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Sublite features - request for feedback
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Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 12:16:07 MST Print View

BPL'ers/Sublite owners,

We're sold out of (tyvek) Sublites and before we do another production run now is the same to think a little bit about feature creep (or not) for the next production run. Specifically, we either add a separate mesh door or we don't. If we do, it adds about about 1.5 ounces to the total weight and ~ $15 to the final price. We just don't have the bandwidth to do two versions of this model and there are tradeoffs to everything so I'm asking for some help here to make the decision. I'd love to hear pro and con arguments for a price and feature increase. If you haven't used a Sublite, please keep in mind that a mesh door just isn't necessary for ventilation but views are certainly worth something. Thanks for your help.


David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 13:05:55 MST Print View


I would say skip the side mesh on the Tyvek Sublite. Instead I would request a larger front mesh window like the sil-sublite. This could help with views and may add less weight.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 13:33:34 MST Print View

How wonderful to see you here asking for feedback from your customers, Henry! I wish every manufacturer would do this!

Unfortunately, I haven't tried the Sublite so have no comments to offer. I suspect that the Pacific NW may not be the best place for a Tyvek tent outside the 6-8 week dry season. I also need a tent ample enough for me plus my 80-lb. dog. I would definitely be interested in a 2-person Sublite Sil (which does have the mesh door), should you develop one in the future!

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 13:37:28 MST Print View

No mesh door for me. Thank you for asking.

Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - MLife

Locale: No Cal
Sublite "Improvements" on 12/22/2008 14:06:39 MST Print View

This is AWESOME !!!!!!!!!

As mentioned earleir, I'd like both a Vestibule . and the Mesh.

To the latter, you get ..

1) Ventilation . on those warm Sierra Days .. for a nap
2) Keeps those pesky mesquitos out

3)As mentioned earlier .. Views ..

Again, I own , used , and think the Sub is a great tent.. However, I'd buy another one if I could get a Vestibule and Mesh !

Thanks for asking Henry ..

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 14:07:32 MST Print View

Hi Henry

A bit hard to sell a shelter which does not allow full insect-proofing - at least in some areas. (Yes, Australia does come to mind!)
I would say that the Sublite should have full insect proofing despite the extra weight, because people who don't need the proofing and the extra weight will probably go for a simpler tarp anyhow.


Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 14:12:26 MST Print View

I vote for adding the mesh door!

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
re: "Sublite features - request for feedback" on 12/22/2008 14:21:09 MST Print View

I'd vote in support of a mesh door!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Sublite on 12/22/2008 14:22:06 MST Print View

Where I live, a shelter is used largely for shade, and bug protection. You might get rain one out of every 50 backpacking days. So I'd say mesh door. Too bad you couldn't make it a kind of modular feature, like the Double Rainbow liner. Then if you needed it, you could buy it, and snap it in. Of course, I'd like bigger mesh too, since we don't have no-see-ums.

The rain curtain like the sil-sub would be nice.

Edited by skinewmexico on 12/22/2008 14:48:40 MST.

Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 14:33:50 MST Print View

> A bit hard to sell a shelter which does not allow full insect-proofing

The Sublite, like all our shelters, has full insect proofing. All other gaps between the canopy and floor are filled with no-see-um mesh. The Sublite is currently the only model in our lineup that doesn't have a separate mesh door and does require you to zip close the door for bugs.


Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 14:41:39 MST Print View


I would want the mesh, but I would suggest that the mesh have a zipper that would allow for it to be unzipped and removed from the Sublite, for those who want the lowest possible weight.

This might solve an issue to production "bandwidth".

In my mind, if I wanted the absolute lightest shelter possible, I would take a poncho tarp and bivy...the duel use of the poncho tarp providing a weight savings in multiple areas...shelter and rain gear.

The point being that when I take my Contrail out, I am making a decision to go heavier based on the conditions that I expect to face, such as extreme rain or bugs.

Your shelters are wonderful in that they provide tons for room in comparison to my poncho tarp & bivy for long periods in prolonged rain or when the bugs are attacking.

Not having the mesh would negate what I consider a crucial benefit of your tarptents.

Hope that this helps and my family of 3 can not wait to take your Rainshadow 2 out for a spin!!!

Keep up the great work and innovation.


Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Sublite on 12/22/2008 14:58:55 MST Print View

Or the mesh door and regular door could share a zipper, and you used one or the other.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 15:25:41 MST Print View

I don't own Sublite but after my experiences with Squall, Cloudburst, RainShadow and MYOG TT1, it be hard to revert to a shelter that had less view in fair weather bug season not to mention less ventilation in hot weather.

I also vote in favor of the mesh.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 17:52:59 MST Print View

Per our conversation this morning: I would like to get on board the added mesh door group. The extra ounce and a half would make an even 20 ounces, and well worth the weight.

I applaud your asking for feedback. The only other designer/manufacturer I know that really wanted feedback is Bruce Warren, whose LuxuryLite pack I carry.

If you do add a screen door to the Sublite I'd get one for sure.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 18:05:08 MST Print View

Not a show stopper per se, but one negative about a separate screen door is the need and tedium of zipping/unzipping two sets of doors for entrance and exit.

First choice: A zippable (closable) mesh window built within the door -- if it can be made rainproof.

Second choice: No separate mesh door. Since there's already plenty of ventilation -- may as well keep it simple.

Edited by ben2world on 12/22/2008 18:06:44 MST.

Peter Atkinson
(sewing_machine) - MLife

Locale: Yorkshire, England
Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 18:06:27 MST Print View


I'm also in the mesh door camp... I'd use the two... and a vestibule as well would be very ace!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 18:18:40 MST Print View

I had a tent with separate zippers for the screen and door. One just tied back whichever door was not in use. A screen like the one at the head of the Sublite would work if it could be at least as rain proof as the "head" vent in the Sublite.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sublite Features on 12/22/2008 19:29:15 MST Print View


Thank you for welcoming suggestions. I would like to see a mesh door and a larger vestibule, but I recognize the larger vestibule would probably only make sense for the Sublite Sil.

Would you consider extending the bottom zipper down to (or closer to) the foot end? This would allow the entire side panel to be lifted up to create a fairly substantial and open-feeling awning with very little tent redesign. I would think that the side pole and rear strut would still provide the apex/ridge stability.

You could even go so far as to add a few extra inches of fabric beyond the bottom zipper edge, which would normally be rolled up, but could be extended in awning mode. I know we're talking about a few extra ounces here altogether, but even if it weighed as much as the contrail, I prefer the design of the Sublite over the Contrail and Lunar Solo, and thus would still consider a purchase.

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by jcarter1 on 12/22/2008 19:33:37 MST.

Bill Cooper
(bwcooper) - MLife
Re: Sublite features - request for feedback on 12/22/2008 20:54:30 MST Print View

I vote yes for a mesh door and a rain porch on the Sublite-Tyvek, the same features as on the Sil.

I vacillated between getting the Sublite-T and the Sublite-Sil and in the end bought neither. I was attracted to the Tyvek model because of its breathability and resistance to condensation, but the lack of door netting and rain porch killed the purchase (nor could I convince myself I'd fashion my own).

I want the ability to open the tent for views yet be protected from bugs (I've never liked being in a closed tent). Only during the heaviest rains will I cover the door netting on my Virga and Squall.

If I were looking for a super minimalist setup I'd still be using a tarp. I'm no fan of extra features or weight, but for the tarptent design I consider door netting and rain porch to be just this side of essential. The door netting in the case of Tyvek may be more a subjective desire for views than the need for ventilation, but the porch would be functional for rainy day in/egress and cooking.

Obviously, this is a hard call. Having met Henry once I know he likes to create elegant designs with minimal but essential feature sets at a fair price. And though the hard core could cut away the "extras",* if raising the price of the Sublite-T pushed away people who otherwise wouldn't buy a TarpTent, that would be a loss to all.

[* Heck, if I wanted to save weight I'd first take a knife to the bathtub floor - my other TarpTents don't have them and I've never felt the need. Actually, using a separate groundsheet as floor is more versatile - when the weather is fine you can sleep under the stars without carrying extra ground cover.]

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Sublite on 12/22/2008 22:48:32 MST Print View

Sounds like everyone is describing a Tyvek Rainbow, without the hoop pole.

Edited by skinewmexico on 12/28/2008 22:38:14 MST.