November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Big Sky International Update
Display Avatars Sort By:
Robert von Pentz
(rvpregister) - F
Big Sky International Update on 04/11/2007 08:42:13 MDT Print View

In mid January, after reading this board and studying details, I concluded that the Big Sky Evolution 2P 2D2V was the tent I wanted. The catch was the horror stories posted here and elsewhere. Being a small businessman myself, I understand how things can spiral sometimes and that it is not always indicative of a permanent condition. So I ordered the tent and vowed to stay on top of the situation.

After I placed the order I asked for a ship date. The prompt response was that it would come between 3/21 and 6/22; a big range in my estimation but at least it was an answer. On March 21, I wrote again and asked for an update to which I received a prompt response indicating that my June 8 deadline would be met. I was encouraged.

Last night (4/10), I got an email saying the tent had shipped.

So, from a communications standpoint, my dealings with the company were prompt, honest and to the point. I will post again once the tent arrives. Perhaps the company is out of the woods so to speak.

Bob von Pentz

Erik Sund
(sundek) - F
Big Cry on 04/11/2007 09:31:04 MDT Print View

Hey Bob,

Thanks for the update. BSI has some really interesting products but I haven't given any serious consideration to ordering anything from them given the appalling stories surrounding the company. I'm going to have to hear a lot more good news before I'd consider giving Big Sky any of my money but it's nice to hear something good. At least now I can hope.


Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Big Sky International Update on 04/11/2007 09:45:01 MDT Print View

You had better luck than I had. My order went in a year ago December, and I still haven't seen anything yet.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
You Need To Threaten the Guy! on 04/11/2007 11:22:59 MDT Print View


That's incredible!

Be assured that Bob Molen visits the forums at least daily! Time and time again, folks who posted here warning Bob that they will report him to (1) their credit card issuer or Payapl and (2) the BBB -- seemed to have all gotten very fast responses from Bob -- then followed by refunds!

Edited by ben2world on 04/11/2007 11:23:48 MDT.

kristin hostetter
(khostetter) - F
Big Sky Update on 04/18/2007 09:16:48 MDT Print View

I'm glad to hear some positive feedback on Big Sky.

A side note: A number of you have mentioned here in the past that Bob Molen checks these forums daily. I'm curious: How do you know that?

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Bob's timely replies. on 04/18/2007 09:55:19 MDT Print View

After futile attempts to contact Bob, while waiting the 373 days it took to get my tent, after I'd paid for it, Bob would email me within minutes (certainly hours) after I posted a complaint on the BackpackingLight site. Several of us have had the same experience. Bob watches this site and others.

Oh, and by the way... Those of us who have personally delt with Bob don't count the ocassional "Got my tent" as positive information. It's more like someone finally got something (a tent or a refund). Personally I keep hoping that Bob Molen is able to pull Big Sky "out of the fire". He does, however, seem to have a bit of a way to go.

Edited by redleader on 04/18/2007 10:00:39 MDT.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Big Sky Update on 04/18/2007 10:19:33 MDT Print View

Kristen, did you not read the whole thread? There is a fellow who responded above to this thread by revealing that he ordered a product in December 2005 and he still hasn’t received the order. How can this be characterized as, “positive feedback?”

Do you arrive at conclusions by accepting one post that is supportive and ignoring all other evidence that is unsupportive of your award? It is obvious that the overwhelming number of posts in recent weeks to the BS-BPM debacle is severely negative.

Any reasonable approach to reading the large number of contributions to this subject ends with the undeniable conclusion that BPM failed to research BS thoroughly prior to making this award. It appears that your post is a form of gleaning to manufacture some evidence to vindicate Backpacker’s poor judgment in making this award.

kristin hostetter
(khostetter) - F
response to John on Big Sky on 04/18/2007 11:07:46 MDT Print View

Dear John,
Yes, I've read the whole thread. I've also read all the lengthy earlier threads on this topic and contributed to them. My response was in regards to Robert von Pentz's experience. Obviously one right does not undo all the wrongs--that was not my implication. But I promised to continue to monitor this, and I am, as you can see.

Unless I'm missing something, since my last post (3/27), I've been able to identify one positive experience (Robert's) and one negative experience (Don Selensky's). I'm still watching and waiting to hear more feedback. Not looking for "vindication" of any sort, simply trying to stay active and proactive within this forum.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: response to John on Big Sky on 04/18/2007 11:46:00 MDT Print View

Dear Kristin,

Thanks for the time and attention. I know there are many here who are very concerned (sometimes better read as: just plain upset) about Big Sky's performance in the past. I've never had involvement with Big Sky (mostly because of info I've read on multiple fora), but I still feel a great sense of unease when I think about the issues I hear of from friends. But despite personal feelings, I just wanted to say that I appreciate your staying involved in the ongoing debate and discussion.

It's so easy to become a bit clannish when you're among a group of regulars that frequent a handful of backpacking sites that even someone as well known as you can sometimes be considered an outsider. Please don't be put off by some of us who are still pretty upset with some of the issues from the past.

BTW, have you have much feedback about Big Sky's service from other sources. I know had a similar thread with similar results. A couple of new customers got their tents in 3-5 months while folks waiting over a year were still waiting. Have you heard anything else good or bad from other sources?

Again thanks.

kristin hostetter
(khostetter) - F
response to Shawn on 04/18/2007 12:30:13 MDT Print View

Hi Shawn,
I appreciate your sentiment.

Re: your question about other feedback. This is the only forum that I monitor regularly, aside from I haven't heard anything new--good or bad-- since the story came out.

I did a quick search on and didn't get any hits. But I'll keep my eyes and ears open and share whatever I learn here.

Thanks again,

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
big sky on 04/18/2007 13:05:23 MDT Print View

Hi Kristen,

I'm trying to contact him too. I want to see what went wrong for a range of reasons.

There are some posts on and the backpackinglight Yahoo users group. The ones from customers about delays and communication problems are mostly along the same lines as here on BPL, though not as many or as detailed. A couple are positive -from a few folks who rcvd product about ayear ago.

I noted in previous post here on BPL from Mr. Molen that he no longer charges cards until the product ships and has not done so for a while. Can anyone wiith a recent order confirm this? This would seem to be a key in determining intent on his end.

No reputable person/ gear company would not offer an immediate refund on an unfilled order. It's not clear to me how many folks have asked for this and been declined. From reading posts, it appears to be very few.

Perhaps the focus of figuring out what's going on should center on this one point. A long back order is one thing, but if a customer has clearly asked for a refund and not received it, that is quite another. Two unreturned phone calls plus two unanswered emails should qualify as a denial for refund.

Note that he is signed up this year as a vendor at TrailDays in Damascus that starts in a few weeks. I guess that opens the question of if he will sell product there or only take orders paid/not paid in advance OR of being able to offer cash refunds to anyone whith an outstanding order that wants to cancel. This also would be key in determining his intent.


Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Not listed at ADZPCTKO on 04/18/2007 14:10:19 MDT Print View

Interesting that Bob's going to TrailDays. For the first time, since I've been going to ADZ (this will be my third year) Bob's not listed as a vendor. He was there last year, 4 months after I paid him and 8 months before I finally got my Evolution 2P. He had the, then new, orange Revolution 1P 1D0V tent set up. It's the one that shows in his website. I wish I had bought it then. A 28 ounce "super bivy" in Znorkel. I'd love to order one now if I knew I'd get it in a timely manner. IMHO his promised delivery dates are no better than a "Bob's Promise."

Edited by redleader on 04/18/2007 14:11:40 MDT.

Wayne Kraft
(WayneKraft) - F
C on 04/18/2007 15:22:18 MDT Print View

Wyoming Consumer Protection Act

40-12-105. Unlawful practices.

(a) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice unlawful under this act when, in the course of his business and in connection with a consumer transaction, he knowingly:

* * * * *
(x) Advertises merchandise with intent not to sell it as advertised;

(xi) Advertises merchandise with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses the limitation;

* * * * *

Wyoming Small Claims Court Information
Statues: Wyoming Statutes Annotated Title 1, Ch. 21, Sections 201-205; Title 5, Ch. 4, Section 101-107 and 125-145; Rules of Civil Procedure for Justice of the Peace Courts, Rules 1-8.
Dollar Limit:: $3,000 Where To Sue: Where defendant resides or is found. Corporation resides where it has principal place of business. Nonresident defendants - Where breach or injury occurred.
Service: Certified or registered mail, sheriff, deputy, deputized process-server or court-approved adult.
Hearing Date: 3-12 days from service.
Attorneys: Allowed. If one party gets one, the other may, if desired, have continuance to obtain counsel.
Transfer: Allowed.
Appeals: By either side for review of law, not facts; to District Court within 10 days.
Special Provisions: Jury trial available. No formal pleadings required. Arbitration is available in some circumstances.
Note: This section outlines the special rules that apply to the small claims courts of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Filing fees are not listed because they vary greatly and change frequently. This information was last updated in 2004. Because court rules may change at any time, always check with the clerk of the small claims court to verify the accuracy of the information given for your state. [Max. amount in controversy is now $5000]

Big Sky International can be served via it's registered agent:
Robert Molen
17800 E. Hwy. 287
Moran, WY 83013

Big Sky International is located in Jackson Hole, WY. Both Jackson Hole and Moran are within the jurisdicition of Teton County Circuit Court.

For specific information on filing a small claim in Teton County Circuit Court AND DOWNLOADABLE FORMS, consult the court's websit here:

If you can't travel to Wyoming to appear at hearings, contact the court to determine if you may appear telephonically.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: C on 04/18/2007 16:00:57 MDT Print View

“If you can't travel to Wyoming to appear at hearings, contact the court to determine if you may appear telephonically.”

How likely is that to happen?

By the way, what theories or statutes would allow a potential Plaintiff to obtain local jurisdiction via Federal court? Any way to overcome the jurisdictional amount that would preclude a suit based on diversity alone?

Robert von Pentz
(rvpregister) - F
Big Sky International Update on 04/18/2007 20:30:34 MDT Print View

The tent arrived this evening. I will set it up this weekend and post again. My card was charged on 4/11 the day after I was notified of shipment.

Bob von Pentz

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Big Sky International Update on 04/18/2007 23:28:12 MDT Print View

Congratulations Bob. I think you'll enjoy your tent. It's a really great piece of gear. Did you get the pole or clip version? And, which color fly did you order?

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: response to Shawn on 04/19/2007 12:28:19 MDT Print View

"I did a quick search on and didn't get any hits."

This is probably because the default setting is comments within the past one week. If you change the search timeframe to about 3 months, you'll see a couple of extensive threads about it. Ben2World started a more recent one which specifically addresses the more recent issues of who has and has not received their tents. The older thread was quite long, about 160 posts over several months.

Thanks again for the interest.

Brian Curtiss
(bcurtiss) - F
Re: Big Sky International Update on 05/21/2007 21:50:21 MDT Print View

Now I feel scammed --- I ordered 7.5 months ago and, even with repeated emails to Bob, here I am with no tent. What was your secret in getting yours so "quick"?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Re: Re: Big Sky International Update on 05/21/2007 22:29:55 MDT Print View

This saga has been going on for long enough to exclude any possible doubts about the nature of the beast. Next someone will post that they feel ripped off because they did not win at the Casino or that the 1 billion dollars for doing almost nothing never shipped from Nigeria . I let you into a secret, Uri Geller cannot really bend spoons with his mind, David Copperfield performs tricks, no one can really speak to the dead or predict the future.
Sorry, but the common denominator there is the term gullible.

The minimum order from a reputable Chinese manufacturer is 300 tents at a time. If you have the right connections, as an exception, you can get it down to 100.
There is no evidence that Bob has shipped that sort of number of his many models, it would be well over 2000 by now, but there is anecdotal evidence that he has samples made by different factories and those are the few that have been received. Note the frequent model change and the variation in quality control.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Big Sky International Update on 05/21/2007 22:46:19 MDT Print View


Write a quick email to Kristin Hostetter -- Gear Editor of Backpacker magazine. She has been actively monitoring the situation with Big Sky -- and has kept in close contact with Bob. If you scroll up near the top of this thread, you'll see her post. Maybe she can help. Best of luck!

Edited by ben2world on 05/21/2007 22:50:21 MDT.