Lightheart Duo --- "initial impressions" review

Posted by: BrianLe

Lightheart Duo --- "initial impressions" review - 08/17/17 06:14 PM

My wife and I just got a new 2-person tent, a Lightheart Duo, and I put up an "initial impressions" review here:

The Duo isn't a new tent, but it was new to me, and there were some details/nuances that are never really clear until you get your hands on a piece of gear, so I figured I'd summarize my initial experience. Always tough to try to pick from so many options available!
Posted by: bluefish

Re: Lightheart Duo --- "initial impressions" review - 08/18/17 10:52 AM

Brian, I thought I'd throw in something, as I considered and bought this tent, having read a review of your earlier tent that you did here. We now have had it in light snow in Vt. and the Adirondacks, 50+ mph winds and driving rain on the Ca. coast, a dust storm in the Grand Canyon and a lot of places in between. Groundhogs or similar are a must in the corners. We've gotten by with minis, and rocks placed on them, if available and the soil is loose. We've found a patio door insulation kit ground cloth to work well (heavy duty), as they do exceed the pretty large footprint. < 3 oz., cut to size. We've gotten gear inside, as the ends are fairly useless for more than that. Neither of us are over 71", so that leaves a pack width pretty easily at the head.
I'm, not even going to go into condensation issues, they are endemic with this type of tent, and we've dealt with it.
We went through a pretty harsh storm on Point Reyes, with high winds and sideways rain for near 12 hrs. The vestibule side zipper came undone, due to the incredible flapping going on . Had it not been for the homemade WP/B bivy we use, we would have been in trouble, as the temps were around 50, and wet would have been very bad. After I managed to unzip and rezip the zipper it stayed together and the water incursion stopped. The floor never leaked, though we were sitting in several inches of it due to the large amounts coming out of the sky. One corner pulled twice, but wet sand does not hold stakes well. Finally tied a long cord out to a bush during a lull. All in all, we plan on keeping the tent, find the weight vs. size very acceptable and have little complaint. We do not use this in mid-winter, as those long panels will only hold an inch or 2 of snow before collapsing in. I've cooked under the vestibule in pouring rain, and had enough room for the pot and canister stove. VERY careful and cautious, but really, easily accomplished. We use a third trekking pole for the awning. Best of luck with yours! Thanks again for the Lightheart recommendation.
Posted by: BrianLe

Re: Lightheart Duo --- "initial impressions" review - 08/24/17 06:30 PM

Thanks, bluefish! That all sounds very much like "experience talking". I just got a set of groundhog stakes, and indeed plan to use 4 for the corners, and hope to make do with lighter stakes for the other parts, though it's good to have something solid to hold the vestibules out on both sides too ...
My "cathole digger" is a sand/snow stake, and could be used at head or food end if needed if I really want to save a lightweight stake there, but for obvious reasons can't count on using it for anything really "structural" about holding up the tent.

I certainly agree that it's not a winter tent, unless you're sure that little or no snow is coming! In such conditions, I tend to just a tarp and a little in-the-snow trenching, as I don't own a 4-season tent.