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Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW
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Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW on 11/07/2006 19:18:10 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW on 11/07/2006 20:58:11 MST Print View

Great Review...

Now it's on my Christmas List!


paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW on 11/08/2006 01:46:06 MST Print View

[Note: Posting this here as this was the 2nd of the two reviews that i read early this AM.]

In a fashion somewhat similar to the long standing practice of various Auto-magazines tests of automobiles, i'd like to see the two reviewers of the Contrail and SquallClassic *SWITCH* shelters and each test the other one under conditions as close as possible to how the first set of tests were conducted by each Reviewer.

Then, having used both shelters, i'd be very interested to hear how each felt the two shelters compared to each other.

[Note: Auto mags will often have four or more people test a car (sometimes long term testing) and then have them all comments on likes and dislikes. In this case, consensus becomes very meaningful.]

As everyone is aware, similarity of conditions of testing (i know, not the easiest objective to achieve) AND the personal preferences of the reviewers, which can vary widely, come into play (this is NOT necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it's good from my way of thinking, as the pers. prefs. of the readers also vary widely, so more chance for readers to relate to the reviewer).

Such a testing procedure would produce some very enlightened comments that would make a comparison between similar or somewhat similar products all the more meaningful.

As they stand now, TWO VERY EXCELLENT and informative reviews from individuals whose comments are as close to "Gospel" (i know, not a proper use of the term, nor an accurate expression of the meaning of the orginal Greek word it translates in the New Testament; intended more here in its coloquial meaning) as one can get, IMHO. Great jobs, WR and DJ.

Edited by pj on 11/08/2006 01:52:51 MST.

Robert Geiser
(twchikers) - F

Locale: Northeast Ohio
Re: Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW on 11/08/2006 06:58:54 MST Print View

I've used this tent in Virginia and Ohio and am VERY happy with the design. Because of our tenacious mosquitos and biting flies, floorless tents or tarp-only shelters never interested me. Each trip has had rain, but the tent has kept me dry with no condensation problems. I learned on the first use to make sure the tent is nearly perfectly level when using a Therm-a-rest Prolite 3. Otherwise you keep sliding to the low side of the tent all night long.

Edited by twchikers on 11/08/2006 06:59:38 MST.

Michael Church
(machurch) - F - M
No Stretch in Rain? on 11/08/2006 17:57:42 MST Print View

I saw this tent at the 2006 Appalachian Trail Days at Damascus, VA. Gossamer Gear said that one advantage of the spinnaker fabric over the Tarptent silnylon is that the spinnaker does not stretch when it gets wet as silnylon does. I can't comment on whether this is true or not as I haven't used the spinnaker fabric, but if this is true, I would really like it as silnylon stretches a lot when it gets wet, making readjusting the tension of the tent a virtual necessity. Does anyone have first hand knowledge of this claim by Gosasamer Gear?

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: No Stretch in Rain? on 11/08/2006 18:44:19 MST Print View


The folks a GG are not prone to hyperbole. If they say Spinnaker fabric doesn't stretch when wet I believe them.

Robert Geiser
(twchikers) - F

Locale: Northeast Ohio
Re: No Stretch in Rain? on 11/08/2006 20:01:09 MST Print View

They are correct - no stretching. The tension remains the same after a night of rain.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: No Stretch in Rain? on 11/09/2006 01:42:15 MST Print View

No stretch is a known benefit of spinnaker cloth. Since one rarely gets something for nothing, there probably is a down side, right. I'm a fan of spinnaker cloth, but it's also well known that it abraides easily (more easily than silnylon IME) and is much noisier in the wind.

Susan Gordon
(Fen_from_vftt) - F
Squall Classic vs. Contrail on 11/12/2006 23:08:46 MST Print View

For a solo hiker, is there any benefit to the Contrail over the Squall Classic? [For the sake of this argument, let's consider the cost difference immaterial.] It seems like there are condensation issues with both tents, but the Squall Classic is simply large enough to allow a solo occupant to stay away from the walls.
The Spinnaker cloth is a plus for me too - less/no retensioning, and I camp with a single-wall only below treeline. Wind stability is not a significant issue.
The Contrail is brilliant. The Contrail in spinnaker would be extra-brilliant. Floors are always a good thing in buggy New England ... even after a few frosts we're not immune.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Squall Classic vs. Contrail on 11/12/2006 23:15:39 MST Print View

The problem with Spinnaker's no-stretch gig is that when it fails, it fails catastophically. It is drastically weaker than silnylon.

When I was prototyping Stealth (LITE) Tarps, I blew out two in one weekend of high winds in the Tetons. Those were near-seam failures that were subsequently "managed" by better seams, but the reality is that the fabric explodes when it does go!

All of the GG designs deal with Spinnaker fabric well enough that this won't be an issue if you are camping in mild weather, but if you are in high winds, it should be something hanging out in the back of your mind :) That was the impetus behind making a "PRO" version of the Stealth tarps, that fabric is really strong and we've never had a fabric failure on those.

I don't think I'd worry about it in the Squall Classic, which is designed for thru-hiking the AT or PCT during the summer.

Edited by ryan on 11/12/2006 23:16:39 MST.

Eric Carlsen
(cooleric1234) - F
Length? on 01/17/2007 19:30:29 MST Print View

I know this is an old thread but I was wondering if any owners of this tent know if it can fit a long sized sleeping pad and bag? The pad is 78" long. I'm not sure how much longer than that the bag is, but it's usually well over 80". I'm 6'5", or 77" long. Just wondering if I'll fit in this thing.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Spinnaker Fabric in high density/volume rain. on 10/28/2010 16:32:39 MDT Print View

I have used the Squall Classic tent on 3 JMTs during Mid-July/Mid-August, but this third JMT, we had a rain storm that was super severe with lots of hail. It penetrated the Spinnaker Fabric badly, and it was seamed very well. The problem was not with the seams. There were two of us and we had a second tent, which we setup without poles beneath the Squall Classic, and we stayed dry.

I remember something that Spinnaker (is it the case with Silnylon or Cuben Fiber -- I don't know) is not 100% waterproof but only waterproof until the volume of rain per interval of time is not so great, but after that "breaking point" the fabric lets water through (sure, not like it's a screen, but enough you get wet).

Anyone know more about this phenomena -- does it happen to Silnylon or Cuben Fiber in severe enough storms?


James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Spinnaker Rain Penetration on 10/28/2010 18:55:40 MDT Print View

Are you sure you weren't experiencing the "misting" of condensation inside the Squall? About 3 wks ago my daughter & I weathered a 2" rain over 3 hrs in my Squall Classic in a relatively sheltered low wind environment. The spinnaker did not "wet out", but had copious condensation which misted & splattered due to the force of the rain hitting the canopy, & resulted in a considerable amount of water on everything inside the tent.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW on 10/28/2010 18:59:29 MDT Print View

Misting and condensation being knocked off the fabric are not the same things. With sufficient force due to marginal hydrostatic head, a fabric will let water in as 'mist' in a best case scenario, leaks in a worst case scenario.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW on 10/28/2010 19:21:56 MDT Print View

I imagine that the equivalent hydrostatic head required to combat most sizes of hail would be 20,000mm+ - which is beyond what most fabrics are capable of handling. I encountered this recently in 2 fabrics - BD's Nano fabric (2000mm) in their 2010 HiLight and Gore-Tex Paclite (~25,000mm?) with a polyester face. Both appeared to have moisture penetration from the outside in when pummeled with driven hail intermittently for an extended period of time. This is not surprising, but I will admit that it is difficult to distinguish between condensation and moisture penetration under most circumstances. It was not a significant detractor to the performance of either one and temperatures were around 20 at night and 35 in the day. The wind was blowing around 45 kts as well, so this is another reason I suspect penetration (misting, if you will). Even a severe thunderstorm can produce water pressures against a fabric that would require it's resistance to be in the realm of 11,200mm, per Richard Nilsey's very helpful figures posted in this thread:

edit: this is probably better moved to another thread dealing with the subject of misting specifically, rather than in a review.

Edited by biointegra on 10/28/2010 19:23:04 MDT.