In recent times I’ve been back in Australia catching up with family and pottering around the rainforests of South East Queensland. A few weeks ago my personal and professional stars aligned, and a two to three week ambulatory window opened up in January. To cut a long story short, this will be my last post until next month. I’m going for a long walk.
Before I bid my cyber farewells, I should mention I’ll be taking along a new shelter on the upcoming journey. It’s the ultralight Tarptent Aeon Li, the latest creation of Henry Shires and the good folks at Tarptent. This will be the second prototype of Henry’s that I’ve taken for an extended spin in recent years. The first was the ProTrail, which I carried on the traverse of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca in 2014. I received the Aeon in the mail a little over a week ago, and so far I’ve only had an opportunity to set it up in the backyard and take it for a solitary overnighter in a nearby Eucalyptus forest.
Here are my initial impressions of the shelter:
- Sets up quickly and easy to achieve a taut pitch. Less than two minutes on the second try.
- There is a significant amount of extra usable interior space compared to the single person Mid-style shelters I have used. No issues at all with rubbing against the walls. See the bottom two photos; for reference I am 6’1″, sitting/lying on a Thermarest NeoAir, and the trekking pole height is set to 120 cm.
- Depending on the conditions, the interior height can be adjusted between 110 and 125 cm.
- Thumbs up on the bathtub floor and PitchLoc corners. The latter feature is very clever; the open corners provide a little extra ventilation, but can be sealed with adjustable storm flaps when the weather is coming in.
- For all the features it offers (e.g. bathtub floor, netting, vestibule, lots of interior space), the Aeon is ridiculously light. On my scales it weighed in at 460 grams (1.01 lb). That’s including guylines, but not including the six stakes or DCF stuff sack that it comes with.
That’s all for now. The Aeon Li looks like a great tent, feels solid, the workmanship is excellent, and I’m looking forward to field testing it over the coming weeks. Catch you in February!