Friday 27 June 2014

Six Moon Designs Deschutes Tarp: A First Look

Folk will be thinking I've nowt better to spend my hard earned cash on than Backpacking shelters! This is far from the truth! As the TGO Challenge posts will show, I used a Nordisk Telemark 1LW, and was very happy with it. Of course during the Challenge one meets lots of other folk..."The Trailstar Trio", (you know who you are!) for instance. I can see the benefits of that type of shelter. But the shelter that piqued my interest more than any other was  (Colin Ibbotson) MYOG shelter. I had a brief chat at the Montrose site with Colin., his shelter is really quite superbly constructed. I understand he will be making some for sale in 2015. On my return I also had a brief twitter "chat", he mentioned the Six Moon Designs Deschutes Tarp, I looked it up and was immediately interested, however I couldn't find any reviews anywhere on the net. So I ordered one!......

It arrived on Monday of this week, I took it out on an overnite camp on Lingmoor Fell. It wasn't the best of weather for photos so I must apologise for them.
It pitches on 6 pegs, (I ordered 6 Easton 9"nails) this was my first effort! The pole is set at 120cm.
I had it seam sealed at Six Moon Designs ($20) the specs say 364g mine weighs 381g inc seam seal,

It was actually raining when this pic was taken, which I was pleased about! No leaks!
This picture shows the "pointed" back, which is similar to Colins shelter. This should spill the wind well.
This was my concern with both the MLD Solomid and Cricket..(perhaps unfounded).
Anyway I had a good nights sleep..and a great view through the drizzly rain across to the lights beside Windermere, this was one of the attractions of wanting a "tarp" type shelter!
This is just a first look, I'm looking forward to using it again in the near future, once I've used it for a bit I'll report back with my experiences.


  1. I've had a Skyscape Trekker since they first cam out but have fancied something a bit more open. For ages I've been toying with getting a Bearpaw Designs Lair which is quite similar to this. I'd be interested to know more about the zipped beak and if it stays open ok or is a bit flappy. Is the top picture with it all the way up?

    1. Hi Wayne, The zipped beak stays open fine, in the photo above its not unzipped. It certainly wasn't flappy on this first use...if the guy is at the correct angle, I cant see how it could flap.
      With regard to Bearpaw, I'd heard people had found they weren't the easiest to deal with...but I've no personal experience!
      As I understand it the Lair has a "flat" back...something I looked to avoid.
      Hope this helps

  2. Looks great Al, looking forward to seeing more. Any photo's of the inside to give an idea of space?

    1. Hi Matt, No I've not taken any photo's other than those above. I intend getting out in the near future with it. I must take some then!

  3. Hi, I'm thinking of getting this tarp and would appreciate any feedback you could give on it. Also, did you buy direct from SMD? If so, how was shipping/customs?

    1. Hi Evan, Yes I bought it direct from SMD. From memory I think it came in at about £200? complete I can't remember the exact figures but I felt robbed by the customs!

  4. Hi Alistair,Like the look of this thinking of getting it going too be your choice for next years TGOC?

  5. Hi Lee, yes that's the plan. I'll use it with a Borah Gear side-zip bivi.
    I really like it, the door is quite low even when it's "open", but no lower than a Trailstar I'd say?
    With the Easton nails it feels very solid, and pitches really taut.
    I think its a bit of a bargain now it can be bought in this country from UOG!
    It cost me more from USA, although I had it seam sealed by SMD, they did a superb job.
    I use my fizan pole at 122.5 cm, is that about the same as your Trailstar?
    At that height theres plenty of height for a me at 5'8"ish and loads of length, plenty of room for gear between mat and back wall...although I don't take much stuff with me!
    Just ask iff you want to know owt else...or DM me on twitter :-)
    Now looking back my pics are rubbish!

  6. Hi Al

    Did you get much use out of the tarp? Very few reviews for UK use and interested in this one myself!