Gear review: Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker

SMD Skyscape Trekker PCO SMD

During my recent Wind River trip, I took some shoulder season gear.

A thicker pad was taken, a slight bit of extra clothing, some sturdier rain gear (mainly in anticipation of bushwhackingand a different shelter.

For three-season backpacking where I plan to sleep under the stars, I take a simple tarp.

But when I think there is a good chance the shoulder season type weather and I want to batten down the hatches a bit, I take a Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker.

I bought this shelter not long after my Uinta Highline Trail trip.

Why? Because in some situations the tarp footprint can be large.

And while I have stayed quite snug under a tarp as the photos in various links show,  sometimes I do want to set up something that is more comfortable while still being weather worthy vs the very low pitch of a tarp in these more inclement weather conditions.

The Trekker fits the role.

The hybrid double wall shelter construction helps cuts down on the condensation. Not the absolute lightest shelter at 24oz, but still in the light category. And, in my opinion, spacious for the total weight of the shelter.  The tent fabric comes down almost to the ground creating a weather worthy shelter.  I find the shelter breathes well overall.

As with all silnylon shelters, the material can wet out after three-four days without some drying time in the sun.  And silnylon does sag a bit without being re-tensioned periodically.  A taut pitch is very important for the shelter to work properly in very wet weather. That is more of a function of the material vs the tent itself.

The shelter is a little funky to set up at first due to the strut that holds up the poles. A touch finicky in my opinion.  Otherwise the shelter stakes out logically and easily with five points.

At 5’6″, the shelter is more than ample for me in terms of length.  I suspect a person much above 5’10” would have a problem with the sleeping bag or quilt brushing up against the foot.

The shelter does not handle more than moderate snow loads well.

smd-trekker
Handled this snow just fine, though. PCO Aaron at TrailGroove.

But it is not a winter tent. Just an observation as you do not want to push the tent too deeply into the early winter.  I found this out by making myself a human guinea pig with the tent one winter evening. 🙂

At $235, the Trekker is reasonable in price. People on a budget may want to look at the near identical Scout model that is $100 less and 10 oz more. At $125, a very good deal for a sturdy solo shelter. Those who want the absolute lightest shelter model can splurge heavily on a DCF model for $565.

Besides the initially funky setup, another minor criticism of this tent is the way the flaps roll up. Only one toggle loop means the rolled up flap comes undone for me easily. I’ve been saying since day one that I should add another loop with toggles. Someday I may even do it… 😉

Overall the SMD Skyscape Trekker is a sturdy, light and reasonable in cost tent. Small footprint, easy to set up once the kinks are worked out and weather worthy.

A good addition to my shelter quiver.

Disclosure: This tent was purchased with my own funds late 2013 or early 2014. I forget the exact month.

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4 thoughts on “Gear review: Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker

  1. I really like mine. At 6’2″, 180, it hasn’t given me problems with condensation. It does sometimes take a bit more attention to pitch than others. I suspect that’s because I’m not reading the ground properly. It’s a cool little tent great for reasonable weather.

  2. I had this tent and a LH solo at the same time. While the Trekker is a nice tent, the LH beats it hands down, and I sold the Trekker. The Trekker actually looks to be a fairly blatent ripoff of the LH design.

    The strut for the Trekkker is its death knell. It isn’t a matter of if, but when, you are going to poke a hole in the top of the tent with your trekking poles. I fixed this with a piece of Pex tubing, which works much better.

    It is a very nice looking tent and if you substitute the Pex for their strut, I’d recommend it. But, no doubt the LH is easier to set up, more spacious, more sturdy, and better all around.

  3. I’ve really enjoyed my Skyscape Trekker over the past two years, and at 6′ tall length hasn’t been an issue except for a couple of times when the ground wasn’t all that flat and I found I had slid down to where my quilt was touching the tent. I also haven’t had any problem with the single toggle keeping the tent flap up, though I can see where that might be an issue depending on how you roll the flap up. Finally, I have had some problems pitching it a couple times where the cross pole was slightly off kilter, and I couldn’t seem to get it right/even. Didn’t seem to create an issue though other than esthetics. I plan to splurge and get the cf model in a few years once I can justify the expense of a new tent.

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