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Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
State of the market on 09/19/2012 17:01:28 MDT Print View

Another disheartening thread.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: State of the market on 09/19/2012 17:19:24 MDT Print View

Another disheartening thread.

Agree. Some much negativity the past several months.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Solo plus tent SOTMR on 09/19/2012 17:26:21 MDT Print View

just read through this....wow.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
BPL on 09/19/2012 17:38:58 MDT Print View

As Jimmy Durante said, "My, what a revoltin' development!"

You folks who beat up on the author should be ashamed. What goes into these articles is a function of the management. You can go remonstrate with them, but mind that they have been sending us clear signals for some time now that this is going to be a shoestring operation from now on, like it or not.

Like at least one of the other posters, I continue to subscribe because a lot of very interesting and helpful contributions are made on the forums/threads.

The only problem is that if the rest of site becomes (has become?) fluff, a lot of the best contributors may disappear. Don't see anymore a lot of very talented and experienced folks posting who used to do so fairly regularly. If this trend continues, the threads will just become a place for trolling, shilling and marketing by poseurs who have some vested interest. It's not unusual, and is all over the internet. For every lousy product that is poorly reviewed, there are often a few reviews that wildly extoll the virtues of the product. If it comes to that, the ultimate sham would be when the editors start to delete the lousy reviews.

Probably I will hang in there till the bitter end, feeling that there are enough folks out there with good contributions to make that this site will continue to be worth visiting. We will have to ignore the chaff, and refrain from castigating folks who take the time to put together some reviews for a pittance. If that doesn't work, we can go somewhere else. We all spend too dam much time sitting in front of a monitor anyway.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: BPL on 09/19/2012 18:07:48 MDT Print View

" was expecting individual field reports. Are those forthcoming?"

I'll ask this again. Are these shelters going to be tested in the field?

If not, is there a way to have the membership test these and provide perspective according to some specified criteria?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
SOTMR on 09/19/2012 18:52:56 MDT Print View

"...everyone is wondering why some tents (Refuge X, for example) weren't included."

Perhaps because it was discontinued years ago? I think you meant Skyscape X :)

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: BPL on 09/19/2012 19:01:42 MDT Print View

David - they were all tested in the field on at least one trip per shelter. The conditions during usage didn't make for good photography, so I elected to use posed photos under ideal conditions to show off the shelters. We had a wet Spring and Summer here. I feel like how something works for me in my area is very subjective, and my personal opinion of a shelter does little for making a purchase decision. Reading reviews about how well a softshell performs in the Rockies is useless to me in the same way. You may not agree, and that's fine. If you want to read subjective test data then feel free to submit a proposal and request items for review. It's a pretty simple process as far as that piece goes.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Solo-Plus Tent State of the Market Report on 09/19/2012 19:18:07 MDT Print View

I wasn't expecting long term testing. I was expecting more information than just a rehash of the manufacturer specifications. As I mentioned, setting up all the tents on the lawn and turning the hose (with a pressure nozzle) on them would have elicited some quick results relating to waterproofness and condensation. So would turning loose the dog or kids for a little "strength testing" if a windstorm wasn't available. That's what I've done to test the tents I've bought, which I've done before deciding whether or not to keep the tent. Someone also mentioned diagrams of the actual space inside the tents. For many cottage manufacturers, that info is available on their websites, but for some tents it isn't, and it's important information for those trying to make "buy" decisions.

The SOTM report on single-wall tents that has been referenced several times in this thread is a shining example of what we have been conditioned to expect from BPL SOTM reports. I think we all assumed that this one would be similar.

If a manufacturer isn't able to supply test models, I believe that should be noted. Not as a backhand to the manufacturer, but to provide a complete listing of the tents that meet the specific criteria, as a service to potential buyers.

Chris, I understand that there were problems, especially with the delay in publication. You're not the only one; "Balls" and "Sunshine" were within a few days of completing the Appalachian trail by the time their first AT article, written several months earlier, was published, which removed any "suspense" over whether or not they'd make it. I believe, though, that a perusal of old SOTM reports would be very useful in demonstrating why we were disappointed. .

Chris, I just read your above post that evidently was being written at the same time as this one. It actually would have been extremely helpful--and not at all subjective!--if you had described the results of the trips, including the weather conditions. That might be good information for a short follow-up article.

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/19/2012 19:25:05 MDT.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: SOTMR on 09/19/2012 19:45:23 MDT Print View

>>> "...everyone is wondering why some tents (Refuge X, for example) weren't included."

>>> Perhaps because it was discontinued years ago? I think you meant Skyscape X :)

Oops. Absolutely correct. I've owned both, so I got them confused. (I knew there was an "X" in there somewhere) :)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: State of the market on 09/19/2012 20:08:22 MDT Print View

"Another disheartening thread.

Agree. Some much negativity the past several months."

+1

There is such a thing as constructive criticism; then there is the other kind, which is sadly all too much in evidence on this thread. Ponder the former, Chris, and recognize the latter for what it is. You made a good faith effort for little, if any, personal gain and, IMO, you deserve better than a lot of what is floating around on this thread.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: State of the market on 09/19/2012 20:39:07 MDT Print View

I don't think Chris needs the Calvary in this case. He has stated why the report was done the way it was and there is no reason to not believe what he has said. Chris is good. We all know that.

Rather than pick a side that does not need picking, why are many of you (and I am focusing on the Mlifers who seem to have Ryan's ear) not asking why BPL does not have sufficient resources for these tests? Why has the directive/parameters for completing a review / SOTM changed? Are you all okay with BPL disappearing into the abyss within 8-12 months?

@Chris - it is perfectly understood that geographic and climate conditions are very specific and that testing a tent in Florida will be much different than in the Northern Rockies, but please don't misunderstand what I am asking. I would like to see, at minimum, a review of the features of the shelter, pros and cons of use, comparison between the shelters (because you used them all), etc. I am not expecting a backpackgeartest.org approach that tests over several months.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 09/19/2012 20:39:49 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Solo-Plus Tent State of the Market Report on 09/19/2012 21:03:11 MDT Print View

"So Chris, yes we do expect more thorough reviews , the frustration expressed above is towards BPL not you."

+1 And thanks again for the PMs this morning.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Agreed on 09/19/2012 21:13:10 MDT Print View

"Another disheartening thread.

Agree. Some much negativity the past several months."

+2

There is such a thing as constructive criticism; then there is the other kind, which is sadly all too much in evidence on this thread. Ponder the former, Chris, and recognize the latter for what it is. You made a good faith effort for little, if any, personal gain and, IMO, you deserve better than a lot of what is floating around on this thread.

I used to love spending time here; this was the most respectful and informative website I'd ever been to. Now it seems that the exact opposite is in fashion. I sure hope it goes away soon. Like my grandmother used to say "if you don't have anything good to say than don't say anything at all".

Nick Brown
(ojsglove)

Locale: Highland Park
Solo-Plus Tent State of the Market Report on 09/19/2012 21:14:11 MDT Print View

There seems to be some miss information here or at least a lack of familiarity in regards to the Nemo Meta 1P. Mine is a year old. It weighs exactly 32oz including guylines, no stakes or stuff sack. The included stuff sack weighs a ton. It came with 8 V stakes which weigh 3oz I think.

The lack of interior room due to steep walls is mitigated by the side wall guylines which can be staked out to increase the headroom at the ends. I find that tying them off to a stick to elevate them before staking really helps. The interior room is plenty at 5'10". I can lay down and stretch my arms nearly completely out in front of me without touching either end. I sit up with a little care. I would consider something else if i were 6'1" or taller.

It's a great shelter and manages condensation well. Unlike most of the cottage brands, who I also support, the Nemo can be found on sale. I got mine for $211.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: State of the market on 09/19/2012 21:41:53 MDT Print View

"Rather than pick a side that does not need picking, why are many of you (and I am focusing on the Mlifers who seem to have Ryan's ear) not asking why BPL does not have sufficient resources for these tests? Why has the directive/parameters for completing a review / SOTM changed? Are you all okay with BPL disappearing into the abyss within 8-12 months?"

BPL is now what it is. We cannot change that or its future. That is up to the owner. We cannot brow-beat anyone into changing. RJ is fully aware of the concerns. I have posted enough on the subject myself. The future is out of our hands. The future of BPL is what RJ wants it to be. He is fully aware of the mood of the (paid/not paid) membership.

So most of us can go on enjoying the great conversation of the forums, keeping a positive outlook in our mind's eye. A positive attitude in the forums will probably keep a lot the wonderful people here. Moaning and complaining could drive them away.

We may be our own worst enemy.

Should the editorial content improve and other benefits materialize, then all the better.

To be honest, there is so much good content presented by members in the forums that many articles pale in comparison. Do we really need a STOM? Just ask a question about any specific piece of gear and plenty of people will chime in with valuable real-world experience and advice. I cannot remember one piece of gear in a STOM report that had not been discussed in detail beforehand. I find that much more valuable most of the time. Although I do miss the Roger & Will collaboration pieces.

Peace

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: State of the market on 09/19/2012 21:53:09 MDT Print View

I have to agree. I'm tired of b*tching, moaning, complaining, whining, arguing here on the forums. I should be as I've done most of it. The one who most of the complaints are directed to won't read them, so why bother. We can remember the past as fondly as we want. But it is the past. It has been made. The future on the other hand...

I'll try if you will.

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Title Change on 09/19/2012 21:56:26 MDT Print View

The feedback here confirmed some of my suspicions before we published this article, and led me to believe that it deserved a title change. It certainly is not a State of the Market Report by prior BPL standards, but does still provide a nice overview of available products. I felt that "Round-Up" more accurately describes the content. This was an editorial error that should have been noticed and corrected before publication. Sorry for the inconvenience!

-Daniel

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Title Change on 09/19/2012 21:59:06 MDT Print View

Good to see you back Daniel. Good call.

Charles P
(mediauras)

Locale: Terra
BPL then and now on 09/19/2012 22:16:48 MDT Print View

Many in this thread have stated that BPL ain't what it used to be. For a newcomer, what did it used to be? What's changed (not asking why or who necessarily)? Just curious....

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: State of the market on 09/19/2012 22:19:27 MDT Print View

"BPL is now what it is. We cannot change that or its future. That is up to the owner. We cannot brow-beat anyone into changing. RJ is fully aware of the concerns. I have posted enough on the subject myself. The future is out of our hands. The future of BPL is what RJ wants it to be. He is fully aware of the mood of the (paid/not paid) membership."

Perhaps not being an MLifer I am not privy to these discussions on a sub forum, but what you have written sounds incredibly defeatist. My hands are not tied in any way and I can speak through my membership by not renewing.

II agree that the forums are great. But if memberships are not renewed and new memberships are not generated based on lack of editorial content, where will the funds come from to support the bandwidth to even keep the forums alive? The Mlifers already helped with the leveraged buy back for Ryan. No more funds to come from those sources. It is only the general ongoing regular Membership and new Members that will keep the cash flow coming. Without content and free forums, we are witnessing a slow death of BPL and it makes me a little sad.