The Skyscape is a hybrid double wall solo tent. What this means is that “over 80% of the canopy is separated from you by a mesh wall” which means that only a tiny sliver directly above you is only actually a single layer. This is very promising, especially so for people in humid areas such as the Southeast US, or even the Pacific NW (from what I hear…I have never been there).
A great feature of this tent is that both the sides will roll up and attach at the top so that both sides are completely opened up. This way, on nice days I can still sit inside the tent, away from the bugs, and still enjoy a view nearly all the way around me. Or for that matter, I can still star gaze at night if I choose to do so…
And, oh no, don’t think that it will be cramped inside… Ron has stayed true to his shelter designs, which is basically, palatial… According to the specs listed on the SMD site, the Skyscape’s inner tent dimensions are 103″ (262 cm) long by 48″ (122 cm) wide at its widest point. As well, the highest point is 45″ (114 cm) so there should be plenty of room to sit up in and be comfortable. And when the tent needs to be battened down due to ill weather, the dimensions are 120″ (305 cm) long by 76″ (193 cm) wide. This should allow enough room outside the tent, but under its roof to store boots or packs or whatever else you don’t want to drag inside the tent with you.
Both sides of the canopy does feature a zippered opening, but the actual tent only zips open on one side. This saves weight as well as creates simplicity in the design. There is an optional porch that can be purchased for an extra $30. This is simply a wedge that attaches to the canopy when unzipped. By using this wedge and two additional poles, the porch is able to be erected. “The porch can be configured to match weather conditions. It’s perfect for watching the rain, cooking a meal, invite a friend over or to snag some shade in open country.”
Of course as with many other light-weight and “UL” tents being released now, the Skyscape can be used with your trekking poles to be set-up. Or if you don’t carry poles, then SMD offers poles in which can be purchased to use in their place. Also worth noting, the tent does not come with stakes, so naturally, these are not included in the total weight. According to the site, this tent requires 5 stakes to set-up. (And if it is like the Lunar Duo, there are still 4 more upper guy outs to consider.)
So let’s talk about weights, cause I am sure that this is what every backpacker in their right mind is wondering… This is where this tent, yet again, shines… bright. Ron offers this tent in 3 different weights/models. The tent’s dimensions are the same in each different model. The only thing that differs is the weight, which is due to the materials used. And of course, the lighter the tent, the more $$$ it cost’s. So, here are the 3 different models:
- Sykscape Scout: This is the heaviest of the 3, but also the least expensive. “The canopy and floor of the Scout are constructed with 190T Polyester. Since this fabric is used in literally millions of tents, it is very cost effective. Incorporating Polyester fabric into the Scout makes it the most affordable ultralight tent on the market today.” The Scout model weighs in at 34 oz minus the tent stakes and of course the poles. So, what is the price you ask? Well, I will tell you… If you order the Scout model before May 31st, you can score this jewel for a mere $90! However, if you decided to wait till after this timeline, the price is still a very fair $125.
- Skyscape Trekker: This is the middle-of-the-road Skyscape. A fair balance of price and weight. “The canopy and floor of the Trekker are constructed with silicone nylon. This fabric has been the work horse of fabrics used to build ultralight tents for the last decade. It’s main properties is its strength, light weight and that it’s impervious to mold or mildew.” The Trekker model weighs in at 24 sweet oz, here again, minus stakes and poles. And the price? Well, the same goes for this model, pick it up before May 31st and only pay $175! (Score!) Of course, wait till after may 31st, the price goes to a still quite tempting $225. Not bad at all…
- Skyscape X: This is the Mac-Daddy of the Skyscapes. The lightest of them all, but of course there is a catch… it costs a little more… “The canopy and floor of the X are constructed from state of the art Cuben Fiber. The main properties of Cuben Fiber is its remarkable strength to weight. Developed for use on million dollar racing yachts, Cuben Fiber takes us into a whole new world of light. With the X’s double taped seams, there are No Sacrifices to your comfort or safety.” That’s right, you didn’t read it wrong… Cuben Fiber. The new gold in “UL” backpacking. Weight? 16 oz ~ and remember, this shelter (for the most part) sports 2 skins rather than just 1. Again though, this does not include the stakes or the poles. So, now that your head is racing, how about the price? Try on 450 big ones! But don’t fear, if you cannot get your order in before May 31st, the price will still remain the same. However, the longer you wait, the longer you will probably wait to get it due to waiting times.
So, it looks like Ron has another winner here with the Skyscape. Right now at only $90, it is almost to inexpensive not to get. If not for yourself, this would even make some backpacker a very nice gift…
Right now I really like the Trekker, and if I had the $$$ my order would already be placed. So, this gives me a timeline I guess… I will have to see what I can do because I believe that the Trekker model would be a great potential AT Thru hike shelter…
I called Ron this morning and talked with him for a while and decided to place an order for my very own Skyscape Trekker, with a porch. Of all the tents that I have been discussing recently on my blog, while I liked them and felt that they would be a great candidate for my solo shelter for my upcoming AT hike, they didn’t push me to make a way to get them. To make a long story short, the Skyscape did.
With my experience with my Lunar Duo, I felt that Ron does indeed believe in a palatial interior. What I mean by this is that I feel like the Skyscape will be long, and tall enough so that my sleeping bag will not rub against the head or foot.
I love the fact that it is double wall, even if a mere 20% is not… I love that I can open it up on both sides and a breeze can come through, and that I can have a view.
I am having to adapt to the floor in my Lunar Duo, but it looks like the sliding floor will not be a problem in the Skyscape since the trekking poles are located inside the tent. Not only should this make the floor stationary, but it should also make readjusting the tent very easy.
And of course, I can place the order now, and pay for it when it is time to ship it…Just about everything is perfect, and I feel like this will be a winner! So, I bit. Now I am just waiting for July 13th…