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Pyranet 3 in a BD Mega Light? Insight needed.
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Matt F
(matt_f) - MLife
Pyranet 3 in a BD Mega Light? Insight needed. on 07/24/2013 03:21:13 MDT Print View

Calling all Pyranet and Mega Light users:

My goal is to put together a 2+ person all-weather, all season shelter for around 3-3.5 pounds (when i use trekking poles rather than the stock BD carbon pole). I finally broke down and ordered a Black Diamond Mega Light when i found one on sale and now am in the market for an inner net. I do have an e-mail out to BPWD, but want to gather more data points from anyone else who may be in-the-know:

1) Does anyone here have experience with such a set-up? Good/bad/indifferent?

2) The Mega Light measures 104" along the base. The stock Pyranet is 88" in length. I'm thinking I'd like to add between 4-6" extra length to the inner tent to make it better for winter/long bag use. For anyone who may have seen these set up together before, am I getting too greedy in terms of space? will it fit under the Mega Light with reasonable rain protection?

3) As this is intended to handle rough weather and since I may increase the size of the net tent (potentially exposing it to a bit more splashback), I like the idea of having nylon ripstop for about 24" up the sides rather than having the inner tent made completely from mesh. Anyone else done this?

I anticipate having a full size zipper, 30D sil floor, 1.1 oz uncoated ripstop nylon and 0.8 oz nanoseeum mesh in terms of raw materials.

Thanks in advance for any help.


David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Megalight and Pyranet on 07/24/2013 09:15:25 MDT Print View

I have a Megalight, but not a Pyranet. I've thought about going the exact route you are contemplating with the Pyranet inner, though I don't think lengthening it would get you much more usable space. 24" fabric sides should help provide a bit more warmth in high winds as well.

Should provide for a good, functional setup.

Matt F
(matt_f) - MLife
pyranet 3 on 07/24/2013 17:00:25 MDT Print View

Thanks, Dave. Your blog posts helped me pull the trigger on the 'mid. I previously had a Shangri-la 3 but sold it a couple years ago as I felt it was a bit undersized for 2 (particularly in winter) and I assume the square shape will be much quicker to set up.

FWIW, John from BPWD e-mailed back and said the Pyranet 3 is 90" long, not 88" as I stated in my post.


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Pyranet 3 in a BD Mega Light? Insight needed on 07/24/2013 17:16:54 MDT Print View

With shelter that have 45 degree inward sloping walls (or close to it)you lose about 1 foot of usable space at the edge.
By usable I mean over one foot in height ...
The lost foot
(Black Diamond lists the usable space for the Mega Light as 86x86x57, also the size of their inner)
keep in mind also that if the inner is too close to the fly, when the fly sags the two will touch possibly causing the inner to drip on you.
Most likely they will touch half a way down therefore collecting there the condensation from above.

Matt F
(matt_f) - MLife
pyranet on 07/25/2013 01:27:12 MDT Print View

Hmmm...I'm thinking I should just stick with the 90" length. Thanks for the visual, Franco. A marginally larger 'mid could also do the trick.


Matt F
(matt_f) - MLife
pyranet 3 on 07/29/2013 01:24:33 MDT Print View

I wound up ordering a Pyranet 3, 90" length with a sil floor, appx 30" ripstop up the sides and no-seeum mesh for the rest. Height is about 59". I've got some reservations about the length, but I won't know for sure until I get it. I figure I can find a way to attach the inner net to the mid-panels on the 'mid to increase the interior volume. I'll post some pics inside the Mega Light when it arrives.

Thanks for the help,


Matt F
(matt_f) - MLife
Mega Light and Pyranet 3 Review on 09/24/2013 10:19:52 MDT Print View

My wife, myself and our 6 month-old pup just spent a few nights around Maroon Bells Wilderness in Colorado in our new set-up. Overall I'm quite happy: The Mega Light and Pyranet 3 each weigh in at just over 26 ounces per, leaving me with a very tough, roomy, modular shelter at 3 pounds 5 oz without stakes. My wife really likes having the inner net, but but solo trips and trips with buddies I anticipate using the pyramid with a ground sheet or light bivy.

Pyranet 3 initial impressions: Out of the box quality was mostly good, but I was unimpressed that for much of the length of the zipper there was excess ripstop that seemed to have been partially seared overlapping the zipper. This was an issue as the zipper would get caught on the ripstop frequently and began to fray the fabric. This still needs to be sewn back over itself but made it through our 4 day trip without being a major issue (aside from a bit of fraying). Also, there were a number of long loose threads hanging about which I felt should have been snipped/cleaned up before it was shipped to me. I contacted BPWD at this point and they offered to fix my concerns if I was willing to send it back, (but as it was a custom job there could be no refund). I was a little bemused by the lack of quality control, but I can sew and was in a time crunch. I decided just to fix things myself and go forward with my trip planning without having to worry about the shelter being shipped back in time. Second, I did some additional modifications: As initially set-up, the interior volume of the Pyranet 3 was not all that impressive. There were three mid-panel tie outs apparently meant to connect the Pyranet to whatever shelter was set up around it, but I also added four more along the corners about 24 inches up the seams. When attached to the Mega Light (with corresponding grosgrain loops via a bit of bungee cord), the differences was significant.

MegaLight Initial Impressions: Out of the box set up was easy. The very first pitch was taut, and I was reasonably impressed by the burly-appearing carbon pole which is included. I won't take the pole on backpacking trips, but it should work out great on paddling trips in the future. I did take a page out of Dave C's book and add some mid-panel guy-out points as well as extra corner guy-outs and replacing the perimeter stake-out points with LineLocs. During this process I also sewed in some loops of grosgrain on the interior to which to attach the Pyranet and bump up the livable space a bit. These were all re-inforced with patched of 30D sil laminated via flowable silicone.

In use:


It is reasonably easy to get a good pitch. I did replace the stock tie-outs with line-locs. (another tip of the hat to Dave C). This was very useful to keep things taut in wet weather.


The added guy-outs did prove useful in this semi-exposed site.

door open

I do like being able to open the front completely with the full-left door option. There was plenty of interior room, even for this wet trip (this was the final day, when we actually had a clear morning).


Corner shot: looped the PyraNet corner pull out through the corner line-loc on the BDML. This made set-up easier and meant one less loose cord to stake out.


Millie, our 6 month old rescue pup (we thought she was mostly Aussie Shepherd, but she tips the scales at just 15 pounds so that is certainly up for debate :) She hikes like a champ, but each day commandeered by MYOG synthetic parka pretty much as soon as we got to camp.

Our trip took place during the days that Colorado was experiencing the flash flooding that was all over the national news. While we certainly didn't experience the volume of precipitation that other parts of the state did, our trip was still wet and chilly. Each day we had at least a few hours of rain. First and foremost, even in these challenging conditions my wife really liked the shelter, so that box is checked off. We had plenty of space for both of us to sleep next to each other in the rear of the tent, and we kept the front third free as an entry way and for wet gear storage. I'd tell you the pup slept there, but she typically snuck into my wife's sleeping bag where she happily spent the nights. I need to touch up my seam-sealing at the top of the zipper as this dripped a bit. Otherwise the set-up was quite waterproof even during extended periods of moderate rain. My concerns about length of the inner would have been founded had I not added some extra pull-outs to the Pyranet 3. After modifications, I feel I can use a long-winter bag in the tent just fine (though I'd probably brush up against the ends frequently). Also, I think the 3/4 inner may be superior to a 4-person version for wet trips just due to the fact that we actually had plenty of protected vestibule space and the more vertical front wall of the PN3 made dry entry/exit a possibility.

We didn't experience heavy winds, but I would say gusts of 20-25. With a couple extra guy-lines deployed the tent was quite stable. Two black diamond trekking poles lashed together worked great as the center pole. Without the extra guy-out points I'd hesitate to take it to exposed places. I don't have much experience to back this up, however. One thing I will say about the rip-stop inner: it is WARM. I noticed easily a 10 degree difference (maybe more) inside and out in the middle of the night. Also, the above-mentioned drips from the gap in seam-sealing easily ran down the side of the rip-stop without soaking through.

Finally, I worried that set-up would be finicky. After a couple of reps, we were able to hit camp and have it up and staked out in literally 2-3 minutes. Stake it out in 4 corners, open up the two doors a bit and insert the center pole. After this, we'd add additional stakes to the various stake-out/guy-out points and were done. One key is keeping the inner attached to the Mega Light at all of the mid-point connections as well as the apex and corners. One photo above illustrates how I connected the corners of the Pyranet to the Mega Light.

Ultimately I like this set-up a lot. There are lighter options out there, but based on my research there was nothing at this weight that is extremely spacious for 2 that I'd be comfortable using above tree-line or in very wet or winter conditions (Minnesota winter, anyway). Another perk is just how packable it is: no poles mean i can just shove it into a stuff sack and it conforms to whatever spot in my pack i place it. Also, I do anticipate using the Mega Light with just a bivy sack when i'm with friends: the modularity is a plus as without the inner I have a very-light multi-person shelter. That said, potential buyers need to know that I did a number of modifications myself to both the Mega Light and PN3, and the quality of the PN3 out of the box left a bit to be desired. In spite of my reservations, John at BPWD has always been very responsive and easy to work with. He fills a niche, I like his designs a lot and hopefully he can tweak his Quality Control process a bit.

Hope this is helpful,


Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Mega Light and Pyranet 3 Review on 09/24/2013 10:37:08 MDT Print View

"Hope this is helpful"

That was tremendously helpful. I've had my eye on this shelter for a while for winter camping and for when I'm backpacking with the rest of my mob.