The general perception is that American lightweight shelters are all made of tissue and will shrivel like the Wicked Witch of the West with a drop of water or a slight breeze. But I’ve always had good results with the Big Agnes kit so I wasn’t that perturbed to start carrying the Seedhouse SL1 into the hills.
The pole is a T-shaped affair which threads into the inner via loops and clips, and it pitches inner first which gives you moveable supported structure to wander about with and find the best spot to pitch on. It’s quick enough to do that if it’s raining the inner is exposed for seconds not minutes, and the outer gets thrown over the inner and is attached instantly by three rucksack-style buckles which also give good tension adjustment. There’s also an option to pitch outer only if you have the proper footprint for the tent.
I pitched it as seen below quickly and by torchlight. The tent looked alright in the morning and I didn’t feel the need to tweak it for the photies in case I looked like an incompetent. Pitching under mild, self inflicted duress is a constant for me and it’s important for a tent to be simple to get it squared away properly first time.
There’s six guy lines (four long, two low shorties) which hold it well, it’s certainly capable of taking some of the wind which I have singularly failed to pitch it in since getting that Silva Tricorder. So I have no figures available. The pegs are X-section aluminium stakes, which bite well and there’s plenty of peg points.
Ventilation is good as the inner is mesh and there’s a good air gap round the outer, so it’s ideal for mild weather, and probably worth bearing in mind that in colder weather you might well need a little more insulation with you. The inner and outer sit far apart which is nice, less potential condensation dripping moments.
Living comfort is superb, plenty of room for all my gear inside, length is fine for me a six feet and I can sit cross legged at the door. The porch has enough room for cooking with the door open or closed, but it’s not big enough for a lot of gear storage, shoes and cooking gear/bottles are fine, you won’t get a rucksack in the porch though.
The door I like with it’s double zips and sideways opening, good options for venting cooking steam and night-time vapours. There’s a handy pocket above the door which I kept my torch in, and it adds no weight. A wee touch that the Lasercomp could do with.
And, being able to watch the stars lying on my back is such a treat in this tent
It’s a great wee tent, only a little heavier than a Lasercomp at 1077g and packs down well. Usability and pitching are a breeze, talking of which if I do get it out in the wind I’ll report back. I think with its shape it’ll shed snow as well…
If you want something different, with quirks that delight, and features and design that are equally as functional as what we excpect from European brands, then this is your boy, or girl.