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Oware Alphamid
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(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Oware Alphamid on 11/17/2006 03:11:18 MST Print View

I'm looking to purchase an Oware Alphamid to be used as a day shelter for snowshoeing and as a light weight shelter for solo snow trips. Oware offers two versions, one made with 30 denier silnylon with a weight of 19 oz, and one made with 70 denier urethane coated taffeta with a weight of 31 oz. I'm not sure which one to get. Aside from the price I was hoping people here could help me decide which one to purchase based off of personal experience with this type of shelter.

I'm wondering if the silnylon version is durable enough to handle up to 30 or 40 mph winds. Also if it is worth the extra 15 oz for the optional pole. Any experience using the pole connector to connect two trecking poles in moderate to high winds? Any experience using a avalanche probe instead of trekking poles or optional pole? Any cons to using this type of shelter in winter?

All opinions welcome.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Oware Alphamid on 11/17/2006 11:41:51 MST Print View

I stopped worrying about 30d silnylon's survivability in wind when I learned that folks jump out of perfectly good airplanes with parachutes made from the stuff.

I did not have tools to measure the wind velocity but the large (160ft**2) 30d silnylon sun/rain fly that I made for group outings survived sustained winds (lasted for about a hour) that made aluminum canoes become airborne for 100 ft or so.

But shelters can fail in ways other than fabric failure and with any minimalist shelter, site selection and your skill in pitching it are important factors in its overall survivability.

Edited by jcolten on 11/17/2006 11:49:10 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Oware Alphamid on 11/17/2006 18:13:24 MST Print View

I have thought about buying one too. One thing that struck me as odd is why it doesn't, or does it?, have a vent at the top. How does one vent that shelter? The zipper doesn't seem to go up to the top to be able to vent that way.

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Alphamid loses to Gatewood Cape on 12/06/2006 03:43:41 MST Print View

After seeing Johnathan White's post on testing some gear near Wahtum Lake-

it hit me like a ton of bricks. Why not use the Gatewood Cape. It's made of the same fabric as the Alphamid, unlike the Alphamid it has a top vent. It weighs 8 oz less than the Alphamid. Doesn't require a separate extendable pole, or a trekking pole coupler. It has a lower profile for better wind resistance (in Will Rietveld's review he stated the Gatewood Cape held up to 30 mph winds, answers part of my first post). Perfect size for one person backpacking trip in winter with mild weater. More guyout points for better panel tension. Will work for two people as a day shelter provided you dig out the snow for your legs, which I would do anyways (it's more comfortable sitting that way).

Yes, there are a few down sides. Shorter peak height, smaller foot print, less room overall.

But, at half the price and almost half the weight, I think I can give the Gatewood Cape a try. This whole concept has got me giddy to get up to the mountain to try this shelter out.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Flat side vs. wind? on 12/08/2006 10:57:46 MST Print View

Hopefully Ryan Jordan will answer, but I would rather have a full pyramid shape than a half one. If the flat side faces the wind, it seems to me it would act like a sail. NB that many winter tents are dome shaped. Also, I believe it is air flow that helps counter condensation issues. Top and bottom vents are important to keep air flowing.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Flat side vs. wind? on 12/08/2006 11:55:13 MST Print View

We might see if Andrew Skurka has some
imput too.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Oops! on 12/10/2006 14:45:31 MST Print View

Oops, I later noticed that Oware replies to my concerns in their Alphamid,s FAQ section. I also noticed that Andrew Skurka has an article coming out in this site's magazine on his recent thru-hike of the PCT. Did he use an Alphamid?

Edited by rambler on 12/13/2006 09:51:53 MST.