In-depth look at the PEAX Solitude 4 Person Tipi
In the mountains, everything you carry on your back matters. One item that is essential is a quality shelter. There are lots of options out there, and it’s best to really analyze your needs for a shelter. Are you looking for something ultralight? What time of year are you most likely going to hunt? The list goes on and on.
Last season I had an opportunity to test out the PEAX Solitude 4-Person Tipi on a spring bear hunt, and I was impressed enough to pick one up for myself for my 2023 hunting season.
This tipi is packed with features that you won’t find on other shelters.
PEAX Solitude 4 Person Tipi Specs
2 lb. 5 oz. (canopy and guy lines)
9’ x 10’5”
20D Silnylon with 2000mm STORMSHIELD coating (body),
Sleeps 4 with no gear or stove
Included PEAX carbon fiber pole 9.4 oz
3 season standalone
Highlights for me
The little details matter
Sometimes, the small things matter most, and when it comes to setting up a floorless shelter, they can be a little confusing if you’re not used to their design. PEAX solves this by color coding the webbing to let you know what part of the shelter you stake out first to get the proper shape. You simply just need to find the four corners that have the black webbing at the line lock and stake those down first. Other areas of the shelter will have grey webbing.
Another benefit, a carbon fiber pole is included with the purchase of the shelter. A lot of shelters on the market make you purchase the pole separately. When it comes to an extra level of detail, PEAX also has markings on their carbon fiber pole, so you’ll be able to quickly reference a great starting point in regards to how tall you want the pole to be.
This is a feature that really separates the PEAX Solitude from the rest. This system allows you to use trekking poles to help stabilize the shelter in heavy winds or snow and also helps create some added headspace. This system also doubles as a great drying rack for hanging clothes and gear to dry. Note: this system doesn’t get in the way of using a wood-burning stove. It should also be worth noting that to properly make this system work, you’re going to need rubber feet on the tips of your trekking poles to prevent them from poking through your precious shelter walls.
The Crosstrek Stabilization of this shelter works with PEAX Backcountry ELITE and PRO models. Note: it’s not compatible with the PEAX Backcountry Z poles. I’m sure it could work with other trekking pole models as well if you determine the length needed.
Single Point Guyout Sytem
This shelter also utilizes what PEAX calls their Single Point Guyout System. Basically, you take three guyout points that are all connected with cordage and run them down to a single stake. Then you just need to adjust the line locks to the tension you’re looking for. This method, I’ve found, adds some liveable space inside the shelter and greatly locks it up in the wind!
Customize your stove jack
I found it interesting (and honestly a smart move) that this shelter doesn’t come with the stove jack area pre-cut. PEAX includes a template with their shelter allowing you to customize the stove jack section for your particular stove pipe diameter. This could come into play if your particular stove pipe either uses a small stove pipe diameter (so you wouldn’t cut as much material) or maybe a larger pipe diameter (so you’ll cut away a little more material). While this does add some initial work when you get your shelter, what you get is a custom area built for your specific stovepipe. The stove jack area will accommodate a stove pipe up to four inches in diameter.
Sure, on other shelters that come with a pre-cut stove jack, you could always cut more material away to increase the size. But you can’t go smaller.
Ability to add a footprint
The option to add a footprint to a floorless shelter isn’t a new idea. And like most shelters out there, the footprint for the PEAX Solitude is sold separately. But what makes this footprint unique is PEAX added a zip-away panel. Meaning you can still have a floor in your shelter and use a wood-burning stove (up to 12” wide). Just zip open the panel and tuck it underneath the footprint, and place your stove on the open area of the footprint. Adding the footprint to the shelter is a breeze with the built-in six attachment points. While I personally haven’t found the need to use a footprint, it’s a great option for those who see the benefit. It could be a great addition if you know you’re going to be setting up the shelter on a lot of snow that won’t melt away while camped there. The weight of the footprint is 13.2 oz.
Having double doors might seem like a standard feature. But this shelter uses a uniquely shaped door that I’ve grown to really enjoy. The c-shaped door roughly goes half way up the shelter and has two zippers. You can vent out the top easily with this setup, and the huge benefit, you can actually glass adequately by just opening up the top. So if the weather is really nasty and it forces you to return to your shelter… you could actually get some glassing done while being warm in your shelter next to the stove.
Purchasing a shelter is a big investment. It’s no secret that I love the versatility of floorless tipi-style shelters. After testing this shelter out last season and putting it through rain, snow, and plenty of wind… I’m fully confident that this will be a shelter you’ll want to take into the mountains.