Backpacking tents are one of those items we seem to always be testing and evaluating. The Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle is one of the options on the market for a 3-season, two-person, double wall tent. I’ve slept in a few of them and have developed a pretty strict checklist of what I am looking for, and this tent checked a bunch of those boxes. Here are the things that are most important to me:
- Light enough to carry even when solo
- Versatile enough to go from ultralight floorless (if needed) to a double wall tent
- Easy to setup and take down
- Big enough vestibule to fit gear
- Two-sided vestibule (two parts on each side of the tent) and easy to tension
- Good ventilation
- Dual entries and plenty of head room
That’s a hefty list of criteria for any tent to meet, but the Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle meets most of them, which we’ll talk more about below.
Looking for a different style of ultralight backpacking tent? Check out our other backpacking tent reviews!
The Specs: Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle
Now before we dive into the details of how the Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle performed for me in the field, let’s take a look at the specs. The Haven Bundle is super versatile, lightweight, and offers a substantial waterproof rating.
How it Checked the Boxes For me – SMD Haven Bundle Review
I needed something light enough to carry even if I was going to be the only one sleeping in it. The Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle checks that box with a total weight of just under 43 oz. That weight includes the outer tarp, inner mesh, 8 stakes, guy line and two of the Six Moon Designs 5 section 45” carbon poles.
Using the 5 section carbon poles with this system, I don’t need to use my trekking poles to hold up the tent, so I don’t have to leave my trekking poles in camp when I could be using them to help me get around the mountain. Some people are fine with taking the trekking poles out to use them for the day, but then that leaves your tent on the ground and it can get hammered by the weather which is not a good situation. Because of this, using the carbon poles, in my opinion, is a much better option.
For my uses, the tent needed to be versatile enough to be able to go from an ultralight, floorless shelter (if necessary) to a double wall tent with a floor when the situation calls for that kind of shelter.
The Haven has the inner mesh tent separate from the outer tarp, which can both be setup independently of each other. While I don’t plan on ever using this tent as a floorless tent (My hate of bugs outweighs my need to go ultra-light), it is nice to have that option. A lot of tents in this weight category are either single wall or “wall and a half.” They will have a half mesh bathtub type section sewn to the outer wall which is better than floorless in my opinion but leaves a lot of condensation in the sleeping area.
One of my must-haves in a tent is that it’s easy to setup and take down. The Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle (once initially setup) is just that. The inner mesh can be left attached to the outer tarp which makes setting up and taking down the tent a breeze. They also give you a big enough stuff sack that I can fit both the tarp and inner mesh together into one stuff sack.
I should note that the outer tarp and inner mesh comes separate in their own stuff sacks, but I combined them in the tarp’s stuff sack. The tarp’s stuff sack is big enough to fit the inner mesh and outer tarp, the two 45” carbon 5 section poles, 8 stakes, all the guy lines and a patch kit. I don’t even have to “carefully” fold up the tent for it to fit which alleviates a lot of frustration when trying to pack up. I just start stuffing the stuff sack with the tent and add the stakes and poles later.
For me, the vestibule has to be big enough to fit my gear. I have used a couple of tents that are similar in style and a massive dislike with those tents was the vestibule. I want to be able to keep my gear in the vestibule, and still be able to get in and out of the tent. This tent will often be used as a two man tent, so space is a premium and both guys need to be able to keep their gear out of the weather. The Six Moon Designs Haven vestibule is big enough to store your gear and keep it out of the elements.
Another non-negotiable for me is that each side of the tent needs to have its own vestibule. It also has to be easy to tension the vestibule.
The SMD Haven vestibule has a zipper in the middle which allows you to only move one side of the vestibule to get in and out of the tent. Your gear can stay covered and dry, and you can get in and out without exposing your gear to the elements. The vestibule is also setup to be completely rolled up for the warm clear nights where maximum ventilation is a must (but you still want the bug protection of the mess inner).
The Haven Bundle, like most double wall tents in its class, can be pitched differently depending on your ventilation needs. You can pitch it such that there is more or less room from the bottom of the tarp to the ground. This will allow more or less draft to come under the exterior of the tent.
I used the tent’s ability to be pitched higher or lower to the ground on a spring bear hunt last year. We were camped on the top of a ridge and the wind was hammering us. I was able to pitch the tent lower to the ground on the side that was on the windward (up wind) side so the wind would go up and over the tent and not pick it up off the ground. This also kept the ice cold wind from battering me at night. Along with that, I was able to pitch the leeward (downwind) side of the tent up off the ground to still be able to get good ventilation.
Strong and Sturdy
I will admit that at first, I was scared to use the 5 Section Carbon Poles as my primary method of holding up the tent. When I first got the tent, I set it up in my backyard to make sure everything was as it should be and get some practice setting it up and taking it down. I used the carbon poles for this and noticed that they had a lot of bend to them when the tent was set up.
I was able to adjust the tensioners and get a lot of the bend out of the poles, but if I’m honest, seeing that much bend in the poles had me worried. The poles seem to bend too easily, and I was worried about them snapping during a good wind storm.
On my first trip with the tent, I didn’t even bring the 5 Section Carbon Poles. Instead I used my trekking poles to hold up the tent. It was very windy on the top of the ridge, but the tent still held up great under those conditions. I really attribute that to how you can customize the pitch of the tent (and tension) to the task at hand.
For my second trip, I went to Montana and used it for 4 nights and 3 days. This time, I used the 5 Section Carbon Poles. I had my trekking poles at the ready as a backup, but surprisingly the carbon poles did a lot better than I thought. The nights in Montana were constantly windy and the poles help up extremely well.
I also used these poles in a late season elk hunt in southwestern Idaho, and if you know southwestern Idaho, you know that the wind can be severe in the late season. Even still, the 5 Section Carbon Poles did amazing and I had no issues. Now I am totally confident in this system and will use these poles without hesitation. It will be very helpful to be able to leave my tent up in camp during the day and still have use of my trekking poles.
Along with the split vestibule, there are dual entries to Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle. Both sides are mirror images of each other so there’s no need to fight over who gets what side of the tent. The tent is also setup so both people are sleeping in the same direction. This is my personal preference, so I definitely wanted a tent that had both occupants sleeping in the same direction.
Sleeping in opposite directions causes a few problems. The first issue is the quite honestly the stench. If you have ever been around someone who takes their boots off after a long day of hunting/hiking, the last thing you want is to have their feet in your face all night long. Granted, my hunting partner is a neat freak when it comes to his feet and cleans them with baby wipes each night, but I still don’t want to be near his feet.
The second and most important issue is what we talked about already. If you have the tent pitched in a spot that isn’t perfectly level, you are making someone sleep with his head lower than his feet. In the backwoods there is rarely the “perfect” spot to pitch a tent. You are usually on a slope or uneven ground, so if the tent has each person sleeping in opposite directions, it requires a flat piece of real estate so no one sleeps with their head pointing downhill causing blood to rush to their head and giving them a headache.
The Six Moon Designs Haven has a 60/40 offset peak, which allows for more headroom on one end of the tent due to a steeper wall at the head of the tent. It also has centered guy out points at the head and foot of the tent. This gives both occupants an equal amount of head and foot room.
There are connection points from the inner mesh to the outer tarp where these head and foot guy out points are. This not only pulls on the outer tent, but pulls the inner tent outwards giving you a ton of space. These guy out points aren’t necessary though. If you want to drop the two stakes and guy line you could save a few ounces. Personally, I’d rather have the extra room and carry the two extra stakes (making it 8 stakes instead of 6) and guy line.
The SMD Haven is 44” wide in the bottom of the bathtub floor and 48” at the top of the peak. This isn’t quite big enough for both occupants to use a 25” wide sleeping pad, but I have fit a 20” and a 25” pad together in the tent with no issue. Typically I use two 20” pads and have plenty of space to keep my hunting partner from cuddling with me at night.
Check out Our Video Review of the Haven Bundle!
What I didn’t Like: Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle
Up to this point I have given you all of the ways that the Haven checked a lot of boxes in what I want in a tent. Now let’s talk about some things I thought could be better.
Securing the Poles
There is a grommet on the lower portion of the inner tent to place the bottom of the pole, and a rubber sleeve on the tarp (and the inner mesh) to put the top of the pole. This is easy enough to do but the 5 Section Carbon Poles have rubber end caps that are just pressed onto the poles to protect the carbon.
When you have the rubber ends in the rubber sleeves, the tips often stay in the rubber sleeves when you take the poles out. This is more annoying than anything. I ended up gluing the rubber tips onto the carbon poles to help fix this issue.
Also with the poles, I would like to see a place to tie up the poles to the inner mesh. Other tents I’ve used have small tie downs on the nest about 2/3 of the way up to tie the pole to the mesh. I think this would add some stability, especially with the 5 Section Carbon Poles. This would give structure to the middle part of the carbon pole and most likely prevent bending.
Storage within the tent
There are two pockets (one on each side) near the zippered entry to the inner tent for organization/storage. I don’t find myself ever using these types of storage pockets so it’s not an issue for me, but some of my buddies that slept in the tent complained about not having enough. I usually have my stuff laid out right next to me where it’s easily accessible (like my handgun) or in stuff sacks.
Can be confusing to set up
For me, the Six Moon Designs Haven tent is not among the easiest tent to setup initially. I often had to refer to other sources to make sure I was setting it up right. (This brings up a very good tip when getting a new tent: You should always practice setting up your tent before you go out into the field. You don’t want the first time you set up your tent to be in the dark and miles into the backcountry.) Once I had the inner and outer tents setup how I wanted them, I just left them in that configuration and stuffed them into the stuff sack. This makes it super easy to setup the subsequent times.
60/40 Split Setup
With the 60/40 split of the Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle you must pay attention where each side is when you are setting it up. It’s not enough to just get your vestibules in the right spot; you must make sure the head is in the right spot as well. I set it up once before with the foot and head ends switched, and I didn’t realize it until I climbed into the tent at night. This was a big pain in the neck because that meant taking everything out of the tent and starting from scratch. This isn’t a big issue if you just pay attention, but I think it is worth mentioning.
Warranty & Repair – Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle Review
During my first spring bear hunt of 2022 I took this tent along. The weather was terrible with strong winds and rain. The area we picked to camp was rocky and it was challenging to get the stakes to stay in the ground. To help keep the stakes from pulling up, we piled rocks on top of them.
This worked really well for a few days and I had no issues. My issue came as I was coming back to camp in the middle of a nasty rain and wind storm. The winds were upwards of 30-40 mph. As I got back to camp, I found that three of the four corners of the tent were flopping in the wind. My gear was getting wet on the inside, and I was not happy.
Rushing to get things covered, I discovered the thin nylon guy out straps had been severed and that the corners weren’t staked down. I was very upset and initially blamed the fabric and the tent. When I got back into town, I contacted Six Moons Designs for a warranty fix. That was a challenge.
First, I tried to call them but because of COVID they weren’t answering phone calls. I ended up exchanging emails for what seemed like two weeks in order to finally get the replacement straps sent in the mail. What should have only been a 10 minute phone call (MAX) took almost two weeks of slow email correspondence. They did, however, cover everything at no cost to me and the fix was very easy. I simply removed the old straps from the ladder lock and slid in the new straps.
After thinking about things for a while, I can no longer blame the fabric for the failure. The last day in camp, one of the guys packed up to leave so we all grabbed the rocks he was using to hold down the stakes for his tent to use for our own tent. I stacked too many rocks on my stakes which I now believe resulted in the rocks coming in contact with the guy out straps. Over the course of the day, with the high winds, the straps were slowly cut by the abrasive nature of the rocks. This caused them to become compromised and break.
Even after my mishap with this tent, it’s still one of my go-to tents and I still highly recommend it. I will be more careful in the future about rocks around my guy out lines, but I absolutely have full confidence in the Six Moon Designs Haven tent.
Conclusion: Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle Review
In closing, the Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle isn’t without its flaws, but I think it’s still one of the best options in its category. The Haven Bundle is a solid option for a two-person, double wall, non-free standing, and lightweight tent.
The Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle is reasonably priced at $335 (at the time this was written) for the outer tarp and inner mesh tent. Add another $90 for the two 5 Section Carbon Poles, $30 for 12 stakes (The way I like it setup is with 8 stakes. The additional 6 are just in case I bend a stake), and $9 for Seam Grip Sil seam sealer. Totaling around $455, you have a great light weight, stand-alone system that is super versatile. It’s roomy enough for two people and their gear, and it’s light enough to use solo if you want some extra elbow room.
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