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which tent to get
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Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Yes, that long ago on 06/30/2005 15:20:02 MDT Print View

Yes Paul it was that long ago. I remember when I was young teen, I had a girlfriend give me one of those oval shaped stone in the brass setting rings in '69', as it was the latest fad. In fact it was right around the time Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. (How would you like to have his backpack!)
Amazing the things one remembers... and forgets.

Edited by mikes on 06/30/2005 15:21:09 MDT.

andrew mitchell
(brocc7) - F
tetnts on 07/01/2005 23:03:49 MDT Print View

I have a Stephenson 2r which is a 4 season and was great in thunderstorms,
a europa 2 which leaked a little til resealed and could stand 30 mile wilds,
and a lunar solo which leaked badly when a stake brew out in a 40 mile gust.
I also had good experience with a tadpole

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: tetnts on 07/02/2005 06:54:15 MDT Print View

Did you do anything to strengthen the 2R against the wind? I've read that strong winds can flatten them right down against your bag, but then they spring right back to their normal shape. Did you ever have this happen?

Did you ever require cust. srv. fr/the Stephenson Company? If so, how was it? Do you know anyone, whose word you trust, that has had problems dealing with them on either quality or cust srv. matters?

Donald Horst
(donhorst) - F

Locale: Sierra Nevada
Re: Re: tetnts on 07/02/2005 09:37:58 MDT Print View

PMFJI again,but I have also heard stories like that. The ones I heard pertained to tests on Mt. Washington in NE, where winds were well over 100 mph, and other tents were completely demolished. My sense is that the 2RS [or 3RS] are better than most others in the wind. Some heavy duty 4-seasons might be stronger -- I have no way to compare. In the heaviest winds I have experienced [maybe 50 -60 mph?], I did stake down one of the corners on the windward side. Normally, I just use three stakes. If you set up the tent with the wind on the side, It would not be as wind proof, just like any other tent. The ability to tighten the tent without getting out of your sleeping bag is also a big help.

Re service and quality, I belonged to the old CompuServe backpacking forum some years ago, and a number of the core members got Stephenson's after the endless raving of one other member and myself. The only problem I recall was with one member who wrote for an outdoors magazine. He called Jack to ask for a free 2RS to test and write up. Jack told him he doesn't like reporters, and if he gave out free samples to reviewers, he would have to raise the prices for people he does like. The "reporter" ended up buying one or more Stephensons and loving them.

That said, I can guarantee that if you call Jack wanting something fixed or replaced for free that Jack thinks is your fault, you will get a strong lecture, not free service. :-) They are not North Face or REI. However, if you don't believe that every company owes you the world, I think you will find them very reasonable. I have. They will fix anything that is their fault for free, and usually take back anything that has not been used unless it is some weird custom design that you have asked for. And if you tear it, you pay for the repairs.

Re an earlier question on mosquito nets, note that "2R" means the two-person "regular" tent, with an inner lining between the hoops. This has NO side windows. Jack does not really like side windows. He thinks they screw up his wonderful convection ventilation system if you open the sides. I think he is nuts on this issue. The tent with side windows is a "2RS." The side windows cover most of the tent between the hoops, and are covered with mosquito net. There is a narrow solid nylon strip at the top. I normally tie up the outside flaps on top of the tent in good [but buggy] weather. Then, it is almost like an all-net tent. You can see the entire sky. If you get a light shower or wind and dust, you can just zip up the flaps in the inner lining. If it starts to rain or snow seriously, you have to get out and either stretch out the flaps like awnings or zip them shut. This takes only seconds, and is MUCH easier than rigging the outer tarp on most tents. IMHO, the side windows and awnings are one of the best features of the Stephensons -- something no other tent has come close to.

li max
(limax) - F
BD's weight is different on 07/07/2005 01:14:58 MDT Print View

i've bought a BD Firstlight recently

it weigh 1.6kg total

tent: 1 kg
pole: 4XX g

this tent is made in china
i'm not sure if there are firstlight made in other places

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Re: BD's weight is different on 07/07/2005 11:22:08 MDT Print View

That's heavier than my considerably larger BD Lighthouse (52.8 ounces with stakes,guylines and bags--1.49 kilos). I've heard other stories of variability of weight in the Epic tents.

I think they are all made in China,now.

Frank Feagans
(ffeagans) - F

Locale: Midwest USA
Re: Re: lil more info on 07/14/2005 21:47:33 MDT Print View

The BA SL-1 is a great tent. I have used it for 1 year and 3+ seasons just fine. Haven't tried it in snow, but I hate snow so I'll never do true 4 sesaon hiking.

I did replace the supplied stakes with ultralight titanium stakes.

I also found that if you use one of those wonderful 2 1/2" BA aircore matresses, it is wide enough that wedged towards the tapered part of the SL-1 you can get by with a few less stakes. And get one heck of a good night's sleep.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: which tent to get on 07/14/2005 22:26:47 MDT Print View

Stuart Shahan:

This thing is now five pages long! Are you still reading any of it? :)

Surely you have purchased your tent by now? Curious, what did you finally decide on?

T. Sedlak
(busotti) - F
Stephenson's Service on 08/18/2009 12:34:02 MDT Print View

I bought a used Warmline 2RS. One of the inner zippers was bad and I called Stephenson's for advice. After speaking with both father and son, we concluded that the zipper slider (and not the zipper) was bad. They weren't enthusiastic about me sending it in and gave instructions about how to fix it with pliers or change the zipper slider myself (sounded difficult). This saved me $50 from having a tailor put in a whole new zipper. A local tailor fixed it for me for $6 and pretty quickly, too, while I watched.

Somewhere on the internet someone posted an exchange with a cantankerous sounding Mr. Stephenson Sr. He might be tough to deal with if he thinks his gear is mistreated (whether true or not).

Willem Jongman
(willem) - F
Helsport Ringstind light on 08/18/2009 14:00:15 MDT Print View

The Akto and Laser Comp are a bit on the small side for me, so I wondered if people have experience with the Norwegian Helsport Ringstind Light. Weight for the solo version is the same as the Akto, and so is the design, apart from the size: inside it is 250 cm long and 110 cm high, or quite a bit more than the Akto, let alone the Laser. For an extra 200 gram (i.e. 1700)there is even a (tight) two person version.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
Helsport Ringstind light on 08/18/2009 14:08:46 MDT Print View

I had one, but ended up selling it.
Yes, noticeably taller than the Akto, but I had problems with the long 'straight to the ground' section (as opposed to the equal ends of the Akto with the uprights at each corner).
In even moderate wind, the inner and outer touched, resulting in significant dampness from condensation.
The 'to the ground' slope also diminishes the useable interior space when compared to the Akto.
I no longer have the weight, but it was a bit heavier than my Akto.

Willem Jongman
(willem) - F
Ringstind LIght on 08/19/2009 01:03:59 MDT Print View

This year's light version has new materials and has shedded rather a bit of weight. It is now 1500 grams for the solo tent, and 1700 grams for the two person tent. The issue with the long roof indeed seems serious for someone like me who often camps in windy places. If you remember, how many guy lines had yours at the bottom of that long slope? There are three now, which seems like an acknowledgement that there is/was a problem. The current tent is often praised for its behaviour in strong winds, so maybe there was a design change.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
Ringstind Light on 08/19/2009 12:45:07 MDT Print View

I had a good look at the current model set up in a shop today - and the fly was touching the inner on the long side, even though the pitch looked tight.

(I should also have looked at a picture before my first post - the long side is the one with the uprights at the end! My memory isn't what it used to be.......).

Edited by nsjohnstone on 08/19/2009 12:46:01 MDT.

Willem Jongman
(willem) - F
larger solo tent on 08/19/2009 13:09:56 MDT Print View

Thank you very much indeed. So my quest for a somewhat larger/taller solo tent continues. What comes to mind at the moment is a Hilleberg Nallo 2, because ingress is so easy (and that was my biggest issue with the Akto). A Nallo is heavier than I had in mind, however.
p.s I live in Holland, so many US tents are not within practical reach.

Edited by willem on 08/19/2009 13:10:38 MDT.