A lightweight trekking pole tent that is spacious and practical. The VLT is light and compact to carry but provides a good amount of internal space and a generous vestibule for life on the trail.
Gram-Counter Gear says:
The VLT is a single skin fully waterproof single person tent designed for backpacking. It fully protects against wind, water and insects and it is ideally pitched using two trekking poles, but can also be pitched with a single pole or trekking pole.
At under 950 grams the VLT falls into the Very Lightweight category rather than Ultra-Lightweight category for backpacking tents. Making a tent in this category means that we were able to design it to be spacious, both inside the tent and the porch, and with a generous head height compared to other similar tents.
We’ve also used 15D silicon coated fabric for the flysheet and 20D double sides silicon coated for the floor – these fabrics offer longer term durability compared to 10D and 7D fabrics used by Ultra-Lightweight tent manufacturers, and the waterproof ratings are generally higher.
The mesh inner is a B3 mesh which has the lowest holes per inch, required sizing to keep the Scottish midge from getting inside the tent.
Pitching the tent with two trekking poles allows you to maximise the internal volume of the tent and massively improves the integrity of the internal space in windy conditions – lightweight tents without the ability to support the sides suffer badly from the wind compromising the inside volume by blowing the tent out of shape. The VLT solves this problem completely.
As with all single skin tents you will experience condensation when using the VLT, people who have not used single skin tents before are often surprised by how much condensation results from a night sleeping in one, this is normal and should be mopped up in the morning if required. There are two vents in the tent which should help reduce the amount of condensation though to work effectively there needs to be an airflow, a light wind is ideal.
When conditions allow try sleeping with the door fastened open – this works like a massive vent and is an effective measure to reduce condensation – it’s also a nice way to sleep.
All the seams are fully taped and the VLT is waterproof ‘out of the box’, there should be no need for seam sealing any of the seams.
Gram-counter Gear's VLT Tent provides a generous amount of internal space with a wide inner and large vestibule. There is certainly more than enough space for a solo camper with all the gear required inside the tent and plenty of space for a pack and boots in the porch without restricting access. It can be pitched with one or two trekking poles. We found it worked best, and was more secure with two poles - one inside and the other outside lifting up the dual guy lines on the back of the tent. The extra leverage creates more internal space while the dual guy placement helps it cope in stronger winds.
Obviously, with the single skin there can be condensation and the small vent at the head end helps but with the vestibule being so big it's also easy to leave the door open a little to help with ventilation. The foot end of the tent is a bit tight with a sleeping mat and bag in if you have larger sized feet and are over six feet tall so this is worth bearing in mind. Overall, this is a nice trekking pole tent with lots of space, it is easy to put up and provides decent protection from the elements.
The weight advertised on the box and in the literature refers to a weight of 890g but this was taken from the pre-production sample and we have weighed them at over 930g (excluding pegs).
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
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