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GG Squall Classic
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Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
GG Squall Classic on 08/23/2009 22:27:51 MDT Print View

A lot of people have been telling me that the tarp material used on the Squall Classic repels rain better than the tarp material used on Tarptent's Squall 2. The trade off supposedly is that the Squall Classic will be extremely noisy during windy conditions. I am willing to endure the noise throughout the night, however, I have a question about the dimensions of the tent. On the site,

http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/Squall_Classic.html

it states that the dimension are as follows with concern relating to the width:

80 in. (203 cm.) - Width in front (netting to netting)

51 in. (130 cm.) - Wi
dth in rear (netting to netting)

62 in. (158 cm.) - Width of floor in front

42 in. (107 cm.) - Width of floor in rear

With these dimensions being apparent should I use the ones that do not measure netting to netting to determine whether or not my two 25 inch pads could fit inside the enclosure? And when doing so, am I correct with the conclusion that two 25 inch pads will not fit inside of the enclosure?

Edited by MichaelRedbeard on 08/23/2009 22:29:40 MDT.

david richardson
(drichi) - MLife

Locale: midwest
Squall classic on 08/24/2009 11:17:34 MDT Print View

I don't think you can get 2 25" pads in it. I have one and I don't think there is any way with out them being on top of the side mesh. That would mean that you are laying over the bathtub sides on the floor and laying the pad on the mesh.dave

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Spinnaker waterproofness on 08/24/2009 11:32:44 MDT Print View

I thought that spinnaker wasn't as waterproof? I notice that GG says they use a high thread count spinnaker--is this where the difference is?

Patrick Caulder
(pcaulder) - MLife

Locale: SouthEast
Squall Classic on 08/24/2009 11:36:23 MDT Print View

If i remember correctly GG uses the same spinntex that everyone else uses. I have a spinntwinn, but never had any problems with the waterproofing.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: GG Squall Classic on 08/24/2009 11:38:06 MDT Print View

Hi Tim,

FWIW, I've been through a sustained downpour in a Tarptent (Contrail) in PA and didn't have any serious problems. I would occasionally get a light mist on me (which I actually didn't mind as it was hot that night!) but nothing I worried about. It wasn't water drops coming through, just a light mist. And I use a down quilt with Pertex Quantum cover. It didn't get wet.

Right now my favorite 2-person is the Tarptent Cloudburst 2 (well, okay, I like palaces, I actually use it as a one-person). It's a touch heavier than the Squall 2, but the unhindered front entry is more than worth it to me. It's really a fabulous tent!

Take care,

Doug

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
TT vs GG on 08/24/2009 12:07:18 MDT Print View

I've used the original TT Squall (PCT thruhike) and also have the original Cloudburst (CDT thruhike). Both have had misting, but only for about 4-5 days total on each thruhike during insane storms--really nothing to be worried about in the long run.

The TT squall can flap a bit in moderate to strong winds when the foot isn't pitched directly into the wind, so depending on how deep you sleep the spinnaker version really could be quite noisy? The GG squall weight is nice for two people, though. You better be intimate with your sleeping partner, though, as those walls don't allow for much space when dressing/moving around (this is why I switched to the Cloudburst).

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
GG Squall Classic on 08/24/2009 15:11:26 MDT Print View

I was lucky enough to get one of the first of the 2009 Gossamer Gear/Tarptent Squall Classics. It's a really neat tent, pitches taut quite easily and is very streamlined. It has a center zipper closure for the beak/vestibule which I love--no more velcro! (I really dislike velcro.) The sides of the bathtub floor pull up neatly all the way around--no sagging--far better than any other tarptent-style tent I've encountered.

Yes, it's a really snug fit for two. However, for me plus my 80 lb. dog, it's more than adequate. I'd call it a tent for one plus (one plus child or dog) rather than a two-person tent, and I notice that GG no longer describes it as a 2-person tent. Two people who want the light weight and don't mind snuggling closely will be OK, though, as long as only one sits up at a time (if both occupants want to dress or exit at the same time, forget it). I found that it works just fine with the front pole at 115 cm. instead of the recommended 107 cm., which gives a little more headroom. As mentioned, two 25" pads will not work. Two 20" pads will be cozy but will work. EDIT: Two big and stout people will definitely want a larger tent!

I had to abort my recent Wind Rivers trip due to my dog's getting sick. I therefore did not have a chance to test it in a real storm. If we'd stayed on schedule, it would have had a real test at 11,000 feet--wind, rain, hail, snow. However, the Squall Classic did hold up to quite a few heavy wind gusts and to moderate rain. I sprayed it for about 30 minutes with a high-pressure hose to test my seam-sealing before I took it out, and not a drop got inside.

It's really easy to get a taut pitch so it doesn't rattle in the wind. GG suggests putting the tent into the dryer, with air only (no heat) and a few tennis balls for 10-15 minutes. This softened it up a little and removed any noise issue.

I am waiting to review this tent until I've had it in some real storms, but couldn't resist commenting here. There seem to be some misconceptions about spinnaker fabric (I had some too), but so far I find it as strong as silnylon (my dog, before he got sick, took some runs through the guylines) and quite definitely waterproof.

The Squall Classic is definitely smaller than the Tarptent Squall 2 (which I also have), but is of course considerably lighter and more streamlined.

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/25/2009 12:19:02 MDT.

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Truly a 2 person tent on 08/24/2009 19:59:40 MDT Print View

I have used the Squall Classic on many trips since Feb '08 including torrential all night storms, sustained 40-50 mph winds,& light snow, both as a one person & 2 person tent. My daughter & I have shared the tent many times without problem. She is 6'0" & I am 6'1". The bathtub floor is trapezoidally shaped with plenty of room for the head & shoulders & less so for the feet. Admittedly, this is with 20" wide pads. I have not found that fabric noise is a problem particularly if pitched tautly with the side guys staked out. The new center zippered vestibule is a great improvement & prompted me to sell my '08 model to a friend & purchase the '09. I don't know of another 2 person tent that combines lightness, ease of pitch, & storm/wind worthiness as well as the Squall Classic & yes that includes the SMD Refuge X (wind worthiness, no bathtub floor, price)

Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
Noise on 08/24/2009 21:15:15 MDT Print View

Any tent can be flappy and noisy if it's blowing hard enough. This is where earplugs and Benadryl come in handy.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
GG Squall Classic on 08/24/2009 23:59:48 MDT Print View

A couple of pictures, if I can manage it:
Stuff kind of scattered, but note there would be room for two, barely

Note streamlined appearance and taut pitch--first setup out in the wild

I may have the side guylines a little too tight, which, as noted in the Gossamer Gear video, lowers the roofline.

These were taken on my first trip with this tent, to Shi-Shi Beach in Olympic NP in Washington--which explains the absence of my dog. The tag is our camping permit, not part of the tent! I need to take pictures showing the wonderful zippered vestibule, and a closeup of how well the bathtub floor edges stand up. So far, I really like this tent!

I long since got rid of my Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight (lightweight tent in the 1980's, but certainly not by modern standards), so I don't have it for comparison. I don't think it was any bigger than the Squall Classic, though. Definitely a snug fit for two, and only one person could sit up or dress at a time.

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/25/2009 00:10:38 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: GG Squall Classic on 08/25/2009 06:49:37 MDT Print View

Here's our review of the Squall Classic:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/gossamer_gear_tarptent_squall_classic_tent_review.html

When writing the review, I measured the floor has having a taper of 60 inches to 40 inches at the bottom. If you had two full length 25 inch pads, They would go over the bathtub corners at the bottom but would still be covered by the fly.

I've had this tent out a great deal and also owned a Squall 2. I'd say they are equally waterproof, although silnylon doesn't repel water quite as quickly. The silnylon also sags a bit when wet. The spinnaker stretches less and stays more taut in wet or high humidity conditions. It's also weaker- I tore out a side guyline in high winds once (they repaired it beautifully at no cost). It is also a bit noisier in winds, but I find it reasonable.

In the end, I sold the Squall 2 and kept the Squall Classic. Saving 1/2 pound was worth the trade off to me, although the 2 is a more durable, a little more spacious, and quieter tent.

Important to note that I also had a Refuge X- sold that tent and kept the Squall Classic. The Classic has a more taut pitch, although the Refuge X had more space and was 1/2 pound lighter. I spend much of my time above the treeline so the wind stability was key. Anyhow, that's what worked for me! Squall Classic = my favorite ultralight 2 person tent.

Edited by djohnson on 08/25/2009 06:58:46 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
GG Squall Classic on 08/25/2009 12:16:10 MDT Print View

I forgot to mention the little detail that this tent has the Tarptent label on one side of the door (seen in the photos) and the Gossamer Gear label on the other side. It's a real cooperative project between the two companies!

Doug, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has fallen in love with this really neat tent. Yes, I did read the BPL review (and quite a few others) before I made the purchase!

I'll report back and write a Reader Review after I've had the SC out some more.

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/25/2009 12:17:20 MDT.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: GG Squall Classic on 08/25/2009 12:48:26 MDT Print View

I had been eye-balling the Squall Classic for awhile, but decided it wasn't long enough for me. What is the realistic usable length of the floor?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
GG Squall Classic on 08/25/2009 13:58:46 MDT Print View

http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/Squall_Classic.html

81" is what the specs say. The length is all useable, assuming the 21" height at the rear doesn't bother you.

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
GG Squall Classic floor length on 08/25/2009 17:14:50 MDT Print View

The 81" figure is spot on & all of the length is usable. This figure is with the bathtub floor pulled tight, but if the floor is not tensioned the length would probably increase by about 3 more inches.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: GG Squall Classic floor length on 08/25/2009 23:18:30 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info. The reason I asked is because I'm 6'6" and I've owned Tarp Tents in the past that were a little over zealous when identifying the actual useful length.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Thanks... on 08/26/2009 01:30:25 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of your help and suggestions, I especially appreciated the pictures Mary. With all that was said, by the looks of it both tents are equally waterproof. I just thought that because GG actually came out and said it in their tent description and TT did not, that perhaps the TT version did not deal as well with water.

Therefore, since it appears that TT is a safe route to go with regards to waterproofing and since I want a tent with a larger amount of space, I think that perhaps I will give the RainShadow a try. Then again, if I can convince myself to realize that 25 inch sleeping pads are not as necessary as I am making them out to be for a goodnights sleep, then perhaps I will got with either the Squall 2 or Squall Classic.

Out of curiousity, if I do decide to go with the 20 inch pads, will two of them easily be able to fit in either of the squall verisons without defeating the purpose of the bathtub flooring design by dragging down the netting? Before someone gives the suggestion of telling me to use 20 inch wide mummy pads, to remove all doubt of their being a chance that regular 20 inch pads wont fit, please refain from doing so, as I like having a place to rest my shoulders at night instead of on the ground.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Thanks... on 08/27/2009 17:04:13 MDT Print View

I'm 6'2" and I have lots of extra length. My 6'4" friend also found it roomy in length.

Two 20" pads will fit with room to spare. I think two 25" 3/4 pads would also fit. The problem with pads this wide is the taper at the end.