure that this (tent) is a well thought out design, but I will keep an eye on this seam since a large amount of pressure will be put on these two spots, which hold the tent up. If this seam were to split the trekking pole could possibly go through the tent, which would make it hard to keep the tent erect.
Other than this, this tent is a very nice tent. Very roomy for a 2 person tent, and at a lesser weight than my Kelty. One thing I was a little concerned about is the size of the footprint, and finding a large enough spot. Granted it may be hard to do so in some areas, I don’t believe that it will be as difficult as I feared. Other than this, I am very excited about my new tent! I can’t wait to take it out for a few nights. I am sure it will be set up in my yard though real soon for the night…Oh yeah, I forgot weights… 🙂 (Not really, just saving it for last…)
Six Moon Designs classifies this tent as an Ultralight tent, and in my opinion, for all that it is, it most certainly is Ultralight. However, in the light of Ultralight backpacking as a whole, maybe not…Another thing to think about is pack size. At 15″ x 7.5″ this tent does not pack down the smallest, but then again, there are certainly bigger. Again here, in my opinion, I am fine with this, but I do have to think about how I will carry this in my pack. I am afraid that it will be too big to pack in my front pocket of my new ULA Circuit but that is something I will have to figure out…
So, here are the weights I got on my scale:
- Tent Body & Stuff Sack: 34.4 oz
- 2 Arched Ceiling Poles: 2.6 oz
- 48″ x 84″ Tyvek Ground Sheet: 5.1 oz
- Stakes: Depends on what I take.
- Total: 42.1 oz (2 lbs 10.1 oz)
Lastly, this tent does require the use of trekking poles to pitch, but for those that do not use trekking poles, Six Moon Designs does sell an optional Carbon Fiber pole to use instead. For me, I like to carry trekking poles when I hike so I will be using these. At the moment I carry 2 Outdoor Product flick lock poles I got at Wal-Mart a little over a year ago. These poles have been great, but they are due a replacement. To replace them I will be going with the regular Gossamer Gear LT4 adjustable poles, just as soon as Gossamer Gear has them available again (which should be in the next couple of weeks).
EDIT: Due to my impatience I went ahead and got a pair of Leki CorkLite Aergon SpeedLock Trekking Poles. I still plan on getting the Gossamer Gear LT4 poles, but now I must wait a little longer… However, these poles will work great with my new Lunar Duo!