Snugpack Ionosphere Review

If you are looking for a tent then you must be certain what features you nee. If you are not clear then it’s very easy to be distracted by the huge selection in the market. So what do you need to look for in a tent? This review on the Snugpack Ionosphere will perhaps help on this topic too. Read our full review and field test.

Introduction

So what type of things should one consider when looking for a tent.

  • Stable in high winds?
  • Porch for cooking?
  • Lightweight?
  • Colour?

These are some of the questions you may ask yourself, also think about what type of trips you are going on and how long you will be in the tent, longer the trips may mean you will need a more comfortable tent. Most tents will have a specific end use in mind, buying any outdoor product is all about matching the manufacturers ideas with your own goals.

The Snugpack Ionosphere Review

It’s a 1 person tent/bivi that’s inner first pitching with a low weight of 1.52kg and a small pack size to match. Both fly and groundsheet are waterproofed to 5000mm which offer great protection from the elements, during a 4 day wild camping trip the tent faced a lot of rain mixed with high winds, none of which got into the tent. The poles used in the Ionosphere are top quality DAC Featherlites which are lightweight, strong and pretty much the best on the market.

Snugpack Ionosphere
Snugpack Ionosphere sitting in the middle of Snowdonia National Park.

The Ionosphere offers a good night’s sleep on shorter hikes. I say this because it’s a very small shelter, it’s literally a big bivi and with no porch to speak of as well as limited head space it can feel rather small. This makes admin a slight headache but it’s achievable with some yoga skills! I did push this design to the limit, I am about 185cm in height… However once you are inside and lying down its very roomy and my feet did not touch the end of the tent. This is with my rucksack and clothes above my head in the storage area of the tent.

Use

Out in North Wales the Ionosphere took a battering. Gusts were so strong a couple of the pegs were slightly bent by the morning but the tent showed no sign of concern. I wanted to test the tent in a mountain environment but in my opinion this design of tent is suited for valley/forest camping. Out in a real life test pitching the Snugpak is straightforward but it can take a while to finely tune the pitch to get the fly under tension, as its inner first you had better hope it’s not raining heavily whilst you are trying to get the tent up. The stuff bag is very good and has spare space so it’s not a nightmare to get back in, packing away the Ionosphere is a really easy process.

Conclusion

I think the best way to use this tent would be in summer where you could leave the fly at home, pitch a tarp and have the Ionosphere’s midge inner to sleep in. That would offer you a very lightweight camping system that’s super breathable for those warm muggy evenings. I know this is how I will be using the tent in the warmer months. The addition of the tarp allows you room to cook and do admin whilst leaving the Ionosphere for sleeping only.

Snugpack Ionosphere
Snugpack Ionosphere with its fine mesh inner visable.

For the bushcrafters used to a bivi the Ionosphere makes a great step up. Especially if you have a small tarp to bring along to sort out the lack of admin room. This makes the Ionosphere would be ideal for valley and forest camping. When erected it has a very small footprint. Its green colour help a lot for wild camping especially if suitable larger pitch spots are hard to find the Ionosphere can be pitched on a very small patch of ground.

Tent for bushcraft forest camping? Got a tarp? Get an Ionosphere to get 4 season flexibility. Buy yours HERE

-Sunny


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