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Vango Helix 100 (2014)

£100.00

Tents are getting lighter, but the lightest often carry a whopping price tag. However some brands are making lightweight tents that are far more affordable – and the Helix 100 is the lightest and lowest-priced model in Vango’s new range. At £100 for a one-person tent weighing just 1573g, the Helix 100 should strongly appeal to weekend backpackers. But if ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Snugpak Stratosphere (2013)

£120.00

A big turn-off when it comes to bivvy bags is the feeling of claustrophobia – understandable when many are akin to only slightly more respiration-friendly body bags. The Snugpak Stratosphere sidesteps this by featuring two poles around the head area, which make things within much airier. Not only that, but beneath the rainflap at the back is an open vent ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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PHD Sleeping Bag Cover (2013)

£80.00

Not strictly designed to be used outdoors – that is, outside of a more structured shelter or at the very least a tarp – the PHD Sleeping Bag Cover will at just 165g nonetheless appeal to minimalists who are happy to save weight and tolerate a certain lack of, how shall we say, finesse. This is a quality product (everything ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Storm Bivi (2013)

£70.00

Made of heavy-duty nylon and in the arresting colour of emergencies, the Rab Storm Bivi is designed to offer the compact protection of, say, the £190 Mountain Equipment Borealis but at a price that doesn’t break the bank. It’s made from proprietary fabric Hyperlite, which is waterproof, breathable and pretty robust with it. It won’t hit the same performance levels ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
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Backpacking Light Solo Tarp (2013)

£55.00

If you’re new to tarping, then the Backpacking Light Solo Tarp is a good option as it comes with a DVD that explains the art and craft of tarping, but it’s also slightly larger than other minimalist designs, so it provides a little more protection for you and your gear. There are 12 rigging points around the edge with an ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Rab Siltarp (2013)

£50.00

  At 230g the Rab Siltarp is a very lightweight option, but is smaller than other tarps, so really it’s best used as a solo shelter. It’s very much a minimalist design but is more in keeping with traditional tarps, being a basic rectangle of material that isn’t supplied with pegs, guy lines or poles, so you’ll have to add ...

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Aztec Rapido (2013)

£120.00

The Aztec Rapido is more of a basic shelter than a conventional tent, as you get just a single-skin design with no inner and no porch. But there is lots of space inside and you get all that for just 1745g and £120, which is very appealing. There is just one main pole and so it pitches easily with this ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Karrimor X Lite X1 (2013)

£120.00

It’s the innovative configuration of the pre-assembled flexible pole set that gives the Karrimor X Lite X1 the edge. The poles are shock-corded together and to pitch the tent all that is needed is to locate the colour-coded pole ends into their matching eyelets on the webbing at the corners of the inner tent, with a final red pole clipping ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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Robens Starlight 1 (2013)

£120.00

The Robens Starlight 1 pitches outer-first with one pole having to be clipped to the outside of the fly (the four corner poles are pre-fitted and just require pegging out). So pitching is very quick and easy, although on uneven ground those corner poles do end up at unusual angles. However once up the Starlight is very stable, while the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo (2013)

£143.00

To save weight the Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo has no inner and outer, and is just a single-skin tent with a mesh section around the lower edges to keep midges out while allowing air in to help manage condensation. There are no poles or pegs either, which is why it weighs in at just 895g, but you will need to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Snugpak Ionosphere (2012)

£130.00

There are fewer differences today between small tents and poled bivvy bags, but the Snugpak Ionosphere sits at the tent end of the scale, thanks to its use of a two-pole design that requires that the inner is pitched first before the outer is draped over the top. Its low profile and robust design rebuff wind and rain well, but ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo (2012)

£143.00

The Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo is a single-skin tent with a mesh perimeter to the groundsheet to keep the bugs at bay while still allowing plenty of airflow. It weighs in at a very respectable 895g for the tent, guy lines and stuffsack, but that is all you get for your money. So you have to add on the price ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Integral Designs Siltarp 2011

£72.00

Integral Designs is one of many small US companies that produce small amounts of specialist and technical outdoor, backpacking and expedition equipment. They have several tarps of different designs, and hybrid shelters, but the Siltarp we tested is the most basic model – a classic tarp. DesignThe Integral Designs Siltarp is designed for one and is a plain rectangle of ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Nordisk Pasch Si 2000 2011

£145.00

The Nordisk Pasch Si 2000 is a roomy one-person tent, very long and wide with an average height, which is fine for sitting upright at the door end. This means plenty of room for internal gear storage, which you’ll need as the porch is quite small, but there’s still room enough in the porch for reasonably sheltered cooking and leaving ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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GramCounterGear Litehouse Solo 2011

£140.00

The GramCounterGear Litehouse Solo is an unusual design: in effect it’s a tent/tarp hybrid as it’s single-skin and has only a partial groundsheet floor with a mesh perimeter. It pitches as one and comes with no poles, as it uses a pair of trekking poles for support. The detailed instructions look complicated, but it’s easy and quick to set up ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
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Robens Trailstar 1 2010

£90.00

Short on cash? That’s no reason to stop backpacking if you spend wisely. For just £90 the Robens Trailstar 1 provides most of the features a lone backpacker is looking for.Robens is a Danish brand that produces a wide range of high-value tents. The Trailstar comes in a two-person version as well as the one-person model tested here, and it’s ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Wild Country Sololite 2009

£140.00

The Wild Country Sololite tent pulls out of its stuffsack and rolls out on the ground, the poles clip into the outer quickly and easily, and you’ve got an instant shelter from the worst of weather. It’s got a strong design and uses tough materials. Terra Nova is Wild Country’s parent company, and you can see the quality genes have ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Jack Wolfskin Gossamer 2009

£90.00

The Jack Wolfskin Gossamer is essentially a large hooped bivvy bag, but it has many regular tent features and some of its own that make it stand out. Pitching is straightforward with two short poles attached using the secure ring and pin system, and there are lots of guy and peg points available to get it stable. Inside there’s plenty ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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