Floorless Shelters, who uses them?

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
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Feb 3, 2014
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I converted to floorless shelters a couple of years ago and really like them. Different makes and models have been used around the office. Here are some Black Diamonds that Guy used in Alaska.

 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
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Feb 3, 2014
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Some really love their tipi style shelters:

Others really love the tarp style for cutting weight:

Personally I have used the LBO and several tipis from SO:



How many of you have used floorless shelters in the past? If so what makes, models, etc? What were your favorite parts of using them and what didn't you like?
 

CoHiCntry

Veteran member
Mar 31, 2011
1,391
19
Colorado Mountains
Floorless shelters seem to be getting a lot of attention these day's. Honestly, I keep asking myself why? I can't see a whole lot of benefits other than possibly some weight savings but can see lots of negatives. Wet ground, wind flowing in through the bottom, creepy crawlers etc, etc. Maybe I'm missing something? For those of you who actually have used them... what would you say the advantages are over using a standard tent with a floor in it? Thanks!
 

kevin_T

New Member
Aug 19, 2011
25
1
Full disclosure , I own a floor less shelter manufacturer but I try to be objective in my discussions. We have both options when adding a nest but I rarely use a nest (which is a fully enclosed inner tent). I use a nest in real dirty country ( sand sometimes ) when I expect snakes ( maybe in the desert) and to keep my dogs of my gear ( only sometimes and if I have the whole pack). For high country outings I go floor less all the time to save weight and so I don't have to worry about having shoes on dirt etc. Floorless is just much simpler and lighter. I find a ground sheet pretty much does the trick with wet ground but honestly I rarely use those either. I simply pitch the tent and thrown down my sleep gear and call it good. I often cook in my tent , I don't worry about spilled water or even if my shoes are on or off. The nests ( inner tents ) are fine, and sometimes I use them, but in the last year I would put that at 2 or 3 times. In fact the last two desert trips I did were Floorless and sleeping under the stars if weather was good. Overall and this is my opinion, outside of weight savings I really like the simplicity. Floors are not a fix all, they are prone to holes, limit where you can pitch a tent, can leak water in a port selected location, will pool water if you spill something , and often accumulate dirt and bugs anyway. Floorless is generally easier and more hassle free.'
 

RockChucker30

Active Member
Feb 22, 2014
162
0
Tennessee
I love floorless shelters for cold weather, or for any weather at altitude. For warm to hot weather here in the Southeast I like hammocks a lot. I try to take whatever shelter makes sense for the conditions I'll be in.


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kfrazier

New Member
Mar 16, 2013
7
0
For me: Going floor less makes things so much easier when you want your boots on or want to make dinner or need to fire up the titanium stove or store some fire wood, or about any activity other than sleeping really. I just use a super light weight ground cloth if needed where I sleep or where I need to keep something free from dirt. It also makes camp tear down faster because you don't have to sweep out or clean off the tent floor before rolling the tent up tightly. It is hard to imagine it being better but in practical use it is much better here in the Colorado / Wyoming mountains anyway.
 

Bkypreos

New Member
May 9, 2014
28
0
AZ
Here in the hot desert we can get away with no floor quite often. even if I have my tent I usually have my tarp up as a shade anyway. I just like the versatility.
 

RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
1,534
863
Two Harbors, Minnesota
I use a hammock all summer while guiding in Canada, but just ordered a 2X Kuiu tent for out west hunting. I have two floorless shelters; a Granite Gear tarpent (1#) and the 8 man Kifaru teepee (7 1/2#). In both cases I bring a light space blanket to keep me out of the dirt or snow. The teepee is great for three guys and late season when you can use the stove. I bring the tarpent along to spike out from our base camp. The only real issue we've had is my brother getting the crap scared out of him when a mountain mole/gopher critter came up out of the ground right next to his face. When I go solo, I will probably stick with the Kuiu, but I'll just have to try it out first.
 

dustin ray

Veteran member
Oct 23, 2011
1,236
958
Alta Loma CA
High country has Ants in fact in Nevada Ants rule the mountain there every where. heavy rain not good with a floorless tent i dont like ants and i like to stay dry so floors are what i use
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
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If you pitch a floorless in the right spot water won't come in. Just like a floor will get soaked through if pitched in a depression.


Eastmans' Staff Digital Media Coordinator
 

HiMtnHnter

Active Member
Sep 28, 2012
445
3
Wyoming
If you pitch a floorless in the right spot water won't come in. Just like a floor will get soaked through if pitched in a depression.

You can also pitch them steep with tent material to the ground. I use a go lite shelter and a cheap space blanket for floor insulation.
 

coastalarms

Active Member
In the past I have carried and used a floorless MSR shelter when I would hike in too far and didn't want to back out. I've only "intentionally" used them a couple times and they have been absolutely fine. It was not having a sleeping pad that always kicks my a@@. Waking up cold is ok; waking up stiff, sore and cold really stinks.
For me, the lightweight options such as those from Big Agnes are pretty darn nice...especially when my wife has a definite preference for no "creepy crawly's" (or is it crawlies)
 

jimss

Active Member
Jun 10, 2012
157
10
I didn't read through all the posts but one thing I often use is my 4 season tent fly for ultra-light packing early. I often bring painters plastic for a floor to keep the dirt off my equipment/sleeping bag. My 4 season fly is bomber proof and holds up to high winds. I had it in Wyo this year when it snowed about 4" and it still performed well. In Alaska I've used the same set up but brought along a bivy to use under my 4 season fly. This works super well in rainy conditions. I can save around 2 1/2 lbs of weight...if split the bulk/wt with someone else it is even lighter. A Hilleberg Nallo 2 works incredible for this and has an incredible amount of "usable" floor space. With painters plastic it weighs around 2 lbs...which is pretty good for almost a 4 season, roomy sheltor!
 

BruinPoint

Member
Sep 6, 2011
73
0
Colorado
I've spent a few nights in a Go-Lite ShangriLa-5 and many nights in a Mountain Hardwear Hoopla-4, neither with a nest. No problems. Campsite selection is more critical than with a floor but not a big deal. Could be less enjoyable if there were snakes/bugs to avoid.

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