SMD Haven - First Impressions
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Jonathan Whitney
(WalksOn2Wheels) - F
So, any updates on the Haven? on 05/12/2010 21:16:08 MDT Print View

Ok, I'm really diggin' on this tent design. I thought I'd kick this thread up with a few questions.

1) regarding the possible tear as you were pitching the tent with the inner attached, would it be a good idea to just leave the doors unzipped as you pack it down/pitch it? I usually zipper my doors halfway out of habit. (I like to pretend it makes it easier to let air out, even if the inner is mesh...) I could see how leaving doors open might be tricky when trying to get a tight roll, but if you're stuffing the whole thing, it shouldn't be a major issue (I would be rolling, however). Oh and did you ever hear back from SMD regarding this "design flaw"?

2) I just did a set of DIY golf club poles and they came out at just over 47 inches as opposed to the 45 recommended/shown here. Would it be possible to pitch this tent with these poles as is, or will I need to dig a couple of inches to jam my handles into the ground in order to do it properly? Or, conversely, jam my tips into the ground down to the baskets and use the handles at the top of the tent.

3) Did you ever get around to fabbing up any CF struts from your excess kite building materials? I'm sure we'd all love to hear/see the results.

And any other field observations or input from other people who have bought/used this tent would be great as well.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: So, any updates on the Haven? - Nope on 05/12/2010 21:24:04 MDT Print View

1) Doors open would help. At least you'd know something was amiss when tried to zip them up. The obvious answer is "just pay attention".

2)I think you could move the bottoms out. You loose the floor attachment to the pole, but no big deal.

3)KitBuilder is back ordered on CF, for 3 weeks now...

I'm hoping to get in a few nights next week. If it happens, I'll post.

Edited by greg23 on 05/12/2010 21:24:50 MDT.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Haven ideas to raise/lower fly on 05/16/2010 11:24:49 MDT Print View

> I think the Haven is an excellent design, but would love to see an easy option that allows the fly to be fully lowered.

Hi Greg,

I just got my Haven and love this elegant design (thanks Ron).
Following up on your thoughts on lowering the fly.
Rather than carrying two sets of struts to allow you lower the fly in bad conditions, what about the idea of just carrying a 2" cap for the struts?

With the cap on the struts are their normal length, slip off the cap to lower the fly on one or more sides.

Something to consider when you get your CF tubes in.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Haven ideas to raise/lower fly on 05/16/2010 11:37:14 MDT Print View

I like it.

And since Kite Builder is still on backorder, perhaps I could add a few things. I'll call Monday.

Thanks.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Another reason to love the SMD Haven on 05/16/2010 12:22:47 MDT Print View

More first impressions of the Haven. This weekend was my first chance to try out my new SMD Haven and I discovered another reason to love the design - being able to set it up from inside the tent.

I was caught by one those fast-forming afternoon thunderstorms. I whipped out the tarp bag, pulled it out, staked the four corners, crawled underneath with pack and poles as the big drops started to fall. It was pouring outside as I raised the tarp with the poles and staked out the vestibules. I was able to get a reasonably tight pitch just from adjustments I could do while sitting inside the Haven.

I'm still on the learning curve. Can someone (Ron?, Greg?) tell me what the clip tied to the two guy out cords with a prusik knot is for?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Another reason to love the SMD Haven on 05/16/2010 12:27:46 MDT Print View

Al,
The hook is intended to catch either of the loops at the bottom of a vestiblue fly. Then you can slide the prussic down to tension the fly and 'stabilize' the vestibule.

HavenHook

So, depending on your guess of prevailing wind, you could 'hook' the appropriate one, and use the other as the door.

Edited by greg23 on 05/16/2010 12:33:39 MDT.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: The hooks stabilize the vestibule on 05/16/2010 14:18:33 MDT Print View

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the explanation it makes perfect sense.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
My Observations on 06/14/2010 18:38:09 MDT Print View

We have had our Haven for a couple weeks. We haven't had any really bad weather to give an in depth review, but here are my observations:

Rog felt that the angle of the vestibule line was a bit steep to hold up in wind and I fully agree. Since the sides are steep, wind pressure will tend to pull up on the stakes more than push down on the poles.
We had one night where the forecast was for strong gusts, rain and hail so I did my own simulation and found that even 9" Easton stakes, in firm ground, at 45 degrees, pulled out easy with pressure against the vestibule. This is easily remedied by adding another line attached to the included top loops and extending at least 3 or 4 feet away from the shelter.

I don't think this is a bad thing, it is the price you pay for having the reduced footprint. In fact, I find that it just barely fits most of places I have pitched it. Most two person shelters wouldn't fit the sites we have used.
I suspect that the Lunar Duo wouldn't have fit because of the angled vestibules. I can see why Ron went with the steeper wall design.

Note, in this picture the added lines. This really added to the ability to withstand winds that night:Haven With Open Vestibules

I am normally not a fan of double wall tents. The Haven is the exception.
First, the outer can be pitched first like many European double wall tents.
Second, with the vestibules open, it has as much, if not more ventilation than the inner screen alone on most double wall shelters, but can be closed up from inside the shelter if rain should happen in the middle of the night. A major improvement over most popular double wall shelters.

About the inability to fully close off the vestibule so that there is less of a gap at the bottom? Luckily Ron has more sense than the people making this request, by making sure that you can't fully seal off the shelter. You do have to breath and you don't want to close off the whole tent to hold in warmth.
The gap is what I would consider the minimum and feel that he really thought about this issue in the design. If you don't have enough ventilation, you won't sleep well and it can actually be harmful. Get your warmth from your gear, not by blocking off air flow.

This shelter will pitch tight with some experience. You probably won't get it right the first time. Practice makes it a lot easier after the first pitch or two.

I will try to post more of my thoughts as I get more experience in rougher conditions.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 06/14/2010 19:02:13 MDT.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: My Observations on 06/14/2010 20:33:18 MDT Print View

> We had one night where the forecast was for strong gusts, rain and hail so I did my own simulation and found that even 9" Easton stakes, in firm ground, at 45 degrees, pulled out easy with pressure against the vestibule.

Hi Steven,

What was your "simulation"? Push against the vestibule with your body weight? It takes a lot of force to pull a 9" Easton stake out of firm ground, especially pulling at a 45 degree angle. Yet you claim it pulled out "easy" in your simulated test.

I have had my Haven out in some unexpected gusts. The tent shook but the stakes held fine. That said, It is true that the Haven (and any tent) will fair better in strong winds if guyed out using the extra loops provided.

I can't speak for Greg, but I felt he was asking about dropping a side to the prevailing wind, which is a pretty common practice with tarps. I don't think Greg was thinking of sealing up the tent as you claim.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Easton on 06/14/2010 20:43:26 MDT Print View

The soil type may be a factor. Deflection with Y or J style may be better? Coghlans recently listed a very cheap long stake in the style of the Groundhog but cheaper.

Edited by Meander on 06/14/2010 21:06:35 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: Re: My Observations on 06/15/2010 04:28:18 MDT Print View

Hi Al,

> What was your "simulation"? Push against the vestibule
> with your body weight?

Yes, but it wasn't a hard push. It was the amount I felt a strong gust could produce. The vestibule line is much steeper than 45 degrees. Adding the second less steep line mad a huge difference in how hard I could push.
I wouldn't need the second line in most cases, but it isn't a big deal to stake it out in exposed windy areas.

> I can't speak for Greg, but I felt he was asking
> about dropping a side to the prevailing wind,

My bad. I read the posts too quickly:-(

The gap is minimal. Although the gusts ended up not being as bad as the prediction, it was windy outside. It didn't feel drafty with the vestibules closed. We'd have to test on a winter hike to really see.

One other note,
The bathtub floor is just a little narrower than a queen size bed and much longer. In fact the floor is so long that we don't have to use the vestibule, kept our gear at the head and foot of the shelter. I am almost 6' tall, so this shelter should be good for tall people.

My wife is comfy in it and that is what matters. I can't say that about most shelters:-)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: My Observations on 06/28/2010 15:11:41 MDT Print View

"> I can't speak for Greg, but I felt he was asking
> about dropping a side to the prevailing wind,

My bad. I read the posts too quickly:-(

The gap is minimal. Although the gusts ended up not being as bad as the prediction, it was windy outside. It didn't feel drafty with the vestibules closed. We'd have to test on a winter hike to really see."

No, you cannot drop the sides, even cross-staking does not significantly protect against wind. I've even tried digging holes to lower the bamboo skewers, but the gap between the lower edge of the fly and the ground is too great. If you get a good blow in the tent, it's gonna be drafty. This is based on my winter testing in moderate breezes.

I'm beginning to see the difference between my impressions of the Haven and other more favourable ones is that I've been testing it exclusively in bad weather. It's been cold and calm, followed by cold, wet and winy, followed by very cold, very wet and very windy. So I've had condensation, cold breezes blowing through, sagging silnylon that doesn't spill all the rain that hits it (it would be dismal in snow, but it's not intended for the forth season usage) and all the problems inherent in yucky weather. I have no doubt this is a great tent for fine weather, but there are other shelters in this weight range that perform better in the less than perfect conditions I've seen the last four nights. However, if double walled is essential to your needs, there is little besides the Haven and Scarp 2 that will fit the bill. I am quite looking forward to using the Haven inner on a hot summer buggy night while star gazing...

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Re: Re: My Observations on 04/05/2011 22:38:18 MDT Print View

OK, I'm really late on this thread, but I just got interested in this tent. I had been focused on single person tents, but my wife recently expressed an interest in an upgrade, so I've started shopping around.

Anyway, I have a question and a comment. First, it looks like this tent is being tweaked a bit for 2011. Does anyone know how it is being altered? I couldn't tell by looking at the website (maybe I missed something).

Folks on this thread suggested that maybe it would make sense to create a version that has a really long tarp that would extend to the bottom. Basically, this would prevent drafts (on a really windy day) at the cost of some condensation. I think you would want to go the other way. I think it would make sense to extend the bathtub a few inches. At that point, it really isn't a bathtub, but you get the idea. A lot of double walled tents do this. For example, here is a picture of a Big Agnes tent: http://www.rei.com/product/764121. Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap between the rain fly and the tent. This can be done and not be a sauna simply because it is a double walled tent. Now, granted, it won't ventilate as well as if it had more mesh, but that is the tradeoff. It also will weigh a bit more (unless the bathtub walls were made out of Cuben).

Anyway, I really look forward to checking out this tent (I am fortunate, in that a local retailer carries SMD products). I also hope that Ron will consider a "high bathtub" version some day. And, of course, I hope he comes out with a Cuben version in the not too distant future.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Changes on 04/06/2011 04:18:01 MDT Print View

It looks like they extended the fly like the Lunar Duo.
Ron would be able to tell you the reasoning.

From what I have heard, people didn't like the cut/squared corners. Made it a little more complicated to setup and because the fly was so close to the mesh inner, splash could make it into the mesh in really heavy rain.

I suspect the new model will have a bigger foot print than last years model and won't fit in as many places. I know we pitched last years model in places it would barely fit.

These are not direct comparisons, just my guesses.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Changes on 04/06/2011 09:00:27 MDT Print View

Thanks Steven, it looks that way to me as well. After sending this post, I did notice this on the website (which I should have noticed before):

As you can see from the photo above, the new Haven will be approximately the same size, just shaped differently. We've eliminated the corner post and moved the peak closer to the center. It's still offset to provide more headroom at the end of the tent your sleeping.

Now I'm curious as to the new dimensions compared to the old dimensions. I can see trade-offs either way. Pro Mountain Sports (in Seattle) has a few of the old ones that they are clearing out. If I know more, I may just want to buy the 2010 model.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Peak Closer to center on 04/06/2011 09:36:32 MDT Print View

I think the other change, moving the peak closer to the center, is to shorten the length of the long roof section and to make both roof sections closer to the same length.

I would guess this is to improve snow and wind loading?

Although we slept in ours 20+ nights, we always had some wind break and never used it in the winter. My wife doesn't like winter backpacking and I use a tarp for solo trips.

The location of the peak on the 2010 version was right where I sit up. I don't know if the new position would change that much.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Haven Changes on 04/06/2011 15:51:55 MDT Print View

> Now I'm curious as to the new dimensions compared to the old dimensions.
> I can see trade-offs either way.

Hi Ross,

The 2010 Haven Tarp is 110" long. The 2011 Haven is 114" long.
The width is the same for both models 86". So the footprint
isn't a big deal. I have used the Haven for about a year now
in the Smokey Mountains and like its ability to fit in small site.

To reduce splash during heavy rainstorms, or blowing under
the windward end of the tarp, it is possible to adjust
the corner straps to lean the corner struts out at the bottom
so that the shape of the 2010 tarp looks similar to the
2011 version. This lowers the edge of the tarp closer to
the ground and moves it out further away from the inner
nettent. (This requires adding little extenders on the nettent
corner loops - I can give details/pictures if you are interested)

This past weekend a huge storm rolled thru Tennessee with
40+ mph wind gusts and rain. I decided to run a test and
put the Haven tarp in harms way to see how it would fair.
Normally I would guy out the tarp in this situation, but
for the test, I just staked it down tight with six groundhog
stakes and watched the 2010 Haven as it was hit by gusts
I estimate were around 25-30 mph and steady wind around 10 mph.
The stakes didn't budge and neither did the Haven.
Hope this information is helpful.