Brooks-Range Foray 2P Tent Review
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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Brooks-Range Foray 2P Tent Review on 10/09/2012 19:04:57 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Brooks-Range Foray 2P Tent Review

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Brooks-Range Foray on 10/10/2012 12:29:56 MDT Print View

Great review. Looks like a mostly well done take on the single front entry style tent. Big Agnes should take a hint from the door/fly overhang and add a bit to their tents to stop the vertical rain intrusion.

allen force
(yknott456)

Locale: Florida
Brooks-Range Foray 2P Tent Review on 10/10/2012 13:28:47 MDT Print View

I think the Big Ag Fly Creek UL still may have the edge but I'd be interested in knowing what the headroom is. If I could sit up in it that would make it more attractive. Having to "tie" the fly to the poles is questionable. Why?

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
My personal experience thus far... on 10/10/2012 13:45:23 MDT Print View

I bought the Foray for a summer ski mountaineering trip to Glacier Peak that ended up becoming just daytrips to Adams and Hood.
Which is a long way of saying the backyard set-up photo below is my only experience with it thus far.
But I bought the Foray because I wanted a tent that was lighter than my Rab Summit Extreme, and better with rain than my BD Firstlight.
I looked at the three-season freestanding ultralight competition, and decided that the Foray was better built for rough weather than other tents around the same weight. So glad to see that the reviewer agrees with me!

I would add that although the fly<>body separation could be better toward the foot end of the tent, all the competition in the weight class seems to have the same problem, if not usually much worse.

So the picture below makes it look taller than it really is, but I think the six guy lines provide a good impression of its stability.
Also attached is the official dimension spec, annotated with stake locations.
The tents with 9 very nice triangular stakes (plus nice stuff sacks).
Currently I'm using 5 of those stakes at the locations marked P, for tent Pole.
For the other 10 stake locations (yes, this tent can be set up with 15 stakes!) -- marked G for guy lines, V for vestibule, and B for body of tent/fly (w/o pole), I’m using even lighter Ti pegs.

practice set-up

stake locations

Edited by jshefftz1 on 10/10/2012 13:50:44 MDT.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
BR Foray on 10/10/2012 17:37:03 MDT Print View

This looks a lot like the similar MH and EMP offerings. Not so good.

On the other hand, you could think of it as a Warmlite with quality construction, a ridge pole and an awning-style vestibule. Much better.

However, a true foul weather tent has got to go up fly first, or at least not second.
The Warmlite does that. (Any word on their woeful quality of construction issues?)

And although the height may be the 39" stated by BR (inner-outer?), the front apex is much lower, and slopes sharply on each side, leaving only a skinny little triangle to crawl through to get in and out. Pining for a side entry yet?

The foot issues are well brought out in the review, and are similar to those in the MH and EMP. Ditto for the steeply sloping inside net walls. (Does the lighter nylon netting sag? Wonder if slightly heavier sagless polyester netting would actually be better?)

And the silnylon is nothing special - unimpressive HH on the BR website.
And they actually sell uncoated tarps saying that DWR + calendaring will keep you dry. Didn't BD try that with EPIC? At least they qualified on the keeping dry,.

Unless I'm missing something, it's hard to see how BPL can recommend this tent.
And more detail like you always used to have with the tables would be good, too.

Great photos. Thanks.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: BR Foray on 10/10/2012 19:38:12 MDT Print View

> Any word on their woeful quality of construction issues?
It was commented on in the survey of tunnel tents.

Cheers

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
some q's & comments on 10/10/2012 20:06:39 MDT Print View

“This looks a lot like the similar MH and EMP offerings. Not so good.”
- How so? (Regarding the second observation.)
- For me personally, I wanted a very lightweight freestanding double-wall tent able to fit two small-ish people (who don’t mind getting squished a bit). I found six different models from six different companies (plus a seventh slightly different variation from one of the six companies). They are all obviously watching each other very carefully, or at least their suppliers are. The Foray appealed to me b/c of what seemed to be better weather protection, plus it seemed to suffer a bit less from some of the problem common to all of these.

“The Warmlite does that. (Any word on their woeful quality of construction issues?)”
“It was commented on in the survey of tunnel tents.”
- You guys are referencing Warmlite, not BR, correct? (I searched through the tunnel articles, and found only Warmlite references.)

“However, a true foul weather tent has got to go up fly first, or at least not second.”
- Well, yes, it’s not a double-wall tent with interior poles. If I’m in weather that bad, I’ll just bring a tent with an entirely different design. (Or stay home, hah!)

“And although the height may be the 39" stated by BR (inner-outer?), the front apex is much lower, and slopes sharply on each side, leaving only a skinny little triangle to crawl through to get in and out. Pining for a side entry yet?”
- No, I found the entry just fine.

“Unless I'm missing something, it's hard to see how BPL can recommend this tent.”
- Given my criteria at the beginning, what would you recommend instead?

“And more detail like you always used to have with the tables would be good, too.”
- Yes, the weight specs were mentioned almost in passing ... perhaps because the author was too focused on strange, unamusing, and utterly irrelevant musical analogies?

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
re: comments on 10/11/2012 18:44:46 MDT Print View

Hi all-

In response to some of the questions and comments:

The ties provided are not necessary for a good pitch of the tent. The ties are provided as an option for "stiffer" weather, and such ties or similar attachments are common on "heavier duty" tents. Attaching the fly to the poles can add a bit of strength to the overall structure.

I disagree that the Foray and similar offerings on the market are "not so good." I have tested many of them in the field. I believe that actual experience with products can be more informative than armchair conjecture about products someone has not used. Please note, this IS a 3-season backpacking tent, not a mountaineering tent. It is NOT a "severe conditions" tent... that would, by standard industry convention, be a 4-season tent.

The entry has one of the easiest ingress/egresses in tents with similar design. I found it quite easy to use, and never found myself wanting for a side door.

The hydrostatic head of the fly material is more than sufficient. Big Agnes uses material with the same 1200mm HH for the Fly Creek, MHW uses 1200mm HH for the SuperMega UL2. I have used both of those in a significant range of weather, and have never gotten wet in any of the three. Of interest, MSR uses 1000mm HH fabric for their Nook.

We each think somewhat differently. Personally, once I know a tent weighs "X," I would rather not read the same fact four different ways. It reminds me of those Verizon 4G ads of late, where the focus group says "it doesn't matter how you present it," because the result is the same regardless. In my reviews I try to focus on information that you can't get anywhere and everywhere about a given product. If you want to know the hydrostatic head of the fly material on the Foray, you could probably find it on some thousands of websites. You cannot, however, find the kind of reflective detail this review brought forth. Perhaps it is worth considering adding a general specs table to future reviews, though. Point taken.

Cheerios!

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: re: comments on 10/11/2012 19:02:29 MDT Print View

Brad, this was a very well done review and worthy of a BPL stamp. Thanks,

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
why not so good on 10/22/2012 18:45:22 MDT Print View

A potential problem with ridge poles in tunnel tents is that they can transform much of the cross section of the tent from a hoop to a triangle. This brings the inner walls much closer to the occupant except at the hoops. It's even worse if the inner wall material sags. Similar tents from the two other manufacturers I mentioned also present this issue. The Warmlite tent does not, becasue it has no ridge pole. And you can get it with a third hoop pole in both single and double wall. Unfortunately, in recent years there have developed quality issues well-reported on this site that tend to negate the positives.

When you add to the above the need to open the inside of the tent to the elements to get it pitched, and the footroom issues well developed in the review, I think 'not so good' is being kind. The BA tent reviewed a week or so later has similar issues, but has addressed them to some extent (note the spacious entry in the review photo, and the comment from an owner about dry entry).

When small tent makers like TarpTent have designed well to address the issues of dry pitch, access/egress, and inside space, the larger outfits like Easton, MH and even BR should be expected to do much better. It is not an issue of a 3 or 4 season tent. That is a red herring. I BP mostly in the northeast US and Colorado, and from this site have learned that the northwest can be even more of a bear, weather-wise in all seasons. If a tent can't deal effectively with that, it is just extra weight to carry, IMO. Maybe the weather is better is other locations. But if so, why bother with a tent at all.