Are you in the market for one of the best hot tents for backcountry hunting? That’s exactly why we wanted to do this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review. When you spend any time in the backcountry during the colder months, having a hot tent like this Seek Outside Cimarron Light is an absolute game changer. Simply put, this is a piece of gear that will get you, and keep you, in the backwoods when you hit the cold of winter or nasty weather that would otherwise send you running for the truck.
Why I Selected the Cimmaron Light
It was a tough decision selecting which Seek Outside hot tent combo to go with. Seek Outside offers something for just about everyone, from ultralight solo tents, all the way up to the 12 Person Tipi for adventures with a lot of friends. If you go with one of the larger hot tents, you’ll want to select a larger stove, but that’s jumping ahead just a bit.
At the end of the day though, I elected to go with the Cimarron Light because it offered what I felt like was the best size and weight combination for my needs. I wanted a tent that could comfortably sleep two with a stove, and get a third person in there if needed, while still keeping the total weight as light as possible.
I selected the Cimarron Light version rather than the Standard Cimarron to save the extra weight, and I liked the stove placement a little better on the Cimarron Light vs the standard Cimarron, and I didn’t feel like I needed the extra zipper, but that’s just personal preference. At the end of the day, I used it several times with a stove and 3 people which worked fine.
Which One Would You Choose?
Check out this video as we dive into the differences between two of the best ultralight wood stoves on the market!
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Options & Accessories: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
In preparing for this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review, I tried to think through the possible uses and scenarios to select the best options and accessories for my Seek Outside hot tent kit. Experience is the best teacher though, so even after over-analyzing (like I usually do), I ended up adding a few things after the first couple uses. Initially, I simply started with the Seek Outside Cimarron Light tent, a Cimarron Half Nest, some of their aluminum stakes, and the Seek Outside SXL stove with the 6 foot pipe.
Seek Outside recommended a 6 foot pipe with the Cimarron, so I went with that. The SXL Titanium wood stove is a bit on the larger side for this shelter, but I figured it would be nice to have the extra fire box volume for larger pieces of wood, or in the event I picked up one of their larger tipi tents down the road.
Call me a sissy (I’m okay with that), but I like having a clean, dry place for my sleeping area, so the Cimarron Half Nest was most definitely an optional piece that I wanted to have. Additionally, I wanted to have a place to seal out any bugs, snakes, and small critters during the warmer months, at least in my sleeping area. This way half of the area is reserved as a “clean area.”
During the colder months when bugs and critters aren’t a concern, the half nest still provides a nice spacious area that sleeps two, and helps keep your pad and sleeping bag clean and dry from the often times wet or snowy ground. I would absolutely recommend the half nest.
When we had 3 people and a stove in the Seek Outside Cimarron Light, I elected to bring along a small tarp just to keep my pad and bag off the ground, and that worked very well. If you aren’t concerned about bugs, snakes, or critters a couple cheap 10×10 tarps or some plastic house wrap will also work if all you want is a place to keep your sleeping gear dry.
After a few uses, and hearing experiences from others, I elected to add a Snow Cap to my stove pipe to help alleviate the concern of sparks settling on the tent, burning small holes in the top of it. I know this can happen either way, but I found the Snow Cap to work very well in keeping those pesky holes away from this expensive shelter.
I was able to get through the whole season without adding any holes to my Cimarron Light shelter, which definitely made this a must-add piece in my experience. It also helps keep snow and rain from coming down the pipe which can make the inside of your stove wet, especially if rain or snow hits while you are out hunting for the day.
Condensation Liner (Half & Full)
The Seek Outside Cimarron Condensation Liner was my final addition, and one I added following a particularly cold and wet hunt. Condensation is something you are going to battle with just about every single wall tent you use, particularly when the temps drop. With the stove cranking, it’s a non issue as it dries any condensation quickly. However, condensation can be an annoying issue in certain conditions.
I’ve found that if temperatures are below freezing, but not yet down into the low teens and single digits, condensation can be the worst. Once it got down way below freezing, the tent walls just quickly froze any condensation during the night. Of course once you fire up the stove, you can get a nice shower with the condensation dripping down on your once things heat up, so be careful there!
At the end of the day, I hate adding the extra weight of the line, but it really does help in keeping you nice and dry inside the tent by adding that extra layer of protection that you get with a double wall tent. I found the combination of either the full liner (when not using the Half Nest) or a half liner with the half nest to work really well.
Extra Parts & Pieces
One other thing I would STRONGLY recommend is to order some spare stove parts to take with you. I learned the hard way on this by losing a foot on one trip, and having the spring inside the carbon pole disappear on me on another trip, so I had to improvise and find a stick to plug in there and make it work. It was a little sketchy though and I was praying the tent wasn’t going to come down while we had the stove cranking. So, now I take the following Seek Outside Stove replacement parts with me in a “spare parts bag”:
- 2 wing nuts
- 1 extra leg (rod)
- 1 extra pole spring
- 1 extra foot
- 1 extra stove pipe ring
I also picked up one of the Seek Outside Stove Pipe Storage Cases, which I also use to hold my spare parts, and rod. It’s definitely not a must have, but kind of nice for organizational purposes.
The Specs: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
One of the reasons I wanted to do this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review was based on the specs it boasts. They are impressive given the space you get with this shelter, and it is very customizable with a number of accessories to add depending on your need and wants. Because it can be hard to get an “all in” weight when going from product to product on the Seek Outside website, I went ahead and put that all together for you here. I weighed each piece, then weighed the total package to get an actual, realistic carry weight. Here are my results:
As you can see above, there are so many variables that can affect the total weight. How many stakes do you want to take? Did you add the additional guy lines and line locs? Did you add in the liner, half nest, snow cap, etc? What about gloves and a saw? You can go minimalist and keep the weight way down, or add in a bunch of accessories that can really push the weight up there on you. Everyone will be different here, so pick what will work best for you and go with it.
The overall weight came in at right about the listed weight on the Seek Outside website, even though several items were off each way by a little bit. Even though my weight came in about 5 ounces heavier than the listed weight, almost all of that came from the spare stove parts I decided to take.
Materials Used: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
Seek Outside is proudly made in the USA, which is a rarity these days. Not only that, but they use some of the finest materials and craftsmanship to make their shelters. When you start to pay attention to the detail and thought that was put into the angles, seams and design, you appreciate the product more.
The Seek Outside Cimarron is made of top quality 30D Silnylon. You’ll want to either have Seek Outside seam-seal your shelter, or you have the option of doing it yourself once you receive it. Either way, it’ll need to be seam-sealed to make sure you don’t have moisture coming through the seams.
I like that the Cimarron Light comes with line locs vs the standard Seek Outside Cimarron, which does not. They just make the setup easier and more flexible if need be. Zippers appear to be heavy-duty YKK zippers, and I got to fully test them out during this Seek Outside Cimarron review as I had the zipper completely freeze on me. It took some serious force to break it loose, but it held up just fine!
My Field Testing: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
Now that we’ve got all the details and specs out of the way, how did this thing perform in the field for this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review? As I mentioned earlier, this shelter made some hunts possible that simply would never have happened before. The stove is a game changer. The ability to get warm and dry at the end of a long day in the backwoods is something to look forward to, rather than dreading the transition of getting out of your clothes and into your sleeping bag. Also, getting to eat a hot dinner in a warm, comfortable tent is nothing short of amazing after you spent the day out in the cold.
Our first time out testing for this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review started out as a nice, but cold trip. After the first night though, the weather turned on us as a snow storm blew in, bringing heavy, wet snow. The snow storm continued through the night, but then cleared and the temps dropped into the low teens. The snow load on the tent was significant as you can see in the picture below, but the Seek Outside Cimarron Light held up perfectly. I don’t know of a tent out there that wouldn’t sag at least a little with that much weight on it, but I also didn’t quite get the pitch just right.
On our next trip for doing the testing for this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review, we had nice, clear skies, but low single digit temperatures. No rain, snow or moisture to worry about this time, and with only 2 in the tent this go around, condensation was much less of an issue. In fact, it was entirely a non issue, even without the liners (we were using the Half Nest as our sleeping quarters).
With a little more practice under my belt, the setup looked better. You get faster and faster at it after a few trips out. Once again, it performed amazingly well. This trip was in mid November, and with the time change that had just happened, the warmth of the stove kept us warm as we hung out in the tent for a few hours at night.
Stove Tips: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
A couple of things became very apparent during this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review while getting used to the SXL stove and the way it burns. First, I HIGHLY recommend picking up some Bigfoot Bushcraft Fire Plugs. These things are FLAT OUT AWESOME and make getting your fire going so much easier. They are a lifesaver, time saver and help you not lose your patience trying to get a fire going when you’re wanting to warm up quickly.
Don’t Let it Get Too Low
Second, once you get the fire going, make sure you don’t let it go down too far before adding some wood. I found out the hard way that the fire may not come back to life if you don’t do this. In fact, I found that adding wood BEFORE you notice the fire cooling down works best in keeping it roaring.
I brought a small, lightweight saw to cut some larger pieces, which helps in keeping the fire going longer after you go to bed. It’s a little extra work to cut fire wood rather than just snapping it with your foot, but cutting up some larger pieces will give you some extra burn time if you do.
Bring a Saw & Gather Enough Wood Early
Bring enough fire wood in your tent for a couple days if possible. This was especially helpful when that storm rolled in while we were out hunting and soaked all the wood that wasn’t in the tent. We would have had a much harder time finding dry wood had we not gathered a couple days worth as soon as we got camp set and made sure to keep some inside.
What I liked: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
The list of things I loved after doing this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review FAR outweighed the list of things I didn’t. These things are an absolute game changer and will change what you think is possible in a hunt or backpacking trip. Their quality and craftsmanship are top notch, they are made it the USA, and can be used for warm weather trips or frigid cold weather outings. You can make them a full double wall shelter, hot tent, floorless shelter, and more depending on what you select.
One of the main things this Seek Outside Cimarron review showed me is just how much fun a cold weather, late season hunting/backpacking trip can be with the right gear. Sure, I’ve done cold weather backpack hunts before, but the conditions we encountered while testing this Seek Outside Cimarron would have sent me hiking back to the truck.
- Top quality and craftsmanship
- Made in USA
- Incredibly versatile
- Spacious and lightweight
- Performed excellent in all conditions
- Game changing gear
What I didn’t like: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
After spending time in the field testing for this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review, there were only a few things I thought could be better about this shelter. First, I thought the placement of the stove jack was awkward. If I put the pipe straight up and down, the stove was too close to the center carbon pole, and would damage it.
Not only that, but I felt like if the stove jack was just 6 -12 inches towards the back of the tent, and 6 or so inches towards one side or the other, you would have more usable space. I just found it odd that I had to have the stove pipe at an angle so it didn’t melt the carbon pole. Seems like an easy fix, but I image that would create other issues.
I also found it a bit cumbersome setting up and taking down the Seek Outside SXL Titanium Stove. If it’s bitter cold out, or you are trying to set it up in a rain or snow storm, the last thing you want to be doing is messing with tiny wing nuts and having to use fine motor skills to get it assembled for use. I get it, it’s a trade off for the crazy light weight and pack-ability, so prepare yourself mentally so you don’t get frustrated the first time or two you use it.
On a much smaller scale, I found it odd that the Seek Outside Cimarron Light does not come with extra guy lines or line locks for the three guy out loops, and only comes with 10 stakes, rather than the 11 stakes needed in order to use all guy out points. You only need 8 stakes if you don’t use the guy out points, so maybe they are thinking if you decide to use the guy out points, you are going to need to pick up some extra guy line, stakes, and line locks, but given the price point, it would be nice if it came with what you needed to fully set it up.
Finally, one of the main things that had kept me from diving into the hot tent game before this was the cost. These things are not cheap. There’s just no other way to put it. Depending on the size of the shelter, stove, and accessories you get, you can be looking at some serious cash. If you can swing it and will actually use the shelter it’s worth it, but it might take some saving up.
Here’s the quick rundown of what I didn’t like after doing this Seek Outside Cimarron Light review:
- Stove jack placement
- Lots of loose parts for the stove
- Intricate setup
- Not enough stakes, guy line, or line locks included to fully set up
Conclusion: Seek Outside Cimarron Light Review
So after doing this Seek Outside Cimarron Light
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