Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2: Details and Commercial Models


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2: Details and Commercial Models on 04/17/2012 14:37:16 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2: Details and Commercial Models

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2 on 04/17/2012 20:01:51 MDT Print View

Everyone seems to be too busy still commenting on Part 1! I read Part 2 as soon as it posted, even though that meant I had to file an extension of time on my taxes (professional procrastinator here!).

From the comparisons of the "Caffin" tent versus the commercial alternatives, it's obvious that most of us will wait for Ruta Locura to produce the former!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/17/2012 20:03:22 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2 on 04/17/2012 20:04:37 MDT Print View

Enjoy

Edited by kthompson on 05/08/2012 21:26:20 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Tunnel Tents-Part 2 on 04/18/2012 05:52:41 MDT Print View

Roger, once again an excelent job. Looking forward to more!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2 on 04/18/2012 07:25:34 MDT Print View

"From the comparisons of the "Caffin" tent versus the commercial alternatives, it's obvious that most of us will wait for Ruta Locura to produce the former!"

Or, make your own!

He's given enough info on various threads

I have an old hoop tent that I used to use, but like Roger complains about, you set the tent up, then the fly, and if it's rainy or windy it's a mess... Roger's set-up is much better.

Roman Vazhnov
(joarr) - MLife

Locale: Russia
tunnels on 04/18/2012 12:12:41 MDT Print View

It's a pity that
Big Sky Montana
Hilleberg Anjan
Helsport Rondane Light
Vaude Power Ferret
are missing.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: tunnels on 04/18/2012 12:22:15 MDT Print View

Dealing with Big Sky is tenuous at best and fraudulent at worst.
The Anjan is not yet available for sale.

Can't comment on the other two but they look neat.

Roman Vazhnov
(joarr) - MLife

Locale: Russia
Re: Re: tunnels on 04/18/2012 13:16:05 MDT Print View

There are also
Lightwave t20 trek
and Vango Nitro Lite 200 (1.4 kg!)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Re: Re: tunnels on 04/18/2012 13:46:53 MDT Print View

I used Lightwave T0 trek for a while and it was a great little tent.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2: The Flame Wars continue. on 04/18/2012 14:14:28 MDT Print View

I find it refreshing that Roger is letting so much of his personal opinions bleed into this article. There are some things I don't agree with, but I can always read Backpacker if I want a boring, generic article that pays homage to advertisers.

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Caffin tents on 04/18/2012 15:02:57 MDT Print View

Great article.

Looking at the close-ups of the "Caffin" tents, the quality of workmanship is almost unbelievable.

Like everyone else, I want one...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: tunnels on 04/18/2012 16:16:54 MDT Print View

Hi Roman and all

> Big Sky Montana
Agree

> Hilleberg Anjan
This came out after the deadline, but it could be added - when they have production.

> Helsport Rondane Light
Agree, but they declined as 'they do not sell to USA'.

> Vaude Power Ferret
They didn't have any to supply at the time.

>Vango Nitro Lite 200 (1.4 kg!)
Agree, but not sure it was available before the deadline.

> Lightwave t20 trek
Agree


If any of the above companies want to have their tents added to the table, they have but to contact me and supply a sample. YES, we can add tents to the survey table and mini-reviews even now.

Cheers
Roger Caffin

Edited by rcaffin on 04/18/2012 16:20:27 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2: The Flame Wars continue. on 04/18/2012 16:21:59 MDT Print View

Hi Joe

Thanks!

Cheers

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Where from here? on 04/18/2012 17:44:02 MDT Print View

I almost feel like the theme of this series (unintended, I'm sure!) is that there may be a couple manufacturers out there doing a couple things right, but Roger's done a lot more things right than any of them with his MYOG tents.

This is depressing to those of us with no sewing skills or inclinations. It seems like there's literally nothing out there close to being as good, available to us.

What can we do with all this information?

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Did you say Coffin tent? on 04/18/2012 17:52:53 MDT Print View

Are you up for changing your name, Roger? Your birth name might scare off buyers, if you ever sell again. How about "Roger Paradise"?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Where from here? on 04/18/2012 18:55:14 MDT Print View

Hi Bradley

> It seems like there's literally nothing out there close to being as good, available to us.
I don't think that was what I was trying to say. If you read the summary right at the end I point out that what might suit you will depend very much on what criteria you have.
Are you looking for a low-cost reliable 3-season tunnel?
Are you looking for something robust for teenage novices?
Are you looking for something to take extremes of 4-season weather?

There is no such thing as the perfect tent, pack, quilt, jacket, rainwear, stove, pot ... for ALL conditions. It might be nice to say (and advertisers do it all the time) that X is perfect for anything you might ever need, but reality does not work that way.

Even my tents are tuned to certain criteria. Being robust against novices and cheap to manufacture are NOT among those.

So, having read lots of surveys and reviews, now look at what you really need, and assess the market accordingly. We just try to help.

Cheers

Stuart Murphy
(stu_m) - MLife
Is there a part 3? on 04/18/2012 19:29:04 MDT Print View

Models compared in the field?

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Re: Re: Where from here? on 04/18/2012 19:38:36 MDT Print View

"If you read the summary right at the end I point out that what might suit you will depend very much on what criteria you have. "

I understand this - but you're writing for the BPL crowd, which (generally, with exceptions of course) probably leans a lot farther towards the requirements which spawned the creation of your tents, than anything that otherwise exists on the market.

In other words, here's what I'd personally like (ultimately speaking - I couldn't possibly afford one now, but would consider it a very important investment in the future)

- 4-season extremes capable
- Extremely lightweight
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Well-thought-out floor plan
- Great considersations to things like headroom, hydrostatic head, condensation management, vestibule access, pole design, no-rain entry.
- Aluminized fabric (this is a very particular personal preference of mine - never actually tried one, but wanted one ever since thinking through the physics of it)

The closest thing on the market, as far as I can tell, is a Warmlite tent.
But these have serious compromises, like you mentioned, in tensioning and spacial issues.

Your tents already come closer.

I'm just saying that it is frustrating, as a user, to see all the logic and thought that has gone into your decisions, but are often ignored or overlooked on in-market tents. I really think you are writing to an audience which would largely prefer something like a Caffin over any of the other tents mentioned.

I'm not in any way trying to suggest that this is your fault :)

I guess we can hope that having this kind of information propogate will put pressure on manufacturers to go more in that direction.

Edited by dasbin on 04/18/2012 19:42:16 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Is there a part 3? on 04/18/2012 20:11:38 MDT Print View

> Models compared in the field?
Mini-reviews of all tents in the table next week - as noted in italics at the table.

Apologies - big lightning strike last year took out my main hard disk and the backup disk, while I was in Europe. (WON'T happen again!) I had to retake a lot of the photos at home.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Where from here? on 04/18/2012 20:23:54 MDT Print View

Hi Bradley

> - 4-season extremes capable
> - Extremely lightweight
> - Excellent craftsmanship
> - Well-thought-out floor plan
OK.

> - Great considersations to things like headroom, hydrostatic head, condensation
> management, vestibule access, pole design, no-rain entry
Oh, I agree entirely.
The mini-reviews will address these questions as best as I could manage. I hope they satisfy.

> - Aluminized fabric
Only found on tourist tents. I suspect it is used there because tourist tents do stay pitched in the sun for weeks on end, whereas we don't. Tends to make the inside of the tent a bit gloomy though.

Commercial production: it's a goal. I am still working on it. The problems are finding the capital to get the right fabric (it usually comes in 1,000 m rolls with very limited QC) and a competent Asian company to make them at a reasonable cost (they want to make something like 300 - 1000 of them, in one batch). Quite a few Asian companies can make cheap pop-up domes out of medium-weight fabric, but technical designs like mine need a lot of training, which costs.

Failing that it is cottage industry production in small quantities and much higher prices.

We don't have a textile and clothing manufacturing industry in Australia any more (apart from some high-fashion fast-turnaround stuff). It's all gone off-shore. Difficult.

Cheers (or sighs)