Gear Review: Six Moon Designs Haven Two-Person Shelter
In the course of my hiking career I’ve used three different tents: a low-priced, two-person freestanding model (roomy and easy to set up, but heavy); a cramped single (nickname: “The Old Torpedo Tube”), and my current model, a TarpTent Moment (light, roomy, but some ventilation issues). Finding a shelter that hits all the sweet spots—lightweight, spacious, well-ventilated, not too expensive—can be a challenge. I was excited to test Six Moon Designs’ Haven Bundle. This two-person shelter package includes their Haven Tarp and the Haven NetTent. Each can be used independently, but in this combination the NetTent clips into the Haven Tarp to create an integrated Tarptent-style shelter.
Six Moon Designs Haven Tarp and NetTent At-a-Glance
Weight: 2 pounds, 2 ounces (Haven Tarp 1 pound, 2 ounces; NetTent 1 pound)
Livable Space: 27 square feet; 20 square feet vestibule space
Six Moon Designs has stuck with a pretty simple design for this shelter, and this design provides some real benefits for the user. Support is provided by your trekking poles, saving weight in your pack (support poles can be purchased separately if you wish), and the shelter guys out with six stakes, four on the corners and two for the support poles. Each corner of the tarp features adjustable tabs so it’s easy to pull out wrinkles and create a taut pitch.
Suspended beneath the 30D silnylon tarp, the netting clips in to create a bug-free enclosure, with a bathtub floor that is high enough to keep out any moisture short of a biblical event. Each side of the tent has two doors that can be rolled back, providing outstanding ventilation, while integrated vents at the top provide ventilation if you’re buttoned down during rain or cold.
Built for Two
The Haven is a two-person rig that still weighs in a pretty respectable 34 ounces. Outstanding if you’re splitting the load between two people, and still not bad if you’re a solo hiker looking for a little extra room. Interior space in the netted enclosure is 44 inches wide by 88 inches in length. That’s certainly adequate for two sleepers, and there’s additional room in the vestibules for packs and shoes. As we’ve seen, there are openings on both sides and the netting unzips on both sides as well, which is a great feature if you’re sleeping two in the tent.
For the solo hiker, the interior space is luxurious. The peak of the tent is slightly offset toward one end, which makes sitting up easier, and there’s more than enough space for your pack as well as your sleeping pad and bag.
You get two stuff sacks with the Haven Bundle, one for the Haven Tarp and another for the NetTent. One of the cool features about the combo is that you can leave the NetTent clipped into the tarp and simply treat it as a tent for the purposes of packing and setup. I chose this option and was able to easily slide the rolled-up tent into one of the stuff sacks, and then into my pack for the trip.
Home Away from Home
Setup was a no-hassle operation. Simply unroll the packed tent, stake down the corners, insert trekking poles and stake them, then make adjustments as necessary to ensure a good taut setup. While a guyed tent will almost always require a little more work to set up than most free-standing models, the Haven is relatively simple and hassle-free. I timed my setup routine at nine minutes. With a little practice I’m sure it would have been much quicker.
A Comfortable Nook on a Summer Night
With the tent up, it was a simple matter to stow my gear and open the fly for flow-through ventilation while I had dinner and did some sunset photography from a nearby overlook. All my gear fit easily inside the tent, and the vestibule provided plenty of protected space for my DSLR and tripod when I turned in.
The Haven was a comfortable home this summer. I left the fly open on both sides and enjoyed a nice breeze while avoiding any buzzing creatures. The large zipper openings and doors made a late-night nature call a hassle-free exercise, and in the morning I was able to stow my gear while staying in the tent without any unnecessary contortions.
While I had the advantage of good weather, I wouldn’t have any hesitations about tackling stormy weather or three-season conditions with the Haven. The shelter is solid when staked well, and you can play with the height of your poles to adjust the amount of coverage provided by the fly during wet and windy conditions. Speaking of wet conditions, Six Moon Designs does not seal the seams before shipping. You can request the service for an extra $30 or go the DIY route.
The Haven Bundle provides everything you need in a good backpacking shelter. It’s light, well-ventilated, and pretty easy to set up. The design provides plenty of space, perfect for a pair of hiking partners or a solo hiker with a canine companion. And if you’re a solo hiker who’s looking for a little more space it’s worth a look, especially considering that the combo only weighs a few more ounces than many solo shelters.
I’ll need some longer trips to be able to evaluate the durability of the tent, but based on what I’ve seen so far, the Haven Bundle is on the gear list for my next section hike.
Weight: 1 pound, 3 ounces
Interior Space: 28 square feet, 29 square feet vestibule room.
Notes: Dyneema Composite Fabric material means you’ll enjoy plenty of room and a low weight. Some complain about the somewhat complicated setup, but it’s worth considering if your budget allows.
Weight: 1 pound, 15 ounces
Interior Space: 29 square feet, 32 square feet vestibule space.
Notes: Separated at birth? The Two shares a very similar design with the Haven, but doesn’t have the extra flexibility of a detachable internal net.
Weight: 2 pounds, 12 ounces
Interior Space: 29 square feet, 18 square feet vestibule space.
Notes: A versatile semi-freestanding tent. While heavier than some models, it’s a solid and versatile design.
The Haven was donated for purpose of review.
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