Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Epic, how water resistant?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Epic, how water resistant? on 09/13/2006 19:51:14 MDT Print View

How resistant is it. I am thinking of buying a 1 man shelter that is free standing and Epic fabric is one of the options.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Epic--depends who you ask on 09/13/2006 20:10:52 MDT Print View

You will hear a whole range of opinion on this subject. I use my BD Lighthouse and Firstlight Tents in generally Alpine conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Sierra. They've never leaked. The Lighthouse, in particular, over the last 2 1/2 years, has withstood several multi-hour bouts w/ rain w/o leaking. As Winter fast and light tents, they are superb. I've heard of people having trouble w/ Epic canopied shelters in lower altitude, warmer, humid conditions---mostly condensation issues.

BD is careful not to call Epic as anything more than highly water resistant. Some people have had experiences like mine. Other's have indicated that they have leaked under far less severe conditions.

Epic, one should know, will readily leak if it gets dirty. However, cleaning it restores it's original qualities. I have field cleaned my tents w/ water and cloth sucessfully.

Edited by kdesign on 09/13/2006 20:11:50 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Epic--depends who you ask on 09/14/2006 08:04:07 MDT Print View

thanks Kevin I will take your suggestions with some thought. I hike in California. Summer thunder showers in the Sierra's typically last an hour or two with a few hail storms thrown in. I have a ski touring tent, so this will be mainly a 3 season tent for myself.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Epic--depends who you ask on 09/14/2006 08:44:16 MDT Print View

I noticed in the Fall Patagonia catalog that just came, the BD Firstlight perched on an incredibly small snow shelf at 22,000 feet in one of the shots. That seems to be about the best endorsement you can get for a piece of equipment. If it can withstand that environment...I am guessing it will withstand anything that the Sierra's will throw at it.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Epic--depends who you ask on 09/14/2006 09:31:35 MDT Print View

yeah definately. I am thinking of buying.........a Big Sky International tent. If I order it now, I wonder if I will have it for the spring?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Big Sky Epic tents on 09/14/2006 11:37:09 MDT Print View

My take on Big Sky's Epic tents---- I don't care for the external poles and their external pole loop system and for other reasons. I'll elaborate---

1.) You lose the ability to set up the tent from the inside in storm conditions. I do this and stay drier and warmer w/ the internal pole set-up of Bibler, BD and ID tents.

2.) I think it's harder to seam seal the Big Sky tent because of the multitude of external pole loops. I think that the stress of pulling and pushing of these areas by wind will cuase seamseal failure over time.

3.) I think that the Internal pole systems of the BD (and Bibler and ID tents makes for a stronger tent.

4.) Unless Big Sky's business practices improve, you will have at least a very long wait.

I will admit that design-wise, the BS tents have superior vestibule systems.

Edited by kdesign on 09/14/2006 11:38:13 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Epic--depends who you ask on 09/14/2006 11:54:46 MDT Print View

Ken:

Some buyers who paid at the beginning of this year are still waiting for their tents / refunds!

Until you are convinced that BS has stabilized its sourcing -- or better yet, changed its business practice of collecting money upfront and then leaving customers in the dark for 9 MONTHS -- I think it's pure madness to send them money!

As for the placement of the poles inside vs. outside the tent, I agree with Kevin's points above about the advantages of inside placement. However, I would like to point out one DISADVANTAGE. You can expect LOTS of condensation droplets clinging to the entire lengths of those cold alum poles -- and dripping down to the four corners of your tent -- or down to you and your bag is there are enough of them. May or may not be a big deal -- depending on various conditions.

As for Epic's rain resistance, one BD rep told me to that the fabric will keep water out for 5+ hours. My own testing results were considerably better: 9 hours. However, once water seeps in, that's it -- you will get wet -- it's NOT like you can just wipe dry with a towel every now and then!

For those fast-moving storms that you described, you won't have any problems. The Epic fabric dries extremely quickly. You just need to be concerned with the kind of rain that falls throughout the night...

Edited by ben2world on 09/14/2006 12:04:55 MDT.