Two years ago I was in the market for a lighter backpacking 2 person tent, but as always balked at prices for such. My REI Passage 2 was (still is) a great tent, but heavy for backpacking. I happened upon a sale that Six Moon Designs was having. For $60 apiece they were selling the Lunar Duo Outfitter due to some quality control issues (fabric stains). All the proceeds were donated to the trail conservancy of your choice (PCT, CDT, or AT). To be honest the fabric stains were so minimal I had to really look for them.
The Passage weighs 85 oz. The Lunar Duo only weighs 56 oz (sans poles/stakes), so I got a nice weight reduction for only $60. I had to seam seal myself and I also purchased the optional poles for when we use it for bike camping and don’t take our trekking poles.
The Lunar Duo is not freestanding, which took a bit more trial and error to figure out how to set it up properly. Compared to the Passage, it’s significantly roomier inside. We can fit all kinds of shit inside it and in the vestibules. It has a bathtub floor and dual entry which is pretty standard for a two person tent. I always use groundhogs on all my tents. I tried using titanium shephards hooks, but they pull up too easily in non-freestanding tents.
This is my go to tent for couples backpacking trips. I like that it’s lighter than the REI tent and the cost was nearly negligible for a tent of such good quality and design. My partner likes that it has plenty of space and privacy. That space and privacy comes in really handy for other camp activities that feel less constrained in this tent 🙂 Its fully netted in so bugs aren’t an issue. The value for $60 is really unreal. Because we use it primarily for couples trips it is strictly 3 season and used in fair weather. For solo trips or snow trips I have other options in my quiver that I’ve accrued over the years.
We’ve had no issues with it, whatsoever. I really want to be critical but I have a hard time doing so with this tent. Like I said earlier, its more of a pain to setup than a freestanding tent, but so is every non-freestanding tent. For our purposes on weekend trips in fair 3-season weather, it has served us well.
On one trip we were caught in a terrible wind storm and the tent performed brilliantly in the highest winds I’ve ever camped in. The tent didn’t collapse and our trekking poles held it up just fine. It was genuinely scary as fuck. However, because I put sharp rocks on top of the stake loops, the loops shredded. The rocks acted like a cheese grater on the loops every time the loops flapped in the wind. I contacted Six Moons Designs to purchase replacements, and they sent them to me for free instead. This is really the only bad weather we’ve put the tent through and it held up fine that weekend. However, one more night in conditions like that and the loops would’ve certainly failed (due to my own error putting sharp rocks on top of them).
The guy I talked to at Six Moon Designs told me that instead of putting rocks right on top of the stakes, I can tie the stake loops to the rocks next time if there will be high winds. Lesson learned.
So for easy fair weather 3 season trips, this tent fucking rocks it. The value is incredible and I can’t see myself replacing it anytime soon.
Due to great customer service and their charitable donations I think Six Moon Designs is also a great company with a great product 🙂