5 Owls is a name unfamiliar to most of us. In India if an owl hoots five times it’s believed travel is imminent, so founder, Roger Cohen, named his company “5 Owls”—a great name for a maker of personal shelters and tents aimed at travelers seeking small, lightweight homes for the road.
The 5owls Solo Shelter is a unique concept in portable sleeping accommodations. Before the Solo Shelter, choices ranged from Taj Mahal-sized tents such as the Redverz, where you can park your motorcycle next to you while you sleep, to the minimalist bivy sack, where you get both the pleasures and penalties of weathering the elements. The Solo Shelter offers a different way of looking at motorcycle camping by blending the freedom of sleeping under the stars in a bivy sack with a protective stand-up shelter to protect both body and gear from wind and rain.
5owls starts the Solo Shelter as a bivy sack made of 75D polyester taffeta to eliminate the need for a ground sheet, then to the head section of the bivy adds a small but surprisingly spacious “tent” made of 30D polyester ripstop and a 1,500mm polyurethane coating to shield from the worst weather conditions. What makes this shelter really unique is how the tent section works.
Designed specifically for those who prefer to sleep under the stars, the tent covering the head of the bivy folds down like the top of a convertible, exposing the occupant to the wonderful outdoors. When shelter is desired, the user simply reaches out and pulls the top up using two quick snap clips to secure it in the upright position.
Set up is as simple as any compact, non-free-standing, tent with ground stakes, two small poles and a rain fly. The shelter poles have a neat quick connector, eliminating the need to fish a pole through a sleeve. The whole thing is “stupid-proofed” with well thought out quick clips to keep from putting the fly on backwards.
One of my favorite features of the Solo Shelter is that it packs short enough to fit any standard-sized hard pannier, dry sack or soft luggage. This is a big win for a shelter system used for occasional camping, emergency shelter or better yet, the person that prefers to sleep in the open but wants the weather protection of a tent.
The tent portion of this shelter system is surprisingly spacious with room for a helmet, boots, jacket, pants and more, while still having room to sit up and play solitaire. Well-constructed with quality components such as DAC poles and YKK zippers, the Solo Shelter is worth looking at. MSRP: $339.99 5owls.net
• Shelter area (canopy and sleeve): 28.4 sq. ft.
• Peak head height: 42”
• Minimum weight: 4 lbs 8 oz
• Packed weight: 4 lbs 14 oz
• Packed size: 6″ x 15″
|▲ Fits easily in luggage||▼ Non free standing|
|▲ No need for a ground sheet||▼ Seperate rain fly|
|▲ You can sleep und the stars||▼ Pricey|