Hi there, folks! This week I’m reviewing a neat and tidy little tent that I’m sure you’re going to love: The Naturehike Minaret. The Minaret is an ultralight tent designed for just one person, so it gives you the perfect excuse for heading into the hills for a solitary hike without your other half in tow! Whoa, whoa – I kid, I kid! Although – in the age of Covid-19 – it is good to have a solo camping option if needed, and the Minaret does the job nicely. It’s a versatile, four-season double skin that’s got some great qualities and is available on Ali Express at a bargain price. Let’s read on and be amazed!
The Naturehike Minaret has a tower or pyramid design that is really economic with its inner space and materials, while cleverly giving you all the room you need for a good night’s sleep. The base of the tent roughly forms a square, but with only two full sides and one at half length. It forms a cosy corner chamber with the front of the tent cutting across the diagonal from the midway point on the short side. I love the large square groundsheet that’s included in the pack. It adds extra protection against damp ground and creates a decent outdoor work area for stashing your muddy boots and camping stove.
The tent has an outer skin in an orange colour that’s ideal for high visibility. There’s a black ventilation panel on either side that you can adjust. The exterior zipped doorway is cut into the diagonal front panel and it’s large enough to provide easy access. You can hold back the flap with a convenient toggle clip. All the seams in both the skins are taped and double stitched to make them sturdy and draughtproof.
The inner shell is made of mesh and has an integral waterproof base that’s securely stitched in. It forms a complete capsule that is actually quite comfortable and can be used on its own if the weather’s hot. Once you’ve unzipped the outer door panel, you can get in and out of the inner compartment through the large zipped doorway set on the right-hand side of the front. At the left-hand side, there’s a low zipped hatch. I think this is a really useful feature as it lets you reach out for equipment or to boil water for your morning cuppa without having to leave your shelter!
Although the Minaret is a four-season tent, the material is surprisingly flexible and lightweight. The outer shell is an orange nylon silicone blend with a density of just 20D. Its hydrostatic head rating is 4000mm – better than average, so you should stay dry.
The inner compartment is made of an innovative polyester +B3 woven mesh. It’s great for keeping mosquitoes and other bugs at bay and provides a great layer of ventilation to help you stay comfortable if the atmospheric humidity level is high. Both this layer and the integral base have a hydrostatic head of 3000mm.
Size and Weight
The best feature about ultralight tents, in general, is their clever use of size and weight distribution – and the Minaret is no exception. It measures 210cm on its two ‘full’ sides and 105cm on the half-panel. The central height is 135cm.
The separate shells fold into neatly rolled packages each with their own carrying bag. The outer skin weighs approximately 534g, the inner tent complete with base is 499g and the groundsheet is around 384g. The rest of the gear, including tent pegs and guy ropes, weighs in at 182g. So the Minaret tips the scales at a total of 1.6kg – rounding up 😉 – which is a pretty decent weight for a one-man shelter!
When you’re travelling solo, you need a tent that’s easy to pitch even in a heavy gale. I found that pitching the Minaret was fairly straightforward. The groundsheet can be weighted down with your pack, or a couple of nearby rocks. The inner tent has a heavier base to help stabilize the capsule. The Minaret doesn’t come with a trekking pole, so you have to supply your own. Is this a disadvantage? Only if you forget to pack one!
Actually, I quite like tents of this design as it lets you – to an extent – personalize it. You can have a pole made of aluminium, fibreglass or steel, brand new or with a favoured and worn handle. With the Minaret, you can bring along whichever is your favourite adjustable pole.
To finish pitching, the orange outer layer simply fits over the inner capsule. There are fifteen straight pegs, eight guy ropes, and a sturdy wind rope to keep your tent safe and secure. Adjustable buckle fastenings make the process quick and easy.
Space and Storage
The length of the tent is 210cm (6’8″) so it’s roomy even for the taller people. The central height of 135cm is also comfortable for sitting upright. There’s convenient storage inside, either at the end nearest the inner door or opposite, depending on which way round you choose to sleep.
Naturehike Minaret: The Verdict
Didn’t I say you were going to love this tent!? With its insulating double skin and high hydraulic head rating, it’s ideal for all types of weather. I love the convenience of the additional groundsheet and the small hatch. The ventilation is more than adequate for keeping you comfortable.
The Naturehike Minaret is very spacious, easy to pitch, and even easier to carry. The slight only disadvantage – if you even see it that way – is the lack of included tent pole. The Minaret is great value for money and it’s perfect for enjoying a solitary getaway.
That just about does it for this week folks. I hope you enjoyed the review. Make sure you check out the rest of our blog for more tips, tricks and gear reviews from the trail. Ciao for now!