And the winner is

I have spent a lot of time pondering over which shelter to take to Lapland this summer and have decided that it will be the GoLite SL2 (with the GoLite SL 1 a close second)

Why I hear you ask, well I suppose I just like the SL 2 for the following reasons.

  • It has a slightly smaller footprint, which may prove useful in certain areas
  • It has a two way zip on the door which allows me to look out from the top of the door
  • Venting, may not be that useful, but it is there.
  • Weight, about the same as the SpeedMid
  • Bug inner provides a haven from the insects, if needed, or can be used as a groundsheet
  • There is ample space outside of the innernet for gear, cooking, etc.
Similarities with the SpeedMid
  • 4 stakes and trekking poles will erect the shelter quickly and thus provide the protection from the weather.
  • Spacious and when closed up provides a “wet and dry area” for the user.
Disadvantages of using the SL2 (note that these are presumed and will be reported upon again on my return)
  • Not as wind sturdy as the MLD SpeedMid
  • Large side panels will flap in the wind
  • The cross section piece of fabric at the bottom of the door
  • Entry in wet weather will result in the inner (and possibly sleeping gear) getting wet
  • Innernet dependent on the string connector between poles
  • Requires two poles to set it up
Why did I consider the SL1?
  • Smaller footprint
  • Lower profile
  • Similar weight using the GoLite inner
Why did I discount it?
  • Lack of a wet and dry area, the front vestibule is the only place to store wet gear.
Some useful videos on the web that have contributed to my considerations.


Time will tell if it was the right decision.
This entry was posted in GoLIte, Lapland, Shelters. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to And the winner is

  1. joenewton says:

    I'm sure this combo will work very well in the conditions you'll face 'oop north'. Only the SL2's wind profile would have me reaching for the 'mid. That and the fact that a 'mid is only suitable shelter I own for this kind of adventure…

  2. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Joe, yeah being restricted to what you own is always a good starting point. My experiences last year, was there was only 24 hrs of wind mist and other stuff, which makes me feel comfortable in my choice, though mossies can be a problem I really don't want to spend all my non walking time inside a MLD Solo innernet. I did learn a trick while in Lapland last summer, a removable inner net can be used in the shelters as bug protection.

  3. A nice choice, Roger. Lovely colour, that is for sure =) When are you going to Lapland, and which section are you walking this time? I probably again won't be able to make it to the Nordkalottleden this year for known reasons, but at least a week in Riisitunturi and surroundings are on the plan!

  4. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Hendrik, yeah yellow (or should I say Bamboo) stands out in the crowd.  I am heading to Kvikkjokk in late June and will be walking to Abisko (about 400 km). I am guessing that as a wilderness guide you will be able to get paid to walk the Nordkalottleden ; ). 

  5. Dondo1 says:

    Roger, it seems to me that you've made a good choice. From my own experience in using the SL-2 let me try to ease some of your concerns about it.You can make the SL-2 more wind worthy by pulling out the bottom loops on either side before putting up your Pacerpoles so that you have a shape somewhere between a rectangle and hexagon.  This, in effect, breaks up each side panel into three smaller panels that are at different angles to the wind.  Also, setting up your poles inside so that the bottoms are closer together and the tips are facing out and up into each peak will put enough tension on the catenary cut roof to give you a very taut shape. Using this set up, I've weathered some pretty intense wind with none of the annoying "chattering" flapping and only the occasional bass "whump".After tripping a time or two, I quickly learned to step over the bottom piece of fabric at the door. Now I don't even think about it.The SL-2 is long enough that I often leave the door open in the rain and just scoot to the rear of the shelter. If the wind shifts, driving the rain deeper inside, it's a simple matter to just zip the door closed.

  6. I think you've made a good choice. I would not worry about wind stability. My personal opinion is that the ridge tent is just as or more wind stable than pyramids, (all other things equal) due to two ridgepoles which support the fabric main fabric area very well. My experience is that you get more of a belly/spinnaker effect on pyramids. Pyramids do not keep the shape of a pyramid in the wind. Usually the wind flattens what should be a corner, which makes two fabric triangles available for the wind to push. This is usually a considerable area.Now, I am 191 cm tall, and pyramids that will house a guy like me comfortably, with space above nose and feet are not common. So I would go for the two pole ridge tent any time.

  7. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Dondo for the reassurance, I had read your post on BPL regarding pulling at the centre base before putting the poles up, and I did try the arrangement last week, I noticed how the ridge formed a nice catenary curve, as shown in your photo. Thanks for the tip on the poles, I had not considered angling the poles in that direction..  The good news if its windy I will not need to worry about mosquitos. 

  8. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Jörgen your insightful comments are greatly appreciated. I had not considered the bellying/spinnaker effect of the corner of a pyramid, I suppose it depends on the geometry of the pyramid shelter as well. Dondo's comments (below) on the angling of the poles also clearly helps in tensioning the ridge line. I am 178cm and at times I have felt that the ceiling of the pyramid shelters are a bit close, especially when sleeping on a mattress such as the neo air. 

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