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 15 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).
A few months ago I decided to get the Lunar Duo because, well, it seems to be an awesome tent! It is quite roomy, uses my trekking poles to set it up so I don’t have to carry extra tent poles, and due to this, it is pretty light-weight, especially when you consider the amount of room it offers. So, I was happy to spend the small chunk of change to get the Lunar Duo to replace my heavier, smaller Kelty Grand Mesa 2.
Since I received the tent I have used it a few times, both in my yard as well as in the Smokies. Overall, I am quite happy with the tent, but I do have one issue with it, and that’s the floor. The floor in the Lunar Duo is actually a floating floor. What I mean by this is that the tent is actually a tarp (single wall), and once it is pitched using my trekking poles and (at a minimum) 6 stakes, the floor hangs down from the perimeter of the tent by a no-see-um mesh. So, the floor literally hangs from the roof of the tent, however, there is an elastic cord at each corner of the bathtub style floor that stretches out to the corresponding corner of the tent which manages to hold the floor in place, somewhat.
The floor is made using a 30D ultralight silnylon, and anyone that has put their hands on a piece of silnylon knows one thing, it it slick! Now just imagine this slick material as the floor of your tent, and not stationary at that. What I have found is that even on the slightest of slopes the floor will actually begin to slide away. My problem with that is that I don’t want to wake up in the morning from either sliding into my trekking pole and knocking it down, or worse, wake up and realize that the floor has slid far enough away to actually tear away from the tent!
So, I have been contemplating ways to make the floor stationary. I have considered stitching some small loops at each corner and then simply using a small stake, or even a 16-penny nail to secure the floor down. However, I am still not ready to start sewing on my tent. I also thought about using some of the plastic/rubbery material that is used to line the inside of cabinets or drawers (or even rug stoppers) under the tent floor to help the floor grip and not slide. But I don’t want to carry a bunch of that junk…
I eventually decided to use some SilNet and make lines and circles on the outside bottom of the floor, hoping that this would provide enough grip to keep the floor in place. So, I laid my tent out, grabbed some latex gloves and the remainder of my tube of SilNet…I began by putting dots spaced about 10″ apart and then going back and using my finger to spread it out. I did two rows of this and then decided to use a full horizontal line since I was getting nearer the middle. I alternated another row of dots with another full horizontal line and then finished out the remainder with dots. The entire process took me about 10 minutes once I got it all together. After that I let it sit undisturbed for almost a full day (about 20 hours). Then I started wondering if I should powder the dots. The reason I say this is because the first time I used SilNet I had some issues. I sealed some MLD eVENT mitts and let them site for well over 24 hours (more like 36). Once I felt that they were dry, I unstuffed them and rolled them up together and stored them away. When I next pulled them out, well, they were stuck together pretty well… So, with my tent, I tested one of the dots. I folded it over on itself and applied a large amount of pressure for about 30 seconds. When I released I expected it to be stuck down, but it came right up!
So, this is when I decided to roll the tent up and shove it in its stuff sack and then take it out and set it up. I figured the SilNet would pick up its share of dirt and dust from the ground and the Tyvek ground sheet I use under it. However, the wind was blowing so hard, I didn’t really get a chance to see how well my fix would work since the wind kept blowing the floor all over the place…check out the video here:
Of course that video was just for fun though. If I had been setting it up for actual use, the tent would have been turned so the wind blew through the doors rather than against the wall. I would have guyed out the upper guylines on the tent as well. Anyway,I plan on taking the Lunar Duo out this weekend on a 2-night trip so I should see how it performs then. So, when I get back I will report back on how well it does…