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marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 06/16/2013 05:54:04 MDT Print View

I am looking for advice for a lightweight tent for all year use in the Scottish Highlands. I also intend to do the Pyrenean Haute Route later this year for 3 weeks and am trying to get all my gear to fit in a 40 litre backpack and the 10kg carry on limit the airlines apply.

I prefer to camp high up in the hills and make dawn summits, but am often in very exposed terrain, no trees and very little natural cover. Ferocious winds, lashing rain and millions of highly aggressive midgies come with the territory, which makes cooking outside an extremely frustrating excercise, and a decent vestibule necessary. Winters here were mild for many years but the last few have been harsh, with heavy snowfalls and blizzard conditions.

I started using a Vango Tempest 200, which has an excellent ventilation system and very little condensation. At 2.7kg though it is just too heavy. I then switched to a Hilleberg Akto, which has stood up well to some horrendous conditions, but condensation is more of an issue.

The problem I have with these tents though is getting a good nights sleep. In high winds there is a lot of flapping and flattening of the tent. I have used semi-geodesic tents in the past and find that they move a lot less and I sleep better, but there is a weight penalty. I have also tried tarp type shelters but they are not for me, just not enough protection from all the stuff the Scottish climate can throw at you. Limited space for pitching and options for staking out often complicate the issue also.

I guess what I am really asking is if there is a lightwieght tent (say 1 to 1.5kg which I can rely on in these conditions and doesnt move about too much or am I being unrealistic?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Solo W/ good wind resistance on 06/16/2013 06:19:22 MDT Print View

I have an original Tarptent Moment WITH the lengthwise crossing pole moved inside, under the canopy.
This pole arrangement gives a lot of support to the canopy, reversing the normal catenary cut with no problems.

But as a single wall tent it is purely a 3 season affair - NOT for winter

I'd recommend the newer Moment DW (Double Wall). Yeah, It's like an Akto with narrower, triangular fly ends. An internal crossing pole is easier to do with the Moment DW than with mine.
**Velcro cable ties sewn inside at the factory reinforcements for the outer crossing pole attatchments helps to hold that pole in place inside.

Plus the Moment DW has two vestibules and two doors. The main vestibule is plenty large for cooking, with the high point of the tent where you need it, right by the door, so you can sit and cook.

For high wind situations I'd recommend pre-made TripTease guy lines with Line Loc tensioners and small plastic snap hooks to quickly attatch them to the mail pole tie-out points. Ask for the additional small snap hooks gratis when you order the tent.
And you can ask Henry Shires to have 4 additional hem loops sewn to the fly for use in really high winds.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/16/2013 06:21:07 MDT.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Tarptent Moment on 06/16/2013 06:33:15 MDT Print View

Thanks for that Eric.

I wasnt sure if the Tarptent Moment would be up to the conditions, but didnt realise that it could be braced like that and that it is now double walled. I will have a good look at this tent now.

Marc

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Tarptent Moment on 06/16/2013 06:56:10 MDT Print View

I bought one of these for my dad and boy is it a bomber tent. With that cross pole and good guying I'm not sure what it couldn't take.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 06/16/2013 07:06:14 MDT Print View

posting on a phone as at work.

Mld Trailstars and Duominds are very popular as are tarptent Scarps and Hillie Unna/Soulos in Scotland.

Loren B
(ljamesb)

Locale: London UK, Greenville USA
Vango nitro 200 on 06/16/2013 11:18:45 MDT Print View

Have you considered the nitro 200 from Vango? For your locale, who better to buy from than a Scottish company like Vango.

These are incredibly underrated tents in my opinion. Only 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) for a four season tent with all the features of a Hilleberg Nallo(5.4 pounds)? Really quite amazing in my opinion. I have slept in a friend's one of these tents before and they are just absolutely top notch both in build quality and design with very good attention to detail. We were high up on a peak in very high winds and the tent was solid as anything.

It is a tunnel tent so there will be some flapping in strong winds though so apologies for not helping with that problem.

Review here

I am not completely sure about this as I have not had a great deal setting the tent up myself, but I am 90% certain that the tent can be set up outer only, inner only, outer first or inner first - just like a hilleberg Nallo. This means you can detach the inner to create a giant sheltered space or use the inner only in very good weather. Each morning in bad weather we would unclip the inner and pack it up first, then cook, eat sort out gear etc using the large interior space provided by the outer. When we were ready we would then go outside into the pouring rain and take down the outer.

The list price is £430, but you can find them on ebay for £200 new as an auction.

Edited by ljamesb on 06/16/2013 11:27:04 MDT.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Vango Nitro on 06/16/2013 13:24:14 MDT Print View

Yes, I have had several Vangos and they have all performed far in excess of what I was expecting of them. Definately an underrated brand. I have not had experience of the Nitro, but I am thinking that it may flatten out as it is basically 2 hoops.

Having a tent where the poles cross each other seems the way to go. The Hillebergs have a great reputation, but they are heavy. I suppose they dont want to take any chances with their reputation (and justifying their high cost) by risking lighter weight designs.

I wasnt familiar with the Mountain Laurel Designs range, but that Trailstar looks like it could have been designed specifically for our wind battered islands. My problem with these type for where I go are the size of the footprint and getting enough stakes in the ground.

The Tarptent Moment is an intelligent design and will probably suit my needs for most of the year. I think it might be a bit chilly and open to spindrift in the depths of winter though. I might be best just getting another tent specifically for winter use.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 13:33:21 MDT Print View

Marc,

I forgot to mention that the Moment DW will have the option of a ripstop inner tent around July or August. Originally it only had a mesh inner tent. I'm soon selling my original Moment and getting the DW model with the ripstop inner so I can use it as a solo winter tent. I already have a modded "winterized Scarp 2. I've posted photos of
those mods on BPL as well.

If you use "search" here on BPL for my Moment mods you can see how I ran the crossing pole inside the tent, With the DW model it is much easier to do inside the separate fly. It may require only a bit of pole shortening, which is very easy to do with a small pipe cutter and some pliers.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 13:56:04 MDT Print View

I do like the like the look of Moment Dw Eric, but have an ss1 already (with both inners)

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 14:10:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for that Eric, the mods and the fabric inner would certainly make it more viable.

It looks like the the Moment would be fairly simple to set up and take down in high winds? This is usually when I have the poles split (4 this winter), all when taking down the tent (but maybe this is because they have been weakened overnight).

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 14:23:50 MDT Print View

Marc,

What wind speeds where you out in when you got split poles?

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 15:01:23 MDT Print View

Stephen

I dont the exact wind speeds, but these were conditions where it was hard to stand upright and walk forward into the wind.

I avoid exposed areas if these conditions are forecast, the problem is that the weather changes so rapidly here, and there are huge local variations, it's a bit of a lottery at the best of times. A forecast for light rain showers can easily turn into blizzards, 100 mph gusts and visibility of a few feet, all in just a few minutes.

Shredded tents and couples sitting completely naked in their cars with the heating on trying to dry themselves and their stuff out is not an uncommon sight.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 15:16:20 MDT Print View

Marc,

That sounds rough as f**k, the worst I have ever encountered back home in Ireland was 75mph or so (measured with an anemometer)
and that pulverised my buddies tent and we ended up sleeping under the flysheet of mine.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 15:53:29 MDT Print View

Stephen

75 mph in a tent sounds scary. I have never been to Ireland but I would imagine it gets the same storms we get rolling in from the Atlantic, especially on the west coast.

I65 mph was recorded at the weather station in the Cairngorms winter 2011, and 100mph is frequently recorded on the west coast and on the peaks. I think I will invest in an anemometer to get a better idea of what the tent is being subjected to. I am thinking that a summit assault type tent may also be a worthwhile investment, especially as the weather patterns seem to be varying more violently these days.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 16:08:04 MDT Print View

Hi Marc,

Yep, the weather in Ireland is fairly brutal but Scotland is further north and the mountains are 1000 feet higher,, so can even be more extreme.

I really liked my Hilleberg Soulo but the lack of length p****d me off so so changed it for an Unna, its not as stong but still a bunker.

My current line up (for use in US and back home) are the below, I am hoping they would cover me for most eventualities,.

I have had a Crux X2 storm in the past and loved it immensely but it was too heavy for solo use and too small for 2.

Hilleberg Kaitum 3
Hilleberg Unna
MLD Trailstar
Tarp Tent Stratopshire 1,

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 16:09:03 MDT Print View

Oh. Might be worth checking out ukclimbing or outdoorsmagic if your not already a member.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 16:23:24 MDT Print View

Thanks Stephen, I am not a member of those sites but I will check them out.

I have been tempted by the Unna, but this would mean losing weight from the pack elsewhere (which means getting a lighter backpack, sleeping system, stove .... you know how these things go!)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: NEW ripstop inner tent for Moment DW on 06/16/2013 16:43:23 MDT Print View

Hi Marc,

I hear you mate.

During winter back home I don't get too bothered about the weight of my shelter and getting a good night sleep and not having to bail out is worth the extra kilo.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
secure tent for winds on 06/16/2013 21:48:09 MDT Print View

The review of the Vango tunnel tent looks good; however, Vango's rep was not helped by a review of its Helium 200 here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/vango_helium_superlite200_review

Early degradation of the inner fabric, severe sagging and other issues. The severe sagging suggests to me that the outer fabric was not a high quality high HH fabric.

With the new Moment, please note the 19 square foot floor area. Many looking for less than a 2 person tent still want more than that + more headroom.

If you're looking for a tent with crossing poles, I don't think there is much out there in the range between one and two person tents, ultralight and secure in high winds unless you're willing to do some serious modifications. A number of posters here gravitated toward one of the UL Big Agnes tents until something better comes along.
This winter I bought a One Planet Goondie solo and plan to replace the heavy floor with a larger area one in 30 den high HH silnylon + lighter poles; but it is too early to say how it will turn out. Expensive too, especially with the exchange rate currently favoring AU over the US. But you might enjoy reading the thorough review at: http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8031

Edited by scfhome on 06/16/2013 21:51:06 MDT.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 06/17/2013 02:27:41 MDT Print View

I am looking for advice for a lightweight tent for all year use in the Scottish Highlands

Simply does not exist. No lightweight tent is going to withstand winter gales, IMHO.
So, if you want a lightweight (sub 1kg) tent for the summer, you are going to need a more robust (heavier) tent for the winter. Crux make bomb-proof tents, also consider Lightwave, for example. On the other hand, there are loads of lightweight tents to choose from, some better than others. There are plenty of reviews on this site. A lightweight tent (or even a tarp) will be perfectly adequate for the Pyrenean Haute Route.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
e: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands on 06/17/2013 05:20:24 MDT Print View

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

I think I will try the Tarptent Moment, with the modifications Eric suggested, that should be ok for most situations.

I might also try modifying one of the tents I already have. I started using hiking poles recently and am thinking there might be some way to use them for beefing up/bracing a tent, either internally or externally. Not quite sure how to do it yet, but it may be worth some experimentation.

Ross L
(Ross) - MLife

Locale: Beautiful BC
Re: e: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands on 06/17/2013 09:53:06 MDT Print View

http://gearthirty.blogspot.ca/2012/04/stephensons-warmlite-3r-tent-review.html

Marc

Another option for a solo lightweight tent is the 2 3/4 lb (ncluding stakes) Stephensons Warmlite 2C. Roomy for one and bomber in the wind. Only a couple of concerns really in that you have to exercise caution when assembling the pole set and some people complain about getting snow or rain in the vestibule when the door is left open. (doesn't bother me though). Check out the video in the attached review for an idea of real world wind performance.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands on 06/17/2013 11:33:37 MDT Print View

Ross

Thanks, those Stephenson's are weird looking, very different, but seem to be effective. There was very little movement of the fabric between the 2 poles in the strong winds. Impressive.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands on 06/17/2013 11:53:15 MDT Print View

The rogue, and BPL member, "Diplomatic Mike" (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/profile.html?u=MikefaeDundee) was selling a Stephenson's Warmlite a bit ago for a great price, don't know if he sold it or not. If you're interested you might want to send him a PM. And he's over your way.

For sale thread is here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=68498&skip_to_post=585244#585244

Ross L
(Ross) - MLife

Locale: Beautiful BC
Re: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands on 06/17/2013 11:59:20 MDT Print View

Marc

The key to proper set up of a Warmlite is to use strong holding stakes like MSR Groundhogs and applying lots of fabric tension between the front and rear of the tent. (and of course topping off the stakes with good sized boulders for insurance). This tent is not for everyone, but it does work and probably has forty years of proven history. I use my 2C predominately above treeline in exposed terrain.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
TT Moment and wind on 06/17/2013 16:12:19 MDT Print View

TT Moment single wall W/ crossing pole running insideinternal crossing pole exiting original SW Moment thru end netting & VelcroMarc,

I got my original single wall Moment in 2010 and tested it in October in Colorado's Indian Peaks region on Arapaho Pass at over 11,000 ft. My camp was at treeline (scrub fir trees 7 ft. tall). The constant winds were 35 - 45 mph. with 60 mph. gusts from Weather Service data. At that time I only guyed out the Moment's main hoop pole with just one line on the windward side and used only 2 MSR Groundhog stakes, one at each end. The wind shifted 180 degrees overnight!

No flapping (!) and no deformation of the main pole. That experience confirmed my belief in the Moment's aerodynamics and in the MSR Groundhog stakes' holding ability.

Yes, some spindrift snow did get inside through the floor level mesh vents, proving it was meant for 3 season use.

When I get my new Moment DW I'll do the same as I did for my Scarp 2 and get a heavier duty main pole from "Tentpole Technologies". This will be for alpine winter use. We have mountains just outside of Las Vegas at well over 11,000 ft. (2,000 meters +) and lots of snow at those altitudes.

BTW, I just looked at a Vango Helium 100 solo tent FOR 220 BRITISH POUNDS! And it STILL does not have the many options and features of a Moment DW. Hmmmm... "Caveat emptor"


P.S. Moment DW "storm stability" options:
1. pre-made guylines for main hoop
2. four added fly hem stake loops (small extra cost option or DIY)
3. heavier duty main pole
4. hiking/ski pole end stakeout (as illustrated in Tarptent's product photos)
5. crossing pole (original exterior placement or easily modded to inside the fly)

With ALL of these I'd feel secure in up to 70 mph. winds.
Also note that Tarptent now uses a more impermeable silnylon fly material so there will be no possibility of "mist-thru" in gale driven rains.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/19/2013 23:47:18 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 06/17/2013 16:51:40 MDT Print View

As posted earlier from someone who knows Scotland:

"Mld Trailstars and Duominds are very popular as are tarptent Scarps and Hillie Unna/Soulos in Scotland."

Probably best to check the blogs of Chris Townsend, Terry Brandt, David Lintern, Martin Rye and others who hike the Highlands a lot. They backpack year round and usually up high where there are no trees.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 06/17/2013 18:48:41 MDT Print View

That's a good list of blogs Nick.

Marc,

If you look at Vango tents make sure its the Force Ten models.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
advisors on 06/17/2013 19:54:24 MDT Print View

Marc,

Have you looked at Tracksterman's blog? He appears to live year around in the highlands in a tent when not in a bothy. From what I have viewed of his blog he has been through several tents and seems to be going to progressively heavier shelters as gets blown away in the lighter ones.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
high wind tent on 06/17/2013 21:51:13 MDT Print View

You might also want to look at the new Snow Peak Lagos. The solo weighs 2.75 lbs, not counting the pegs and corner guylines needed for high winds. The width is spec'd at 36", but is closer to 34" in practice, and the length is around 89", so good floor area (21.6 sf). Like the Warmlites, the door end will allow rain etc to enter when open. The floor can be unattached and pulled back about a foot at the door, but that's small comfort when it's really nasty out. But the outer is low denier polyester, and should sag much less than nylon. The frame is the conventional two-pole crossing dome arrangement (I think Eric has called this a "failed design"). There was talk in Japan of a solid inner, but the inner on the US model is a tight knit mesh that will allow rain to enter during the pitch. In fairness, the tent is intended for winter weather.

For comfort, a covered vestibule is good in the rain, but for high winds, the Lagos with the 4 corner guys might be worth a look.

The Goondies mentioned earlier also come with the 4 corner guylines for stability in high winds, and have the vestibules; but the low denier flies are nylon, and will sag more than polyester, so the design puts a lot of space between fly and inner. The reviewer states that the solid inner model could be pitched without flooding the floor.

Looked at the Tracksterman blog. Thanks for the reference. Interesting that he has gone to the double-cross pole dome with the Luxe Tiger Moth. The Luxes also use polyester flies, but a heavier denier that brings the weight up beyond the UL range.
(Luxe has a solo in this design, the Firefly, but not much space) With lighter denier polyester like that used on the Lagos, these designs might get down into the UL range. The better fabric would bring the price up, though.

Edited by scfhome on 06/17/2013 22:07:57 MDT.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 06/18/2013 05:32:23 MDT Print View

Thanks for the blog references Nick. I never come across anyone camping out high in the winter, but there seems to be a small community of them. Plenty of reading material to go through. Tracksterman's blog is excellent too, I thought I was daft being out in those conditions but this guy is in a different league altogether.

Interesting tents Samuel. It looks like the 2 poles on the Luxe Tiger Moth cross twice, I assume this will make it a more stable design than a simple 'X' frame where they only cross once?

I also read a bit about mountaineer/photographer Colin Prior. He camps out on the summits in winter in order to get the sunrise/sunset. Pretty much what I do sometimes, the difference being his photography is a lot better than mine. Latest tent seems to be a Terra Nova Voyager, which at over 4 lbs, together with all the photography gear, makes me think his knee joints might be in better shape than mine.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
windworthy tents on 06/18/2013 15:52:14 MDT Print View

"...It looks like the 2 poles on the Luxe Tiger Moth cross twice, I assume this will make it a more stable design than a simple 'X' frame where they only cross once?"

It depends on the quality of the design and materials. A lot of cheap tents, from Sportsmans Guide for example, have had the doublecross design, and several companies have used the design for bug domes. On the other hand, the Solar 2 from Terra Nova is said to be both wind and snow worthy, but is up over 2 kg. A number of higher quality tentmakers have used this design for heavier models, but few if any seem to have done so for an UL all season tent. The industry seems to feel that for UL domes, hubbed variations on the Hubba are the way to go. EMS, which produces some half decent tents, had an elbowed doublecross dome on the heavy side that had very little inherent stability. The ones that do will resist movement if you grab ahold of one of the two apexes and try to wiggle it around.

I'm not sure what makes some of the doublecross tents so much more stable than others, but do know that the ones with smaller radius pole arcs and close to vertical sidewalls at the head and foot are much less stable, and require guy lines for even moderate winds. I've also experimented with designs using either Easton tube or 3/16" Ti rod elbows at the two apexes. Still, wind pushing very hard against one side of the tent puts a lot of pressure at the point where the poles connect to the elbows. So I've thought about ways to add reinforcement at these connections.

The Tiger Moth is not UL either, but the Tracksterman blog should be worth an occasional look to see how the design is handling extreme weather.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: TT Moment and wind on 06/18/2013 16:02:55 MDT Print View

Eric,

Thanks for the great detail on your experience with the Moment. What are your thoughts on the Notch? Tarptent rates it for "3-4 seasons" vs. "3+" for the Moment DW.

Herbert Sitz
(hes)

Locale: Pacific NW
Tracksterman and TT Moment on 06/18/2013 16:18:57 MDT Print View

Tracksterman seems to quite like his Moment:
http://tracksterman.tumblr.com/post/29326319364/moment1
http://tracksterman.tumblr.com/post/50466282468/the-young-mongol-herdsman-came-cantering-in-on-his

His main complaints seem to be that it's breezy and can be cold b/c fly edges can't be pitched close enough to ground (with the problem exacerbated by his under-powered sleeping bag) and that single-wall design can have condensation issues. Both of these would be improved helped with a Moment DW and the soon-to-come partial-solid inner, in addition to gaining dual-side entry/exit.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
windworthy tents on 06/18/2013 18:09:00 MDT Print View

I will keep an eye on Tracksterman's progress, he's certainly speaks his mind if he is not happy with any equipment.

Thanks for the explanation on the doublecross designs Samuel, its a bit more complex than I thought.

The pole failures I have had seem to have been on the sheltered or leeward side if I remember correctly. Probably from this side of the pole arc being compressed to a point where the radius tightens up too much, eventually causing it to bend or split at the joints, while the part of the pole the other side of the apex is straightening out.

Coming from a building engineering background, this has got me thinking about the structural aspects of tent design. You mentioned experimenting with reinforcing the joints at the apex. Would that prevent the poles behaving like this? Another thought I had was if the joint at the apex was flexible, this may allow one side to striaghten out without compressing the other side. I dont know how practical this would be to implement in a tent though.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Trailstar? on 06/18/2013 23:03:42 MDT Print View

I thought that all of the ULers in Scotland were atwitter over the MLD Trailstar? I remember reading an article about some cross-Scotland TGO race where half the field was using them. At 18oz or so they're supposed to be outstanding in wind. No floor, so not much help with the midges, though...

My personal preference is not to use inner-tents or floors with floorless tents. I just use a lightweight bivy. The MLD SuperLight is 5.5oz. (I swear I'm not pimping for MLD.)

Edited by acrosome on 06/18/2013 23:06:13 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Trailstar? on 06/18/2013 23:10:58 MDT Print View

Not sure if this has been posted or not, but Colin's review of the Trailstar is excellent.

http://www.andyhowell.info/Colin-Ibbotson/Trailstar-review.pdf

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Trailstar? on 06/19/2013 01:48:13 MDT Print View

The TGO Challenge is held in May, before the midges hatch out. I have never seen a Trailstar on the LAMM which is held in June (but I think the the rules may require a tent with a floor, as I recall). A windless evening in the North West in July/August would be unbearable in a not-fully enclosed shelter.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Trailstar on 06/19/2013 02:47:58 MDT Print View

Yes, it seems to be all positive reviews from the guys in Scotland using the Trailstar.

My concern with this shelter though is the size of its footprint, about 3 metres across I think. The TGO crosses large open expanses where this would not be an issue, but it would be for me for some of the locations I go. Also, it looks like for optimum pitch it needs 10 stakes in the ground. I am often struggling to get a couple of stakes in the ground, and end up lashing guyropes to rocks or whatever else is available.

As Stuart said, without a breeze the midges will eat you alive. I see some people are having custom inner tents made for these, but that, together with the weight of all the stakes, must be taking the weight up to or over the Tarptent Moment.

Having said that, the fact that it is rock solid in high winds is certainly tempting.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: windworthy tents on 06/19/2013 05:29:46 MDT Print View

I've been using an old (US made) Moss Starlet (one of the first tents with the double intersecting pole design) for about 20 years now. In my opinion, what makes this beautiful tent a "bomber" three season tent is not just the stability of the pole arrangement, but the continuous distribution of force, due to the pole sleeves (and very precise cut of the catenary curves.) The rainfly is indented to shed rain, and contributes very little to the overall strength of the design, because it doesnt have to.

Most newer tent designs rely heavily on tie outs, and don't properly transfer force to the poles effectively, in my opinion, so look out for the weak spots. In some ways, they are "supposed" to flatten, then pop back up. This is very indicative in clip style tents (where clips are allowed to slide along the poles.)
Personally, this is not how I'd choose to reside in a tent.

I agree that "internalizing" that pole on the TT moment will make a big difference on its stability. I would also be concerned about the lower third of the tent body (between the perpendicular pole and the end of the tent.) Given all you have spoken of, the Moment might offer the most adaptability. My only concern would be making sure the lightness doesn't compromise your safety, and that you consider design workarounds in areas that might fail on your tent.

If they weren't so heavy, I'd also reccommend Integral Designs or BD single walled tents. They are very simple, the Toddtex handles moisture very well, and are a proven design for many years now. Given all you've described, I'd probably be tossing my 2-door Eldorado in the back of the car right about now if I were on that trip.

nian zhang
(thotwielder) - F
Voyager Ultra 2 Tent on 06/19/2013 07:34:24 MDT Print View

Since you are in Scotland why not try latest Voyager Ultra 2 Tent from Terra Nova. Classic semi geodesic tent guarantees least flapping in high wind and four season use. And it weights only 2 lbs! I am in UK as well and been to Scotland many times so I know what the weather there is like. 100 mph wind just too common. 24 hours rain can last couple of days. Many highly praised ultra light items and concepts here is just a joke there. Personally, I have lost a Big agnes and Shangri-la 3 tent in Scotland. Shangri la 3 had the pole broken in 100 mph wind. Big agnes got main pole seriously bent but that's because we (my wife and me) sit in the tent whole night using our backs to hold the tent!

Personally, I will try not to camp above tree lines in Scotland. Even if your tent can survive you will not sleep well. Instead always find some lower place, best with some kind of shelters from wind. If I have to I will bring a bomb proof winter tent (like the semi geodesic or geodesic tent, or some winter tunnel tents ). But none of them will be light. So Voyager Ultra 2 Tent from Terra Nova will be very good candidate if the price is not an issue.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Voyager Ultra 2 Tent on 06/19/2013 11:05:09 MDT Print View

"Personally, I have lost a Big agnes and Shangri-la 3 tent in Scotland. Shangri la 3 had the pole broken in 100 mph wind. Big agnes got main pole seriously bent but that's because we (my wife and me) sit in the tent whole night using our backs to hold the tent!"

Sorry to hear about your experiences in Scotland Nian, but I had to laugh. It sounds all too familiar.

Voyager Ultra 2 Tent. The tent is exactly what I am looking for. A 3 pole semi-geodesic at under 1kg. Pack size is not too bad either.

The price, £1100. I would need to be pretty sure that its going to perform before paying that. That's 2 Hillebergs, or 4 Tarptents. I cant seem to find any reviews for this one though, perhaps they havent sold that many.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Voyager Ultra 2 Tent on 06/19/2013 11:39:01 MDT Print View

Marc,

How about the standard superlite voyager, or the Lightwave semi geos.

Be careful though as there flat roofs can cause issues with snow accumulation.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Notch & Moment DW on 06/19/2013 11:41:27 MDT Print View

Sean,

See the PM I sent you for more details.

The Notch is rated as 3-4 season because it has an optional ripstop inner for winter.

The Moment DW will soon have that option and I'm sure Tarptent will re-classify it as a 3-4 season tent. I know I'm going to use it with that new inner on winter solo trips.


BTW, I notice Tracksterman mantioned that the hem of the original Moment was not low enough. That's easily solved either by digging a 3" to 4" hole to recieve each end of the main hoop pole ends or, better yet, shortening the pole by about 6 inches for a 3 inch drop on each side.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/19/2013 11:51:19 MDT.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Voyager Tent on 06/19/2013 15:26:41 MDT Print View

I wasnt familiar with the Superlite Voyager, but have just read some mixed reviews, which may apply to all the Voyagers.

It seems to be a bit on the short side, with 6 footers saying its tight. I am 6ft2 so might struggle.

Some users have said that the poles are free to slide about under the flysheet and as a result when the wind hits it you get the "vacuum packed to the ground" effect.

The killer for me though is that it needs to be pitched inner first. I stopped using tents like that years ago and would never use one again in Scotland. Staking out the corners and feeding the poles through sleeves in the flysheet, like on the Hillebergs, gives you a fighting chance of getting into a dry inner tent. It looks like all the Tarptents that use poles work this way too.

A pity, because otherwise they seem like good tents and are a good weight.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 06/19/2013 15:38:02 MDT Print View

Some users have said that the poles are free to slide about under the flysheet

That's why I would not choose this design again. Had one get badly bent out of shape in strong winds here in NZ.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Voyager Tent on 06/19/2013 15:39:48 MDT Print View

Marc,

At your height and prerequisite for outer pitch first I would look at the Unna, I have just purchased one to replace a Soulo I found too short.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Notch & Moment DW on 06/19/2013 15:45:17 MDT Print View

Eric

That's a good idea with shortening the pole to lower the flysheet hem. Carry a short sleeved section of pole with you and you can easily lengthen the pole again in a couple of minutes if you want to.

How would this work with an inner tent in the Moment though. Would there still be enough clearance between the inner and the fly?

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/19/2013 16:05:42 MDT Print View

Stephen

Have you had a chance to try the Unna out yet?

Any insights would be appreciated.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/19/2013 16:40:37 MDT Print View

Hi Marc,

It is still in transit, it came highly recommended from folk on both sides of the pond.

Check out Ken Thompson's review who hangs out here.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews.html?forum_thread_id=63999

Ross L
(Ross) - MLife

Locale: Beautiful BC
Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/19/2013 18:41:30 MDT Print View

Marc

IMO you need a true and tested mountaineering tent for the wind conditions you may encounter. Anything lesser is courting disaster. The Integral Designs MK11 Lite (Expedition Series) is worthy of your consideration.

http://www.integraldesigns.com/product.cfm?id=34&CFID=10084553&CFTOKEN=7e40847f27400e8b-B588D8CB-C702-F49A-A2C811FA69F3A77B&mainproducttypeid=15

2004 Ryan Jordan review of an earlier version:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/integral_designs_mk1lite_event_tent_review.html#.UcJZL_drbIU

Edited by Ross on 06/19/2013 19:23:47 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/19/2013 19:23:28 MDT Print View

Just make sure to get the optional vestibule.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/19/2013 20:37:00 MDT Print View

If the optional vestibule seems too heavy, perhaps just cut and modify a piece of cuben to buckle in. When I use my bibler, I find myself only "needing" to hook the vestibule up half the time. Fortunately, the tent does not "need" the vestibule to deflect wind.

(As I might have mentioned before.)
+1 on the Integral Designs/Bibler double pole tents, btw. You aren't taking a risk with that particular type of design.

As far as the Voyager goes, I'd be cautious about a very expensive tent with zero reviews, even if its lighter than its respective counterparts. It's modified geodesic design reminds me of the old North Face Tadpole/Bullfrog design of the mid eighties. That particular design was a good three season shape at its time, but was never considered a four season shape, due to its inability to shed snow.

Besides, "If its too good to be true, it probably is."

Matt

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/20/2013 10:22:57 MDT Print View

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

I think it has to be a 2 tent solution, rather than carry a heavier tent that will work all year round.

The Tarptent Moment (or possibly Hilleberg Unna) for most of the year, and one of the smaller Integral Designs for camping out on summits and winter use.

Interesting that Ryan Jordan said there was no structural deformation of the Mk1Lite in 60 mph winds, that is really what I am lookng for. Its not the noise of the fabric that bothers me, more the tent almost slapping you in the face.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/20/2013 10:38:40 MDT Print View

I say the Unna would be fine all year round, if you wanted only 1 tent.

I like the option of two though.

Edited by stephenm on 06/20/2013 10:43:34 MDT.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Re: Re: Unna tent on 06/20/2013 11:14:35 MDT Print View

Take a look at http://thunderinthenight.blogspot.dk/2013/06/two-wheel-drive.html and https://vimeo.com/68646423 in particular around 1:30

For me if I did not have a Tarptent Moment DW I would seriously consider an Unna

Brendan Howe
(weeman) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/20/2013 11:34:12 MDT Print View

Check out this video of the Rab Summit tent being setup in front of a wind machine. This tent is the same as the older model Integral Designs MK1 Lite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJWGe2ShgR4

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/20/2013 11:43:27 MDT Print View

any of those will be way too short for Marc.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/20/2013 12:53:53 MDT Print View

My last couple of tents have been great for length, but I couldnt sit up in them. Trying to put socks on felt like Houdini.

I like the look of the Unna when its fully opened up at the front, and not using the inner, like on the Thunderinthenight blog. I could maybe get away with not carrying the inner if the weather was half decent in the summer. It would need some kind of mesh screen across the front though to keep out most of the midges. The fly seems to go all the way to the ground, which is good.

One thing you never really get in reviews is how long a tent will last before failing, or rather, how many storms can it go through before failing and when it does fail, how does it fail. Is it going to be sudden and catostrophic or will you notice gradual weakening. A lot of people rave about how well their tent stood up in a storm, one storm, but is it going to do that the next time, or the time after? Especially with the ultralight stuff. These are things I think about when lying on a rocky ledge several thousand feet up.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Failure on 06/20/2013 13:22:15 MDT Print View

Everything fails in the end. IMHO you need to inspect your gear after every trip before you take it on the next trip to ensure that it is storm worthy. My feeling is that a Hilleberg will last quite a while before it fails. Tarptents and other lightweight gear will not fail you on a trip if you look after them and inspect them before you leave. I am happily taken a Tarptent Moment DW to Lapland this summer and expect to take it for a few years to come.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Failure on 06/20/2013 13:36:43 MDT Print View

"One thing you never really get in reviews is how long a tent will last before failing..."

I've been on this forum for about 5 years. I don't recall anyone talking about a tent "failing".

Not saying it can't happen. I'm sure some have had uncomfortable nights in a "wrap-around-tent". I'm sure poor staking/anchoring contributed to a few scary moments. But I can't recall any bent poles, ripped fabric, blown zippers etc. from storm/wind situations.

For the most part UL folks know the limits of the gear.

To bad this forum doesn't support surveys. I know there are 3rd party survey sites out there, but I don't what or where.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/20/2013 15:57:25 MDT Print View

> One thing you never really get in reviews is how long a tent will last before failing,
Well, that would be impossible.
One person will look after their tent and have it last >10 years.
Another person will be able to trash their tent in <1 year.

Cheers

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voyager Tent on 06/20/2013 16:50:39 MDT Print View

"Another person will be able to trash their tent in <1 year."

My tents last longer than that, but my relationships ....... yeah, I can trash them in well under a year.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Mpment DW & inside crossing pole on 06/20/2013 17:21:15 MDT Print View

Marc,

The path of a crossing pole placed inside the Moment DW fly will put it about 4 or 5 cm. below the center ridgeline, where the pole sleeve is (unless you get the center section of the crossing pole pre bent to make it higher).

This is no problem, even with TWO crossing poles as I have in my modded Scarp 2. The inner tent still has the same height. What you have with the inner crossing pole(s) on the Moment DW or the Scarp 2 is MUCH more canopy support for snow and wind loads.

As for poles "moving around" inside the fly under wind load, that won't happen if you sew in Velcro cable ties where the Tarptent's exterior pole attatchment reinforcements are. These ties, appropriately shortened, wrap around the crossing pole and hold it in place but habe a bit of give as well unless you wrap them very tightly. These Velcro cable ties are used to hold computer cables together and can usually be found at computer stores.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Failure on 06/20/2013 18:56:36 MDT Print View

"Failing" is maybe the wrong word.

The reason I mentioned it is that I got caught out in a storm, and the tent handled it. I visually inspected the seams, zips, tie outs and poles after, all looked ok. I went out a week later in much lighter winds, and to my surprise, had a pole break. Which makes me think the metal was weakened in the first storm.

I am hiking the Pyrenean High Route later this year for 3 weeks and it crossed my mind that it might be best not to take one of my storm battered tents.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Lightweight tent for the Scottish Highlands? on 09/22/2013 17:12:28 MDT Print View

I was searching earlier in the year for an ultralight tent that could handle very strong winds, after having had a number of broken poles and some uncomfortable nights in previous tents.

I considered the Tarptent Moment, but it wasn't available with the ripstop inner at the time and it looked like it would need quite a few mods for my use. I also considered adapting an existing tent, thinking I could use hiking poles to brace it up somehow, but that didn't work very well.

With a trip to the Pyrenees coming up, I decided to design and make a tent from scratch. I put hiking poles into the design, which act both with and against the tent pole to produce a frame that doesn't move in strong winds.

a

a

3

In this video http://youtu.be/TN1V_lnXrok the winds only got up to about 30 mph, angled side on from the front, but there was no movement of the frame of the tent. The front side panels fluttered a bit, but I have seen added tie-outs to these panels which makes a difference. It's a double walled tent, weighing 960 grams (34oz.)with 6 stakes. The inner tent is 53" wide, enough room for me and the dog, and has a 26" deep vestibule. The hiking pole straps simply tie around the short header pole and it takes 2 minutes to put up. I have been using it for a couple of months now, in gusts up to 50 mph, and it has performed very well.

I think the combination of hiking poles with alloy tent poles works really well. With the wind from the rear, the alloy tent pole acts like a big spring to resist the forces. The 5 sided shape seems to deflect winds from the sides and the hiking poles prevent any distortion from angled front winds. The radius of the alloy tent pole never tightens up like it did on some of my previous tents which is what I think led to their failure.

I haven't seen any tents that use hiking poles and alloy tent poles in combination like this, so maybe I am missing something obvious? After 2 months hard use and a trip over the Pyrenees there doesn't seem to be any sign of weaknesses though. Perhaps a Scottish winter will change that!

I have now used this pole configuration to make another tent, that uses 2 half alloy poles at the front and is freestanding, with a smaller footprint, and is vary stable. Cant wait for the winter to really test it.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Lightweight tent for the Scottish Highlands? on 09/22/2013 17:18:21 MDT Print View

Nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/02/2014 08:27:24 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 09/22/2013 17:42:52 MDT Print View

The way I see it is that if you get a strong gust on the trekking pole end, because of the way that panel is made rigid by those poles it might just push the ridge pole enough to snap it.
Guying those handles out will help somewhat.
I would have put the poles inside straight up.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Lightweight tent for Scottish Highlands? on 09/22/2013 17:57:34 MDT Print View

I tried putting the poles inside, but getting a good connection to the ridge pole was not easy, and it was all a bit fiddly. With the hiking poles I am using now, I don't even have to tie the straps to the ridge pole, I just wrap them around the ridge pole and back round the handle until they are tight.

The tent seems stronger with the trekking pole end into the wind, which surprised me. The ridge pole hasn't been bent yet, but with strong winds I always use the guy points built into the head of the tent. I can also guy back from the back panel and around the hiking poles if need be, or even directly from the hiking pole straps, which allows for any wind direction.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Your MYOG tent on 09/22/2013 18:12:55 MDT Print View

Very impressive. And original to boot. And most important, it works!
Lots of questions, but will just ask you to consider posting this and future creations on the MYOG forum. Love the details, especially the ones relevant to getting the weight down and sourcing materials. Did wonder how you managed to maintain the arc on the alloy pole, though.

Noted: "You mentioned experimenting with reinforcing the joints at the apex. Would that prevent the poles behaving like this? Another thought I had was if the joint at the apex was flexible ..."

As it happens, came up with a possible solution along just those lines, which is to use solid fiberglass for the ferrules connecting the arched carbon poles to Easton 340 elbows at the two apexes.
The hope is that the glass, being considerably more elastic than the carbon or alloy, will flex under heavy wind loads, keeping the carbon from fracturing near the elbows, and then return the tent to its normal shape.

Without any engineering background, it takes years of head scratching to build these tents; so just love to see masters at work. Please keep us posted.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Your MYOG tent on 09/22/2013 18:34:35 MDT Print View

Thankyou.

I will post the plans and details on the MYOG forum if that will be of any help to anyone, it will take me a day or so to do it though.

Getting the arc on the tent pole was the most difficult thing about this tent. Initially I used external guylines facing angled forward to maintain the arc, but this meant an additional 2 stakes required. Later, I used a flat pole sleeve, which together with the shape of the fabric tends to do it. The hiking poles also make a small contribution, and I have fitted internal guylines with 1mm dyneema and mini cleats for additional bracing in really strong winds. These internal guylines alone would maintain the arc, but I don't often use them.

That is a good idea with the fibreglass ferrules. My initial idea was that the tent should flex at the top of the arc of the pole, so that the radius on the leeward side does not tighten up too much. This led me to the idea of using just a "half" pole, where it terminates at the apex of the curve, so there is no leeward side to tighten up and fail.

I was going to make the joint between the top of the tent pole/ridge pole and the hiking poles a flexible joint on this tent, to transfer some of the stress on the poles onto the fabric. I used bungee cord built into the head and guyed out from that, to allow some flex. I have found it much better just to keep the tent rigid though, and I cant see any ill effects from this yet. I did add another 2 short pole sleeves to the ridge pole though, to distribute the loads more evenly, and as the ridge pole stays in the flysheet when packed,it makes no difference to set up time.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Re: Your MYOG tent on 09/23/2013 15:09:11 MDT Print View

Beautiful! - I'd love to see the plan and details in the MYOG section.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Your MYOG tent on 09/23/2013 17:40:48 MDT Print View

Thanks. I have posted some more info to MYOG.