First Look: Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker

I received an email this past Tuesday from Six Moon Designs stating that the Skyscape Trekker has shipped! So, I waited anxiously for its arrival. But wouldn’t you know it, the mail services shipped it to the wrong place! They did make up for it though, so rather than me holding the Trekker in my hands on Thursday, it was sitting on my doorstep Friday! So, all good.

Before I opened the box, I grabbed my camera. I wanted to share the unveiling with everyone. So, In the following video, you will witness everything from the unboxing to complete set-up…

So, just to hit on the specs again:

  • Tent body: 23.1 oz
  • Strut: 0.7 oz
  • Stuff Sack: 0.5 oz
  • Porch: 2.2 oz

Of course I still have to seam seal the tent, so the tent weight will go up slightly. I am figuring maybe another ounce at best, but I won’t know until I actually seam seal it…

The stuff sack supplied with the tent is rather large considering the size that the Trekker can actually pack down to. This is a good thing because I store my shelters on the outside of my packs (preferably in the front pockets) since I like to be able to set up my shelter before unpacking my pack. Here is a picture of the tent compressed inside it’s stuff sack in comparison to a 1L Nalgene bottle, my OES 8 x 10 sil tarp and my SMD Lunar Duo:The first thing that I noticed when setting up the tent is that it is pretty easy to lay the tent out and stake it down. However, on my first set-up I found that it is hard to get the tips of the trekking poles in the strut sleeves. It may be easier for me if I were to extend the poles after I put the tips in the sleeves. At least this way I wouldn’t be struggling with an extended pole inside the tent. But, I also think that it would be easier to do if the strut were made of a harder plastic, this way it would be more rigid and simply easier to insert the tips into. As well, with the provided strut, I am concerned at how they will do over time. The last thing I need is for the trekking pole tip to puncture through the top of the tent. At least with a hard plastic tip this would be much less likely to happen. (I may end up modding this…)

I am 5’10” and have found the tent to be plenty big enough for me and my needs. My 2.5 inch NeoAir fits great inside the tent and still allows me room to sit up inside the tent, on the pad without my head hitting the ceiling. As well, there is plenty of horizontal room at the sides, with the most room being nearer the head end. This is a well thought-out design in my opinion. When I am laying down on the pad, the most horizontal room available inside the tent is right next to my torso, or better put, in arms reach. This way I can keep things I may need access to right next to me (on both sides) in easy reach. Then at the head end I can put things that I may not need immediately, but would still like to have close at hand. This leaves the foot end for anything else.

I do have some concerns about the way that the mesh is right up against the silnylon canopy at the head end. (You can see this in the video.) The 2 walls really are right against each other. This makes me wonder how the tent will do if moisture (condensation) collects on this part. Will the mesh actually keep the water from dripping down on my head? Also, with these 2 layers right on top of each other, I wonder if this will prolong this part of the tent from drying out…

The vestibules are not extremely huge, but there should be enough room to lean my pack up underneath (which I rarely do anyway ~ I typically hang mine) or to put my shoes under for the night.

The porch does allow considerably more room, but, as seen in my videos, I still have to work with it a little more to get it pitched better. The porch came with no instructions, only the actual porch and a single cord with a lock on each end. I believe that I will make 2 separate guylines for this using some of the Glowire that I recently received from Lawson Outdoor Equipment. (Once I get this figured out a little better, I will be sure to post some better pictures.) I did find the porch set-up to be very unstable, but that may be due to the fact that I didn’t have it set-up properly.So, I will see…

Also considering the porch, I don’t know how much I will actually use it. Considering this is a solo shelter, I don’t ever plan on carrying 4 trekking poles, nor do I plan on purchasing the optional poles that are offered. Two alternatives that I have is that if I hike with someone else that is carrying poles, but not using them for a shelter, then I could use those. Or, I could pitch my tent near some sort of foliage, such as a tree or a large bush in which I can simply guy the porch out too.

So, at this point I am pretty excited the Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker. Now I just need to seam seal it and get it out! So, until then…

Thanks for reading, and watching the video.

~Stick~

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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41 Responses to First Look: Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker

  1. Jason Miller says:

    Did you use a ground sheet under your tent when you had it?

    Like

  2. jimp says:

    For folks worried about the mesh at the head end touching the tent wall, here’s something I (accidentally) discovered. After you pitch your Skyscape, peek inside one of the doors — if the tent wall is up against the mesh at the head end, it means the pole tips are being pulled too far toward the foot of the tent. Loosen the two tie-outs at the foot, and tighten the head tie-out. (You should pull the two side stakes first.) Then re-stake the sides so that they’re taut when zipped closed. This should separate the mesh and wall at the head, and also lift the tarp overhang at the foot (giving better ventilation there).

    Also, you might want to pull the spreader bar _out_ of the tent when you pack it. I suspect it was the cause of a hole in the mesh of my Trekker that I found one evening when setting up.

    Finally, test your seam sealing before heading out. There are some complex seams on this lovely!

    Like

  3. Jay Butera says:

    Hi Stick,
    Thanks for this great video. I have watched it twice, at least, trying to decide on the Skyscape. I really like what I see, but I am just a bit concerned because I have yet to find any reviews or comments from anybody who has actually used the tent in the field. So I was wondering, have you been able to take it out on the trail yet? If so, what do you think? This would be my first real UL tent (have been using a MSR Hubba with carbon poles at about 46 ounces) so I am wondering about ventilation, condensation, etc. Is the Skyscapes hybrid double wall a breakthrough in ventilation? I think only the field test will tell. So I am very interested in hearing about your experience with it. Thanks again for a great review and excellent blog.
    Jay

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Jay,

      Hey, thanks for checking out the video and leaving a comment.

      To answer your question, no I have not yet used it in the field. I have been pretty busy and have not had many opportunities to get out, and the times I have I have been experimenting with my hammock. However, I have spent quite a bit of time in it in the yard and I have only had condensation issues in really humid (windless) weather. I have found that if I need to pull the canopy down I will then leave the door open inside the tent. The mesh does let some air pass through, but in warm temps if I left the door open it makes quite a difference.

      Sorry I couldn’t help you out past an initial review.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  4. Peter says:

    Thanks for the review, the video was very helpful! The extended porch is awesome, but I have severe doubts on condensation dripping on your sleeping bag (or head) in humid conditions.

    My current tent is a Big Agnes Sarvis Superlight SL1 eVENT, also a hybrid double wall design. The single wall part made of eVENT shows no condensation, but the nylon top part (the coping? sorry, English is not my native language) has a lot, despite the two top vents. So much so that eventually it will drip straight down… Also, there is very little space between the mesh inner and the canopy where the single wall ends; and when it rains the canopy touches the mesh and condensation will trickle down on the inside of the inner (bad) or drip straight down in the inner (worse).

    After seeing the video my impression is that the Skyscape will drip in this way as well (given the circumstances, like I got in Norway last month).

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Peter,

      I saw what you are talking about with the mesh touching the wall. I have found that the farther out that I guy the side doors, the more it pulls the walls off of the mesh, but this will not keep it completely off. However, I did find a way to get the mesh off of the wall. On each side of the center seam where the wall and the mesh is sewn together, the mesh dimples. If I pull the dimples together it actually pulls the mesh entirely away from the wall about 1 inch. However, unless I want to sew the dimpled mesh together, I will need to use other methods. Right now I plan to use 2 safety pins to pin them together. This way I don’t have to alter the tent and I can see how well this works for a while in the field.

      Although, a high humidity will definitely cause everything to be wet…

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  5. I received my Skyscape Scout but can’t figure out the porch after watching your video. Have you had any success?

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Michael,

      In my video I should have cut the single black cord that came packaged with the porch. Just simply fold it in half and cut it (although I used some Glowire that I got from Lawson Kline instead of the black line ~ just makes it easier to see for me.)

      By cutting the cord, I can get a little bit more of a taut pitch, but so far it is not completely tight. Although, I do not think that Ron intended on it to be super tight (but I could be wrong). It really just takes fiddling with it, guying out the porch guylines and even slightly adjusting the height of the poles holding the porch up. I have yet to tie it out to some sort of vegetation but I do wonder of that will allow a little tighter pitch since the angle of the guylines will be straight out rather than angled down towards the ground…

      Hope this helps some!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  6. Constance says:

    I just got my tent !!! I am so excited!!! Ordered it on Sunday and it arrived 3 days later, standard priority mail !!!!
    I know what I’m doing this weekend (and I hope it rains!!!)

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Awesome! So, what do you think of it so far?… 🙂

      Like

    • Constance says:

      I actually purchased the Scout: in reviewing all the info on the Six Moons site, i decided it would suit my needs…it’s fantastic ! It took me 5 minutes to set up (after having watched your video several times and pre-setting my hiking poles before unpacking the tent!).
      I’m heading out tomorrow afternoon to test it out – the weather forecast is for possible thunderstorms overnite here in New York, so I have my fingers crossed that I’ll get a full test of it before a longer trip.
      It arrived so quickly! I did not receive an email telling me when to expect it, so it was a very pleasant surprise. It is well made, though i noticed 2 smaller-than-fingerprint sized warped areas in the noseum mesh. The zippers glided like they’d been buttered; the bathtub floor is just as I would have expected (nice!); I had no difficulty inserting my hiking poletips into the tape on the strut ends. I do think i may need to seam seal it (seam sealing wasn’t an option on this tent), though I’ll hold off for now. Overall, it is what I expected (headroom is just right for me being 5′-4″ med. torso, long legs).

      Thanks again for your review and videos – you’ve helped me quite a bit!
      My office-mates thought I was nuts when I saw the box had been delivered (yes, there was some gasping, skipping, and hopping involved).

      I’m also testing out my just-out-of-the-box Gossemer Geal Mariposa backpack and my diy wood burning can stove – life is good.

      Happy trails to ya…
      C.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Constance,

      I do remember that you said you received the Skyscape, now… sorry, it has been a very long week…

      IMO, I would definitely want that thing seam sealed before I took it out, especially if rain is to be expected. After my first seam seal I gave mine the water hose test and found a handful of little spots that I needed to revisit. Since then I have hit a few more spots with a little more seam seal but have not had the time to test it again with the water hose… I was planning on doing that tomorrow, but I have already been notified that we have a surgery scheduled in the morning, so… I will have to see how tomorrow goes. Maybe I will have time to test it again, but I have just simply been worn out…

      And I hear ya on the co-workers… before I bought a scale, I took myself to work and weighed it…

      Nice pack you got there too…I need to pick up a Murmur pack… I am planning to have a 5 pound base weight by next summer…

      I was not too fond of my MYOG wood burning stove… I don’t think that is for me though… I wish you the best of luck with yours…

      Life IS good! have fun!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  7. After seeing the video, I’m just bummed out I didn’t here about the Trekker when it was on sale and I could afford it! BTW awesome job with the video, it looks like a very well designed tent.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Robert,

      I hear ya, that price was a great price indeed. However, now that I own it, I am pretty sure that I would have paid the full price for it too…

      Thanks for stopping by.

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • I decided to go visit the fine people from Lightheart gear, who live about an hour from me. Judy and her husband more more than gracious to show me all the custom options on their tents. I ended up buying a Solong 6, which is made for big guys. Longer and with more space to sit up than the other ultralight tents I have looked at. I think you could easily fit two people that were fine with being cozy for 26oz. I’ll give you some feedback after I spend some more time with this tent.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Robert,

      Looking forward to your thoughts. It must be cool to be able to drive over and check out these things first hand like that too… 🙂

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • I would be happy to give you more info on the Lightheart Gear SoLong 6, but I don’t want to butt in on your Six Moons review. Let me know if you want pics, or first impressions, and I’ll email them to you. It was very cool to see where they made my tent and meet the nice folks would designed and put it together.

      Like

  8. What do you thinking about the “bathtub floor”?

    Like

    • Ron Moak says:

      Clearly between the comments posted here and on other forums, some people have a concern about the bathtub floors on the Skyscape. I’m not quite certain what the concern is. The height of our bathtub is the same as on our Lunar Solo, Lunar Duo, Serenity and Haven NetTents and on shelters we’ve produced in the past. Over the last ten years, we’ve sold 1000’s of shelters with this kind of floor. To my knowledge, we’ve never had a single complaint that the bathtub floor was too shallow to be effective.

      On the Skyscape models, the bathtub is approximately 3″ deep around most of the perimeter. However, at the front of the tent it rises to 6″. Also with the exception of the two points on the floor pinned down by the poles, the floor of the Skyscape floats. This allows it to rise and fall depending upon the height of the canopy. Six Moon Designs pioneered the use of floating floors in our shelters years ago. This type of floor minimizes stress on the floor, thus reducing the possibility of punctures.

      We also believe that site location is key to getting the maximum benefit of your shelter. This is true for all tents and especially true for ultralight ones.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Ron,

      Thanks again for stopping by and giving the official word!

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Green Giant,

      It looks like Ron has stepped in and gave a better answer than I could…

      But, as for my thoughts, I will admit that it took me some time to get used to the floor in general with my Lunar Duo, however, this was my first “UL” shelter that I have owned. And I do understand that with most UL gear, there are more things that I must take into consideration in order to use that piece of gear effectively.

      Saying that, I think that even though the floor in the Skyscape is very similar to the Lunar Duos, I like that the trekking poles are inside the tent. The poles seem to stabilize the floor, as well as to help shape the bathtub floor. Also, like Ron mentioned, I found that how high the canopy is pitched also determines the depth of the bathtub floor as well.

      Not sure if that really answers your question. And I know that you have some first hand experience with the tent from Trail Days. I remember reading your posts in which you compared this tent with the Light Heart tents. Do you plan on getting one or the other?

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Let me echo a couple sentiments that don’t get said enough. Six Moon Designs makes great stuff. They are at the top of a very short list for innovation, product development, customer service, communication, and any number of business essentials. Ron is a constant presence on blogs, forums, and other web services and I personally appreciate his insight and experience. Like others, when he has something to say, usually I listen because I know I’ll learn something. I’ve owned the Lunar Duo for maybe 6 years now. It’s a brilliant shelter in nearly every respect. In fact, I hope to use it this fall with my wife on a trip to Grayson Highlands. As it relates to my perspective between the Skyscape and SoLong 6, my opinion is heavily skewed by my physical size which is the same reason I was drawn to the Lunar Duo. Bottom line, I’ve gone through a majority of my life where nothing fits. You name it, and it doesn’t fit. People who live in our medium world can’t possibly understand what it is like to get in a car, fly on a plane, try to find clothes, sleeping bag, shelter, etc. when you aren’t in the collective market target range of most manufacturers. If something is bigger than another similar offering, it will get my intrigue for this reason alone. The SoLong 6 caught my attention for this reason and held it for the reasons mentioned on my blog. Others may not share the same opinion and I have no problem with that. There are a couple of things that I would like to see changed in the Skyscape if I were a bit smaller which seem to have been noticed by others too. Yet that’s not to say I wouldn’t be plenty happy to own this shelter if it fit a little easier.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Green Giant,

      I agree with you. It does seem that I have seen Ron on a couple of different forums and he has always been very quick to respond to emails or phone calls. As well, the few items that I own by SMD are great pieces of gear. Granted, most of my first “UL” gear has been by SMD, so I have had to learn with it. I will admit that initially I was a little discouraged with the Lunar Duo (because of the way the floor moves around mostly) as well as with the Swift pack I own (mainly the overall size). However, after actually using the items and handling them more I am more comfortable with them and in the end, more happy with them.

      With the Skyscape, I must admit that I did not have any discouraging feelings, even initially. I absolutely love this tent. I have set it up numerous times now, both indoors and outdoors… 🙂 (I actually just took it down inside…and once the SilNet I ordered comes in, I will set it back up inside, and then outside for the water hose test…) However, that is not to say that there were things that I questioned on the Skyscape. Namely, the spreader bar. However, I have a DIY spreader bar that I fashioned from some Pex tubing and I am much more comfy with it. The porch is a little iffy, but I feel sure that with use it will be fine.

      I do count myself lucky that I fit into the general line of things considering I am an “average” 5’10” tall. And while I can imagine, I do understand that simply imagining is not the same as experiencing your “height” issues. I enjoyed reading your post when you compared the Skyscape with the LH tent from Trails Days, and when I read it I tried to keep in mind that this was coming from someone much taller than I.

      I would still like to check out one of the LH tents though, in person…

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Dinh D says:

      From reviewing this video, I don’t think this tent is constructed as a true “bathtub” floor. The floor seam is set too low. Bathtub floor will have not have seam near the floor. It generally set up in the range of 10-12 inches above the floor. Having bathtub floor is great for keeping water out.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Dinh,

      I am going to agree with you, to a point. This is what happens when a bathtub floor meets an “ultralight” shelter.

      There are 2 things that will keep your tent floor dry during rain. Number 1 is a bathtub floor, and number 2 is site selection. I would argue that number 2 is more important than number 1 though. With good site selection, one can get away with absolutely no bathtub floor at all, and remain dry even during a storm. On the flip side, with poor site selection, even with a 10 – 12 inch bathtub floor, one can still wake up to a tent filled with water. While the high sides may keep water from overflowing into the tent, the materials will need to have a high HH to keep the water from seeping through. Some materials do this better than others.

      As for the height, I am fine with a 5 – 6 inch bathtub floor as that is more than enough height. If the material is truly water proof and does not let water seep though, then this height is adequate. If I am having water spill over at 5-6 inches, then I had better be getting out of there! 🙂

      Anyway, Ron (from Six Moon Designs, the maker of this tent) has written a nice article on this very matter, and has posted it to his site. Here is a link for those that are interested in reading:

      http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/blog/72-bathtub-floors.html

      Hope this helps some!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  9. wurz says:

    Great post. I bought one on offer too but I live in the UK so it’s not arrived yet, plus I’m working away but can’t wait to get home soon and try it!

    Like

    • Stick says:

      wurz,

      I can somewhat relate to you on that. Not quite to the extent, but I know what ya mean about wanting to get home to get it!

      Let us know what you think about it once you get it.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  10. Constance says:

    Great video! It is really well done (I love your ability to point to
    things accurately in the view frame), and personally
    love seeing people geek-out over new equipment !
    I think I am now sold on the trekker w/p the porch attachment.
    thanks!

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Constance,

      I am really getting happier and happier with it, and I have not even used it yet. I have set it up quite a few times so far, both inside and out. Of course when inside I cannot put the porch on though. But I haven’t given up on the porch just yet.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting,

      ~Stick~

      Like

  11. skolbe says:

    Nice tent, a few concerns – the porch is the piece I would skip, based on the video.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      skolbe,

      Thanks for checking out my post and commenting. And I agree with you, I am really starting to love the tent. Thanks to one of the posters over on BPL, I replaced the spreader bar with a piece of Pex tubing and it is a nice improvement over the supplied spreader. As for the porch, I am not giving up on it yet. I made 2 separate guywires using some of Laswon Kline’s Guywire and this seems to work out a little better. Right now I have the tent set up in my living room. I started seam sealing it and wouldn’t you know it I ran out as I was just finishing up. So, I gotta get some more and finish it up sometime… but I have done enough that I can take it out and give it the water hose test tomorrow to see if I missed any spots.

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Lukabrazi says:

      Glad you pointed out this idea about the pex spreader bar. I see at BPL that he used a Heat Gun. Was this the method you used as well? Not having one, I’m wondering if I can use a lighter or soto torch. What do you estimate the angles ended up being? Thanks!

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Lukabrazi,

      I actually cut a tiny nook out where I bent mine and then held it over a lighter and bent it into shape. Then I held it in that shape until it was completely cool. It still wants to bend up a little, but it bends back quite easily. As far as measuring, I just set the stock spreader bar next to the Pex tubing and marked it. On my angles I didn’t measure them exact, I just eyeballed the bend. The trekking poles will adjust the tubing as to where it needs to be just fine.

      Hope this helps!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  12. Chuck Duke says:

    I set up my Skyscape Scout today and seam sealed it. I had it set up in five minutes but I had the same problem with the strut that you did. Once i got it centered in the sleeve it was better but I am still concerned about punching a hole in the roof. Can’t wait to try it out.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Chuck,

      I am contemplating looking for some sort of PVC alternative to the strut that has been provided. Maybe if I can find a way to use the carbon fiber rod inside the strut and then adapt some sort of plastic elbow…I dunno, I will keep my eyes peeled for ideas.

      Congrats on the seam seal already! It has been way to humid here for me to feel comfortable sealing mine. Plus, I am not so sure that the remainder of the tube of SilNet that I have will be enough to quite finish the job so I guess I need to order some more. I am curious, did you use the new seam sealer that Ron sells on his site for Poly tents?

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Enjoy the tent and let us know how it does for you!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  13. Martin Rye says:

    For the price and the weight it looks a good tent. Adding the extra guy-line to the fly would stop it deflecting in during a storm from the wind I would expect. Overall it seems well made and has good head room and space.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Martin,

      I am very happy with the tent, and even more so since I picked it up when it was still discounted!

      The guy line at the foot does indeed work the way that you described. I found that out by using the ones on my Lunar Duo. However, being that there is much less surface area on the Skyscape than on the LD, I am not so sure that will be as much of an issue. The Lunar Duo is huge, and the walls have plenty of potential for catching plenty of wind. So far I do indeed like it and glad I got it!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  14. Ron Moak says:

    Loved the video. It’s a good representation of the tent. The guy-line on the porch should be cut into two pieces an attached separately. I’ll try to get some better instructions up on the website soon. For use in the field, I recommend using nearby vegetation or a couple of sticks. As an ultralighter, I’d be appalled at someone carrying extra gear just to hold up the porch.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Ron,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! As an afterthought, I figured that cutting the cord would work better, but wasn’t sure. During the video, I was simply trying to get it done in a reasonable time frame so that I could post the video (although I still had to cut 3 minutes off of my video to post it on YouTube…) it was exciting too setting it up right out of the box “in front of everyone.”

      I too agree with you that using nearby vegetation is more reasonable than carrying extra poles. At least for oz counters…

      Anyway, thanks for an awesome tent!

      ~Stick~

      Like

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