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Big Sky International - Evolution 2P Tent (Why and How I Got One)
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Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Instructions on 05/18/2012 06:35:21 MDT Print View

It DID come with instructions... and set-up tips, as well as a patch of fabric for you to burn just to show you not to mess around with fires and nylon. The instructions for the fly just don't mention the velcro.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Nice photos - thanks for posting them on 05/18/2012 11:02:42 MDT Print View

Chris - Really nice and detailed photos of the tent, thanks for posting them.

If you put the tent up again and take more photos, it would be great to see the tent with something inside it to be able to better judge the usable size of the tent. Eg. How does it look with two full length sleeping pads and one person sitting up in the tent?

In style or design this doesn't look that different from many other manufacturers backpacking tents such as the REI Quarter Dome, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL, or the MSR Hubba Hubba. These tents weigh between 3.5 and 4.5 pounds and cost $300 - $400 according to the REI website. I am curious how your Big Sky compares to these. Could you put the tent components on a scale and tell us what it adds up to?

No idea what's happening with the fly. Maybe Bob sent you the fly for a different model of the tent by mistake?

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Kristin on 05/18/2012 11:21:58 MDT Print View

Yeah, in my rushing around I forgot to bring a sleeping bag / pad / quilt for size.

I'll definitely do a Round 2, experiment with the fly, take some shots of it on my scale, etc. I have to weigh the components anyway to update my Gear Grams.

Hoping the fly isn't "wrong", and that it's just user error!

Erik Hagen
(EWH100) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Fly on 05/18/2012 14:06:48 MDT Print View

Chris, how long did you leave the fly on. I'm wondering if the tightness is by design allowing for the sil-nylon to relax, typically after 1/2 hour or so.

Thanks so much for the pictures. The tent body does look awesome.

Dave Heiss

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Nice tent on 05/18/2012 14:43:18 MDT Print View


Thanks for persevering here. Nice tent! Think it's worth the money?

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Money on 05/18/2012 14:58:40 MDT Print View

No problem!

I think it's TOTALLY worth the money, especially given what I've seen from Big Agnes for a similar price. However, without re-testing this fly situation, I'm still not 100% on board. But if it set-up perfectly the first time without that problem, then yes, I'd be 100%.

As for letting it 'stretch', I didn't... I didn't even realize that was something you should do. It was pretty much only set up for a matter of minutes, maybe 10 at max.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Pole placement on 05/18/2012 16:18:44 MDT Print View

I've been looking at the pictures, and had the following thoughts.

Good pics.

The photos of the inner tent with the poles (middle of the series) look good: everything seems to be right.

The last photo shows the fly over the poles, and the pole to the left looks wildly out of place. I would have thought it should be aligned with the seam in the fly, but at the worst it is a foot to the right of the seam. Something seriously wrong there.

There's a risk here too. If the tent was to get bad weather with the pole that far out of position, the tent would collapse and the poles would be damaged, or broken.

I suspect you just have to figure out how to keep the poles at the seams. Maybe hook&loop tape?

More thoughts on second look. You may have pulled the fly down at the corners far too tight. That may be pushing the poles out of position.


Edited by rcaffin on 05/18/2012 16:20:32 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Big Sky International - Evolution 2P Tent (Why and How I Got One) on 05/18/2012 17:50:29 MDT Print View

I thought that you might have put the fly back to front but I see that in the official pics the (inner) doors and door panels on the fly are not at the same end ..
Measure the width of the fly at each end and see if it matches the one on the BSI website...
(should be around 66" at one end and 56" at the other (aprox....) )
Just a small thing : turn those V pegs the other way (close up pic...)

Edited by Franco on 05/18/2012 18:21:57 MDT.

Tom Beno
(KillerB) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
could it be as easy as - the fly is reversed? on 05/18/2012 20:18:03 MDT Print View

The floor plan of the tent is is the fly, or it should be. Could it be as simple as, you've got the "wide" end of the fly over the narrow end of the tent (and vice-versa)? The seams of the fly should very closely follow the ridgelines formed by the poles.

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
From Bob on 05/19/2012 10:08:40 MDT Print View

Hey Guys – Thanks for all the input... Lots of good suggestions. Unfortunately I still haven't re-pitched it, but I will within the next couple hours. I emailed Bob on Thursday and he has since written back at least 6 times, as well as called me, trying to resolve this.

He seems to think I just plain did it wrong. (Which is highly likely) The fly is supposed to connect to those elastic cords at the corners, and I was using them to stake out the tent. He gave me instructions for the proper procedure. I'll follow that and report back.

But thanks for chiming in with suggestions guys, really appreciated.

Adam Berg
(AdamMBerg) - F - M
got my Evo 2P, also on 05/19/2012 18:33:57 MDT Print View

I just got my Evo 2P in the mail on Thursday. Haven't had time to set it up yet - planning to open up the package tomorrow.

Interestingly, I ordered mine on June 7, 2011. See my previous post on my dealings with Bob Molen at .

I find it a bit funny that when Chris placed his order, I had already been waiting for 11 months, and Chris got his tent a few days before I got mine. But I'll gladly put up with that -- and put up with the multiple periods of months and months over the past year when I tried to reach Bob by phone and e-mail and he didn't get back to me -- if the tent is as good and as light as people say. I can verify that Bob didn't charge me until it shipped, and I'll note that Bob gave me $25 off my tent specifically because I am a paying BPL member.

If mine has the same issue as Chris' with the poles and fly misaligning or whatever, I'll post again. And if it needs repairs, I'll let you guys know how that process goes.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Fly on 05/19/2012 19:27:10 MDT Print View

I can't see how you have the fly attached at the stakes. But it should look like this.Evo fly attachment

Adam Berg
(AdamMBerg) - F - M
having same problem as Chris on 05/21/2012 15:59:34 MDT Print View

I set up my Evolution 2P this morning. I'm having the same issue as Chris. When I put the fly on, it constricts the body of the tent.

I contacted Bob Molen and he called me right back. I'm supposed to talk to him again this evening when I'm back in front of the tent, see if he can tell me how to set up the tent so that I don't have this problem.

I also may be having an issue with the floor of the body of the tent not flattening out enough, similar to the issue Ray Estrella had when he reviewed the tent last year. The sides do not sit completely flat against the ground. I’ll play around with it and see if I can remedy this, too. (Last year when I asked Bob about the issue Ray had, Bob claimed it was due to Ray getting a defective tent to review.)

By the way, I weighed all the pieces of the tent.

body: 1 lb, 3.1 oz
UL fly: 12.5 oz
aluminum poles: 12.6 oz
footprint: 4.9 oz
grommet kit for footprint: 0.8 oz

I haven't yet looked to see how much excess material there is that could be trimmed off.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: having same problem as Chris on 05/21/2012 16:32:19 MDT Print View

Hi Chris

Well, it seesm your postings have been very valuable to many. Keep it up!


Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
MORE PICTURES - And Resolved Issue? on 05/22/2012 20:07:38 MDT Print View

Hey Guys! I took this tent out this weekend. It performed great. Was greeted with a torrential downpour in the morning too... but only the sound of it! We stayed completely dry. It felt extremely secure.

I'm on the go right now so I'll follow-up with more details. I also still need to weigh everything.

But check out my new pictures!

As for the tent issue, this is what Bob told me, which seems to resolve the issue way more than previously:

"Use non-elastic cord for stakes.
Use elastic cord ONLY for fly… elastic cord should NOT be used for stakes."


A couple more tips:
1) Attaching the fly Velcro to poles is option, but it will keep the fly better aligned with poles and interior tighter… if Velcro is not attached to the poles, the pole can be “pulled in” similar to the first setup causing the interior netting to sag too much
2) The elastic cords are adjustable… they do NOT have to be super tight… if too tight, the seams will not align with poles… the reason for the elastic cord so the fly tightness is “self-adjusting” (compared to NON-elastic stake loops because the tent should be as solidly connected to the ground as possible.)
3) the elastic cord was designed to be easy to be replace if it ever wears out
4) Fly hooks/rings/webbing are color coded… “red” is foot/narrow end… so when setting up tent, just look for “red” and connect accordingly…


I noticed another thing on the attached picture you took…

It appears the poles may not be straight line from one stake diagonally to the other stake… since everything, including poles, are very light weight it is easy to distort the shape…. it is easy to pull the ends/pole tips wider than they should be, then the fly will not fit correctly.

I recommend putting the 1st stake in, then staking the 2nd stake diagonal to the 1st next rather than staking next to 1st stake… it is easier to see that the poles are in a straight line from one stake diagonally to the other stake…. then add the 3rd stake and add the 4th stake diagonally in a straight line to the 3rd stake… does this make sense?

Setting up the Evolution correctly will make everything fit and work better. After the interior is set up look down the poles, if the poles are not in a straight line it is best to realign the stakes so they are in straight line rather than trying to add the fly when the interior is not set up correctly…

Edited by Scalawag on 05/22/2012 20:08:24 MDT.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Glad on 05/22/2012 21:07:13 MDT Print View

this thread seems to be back on track.

Chris, congrats on your new tent. Looks pretty cool and at 2.76 lbs, is pretty light for a freestanding dome. I woulda bought one last year if I could have gotten it in a timely manner. Hopefully this is a good start for BSI. Glad you are so please with your tent. And thanks for hanging in there through all the kafuffle.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: MORE PICTURES - And Resolved Issue? on 05/22/2012 22:12:43 MDT Print View

Hi Chris

Yes, that does look a whole lot better, doesn't it? :-)

Now, those loops of bungee cord. I see you are using simple thumb knots on those - perhaps that is how they were supplied. This often happens on goods from China. But that knot is also known as the 'European Death Knot'. When used on climbing rope and placed under load, it can roll along the rope to the end and 'fall off'. When that happens the loop is undone, which can be mildly embarrassing if you happen to be belayed off it.

Can I suggest replacing EVERY case of the thumb knot with either a sheet bend or a tape knot. The latter is a thumb knot but with the ends in opposition. Both work very well on bungee cord and will not let go in the middle of the night in a storm.

Added in Edit:
Even though it holds very well, I can undo the sheet bend very easily. Undoing a tape knot which has been loaded ... is not easy!


Edited by rcaffin on 05/23/2012 04:00:00 MDT.

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Knots on 05/23/2012 12:09:14 MDT Print View

Thanks for the knot advice! Wouldn't have thought of that... and probably would have found out at the worst time. Much appreciated.

Kevin J
(KevinJ) - F
Re: having same problem as Chris on 05/24/2012 23:01:59 MDT Print View

Chris, you said:

By the way, I weighed all the pieces of the tent.

body: 1 lb, 3.1 oz
UL fly: 12.5 oz
aluminum poles: 12.6 oz
footprint: 4.9 oz
grommet kit for footprint: 0.8 oz

Is that body weight a typo? The BSI site says the body is 2lb 15.5oz and the used one I am looking at comes in at 3.5lb grand total stakes and all. 19oz doesn't seem nearly right for the 2p.

Todd Dorman
(tdorman001) - M

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: having same problem as Chris on 05/25/2012 08:59:58 MDT Print View

Kevin: my Evo 2P tent body and fly weigh in at 33 ounces for the pair. Alum poles were 15.3 ounces. Footprint came in at 5.4 ounces and stakes at 1.7 ounces. Just under 3.5 pounds. I believe Chris is saying his body/fly weighed in at 31.6 ounces. I have the clear plastic window on my fly which, along with my less-than-scientific measuring skills, may account for the 1.4 ounce difference.