The Lunar Solo was first introduced in 2004 to an Ultralight backpacking world of few options for tent. After a few rounds of changes, the Lunar Solo became the go to tent for many an ultralight hiker. After releasing the new Skyscape series of tents, we sat back and pondered the fate of the Lunar Solo. With the introduction of numerous tents in recent years, its overall popularity has waned. Still there is a strong following for this stable and reliable shelter.
Over the years, the Lunar Solo has spawned a number of imitators. Its basic design can be seen in a number of the new shelters available. For us it served the base for both the Wild Oasis and the Gatewood Cape.
After six years with no changes, a couple of months ago, I decided to revisit the design. One doesn't need to surf the Internet too far to find both its values and unfortunately a fault or two. With pen and paper, I sat down to see if we could overcome a few of its issues while preserving its great strengths.
With the 2012 version of the Lunar Solo, our goal was to overcome the headroom issue and to accommodate taller hikers. We made a number of changes in the design to provide more sleeping room for tall hikers. First the floor length was increased to 90" but more importantly the canopy height was raised by three inches and lengthened by five inches. Plus the end walls are set vertical. The combination of these three changes allows for a more usable floor space and raises the canopy off your face.
Headroom in the Lunar Solo has been significantly enhanced. The overall height of the tent has been raised three inches to 48". Plus we cantilever the pole into the sleeping area. This combination raised the headroom at the apex of the tent by eight inches.
To improve stability of the Lunar Solo, we reduced the depth of the tent by 12". When combined, the taller height, cantilevered pole and narrower tent, results in steeper side walls that are better at shedding wind and snow.
The raised canopy on the new Lunar Solo makes it easier to setup on uneven ground. To reduce the drafts caused by the raised canopy, we also raised the height of the bathtub floor from three inches to six.
Finally to make the overall tent stronger and more waterproof, the entire canopy panel is made from a single piece of material. This eliminates seams over the sleeping area.
For those that believe that weight is the most important factor, we've managed to significantly enhance the livability of the Lunar Solo without adding any weight. In fact there's a good chance that the production model will be slightly lighter.
Floor Area: 26 sq. ft.
Vestibule: 8.5 sq. ft.
Weight: 23 oz.