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4 Season Tarp?
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Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
4 Season Tarp? on 12/17/2008 15:36:26 MST Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/22/2015 18:30:27 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
4 Season Tarp on 12/17/2008 15:50:51 MST Print View

Actually the pyramid tarps tend to do quite well in strong winds. This is due to a pyramid tarps stable pitch and angled shape. I've found that the half pyramid shelters will do just as well in high winds as long as you've pitched the shelter with the flat side away from the wind.

This is assuming that you have your pyramid tarp staked out properly.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: 4 Season Tarp on 12/17/2008 16:05:50 MST Print View

You can expect pyramid tarps to do even better with guy-out loops in the center of each panel and about 1/3 way up each edge. That does mean more guy lines and stakes however.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: 4 Season Tarp on 12/17/2008 16:39:51 MST Print View

Good advice for square pyramids Jim. My hex 3 cheats the wind well enough without.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Cuben mids on 12/18/2008 09:24:18 MST Print View

Dave, just to help your habit along, how 'bout MLDs Spinntex mid at 19 ounces? Seems like I saw one at Oware before, too. Somewhere floating ethereally through this site I'd swear I've seen a full mid around 13 ounces...

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Utopia 1 on 12/18/2008 10:16:12 MST Print View

Someone wanted to see a drawing of the GoLite Utopia 1 so here it is.

Keep in mind this is only an approximate representation of the shelter. All dimensions are from the manufacturer. I am in no way affiliated with GoLite or any other shelter manufacturer.

Utopia 1

Edited by chadnsc on 12/18/2008 10:16:50 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Utopia 1 on 12/18/2008 11:40:24 MST Print View

I want to say 'Thank You' for providing these drawings!

I find them invaluable in evaluating the fit of these shelters.

In my opinion they should included on every tent review. Even though many vendors provide similar images on their respective web sites, this would standardize our perspective across the board.

BPL Staff: Hint.... hint......

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: 4 Season Tarp? on 12/18/2008 12:57:04 MST Print View

Pyramids do very well in the wind and are the classic
Arctic/Antarctic tent shape. I have had a mid stand up
to winds in Eastern Oregon that blew down and broke poles in a large North Face Dome. You just need good anchors for
the tie outs.

Additional tieouts are not necessary unless the mid is
very large with lots of surface area, or is very small, then
they provide more headroom.

4 sided shelters are way easier to set up than 6 sided
ones. The 6 sided ones are hard to get the footprint
straight unless you have a floor in it. This can cause one
or more sides to be off the ground. This is especially apparent and vexing if trying to set them up on a slope.
One of the Alphamids of cuben I made for Ryan's Alaska
trip had 6 sides. Six sided shelter make for wasted
space and weight too.

The cuben 8x8 mid I made for Roman and Ryan's Alaska
traverse weighed 13 oz. The Alphamid TM was 7.5 oz.

I just made some silnylon mids for a scout group
which were the same dimensions as Roman's and I made
a few extra. They weigh 20.5 oz and sleep 2-4 kids
or a couple of adults.

I also made a pair of Alphamids to sell, to the same
dimensions but for one person and they weigh 13.5 oz.

Times are slow, so I have a sale on too.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
4 Season Tarp. on 12/18/2008 13:04:53 MST Print View

I'm glad I could be of some help. If BPL wanted me to do a series of drawings for any shelters they wanted to review I would be happy to do it.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Pyramids on 12/18/2008 14:26:36 MST Print View

Dave O is right: for Artic and Antarctic conditions they often use pyramids.
OP Pyramid
(image courtesy manufacturer One Planet, Australia)

This tent is high enough for you stand up inside. It takes Antarctic gales. But there is a cost.
The fabric is 8 oz canvas.
The poles are 48 mm diameter (1.9").
The guy ropes are 8 mm climbing rope.
Yeah - reckon it might stay up.


Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: 4 Season Tarp? on 12/18/2008 14:56:22 MST Print View

I agree with a lot of your points. A square mid is easier to get tight to the ground on uneven surfaces for sure. I find it easy to judge the angles for the hex (engineer by trade) and the golite tensioning straps work well to take up unevenness, albeit with some ground gap.

For me and Kath, the hex is great. I'm a giant who needs to sleep corner to corner, whereas Kath is a shorty, who can tuck in beside me in the space left. This leaves us lots of room for gear and cooking on the other side of the pole.

For a serious expedition, and minimal weight with two more even height people, I'm sure your square mid is more efficient.

Much respect for your craft and the quality of your work.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: 4 Season Tarps on 12/18/2008 18:30:47 MST Print View

Chad, I've got to express my thanks for your helpful diagram. It definitely cleared up a major source of the confusion I've had about the weight discrepancy between these two competing products. The Duomid is great in that it's the first 2-man pyramid shelter I've seen that weighs less than a pound in silnylon, but for a sub-20 ounce pyramid shelter you can practically stand up inside of, the alphamid would be the shelter of choice.

Victor Karpenko
(Viktor) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Pyramids in the snow on 12/19/2008 00:05:46 MST Print View

I think they are great in the snow regardless of the conditions. I have had mine in Sierra storms and high winds. The only advice, is position the door on the downwind side. The Oware 10x10 has a lot of room. I use it as a kitchen/dining area for large group trips or as a personal shelter and eating area for small groups. I have had up to 10 people in it at one time. Set up is fast and easy. We first make a quarry and then cut out the foot well and use the blocks as a perimeter wall to set the pyramid on.

As Dave said, set up is easy. The pyramid is laid out so we could mark where to put the perimeter wall.
Oware set up


Fabulous dining area!
Kitchen area

Happy campers inside the Oware dining room enjoying Sarah's Freezer Bag Cooking.
Happy campers

Edited by Viktor on 12/19/2008 00:13:20 MST.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: 4 Season Tarp on 12/19/2008 10:22:39 MST Print View

Erin and Hig used mids for thier year long trip from Seattle to Alaska - a Spinntex fabric version for the first half (minimal snow) and a Silnylon version for the toughter winter storm second half.

Here is a link to their blog and one pic shows the Sil mid totally buried under snow!

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Pyramids like the One Planet design on 01/11/2009 14:20:27 MST Print View

I posted a new thread regarding a 4 person semi pyramid with one vertical end "Tent idea- Smaller Shangri La 6". Size needs to be good for two adults and two kids who are quickly growing- so let's just say sleeps four.

A couple of my thoughts were to limit height so I could use trekking poles and have fewer seams. Taller may be better though and it seems joining two trekking poles is pretty simple.

Which brings me to the "One Planet, Australia" pyramid phot that Roger posted above. I like the fairly high vertical door on one end. What about something similar to the Oware pyramids (9x9 or 8x8) but with one end raised up like that?

Thanks for any feedback.

dave hollin
(backpackbrewer) - F

Locale: Deepest darkest Wales, boyo
mid, pyramids and tepees on 03/19/2009 03:14:43 MDT Print View

excuse my ignorance but I always assumed that the inherent strength of a pryramid or similar shelter was the fact that the stresses and strains of the shelter (and any wind hitting it) were directed down through the centre via the straight pole. Is it just as valid to say that if you have 6 panels instead of 4 that its not only the size of the panel presented to the wind but also that you have 6 stakes in the ground equalizing the stress via the central pole?
I am not an engineer, just a lowly brewer so i would interested to see the thoughts of a civil or structural engineer......


David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: mid, pyramids and tepees on 03/19/2009 12:42:22 MDT Print View

Yes you are correct as far as I have found, but as you add
more sides
you start to get diminishing returns. More weight for less
usable space (sleeping people fit better in a rectangle than
in a hex, etc.) and setting up the shelter gets more complex
and difficult to lay it out straight if it has no floor.

Stephen Morse
(scmorse1) - MLife

Locale: Bay area
Snow Flaps on 03/19/2009 21:57:35 MDT Print View

Does anyone have any experience with snow flaps/skirts on floorless shelters? Do they offer any value for the added weight?

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
4 Season Tarp on 03/19/2009 22:09:19 MDT Print View

Jumped into this late, but want to offer a perspective from the land of ice and snow, at least snow. We use the Oware 9x9 from October through now and have found it to be the best shelter for wind, snow and rain.
Pyramid Tarp Pyramid Tarp Camp
Winter and fall shown here