3F UL Gear Solo Tent Review

3F UL Gear Solo Ultralight Tent Review (Updated: 2021)

Hi folks. A little while ago I had the chance to try out the 3F UL Gear Solo Ultralight Tent – a lightweight, budget-friendly 1-man tent available on Ali Express. I took the Solo on an overnight trip into the Somerset countryside, curious to see how it would perform. So, let’s dive into this 3F UL Gear Solo tent review and find out:

Overview / Specs

I’d had my eye on the 3F UL Gear Solo for a while because of the attractive specifications for it. It’s a single-skin tent, which helps keep both price and weight down, but that does mean it’s (theoretically) prone to condensation. It’s also worth noting that the Solo needs a trekking pole in order to be pitched (unless you’re good at finding perfectly sized and shaped branches!).

A trekking pole is something a lot of hikers tend to have with them anyway, but it’s something you’d need to factor into the weight. If you’re looking for a decent lightweight pole that won’t break the bank, we recommend this one from NatureHike. So, Let’s take a look at the details for the Solo Ultralight:

3F UL Gear Solo Ultralight Tent Review
The 3F UL Gear Solo Ultralight has a pack size of just 35 x 15 x 15 cm!

Size

The Solo has a pack size of just 35 x 15 x 15cm (13.7″ x 5.9″ x 5.9″). When pitched, the tent is 125cm (49.2″) tall at its highest point. At the widest and longest points, there’s 35 x 15 x 15cm (86.6″ x 41.3″) of sleeping space. However, the shape and design of the tent mean that it tapers quite a bit. I’d heard this tent was a bit tight for anyone around 6 feet or taller – more on that later!

Weight

The stated weight of this tent on Ali Express is 650g (approx 1.4lb), but this excludes pegs, guy ropes, and the rear tail pole, as well as the extra groundsheet that came free with the version that I bought. When I weighed *everything* that came with the tent, it came in at a slightly more chunky 910g (approx. 2lb). Still, it’s pretty amazing for a tent this cheap, with all the bells and whistles included, to come in at well under 1kg (minus your trekking pole of course).

You could easily shave some more weight off by leaving the groundsheet or maybe ditching a guy rope or two. I wouldn’t recommend ditching any pegs, however – in my experience, you’ll need all of them to pitch this tent properly!

Materials

The Solo is made from 15d silicone fabric, with a 3000mm hydrostatic head. Whilst 3000mm doesn’t offer the greatest amount of protection we’ve seen, it should be enough for most trips, especially an overnighter rather than an extended trek. The single short rear pole is made of aluminium.

3F UL Solo Ultralight Tent Review

So, I had the opportunity to try this tent when I went camping on a  friend’s farm. The forecast called for heavy rain in the morning, so I knew this would be a perfect opportunity to test out the waterproofing!

3F UL Gear Solo Tent Pitched
The 3F UL Gear Solo Tent, pitched

Pitch

This certainly wasn’t the easiest tent I’ve ever pitched, but I got the hang of it after a couple of attempts. You peg first, then get your trekking pole inside the vestibule to erect the other side of the shelter. From what I observed, it seems like this tent may often need you to use the guy ropes to prevent the walls from sagging.

Space & Storage

So, not two ways about it – this tent is tight for space! I’m 6-foot tall, and I squeezed in just fine with a couple of inches to spare, but if you are on the taller side then this one may not be for you. I was concerned about ‘touching the sides’ in a single-skin tent, but I never once had this problem when I slept. I also found the single vestibule was more than adequate for storing gear. That is, as long as you’re going truly ultralight.

The 3F Ul Gear Solo Ultralight Tent has a fairly generous gear storage area

The Weather

When I was trying out this tent, the weather was around 18c in the day and dropped to a brisk 9c at night. I was in my Aegismax down sleeping bag on top of my Naturehike sleeping mat, and pleased to say I was toasty warm for the whole night.

The next morning, the heavens opened – nonstop, heavy rain from about 6 am onwards. However, woke up to find everything inside my tent bone dry! I’d been worried about condensation too, but luckily this wasn’t an issue. I left the outer door of the tent a teeny tiny bit unzipped for the night, and in the morning I found very little condensation.

Verdict

Overall, I was super impressed with the 3F Ul Gear Solo. It’s very lightweight, especially if you are taking a trekking pole with you anyway and if you fancy ditching the groundsheet. It held up very well in some soggy conditions on my trip, and although the sleeping space was tight, that’s nothing new for most ultralight tents. And for the price, it’s difficult to complain. An equivalent tent from a big name brand would set you back easily twice the price! 

Well, that’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed this 3F UL Gear Solo Ultralight Tent review. Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more thrifty tips, tricks, and gear reviews from the trail. Until next time!

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