Our US Special Agent Marc Basiliere reports…
While they may not be appreciated in all areas of life, tiny tents sure are appreciated when it comes to bikepacking. Less tent means less baggage, which in turn means that loaded bikes and backs ride less funny.
While the UK benchmark Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 tent measures 12x40cm packed, Australian brand Sea to Summit are boasting a 11x26cm packed size for their Specialist Solo model.
That’s pretty small.
Available in both 1-person Solo and 2-person Duo models, the Sea to Summit Specialists are claimed to be the lightest fully enclosable shelters in their class. The numbers? 558g (plus 67g worth of pegs) for the Solo and 809g for the duo.
For longevity’s sake, the optional 94g/135g Tyvek groundsheet probably ought to be carried as well. Even with all of the bells and whistles, the Specialist pair stack up very well weight and size wise.
How have they done it, then?
The Specialists will need staking or tying down- and only two poles are included. The single-walled design is made of Pertex Endurance waterproof/breathable fabric with a (slightly) heavier 15D waterproof nylon for the walls, vestibules, and floor. All seams are sealed and Sea to Summit claim waterproofness when buttoned up and breezy midge-resitance when open thanks to mesh panel doors.
All this lightness and compactness comes at a price: the Specialist Solo lists at US$430, the Duo at US$500.
Distributors Burton McCall aren’t bringing these particular models into the UK, but both appear to be readily available online.
For anyone looking to ride more but carry less, one of these Sea to Summit tents could well be worth a look.