Weight is one of the most important factors when choosing a tent for backpacking, but a shelter also needs good space inside along with adequate protection from the elements. The Nigor PioPio Solo promises all this, and at 989g it certainly won’t weigh you down – but is it worth the £300 price tag?
Nigor is a brand from the Netherlands that has been developing its range for the past three years and is now releasing some very interesting products in the UK. The company makes tents and rucksacks, using quality materials and construction to produce gear that is lightweight and functional for backpacking. The PioPio Solo is one of its most interesting designs as it provides on paper at least everything a backpacker is looking for.
At just 989g including all stuffsacks and packing down to just 50x10cm, this slips easily into a rucksack or even under the compression straps on the side of a pack if preferred. It is pitched inner-first, which some people like, while others prefer outer-pitched-first designs as these can keep the inner drier when pitching in the rain. Short upright in-situ poles at the ends add some extra foot and headroom. The flysheet slips
over the top, with ladder-lock adjustment and guy lines allowing all this to happen quite easily even in the wind.
Once erected the tent was reasonably stable in blustery Lake District weather with all of the tent’s doors closed. The flysheet does leave a 10cm gap around the base, which is excellent for airflow, but in really hard side-driven rain this may allow a little more water around the edges and into the porch area than would be ideal. So I’d want to use this on less exposed sites rather than on the mountain summits.
Entry is via a single side door that has just one zip, which means you cannot open the top of the door to vent it. Once opened the door rolls back and is secured by a loop and toggle. I found the outer door was not secure enough, in part because the silicone-coated material is so slippery that in blustery weather the door tended to flap about. Lots of tents have this problem, but it is still annoying. The inner door is mesh but secures slightly better and has double zips for more choice in terms of opening.
A porch extends down the whole side and this is 45cm wide, which is great for accommodating a rucksack, with space to move in and out of the tent and still cook in the porch. Headroom is great too, as this does not taper from the 105cm height under the pole too steeply. For one person the living space is excellent in fact.
Flysheet GorLyn 10 (10 denier siliconised ripstop 6.6 nylon)
Groundsheet 20 denier PU-coated ripstop nylon
Inner 15 denier ripstop nylon and mesh
Poles shock-corded alloy
Internal dimensions (LxWxH) 245x105x104cm
Packed size 50x10cm
The weight and space are superb; and while some details are not perfect for everyone, the Nigor PioPio Solo compares very favourably with other sub-1kg tents and is very well-priced compared to its similar-weight competitors.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2015