In this article, Guest Contributor Ryan Houtekamer of 2 Cent Tactical reviews the LiteFighter-1 Tent
If you happened to read my previous article for Tactical News Magazine on the LiteFighter FIDO-1, you would know that I enjoyed my time in the FIDO-1. It is a well constructed tent at a good price point. It’s taken me some time to finish this article on its bigger brother, the LiteFighter-1, but with the discontinuation of the FIDO-1 there is no time like the present!
The FIDO-1 and Litefigher-1 tents share very similar setups. The end clips are no longer a ball in socket setup. The new end clips found on the LightFighter-1 feel a bit more robust and the end of the tent poles are now inserted through a hole in the clip. The LightFighter tent also has a dual door/vestibule for increased storage and airflow. This allows the tent to be set up even faster because you no longer have to match the door on the fly to the inner tent. To start though, I am going to describe the various ways you can set up the LightFighter-1 tent. I have also included some images for reference as to how small the LightFighter-1 tent packs up.
I’d like to cover one of my favourite parts about the LiteFighter-1. Having spent a lot of my time in the military working on courses the staff tended to sleep in modular tents when not out with our sections. Having a sturdy roof over your head was always a nice bonus, however the mosquito population in the training area was directly proportional to the nearly 1000 square kilometres of swampland the base was built on.
While sleeping in these tents, I would normally drag along a bug net and go cut down 4 sticks to place in my cot to hold it up. Due to my constant moving even when I am asleep, I would always make a gap somewhere and those mosquitoes would cruise in like a X-Wing heading for that exhaust port to take down the Death Star. If the little flying pests would just bite me and be on their way I would likely be a lot more ok with them. For this, I am happy LiteFighter came up with the tent design they did.
Being able to take the inner tent and poles and strap it to a cot securely was a godsend. I could sleep inside the modular tent and not donate blood (it’s in me to live, not to give without my consent). The LiteFighter-1 uses straps to attach to the corners of an issue cot. Even though, as my wife can attest, it seems like I am trying to wrestle an invisible man in my sleep, I haven’t been able to destroy the tent or the strapping system.
The other useful feature about this setup is that you can still use the rain fly. You may ask why is it you still want to use a rain fly when you’re already in a tent? The answer is simple, most of these tents are used as a command post where people are going in and out at all hours and typically have lights strung to the ceiling that don’t go out. So the fly can help block out some of the light if you have trouble sleeping in bright areas.
If you’re just looking for an ultra light option you have two possible setups. With the footprint, poles and rain fly you have a hasty shelter that only needs some ground to set up on. You won’t be safe from the bugs but for you tarp lovers out there this might be right up your alley. You can go one step further and drop the footprint and poles but will still need pegs and some paracord. The top of the fly has a loop that can be used to help dry things out after a trip or to string it up off a tree branch. If it’s only bugs you want an escape from you can just use the inner tent and poles.
Outside of these you can set this tent up as a normal tent with and without footprint. I prefer to use a footprint with my tents and can shrug off the extra weight. In the military it’s not like you can choose a nice grassy spot to pitch your tent every time. Gravel, rocks and other sharp things tend to be where you want to sleep. Sure you try to kick that stuff away the best you can but it’s hard to get everything when its pitch black out you can only do your best. The footprint is a cheap thing to sacrifice instead of the floor of your tent. The mesh of the inner tent is covered in insect repellant (EPA approved Permethrin) as an extra way to keep those vampires away.
One of my favorite features of the LiteFighter-1 is the name tape spots on the rain fly and inner tent. A section of people doesn’t have enough fingers and toes to count the amount of times people have mistakenly woke me up in the night for sentry or watch. I have a hard enough time sleeping without someone shining a light in my face trying to figure out if I am who is next on the list. At least this way it takes a quick check and they can move on. Inside the tent are mesh storage spots to hold any of your small items you don’t want in your pockets.
The dual vestibules are handy when you want to keep your gear from the elements. I would imagine it would be nice for dog handlers giving their gear and pooch a safe place to weather the storm. Speaking of storms, one of the last times I had my tent out I got hit by some strong winds and sideways rain. I have to give the hub setup the poles have and the quality pegs the LiteFighter-1 comes with a lot of credit. They held the entire night and I stayed dry other than from the humidity since it was a hot day.
-Multiple pitching methods to match the trip/mission
-Can really weather a storm
-Made in the USA
– If your taller than 6’4” this tent might not be long enough depending on how you sleep
The LiteFighter-1 comes in ACU, Kryptek Highlander (what I currently have), Multicam or for a few bucks less , you can get Tan 499. I had looked at tents for quite a while and am both happy with the price, build quality, and the fact that this tent is made in North America. If you’re in need of a solid single person tent, this is one you should certainly have a look at. It’s scalable for the missions at hand and I can confirm it works well as a 3 season tent. I would also say that it’s survivable with proper kit in the 4th season. LiteFighter is coming out with a proper 4 season tent and a two person version of the LiteFighter-1 aptly named LiteFighter-2. Look for a review of these tents in the future.
For more information on the LiteFighter-1 tent and LiteFighter, please visit their website.