After years of searching for a lightweight two person shelter I finally settled on the Big Sky Evolution 2P/2D/2V free standing tent. I thought it was great, but at 3 pounds it just seemed like there should be a better option. . .
Then I found the Six Moon Designs Cuben Haven Tarp & Inner Net Tent.
|Big Sky Evo 2 person/2 door/2 vestibule free standing tent on the JMT.|
Six Moon Designs has been making innovative lightweight camping gear for many years. Ron Moak, the founder of SMD, was one of the ground breaking cottage manufacturers and he continues to create new and exciting designs. The SMD Gatewood Cape has become a staple shelter for many ultralight backpackers.
The Cuben Haven Tarp along with the Inner Net Tent, the latest two person shelter from SMD, almost breaks the 1.5 pound weight barrier while still creating a durable high quality shelter for two. At $400 the Cuben Haven Tarp may seem pricey but it is typical of similar cuben shelters made by other UL cottage manufactures like Zpacks and Mountain Laurel Designs.
|SMD Cuben Haven Tarp and Inner Net Tent. A two person shelter with two doors and two vestibules.|
I was excited to receive the shelter and immediately set it up at the local park. It appeared to be very high quality with only a little fiddling necessary to get a good pitch. It takes two trekking poles to setup which is fine since I already use trekking poles while backpacking. It's possible to order separate carbon fiber poles from SMD if you don't use trekking poles.
|SMD Haven in storm mode.|
The real test came while Candy and I were on a five day trip in the High Sierras last summer. We went in late August which happened to be an unusually bad monsoon season. The first few nights were easy. We slept comfortably on soft ground and near the shelter of trees.
|Comfortable camping the first two nights. This was near Piute Creek.|
|Another sheltered site, this time in Evolution Valley.|
The third night was another story. We camped near the shore of WandaLake at 11,500 feet. It was a totally exposed site located above treeline with only a few boulders nearby. There were a few other people camped nearby and it was a typical site that had been used before.
|Camping in an exposed site above treeline near the shore of Wanda Lake at 11,500 feet.|
Lightening was barely visible in the distance as we went to bed after a long day on the trail. Unfortunately the storm came directly through Evolution Basin that night and for a few hours we were deluged by heavy rain, thunder, lightening, hail and finally ice. It felt like the hail would burst through the shelter at any moment. A few hours after the storm passed I could feel the shelter touching my feet. A heavy sheet of ice had formed on the outside of the tarp. First I tried to tap it off from the inside but eventually had to push it off with both fists.
When we woke in the morning everything was fine. The SMD Cuben Haven made it through a heavy duty thunder storm in the High Sierra with no problem. . . and at just under 10 ozs (without the inner net tent) it's hard to get anything lighter for a one person shelter with 360 degree protection, much less a two person shelter.
|We made it! The morning after the storm on Wanda Lake.|
|The morning after the storm.|