UOG Review - Lightwave Sigma S10 Tent

Apr 22, 2019

The Lightwave Sigma range of single skin tents is unique. Lightwave claim that they do not to suffer from the condensation usually associated with this style of tent. The breathable X-Tex fabric is carbon coated to absorb moisture and actively transport it through the fabric.

The Sigma tents perform significantly better than any other single skin tent that I'm aware of when dealing with condensation by use of the breathable fabric that pushes moisture to the outside. However, the parts of the tent that don't use this carbon coated fabric will still suffer from minor condensation e.g. the taped seams and the exposed edges of the bathtub groundsheet. I simply wiped the seams and corners of the groundsheet in a morning with a small micro-fibre cloth.

In temperatures well below freezing, I found that a layer of frost formed on the inside of the tent fabric. When the temperature is this cold, condensation freezes on the surface of the fabric and is unable to be pushed to the outside. As soon as the sun rose, this frost melted, was trapped by the carbon coating and was pushed to the outside. I sped this process up by turning the tent around a few times to allow the sun to warm all sides to melt the frost and let the fabric work.

For a 1 person tent, the S10 is extremely spacious tent due to the single skin design, so I was able to have most of my kit in the tent with me. The headroom is generous (admittedly I’m not tall but there was loads of room for taller folk) and the pole design and upright walls allow you to sit up and move around with ease.

Pitching is extremely straightforward and effortlessly quick. It’s a single pitch with no separate inner so great for wet days when it’s pouring down. On the early S10 tents, there was a single grommet to locate the pole at each corner when pitching. After feedback that the poles were an incredibly tight fit, an extra grommet has been added at each corner on the latest version. This has certainly solved the problem and I had no issues at all. The coating on the fabric can make the pole sleeves grab a little when the poles are wet but with a little extra care the poles can easily be threaded through. It’s freestanding, apart from the vestibule, making it ideal for use on rocky or hard ground.

The included pegs would not be my first choice - 2 different types of needle style pegs. I left the thinner of these as they look so likely to bend and instead took a mixture of needle, V and Y shaped pegs.

Whilst I didn’t experience any extreme winds, I have no doubt that the S10 would cope. There are 6 very tough looking guy lines (I would prefer to see some lightweight Dyneema guy lines) to hold the tent firmly in place. The dome shape of the tent will make it very stable in the wind.

The fabric appears to be much quieter in wet or windy conditions compared to sil-nylon fabrics. The quiet fabric combined with the X-Tex allowing less light to pass through than most tents, does result in needing to set an alarm for the morning! It’s very easy to oversleep when cocooned inside such a quiet, warm, dark tent.

Ventilation is minimal with only a small mesh panel at the top of the inner door so it will probably get stuffy in warmer conditions but I found that it does help retain heat in the Winter. The zip on the vestibule door is only a single one way zip making venting the tent tricky. A 2 way zip on future versions would be a beneficial.

Single skin tents tend to be lighter, warmer and offer more space compared to an equivalent 2 skin tent but usually come with some downsides. The Lightwave Sigma S10 mostly solves these issues, making it a solid 9 out of 10 in my book. I loved using it.