Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Tent Review | Backcountry Palace

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer

In this Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo review we’ll show you some of its impressive specs and features. With a ton of interior space, large vestibules, and a 45 inch peak height, this thing was appropriately dubbed the “Backcountry Palace” by users.  In this Lunar Duo Explorer review we discuss its features, of which it’s two doors two huge vestibules and massive interior space give you a fantastic shelter. 

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer Price

The base price does not come with poles (an additional $28-$60) or stakes (an additional $13).  You will need to purchase both unless you have your own stakes and are a trekking pole user.  The different setup options are nice to have, but the price point rises from a base price of $310 up to over $400 if you purchase the stakes, two carbon poles and have it seam-sealed.  Even at that price point though, you get a ton for your money.

Ordering Note

Through this Lunar Duo review, I learned that it does not come seam sealed, which is something you would definitely want to do if you anticipate any moisture.  This can be done for an additional cost of $24, or you can purchase the seam sealing product and do it yourself.

Basics

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo tent

Non-Freestanding, Single Wall

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer is not a free-standing design, so you will need stakes to use this shelter.  Similar to all the other tents in this review, except the Copper Spur and the Kelty Salada, this can be an issue if you encounter rocky terrain.

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo is a single wall tent, so you are likely to experience some condensation in cold, wet conditions.  I did notice some on a cold night, but it was minimal and didn’t present a problem. 

Six Moon designs Lunar Duo Explorer: The Good

Versatility

This tent is very versatile as it can be pitched with your own trekking poles or poles you can purchase from Six Moon Designs.  I used the S&S Archery CL Trekking Poles. (Check out my Trekking Pole Review for more on these).   Six Moon Designs offers either aluminum poles (3oz each) for a cost of $14 each, or carbon fiber poles (1.8oz each) for a cost of $30 each. The Lunar Duo requires two poles to set up.    

Lunar Duo Explorer Weight

The most impressive part about the Lunar Duo is that you get all of this in a package that comes in under 3lbs, and right around 2.8lbs with a trekking poles setup.

Lunar Duo Explorer Interior Room

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Tent

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer (and the Lunar Duo Outfitter) knock it out of the park with head room.  Included with the tent is a pair of crescent shaped poles that you insert into the apex of the shelter.  This bolsters the headroom and reduces the pitch angle of the walls.  It adds a few ounces, but it is well worth it.

There is plenty of room inside for two wide/long pads and some gear. Additionally, the head and foot are at a 90 degree angle to the ground, making the interior feel even bigger than the specs suggest.

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer gives you a ton of interior space and a great peak height of 45 inches, two doors, two vestibules and the second most square footage of all the tents in this review.   Pictured above is one wide/long pad next to a regular rectangle Sea To Summit Comfort Plus pad (more on that pad in Part 4 of this series).  As you can see, there is still room to spare in both length and width. This this is awesome for a tent those time when you need to share with a buddy.

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer Setup

Another positive to the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo is being able to set it up in the pouring rain and keep the inside dry.  Being a single wall tent has its benefits in this way.  There is no rain fly to hurriedly throw on to prevent the inside from getting drenched during setup.  I actually found myself setting up the Lunar Duo in an absolute downpour.  The tent stayed bone dry inside.  Me on the other hand, well, I got drenched but at least I had a dry place to retreat.  This would not have been the case with other models that require you to attach a rain fly after setting up the main body of the tent.

Watch Our Lunar duo Review and See How to Set up the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer

Lunar Duo Explorer Waterproofing

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer uses a ripstop nylon fabric and the canopy is silicon treated on both sides with 100% silicone.  This increases water resistance while also increasing the material’s strength.  The floor is also silicone treated on both sides, making sure you stay dry from the ground up.  The canopy and floor are made of 30D ripstop nylon with a 40000mm hydrostatic tested rating. The the inner walls are made of 20D no-see-um mesh.

Lunar Duo Explorer Large Doors

Six Moon Designs

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo gives you two very large “C” shaped doors that make it easy to get in and out of.  This feature is a noticeable difference from some of the others in this review.  While a small thing, ease of getting in and out of the tent is a luxury on this one.

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer Price Tag

In my opinion, for what you get in the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer, this is one of the best values out there. Considering the weight, space, versatility, and overall build quality, the price point is pretty remarkable.

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer:The Bad 

Setup

Being a non-freestanding shelter, the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer is a bit different to set up than the others.  You will definitely want to go through the setup process at least once before venturing into the backcountry.  The corners of the tent attach to the tent spikes via elastic. This left me wishing I could get the floor tighter, but that didn’t pose a problem.  Maybe some tension pulls would be appropriate here?   I’d like to see some adjustment ability with this attachment point.

Vestibule Guy Lines

Lunar Duo Explorer

Another small annoyance was that the guy lines have a very steep angle and tended to get in the way of the vestibule zipper. These guy lines are interestingly staked inside the vestibule and tend to get caught up with the vestibule zipper.  On the one hand, you didn’t have guy lines everywhere to trip over.  On the other, it did get in the way of the vestibule zipper a bit.

Lunar Duo Explorer: Wind Performance

The side walls tend to move with the wind, so you’ll want to utilize the additional guy-out points on windy nights.  If any snow is in the forecast, you would definitely want to stake the extra guy-out points.  

Lunar Duo Explorer Zippers

The zippers are silky smooth. However, I found that the inner zippers require two hands to operate because there is little tension on the floor.  The floor itself isn’t staked down, so it relies on the elastic pieces on the corners to hold the floor in place.

Stakes

Lunar Duo Explorer

I found the two longer vestibule stakes more difficult to stake in and pull out due to their extra length. I easily solved by adding a small piece of rope to grab on to.  In the end though, I elected to use my MSR Mini Groundhog stakes in their place.

Lunar duo Explorer Floor

The material and silicone treatment used on the floor was extremely slick, causing my pad to slide around in the tent.  Any kind of slope (which is almost inevitable in the backcountry) and you’ll find your pad sliding around.  An easy fix to this is to throw in a foam sheet (like the one a new TV comes in) to put under your sleeping pad. This will actually give you an extra layer of protection from the ground and almost eliminate slipping around.

Vestibule Attachment Point

The vestibule attachment point was a bit odd and cumbersome.  The rope and clip used to secure the vestibule to the tension rope is a bit difficult to get clipped. It also seemed to want to slide up the vestibule guy line and reduce the vestibule tension. Not a big deal, but slightly annoying.

Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Review – Conclusion

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer was easily one of my favorite two person shelters, especially if you are with a buddy. Split this already lightweight tent with a friend and you won’t be disappointed. It’s loaded with features, especially for the price point. See how it stacks up against some others I tested in our full Backpacking Tent Review!

Buy the Lunar Duo Explorer

Check out Backcountry Camp Part 1: Basics of Selecting a Tent to help you select the right tent.

Subscribe to Backwoods Pursuit to get our FREE Backcountry Gear Worksheet!!!

Dial in your gear list, calculate your pack weight, and lighten up your pack with this handy tool!

Leave a Comment