The Naturehike Cycling Ultralight Silicone 1-Person Tent is exactly what it says: a lightweight 1-person, 3-season tent, which, despite its cycling-specific name, is brilliant for hiking too.
Price: R2399 (at time of writing)
Weight: 1618g (including the groundsheet)
Waterproof rating: Flysheet: 4000mm; Floor: 4000mm
Fabric: Flysheet and floor: Silicone coated nylon
Structure: Single pole system with two Y-couplings; freestanding
Poles: 7001 Aluminium
The design is “fin-like” which is both a strength and a weakness. Pitched correctly, the tent is very aerodynamic, but if it catches the wind side-on, it takes more of a hammering than a usual dome-shaped tent. Even so, the double-wishbone pole design does give a good amount of stability, which, combined with a pegged-out flysheet and guy-lines, can stand up to strong wind.
What’s in the Bag
The tent is supplied in a neat carry bag with with compression straps. Included in the bag is the tent inner and flysheet with pegs, poles and a lightweight groundsheet, which is a great addition and really adds value and longevity in my opinion.
The guy ropes that are supplied with the tent are unusually thick, but still very light and handle well.
The weight of the inner tent, flysheet, pegs, poles and groundsheet combined, come to 1618g. The fact that the tent inner, flysheet and groundsheet are made from ultra-thin silnylon, means that it takes up minimal space in one’s backpack as well.
The groundsheet also has clips to which the flysheet can be attached, allowing for an ultralight setup, without the inner, if necessary.
Ease of Pitching
Pitching the tent is a breeze and only took me about 8 minutes – the inner clips to the poles and the flysheet clips to the inner. One needs to make sure that the poles are properly seated at the hubs, but that is the case with all tents that use this design, because all the force is focussed where the poles come together.
Inside the Tent
The inside of the tent is comfortably sized for one person, with enough floor space to have quite a lot of gear in the tent with you while sleeping. The measured floor space is 204cm x 93cm, but because of the internal angles, the actual usable length is slightly less. I’m 1.86cm tall and when I lie down, there is maybe 2-3cm left below my feet and above my head.
I was pleasantly surprised that even with the sharp angles of the “roof”, I could still comfortably sit upright without feeling cramped.
There is a very small triangular storage pouch at the head end of the tent, as well as a light hook in the roof.
The vestibule is large enough to store a big backpack and still comfortably get in and out of the tent.
There is one air vent on the head side of the tent and the tent inner is entirely made up of mesh, apart from the floor, which allows for sufficient ventilation – I did not experience any excessive condensation.
The full-mesh inner does however make the tent less than ideal for sub-zero temperatures, as there won’t be much temperature difference between inside and out, but this shouldn’t be a deal breaker unless you plan on only doing winter hikes in the Drakensberg.
I had the privilege of hiking Stage 5 of the Rim of Africa – an absolutely stunning ridgeline walk across the Langeberg mountains. Every night at sunset the wind would start to pick up and continue to build through the night, reaching about 60km/h with even stronger gusts. It didn’t make for peaceful sleep, but I was very pleasantly surprised that my little tent survived the onslaught.
Even when pitched on a level lawn, there is still quite a bit of movement in the flysheet. In most situations, this isn’t much of a problem, but on very windy nights, the noise created by the flapping flysheet can keep you awake, and potentially weaken or damage the flysheet. I found that if I extended the peg points of the flysheet with a bit of accessory cord, it pulled the flysheet tight and created a slightly more aerodynamic angle.
If you’re looking for a lightweight 1-person tent, but can’t afford the eye-watering price tag of the MSR Hubba, look no further – at almost a quarter of the price, this tent is only about 300g heavier and can hold its own in some pretty challenging conditions. Keith Bontrager famously said of bicycle parts: “Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick Two.” The same adage applies to hiking gear, but this tent seems to tick all three boxes: fairly light, pretty strong and very well priced – amazing value for money!
This tent can be purchased from Naturehike’s online shop.