Lightweight and Ultra-lightweight backpacking has become very popular over the last several years. This has become possible through the use of modern synthetic fabrics and other materials along with innovative design. Dual or multiple use items have also allowed backpackers to reduce their pack weight. A lower pack weight often increases the likelihood of success and enjoyment on a backpacking trip.
LightHeart Gear is the brainchild of Judy Gross, AKA HeartFire. An avid hiker, and dressmaker, she lamented about the need to carry a 4+ pound tent during her thru hike attempt of the Appalachian Trail in 2006. This was the single heaviest , and largest item in her pack other than food and water. With her skills of sewing and pattern design, and her knowledge of backpacking, she has designed several ultra-light tents for backpacking and hiking.
HeartFire entering the GSMNP March 2006
Reviews and Links:
See the review of the SoLong 6 by the Jolly Green Giant Blog (You have to scroll all the way to the end of a long blog post).
See the reviews on Trailspace.com: Click here for review & Click here for review
April 23, 2011. The first to own a SoLong 6:
This is a great tent. I like how much room is in it for me. I can fit me and all my stuff including my pack, which is good since I have been in the rain. No leaks and I can set it up really fast. Had a few jealous comments from some hikers....especially when I tell them the weight.
2009 - The first to Thru Hike with the Solo
Review: Amazing! Roomy and it can take the weather. I first saw this in Franklin and bought one after a few minutes of looking at it. Good Choice! This tent weighs well under two pounds! and is rock solid. Hand Made in Asheville, NC. Ramble~On AT - 2009 Trail Journal
Sweet tent! I cussed it at first because I did not have it seam-sealed properly and was not setting it up properly. After I got the kinks worked out I am in love with it. It's probably the ONLY hunter orange colored tent on the trail. Charlie D “Sparkey” AT -2010 Trail Journal
I used my LightHeart solo tent for backpacking in Isle Royale National Park - probably the first bright fuchsia tent ever in that remote location! The roominess is unlike any other solo tent I have looked at.I kept my pack inside my tent and had plenty of space to sit up, change clothes and snuggle up at night, and everything stayed dry through rainy nights. It is the only backpacking tent for me now. Thanks! Sharon “Smoky Scout” Blog
Judy, Congrats my LightHeart Gear Solo tent made it through the Whites! I am still yet to have any problems with my tent. I am hiking with two others whom also have tarp tents from other companies and they have had problems with set up and water and rain. The double wall feature from LightHeart Gear keeps all my gear dry. I also have video footage where I set up my tent and it rained real bad and I ended up in a puddle of water all under my tent and everything inside my tent was dry! Thank you again so much and look forward to sharing more information, pictures, and videos of your tent after I complete my thru hike. Thanks again. Gonzo AT 2010 Trail Journal
TrailAngel Bronco 1/7/2011
I slept in this tent over 25 nights in 2010. Will give a short review below:
Hot Weather: With the fly rolled up at the top, the breeze was a blessed gift. Spent on night above Hell's Canyon in Idaho, on the edge of the seven devils, with the best tent view I have ever experienced. So much mesh, I sat there and looked from Idaho , into Oregon and watched the sun go down.
Wet Weather. Got stuck in the rain about six nights and a few afternoons, mostly in the Sawtooth mountains. Two nights were at 8,000 ft with no tree cover. 35 mile per hour wind and driving rain, and stayed bone dry. The double wall tent does it's job and the room in there for a one person tent is awesome. So much head and foot room, and that is with my Deuter 65+10 pack next to me. I sleep on my side and toss and turn, no lack of room and no wet spots. The tent held up great in the wind.
Carrying the tent is great too. Small and light, it goes in my mesh side pocket on my pack, and forget it is there. No tent poles to mess with, and the fabric is plenty durable. Judy made me custom colors, forest green with a tan floor.
This is the very best shelter that I have ever owned, and I have used tarps as well as brand name tents. If you use hiking poles, get this tent and don't look back.
Rob Bayless. Meridian, Idaho.