KUIU ULTRA STAR 1P TENT Review
Editor: Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff
Worldwide Trophy Adventures Hunting Consultant
KUIU continues to “raise the bar” for hunters, backpackers and mountaineer’s whose demands for ultralight gear has led KUIU to recently release their new lightweight, easy to set-up, ULTRA STAR 1P tent. Weighing in at an amazing 18.9 oz including the Tent Body & Pole, the ULTRA Star was designed to reduce weight and save the mountain hunter/backpacker valuable time and energy when facing the demanding weather conditions of Mother Nature. This single-wall tent features the use of your trekking pole in its pitch/design and offers a sit-up style floor plan with enough room for you and your valuables inside its living quarters. The integrated vestibule provides protection during inclement weather for your pack, weapon, boots and can be utilized as a cooking area for your small stove from within the main body. The ULTRA STAR 1P features adjustable vents at the peak and toe box to ensure airflow for warm humid weather or to reduce condensation in colder temperatures. A zippered mesh divider with gear pockets keeps insects out when the vestibule is open. The 1P ULTRA STAR remains functional yet incredibly lightweight.
FACTS AND FEATURES:
With the new ULTRA Star tents’ combination of advanced fabrics and unique design KUIU has developed another outstanding item of lightweight, durable, innovative mountain gear that is definitely worthy of your consideration. Weighing in at a mere 18.9 oz (Tent Body & Pole), the ULTRA Star provides the user with many friendly features in an incredibly ultra lightweight package. The stakes will add a few more ounces to the overall weight. Compatible with the use of your trekking poles as your “upright peak” this tent does not feature any poles with the exception of one small carbon fiber pole at the foot of the tent. KUIU’s target has been to set the standard in the outdoor community with innovative, high quality, ultra light hunting gear and they have hit the bullseye! The introduction of the ULTRA STAR tent definitely allows mountain hunters to go further, faster and be more effective out in the field with less weight to carry. The KUIU team has given careful consideration to the thoughts and recommendations from their hunting clientele as they worked on engineering the ULTRA STAR with its performance changing fabrics/design. The single-wall, trekking pole pitch design with a sit-up style floor plan provides enough room for a backpacker hunter to get themselves and their equipment inside out of inclement, nasty weather. If it is really nasty outside you can make effective use of the vestibule to cook in as well as to get your backpack out of the elements. KUIU’s design team utilized technologically advanced 20D Silicone/PU Coated Micro Ripstop Nylon fabric, in the development of this ultralight high performance tent.
The ULTRA Star is relatively simple to set up, featuring a small, single carbon fiber pole at the foot of the tent and ten 15 cm Aluminum Y Shaped Spiral Stakes with multiple guyline tie out points to ensure stability. The side access design allows easy entry for large or small individuals and a mesh bug screen provides protection from annoying, biting insects if you have tied the vestibule open. All seams have been taped for waterproof protection and the kick-stand adjustable vents provide ample air circulation and reduction of condensation. Internal storage pockets help with the organization of “small gear” and internal webbing loops can be utilized for suspension of clothing, headlamps and other items of gear. Please note the following technical features and specifications for the ULTRA STAR 1P Tent.
• 20D Silicone/PU Coated Micro Ripstop Nylon
• 15 cm Aluminum Y Shaped Spiral Stakes
• YKK Zippers
• Duraflex Hardware
• 18.9 ounces (Tent Body & Pole)
• Ultralight single wall design
• Single trekking pole supported
• Side access for easy entry
• Integrated large vestibule for gear storage and food prep
• Multiple guyline tie out points for increased stability
• Mesh bug screen for protection when vestibule is open
• Adjustable vents for increased air circulation and reduced condensation
• Fully taped seams for waterproof protection
• Ergonomic design to sit-up and lay-down with adequate head room
• Internal storage pockets for organization
• Internal webbing loops for suspension of gear
• Pitches with a single trekking pole (trekking pole not included)
• Single carbon fiber pole at foot of tent
• Stakes (10) and guylines included
ULTRA STAR EASY PITCH DESIGN ON MY RECENT HIGH ALPINE BACKPACK TRIP
Over the years I have spent countless nights out on the mountain either cocooned in tarps,
encased in bivy sacks or sheltered in many different designed tents, some bad, some
good. That’s simply the life of a mountain hunter, avid backpacker/adventurer and desert
sheep guide. On many occasions those “protective shelters” have saved me from some
potentially dangerous nights when Mother Nature was throwing a major tantrum with
hurricane type winds, torrential rains, and heavy snow. To survive and stay somewhat
comfortable while backpack hunting I learned that you must be willing to pack your “shelter”
on you back and the lighter it is the more terrain you can cover.
When I’m out on the mountain I demand a tent that is light, durable, easy to pitch, yet is
strong enough to withstand various weather conditions. The tent I use must also have
enough room to get me and my gear comfortably inside out of various weather conditions. I
have really appreciate tent designs featuring rainfly’s that are either self incorporated or
attached onto the main tent structure itself. This design is critical in keeping your tent dry
while pitching it during periods of inclement weather. How may tent designers have had the
vision to design this very rainfly system such as KUIU has done with the exterior rainfly and
interior shell of the tent attached as one on the ULTRA STAR?
KUIU’s design of the ULTRA STAR is simple. By utilizing your trekking pole as an upright
roof support and staking out the ten guylines you can pitch this ultralight shelter in just
minutes. This small ultalight tent is also very capable of protecting you from the elements. It
should be noted that the ULTRA STAR is not freestanding without utilizing the guylines or
your trekking pole. I’m a person who makes use of two trekking poles when hiking so I really
wish that KUIU had provided a light roof support pole in place of my trekking pole because
I have to collapse the ULTRA STAR when I take my trekking pole with me during the day. I
have addressed this issue by pitching the tent in locations where I can attach some
parachute cord or a strong guyline to a tree branch to the ULTRA STARS peak tab located
on top of the tent. My preference is to return to a free-standing tent at night. I also have a
lightweight carbon pole from an old tent that I can simply substitute for my trekking pole.
As I have emphasized in my comments, KUIU designed the ULTRA STAR to meet the
demands of ultralight hunters. I like the fact that this tent is extremely light to pack and will
provide me protection in sour weather. The ULTRA STAR is every bit as light as a bivy sack
yet there is no comparison in the functionality of the ULTRA STAR to a bivy. There is much
more space in the living quarters of the ULTRA STAR with a vestibule to protect your gear
as well as to cook in. Believe me you can’t do this with a bivy as I’ve tried with no success.
If you, as a hard core mountain hunter are truly interested in going lightweight on a multi-day
backpack hunt where you have to hike in a long ways to access prime country then the
ULTRA STAR should be a high priority gear item at the top of your list.
I have not yet had the opportunity to see how this tent will stand up under the relentless fury
of fierce winds. Without the extra pack weight of an “exoskeleton frame of carbon fiber or
aluminum poles” I suspect that this little tent will take a real beating in high wind conditions
but this is exactly why KUIU provided the extra guyline tie points for – to adequately secure
you ULTRA STAR to ride out severe storms in.
Although I appreciate how lightweight the ULTRA STAR is I found that the living quarters
didn’t give me much “wiggle room.” When lying down my head touched the material on the
back wall of the tent and with inevitable condensation in cold weather I expect that I will
have wet spots on my sleeping bag. When sitting up I must make sure I’m at the apex of the
tent or it isn’t high enough to avoid touching the ceiling. This is no different than a lot of the
one man tents on the market that are much heavier than the ULTRA STAR. I can definitely
give up the luxuries of packing a heavy tent in taking advantage of the reduction in weight
with the ULTRA STAR to get into the areas I want to hunt or scout.
Much of the desert country I hunt in is either very sandy or rocky. I am concerned that by
using my trekking pole as the peak and having to attached ten stakes to enable the tent to
stand up that there may be some issues in difficult terrain with the ULTRA STAR
tent’s setup. However, I’ve had this same issue with many outstanding freestanding
heavier tents over the years and can always accommodate such conditions by
utilizing rocks, brush, etc, for anchoring points.
ULTRA STAR’S PLEASANT COLORS MAKE IT EASY TO LOCATE!
With every item of gear that I own I pay attention to little details that can make a huge
difference in separating quality from inferior products. I appreciate the ULTRA STAR’S
adjustable “kickstand” vents for wind flow and the internal storage pockets to
organize important items like my headlamp, ear plugs, chap stick, maps, GPS, etc. I also
liked the internal webbing loops that I can hang clothing from at night. The tent zippers are
also protective with nylon flaps that keep out damaging rain and sand. This also ensures
easy zipping without getting the tent fabric caught. A fully taped seamed fly, tub and floor
help guarantee waterproof protection. The entrance and a roomy vestibule were perfect.
KUIU’s ULTRA STAR 1P comes in a pleasing Steel Grey-Orange color and is currently
priced at $249.99. A separate 1P footprint can be purchased for an additional $34.99. If
you are seeking an ultra light tent that will provide you protection on extended backpack trips
then you should give serious consideration to purchasing the ULTRA Star 1P from KUIU.
KUIU has an excellent lifetime warranty and has always been good to work with their
clientele and have been very considerate in addressing any issues that I have ever
What they could do better:
With the ULTRA STAR 1P tent that they have designed KUIU has done a great job. I do
recommend that they consider including a lightweight carbon fiber pole that can be used in
place of your trekking pole to hold the tent up at its peak.
Great review. Thanks for posting the length and detail. I’m curious to know your height as I’m 6’4″ and am considering this tent or the heavier but roomier Enan from Hilleberg. Thanks for your reply.
Hi Kendall, I am 6’1 tall and have good room in this tent.
It is not a Hilleberg, but close. You cannot go wrong with the Enan! But this is also a good option.
Mike and Randy