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The new 2019 Lightwave S10 Sigma tent is a single-wall, 1-person, 4-season tent. It is constructed with a breathable flysheet instead of an inner tent, which aims to control the problem of condensation. Review updated 6th April 2020.

I’ve purchased the green and black version, and it’s also available in plain green. It weighs 978g without pegs and bags. The recommended retail price is £599.99.

Wild camping on the Norfolk coast in the new Lightwave S10 Sigma tent

Lightwave Sigma tent range

The Lightwave Sigma tent range was launched in 2016 with two models, the S10 and S20. Following customer feedback, both models have been updated and relaunched in 2019. The old S10 model has been renamed S15 (to reflect its larger size). The old S20 model has been renamed the S22 (to reflect the extra porch and door on this model).

This made room in the Lightwave Sigma range for a smaller, lighter-weight tent: the new 2019 S10 model, which I’m reviewing here.

Thew new 2019 Lightwave S10 Sigma tent

Lightwave S10 Sigma tent features

New features on the 2019 S10 model are the pole arrangement, which has been simplified from three poles to just two. This means there is no longer a cross pole at the top. This does reduce the interior volume slightly, but there’s still just enough room to sit up without touching the sides of the tent.

Interior is just big enough to sit without touching the sides. I’m 5’9″ average build.

The new S10 model has siliconised material for the pole sleeves to reduce friction. This makes it easier to push the poles through the sleeves. There are also two eyelets at the pole ends instead of one, making the tent easier to put up. This solves a common complaint with the old S10 model that the poles were too tight and difficult to locate in the eyelets.


The new Lightwave S10 Sigma tent has double eyelets for the poles

The doors have also been enlarged on the new S10 model to make it easier to get in and out of the tent.

These are all useful updates and definite improvements on the old model. The new S10 model is now lighter and more user-friendly.

Lightwave S10 Sigma design

The new S10 is a single-wall tent, apart from a secondary inner wall which separates the porch area from the sleeping area.

Being single skinned means there’s no wasted space between the inner and the flysheet, so you can make full use of all the space. The 2-pole design holds the flysheet taught and makes for a pretty stable tent in windy conditions – as long as you’ve pegged all the guylines out!


The S10 is slightly heavier than most lightweight tent flysheets but you don’t have the additional weight of an inner tent. This means it balances out to be a very lightweight tent, especially considering it is designed for 4-season use. The X-tex fabric is also more waterproof than a lot of other lightweight tents.

Lightwave S10 Sigma tent – ‘black’ and green model

I purchased the green and black model of the new S10 but I would say it’s more brown than black. This is not an issue to me, however, as it makes it even better for stealth wild camping as it is less conspicuous when it’s pitched.

Lightwave S10 Sigma materials

Single-walled tents usually have a problem with condensation on the inner walls but the Sigma S10 uses X-tex breathable fabric (as did the old model).

The X-tex fabric flysheet it reasonably thick and isn’t very light permeable so it can make the inside darker than you may be used to. It could be worth setting an alarm so you don’t sleep in. The porch fabric doesn’t need to be breathable (as it’s not part of the inner tent) so this is made from silicon-coated fabric similar to that found on other lightweight tents. This helps to make the tent lighter.

Lightwave S10 Sigma interior

The Sigma groundsheet is made from 50-denier taffeta which is a reasonable balance between weight saving and adequate protection from moisture and abrasion. You shouldn’t need to carry an additional ground sheet with this tent unless you’re likely to be camping on extremely rough ground.

The ground sheet is a nice deep bath-tub design (meaning that the ground sheet wraps up the side of the tent).

Condensation

Single-walled tents are renowned for condensation running down the inside walls and dripping on you and your gear in the night.


The X-tex fabric on the flysheet reduces this problem. It manages condensation by using an activated carbon coating to attract and increase the surface area, improving the absorption rate of the water. This means it literally sucks the moisture into the coating to then be transported to the outside of the tent through the breathable fabric.

My area of slight concern is that the bath-tub groundsheet isn’t made from breathable material and the seams on the flysheet also don’t breathe very well. When conditions are right for condensation, it will probably form there. It’s worth having a lightweight cloth around to wipe the condensation off these areas in the morning.

I think condensation may also be a problem if you’re camped on wet ground, with wet gear in the porch and there’s continuous rain. The X-tex fabric can get waterlogged and not breathe very well, leading to condensation build up. The new S10 Sigma is a smaller volume tent than previous tents made with this material.

Update 6th April 2020

I would like to thank John for sending me a message of his experience of the similar Sigma S15 tent. He’s had trouble with condensation building up on the inside of the tent when the outer material is water logged from continuous rain. Otherwise he says the X-tex material works well.

Lightwave S10 Sigma tent

I’ve just spent 4 nights away in the tent and am really happy with it so far. I had less issues with condensation than I would have had on the inside of an inner tent of my usual light weight hiking tents. I didn’t have rain but I did encourage condensation by camping on wet ground a few nights. I had temperatures below zero some nights. I also spent between 12 to 14 hours in the tent every night and cooked inside the awning every day due to the windy conditions.

Condensation on the awning flysheet

The porch flysheet was wet with condensation every morning but the inside of the tent and the X-tex fabric was dry to the touch most mornings,

Condensation on the inside of the flysheet

There was only one morning when I got a small amount of condensation on the X-tex fabric. It had been a still, cold night and I was camped on wet ground. But the tent dried quickly and it didn’t cause a problems. I think it would have been worse on a standard double walled tent with a solid inner tent in the same conditions.

Condensation on the inside of the flysheet

I am very pleased with the tent so far and it worked really well in the conditions I had. I’ve just got to get out on some rainy nights to test the tent further and I’ll update this review then.

Testing the Lightwave S10 Sigma tent

I’ve had a lot of interest in reviewing this new S10 model, so I’ve posted this initial review earlier than I originally intended. (Thank you to everyone who has messaged me about it). I’ve included all the information I have so far and I’ll update this review as I learn more.


I’ll be taking the Lightwave S10 Sigma tent to Scotland for two months’ testing in April and May 2021. I’ll continue adding to this review as I learn more about the tent, specifically how it handles condensation in various situations.

From feedback on the old Sigma range, we should expect the new S10 tent to be very good and control condensation well. Please watch this space and I’ll let you know how the tent performs as soon as I can.

Lightwave S10 Sigma single-wall tent

Pitching the tent

The Lightwave S10 Sigma tent needs 12 pegs to pitch it for maximum stability. However, it will stand with only one peg (used to hold the porch open) because the rest of the tent is freestanding. This means that if it’s impossible to get pegs in the ground, you could sleep in the tent without pegging it down fully (as long as it’s not windy). I say this because I have had to do that on one occasion with a different tent. Anything over a slight breeze means pegs are essential though. Pegging a tent properly also maximises the interior space.

Pitching the S10 tent is really simple and quick. This is ideal if it’s wet or windy, or you’re just exhausted. It took me a little over two minutes to put up, including pegging out all of the guylines.

To pitch the tent, place the four smaller flash pegs into the four corners of the groundsheet, then push the two poles into their sleeves. The poles are both identical so that keeps it nice and simple. When the poles come out the other end of the sleeves, stick them into the outer eyelets at the pegging points.

All that’s needed next is to push both the poles in at the same time, until it’s possible to locate them in the other two eyelets. Then pull the porch out and peg it with a single peg.

The tent is pitched at this point (five pegs). However, if the wind is likely to get up (and for maximum interior space) it’s best to use all the pegging points and then pull all the guylines taught. This makes for a very solid and safe feeling tent. I’d be happy sitting out a storm in it.

Pegs and guylines

4 x flash pegs, 8 x lightning pegs, 2 x front/back guylines and 4 x corner guylines

The supplied pegs are good quality and appropriate for the tent. They come in two sizes – lightning (thicker) and flash (thinner). I am impressed with the quality of the pegs. I have bought tents from other manufacturers in the past where I’ve had to throw away the supplied pegs and replace them with better-quality ones. Many manufacturers’ supplied pegs seem to be there for show and to reduce the overall weight figures, rather than to keep the tent standing. So well done Lightwave.

The 8 lightning pegs supplied with the Lightwave Sigma S10 tent weigh 10g each and are strong enough to take a bit of abuse. There are also four smaller and lighter-weight flash pegs weighing 6g each. These are used for non-critical pegging points such as the four groundsheet corners. The flash pegs are exactly half the width of a lightning peg but the same 160mm length.

Lightwave S10 Sigma tent with all guylines pegged out.

The tent comes with 2.0 mm nylon guylines and there are enough for all the attachment points. You may wish to change these for Dyneema guylines to save a few grams, but these nylon ones seem fine to me, especially as they come with Linelok adjusters that adjust and hold really well.

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Back wall guyline attachment

The back wall guyline is substantial and well placed to keep the wall from blowing in. This is an important guyline to have pegged out well in case the wind turns. This wall is fairly large and very flat, so it will catch the wind if it ends up blowing onto it.

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Corner guylines

The guyline attachment points feel substantial, more so than on any other lightweight tent I’ve used. They look like they’ll hold together in a storm and last well.

Head room

The interior feels spacious enough, especially when laid down. It has plenty of head room and there’s space to sit up and get dressed.

Head room sitting up. I’m 5’9″.

Many lightweight tents can feel like coffins when you’re laid down, but not the Lightwave S10 Sigma tent. The material is kept well away from your face and feet. The interior height is 95cm when the poles are in the outer eyelets, so this could be increased slightly if the poles were placed in the tighter inner eyelets.

The flysheet tapers in with height but there’s enough room all the way up. Not having the cross pole like on the old S10 model (and the new S15) does reduce the interior space a little, but there’s still enough room to be comfortable. The two pole design keeps the flysheet tight. The material is therefore not being blown in if it’s windy, reducing the interior space with every gust.

Porch space

The porch is plenty big enough to hold a rucksack and boots, leaving enough room to cook in if you need to.

Porch space in the Lightwave S10 Sigma tent
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Lightwave S10 Sigma Porch

Interior space

The inside of the tent is the same width both ends (80cm) so you can sleep either way round. This is very useful if you’re camped on a slope or the wind and ground conditions are less than favourable.

Head or foot end space
Foot or head end space

The two corner pockets are a nice size and well placed in both corners on the back wall.

One of two interior corner pockets

Tie-backs

The Lightwave S10 Sigma tent comes with two tie-backs for the outside door. This is really useful to hold the door material completely out of the way.

Flysheet door tie backs

Doors

Inner door with mesh and substantial tieback loop.

The inner door has a nice amount of mesh to help with airflow and the zip can be operated from top or bottom. This can be very useful to increase ventilation and help to reduce condensation.

Flysheet door zip to vent the inside.

The main flysheet door can be zipped from the bottom or top which is great for ventilation in bad weather and essential if you’re cooking inside the porch area.

Technical specifications

  • 1 person
  • 4 season
  • Flysheet/inner weighs: 714g inc. all guylines
  • Poles weigh: 251g + Pole bag 13g
  • Total weight: 965g (excludes pegs & bags)
  • Pegs 16cm long x 12 weigh: 103g (peg/tent bag 26g)
  • Pole repair piece: 9g
  • Tent all-up total weight: 1116g
  • Internal length: 215cm
  • Internal width: 80cm
  • Height: 100cm (internal height 95cm with poles in outer holes)
  • Porch width: 60cm
  • Flysheet: 20d ripstop nylon, X-tex coating, 20,000 hydrostatic head.
  • Inner wall: 20d ripstop nylon.
  • Porch: 30d nylon ripstop, 5000 hydrostatic head.
  • Groundsheet: 50d nylon taffeta, 5000 hydrostatic head, bath-tub with taped seams.
  • Poles: 2x DAC 9.35mm featherlite alloy.
  • Supplied with the tent: 4 x 2.5m and 2 x 1.5m (2mm nylon) guylines; 8 lightning pegs; 4 flash pegs; pole repair tube, pole bag and tent/peg bag.
The Lightwave S10 Sigma tent bag with a pocket for the pegs and pole repair sleeve
Pole bag and poles for the Lightwave S10 Sigma

Conclusions on the Lightwave S10 Sigma tent

I’m very impressed with the new Lightwave S10 Sigma tent. It’s well made with quality materials. This new simpler and lower weight model is an extremely attractive choice for lightweight hikers. It’s nice that it comes with everything needed and you haven’t got to add guylines or sensibly sized pegs.

There are lighter tents out there, but if you want to use it all year round or be able to sit out a storm in relative comfort, then this tent is a great choice. I think it’s a good choice for long distance hikes in the UK’s unpredictable weather.

The tent should control condensation well. This is the number one problem with small tents on long distance wild camping trips. I had good experience of this on my 62-day Lands End to John O’Groats and 3 Peaks walk, when I wild camped for 58 nights.

Lightwave S10 Sigma tent

Future testing

I will be testing the Lightwave S10 Sigma tent extensively, using it continuously for 2 months during my 2021 Sottish National Trail and Skye Trail walks. I will update this review as I learn more about the tent.

Please sign up for emails, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter @wildwalkinguk to receive updates.

Further reading

Scottish National Trail Gear List

My favourite stealth wild camping tents

Tarptent Stratospire Li (Dyneema) tent review

My favourite waterproof phone for long distance wild camping trips

Leave No Trace 11 Wild Camping Rules

Disclosure

I purchased this tent with my own money. This is an independent, honest review but just my opinion. All information (including prices) on this post are correct at the time of writing, to the best of my knowledge. The weights are from my kitchen scales. I do my best to not make mistakes but cannot be held responsible for incorrect information. If you have an opinion on this tent, please get in touch – I’d love to hear from you! If you find any mistakes on this site, please let me know so I can correct them for future readers. Many thanks.

9 Replies to “Lightwave S10 Sigma Tent Review (new 2019 model)”

  1. Hi Mark, I thought you may be interested in my recent experience with the Sigma S15, as you know I’ve had the slightly larger model for a year now and have some reservations about it’s ability to handle condensation in all conditions.

    I had another overnight in it this weekend on Kinder and conditions allowed me to see both sides of it’s performance. I camped on understandably damp ground after all the recent rain, and for the first half of the night it was very windy and the X-tex coating worked extremely well. At 2 o’clock in the morning it was still perfectly dry to the touch. Then it started raining, and once the outside of the tent had received a thorough wetting, the X-tex coating began to get damp. By morning it was quite wet to the touch, and lying in my sleeping bag I could feel slight spray being flicked from it each time the wind gusted strongly. The rain stopped around 7 o’clock in the morning, but it wasn’t until the wind had dried much of the outside of the tent that the X-tec started to transport the moisture outwards. I packed up with the inside still damp, and my sleeping bag also slightly damp.

    This pretty much confirms my thoughts that in dry weather the X-tex works very well. But once the tent is wet on the outside from rain or mist, I’m certain that the wetness acts as a barrier to the X-tex transporting moisture out. In that way I think it suffers in much the same way as Goretex which works best (ironically for a waterproof) when it is dry. I’ve yet to trust it sufficiently to take it on a multi-day trek where I might have to pack it with a damp inner.

    Nice to see that Lightwave have replaced the door tie backs with elastic on the new S10, as on my S15 they use a polyester tab (like on cheap tents). And those new corner tie-outs look better too with a single line for the adjuster, which should also cut a few grams from the weight.

    1. Hi John. Thank you very much for your message. It’s a great help and I hope you don’t mind if I add it to the post to help future readers. I haven’t been able to test it enough yet and it’s not looking good for the 2 month testing I had plan for April and May. Thanks again. Mark

    2. Interesting comment from John with regards to the fabric ‘wetting out’. You want a 4 season tent because of 4 season conditions, and that means lots of wind and rain usually, or maybe snow. If that’s the case, is the single skin worth the comfort sacrifice for a bit less weight? The MSR Access 1 is 1312g, the Tarptent Scarp 1 is 1470g including crossing poles, both have loads more space for gear, living space and so on, and inner/outer…

      1. Hi Jason. Yes it is a really useful comment from John. Tents are a real compromise and it’s finding the tent that suits each particular situation or personal preference best. I’m coming to the conclusion that one tent just cannot do it all. I’ve a 807g Tarptent Stratospire Li which is the perfect tent when pitched but it’s sometimes a problem finding a large enough area to pitch it and it also takes up a too much room in my pack when hiking. I love how quick and easy the Nordisk Telemark 1 is to pitch and it’s pack size. But I have trouble with condensation and it’s too warm in summer, not enough mesh/airflow. In summer I love my tarp and mesh inner but it sometimes has too much airflow. So I try and review the tents in a way that allows others to make up their minds whats the best compromise for them. Thanks for the message.

        1. I’ve been lusting for a SS Li for a long time, as it would be perfect for 3 season UL backpacking. However, my goal is to get down to a 45-50 litre pack, and a lot of comments about the large pack size for the Li are putting me off. It’s super light for the space though!

          1. I would like to test the Tarptent Notch Li because of it’s smaller pack size and footprint. But I don’t think that’s even going to be perfect because of the mesh overhead on the solid inner tent. I think the condensation on the outer is going to splash through the mesh when it’s windy. I haven’t had my StratoSpire Li long enough to say but there is a possible question mark about how long Dyneema will last for how much it costs. It is nice to wake up in a tent that hasn’t sagged overnight thou. All a compromise…

        2. I don’t feel so bad now after reading about your tent collection. My biggest problem is normally deciding which one to take, I have too many. Thank goodness for changeable seasons, weather, and mood, otherwise many of then would just sit in the gear room.

  2. I think the smaller space in the S10 won’t help but I’ve also got an (untested) theory that the large inner door vent will allow more moisture from the vestibule to get in the inner adding to the workload of the fabric? The S15 had a much smaller mesh area , just a thought ?

  3. The Notch Li doesn’t look very comfortable if I’m honest, in terms of space etc. I have the Dan Durston X-Mid 1P and although it has nice large vestibules the amount of space in the inner is tiny. I’d imagine the Notch to be a bit like that – just enough space for your mat and a few bits and bobs.

    I also have the Stratospire 2, and the amount of condensation getting knocked off and through the mesh is minimal. Although I haven’t been in a situation yet where it’s absolutely dripping – but I put that down to the superior ventilation of the Stratospire in the first place.

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