If you are anything like me and enjoy testing new and different styles of gear, then you’re going to enjoy this review. Over the past year I’ve been working on broadening my resume of experience when it comes to backpacking shelters. I’ve spent nights in about every style of shelter possible, including free standing tents, bug bivys, tarp only, hammock and tarp, cowboy camping, and now tipi style shelters. Which brings me to the basis of the Minipeak Pyramid shelter we’re reviewing today. Luxe Hiking Gear is a company that I stumbled upon through Instagram and quickly spent time going through their feed of photos. What caught my attention you ask? Tipi/Pyramid shaped floorless shelters! Yes, this is exactly the style of shelter that I had been looking into getting for a long time. What had been my barrier until finding Luxe was the cost of shelters from other brands. I struggled with the idea that it would cost me over $400 for a MLD Solomid with inner tent. Now I am not here to talk bad about other various brands, but to make a point that I felt spending $400 for a pyramid shelter was far too much for what my budget would allow.
After a lot of time looking for the shelter I wanted, I decided to get the Minipeak 2P Pyramid Tent from Luxe Hiking Gear. The Minipeak is a roomy two person shelter that allows various options of floors and inner tents to fit the needs of the season and user. I often am spending nights alone and not sharing a tent with someone else, so I opted to get the 1 person inner with it to allow me to have bug protection and a large vestibule area in front of the inner tent. That is the major bonus of the Minipeak when used as a single person shelter, it’s got a lot of room, which allows for plenty of gear storage, but also a place to cook and hang out if needed. This was a major selling point for me for this shelter. For an outer tent that weighs just over 2 pounds, you are getting a 1 person palace and even a roomy 2 person tent.
Features and Use
When it comes to what the Minipeak offers, there are plenty of pros that make the $100 price tag worth it. The Minipeak features two large doors that can be rolled back on both sides opening the tent up, allowing really great ventilation, but still providing rain/weather coverage. When using the 1 person inner you are limited to use of just one door, as the back side of the inner doesn’t give access to the other door, however, this is a non issue for me since plenty of vestibule space allows for gear to be placed where it won’t get stepped on. The outer tent is made from a 68D Polyester ripstop material. Personally this is a much heavier fabric than you will see on many other tents, however, when viewing this tent as a 4 season option, which it has the ability to achieve that, the added strength of the 68D fabric makes it burly and strong against wind and heavy rain. Another benefit of the fabric being polyester is that it will stretch and sag far less than a nylon ripstop. The 1500m PU coating on the tent isn’t as high as some others, but in testing and real use in rain, I have yet to have any issues with the fabric soaking through.
One of my favorite things about this tent is the ability to use the tent in whatever scenario I choose. Meaning that I have the ability to use the inner tent when bugs are bad, but in other seasons i’ve got the ability to drop a ground sheet in the tent without a mesh inner and enjoy a more simple shelter. Even with gear stashed in the tent and not using the 1 person inner that I have, two people can sleep very comfortable in the tent with lots of space. Even better for two people is the use of two doors, allowing each person to get in and out without crawling over top each other to get in or out. There’s even a 2 person inner available for the Minipeak.
The tent uses one center pole to pitch, which simplifies the system as a whole. Typically you’re hiking with trekking poles anyway, so the tent will pitch with a trekking pole extended to 137cm. You may also use a stick found in the area you are hiking, or use a dedicated pole available from Luxe.
4 Season Use: This is one aspect of the Minipeak that I find very appealing. No, it doesn’t fit and work for every user in this size of tent, but you have the option to add a stove jack to the Minipeak, allowing you to add a wood burning stove to the tent. This makes the Minipeak a cozy 4 season shelter where you’ve got a wood stove to cook on, stay warm and manage really cold temperatures for winter camping.
Other aspects of the tent design include a vented peak on two sides, with the ability to close during heavy rain or to trap heat. Stake out points have a strap webbing that makes getting a proper pitch easy, as the straps have a nice tension system to them. Guy lines are added to the non door panels to increase tension and aid in the pitch of the tent, as well as additional stake out points on the non door panels to provide a tight pitch.
One of the things that makes the Minipeak appealing to me is the modular aspect that allows for it to be used in a lot of different situations. However, this review wouldn’t be complete without discussion some potential cons that would be important to address, as no one shelter is perfect. One of the main positives of a pyramid shaped tent can also be a negative. The steep walls of a pyramid and even a tipi is the ability for the tent to sluff off rain and snow. Those steep walls do hinder the total amount of living space inside the tent. In order to get better living space around the entire surface of the tent, you need it to be taller and have a bigger footprint. For me, this is far from an issue with the Minipeak. As a solo shelter it has a great height to it that still gives it a lot of living space inside. Someone much taller than 6 foot may find being hunched over uncomfortable.
As someone that focuses a lot on saving weight in my backpacking system, the 35 ounces of weight for the outer tent only isn’t the lightest when compared to other options out there. Add the 1 person inner tent and you’ve got yourself a shelter that weighs just over 3 pounds. Again, if you are a gram counter and each little ounce is a deal breaker, than this may not be your tent, but for the amount of space the tent provides coverage of and the ability to use this in about every situation possible, it’s hard to beat.
Lastly the Minipeak doesn’t come seam sealed, but a tube of seam seal is provided with the tent when purchased. If you’ve never seam sealed a tent before, it can turn into a sticky mess if you fail to do your homework on how to prep the tent and properly apply the seam seal. Done correctly, with patience and plenty of time, you’ll be able to apply the seam seal with very little headache.
Overall through using the Minipeak on a few different trips, I can say that it’s been one of the better shelters i’ve used this year (2018). I’ve been able to test and sleep in a lot of different shelters this year through several backpacking trips, and what i’ve enjoyed most about the Minipeak is the ability to increase space to put gear, sleep and be protected from the elements for a very very small weight penalty. The tent has held up to strong wind, heavy rain and has proven to be a reliable shelter for a low cost. The Minipeak definitely fits within the recommended list of gear i’d suggest to any backpacker.
More info and to purchase the Minipeak visit Luxe Hiking Gear here: https://luxe-hiking-gear.com/collections/lightweight-camping-tents/products/minipeak-pyramid-tent-system