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Tarptent vs MSR
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Carter Young
(kidcobalt) - M

Locale: Western Montana
Tent Floors Will Leak, Even When New on 09/10/2009 23:07:58 MDT Print View

Sitting or kneeling in a tent puts a lot of pressure on the fabric, and that's why the hydrostatic head test is quite useful in determing how "waterproof" waterproof is. For example, MH Trango tents once featured a floor with a 1500MM rating for the coating (the same rating as the fly). I once spilled some water out of a Nalgene that ran down between a ridgerest and the floor of a brand new Trango 2. To my surprise, the next morning I found no water inside the tent, but a big wet patch on the dry ground under the tent floor. The water had been pushed through the supposedly waterproof floor.

The same thing will happen (but in a reverse direction) if you camp on snow with a tent that has less than stellar coating on the floor. Escaping body heat will melt the snow, and the resulting water will be pushed through the floor.

Having said all of this, I have a collection of shelters from Tarptent and Black Diamond that use sil-nylon for floors, and they do fine if they aren't pitched on snow or ground that is already saturated. But if you want bombproof, go for the 10000mm rated floors found in Bibler, MSR, and expedition TNF tents.

Jesse Coonce
(JesseCoonce) - F

Locale: in the sticks
MSR vs. Tarptent on 09/10/2009 23:08:13 MDT Print View

Joe, being that I am also a Canadian I'd like to be able to boast and tell you how much tougher things are out here but I doubt that there are as many things on the ground here to abrade a tent floor as there are in that desert area in your avatar. As far as the great debate goes, I am in no position to pick one over the other yet, I currently own(and intend to keep) a MSR Hubba Hubba for when I camp with my wife or kids, and also have on order right now a Tarptent Moment(which I also intend to keep) for solo use which will be the majority of my outings(man I hope that Tarptent shows up soon, I can't wait to try it). Either way, I look forward to using both tents at any opportunity I get.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: MSR vs. Tarptent on 09/10/2009 23:18:27 MDT Print View

"I have on order right now a Tarptent Moment(which I also intend to keep) for solo use which will be the majority of my outings"

How do you manage to slip away from the wife and kids for so many 'solo outings'? I usually camp with my wife (which is great) or sneak out solo when she is gone for a few nights. It's rare I can get a week to do a solo trip....

Edited by dandydan on 09/10/2009 23:18:57 MDT.

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Re: Tent Floors Will Leak, Even When New on 09/10/2009 23:23:16 MDT Print View

Refuge X pitched on snow at a BSA snow camp...silnylon floor, down to low 20' water through floor (but body shape melted into snow when I took my tent down)

Refure X - snow camp 2009

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 23:31:47 MDT Print View

So that's where they got the idea for the memory foam mattress.

I may have to get a Moment, because my Lunar Solo has such a big footprint, and's another new tent.

Jesse Coonce
(JesseCoonce) - F

Locale: in the sticks
How to slip away... on 09/10/2009 23:40:51 MDT Print View

"How do you manage to slip away from the wife and kids for so many 'solo outings'? I usually camp with my wife (which is great) or sneak out solo when she is gone for a few nights. It's rare I can get a week to do a solo trip...."

Truthfully I don't get out much for week long trips, but overnighters and weekend trips aren't too hard to get away with, I just have to split the time off between family and myself in a somewhat fair fashion(though house reno's and cutting and splitting firewood are currently gouging in to my time). I am fortunate enough to get a month of holiday time a year too so that helps me spread it out a bit as well. My older daughter is turning six in Feb. and she will be ready to start doing some overnighters with me next spring, she just completed the entire Joffre Lakes hike with next to no help from me so I figure her and I can probably find some other areas with equal difficulty but way less people to camp at after the snow starts to melt in the spring.

Carter Young
(kidcobalt) - M

Locale: Western Montana
Re: Re: Tent Floors Will Leak, Even When New on 09/11/2009 00:04:27 MDT Print View

It's suprising how much heat escapes down below with even a very good setup. One night in Missoula the temp went to a chilly -23F, and so I decided to do some backyard testing. Over four inches of snow I put down a: blue polypro tarp, a Ridgerest, and a 2.5 inch thick car camping Thermarest. I then climbed into a Dryloft-shelled -40F rated Integral Designs down bag wearing capilene under fleece pants and jacket. I didn't use a tent because I wanted to recreate in some way Doug Scott and Dugald Haston's Bivy on the South Peak of Everest. I was never cold, but the four inches of snow beneath me had transformed into a thick crust of ice over bare ground.

And in below 0F conditions I can attest to the value of Dryloft for sleeping bags and down parkas, but that's a matter for another discussion.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Leaking floors? on 09/11/2009 00:10:54 MDT Print View

So who has had water coming through a sil-nylon floor? Actual users, and not 'i know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who read about it'.

I've never had water coming through the floor of my sil-nylon MLD shelters, or Contrail, or Stephensons 2R. My 'normal' ground conditions can be pretty wet. I've had condensation form on the floor of shelters though, including 'bombproof' tents. I often use polycro to protect the floor, as old heather twigs can be pretty sharp, and i sometimes have no choice but to pitch on it. I believe polycro helps to prevent condensation from cold ground too, but have no proof of this. I assume it's condensation, as it only happens in temps around freezing, and doesn't happen in warmer temps.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Groundcloths on 09/11/2009 01:38:13 MDT Print View

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness" and a groundcloth not only protects from gross abrasion it keeps your tent floor CLEAN and therefore free from tiny, ground in abrasive dirt and fine, dusty sand.

My groundcloth is from a 2 mil trash can liner cut to open lengthwise. It folds up to the size of a pack of cigarettes. Once back home I toss it in the garbage. Yeah, it only covers the front 3/4 of my Contrail floor but that's the part getting the most use and abuse.

Now that I've just sold my Contrail and am getting a Moment delivered any day now I may need a longer groundcloth. Back to the supermarket to search for larger trash bags. Speaking of which, back to this thread's original topic. GET A T.T. MOMENT and you'll never regret the decision.


Edited by Danepacker on 09/11/2009 01:40:04 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re : Leaking floors? on 09/11/2009 02:29:56 MDT Print View

Hi Mike

> So who has had water coming through a sil-nylon floor?

However, that was halfway along the GR5 track in France, and the tent had already seen a few years service in Australia plus about 6-7 weeks on the GR7 and GR5 in France. That might be more use than many people would see in a tent.

It was bucketing down in the evening at about 2,000 m and the water was literally flowing under the tent. Where I was kneeling showed some dampness. Erk! So I bought some silicone sealant a few days later and smeared a very thin layer over the underside of the floor (an epic exercise in itself, mind you). That seemed to fix the problem for the next few years.

However, modern dry-look silnylon is not a patch on the old wet-look stuff, sadly. It is not meant for tents but for parachutes and air-filled advertising dummies.


Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Leaking floors? on 09/11/2009 03:18:00 MDT Print View

Hi Roger.

You Aussies are well known for wrecking everything though! :)

I was trying to get a feel for what sil-nylon is like in 'real life' use, as the anecdotal stories of leaking sil-nylon floors are common, but i don't know anyone personally who has had this happen. As i said, i haven't had a problem, and i've camped on some very soggy ground. UL shelters using sil-nylon floors are becoming more common in the wet UK, and i'm not hearing any reports of problems.
I was aware of the stories before i started using it, so i always take care to spread the load as much as i can when on the floor.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re : Leaking floors? on 09/11/2009 04:00:35 MDT Print View

Hi Mike

I think that the problem really surfaces when you have a hard surface (rocky?) under the groundsheet so that the localised pressure from (say) your knees gets to be pretty high. That may not be the case in the UK on soggy ground ... :-)

In many cases what you are actually camping on in the UK may be soft enough that the pressure stays low. On thick grass or moss this would probably be the case.

Hey - I tried to reach the cairn on Black Mt once (on the Pennine Way). Ha! (I've got a photo of it somewhere.)


Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Na on the MSR on 09/11/2009 05:03:25 MDT Print View

I was all gung-ho about this tent (MSR CR2) from the get go. I got it brand new for $307 with no tax and free shipping. I had high hopes for it and was thrilled about getting it for 40% off retail. Hell even more that 40%, because will retail you have to figure in taxes by the end of it all.

Now while I only read the first two replies to your original start of this thread, this being namely because I have heard and read enough about the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 (as well as having first hand experience with it) not to want to have to listen to anything more regarding it (nothing personal to all of those who responded), I would like to chime in and say a couple of things. For all I know my post may prove to be out of context due to how far this discussion has come along, and Im sorry if it is.

I could not stand the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 for one simple reason. Outside of it being nice and light as well as being pretty durable, the darn thing is too small. MSR states that the floor is 50 inches wide. That a crock of crap. Its 50 inches wide when measuring the width at the top or bottom of the tent. However, when you get to the middle of the tent you are barely getting 42 inches of width to work with. After three field tests I just could not take it anymore. I woke up sore and my girlfriend complained about how it felt as though I had used her body as an extension to my mattress due to how close we had to sleep together.

Seriously, and nothing personal to all who like it (I wont even lie, I was one of those people before I got my first nights sleep in it, even though I wouldnt call it sleep), this tent is just too small. Its bad enough that most two person tents are small enough as it is making most people buy three person tents in order to satisfy their two person needs; this one on the other hand takes the cake. Serious this is a mildly luxurious one person tent a best. That being said, I can only imagine what the CR1 is like. Oh dear lord! Anyways I wasted too much typing on this poor excuse of a two person tent. Great idea, but just too small. The least MSR could have done was be honest with what the tent dimensions are listed at. Then again rumor has it that MSR stole this tent design from Henry Shire's Tarp Tent Double Rainbow. Who in the hell really knows though...jesus here I go again, just rambling my butt away. This is why I resisted from posting for so long.

Ok final thought, I cant stand this tent. What I couldnt stand even more was the fact that I got this tent for so cheap that I almost couldnt let go of it. 40% off is a lot. However, looking back on it, it was the best thing I could have done. Now time to continue on my journey towards finding a new next. Cheers and the best of luck to you.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Na on the MSR on 09/11/2009 06:14:04 MDT Print View

Ha, is it too late to say we told you so Tim? ;-)

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Tarptents and seepage on 09/11/2009 06:51:02 MDT Print View

Much to the chagrin of my spousal unit, I own three Tarptents (plus a Moment on the way), which have all been out in all kinds of weather, including torrential downpours.

I've never had any seepage through the floor, just a bit of blow-through from rain coupled with high winds. The latter was my fault, though. A quick pitch in the rain is not conducive to a taut pitch. I should have pitched with the walls closer to the ground.

I used to carry a Tyvek groundsheet. I switched to a GG polycryo, but I rarely use either one. At some point, I'll just stop taking it along.


Sara C
(Jon) - MLife

Locale: SE Missouri and NW Arkansas
Seepage through silnylon floor on 09/11/2009 09:20:18 MDT Print View

I've had two cases of water coming through the floor of my Tarptent Cloudburst, both in campgrounds. Once due to mud from melting snow (which was only a minor problem), and once due to water pooling during a hard rain. Both could have been avoided easily if I had been backpacking in the same area.

Jesse Coonce
(JesseCoonce) - F

Locale: in the sticks
Eric/Thomas re: the Moment on 09/11/2009 09:25:24 MDT Print View

Hi guys, I also have a Moment on order, was just wondering if you have received any confirmation that your order has shipped yet? I haven't heard any word yet from Henry as to wether mine has shipped or not, and my credit card has yet to billed as far as I can see, curious to know if anyone else has any news?

Thanks, Jesse

EDIT: I have recieved an email from Henry explaining the delay in shipping, disregard this post.

Edited by JesseCoonce on 09/11/2009 13:47:25 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/11/2009 09:36:40 MDT Print View

Tim - I am a little confused. What exactly are you trying to say? You need to learn to express yourself here. We are all friends....:)

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/11/2009 09:46:19 MDT Print View

Dan - again, what are you laying your tent on to require 10,000mm hydrostatic head? And please tell me how all the tarpers who don't have a groundsheet with a high hydrostatic head manage to keep dry? And you are guoting from a hammock forum. Seriously? MEC produces traditional tents that were state of the art in 1982 when most tents had polymar floors because this is what 'we' were told we needed. Don't believe the hype.

As far as the CR2 being tougher, please elaborate.

And yes, I am sorry to say, the Rainbow single is just as wide in the middle as the CR2. The CR2 is an exceptionally small 2 person shelter.

Dan said "The double rainbow does the opposite, starting off at 53" wide but narrowing down to about 25". "

This is absolutely incorrect. The DR is 52" wide from front to back and the single Rainbow is 38" front to rear. The Rainbow is 38" wide and 88" long v.s. the CR2 at 40" wide and 86" long. Seems to me the CR2 compares quite favorably to the Rainbow, a ONE person shelter.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 09/11/2009 09:58:34 MDT.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Coated vs Impregnated on 09/11/2009 11:05:54 MDT Print View

I have a question about coated fabrics vs silnylon. I was under the impression that the silicone impregnation would be much longer lived than a PU coating because of the impregnation process. It can't peel or be abraded off like a coating can. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this?

I will say I typically use a groundsheet under my silnylon shelter floors, to protect from abrasion more than anything else. It also keeps dirt and sand from sticking to the silnylon. It's not always easy to clean a tentsite; I hike in what amounts to a temperate rainforest, so there are buried roots everywhere. The polycro sheet I use weighs <2 oz. Cheap, light insurance for my floors beats ripping seams and replacing a floor. Also makes a handy cooking tarp in bear country, although I carry two in such cases.