The GoLite Hex 3 Shelter is designed along the lines of a teepee and at first I was sceptical but the moment I put up and got inside, I knew I’d been converted.
The Hex 3 is very simple. It is a single skin tent with a central Easton aluminium pole that gives the tent its internal height and once pegged out the hex design takes shape as well as becoming surprisingly stable.
GoLite describe the Hex as a 4 season / 3 person tent. I certainly agree with a 4 season rating but 3 persons classification seemed odd. If two people sleep in it, they would logically sleep either side of the central pole, therefore if you can fit a third person in, you can fit a fourth! In practice, the Hex was voluminous inside and swallowed up 2 people and their kit without a problem but I really don't consider this a 3 person tent.
The silicon impregnated ripstop nylon outer looks tough and has certainly stood up to whatever I’ve thrown at it so far. Obviously its waterproof (3500mm hydrostatic head) but the steep sided shape of the Hex 3 also means that water runs off the outside quickly as does any internal condensation. Two roof vents help too keep the air moving up through the tent that helps avoid condensation problems.
British camping is inevitably a wet affair and I’d recommend that the Hex 3 Floor is used in combination. The Hex 3 Floor is heavy duty ‘bath tub’ style floor that’s raised at the edges and clips into the bottom of the Hex 3 Shelter. Because the central pole is adjustable, you can raise it to increase ventilation or shorten it to decrease ventilation and increase stability in high winds. It’s also very easy to simply roll a corner of the floor back if you wish to cook inside the shelter (however be careful as the siliconised nylon is very flammable).
One problem that I have encoutered when using this tent in the wet, is that without a porch, heavy rain will get into the tent when you go in and out. However, there is plenty of room for your kit so just ensure everything is clear of the door. Another problem is that the tent is totally dependant on it's pegs to stay erect. I'd recommend up grading the pegs supplied with the tent for some much larger ones.
The Hex 3 comes complete with two guy lines, which I attached to the top of the shelter and used to provide additional resistance against the prevailing wind. Equally they could be used to suspend the shelter from a low hanging branch or similar.
The Hex 3 Shelter and Floor really impressed me for their combination of versatility, space and low weight (compared to other back packing tents) and I’d recommend considering one when you next want all round back packing tent.
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