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Big Sky International Mirage 1P Tent Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Big Sky International Mirage 1P Tent Review on 11/16/2010 15:24:01 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Big Sky International Mirage 1P Tent Review

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Mirage on 11/16/2010 19:15:49 MST Print View

Good review. Is the SuprSil HD used in the floor as slippery as normal silnylon?

It's unfortunate that Big Sky has priced the cuben option so expensively at a $275 premium. Cuben is expensive stuff but not that expensive. For comparison, MLD charges $170 to upgrade a solomid to Cuben rather than silnylon. Their large DuoMid is a $205 upgrade.

Edited by dandydan on 11/16/2010 19:21:20 MST.

Dave Heiss

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Mirage 1P headroom on 11/17/2010 10:10:20 MST Print View

Your review is great but doesn't note the 1P's headroom. What is the max interior height?

Edit: FYI, on the Big Sky website the 1P headroom height is listed as 41 inches.

Edited by DaveHeiss on 11/17/2010 14:54:15 MST.

Rebecca Treat
(rebtrea) - M

Locale: the Great Northwest
comparing ultralight single tents on 11/17/2010 10:14:28 MST Print View

I'm wondering how it compares to The One by Gossamer Gear? This is not a free-standing tent and uses treking poles but I've used it through 2 seasons now and love it...

John Coyle

Locale: NorCal
Mirage 1P on 11/17/2010 12:27:20 MST Print View

I have the money, but there is no way I paying $717 for a backpacking tent.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
(I scrambled through that pass in the background the next morning.) on 11/17/2010 17:18:22 MST Print View

Will, was this in the Weminuche? Whereabouts?

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
BSI Mirage 1p on 11/17/2010 21:59:07 MST Print View

Another great review. I very much appreciate the valuable information you regularly provide to this small niche of the buying public.

One small issue, which I hope has nothing to do with your being smitten (OK, jut falling in love) with this tent: You seem to state as a fact on page 2, "Design and Features," that the floor silnylon fabric is three times more waterproof and four times more tearproof than 'generic' silnylon. This is a pretty extravagant claim, and having spent a lot of time testing and obtaining testing of different silnylons, I have big doubts.

Also wonder whether, if the materials on say, a Hubba were replaced with quality silnylon, there might not be similar weight savings. Somewhat less space, yes.

My latest project for a friend has been to order a Luxe Firefly, which has similar space, good headroom, good venting and is double walled; and because there are elbows at the front and rear apexes, I believe it is feasible to replace the alloy poles with a sturdy and stiff variety of carbon that the design does not require to be bent too much, for a savings of 5-6 ounces. It is a fairly simple job just to replace the poles and elbows. Will also replace the zips with #3 if they are #5, and add a short rear zip for access to the rear vestibule. The mfg. states the fabric is polyester, so it should not stretch so much as nylon. Sensed this was a problem with your Mirage from the picture with the snow. I realize all this is MYOG; but believe it is relevant to thinking about what tentmakers could be doing, especially for top drawer prices.
Sam F.

(aushiker) - MLife

Locale: Manning
Big Sky Mirage 1P on 11/19/2010 08:33:52 MST Print View

The version that I tested last year had a peak height of 109 cm (43 in).
Have a look at
I love this tent. Fast set up.Roomy for one and handles rain well.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Responses to BSI Mirage 1P Questions on 11/19/2010 09:25:26 MST Print View

Hi Everyone. My responses to your questions:

Dan: The SuprSil HD floor is just as slippery as generic silnylon. It is a really nice floor fabric. I paint some silicone stripes on the floor to keep sleeping pads from sliding around.

Rebecca: Comparing the Mirage with the GG The One is getting into the question of "what is the best single wall solo tent?", which is a hot topic. We should do an article on that. I have reviewed The One, and can still say its my all-time favorite, mainly because of its design and extreme LW. Others may not agree because they want more convenience, features, and durability.

Tim: Yep, all the photos were taken in the western Weminuche Wilderness, my main stomp'in grounds.

Sam: Yeah, the fabric "descriptions" are a lot of hype, but that was all I could get out of Big Sky Intl. All mfrs are very proprietary about their fabrics so they can keep a competitive edge as long as possible. Despite the hype and withholding of specifications, I am still glad to see innovation from progressive companies like BSI to give us lighter materials. Regular Silnylon has become "so 1990's".

Happy hiking, Will (Senior Editor, Gear and Apparel)

Edited by WilliWabbit on 11/19/2010 10:56:30 MST.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Vestibule for single door version on 11/19/2010 11:50:12 MST Print View

In the report, you mention that "the vestibule on the other side is only accessible from the outside", by sliding things under the tent wall. I wonder what the thinking is there? Do I understand correctly that there's no zipper in the netting on that side? Not sure how useful such a vestibule would be. If it's raining, you couldn't get to things stored there without getting wet.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Vestibule for single door version on 11/19/2010 11:57:10 MST Print View

Getting a zipper (door) in the other side is an option.

William Cefalu

Locale: Louisiana
Just curious....what is the weight advantage (or other advantage) on 11/19/2010 13:33:10 MST Print View

of the Cuban fiber as opposed to the silnylon there a significant weight or other functional advantage?

From your review, the UL silnylon seemed very water resistant

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Just curious....what is the weight advantage (or other advantage) on 11/19/2010 17:31:22 MST Print View

Cuben fiber is half the weight, doesn't stretch, is 100% waterproof and field repairs are easily performed with normal tapes.

William Cefalu

Locale: Louisiana
Leaftye...thanks....doesn't seem like the weight advantage.... on 11/20/2010 08:20:35 MST Print View

for the Cuben fiber justifies it's significant cost..
Have you had any experience with the Cuben Fiber in this regard? Again, with the minimal weight of this tent, it just seems the silnylon UL, as outlined in the review, should be a nice balance of weight and costs.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
comparison on 11/21/2010 16:37:43 MST Print View

Just for comparison and not in anyway a recommendation of one over the other, I just used a carbon Reflex 2 on a 5 day in the GCNP. This tent was acquired for use in wet weather for possible consecutive days of rain. I had just sold a TT Moment because of condensation issues. Again this is not a ding on TT design. I believe I generate more moisture than the average person. I use a TT Tyvek Sublite for regular 3 season use when consecutive days of rain is unlikely.

The CR2 listed weight from mfgr is 2 pounds, 13 oz. which is somewhat comparable when including the 2nd door option on the 1p. The back vestibule on the CR2 is accessible via a zipper in the side mesh allowing easy use of this space without adding a door. Headroom is 40” and the tent is extremely spacious for one although cramped for two. It is perfect for use with my wife. Price is pretty obnoxious at $500.00 and even the sale price of $350.00 was difficult to justify. This tent will ship immediately whereas the BS tents use to have notorious wait times. The CR2 is NOT freestanding taking four stakes to erect and two more for the fly.

Edited by johnk on 11/21/2010 16:38:39 MST.

Joseph Scalia
(jscalia) - F

Locale: NorthEast
tensioning on 11/29/2010 07:36:40 MST Print View

I have a concern about the lack of proper tensioning provided by the poles/clips especially since the material is silnylon which stretches with moisture. Did you notice the "floppy tent" phenomenon that is so common with these silnylon single wall tents? That is one of the reasons I got rid of a TT Rainshadow. How does the Big Sky tent compare to the TT Rainbow as far as tent body tension? It appears that the Rainbow hoop provides good tension which prevents the sagging of the silnylon?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Leaftye...thanks....doesn't seem like the weight advantage.... on 11/29/2010 21:12:06 MST Print View

"of the Cuban fiber as opposed to the silnylon there a significant weight or other functional advantage?"

In addition to what was mentioned (way lighter, no stretch, easy field repair) cuben also has the advantages of:

- 100% waterproof (versus borderline waterproofness)
- not slippery (silnylon floors are like a slip 'n slide)
- not a dust magnet (dust sticks easily to silnylon)

Overall, cuben is way nicer stuff. I made a cuben fly for my double wall tent and I current have a cuben tarp/shelter. Silnylon is okay for most of a tent but I don't like it for a floor since it's slippery and not that waterproof. Silnylon is cheaper but if you're buying a tent for a lot of years of use, then it's worth it to go with cuben.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Leaftye...thanks....doesn't seem like the weight advantage.... on 11/29/2010 22:21:03 MST Print View

This tent uses a "breathable" cuben laminate, however. Does anyone know the characteristics of this newer fabric vs. what we are used to? It would likely use something other than mylar as a film substrate and thus would have different performance numbers for hydrostatic head tolerance.

Kurt Nymoen
(twin0302) - MLife
Breathable cuben fabric on 03/11/2011 15:22:14 MST Print View

Will, is there a difference regarding "breathability" between the silnylon and cuben fabric version of this tent? C
ondensation is an important matter using single wall tents. Bibler and other manufacturers make tents/bivys using goretex, toddtex, event etc. Is the cuben fabric used by Big Sky a kind of these fabrics or like a silnylon fabric that not is breathable at all?

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Breathable cuben fabric on 03/11/2011 17:19:40 MST Print View

Breathable cuben is being tested, but it's not available right now. The cuben used on this tent is not breathable.