If there is one company that shares my beliefs and values, I would say GoLite mirrors them quite well. Let me share with you the beginning excerpt from their Values page on their website.
“Therefore I GoLite. This is our motto. This is what drives us. Less is more. Less is liberation. Less is our passion. But we didn’t invent this philosophy. You did.
You want to get away from all the stuff—the blaring music, the gadgets, the never-ending load of work and the glut of more, more, more. So you go light. You head out on the trail, because you want to experience nature on its own terms.
You value adventure over advertising. Memories over souvenirs. You don’t want to clog the planet with more stuff. You just want to have pure, simple, heart-pounding fun.
Therefore you GoLite.”
Does that resonate with you? Do you feel that sometimes less can be more? Do you ever want to just get away from the fast paced rat race we compete in? My guess is that your answer is yes. If your answer is yes, then like myself, I think you will appreciate and desire the product lineup from GoLite. Undoubtedly one of my favorite brands in the outdoor industry. I’ve always been impressed by their approach when designing and developing products. The Shangri-La tent is no different. It is a fresh approach to probably the oldest and simplest style tent/teepee.
Let’s just jump right into this review! There are three total components available for the Shangri-La 5; the Floor, the Nest, the Flysheet. There is also a “Tent Bundle” which combines the Flysheet and Nest. We tested the Shangri-La 5 Tent Bundle total weight of the bundle is 5 lbs. 9 oz. making it one of the lightest, if not lightest 5-person tents available on the market. The Shangri La has limited space above, but the floor is absolutely huge and makes it a true 5-person tent. The Nest and Flysheet can be used together tent-style or separately depending on conditions. It will shed wind (do a YouTube search 40+ mph) and weather with ease. The ability to pitch the tent as just the Nest, just the Flysheet, or both make the Shangri-La very versatile.
Setup of the Sharngri-La tent is as easy as it gets; stake out the base and erect the center pole. It is the easiest tent to setup that I’ve ever come across. The Shangri-La pitches with 4 stakes, yet it is packaged with 8 to use for extra support. The center pole features lighter Green Anodizing process and is adjustable to create the desired tension for the shelter. The only negative thing I can say about this tent is that when pitching in soft or sandy soil, it doesn’t allow for much tension as an increase in height to the center pole will most likely pull the stakes from the ground. This happened during a hike in Wisconsin in which we setup camp close to a lake’s shore and the soil was heavily mixed with sand.
There are probably many people that won’t appreciate the ingenuity of the Shangri-La; those that don’t just haven’t hiked enough or don’t mind an extra 5 lbs. in their pack. I believe the Shangri-La is a must-have essential for any hiking enthusiast to include in their arsenal. I have a lifted Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with larger tires than stock, as a result the stock spare wheel/tire is of no use. My spare tire compartment instead has become an area for gear. The Shangri-La is the tent that I leave in my car at all times. It isn’t always in my car. I still take it on hikes, but when not in use on the trails it serves as a great emergency tent in my spare wheel well. Emergency is defined as: car breaks down and I need to hike out of a situation or during travels, I come across something epic in nature and want to stay awhile. I’ve done the latter, thankfully I haven’t had a car break down, but I would welcome the adventure as I am well prepared.
There are several features worth mentioning. Both the Flysheet and the Nest have two peak vents which provide cross-ventilation. We found that the peak vents in combination with leaving the door open creating enough air-flow for hot and humid summer hikes. Of course, if it isn’t raining the Nest alone is ideal. We love when tents have loops, baskets, or shelves inside…the Shangri-La 5 has high internal gear loops for clothes lines and hanging items. Placed near the peak vents, we found that these gear loops were located in an ideal place for drying socks and other outer-layers. Peak and center are reinforced to allow for the center pole and the tension that you set. You wouldn’t think the tent would be as sturdy as it is, but this is far from the teepee style tent you and your friends built as a child.
Again, the only fault we could find was when setting up in soft or sandy soil. Perhaps GoLite could offer or recommend some stakes to use for this type of environment. Aside from that, the two words that sum up the GoLite Shangri-La 5 tent are: must-have. This tent is one of the reasons that I am brand loyal to GoLite. Click here to view other GoLite Products.
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||An ageless design for the 21st century! – 190-denier polyester shell with 1,000mm polyurethane waterproof coating; Weatherproofed windows with internal shades for privacy; Sewn-in polyethylene floor provides a sturdy base with no need to add a ground tarp; Center steel pole support makes for easy setup, plus collapses for easy transport; Factory-sealed seams protect the seams to keep water and insects out; Rain-protected ventilation in peak and multiple ground air vents for superior airflow; No-see-um mesh windows with zippered covers; Center-zip door with no-see-um-mesh; Equipped with stakes and easily adjustable pull-through guy lines; Sleeps 6 people comfortably; Includes carry bag; Treatments: F/R polyester PU coating; Pole: 1, 28mm steel; Door: 1; Windows: 4; Zippers: #8, #5; Footprint: 10′ x 10′; Center Height: 6’6″; Packed Dimensions: 28.74″ x 7.87″ x 7.48″; Weight: 13.07 lbs.; Guide Gear Teepee Tent, 10′ x 10′||