Brand: Sea to Summit
Model: The Specialist Duo shelter
For boat- and car-camping and short-mileage overnight hikes, our crew loved the comfort of this double-wall dome. “So much headroom, it’s like sleeping in an R.V.,” says one tester who enjoyed five unconfined nights in the Firefly while paddling Utah’s Green River.
Instead of just one brow pole to steepen tent walls, the Firefly uses two (one on either side of its two doors) to create a larger, squared-off space around its lofty, 43-inch peak height. All pole segments are hubbed together in a symmetrical configuration, so setup is a no-brainer: Just lay the assembly from end to end and clip it into place.
The 92-inch length lets tall campers (up to 6’5”) stretch out, and 26 square feet of storage (vestibules measure 17 and nine square feet) provide ample real estate for packs, stoves—even a St. Bernard-size third sleeper. Ventilation is excellent, thanks to two closeable fly vents and strips of mesh along the bottom perimeter and near the ceiling. The squared-off ceiling sheds rainwater when guyed taut, and there’s minimal flapping in moderate winds.
The Firefly is heavier than many tents of this capacity, but it’s bigger and also priced relatively low, thanks to cost-saving ingredients like polyester fabric and DAC Pressfit poles (which are weightier than Featherlite). While the polyester ripstop is not as abrasion-resistant as nylon, it resists UV degradation better and sags less when wet. Bonus: A gear loft and footprint are included. $289; 5 lbs. 9 oz.; marmot.com Ultralight backpackers, cycle tourists, and sea-kayakers will appreciate the Specialist shelters: the interior space and comfort of a tent with a lower overall weight and more compact size than many bivis.
Weighing just 625 grams for the Solo and 846 grams for the Duo, the Specialists are the lightest fully enclosable shelters in their class. Each Specialist comes with a set of 2 poles and 6 pegs made out of 7075 alloy for the best strength to weight ratio. They can also be erected with a pair of trekking poles and natural anchors making it perfect for gram saving enthusiasts, achieving a minimum packed weight of 445 grams and 633 grams for the Solo and Duo respectively.
For the shell, we have used Pertex® Endurance, a 20 denier ultra lightweight waterproof breathable nylon fabric in conjunction with a 15 denier waterproof nylon for the walls, vestibules and the floor. Seam sealed throughout, the Specialists offer superior waterproof properties while also maintaining impressive breathability to manage condensation effectively. The ultra-fine mesh panel doors keep insects away and allow for maximum ventilation. Optional lightweight Tyvek® ground sheets are also available for added floor protection.