Accessories, Reviews

Vol-Biv Shelter Roundup – Setup Videos

Tuesday 1 June, 2021

In issue 221 we rounded up six options for shelters to take on your vol-biv adventures. Here are the setup videos so you can see how easy each one is to get setup for the evening. For each tent we had a couple of practise rounds before filming putting the tent in a single shot. This is by no means a scientific test but gives you a good idea of the length of time each tent takes to put up.

TryFly UltraLight VolBiv Tent



Six Moon Designs Deschutes Plus Tarp



Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2



Marmot SuperAlloy 2P



MSR Freelite 2



Samaya Assaut 2 Ultra




The shelters were all supplied with pegs – although they are optional extras when you buy the Six Moon Tarp. Apart from the Samaya they were all metal alloy but the quality varied. Those from the big manufacturers seemed a little stronger but the hooks on the Marmot’s pegs were rather sharp. Having cord loops makes them much easier to take out. The nylon pegs supplied by Samaya were incredibly light and worked really well, both in terms of staying put and ease with which you could get them in to the ground, they are available separately from Swiss Piranha.

Tent pegs

Tent pegs compared: left to right – Tryfly, Six Moon, Big Agnes, Marmot, MSR and Samaya


Packed Size

The image below shows how the tents compared in size when packed up. The smallest is the Six Moon Design tarp and the package is very soft rather than tightly packed. The TryFly single skin tent is not much bigger but is more densely packed so you would need think a little more carefully about where you pack it in your harness. The three two-skin tents are all similar in size, and you can pack the poles separately from the tent material in your harness. We particularly liked the MSR bag as it has a very big opening making it easy to get the tent in, you then cinch it up to make it small. For the Samaya the tent and poles are kept separate, the tent is in a roll top bag that you stuff it into like a sleeping bag rather than rolling it up, the smaller you pack it the harder the package so you may want to find the right compromise for packing in a harness. All the poles of the tents supplied pack down short enough to easily fit up the side of the rear pocket of a harness.

Packed tents

Comparison of the packed tents with Supairvisor helmet from Supair. Left to Right: TryFly, Six Moon, MSR, Marmot, Big Agnes and Samaya


The full group review of the shelters appears in Cross Country issue 221 (July 2021)

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