Six Moon Designs Owyhee Review | Light & Versatile 2P Tent

How well you sleep in the backcountry is one of those things that can significantly impact your experience in the great outdoors. This Six Moon Designs Owyhee tent review takes a look at one of the three most important pieces of sleeping gear that are foundational in getting a good night’s sleep and having a successful trip deep in the backcountry- your shelter, sleeping bag, and sleeping mat.

We have talked extensively about how your pad and bag can make or break your sleep. Over the years we have reviewed a bunch of sleeping bags and pads to help you find ones that fit your specific needs since there are so many great options on the market today.

Make sure to check out our other backpacking gear reviews and the Backwoods Pursuit YouTube Channel to help you decide what gear will help you stay out in the field longer!

If you don’t have a tent that can hold up to the elements, it may not matter if you have the world’s best pad and sleeping bag, you might call it quits and head for the local Motel 6. In this review, we’re going to look specifically at the Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp. It is classified as a 3 season, two person, bug-proof, backpacking tent.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp Bundle Review

There are a lot of things to consider with a shelter. Every person is going to have different features that are important to them in a tent. Let’s get into the details of this shelter to decipher if it’s right for you.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Specs

Before we get into some of the practical applications of this Six Moon Designs Owyhee tent, let’s take a look at some of the specs of this shelter.

GENERAL SPECS

General Info
General Use 3 Season
Sleeps 2
Included Tarp, Stuff Sacks, Guy lines
Frame Style Two 45" Poles
Doors/Vestibules 2
Mesh Skirt/Vestibule (2) 18 in
Floor Size (bathtub style) 96in x 48in
Peak Height (Offset towards head) 45 inches
Packed Size 12in x 4.5in
Mesh 20D No-See-Um
Canopy 30D Silnylon
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WEIGHTS

Piece Weight
Owyhee Tarp 24.6 oz
Bathtub Floor 7.6 oz
Gear Loft .57 oz
Clothesline .32 oz
Stakes (6) 2.5 oz
Carbon Poles (2x45 inches) 3.6 oz
Total Weight (with poles) 39.19 oz (2.45 lbs)
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Our Testing: Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp Review

Six Moon Designs Owyhee tarp review

For this Six Moon Designs Owhyee Tarp review we tested it in the high country of Idaho during the September elk hunting season, in the dead of winter in the Colorado Rockies, as well as in the spring while backpacking and in the summer during scouting trips in the Colorado mountains. We experienced a pretty wide range of conditions with this Owyhee tarp.

During the summer and early fall months when bugs were an issue, the Six Moon Designs Owyhee did pretty well in keeping the bugs at bay due to the perimeter netting and bathtub floor. However, we did experience some bugs getting into the sleeping quarters as they were able to slip between the netting and the floor. This will bother some folks while others will have no issue with this whatsoever.

During another summer scouting/backpacking trip, the temperatures were quite mild and only got down in the 30’s and 40’s. On one of our summer trips we experienced extremely high winds overnight. As we mentioned above, there was one night that the wind was blowing consistently 20-30 mph and had gusts that seemed to be in the 40-50 mph range.

It’s hard to tell exactly how hard the wind is blowing in a tent when you’re trying to get some shut eye, but the wind persisted into the morning so we were able to get a pretty decent idea of how hard the wind was actually blowing. As noted above in the performance of the tent, I was blown away (pun intended) with how well this shelter did in the wind.

On the flip side, our winter experiment was pretty extreme with temperatures dropping to around -15 and getting multiple inches of snowfall overnight. Even though the Owyhee isn’t rated as a winter shelter, it performed quite well considering the conditions. Condensation was not as much of an issue as I would have expected, and it shed the snow quite well.

All things considered, it held up nicely for a condition it is not built to handle. Even though we used this tarp in the extreme cold conditions, I don’t think I would recommend it if you’re planning to get deep in the backcountry in the dead of winter. Relying on a shelter that is not rated for heavy snow would not be ideal. I would check out some of the other shelters we have tested that are rated for the winter extremes.

Unique Features: Six Moon Designs Owhyee Tent

Everyone has their own list of things that are most important to them in a shelter. For me, a few of the important features I consider is a tent’s weight, space inside once all set up, packed size, ease of use, versatility, and strength/durability. Those things all play into the practical functionality of a shelter.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp Bundle Review

WEIGHT

One of the categories I look at with a shelter is the total weight I’ll be carrying. I prefer a shelter that is light enough to carry if I’ll be in it by myself. If I’m with a hunting buddy and we can split up the weight it makes it that much lighter for both of us. With this Six Moon Designs Owyhee tarp coming in at a just 39.19 ounces including the groundsheet, 6 stakes, and carbon fiber poles, it is an impressive shelter in the weight department.

If that is still too many ounces for you, you’re an ultra lightweight guy, or you just like the tarp setup, you could swap the Six Moon Designs’ 45” 3-section poles with your trekking poles, shed the ground sheet and only use 6 ground stakes and get it down to an impressive 28 ounces.

Personally, I prefer a floor in my shelter, and I would rather not have to remove my trekking poles each day. I don’t like to leave my tent collapsed in case of an afternoon rain or wind storm that are common in the Colorado high country. Keeping my tent standing and buttoned up throughout the day when I’m gone is more important to me than the extra ounces.

VERSATILITY

Versatility is another feature I take into consideration when deciding on a shelter. As I explained above, you can use the Six Moon Designs Owhyee tent as a ultra lightweight tarp or use the ground sheet to give it more of a traditional tent feel. Additionally, it does not have an inner wall that separates the vestibule from the ground sheet area, so the vestibule space makes it feel even more roomy when inside the tent.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Bundle Review

It is a single wall tent, so if you’re not cognizant of how you set it up condensation can come into play. I did use this tent in some extremely cold weather and condensation was not an issue during the night. Once it warms up enough to melt the frost, however, you’ll likely have some condensation. You can adjust the canopy to different heights which allows for better ventilation and can help reduce condensation dripping on your gear when it warms up. It is a great option to help with the problem, but ultimately doesn’t solve it completely.

INTERIOR SIZE

Another important aspect of a shelter for me is the size of the sleeping area, head room, and length. I am 6’3” and about 220 lbs, and my primary hunting buddy is around 6’4” and 225 lbs. Needless to say, we take up some real estate in a tent. I’ve slept in a few two-person tents that I don’t think have enough room for myself and one of my kids, let alone another full grown man.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Bundle Review

The Six Moon Designs Owyhee shelter is a pretty fair size for a two person tent. At 48” wide it’s a little snug for a couple of big guys, but definitely on the more generous side in the sizing department compared to some other two man tents.

I don’t think I will ever find a two person tent that feels big enough, but with the Six Moon Designs Owyhee tent, you can actually fit two 24” pads on the groundsheet and not be on top of each other. Just make sure you brush your teeth for your buddy next to you!

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Bundle Review

Additionally, the length has been another problem for me in how tents are sized. I’ve slept in a few tents where my head and feet feel smashed against the ends of the tent. I’m tall enough that I have to go with a “tall and wide” sleeping bag, but don’t quite fill it up, so I need a little extra room in my tent to account for my bag.

This Six Moon Designs Owyhee is great in the length department with the base of the ground sheet coming in at 96 inches. You obviously lose a little bit of that with the pitch of the walls, but overall it worked great for me and I had a little extra room to spare.

PACKED SIZE

The packed size of the Six Moon Designs Owyhee tarp is phenomenal at 12” x 4.5” and is extremely easy to find a compartment in your pack to slide it into. Overall, this Six Moon Designs Owyhee tent hits all of the most important marks in the size department for me.

UNIQUE VESTIBULE / MESH

One additional item worth noting is that the vestibule is not separated from the sleeping area, so you actually have a little more room than the dimensions say. You do have the Six Moon Designs 45 inch three section poles, or your trekking pole close to the middle, but it feels bigger than the dimensions given. You can also loosen up the ground sheet to make the sides lay down which can give you a little more room to spread out and helps fit slightly larger sleeping pads.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Bundle Review

The vestibule gives you 18” from the pole to the zipper and tapers down towards the head and foot of the tent. The tent opens on both sides so you get that extra space on both sides of the ground sheet as well. It gives you a good amount of space for gear that you want to store close by.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp Bundle Review

One more thing I love about the shelter are the guy out lines at the head and foot of the shelter. This adds a few ounces since they aren’t necessary, but it only adds two stakes (bringing the total to 8) and a few feet of guy line. In my opinion, these guy lines are really helpful with the overall feel of the tent when you’re inside. Just pulling those few extra inches from your head and footbox makes the tent feel even bigger and gives you a little extra room inside.

EASE OF USE

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp Bundle Review

Overall ease of use and setup is another important piece for me in the backcountry. There are times that I will be setting up my tent in the dark or when the weather is not ideal, so having something that is straightforward and on the easy side to setup is also important to me. The Six Moon Designs Owyhee shelter checks this off the box too. Just make sure to do a trial run before heading to the backwoods, and set the tent up once in your backyard so you are familiar with it. Once you do this, it’s a pretty easy set up from that point on.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp Bundle Review

The bathtub groundsheet stays attached to the shelter if you want it to, so setting up and tearing down is made more simple. The stuff sack is big enough to fit the shelter with the groundsheet attached so there is no need to separate the two unless you are leaving the groundsheet at the truck to save weight.

DUAL ENTRY & DOORS

Six Moon Designs Owyhee tarp review

Another aspect that is great about the Six Moon Designs Owyhee tent is the dual entry of the shelter. The vestibule is identical on both sides and has a zipper where you can enter on either side. This makes getting in the tent with your hunting partner so much easier than trying to go in one at a time. It also allows each person their own space on the side to store their gear with easy access.

STRENGTH OF THE SIX MOON DESIGNS OWYHEE TENT

Another aspect that is vital in a shelter is how well it holds up in the elements when you really need it to. I didn’t have any nights that were especially windy in the tent, but I did use it in the snow for a few nights, and it held up a lot better than I would have expected being such a lightweight tent.

Even with a few inches of snowfall overnight, the canopy held up well and didn’t collapse but sagged ever so slightly. That is another reason I like the guy lines at the head and foot, as they add a little extra stability to the canopy.

GEAR STORAGE SPACE

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Bundle Review

As I mentioned above, there is a decent amount of storage in the Six Moon Designs Owyhee tent. The dual vestibule system doubles the storage capacity and ease of access. There is also a removable hanging gear loft and clothesline at the apex of the tent. It is not a huge compartment for storage, but offers a few little pockets for small items. It can also be used as a clothesline if you have something you need to hang to dry out and don’t want it to be outside.

Setup Tips & Recommended Accessories

One recommendation I do have is to make sure you get the Six Moon Designs 5-section poles if you decide to go that route. I made the mistake of getting the 3-section poles, and they don’t fold down enough to fit in the stuff sack as they are 17” and the stuff sack is only 12.” It was my own fault for not paying attention to the folded size of the poles. The stuff sack has enough room to fit the poles and steaks- just make sure they are the 5-section poles.

Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp Bundle Review

Keep in mind that the Six Moon Designs does not come with stakes, so make sure to purchase one or two of the Six Moon Designs Stake Sets so you have everything you need!

One additional note is to be conscious of the layout when you are setting up. The apex is slightly offset and designed to be at the head of the tent. This creates a steeper incline above your head, as well as more headroom when you are sitting up. It does, however, make paying attention while setting it up in the field more critical. As it is with most shelters, setting it up a few times before you’re in the field is recommended for this shelter, just so you get the feel of how it goes up.

What I Loved: Six moon Designs Owyhee Tarp

Six Moon Designs Owyhee tarp review

After going through the overall functionality of the tent, here is a list of my personal favorite features that this shelter offers.

  • Weight: Very lightweight, even if I’m by myself
  • Versatility:
    • Gives you several options to shed weight or have more protection.
    • Gives you the ability to set up the canopy to give you plenty of ventilation to help with condensation or just give you more fresh air. Multiple season shelter.
    • Can use trekking poles or buy carbon or aluminum poles from SMD to set up
    • Can be used as floorless or floored shelter
  • Large Size: Very good sized shelter for a two person tent. The inside feels bigger than the dimensions when setup. Good sized vestibule for storage. Good headroom. Packs down very small.
  • Sturdy: the Owyhee Tarp seems to be a well made shelter and held up under some tough conditions
  • Dual entry: makes every aspect of the tent much easier to get in and out of than a single entry shelter
  • Adjustment: lots of guy line adjustments that allow fine tuning of the shelter
  • Vestibule Storage: lots of options for storage in the vestibule along with the small pockets inside.

What I Didn’t Like: Six moon Designs Owyhee Tarp

Here are a few things I wasn’t as crazy about after this Six Moon Designs Owyhee Tarp review, or were a little more tricky than some other tents I’ve used.

  • Confusing set up: The offset apex of the tent can be a little confusing when setting up the tent initially. Once you know what to look for it is pretty simple, but it can be confusing the first couple times
  • Floor adjustment: The groundsheet adjustment is a little tricky the first time you set it up. Once it’s adjusted how you like it, you can leave it, but initial setup takes a little more time
  • Add-ons: I don’t particularly like having to add on a handful of additional items at purchase. Having to purchase stakes, a set of carbon fiber poles, a Ground Sheet and have it seam sealed tent separately is a little annoying and would be nice if it was all included.

Conclusion: Six Moon Designs Owyhee Review

The Six Moon Design Owyhee tent is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a super lightweight, versatile shelter. Especially if you’re a little bit of a bigger/taller guy like me and like a little extra room to spread out to be comfortable. It comes in right around the middle of the road as far as the price tag, so for what you get it’s one of the best options out there in its category.

I look forward to many more nights in this tent, and love that I can use it with a buddy or by myself without adding too much additional weight.

Buy The Six Moon Designs Owyhee

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2 thoughts on “Six Moon Designs Owyhee Review | Light & Versatile 2P Tent”

  1. Thanks for your very insightful review of the Owybee. I am trying to decide between it and the Six Moon Design Haven Ultralight 2-person tent. The Haven’s net-tent feature seemed to provide 100 percent security against snakes and creepy crawlies from entering the sleeping area. Would I have to worry about snakes and other critters getting inside Owybee tent during the night?

    Reply
    • Hey there! I’m glad the review was helpful. Yeah, the Owyhee doesn’t 100% protect from critters getting into the sleeping quarters. While there is netting to keep most things out, some grasshoppers, spiders etc were able to make it through the small gap between the netting and the bathtub floor. Just something to consider.

      Reply

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