Stone Glacier has been a leader in backcountry innovation since their founding in 2012. From their technical apparel to their ultralight equipment, they’ve made a name for themselves by leaving no detail unscrutinized or ounce of weight unaccounted for. With progressive, technical products being added to their lineup year after year, I was eager to see what their 2023 release would bring. When Stone Glacier announced their launch of the Sky Solus 1P (one-person) Tent, I was immediately intrigued to see how their four-season solution would perform with the solo alpine hunter in mind.
DESIGN AND INNOVATION
Overall, Stone Glacier did exceptionally well in their design of the Sky Solus 1P, enabling it to withstand disciplined four-season usage. The WebTruss design simplifies the setup process and quickly permits rigidity of the main body, even prior to guy line installation, by means of the tensioning devices found at each corner. The tent erects well in confined spaces, which is an added plus given the fact that it was designed to suit a minimalist footprint, such as a game bed or similar. The two vestibules are easily enabled or disabled to suit varying terrain conditions, allowing it to be used most anywhere 24.5 square feet of uninterrupted soil can be found. Also, Stone Glacier provided an abundance of attachment points for guy lines that permit creative anchoring solutions, both high and low, such as to suit sloping terrain. With considerable time spent reflecting on comparative products from other manufacturers, it’s difficult to imagine a more appropriated four-season, one-person shelter that’s any more well thought out than this.
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIAL
The Sky Solus 1P utilizes a floor fabric of 20D Nylon Rip-Stop that is PE-coated, while most other fabric in its design is 15D Nylon Rip-Stop that is PU-coated. These fabrics offer enough denier to withstand disciplined usage in harsh elements, meaning they will perform incredibly well in the hands of a conscious user. The PE and PU coatings are associated with SLINGFIN Technology and provide waterproofness to the shelter. The hardware is suitably robust for weathering high-mountain storms and appeared to balance durability with weight savings quite well. Additionally, all stitching appeared to be of high quality (honestly, comparable with other tent manufacturers of this caliber), although some fabric panels did have some minimally jagged edges that lie beyond their stitchings. Overall, all fabric and hardware are well-suited for reliable backcountry use.
SPACE AND STORAGE
The “living quarters” of the Sky Solus 1P measure 80" long, 48" wide, and 42" tall. The width does taper slightly from 48" at the head to 40" at the toe, but this taper didn’t hinder my operations from within. If anything, the taper effectively mitigated weight. The spaciousness of this product is relative to its end user (I’m 5'9" and of a moderate build), and the conditions to which they are applying it (colder weather often requires gear that consumes additional cubic inches), but I found there to be plenty of room for both myself and my full cold weather kit. Each vestibule allows for enough volume to hold an expedition-sized backpack and supporting gear while still being able to access them through the internal side vents. I have zero reservations when it comes to space and storage made available to me by Stone Glacier with this product, and I look forward to many more nights spent on the mountain within it.
The Sky Solus 1P lends itself well to packability. As a four-season shelter, it’s certainly heavier than some earlier season solutions, but it still weighs in at an acceptable 4 lbs. 6 oz. in its “heaviest” trail configuration. By selectively leaving unnecessary guy lines, tent stakes, and hardware at home in the garage, one can expect to further lighten their load by enough ounces to warrant personalized review.
SUITABILITY FOR FOUR-SEASON USE
Admittedly, a magic wand didn’t accompany the Sky Solus 1P. However, its four-season performance is on par with other high- quality shelters of its kind. It has the ability to “batten the hatches” easily to maximize heat retention while still allowing for aggressive ventilation to combat condensation when desired. During my overnight review with an outside air temperature of 10 degrees and positioned atop four feet of densely- packed snow, our temperature and humidity instruments found the inside air temperature to be approximately 6 degrees warmer than the ambient air temperature found outside, and that was with moderate ventilation being purposefully applied. Humidity leveled off at 85% within despite the ventilation and drafting being set, and condensation accumulated on the inner fabric of the tent body. With the 80" length of the Sky Solus 1P and the 73" length of my Kifaru Slick Bag, the condensation that presented throughout the night lent itself to a moist foot box. Ultimately, I was pleased with the shelter’s four-season performance.
If you frequent the backcountry and don’t already have a four-season technical shelter such as this, then I highly recommend this product if it aligns with your budget. It’s well-suited for a broad spectrum of backcountry hunting, and its versatility is likely to elevate one’s performance as well as their confidence. With everything the solo alpine hunter needs and nothing that they don’t, the Sky Solus 1P is a solid option that’s not likely to disappoint!