Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tall Guy Redesign of Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (and Some TIPS)

As a vocal blogger about backpacking resources available for big/tall people, I often get asked about gear selections by others who are in a similar position.  Truth be told (and not something I’m proud of because shipping costs are expensive), I’m actually a pretty good reference for these question because I’ve unintentionally tried a LOT of gear in my own plight.

Several years ago when looking for my first lightweight solo tent, I tried out the Lunar Solo by Six Moon Designs.  Trail Days in Damascus offers a wonderful opportunity to try out this kind of gear without wasting money on shipping.  At that time, my first thought was that it was smartly designed and made in the same spirit as other great SMD products.  My second thought after trying to stretch out in it was that it was too short and didn’t have enough headroom.  As a result, I ended up purchasing the Tarp Tent Contrail which was $35 cheaper and had more room.

The problem is that although I really like the TT Contrail, it is still too tight for me and I honestly hate getting in at the head end and wiggling down to the foot end.  Side entrance shelters with a center peak are far more preferable to me unless we’re talking tarps.

SMD apparently realized the gain of enlarging the SMD Lunar Solo and last Tuesday it was announced that the shelter had been redesigned.  The design for 2012 includes a floor length increase to 90”, and of equal notoriety, an increase to the height peak of 5” with a cantilever to offer even more headroom.  With the changes, the walls are now set vertically narrowing the tent and making it better at shedding weather elements.  A bathtub floor is also included but has been increased from 3” to 6”.  All of these changes were made…without gaining weight.  The new weight will be 23 oz or less offering 26 sq/ft of floor area and 8.5 sq/ft of vestibule area.

To be blunt, this is now a great option for everyone and I can’t wait to try it out myself.  Despite having a custom cuben tent which is lighter and more roomier, this is a great and more economic option that would be hard to pass up for thru-hikers and weekend warriors alike.



I’m an avid reader of other blogs and backpacking webpages.  I truly hope you are too as there is a wealth of knowledge out there.  Even though backpacking as a whole could be described as putting one foot in front of the other and lugging some form of lifestyle necessities, I feel I can almost always learn something new if I look hard enough which will benefit my personal backpacking experience.

Many different websites are offering tips.  I should mention that some of the tips are largely well known or merely posted for some kind of editorial content (ahem, BPL). Awesome and reliable cottage manufacturer Gossamer Gear is now also offering tips, only I personally feel like their trips are quite worthwhile.  There were four that really got me thinking which I felt were worthwhile enough to re-post here:  

  1. The first was about using a woman’s nylon  stocking hose as a pre-filter when using Aqua Mira drops or other non-physical filter methods.  GENIUS!  I use a nylon bag meant for party favors or biodiesel bags which are a little heavy and expensive, but a nylon stocking is really a great idea that I had not previously considered and it weighs virtually nothing.  Giving credit where credit is due, this was a reprint from a GG Trail Ambassador’s blog named JERMM’S Outside.
  2. Glen VanPeski offered tips about successfully eating on the trail as a Vegan, but there are a lot of great ideas otherwise to include something I’ve only recently been trying which is Emergen-C, a supplement which, in this case, works wonders to prevent joint and muscle fatigue.  The whole article is really great.
  3. Lastly, Will Rietveld, formerly with BackpackingLight and whose opinion I’ve valued over the years, wrote an article about using nitrate-coated gardening gloves as a more robust glove for backpacking and bushwhacking.  The palm is coated to provide abrasion resistance and the rest of the glove is nothing more than spandex or some kind of synthetic which means breathable and quick drying.  BRILLIANT IDEA and at $5-7/pair for a variety of offerings available from your favorite home store, very affordable.
  4. The Gear Caster brought a new shoe product to my attention from Spanish vendor OneMoment (01M).  It is made from a natural 100% biodegradable plastic which uses a polymer injection molding technique that enables a 1 mm thickness for the shoe body with 2 mm for the sole.  Skin tight against your feet, the elastic material adapts to your own foot form over time.  Anti-slip soles provide a gecko like grip over slippery terrain. The biodegradable plastic is supposedly breathable so that you don't end up with a sweaty foot mess after starting your chosen outdoor activity.  Unique lightweight shoe option.

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DaFireMedic said...
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