Craig Wisner

Golite Shangri La 3: Hex to Mid Conversion

A very versatile shelter, the Shangri La 3 has been my go-to for everything from fast solo trips to trips with the kids.  At only 23oz. for the body, it’s light enough to justify carrying solo yet easily large enough for 2 adults and plenty of gear, 1 adult and two kids, or three adults in a pinch.  The only issue I’ve had with it is the large footprint, especially when traveling alone.  The huge hex shape requires a large site, limiting solo site selection opportunities.  Some time ago I found that by staking four corners (as opposed to six), I had a mid almost identical in dimensions to the Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid, only ~6″ shorter in length and width.  The Shangri La 3 in mid configuration is ~4’6″ x 8’6″.  In it’s original hex configuration, it’s about 8-9′ in diameter…a large footprint indeed.  The mid setup nearly halves it’s footprint.  The only thing it is lacking in mid configuration is a stake loop in the center of the long wall.  As this long wall is 8.5′ long, it certainly needs a mid anchor point for wind stability.  I sewed two on today using 3/4″ webbing and a 2″ square of cordura, seam sealing with silicone.

Here are some images:

1.  Prior to sewing on stake loop, green arrow pointing to where it’s attached.  The excess fabric is rolled up inside in this view.

2. This photo shows the stake loop sewn onto the fly, outside:

3.  This photo shows the interior and the stitching pattern; I used an x-box inside of a square for the reinforcement.

4.  Finally, a photo showing the location of the new stake loop relative to the factory loop used for the hex configuration:

I’m pleased with the results and anxious to get out with it.  In addition to creating a more versatile shelter in regards to pitching options, I believe it will also handle snow loads better in the mid configuration due to increased wall steepness.  If the MLD Duomid is considered decent in this regard, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work just as well; I believe the walls are slightly steeper.  Another advantage is a faster pitch.  Staking the front two corners, then the back two, and finally the side midpoints,  it’s far easier to achieve the geometry of a rectangle than a hex, resulting in a faster, better pitch with less tensioning/re-staking.

The only additional modification I’m considering is sewing on 4-6 additional high guy out points (identical to the stake loop I just did) for increased wind stability/snow load handling.


4 responses

  1. Dan

    This looks like an excellent modification! I’m planning to buy an SL3 and plan to use it for a similar situation: family trips with three and solo trips. This looks like a great way to reduce the shelter’s footprint for the latter. Can’t wait to hear how this works in the field!

    January 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

  2. MW

    Looks like this configuration would make for a much faster pitch, and I like the additional stake loops for extra stability. What are the floor dimensions in this configuration? The photo makes the shelter looks smaller in the rectangle shape, though the overall square footage is probably the same. Thanks again for sharing!

    February 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm

  3. MW

    Oops, should’ve read the full article first: The Shangri La 3 in mid configuration is ~4’6″ x 8’6″ Do you find yourself using it in this configuration only now?

    February 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    • I still use it primarily in Hex mode as I typically only array this shelter when I’m with my kids and use a smaller solo shelter when needed alone. But the option is certainly there for anyone looking to get more versatility out of this shelter. It is faster to pitch in the mid mode.

      February 18, 2014 at 8:15 am

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