Stratospire 2: anyone used one in the UK?

Anyone got one?

1 to 20 of 74 messages
19/03/2012 at 16:03

Has anybody got a Stratospire 2?

On paper they look great once you get your head around the design.  Those with OCD may struggle with the lack of symmetry... Scroll down for Henry Shires' 3D image of it.

I know Franco crops up on every forum on this topic because he helped design it (not a criticism) but has anyone else used one in the UK?

19/03/2012 at 16:58
I know Stephen is awaiting delivery of one, but besides that i've not seen any mention of them on here.

Include a little history in your walks. Pecsaetan - Ancient Derbyshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire -

19/03/2012 at 17:08

Stephen we await your response and preferably a review once it arrives

Any other takers?

19/03/2012 at 17:37

To me they look spot on for milder weather. Please keep us posted if you decide to purchase one. I really doult the 2 min claim to get a good pitch though, maybe with a bit of practise and a couple of energy drinks.

19/03/2012 at 18:04

In fairness to Franco here is his vid of him setting up (without the extra guylines) in 1m 25sec!

Lee, I think it looks like it would stand up to some fairly full on weather given the angles of the panels.  I'm really hoping someone has had one out in a hoolie so I can decide before buying but it's looking like I may have to be the first OMer to do that... wish me luck.

19/03/2012 at 18:15
Good Luck
19/03/2012 at 20:57
I'm mostly intrested in seeing how it fares with the optional poles in bad weather.
19/03/2012 at 21:11
 i'm quite interested in the stratospire as well, particularly how it compares to the ostensibly similar smd lunar duo and the nemo meta 2. looks a good tent for when i hike with my partner and the dog - we both use trekking poles all the time, but like you am waiting for more feedback on suitability for use in uk conditions.
19/03/2012 at 21:20
I did  not help to design anything, I  just watched Henry doing it...It was my suggestion to have a mid type tent but the final design is nothing at all like the basic idea suggested at the beginning.Franco
19/03/2012 at 21:34

Thanks Franco: either way I know you're very enthusiastic for it!  Thank you for all the videos on Youtube they really helped.

In particular I've asked Mr Shires:

 1. I've used SilNylon shelters for some time and know they do have a certain amount of sag when wet even when pitched very taut.  I've read one review that says when this shelter gets wet the top ridge line can sag onto the inner. I am in the UK so it will often get wet.  Is it possible/sensible to add further tie outs to alleviate any sag and/or is there anything else you might suggest? Do you think this is worth it/a problem that needs rectifying?

2. How much does the inner weigh on its own?

3. I've read on BPL that you're possibly going to do a more solid inner; how far off is this?  A half to 2/3 solid inner with mesh at the top would be great.

4. How will this shelter cope with strong wind?  I know that is quite a subjective question, so would you recommend this shelter for exposed windy pitches?

19/03/2012 at 21:49

Vegan-H:  I looked at both of those, as well as the MLD Supermid.

 1. SMD Lunar Duo: I wasn't very keen on the design but know lots of people like them.  What put me off was the fact it's single wall with a very large roof. Most importantly though it's heavier than the SS2 and there appears to be a need to take additional small poles for the curve.

2. Nemo Meta 2: Too heavy.

3. MLD Supermid: I love my Solomid and would like a Cuben Dupmid for longer, wetter solo walks but I think the Supermid takes the concept too far.  It's funny because I wouldn't look beyond MLD for a solo shelter and wouldn't have any of the Tarptent solo offerings but it's vice versa for two man shelters.

My wife and I both use two hiking poles so that wouldn't be an issue and I was really impressed with the size of the vestibules on the SS2 and their height, which means not ducking and diving your way in and out.  Our current two man tent is the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, which is fantastic but the SS2 would shave half a kilo off it.

Edited: 19/03/2012 at 21:52
20/03/2012 at 08:18

As with so many of these small firms like MLD and Tarptent the customer service is great; email from Henry received this morning in response to my questions above:

1.  I think any sag potential along the ridgeline is/can be completely eliminated by using the included/attached apex guylines and staking them separately.

2. Inner weighs: Something like 13 ounces / ~356 g.

3. Solid inner: Yes, it's coming late next month.  It will look a lot like the one of Scarp series.

4. Cope with strong wind: Fully staked, yes, including (especially including) the apex guylines staked separately.

5. How soon to have a seam sealed SS2 shipped to UK: In a week or so. Seam-sealing is an outdoor process and the weather isn't cooperating at the moment.

I love that Tarptent offer seam sealing for $25 and I wish MLD would too.

Edited: 20/03/2012 at 08:24
20/03/2012 at 09:41

I have not got a SS2 but I have enquired of Henry and I am waiting to see the semi solid inners.

My wife and I use a Nallo and a Laser. The Laser more often as it is lighter. The Laser is too small really for winter conditions with exped mats and a fluffy sleeping bag. Both the Laser and the Nallo are a bit too low for 5’9” with a bad  back, especially with exped mats.

The SS2 would be lighter wider and higher with 2 big porches and 2 exits. We mostly but not always carry at least 1 pair of hiking poles.

We are tough on tents camping in winter and high altitudes. Clearly the Nallo is tougher in wind than the SS2 would be.  The Laser has survived strong winds on a col at 3600m but it did not give confidence. I have added the extra guys to the 4 loops provided on the Laser and that has helped a lot, but the pole hoop guys are not firmly fixed on the Laser. I am willing to give the SS2 a try in the hope that it is as tough in wind as the Laser. The lift points provided on the centre seam above the pitch lock corners look as if they might help, as long as you are carrying a third pole. A third pole right by the pitch lock corner could lift other parts of the fly too.  I might add lift points to other seams for strong winds.

A single pole mid like the MLD duomid is not for us as our double bag stops the use of a central pole. All previous double pole mids have big unsupported panels that flog in strong winds. The SS2 has twisted these panels by asymmetric poles. I think that is a marvellous idea. We use a similar twisted square for cover tarpaulins at work.

I wonder whether people who can manage with 2 in a Laser could use a SS1 for 2 people. With the inner lowered to a bathtub of 1”( like the Laser ) the inner width would be 101cm but much more rectangular than the Laser’s pointed 105cm. And the inner would still be 12 cm higher than the Nallo and of course higher than the Laser. Perhaps a SS1 with support from 3 poles would be the most windworthy option!

20/03/2012 at 10:00


I was just playing with a SS1 paper model. I think it might be possible to set up the SS1 or 2 with a lower "storm mode" pitch. A bit like you can do with the MLD Trailstar. You would need to change the zips and zip in an extra triangle of fly at each door, with a new peg point, but then the poles could be lowered and all the peg points spread out. The support of the inner would have to be rejigged, but I think there is some flexibility already.

Do you think that would work? Just setting up a SS fly lower than usual with it's zips open would give an idea.

Franco do you have an SS1 to pitch in 2 person mode?. Would the length of groundsheet wider than 40"/100cm be more than 160cm, leaving a 25mm bathtub? In other words can you fit 2 mats 50 x 160 in a SS1 and still have a bit of bathtub upstand?

Edited: 20/03/2012 at 14:46
20/03/2012 at 20:39

Derek, for some reason your earlier thread hadn't come up when I searched the forum:

Stratospire Owners Thread

Edited: 20/03/2012 at 20:39
20/03/2012 at 22:55
The search engine is a bit hit and miss here, no matter
21/03/2012 at 00:56

My SS1 arrived yesterday and had a quick nose at it in the Garden.

Pitching is very straight forward.

Its not as beefy as my Scarp 1 with Cross poles but in saying that the two walking poles add immense strenght to the pitch once its pegges out properly,  I did ask Henry to add extra tie off points.

I have had an MLD Duomid in the past and the SS1 looks like it has more useable space and a stronger pitch.

I will be using it on my first US backpacking trip this weekend (Pictured Rocks Trail, Upper Michigan) and will report back on how it goes

21/03/2012 at 12:58

Hi Stephen,

I asked Franco but I am not sure he has an SS1, but you have!

If you get the chance to lower and widen your inner and try 2 standard width mats in it:

 Would the length of groundsheet wider than 40"/100cm be more than 160cm, leaving a 25mm bathtub? In other words can you fit 2 mats 50 x 160 in a SS1 and still have a bit of bathtub upstand?

We are used to fitting the 2 of us in a Laser. Which is about that narrow and wondered wether we could buy an SS1 to be used mostly for 2. Although 200 grams more for an SS2 is not so much!

22/03/2012 at 01:34

Hi Derek,

I may not get the chance to meaure it in that config tomorrow but will do when I come back from my trip.

22/03/2012 at 01:36

Just remembered Franco does have an SS1 as he filmed a Youtube flick comparing it to the Notch and one other TT tent.

1 to 20 of 74 messages
Forum Jump