4+ Year Follow up Review – Snugpak Ionosphere – Worth the Money?

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I’ve been using the Snugpak Ionosphere tent for over 4 years now and the question is; is it worth the money? How has it held up? This is a followup review; 4+ years in the making!

Price : $140 for green version $170 for the tan version on Amazon. Retail is $223
Weight : 3.3lbs / 1520 g.
Colors : Green and Tan

Amazon Link : https://www.amazon.com/Snugpak-Ionosphere-Dome-Tent-Nylon/dp/B06XKTCY9P

This is a product which hasn’t changed much since it was released a long time ago back in 2012 and the truth is, it really doesn’t need to change much because it was such a great product. From the quality, to the functionality to the price, this is one of those rare tents on the market which is well worth the price.
I originally did my review of this tent back in 2013 and have continued to use it over the years and I love it just as much now as I did then. It’s one of those products that I pull out of my gear storage every few months to use; especially when I’m heading out on the trail with my buddies. Speaking of which anytime that a friend asks to use a tent or to borrow one, this is one that I grab because it’s lightweight, it’s sturdy, storm worthy and is large enough to work with most people.
So you may be wondering what has changed with this tent since arriving on the market; not much! Snugpak does off this tent in an additional color; Tan and it looks great!

What many don’t know about this tent is that it is often used in military circles; field shelters, training, jumping and so on. That allows says a lot about the quality of this product and it’s something that I can backup with my own use. This tent has seen more nights out than I can count and with my buddies, double that number.

Think of this tent as a bivy which is the size of a small tent; low profile but that’s large enough for anyone to use. Also there is enough room for your gear as well.

Thanks to the bug netting, bugs and mosquitoes aren’t an issue.
If you are in a dry location you can use the tent alone as a bug net,
If the weather changes, you can put the rain fly on in about a minute.
There is plenty of room in the interior–so much so that I can actually fit both myself and my pack inside of it. I’m a short dude, 5’5” or so but this works the same with my buddies who are 6ft, 200 lbs.

If you’re a tiny person, you can crawl headfirst into the unit and turn around. I can crawl in and turn around, if you are taller or less limber, back into it.

The entrance is very easy to get in and out of It, which can be very helpful if the bugs are out in force or its pouring rain.

The tent rolls up neatly and doesn’t take up much space in your pack.

For the average backpacker or beginner this is one of the best bangs for the buck out there. If you want a no frills, one man tent that you can man pack with ease, this is a great tent.

DAC TH72M anodized aluminum poles with pre-curved sections, press fit connectors, and color coded for an easy setup.

Setup is simple.
Break down is too.
Quality is very good as this tent continues to live on without any issues. The materials and quality match the price in my opinion. This isn’t a high-end ultralight tent and it won’t perform like one.

Excellent waterproof during heavy downpours and even mild winds around 25mph

Big enough not to feel claustrophobic
Aluminum stakesare strong enough and have taken my abuses very well. They aren’t the best out there by any means but you do get a TON of them! 16 in total!

Works very well when set up in the bed of my truck. This isn’t a free standing tent so I use some ducttape to anchor. A friend of mine liked this idea and often sets it up in the back of his Toyota Tacoma.

Not perfect;
Could use a mesh pocket on the roof of the tent to hold a light
This isn’t the easiest tent in the world to get into and out of. If you are over 6ft, it can be comical to watch.
Not free standing
Floor material has held up well but I have continuously used an ultralight ground sheet with it. This has held a lot.
Condensation is possible with this tent in certain situations. For me it has never been extreme but noticeable depending on temp and humidity.
Cant sit up in it.

Because of the colors it can be amazing for stealth camping

My advice before buying this tent is to consider the size; will it work for you? It is a bivy/tent; keep that in mind before you make a purchasing decision.

Most of the complaints that I have seen in regards to this tent come from people who didn’t pay attention to what it was that they were buying.


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Comments

Mick Evans says:

Still loving mine after 2 1/2 years. Goes everywhere with me on the back of my motorcycle. It’s light weight makes it an ideal companion. I use mine with a down bag and an Exped Synmat for a lightweight system. I usually camp solo so this is great for just me.

I’d love if Snugpak had put a loop inside in the head end for hanging a small light but that’s a small niggle.

Rowly Taylor says:

Those stakes are dangerous.

R Lo says:

Okay! Either your using a new tent to demo the review or you are FOS because that is an unused tent on the video. You can’t say that the tent in the video is the one that has the use that you describe because those are new/unused colors and creases in the tent and even the logo has had very minimal exposure to sun and weather. Even a High End tent that is constructed of better materials would show wear from the use you described so, like I said, you are using a new tent and neglected to state that or you are FOS!

Mr. Skeptical says:

Does it have a tub around the bottom to keep water out?? Also can u use lighter titanium stakes?

minnesota jay says:

i used it for 5 days last summer on the mississippi headwaters kayak camping and it worked fine. i am planning on taking it all 2300 miles (60-70 days) from lake itasca to the gulf of mexico june, 2019.! hopefully it holds up!

Jonathan Rogers says:

thanks, I am HUGE fan of their jungle blanket, gonna have to get one of these too.

Cthulhu Has Risen says:

Do you think you could stuff a therm-a-rest mondoking 3d mattress into that opening?

Ben Marwood says:

I have a tonne of tents but the Ionosphere is by far the best for all the reasons you say.
I use for bikepacking in the UK. Been on 4 trips 2-nighters and a bunch of singles this year. Last week I wildcamped on the Cissbury Ring – it’s a 6000yr old hill fort overlooking the South Coast of England. Lightning storm moved in over the sea in the night – dry as a bone inside. Great place to be. This and my Vargo Titanium Hexagon woodstove are the two best bits of kit I have.
Thanks for all the interesting posts!

Clay Adams says:

It’s like a coffin! I just can’t do these bivy tents.

flyguyny says:

Where do you stash your gear? Outside? Gotta be a pain getting your gear packed up and getting dressed in inclement weather. Looks like this thing is good for fair weather camping only.

A. Q. says:

It looks just like my Jack Wolfskin Gossamer.

Ian Waligura says:

Winter camping???

TheOutdoorGearReview says:

4+ years and it’s still going strong?
That’s money well spent! – Luke

Erik Holm says:

Any chance you could do a review on the snugpak journey quad?

Erik Holm says:

Any chance you could do a review on the snugpak journey quad?

sleeperny says:

I love that tent had it for years. Did you ever get a chance to review the scorpion 2 or 3?

paul turton says:

, great just purchased one , trying it out in the peak district uk great tent reviews and very honest thank you paul from Sheffield uk

Tate Parker says:

After seeing your review in 2013, I bought this tent as a beginning backpacker. It has been very good for all the reasons you listed in your reviews. I’m 6’4″ and have enough room for my gear. I haven’t had it out in a rain storm and wonder if the lack of vestibule would be a negative along with not being able to sit up while inside. Otherwise, it’s a very good piece of gear!

CSI Tech says:

When I started camping in the BSA I had a frameless US/GI pack and an Army half shelter. I was generally wet and miderable. Best piece of GI gear was my mosquito barre. I was wet and cold, but the bugs weren’t an issue. Man would I have killed for this sweet, sweet tent!

Kevin Grohs says:

I’m glad you do these videos, you’ve sold me on it 100x over, I also just want to thank you for what you do

DMS Outdoors says:

I just ordered one for the time I spend in the Mohave. I need a good nights sleep not worrying about spiders and scorpions on these summer nights. I don’t sleep as sound under a tarp. LOL!

T Wil says:

I plan on getting me one real soon. Thanks Luke and keep up the great work!

Chuc Mung says:

Too small, I prefer my Kifaru Supertarp

pancrack says:

THE ONLY CHOICE FOR TALL PEOPLE !
https://youtu.be/RFAXEV2Lg5Y

Suburban Preparedness says:

What did you use for the ground sheet? And where can I purchase it?

Tony 1690 says:

For a tent that has had so much use those tent pegs looked suspiciously new.

Hello World says:

It would be great if snugpak could update the tent. Make it lighter and more compact when packed up. Also a option to have the outer tarp fixed on the inner tent.
And there sleeping bag need to get a tangle free zipper way.
Love the tent and the sleeping bag anyways.

Craig Pruett says:

Absolutely love my stratosphere. Like you, its the tent…sry bivvy I let friends and newbies borrow. Pair this with either the snugpak stasha or survival tarp and you’re set.

Zach Harvey says:

I’m about 6 feet tall. If i slept in one of these with my bug out bag which is slightly larger than a 72 hour pack would i be able to fit? Being cramped is fine as long as i can fit

Christopher Derr says:

How hard is it to change in one of these or keep it dry and get into while it’s raining? Only thing I’m worried about before purchasing.

Bikepacking says:

I used that tent the first night I got it … never again after that first-night leaks so bad put in the trash

TAFF ward - davies says:

I have had a Coleman for over 10yrs and it’s still great. Strength and Honour.

Caleb Lummer says:

Luke! I own this (based on your review 4 years ago) bought it shortly afterwards. It’s been everywhere with me as well. Grand Canyon, Himalayas, Channel Islands, you name it. It honestly looks as good as the day i got it. Amazing reviews on it dude. Thanks again for the solid recommendation 4 years ago. Caleb from Flagstaff

G- Ridez says:

Is it Snow Proof?

D.A. Risse says:

Any follow up on the Snugpack Stratoshere ?

Viper Chin says:

Awesome review luke, snugpak make good kit. Have you reviewed the miltec one man recon tent?
, it’s cheap and good quality.

Enjoying The Sun 577-Jersey Customs says:

Hey Luke how would this hold up in the snow?

Brendan Fazekas says:

Same here I use this tent almost every time out I have two and the stratosphere as a lighter smaller option works great too

Brendan Fazekas says:

I agree with everything you said I have mine for 3 years and it’s my go to I have 1 in my get home bag I live in FLA and it absolutely holds up in rain I am going to get the cotoma badger to try out

John Chastain says:

Have you ever used this under a tarp without the fly? If so, what is the weight without the fly? Just the inner tent, two poles and 4 (?) stakes.

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