5 Owls – Solo shelter review
Enjoy unimpeded star gazing but want weather protection? The Solo Shelter by 5 Owls is the answer. This super bivy incorporates the best features of bivy sacks and traditional tents.
The Solo Shelter is a one person shelter that allows for security from foul weather while also providing the opportunity for stellar views when the environment is more favorable.
I tested the Solo Shelter during a 3 day trip into the depths of the Olympic National Park and I can say without reservation that the Solo Shelter was both easy to set up and tear down, and kept me bone dry in a rain forest environment.
- Weight 4.5 lbs packed
- Height 42 inches
- Volume 28.5 sq feet
- Price $250
The bivy portion of the Solo Shelter is typical of most bivies and protects the occupant’s body with a waterproof polyester floor and waterproof/breathable Toray rip-stop nylon top. This section offers plenty of room to easily fit an air mattress and sleeping bag. During use the very roomy bivy portion allowed nearly unfettered motion.
The tent portion of the Solo Shelter encloses the user’s head and upper body as well as provides ample storage space for miscellaneous gear and equipment. With 42 inches of head space the tent area allows you to sit completely upright.
The unique feature of the tent portion is that with a quick snap it can be completely retracted for wide open views. A gentle pull on two straps and the tent rotates up in a snap when the weather returns. I was very thankful for this feature during my trip into the Olympics where the average rainfall ranges from 84 to 260 inches a year.
When you use the Solo Shelter you’ll immediately see the engineering ingenuity that went into it. The tent area’s versatility is increased by virtue of being a double wall design. The body has large areas of netting which is wonderfully breathable to reduce condensation. The removable rainfly offers whole area waterproofing. If you’re confident you won’t see rain you can leave the rainfly at home for a significant weight savings. I wasn’t that sure of the forecast during my trip.
Set up of the Solo Shelter was a breeze and took no more than 10 leisurely minutes from start to finish. Had I needed, the time could have been cut in half.
The Good Stuff:
- I like that I can wake up, sit up and start the day up without getting out of my toasty warm sleeping bag.
- Durable – It’s built to take abuse with heavy weight waterproofing and materials.
The Bad Stuff:
- As the name suggests it’s a single person shelter – For those who want to cuddle with a partner 5 Owls also offers the Solite 2P model.
For my use the Solo Shelter has a spot in my pack boxes. It’s easy to set up, keeps me dry, and is rugged enough to stand up to the rigors of packing. It’s good stuff.
You can learn more about the Solo Shelter at 5 Owls website – http://5owls.net
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