Seam sealing weight gain?
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Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: only variable? on 03/27/2014 11:33:38 MDT Print View

I am with Greg - one really can't determine how much the seams sealing added in weight because the shelter wasn't weighted first without the seam sealing completed.

My experience is as follows:

-1.3 oz added to an MLD DuoMid.

-1.8 oz added to a Tarptent Notch.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: Re: Seam sealer WEIGHT? on 03/27/2014 12:01:45 MDT Print View

I'm not a textiles expert, Ryan, but your example may be apples/oranges. I suspect the weight of shell fabrics for bags (or Cuben, in the case of zPacks shelters) is far more predictable from lot to lot than silnylon. And the high cost of good down creates an incentive to keep fill weights spot-on.

Greg's post above makes it clear there's significant variation from one tent to another within same style and same manufacturer. That's not going to be a variation in fabric area, and it's hard to see why a manufacturer would use random lengths for guy lines, tie outs, etc. How should a manufacturer quote 'accurate' specs when this is the case?

Going to Shield silnylon is generally regarded as an *increase* in quality. Maybe there's a slight weight penalty for that.

But for gear *outside* the SUL realm (and prob. even within it) the debate seems a little silly and/or dogmatic.

(edit for clarity)

Edited by DavidDrake on 03/27/2014 12:03:35 MDT.

A J
(tahiti) - F
should be disclosed on 03/27/2014 12:33:46 MDT Print View

Yes, while no one will notice +3 ounces, it seems that the manufacturer knows they are using heavier materials, but have not updated their website to reflect this.

While no one would notice 3 ounces, if you are deciding between a 20 ounce tent and a 24 ounce tent, that 24 ounce tent now becomes 27 ounces. You may have told yourself that you wouldn't notice a 4 ounce difference, but now that difference is 7 ounces.

It would be completely fine if the manufacturer just indicated they are using a higher grade silnylon (which is an upgrade in my book, even if there's a weight penalty). The fact that it's not disclosed creates an issue when people cannot accurately compare tents across manufacturers.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: should be disclosed on 03/27/2014 13:10:14 MDT Print View

*What* should be disclosed?

Thru-Hiker sells Shield brand silnylon, and lists weight 1.1oz/sq yard base fabric, 1.4 oz./sq. yard after coating. DIYGearSupply sells a less expensive (presumably 'generic') silnylon, also 1.1 oz/sq. yard base, and "~1.4 oz/sq. yard" after coating. So on paper (on screen?) both the best silnylon and the average stuff are the same weight.

Thing is, I doubt any silnylon is the result of a super-precise manufacturing process, viz. all the silnylon 2ds that are available (some of which have weights after coating as high as 2 oz/sq. yard). There is going to be unavoidable weight difference from lot to lot of material (even the same brand), which means tent-to-tent variations for cottage makers that produce any appreciable number of tents. I assume makers deal with this by stating an average weight based on some batch larger than 1, but less than 100. How often should they re-average their stats?

I suspect most folks who've played the spreadsheet game for a while know all this, and take stated weights as ballpark. Weights across manufacturers, even more so.

J R
(JRinGeorgia) - F
*What* should be disclosed? on 03/27/2014 14:08:55 MDT Print View

Taking at face value the letter from the manufacturer that Aaron presented, the manufacturer knew of discrepancies. So what should be disclosed? That which is known to be a discrepancy -- stakes and materials with different coatings that are heavier than advertised -- would be a good start. That isn't a variance, that a non-disclosed change in specs. Whether it provides the buyer with higher quality at a small weight penalty could be a great thing, but that is for the buyer to decide and should be fully disclosed, wouldn't you agree?

Let's turn it around -- why would a manufacturer knowingly maintain the *wrong* product specs on their website? Not any good reason. And BTW also not in compliance with FTC standards (yes this isn't just a matter of opinion or ethics but of law as well).

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: *What* should be disclosed? on 03/27/2014 14:34:48 MDT Print View

"Let's turn it around -- why would a manufacturer knowingly maintain the *wrong* product specs on their website?"

Easy. Let's take a hypothetical vendor that gets products made from factories in China. Actually, that is pretty likely. Let's assume that the vendor is trying to cater to the ultralightweight crowd (us, here). If most of the vendors of the same kind of product list the weight as 1000 grams, and if our hypothetical vendor starts selling them from a website that lists 1000 grams, then we understand that. Two months later, suppose they list "new and improved" and 950 grams for the same thing. If questioned about this, they can claim that they simply started getting the products from a different factory, and that may be true or false, because buyers have no right to know exactly which factory they came from. If questioned more about this, they could claim that the advertised weight is actually +/- 5%. Well, that hides a multitude of sins. In some cases, a low advertised weight will increase product attractiveness.

All I can say to the consumer is to study the vendors, study the product reviews, study the reported weights from other consumers, and then make your own decisions about one vendor versus another.

Another game you can play is this. Contact a small cottage manufacturer and ask about how many of Item XYZ are in stock. Then ask if he will go through the stock and "bin" them according to weight. Get him to pick out one that weighs only 930 grams instead of the one that weighs 1030 grams. Some will do that for you. The big companies will not. Geez, REI doesn't even list the weight of most products.

--B.G.--

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/27/2014 15:08:23 MDT Print View

For a period of two years I received stock from TT and then sent it out to Aussie customers.
Every so often I would weigh several shelters just out of curiosity.
Within the same batch most varied between 5 and 15 g however from batch to batch the difference was greater than that at times.
In other words you can't get an exact same weight all the times, maybe we should list it as "aprox weight"

Years ago just to test this (before I had anything to do with Tarptent) I went to a local shop (across the road from work) to weigh one model that they had a few of it in stock.
The tent was made out of Epic( a Firstlight) . From memory I tested 5 or 6, the difference from the lightest to the heaviest was about 100g (3.5 oz) no two shelters had the exact same weight.
At the time the Firstlight was an Ultralite shelter and not that cheap either ($600 here)

I just been to the Backpakgeartest site and opened the review of one tent at random (it happened to be the Arete)
3 tests , 3 weights reported 6 lbs, 5:13 and 5:15
Have a look around that site, you will find that most shelters have a different weight reported between the 3 on test for exactly the same reason why ours (TT) do, fabric weight does change.
franco@tarptent

Benji Hons
(BenjiH) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Seam sealer WEIGHT? on 03/27/2014 15:14:28 MDT Print View

I purchased a Stratospire 2 recently, with stated weight being 39oz. After seam sealing and without stakes it weighs almost 48oz! That's over a half pound. With out stakes. I have considered returning the tent, but since it is used I will only get a fraction of the cost at their discretion. At this point I can't decide weather or not I will go through with the hassle of it all. I am considering trading it in for a Squall 2, because it's stated weight is lower and the SS2 is a freaking palace for two people. This thread makes me think more and more about it.

On the fence.

Edited by BenjiH on 03/27/2014 15:15:40 MDT.

A J
(tahiti) - F
Re on 03/27/2014 15:46:50 MDT Print View

I think we can all agree that weights will vary within a production. That's not the issue. The issue is that the manufacturer knows the average weight is higher than advertised, but hasn't changed the specs to match.

b willi jones
(mrjones) - F

Locale: best place in the world !?
not just the fabric on 03/27/2014 16:44:04 MDT Print View

its not just the fabric remember, the o.p got 8in stakes instead of 6in... was this just a packing mistake? or does everyone get the longer/heavier 'option'

as for the fabric... for the company involved, im sure it would be in their best interest to update the specs, not only to make them more accurate, but to inform potential customers that they are getting a better more advanced product using better grade fabrics, all be it slightly heavier

Edited by mrjones on 03/27/2014 16:51:54 MDT.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Seam sealer WEIGHT? on 03/27/2014 19:43:44 MDT Print View

"I'm not a textiles expert, Ryan, but your example may be apples/oranges. I suspect the weight of shell fabrics for bags (or Cuben, in the case of zPacks shelters) is far more predictable from lot to lot than silnylon. And the high cost of good down creates an incentive to keep fill weights spot-on."

David - It's all predictable. These shelters are either coming from China for delivery in the states, or the fabric purchased overseas & the shelter built here. How long would it take to weigh & post new specs if different than currently published? You could weigh (10) shelters in 30 seconds I guess. It's either poor QC or some cottage folks would rather not list a higher weight for obvious reasons.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 03/27/2014 19:47:43 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/27/2014 22:13:39 MDT Print View

"These shelters are either coming from China for delivery in the states, or the fabric purchased overseas & the shelter built here. "
Neither.
The fabric is US made and the shelters are built in Seattle.
BTW , from the TT FAQ :
Roofing High tenacity, 30d, 1.1-ounce/yd2 ripstop nylon, impregnated with silicone. Final fabric weight is approximately 1.5 ounces/yd2.

Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/28/2014 17:26:26 MDT Print View

I'm late to the party - only just noticed the controversy - but just so everyone relaxes I have now bumped the listed weights for the SS1 and SS2 by 3 ounces and noted that they ship with 6 x 8 3/4in stakes (i.e. "heavy" ones).

A few points.

1) "Thru-Hiker sells Shield brand silnylon, and lists weight 1.1oz/sq yard base fabric, 1.4 oz./sq. yard after coating"

If they really are selling 1st quality Shield silnylon, I can guarantee you it doesn't weigh 1.4 oz/yd after coating - try much closer to 1.6 ounces. Those specs are even older than our 2+ year old specs that went into the SS1, SS2 product descriptions.

2) The person claiming that the SS2 from us came in at 49 ounces without stakes has either a bad scale or completely glopped sealer all over the place during his seam-sealing process. Also, contrary to his claim, we at no time have ever listed the SS2 at 39 ounces except possibly a Backpacker gear guide reference a couple of years ago when they specifically requested weights without stakes. We complied and it all felt very sleazy.

3) The end of point 2 brings up another point which is that this is all kind of silly. Yes, our specs were off and yes dated back to 2 years ago when "Shield" was lighter and correspondingly less coated and less waterproof. In addition, this isn't a level playing field. We ship stakes--heavy stakes by gram weenie standards; over 10x the weight of a certain UK manufacturer's toothpick stakes I saw a few years ago--with all our shelters unlike several other companies playing the same general game who don't include stakes and then get to list lower weights all the while enjoying ala carte higher profits selling stakes as an option. Why any tent/tarp should get listed without stakes weight is completely beyond me since you need them to set it up but perhaps we would should move to listing all our shelters without stakes if that's the norm.

4) We don't produce products to be the lightest and whether or not a product is plus or minus a few ounces is irrelevant to the outdoor experience other than to some sort of quasi-mystical belief that it matters. What we do try and do is build high quality, affordable shelters that have high quotients of performance/price and usable volume/price as well as ease of setup, taut fabric etc. and let the weight fall where it does using light materials for general weight savings. If a few ounces matter to you, we aren't the right place to look for a shelter.

-H

Edited by 07100 on 03/28/2014 17:27:53 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/28/2014 17:59:38 MDT Print View

"Why any tent/tarp should get listed without stakes weight is completely beyond me since you need them to set it up but perhaps we would should move to listing all our shelters without stakes if that's the norm."

On the few times that I have purchased a tent, one of the first things that I do is discard the stakes that came with it. I substitute lightweight stakes or stronger stakes or whatever.

If there are many purchasers doing this, then it stands to reason that the manufacturer can sell the tent without stakes for a slightly cheaper price, and that is a win-win.

--B.G.--

b willi jones
(mrjones) - F

Locale: best place in the world !?
Re: Re: Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/28/2014 18:16:23 MDT Print View

i like when the head honchos can chip in, thanks Henry, im sure your company will be the better for it

Rick .
(overheadview) - F

Locale: NYC
Re: Re: Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/28/2014 22:50:34 MDT Print View

Great post, Henry. Good to see you chime in on this.

The root of the discussion I see is disclosure. I have a simple solution: post both weights, and the expected variation.

Shelter as shipped, trail ready (includes stakes/lines/bag): 29oz
Shelter only (add your own stakes/lines/bag): 25oz
Due to material/construction variation, shelter weight varies +/-2oz.

It gives you equal footing with others who post the bare weight (only). I assume 9 out of 10 of your buyers put the thing on the scale when it shows up, so there's little mystery of the variation after the fact.

A few ounces doesn't change experience as part of full pack weight. It does however matter (to savvy/picky shoppers) when comparing specs.

10% over spec is cause for ruffled feathers, I'd consider returning it IF that changes my decision in hindsight. 20% over stated weight I'd send it back on principle and be vocal about why (6oz for a 30oz stated weight, clearly deception).

Everyone swaps out stakes, its just the way it is. I appreciate them coming with a shelter so its trail-ready, but see them as a bonus/backup to my latest favorite/correct stake for conditions. I'd prefer you keep including them, but break out the weight.

Kevin S.
(kstephens) - F
Notch weight on 03/28/2014 22:58:43 MDT Print View

I just got my tarptent notch in the mail today. Listed weight is 26, but after having it seam sealed (from tarptent) it weighed 27.2 - with all stuff sacks, guy lines and stakes. Seems like a very accurate weight from the company, and exactly what would be expected after seam sealing. Great shelter, Great company....Bravo Henry!

bradmac mt
(bradmacmt) - F

Locale: Montana
TT on 03/29/2014 08:33:14 MDT Print View

"We don't produce products to be the lightest and whether or not a product is plus or minus a few ounces is irrelevant to the outdoor experience other than to some sort of quasi-mystical belief that it matters. What we do try and do is build high quality, affordable shelters that have high quotients of performance/price and usable volume/price as well as ease of setup, taut fabric etc. and let the weight fall where it does using light materials for general weight savings. If a few ounces matter to you, we aren't the right place to look for a shelter."

I love this sort of honesty from a man who owns a company.

I've owned one TT, and while it didn't meet my needs, it was/is a beautifully built/designed shelter. After I seam sealed it (Rainbow) it did indeed add approx 1.5 oz's, which is about what I expected based on past seam-seal jobs. Whenever I think of a non seam-sealed tent, I always mentally calculate the sealer to the listed weight, and have also been around this game long enough to know listed weights can vary due to fabric lots.

I find it shocking someone has been around gear for very long doesn't understand this.

Will also say, I happily look forward to a TT that will meet my future needs. They're brilliant designs, and meticulously made IN THE USA and at a great price-point.

Hard to ask more really...

Edited by bradmacmt on 03/29/2014 08:34:26 MDT.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/29/2014 13:12:59 MDT Print View

"Neither.
The fabric is US made and the shelters are built in Seattle."

I was speaking more broadly than just TT with that post, Franco. But, the point remains the same.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 03/29/2014 13:15:38 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Seam sealing weight gain? on 03/29/2014 16:17:42 MDT Print View

Ryan,
Yes but reading your "theses shelters" comment some might have concluded that it was directed to or included TT since the discussion was focused on our brand , although it does apply to most.
Anyway it was just an opportunity for me to remind readers that all about Tarptent is US made including the designer.