SEEKOUTSIDE 6 Man TIPI and XL STOVE
Editor: Cory McLaughlin
Check us out on INSTAGRAM @ireviewgear
Just the facts:
The Six Person hot tent combo allows you to ride out storms in style. Stoves allow you to take the chill off, cook, manage condensation, and dry soggy gear. The included half liner effectively turns half the tipi into a double wall tent, eliminating condensation drips. This combination is our choice for a lightweight & comfortable backcountry camp for up to three people.
All of our gear uses the best fabrics and materials we can source, is made in-house by experts at their craft, and is backed by our outstanding warranty.
Handmade in Grand Junction, CO.
o Brown – brighter.
o Green – more muted, blends well.
o Light penetration is equal.
o Sewn in screens keep out flying insects (mosquitoes, flies, yellow jackets) and allow you to vent thru the shelter.
o Screens cannot be added after the shelter is built.
o Screens add 14 oz.
o If you prefer total bug protection (spiders, ticks, mosquitoes) then add a nest.
o Large is 5 oz lighter than the SXL.
o SXL fire box is 2.25″ wider than Large.
o Decision: SXL accepts larger wood (less wood prep), and throws more heat, but comes at a 5 oz weight penalty.
• Dual zippered doors with storm flaps
• Single peak vent
• Stove jack with rain flap
• 6″ Sod skirt for sealing out drafts
• Ultra robust stake loops – big enough for cut or improvised stakes, twist a time or two to tighten up on standard stakes
• Interior hang loops for tying clothes line or hanging gear
• External guyout loops – use to steepen walls, or pitch the shelter down in tight spots
• Titanium Construction
• Intake Control
• Damper & Integrated Spark Arrestor
• Sliding Door
• Easy Assembly
• Combo Weight:
o Complete with Large Stove – 168 oz / 10 lbs 8 oz
o Complete with SXL Stove – 173 oz / 10 lbs 13 oz
o Dual Screens add 14 oz
o Carbon Pole saves 11 oz
• Tipi Weight:
o Canopy – 59 oz / 3 lb 11 oz
o Complete weight – canopy, stakes, aluminum pole – 104 oz / 6 lbs 8 oz
• Tipi Dimensions:
o Height 7’10″
o Diameter 14’0″
o 150 sq ft
• Stove Weights
o Large Complete with damper, legs, hardware, and storage bag is 35oz / 2 lb 3 oz
o SXL Complete with damper, legs, hardware, and storage bag is 40 oz / 2 lb 8 oz
o Stove Pipe – 2 oz / foot – 8 ft = 16 oz
• Sleeps 6 without stove
• Sleeps 3 with stove
• Sleeps 2-3 ultralight short cots with a stove
• Need one size smaller? See the 4 Person Combo
• Need one size bigger? See the 8 Person Combo
• Similar size in a pyramid shape? Redcliff Combo
SEEKOUTSIDE. The phrase “What’s in a name?” comes to mind and with it also the answer. A company name that completely captures its intent and purpose is really something to be appreciated. When it comes to SEEKOUTSIDE they create top notch products to allow you to do just what their name implies. They are an American company that strives everyday to give you the tools you need to get beyond the city limits and find your adventure!
I like many others love to get outside when the weather is nice. I love to hunt, fish, and hike. I honestly overall just want to be in nature. The problem that always seems to have me hamstrung is that nature does not always want to give me that perfect weather. Now, to say that I do not love the winter would be a lie, but I also do not love to be cold. I want to have the right gear for the right situation and when the gales are blowing and the snow is piling up I want to make sure I’m not going to freeze especially when trying to sleep. So, that means that I need to find a shelter that will provide some safety from the elements and some heat when needed. Sure, I could lug around a travel trailer or go stay in a cabin but the adventures I most love are far from the areas that allow that possibility. This is where SEKKOUSIDE comes into play.
The SEEKOUTSIDE 6 MAN TIPI was on my mind for a long time. I had seen them used in other camps and had stayed in one once during a 2015 backcountry hunt. The whole collapsible titanium stove honestly blew my mind when I first saw it. So yeah, I had seen them, but I never really had the chance to test them out to the full extent of offering my honest opinion of them. Because I had the ability to have ‘‘eyes on’’ experience I knew the HOT TENT COMBO is great as. I also knew that there were two additions to the standard kit that I wanted right off the bat which were the full liner and the carbon fiber pole. Save weight where you can and try to solve a problem before it starts are two of my core beliefs when backcountry hunting or hiking. The liner helps with condensation and the carbon fiber obviously helps with weight which will offset the added weight of the liner. I wanted to have a backcountry setup that was able to be taken in by 2 people and that would not break my back. This setup weighs less than 15 LBS and when split between both people this is a very realistic weight for backcountry hunting when temperatures are almost guaranteed to get below freezing. I also knew that I wanted to the have the TIPI seem sealed by SEEK. Sure I could have done it but I felt better about it being done by the pros! So with memories of that 2015 trip still ripe in my mind I sent out to start my own adventure with SEEKOUTSIDE. He is a picture of my first experience with the SEEKOUTSIDE Tipi.
Before we get to far into this review I want to make clear now that I do not have any intention to go over setup with you during this review. I believe the best information for this can be found at the SEEKOUTSIDE website. I will say that I found that the setback method is the most important as you may not have a piece of precut cordage or a tape measure handy while in the backcountry. SEEK has a great section found here https://seekoutside.com/instructions-and-education/ that will help with setup. Now lets get back to testing.
It was two years after I first saw a SEEKOUTSIDE TIPI that I was able to arrange for my own testing and review and because of that prior trip I knew that I wanted a 6 man as it fit 3 of us, our gear, and wood storage for the stove. I had some great trips planned for 2018 and when the TIPI arrived I was up and running within about 20 minutes. My first testing platform was to be my front yard. This picture shows that I had some learning to do as the bottom of the tipi was ‘’belled out’’ allowing for snow to build up. This is a setup mistake that I learned how to correct by watching the video found in the link above.
I mentioned that I had previously stayed in a SEEK TIPI during a backcountry hunt. My first experience with this tipi was a bit of a crazy day. We had fallen of course and turned our half day hike into a marathon hike that only ended slightly before dark. We stood atop 2 feet of snow and while we did our best to clear it there was not much energy left to do so. The tipi was erected and the wood was collected. Inside the tipi we were warm and dry, well dry for the moment anyway. The TIPI setup was not mine and I had little to do with it other than sleeping inside. I awoke to a freezing cold drop of water on my eyelid. As I sat wondering where it came from my hunting partner hit the side of the tipi and it let loose a rainstorm that succeeded in soaking all of us. This was strong in my memory when I decided to test a SEEK TIPI and I made sure to have a liner to help avoid that issue again. Other than the wet morning the night had gone very well with the outside temperature falling below 20 degrees and the TIPI staying nice and warm! I believe the melting snow inside the TIPI had part to do with the amount of condensation.
My first night in the tipi turned out to be a great testing night as it was blowing about 20 MPH with mixtures of rain and snow. It was a great time to stoke up the fire and get that initial burn-in period and also keep me warm. I was even able to make some sloppy joes on the stove. It was cold and nasty and I was happy to know my house was only feet away in the even that this test turned to failure. I am happy to report that other than waking a few times to stoke the fire I slept wonderfully and the initial testing period was hugely successful.
The next area that I was to test the TIPI was during a very cold and wet weekend at one of my favorite archer tournaments. Sure, there were lots of trailers to sleep in but who wants to do that when you have a sweet tipi to test out right? Well, the first night brought wind and snow and while the outside world did it’s best to freeze us out the XL stove inside the tipi fought back and kept it nice and warm.
Yes, I know you want to know how long the wood lasts and all that jazz and the answer is that is really depends on the wood and how you work the damper and intake. This is an art you must learn as each stove, type of wood, and weather conditions can change everything you think you know. The best advice I can give you is to just be ready for a lot of fire stoking on the first night. The stove works great but it can take a bit to learn it. I averaged about 3 hours or so between reloads once I got it figured out.
The next testing area was during a very gnarly shedhunting trip with my brother. We split the weight of the tipi by him taking the stove and the pole and myself the tipi, stakes, and liner. Our GPS told us we hiked 15 miles and at the end of the day we were more than pleased to climb into the tipi and chill out. By now I had the setup pretty well figured out and the tipi went up with no problems. The stove was well burned-in and it went together very quickly. The sun set and the temps dropped into the high 30’s and we both drifted away inside a very warm tipi with a titanium stovepipe bellowing smoke into the night sky.
My overall thoughts of this setup are that it exceeded my expectations. It is not often that you get a product that works even better than you had anticipated. Admittedly my scope of TIPI knowledge is limited but I can say that this product functions perfectly as advertised and is an extremely well built American product. I am left wanting nothing from this setup and would whole heartedly recommend this to any of my family or friends.
What can be done better?
I had a small issue with the liner not staying as tight as I would have liked it and honestly I feel that is a set up mistake that I am making. I cant use it as a negative against the Tipi at this point. This Tipi has brought me nothing but happy thoughts, great camping, and joyful views into future use. I cannot find anything that I would like to change with this great system. The stove functions flawlessly and I just really cant find a thing to change with it either. This is a top notch, A+, five star, and simply a home run of a product. It’s not about if you need one, because that is a silly thought, it’s about when are you going to get off your butt and make one of the best backcountry decisions of your life!