Lite Outdoors Plateau 5 Tipi and Stove Ongoing Review

trb

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Aug 29, 2019
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Colorado
After doing about a year of intermittent research, last week I purchased a Lite Outdoors Plateau 5 tipi and 18" titanium stove. There was not a ton of info on this product online (especially the tipi), so I figured I'd share my initial reaction/experience if anyone is in the market. I will update this thread as I use it more, and share specific experiences regarding the conditions it was used in.

Why I bought it:
In addition to hunting, I spend a lot of time on rivers, and especially in early and late season conditions. A couple years ago I would have killed to have a hot tent 20 days into a particularly cold Grand Canyon rafting trip in December. If you are on the water all day, having a way to warm up your whole body in the evening can pay dividends for your physical and mental comfort.

For hunting purposes, I am realistically never going to own an RV, camper, and probably not a full size wall tent, so this seemed like a more minimalist way to accomplish the same goal: warm up, and dry things out. I have spent plenty of nights in a bivy mountaineering and backpacking, and hundreds in a 3 or 4 season tent between my hobbies and former job for the USFWS. The single hardest part of "toughing it out" in inclement weather or after hiking in snow all day, is drying your boots and/or clothing out so they are ready to go for the morning. The tipi and stove seemed like a convenient way to solve that problem. To sum it all up, this is the bullshit I sold my wife on as to why we should spend $675 on a tipi.

What did I buy:
I purchased the Plateau 5 with the 18" stove, baffle and no spark arrestor (the baffle essentially prevents sparks from going directly up the stovepipe). The total package I got weighs about 7.8 lbs, and bulk-wise is about the size of 2 standard 2 person backpack tents. It cost me $675 to my door (free shipping).

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Initial impression:
I set it up today in my backyard in order to burn the stove in and check it out. There are instructional videos on their website, but rolling the stovepipe the first time was a bit of a pain, but only in the sense that my wife and I had to set down our beverages, and take our time doing it, probably about 10 minutes. Everything else seemed intuitive and was straightforward.

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In terms of space, especially if you used all the guylines (camping in trees would be best, or you could purchase more stakes to guyline out the sides in open country) I think 3 people AND backpacking gear would have no trouble sleeping in the tipi with the stove. The fire started quickly and efficiently, and heated up the tipi quickly. With a 42 degree outdoor temperature and no wind, inside the tipi rose to 96 degrees in one hour. 5 hours after last stoking it, although there was not much heat coming off, there were still coals that I could have restarted the fire with.

IMG_20201215_104847.jpg

The biggest challenge I got a glimpse of would be if there was a small amount of snow on the ground, you camp in one location for a day or two, and the inside of the tent becomes a bit of a mud pit. This probably comes down to site selection, but something to consider.

I am heading out for a plains doe whitetail archery hunt on Friday, and I will update my impressions when I get back on Monday night or Tuesday. I will also try and report back after an upcoming beaver float hunt in January. Obviously the biggest question mark will be long term durability, but I will put it to the test and update this space as I do.
 
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Gellar

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I have been intermittently researching tipis as well. I’ve never heard of this kind, but it looks like a good option. Thanks, I will be following your review.
 

Peasant

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Dec 20, 2020
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I'm really interested in your review and of how well it does. I'm in Alberta, Canada so Lite Outdoors is a local company. They would be cheaper than Seek outside especially with duty at the border. I'm interested to see how it does, they have a smaller tent (Isola) as well that I have my eye on.

Cheers
 

pre6422hornet

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May 21, 2015
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Do yourself a favor and install a pull chain or something on the latch that holds the door closed.. believe me when I say your fingertips will be thankful! :).

I have the same stove and really like it. Don't close off the air vent too much or you will get the dreaded choo choo train huff and puff.
 

trb

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Colorado
After 3 nights camping in SE Colorado, here are a few quick observations.

1) With the temperatures in the teens each night, the tipi definitely stayed warm. Unfortunately I forgot my digital thermometer, or else I would have taken readings. I can say my brother and I were in a light long sleeve shirt in the tipi eating dinner. I am interested to see how the stove performs with smaller firewood collected in the backcountry. It did great with split, high quality firewood from home, but I'd expect the burn time to decrease considerably with smaller pieces.

2) We were in a dry environment, but the condensation wasn't bad at all. The tent was lightly damp/frosty about 3 feet up the wall, but never dropped at all. In general, this could pose a challenge if needing to pack up the tent early in the AM each morning, but I'm not sure this is the best set up for that type of trip anyway. I am interested to see how the condensation will be when camping on snow.

3) The tipi held up very well in 20-30 mph wind gusts, but in general I would recommend trying to set up in a sheltered area and ideally in trees. The mid-height guylines really do make a difference in terms of expanding the interior space/comfort.

4) Rolling the stovepipe in the morning resulted in the soot near the top of the pipe getting stuck to the outside of the titanium foil, which made the wire rings difficult to roll on the next time we set it up. We were still able to roll it and slide them on from the other end, but it did cause a delay/annoyance. When I get home I may try to clean it with rubbing alcohol. You might see the black spots at the top of the pipe in the below photo.


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Peasant

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Looks like a good time! Do you have any photos of the interior just thinking about room and the difference between this and the isola.
 

MITCHMO

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Looks like a good time! Do you have any photos of the interior just thinking about room and the difference between this and the isola.
Just to chime in here, I have a Redcliff and with all the cold weather gear and stove, 3ppl is Max. Spreading your stuff out to dry and having a spot for firewood takes a lot of room. More than one would expect. The areas near the edges of the tent are somewhat unusable because they are so low to the ground. Make sure to buy big.
 

trb

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Colorado
Looks like a good time! Do you have any photos of the interior just thinking about room and the difference between this and the isola.

I didn't do a good job of taking photos of the interior when we were actually using it. I will make sure to do that in the next month when I use it next. I 100% agree with what @MITCHMO said. 3 people and some gear would be the max for the Plateau with the stove. If you are deciding between a couple different models, like he said, by bigger if you think you will be pushing the listed limit of people/gear.
 

trb

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20210220_095511.jpg
Tipi fared well on a February beaver night hunt float trip. A lesson learned was to take the time to get the stove perfectly level or slightly tilted to the back (if using the baffle) to improve smoke movement to the chimney. I woke up in the night to stoke the fire, opened the door, and found that the front had sunk down in the dirt, causing smoke to plume out of the door. Should have been obvious, but something I will put more care into getting exact in the future.

I wish I had taken a picture of this, but one issue that popped up with the stove/baffle is that since the stove smoldered at a low temp for half the night and was then not stoked in the morning before packing up and pushing off, a significant amount of gunky creosote built up around the baffle/chimney connection to the stove. I'm not really sure why it only happened on one night. I am going to try and scrape it off with a razor before I use it next. If nothing else it reinforced my opinion that the whole set up makes more sense as a multi-day set up rather than setting up and breaking down every day if getting out early in the AM is important. Luckily not an issue when you're pushing off at 6 pm each night.

We got a little bit of rain and wind, but not enough to test the tipi in earnest. Sleeping three people and minimal gear wasn't a problem. It would have been even more comfortable if any of the 3 of us were shorter, or if we had more trees around to guy out the side walls.
 

Jon.Breitbach

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Jan 29, 2021
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Butte
Great review, thinking of a more portable hot tent for my collection as well.
I took a 12x14 canvas tent down the grand last winter. We didn’t set it up every camp but really warmed us up when we decided to put it up. 3-4 hours of good dry warmth was a very popular after getting rained on a couple times.
 

trb

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Aug 29, 2019
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Colorado
Great review, thinking of a more portable hot tent for my collection as well.
I took a 12x14 canvas tent down the grand last winter. We didn’t set it up every camp but really warmed us up when we decided to put it up. 3-4 hours of good dry warmth was a very popular after getting rained on a couple times.
I did a December Grand trip a few years ago, I would have killed for this (or any hot tent) tipi on that trip. The lack of sun was the X factor that seemed to prevent us from ever really warming up.
 

silasd

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Feb 27, 2017
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New Mexico
Thanks for posting these reviews. I have been researching tipi's and it helps to see them in action. Much appreciated!
 

pre6422hornet

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May 21, 2015
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525
but one issue that popped up with the stove/baffle is that since the stove smoldered at a low temp for half the night and was then not stoked in the morning before packing up and pushing off, a significant amount of gunky creosote built up around the baffle/chimney connection to the stove. I'm not really sure why it only happened on one night. I am going to try and scrape it off with a razor before I use it next. If nothing else it reinforced my opinion that the whole set up makes more sense as a multi-day set up rather than setting up and breaking down every day if getting out early in the AM is important. Luckily not an issue when you're pushing off at 6 pm each night.
I experienced this when using the baffle as well after one night using non hardwood in the backcountry. The spark arrestor actually clogged, which we noticed right away after lighting when we got back to camp. I disassembled the stove and the inside of the stove pipe was covered in gummy black creosote. We built a fire outside, and basically made our own chimney fire situation and burned out the creosote. if you ever see how fast and hot creosote burns, you will tell everyone you know to get their chimney swept/cleaned. It was like a torch and sounded like a jet engine. I put the stove back together without the baffle. Burn times remained the same, but this time the creosote did not form for the rest of the trip.
 

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