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New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets
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Ammon Bruce
(AmmonBruce) - M

Locale: South Eastern Washington State
Re: More comments and responses on 09/29/2013 17:37:37 MDT Print View

I could not find the Sierra Designs link on zenbivy.com on my IPhone. So, I went to my desktop to find your 2014 workbook and on the homepage between Family and About was the link Sierra Designs. FYI for all you mobel users. Thanks Michael for the workbook!
Ammon

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
half pyramid on 09/29/2013 17:41:04 MDT Print View

I see you use a pyramid.

A "half pyramid" would be good for solo. No one makes it so you have to make it yourself.

Basically, just take one half of the floor area of a pyramid to sleep in. Then make the other half a triangle floor rather than rectangle and it weighs a little less. Some room to put gear and get in and out. You can leave door open for better ventilation if it's not windy/rainy.

base

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: More comments and responses on 09/29/2013 21:23:34 MDT Print View

"Vestibules, IMO, are just about the worst thing you can do to a 3S tent."

Hi Michael,

I'm curious if you can elaborate on this.

I still remember when TNF dropped the snow tunnels for the vestibule(s) in the VE series, which may have been a useful thing for 4s tents. But I'm not sure I understand why having a vestibule vs awning creates such a difference in ventilation. A "good" vestibule can remain open when it rains, and still provide ventilation. It seems to me that "cross ventilation" is still crucial no matter what, vestibule or otherwise. I also appreciate the vestibule where I can take off my rain gear without getting the inside of the tent wet. Of course a BIG awning can do this as well.

Like our houses, some like their porches & porticos, and some like their vestibules.

Matt

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Sierra Designs on 09/29/2013 22:04:34 MDT Print View

And to think I'd been not reading this thread for over a week in no small part because it had "Sierra Designs" in the title.

Michael, I wish you the best. The company name has a lot of history behind it. It'd be nice to see that done credit to.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
More SD on 09/29/2013 22:30:23 MDT Print View

All:

I made a video of the new flashlight 2 can be viewed on the SD page at zenbivy.com, or more specifically: http://www.zenbivy.com/ZenBivy/Sierra_Designs.html

Matt: regarding vestibules, here are my issues:

1. Vestibules place gear in the doorway, where you have to crawl open it to get in and out of the tent
2. You have to open two doors every time you want to get in or out
3. Generally, they inhibit ventilation when deployed for poor weather. It is true that some vestibules do allow you to keep them open in the rain, with an otherwise positive drip line, but this is almost never the case.
4. When closed for weather protection, ventilation is USUALLY reduced dramatically, and I can't think of a single design that allows you to continue to look outside and enjoy the views, regardless of weather. I have hiked a LOT in the rain, and being cooped up in a steamy tent without air or a window is not fun, especially when you can have all this while going even lighter.
5. You can absolutely use the doorway of a awning/door combo to transition from wet hiking to dry camping. In fact it is one of the main benefits. I demonstrate this on one of my blog entries in a video called "Glavin boot camp" that I sometimes use to convince folks that going a little lighter can be way more comfortable. The drop door is used to sit down inside the tent, while sitting on the OUTSIDE of the tent wall. Then, out of the rain, you can make your transition. Of course, there are other ways to accomplish this, but we at SD believe the awning/drop door/separate gear storage is the lightest and most elegant. The link is below and you can scan to about 11 minutes in the video to see this.

http://www.zenbivy.com/ZenBivy/Blog/Entries/2013/4/14_Glavin_Boot_Camp_1.html

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
Re: Re: More comments and responses on 09/29/2013 22:32:18 MDT Print View

Love that Moss tent in your photo.....!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: More SD on 09/29/2013 22:57:28 MDT Print View

The only thing bad about that tent, is the overhanging roof will catch the wind. Better to have all sides staked to the ground and smoothly go up to the peak or ridge.

That's sort of like a Whelen lean to.

I made something like that and it blew around a lot.

Not that it won't work - I'm sure you've tested it a lot in the wind - maybe the benefit of an overhang to keep dry while getting in makes up for any tendancy to blow around more, always design trade-offs

Derek Musashe
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Why not a lighter Flashlight tent? on 09/29/2013 23:24:35 MDT Print View

In reference to the new Flashlight tent:

"It could probably be 2lbs 5, but for now the lightest is 30d with PU coating and 40d floors, taped."

Michael,
I have to say, a 2lb 5oz Flashlight tent seems moderately intriguing to me, but a 2lb 15oz (3lb 5oz with poles?) version seems completely pedestrian.

I just don't see buying a new Flashlight over a Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo (2lb 9oz) or a TarpTent Double Rainbow (2lb 9oz) when both of those shelters are lighter, and (I'm guessing) cheaper, not to mention trail-tested.

So I'm wondering why Sierra Designs won't pull the trigger on a 2lb 5oz version of this tent? Is there some supply, construction, or design constraint that is keeping you all from making a lighter version?

My feeling is that if you all at Sierra Designs are really trying to shake things up in the "mainstream" outdoor industry, then you might as well go all the way.

Of course, that's just my two cents. I hope you guys do succeed in your business makeover. The "ultralight" shelters that the mainstream outdoor industry has been churning out are an embarrassment to the UL moniker.

Michael Glavin
(gmontlake) - MLife

Locale: Cascades and Selkirks
More SD on 09/30/2013 01:08:37 MDT Print View

Jerry:

Its counter-intuitive, but awnings on tents make them considerably STRONGER in the wind. The wind blows the tent up, not down. The Sierra Designs Hercules is the only tent to ever wind tunnel test over 100mph at sea level, and it utilized awnings to create vertical support for the shelter.

Every SD tent for 2013 has been wind tunnel tested to 30 MPH steady wind at sea level on all aspects. I believe that we are the first company to ever test in the wind this rigorously. All the tents perform better with the awnings into the wind.


Derek:

I agree, we should go all the way. The one constraint that keeps us from pulling the trigger is CPAI-84, which is a standard required in several states relating to the fire resistance of the fabrics. Based on their web specs, neither of the tents you mention pass the standard, and are thus illegal to sell in states that have adopted CPAI-84. Because the cottage industry generally does not work through retailers, they are able to fly under the radar (even though most are breaking the law when they ship to adopted states, probably unknowingly in most cases). The standard is really frustrating.

The urethane coating on tents is generally what allows the fabrics to test. They also allow the tents to be factory seam taped. But as you know, urethane adds weight, and decreases the durability of the fabric. If you look at some of the bivy pictures on my website, you will see a lot of pics of my MSR Missing Link that was made in 30d sil nylon, and hand seam taped. It saved about half a pound vs. the production version with 30 sil/PU 1500mm. Half a pound of urethane and seam tape!

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: More SD on 09/30/2013 06:18:45 MDT Print View

"Every SD tent for 2013 has been wind tunnel tested to 30 MPH steady wind at sea level on all aspects."

That's not much wind at all.

"I believe that we are the first company to ever test in the wind this rigorously."

Hilleberg? Look here. http://hilleberg.se/product-testing-wind-machine

"All the tents perform better with the awnings into the wind."

But my stuff will still get soaked with dew/fog not being closed up in a tent.

Edited by kthompson on 09/30/2013 06:56:54 MDT.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
I'm glad an exec from a company is here... on 09/30/2013 07:55:17 MDT Print View

This is the spirit of investigating what the people on the ground are saying and asking for. I hope we have some more innovations out of SD and look forward to seeing their new products. Please feel free to post links to reviews here. The cottage industries will thrive if big companies help grow this sport / hobby a bit.

Clayton Black
(Jivaro) - MLife
Re: New Down Quilt from Sierra Designs with built in hood and hand pockets on 09/30/2013 07:57:39 MDT Print View

I like this design. I start out sleeping on my back contemplating the day and then flip on my side to sleep and then flip to the other side and then flip and then flip....etc etc. Having those corner mitts to help snuggle in and hold my arms in place sounds like a nice innovation though I'm not sure they need to be quilted pockets.

The hood is also quite nice. I love my naps. At home and in the mountains. My naps are always on my back with something to cover my eyes.

Thanks to BPL I went to quilts and will never go back to claustrophobic sleeping bags that's for sure and I think this hybrid quilt has its place. I'm sure some myog peeps that don't like 'the man' are busy figuring out how they are going to add corner pockets to their quilts.

Since I like the idea I guess I have to say I have no affiliation with Sierra Designs.

Question: Will the quilt stuff into the hood pocket?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: More SD on 09/30/2013 08:35:19 MDT Print View

"Its counter-intuitive, but awnings on tents make them considerably STRONGER in the wind."

Interesting. I would think it would be better to have the wind deflected around the tent. I can see how with the awning it would blow the tent up if it was blowing into that side. You'de want good tent stakes : )

Wind tunnel testing at 30 MPH seems like a good thing. I usually sleep in more sheltered locations so 30 MPH is probably sufficient. If you were camping on an exposed location like mountaineering then you'de want a stronger tent.

Clayton Black
(Jivaro) - MLife
Re: Flashlight UL 2 on 09/30/2013 08:52:04 MDT Print View

Here in the Ecuadorian highlands I big flapping wall (guy lines or no) inches from your head raining down condensation just wouldn't do. I'd end up putting my head down at the other end.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
CPAI-84 on 09/30/2013 09:44:31 MDT Print View

Michael wrote:
"The one constraint that keeps us from pulling the trigger is CPAI-84, which is a standard required in several states relating to the fire resistance of the fabrics."

I've long thought CPAI-84 helped kill the mainstream lightweight backpacking market that started in the late 1970s and vanished in the late 1980s.

Can be amazing to read the specs of old gear which used much heavier fabrics, etc, compared to today. Back then I used sub two-pound packs (Alpenlite), sub three-pound 2 person tents (Moss), two-pound down sleeping bags (WM), and light running-shoe style hiking footwear (Nike), all purchased through backpacking shops.

National name brand manufacturers work under different constraints from the cottage makers. I hope the new Sierra Designs can fill the gap Michael found.

-- Rex

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Bells and Whistles on 09/30/2013 10:29:13 MDT Print View

Rarely add to the quality of a product. Usually they help sell a inferior product at a high price. I am automatically sceptical of salesmen. Does the fake plastic cheese trigger on a victor mouse trap look like cheese to a mouse? Does a mouse know what cheese is? Will future generations of mouse traps put a plastic peanut on the trigger? Now that's a great idea. If the SD make over doesn't pan out Michael you can have that idea. But actually I see some backpacker editor choice awards coming your way. If not I think there is a discussion forum called building a better mouse trap that you can sell your plastic nuts on. :) ;^) 8^) :-) 8-0 I'm in a weird mood this morning. Awnings blow up I love it. "Help me help you"

Jason Johnson
(etex9799)
Re: Down Quilt on 09/30/2013 15:46:00 MDT Print View

Could you send a pic of your EE quilt..I was thinking about getting the royal blue and would love to see what how it looks.

THANKS

Jim Klazek
(Klazek) - M
Flashlight 1 2014 on 09/30/2013 21:15:34 MDT Print View

Michael G. you are to be applauded for the new direction of SD. I presently have a Tarptent Scarp 1 which I am relegating to my winter tent using the cross poles. I was about to get a Moment DW for my 3 season tent but am intrigued with the new Flashlight 1. Watched the video and downloaded the workbook. A question, why the yellow floor in the UL? Why not grey, black or the SD blue. All would contrast nicely with the yellow walls. Worst case I would have to go with the regular fabric model.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
vestibules and stuff on 09/30/2013 21:31:26 MDT Print View

Several larger US companies are using well under 30 denier PU coated nylon: MH and GL to name two. Yah, I know - it costs more.

Re the vestibules:

"1. Vestibules place gear in the doorway, where you have to crawl open it to get in and out of the tent"
A straw man. Well designed vestibules are large enough to hold the gear under the covered and closed side, leaving plenty of space for entry and exit on the side that opens. Another vestibule at the rear of the tent can also be used. My modified One Planet Goondie holds enough under the fixed side of the cover up front, that the vestibule under the rear cover was replaced with more floor space. BTW, the fly is 15 denier PU coated nylon, trail weight & guys < 2.5 lbs, floor area > 23.5 sf.
GNDY-flyFrontOpen

"2. You have to open two doors every time you want to get in or out"
If the tent has a canopy or fly, it must be opened to get in or out. If you also want bug protection, a netting door must also be opened. That's par for the course.

"3. Generally, they inhibit ventilation when deployed for poor weather. It is true that some vestibules do allow you to keep them open in the rain, with an otherwise positive drip line, but this is almost never the case."
It may be almost never the case among the larger US companies. But among the better tentmakers, it is almost always the case. Vestibules are not the issue. Competent tentmaking is the issue. Have you looked at the TarpTents?

"4. When closed for weather protection, ventilation is USUALLY reduced dramatically, and I can't think of a single design that allows you to continue to look outside and enjoy the views, regardless of weather. I have hiked a LOT in the rain, and being cooped up in a steamy tent without air or a window is not fun, especially when you can have all this while going even lighter."
If this is an argument for tarps, please say so. They definitely have their place. As for tents, you must button up in high winds else the canopy or fly will balloon, be subjected to great stress, and place the anchoring at risk. So the answer to steamy is good vent design, or in the alternative, awnings that allow the wind to pass right through, which is problematic because rain may be coming right along with it, and gusts can be totally unpredictable. I camped in a modified two-awning WE Bug Dome for several years, and greatly enjoyed the full view out the front and cooking and eating under the front awning in the pouring rain. But wouldn't dream of taking it well above timberline in exposed locations.
BDfly
The tent weighs 3 lbs complete, in the bags, and the floor area is 30 sf.

"5. You can absolutely use the doorway of a awning/door combo to transition from wet hiking to dry camping. In fact it is one of the main benefits. ... . The drop door is used to sit down inside the tent, while sitting on the OUTSIDE of the tent wall. Then, out of the rain, you can make your transition. Of course, there are other ways to accomplish this, but we at SD believe the awning/drop door/separate gear storage is the lightest and most elegant."
Yes, there are other ways. Like unzipping the vestibule and net doors, stepping into the tent, and rezipping the outer door after you. You have to stoop, but if you have to crawl, it is more of that poor tent design at work again. The one thing I do agree with is the value of awnings that can be locked down to create a closed vestibule in extreme weather, and opened up for ventilation in unblown rain and good weather. Hope we see much more development along those lines. Still, a zipper in the awning is needed for easy entry and exit sans the low crawl.

Will look in January to see what's up at SD when the new tents are posted. But as already noted by some others, lighter materials will be needed to attract light packers, and more functional designs as well.

Scott, please accept my apology for going off-thread.

Edited by scfhome on 09/30/2013 21:45:49 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Flashlight 1 2014 on 09/30/2013 22:19:51 MDT Print View

Thanks for the Flashlight video. I await others comments on a few things.