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Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: No More pup tents on 06/27/2010 20:25:50 MDT Print View

"But alas, it's a lot easier (and popular) to post the positives and join the cheer leading squad -- and that's what most people post most of the time. Sure, we can be critical too, but I have noticed how "fans" tend to hold back on their criticisms."

Yeah, I see this a lot too. And to be fair, sometimes it's just a lack of adequate field testing. A lot of posts along the lines of: got it, set it up in the living room, looks great, or took it out this weekend, worked great, but the weather was fine. And also to be fair, no shelter is perfect. Even my most favorite tarptent needed lots of mods before it became my favorite. But at least I could fix it with mods. A pup tent OTOH is just too fundamentally lacking for my needs to be *fixable*. However, there were also some things I like about the Haven. The colour is nice for a change (am getting sick of dull gray), and being able to pitch the inner by itself is great.

BTW, for those that have, or are thinking about getting something like the Haven, you might want to check out Grip Clips: http://shelter-systems.com/gripclips/

These could easily be added to the sides to allow guying out to a stick or something to raise the fly away from the mesh. It's a light no-sew option which comes in handy at times...

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: My 2 cents. on 06/27/2010 20:25:52 MDT Print View

Rich,
"Then I need to go back to grad school and get a physics degree just to figure out how to make it tight enough and adjust the direction of this and that so that 1"

How's that? I can't speak for all of them, but I have a Scarp1 and a Grace Duo (and just sold a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 to a hopefully satisfied forum member) and I have to say, the Scarp is startlingly easy to pitch. The Grace is definitely not as easy to pitch as a Scarp, but on my 2nd attempt pitching it, I got a decently taught pitch in about 10 minutes.

I don't always carry trekking poles (and forgot mine on this trip), and don't need anything that didn't come in the box that Henry sent in order to pitch my Scarp. Except a little space, that is. And more time for backpacking wouldn't hurt. But I don't blame Ron Bell or Henry Shires for the fact that paying the bills takes up valuable backpacking time ;)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Pup Tents on 06/27/2010 20:55:04 MDT Print View

Regarding 'pup tents' or trekking pole supported A - frames (TPSAF) as I would call them, I am with Lynn in not being a huge fan of this general style of tent. The problem with a TPSAF is that the roof is really only high between the trekking poles (unlike a tent that uses a curved arch pole). Making the peak height higher helps a bit, but the unavoidable reality is that you're only going to be able to sit up in about 1/3 of the tent closest to the peak. If the tent design is a true A shape then you'll probably hit your head on the roof when you situp since the roof isn't very high right above where you are sleeping. The Haven sorta deals with this by moving the peak closer to the head end of the tent. This is probably a good call, but it does mean you get a larger unsupported span between the peak and the feet end of the tent which makes it that much more vulnerable to silnylon sag. I bet cuben would do a lot better in this application. This whole design is good for some people, but if you are wanting a tent with a fair amount of livable space then you're better off looking at other pole supported designs that have more interior volume.

The Haven does have the Bamboo skewers at the corners to prevent the roof from getting too low near the ends and this is good, but you're still not going to be sitting up in a large portion of the tent. IMO, this is not a bad design, but it is a compromise that has both positives and negatives. On the downside, you don't have the headroom that most tents have, but on the positive side you save half a pound or more in weight and hopefully the bamboo skewers are high enough to keep the entire floor area usable so most sleepers can utilize the full length of the tent for their sleeping bag.

It feels like only a matter of time before I make a tent from scratch. I've got a few ideas....

Edited by dandydan on 06/27/2010 21:43:25 MDT.

Peter Rattenbury
(MountainMule) - F

Locale: Australia
Horses For Courses on 06/27/2010 21:30:54 MDT Print View

Hmmm... you wouldn't be a New Zealander Lynn? 'Tramper', pup tents... the vocabulary is familiar.
So should 'MountainMule' if you're a Kiwi of a certain vintage..
Somewhat on topic, do you have a MacPac Microlight in your stable? Our American friends won't have seen one, but it's a tough, four season, solo, double-walled, heavy-duty tub floor, single hooped creation which weighs 1.7kg. [ pictures available in Google-land]
Too heavy for the uber lightweight brigade but I've seriously field tested my Microlight in 50knot plus winds and can vouch for its toughness.
I proudly own a Squall and love it, but I wouldn't put it through the hoops [ pun intended ] that the Microlight has survived unscathed..
Horses for courses... love both my tents.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Horses For Courses on 06/28/2010 00:41:09 MDT Print View

I think Peter makes an important point. You want more useful interior volume for a certain footprint, then a hooped design is the way to go, but it will need to be more heavily constructed to survive the wind. Light long poles are a failure point waiting to happen IMO.

The strongest 'pup' tent I ever had was my ULTIMATE 'tramp'. True A frame design, (two poles in sleeves at the front). Weighed 2 kg. It withstood real storms on open ground that would wreck any dome design of the same weight. It was about the same size and shape as a Golite Hut2. The inner tent had a heavy bathtub floor which lasted 10 years hard use without a leak.

The SMD HAven has some big panels for sure, and Lynn grip clips suggestion is a good one for when the weather looks heavy.

I too would buy a commercially produced Caffin Tunnel design with straight cf pole sections. I'm not sure Cuben would be the right material for a tunnel though.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Gripclips on 06/28/2010 02:39:21 MDT Print View

BTW, for those that have, or are thinking about getting something like the Haven, you might want to check out Grip Clips: http://shelter-systems.com/gripclips/

I had been meaning to post about these myself, after reading about them in this months TGO magazine. Eddy Meechan mentions using them to add side guy lines to a cuben tarp.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: Gripclips on 06/28/2010 13:14:01 MDT Print View

OK, I've been away, camping in my Haven, so only just now glanced at this thread.

I think I must be using a different Haven than what people are discussing here. We are talking about the new SMD Haven, correct?

Grip-clips?
The Haven does not need grip clips, the tie-outs are already available and I have had to use them with great success in strong wind.

Sagging walls?
It is summer, but we have experienced some temperature extremes and at least 6 rain showers. I have not had any sagging walls, the inner net has not touched the outer once.
It sounds like some people need to spend some time learning how to pitch it before they write a review.

Headroom issues?
The Haven has more headroom than any other two person double wall shelter I've ever used. A previous 3 person, 6 lb, dome that we considered spacious doesn't have as much headroom.
Don't believe otherwise, for it's small footprint, it is huge.

Ventilation issues?
The Haven has more ventilation than any other two person tent we've ever used. Of course if you close it down tight it could be stuffy, but why would you?



You pitch the fly first, so no wet inner if you have to pitch in the rain.

You can open the vestibules wide open, even if you suspect it will rain. When it starts raining reach out and pull down and zip the fly up. Exiting the tent is not required.

I will admit there is a price to be paid for the headroom and small footprint. That price is steep side walls.
Steep side walls, like tunnel tents can flap in a side wind, but this has proven to be a non-issues when I use the extra ties.

I was only able to skim the posts, so sorry if I missed some of the comments.
I think I'll take the PUP TENT from now on when I backpack with my wife.

I have owned and camped in many shelters in my life, including pup tents, flat tarps, bivys, freestanding domes, tunnels, a-frames, tipis, pyramids, ...
I consider the Haven to be the best designed double wall, bathtub floor, ultralight two person backpacking shelter made so far. It might take some experience and practice to understand why. For me it was a no-brainer after only a few nights with it.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
No More pup tents please on 06/28/2010 13:46:51 MDT Print View

Maybe there are noticeable differences in manufacturing tolerances?

Maybe we could get comparison pics for the uninitiated? Lynn, Steve?

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
An Image. on 06/28/2010 13:57:58 MDT Print View

I posted this in an earlier thread.
I only have one decent picture, we keep forgetting to bring our camera.
If you look close you can see where we added extra ties to help reduce the flapping. There was a forecast for a an approaching storm with strong winds that night.Haven With Open Vestibules

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: An Image. on 06/28/2010 14:02:09 MDT Print View

@Steven:

"Grip-clips? The Haven does not need grip clips, the tie-outs are already available and I have had to use them with great success in strong wind.

"If you look close you can see where we added extra ties to help reduce the flapping."


So which is it, Steven?

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Horses For Courses on 06/28/2010 14:07:02 MDT Print View

"Somewhat on topic, do you have a MacPac Microlight in your stable?"

I am not a fan of the MicroLight, but I'm sure it's a tough little tent. The *best* tents I've used for rough conditions are the MacPac Olympus and Minaret. But they really are off topic here (except to say that Roger's hoop tents bear an uncanny resemblance to the Olympus...and I still really want one). RE: Pup-tent, it's American in origin, not a local slang, more specifically:

"Pup in this sense is the same as puppy "young dog". The notion was that such tents were so small and primitive that they were only fit for dogs (the term dog tent dates from the same period) or pups. The tents were so named because they resembled dog kennels. Pup tents, as you know, are indeed small and of a simple A-shaped construction, basically two sheets of canvas or other material tied together. They were used in the military originally, and the term pup tent dates in writing from the U.S. in 1863, and it is likely that it was in use for some years prior to being written down."

Sounds to me, not like Stephen and I are using different tents, but are comparing them to different standards. My idea to try the Haven was based on speculation that was bantered around in the thread Double Rainbow versus haven. The Double Rainbow is my "gold standard" for UL tents (Roger's Cs design aside). Now, as Ron said in that post, comparing the DR to the Haven is like apples to oranges, and I now completely agree. Aside from the obvious difference in that the Haven can be pitched with inner or outer separate, there is a world of other differences, non of them, IMHO, in favour of the Haven (except the colour).

I find the majority of folks on this site will buy something new and think it's the best thing since sliced bread. I think that's just human nature. You've spent a lot of money, and waited in anticipation for this great new thing, you've been told it's gonna be really great, and psyche yourself up for it. Most of us are not about to turn around and say "the emperor has no clothes".

But of course everything about this sport is subjective, which is one of the reasons I didn't hesitate to post my opinions even though I have the tent still to sell. I KNEW there would be folks who will want this tent badly no matter how bad of a review I gave it, and this has proven correct. And you know what? This tent most likely WILL be an improvement in some ways over whatever shelter they are trying to replace, so I don't feel at all bad about selling to them, especially since they will now be fully informed of the conflicting points of view and possible problems (and possible solutions, ie get yourself some grip clips). So, if Stephen says the Haven (or any other pup tent) is the best darn tent he ever used, I believe him. But I have different standards. But This thread is still mainly about pup tents in general, and the Haven as yet another example of what I don't like in a shelter.

Edited by retropump on 06/28/2010 14:08:59 MDT.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Haven is a well thougth out design on 06/28/2010 14:28:08 MDT Print View

Steve writes: "I consider the Haven to be the best designed double wall, bathtub floor, ultralight two person backpacking shelter made so far. It might take some experience and practice to understand why. For me it was a no-brainer after only a few nights with it."

I have to second Steve's comment on the Haven. It is a well thought out double wall design with a lot more room in it than Lynn would have you believe. Pitches tight as the pictures on the "Haven first impressions" thread shows.
I got the Haven because I live and camp in a HIGH humidity region. I have had no condensation get in the net-tent.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: Re: Horses For Courses on 06/28/2010 14:43:15 MDT Print View

Benjamin, regarding:
"So which is it, Steven?"
What I mean is, that grip-clips aren't needed as you can see in the picture, I have extra lines attached to the included loops.

As far as the perfect shelter, we all live in different realities.

I had been hoping to find a good deal on an SMD Lunar Duo as I thought it was the best design for my two person needs. Dual side entry, good headroom, extra tie-out points, but most of all, less than three lbs.

SMD does a good job of showing the different dimensions.

Around the time I was able to purchase the Lunar Duo, I started comparing it to the Haven and realized that it had features that I liked. Especially the smaller footprint.

I have had too many situations where it was difficult to pitch two person bathtub style tents. There never seemed to be enough flat ground.

I also liked the fact that it looked like it had better ventilation for hot weather camping and the double wall aspect meant that I could close it up tighter in the winter as condensation shouldn't be as much of a problem. Sure the condensation would be there, but not so annoying.

As far as people always liking their new shelter, that is usually true.
I personally have immediately disliked a few shelters I have purchased. Some were very popular with friends of mine.

I can usually spot what I don't like about a shelter before I buy them. All shelters have their limitations. None are perfect for all people in all situations.

The decision to go with the Haven was a compromise between my wife and I. I require an ultralight shelter. My wife requires dual side entry, headroom, a bathtub floor and bug mesh.

There are lots of nice shelters out there, but most are heavier than my weight requirement. If I could carry more weight or my wife could deal with less headroom and/or single entry, I would have more options for a two person shelter.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Haven is a well thougth out design on 06/28/2010 14:53:03 MDT Print View

"I consider the Haven to be the best designed double wall, bathtub floor, ultralight two person backpacking shelter made so far."

Yes, well if we're going to narrow it down to fully double walled two person tents, we would have to be comparing it to something like the Scarp 2, which I have no experience with.

" I have had no condensation get in the net-tent."

You guys must think I make this stuff up just for fun. The tarp portion of the Haven gets condensation just as easily as any other silnylon shelter (or any other double walled tent for that matter). If the silnylon sags too much or wind blows down on it, it's gonna touch that mesh and wick through. To deny it can happen is silly. Also wind can knock the condensation off, and the mesh is not impermeable to this moisture. Again, this can happen with single walled shelters too, but I thought the point of a double walled shelter was to prevent fly condensation from entering the inner tent. I might suggest and easy solution to this would be to use a UL water resistant fabric for the top of the inner (much like is offered for the Double Rainbow and the NF TadPole). This would add little weight, while making the most vulnerable part of the canopy much more water resistant. Oh, and add a side guy out!!!!!

As to shelter standards, here's Steven's reference point:

"I'm normally a tarp and bivy camper, but my wife isn't. She requires a lot more creature comforts than I do. So the Haven is our compromise for when we go together."

So again, I would stress that the Haven is probably a step up for Steven (and his wife), but a step down for me.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Horses For Courses on 06/28/2010 14:56:20 MDT Print View

"What I mean is, that grip-clips aren't needed as you can see in the picture, I have extra lines attached to the included loops."

I am referring to a guy out (grip clip??) in the middle of the wide expanse of fabric over the foot of the tent. This is where most of the sagging and wind movement is a problem. Just like in the Refuge-X, but hopefully a bit sturdier attachment...

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: Horses For Courses on 06/28/2010 15:11:32 MDT Print View

Re:
"in the middle of the wide expanse of fabric over the foot of the tent"

I agree, that is a large unsupported area, but I have found that the tie-outs on either side and the shallow slope has kept it tight. We experienced less flapping there we did on the side panels, but that was probably because of the wind direction.

I suspect it would sag under wet snow or certain downdraft gusts. I could see adding a tie-out in the center.
I would never use a grip-clip as they tend to stress silnylon and could create an area where water could seep in.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Horses For Courses on 06/28/2010 15:20:41 MDT Print View

" I have found that the tie-outs on either side and the shallow slope has kept it tight. "

So you use the loops that the toggles to hold open the vestibule use? So, now we need 6 stakes, plus another 4-6 for the side guy-outs, plus the associated guylines??? That's getting to be quite a production!!

My favourite shelter can be pitched taut and quickly with a minimum of 2 stakes...but it's not double walled except if you add the liner...of course in really strong winds (read up to gale), I would add trekking pole supports and extra guy-outs, but not in ordinary weather like we've been having here lately.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
And as far as condensation coming through the mesh on 06/28/2010 15:22:19 MDT Print View

"If the silnylon sags too much or wind blows down on it, it's gonna touch that mesh and wick through."

But, the only time you should see the fly touching the inner mesh is in a fairly good wind. Condensation is usually less of an issue if you have that kind of wind.

It will get wet, but not enough to be an issue.

I have never seen the fly touch the mesh, but I may have only seen 20 knot gusts at the most.

I have also never seen enough condensation on the fly to wick through if it did touch, but my experience has only been summer weather so far.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
The Extra Tie-outs on 06/28/2010 15:29:44 MDT Print View

"So you use the loops that the toggles to hold open the vestibule use?"

Only when I think I'm gonna need them. But I would use the extra tie-outs with any shelter if I thought conditions could get nasty. I'd rather take the precaution and not have to deal with issues in the middle of the night.

Some fellow backpackers think it's funny, until they have to deal with flapping and warping of their shelter walls in the middle of the night. Or in the worst case, tent poles breaking and ripping holes in the fly.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: And as far as condensation coming through the mesh on 06/28/2010 15:41:29 MDT Print View

"But, the only time you should see the fly touching the inner mesh is in a fairly good wind. Condensation is usually less of an issue if you have that kind of wind."

So I probably got unlucky. My first night started out cold and calm, and I had lots of condensation. This alone was enough to cause the fly to droop, but I did not have those toggle loops staked out. then around 2 am the wind picked up and the fly bellowed in and out, shaking the inner condensation into nice small droplets that easily passed through the mesh inner. How often would I see such conditions?? Often enough that I usually carry the liner for the Double Rainbow, and use it maybe half the time. so, how you enjoy the Haven is no doubt going to depend on the kinds of conditions you mostly encounter. I *may* still keep the Haven, but if I do, I'm going to:

a) Add a guy out to the long side
b) Replace the mesh fabric over the roof with something less water permeable
c) Add some rain porches

It could then be a very nice shelter for my purposes!