I've only done a couple of test setups of my tent, so Jesse is a better resource for actual feedback of the tent in the field. My girlfriend and I are taking it with us on a month-long Iceland traverse in June, so after that I'm sure to have boatloads of feedback about how it performed. I'm happy to share my experience thus far:
- I saw the Tensegrity 2 set up at a camping store. With the awning, that thing is HUGE. I'm very happy with having gone with the Flashlight in order to have a smaller footprint
- Yes, you can use either trek poles or the included vertical tent poles, but I honestly wouldn't set it up with the tent poles unless car camping or something. I already hike with adjustable trek poles, so I never even really planned on using the tent poles. I have set it up with both, though.
> trek poles provide a much stronger pitch and stability. MUCH stronger
> I have BD poles with ergo grips and they work fine. My girlfriend just got some BD carbon with a straight grip, which I suspect will fit even better
> tent poles are easier in terms of just being mindless, no having to set the height
> the tent poles will actually bow quite a bit if you really cinch down the tent
> you can adjust your poles after the tent is already set up if you want to raise/lower your peak a bit. i
- if you angle the bottom tips of the poles in slightly, it will deform your almost-rectangular tent floor but it will allow you to get a stronger pitch on top. Don't think you could do this effectively with the tent poles because of their fixed length and flimsiness
- Also, I've had a very positive experience communicating with SD in preparation for Iceland. I had my doubts about the tent's ability to withstand the 30+ mph winds we expect to face in the highlands. Those aren't the conditions that I bought the tent for, and fully expected to purchase something different for this trip. SD uploaded the full unedited wind tunnel video of the Flashlight (https://vimeo.com/126206289), and told me the tent handle it so long as we 1) use trek poles, not the tent poles, and 2) angle the head into the wind
- we've also figured out ways to add guy outs to the tent to reinforce it if need be, doing so entirely with the existing 8 stakes already in the ground. You can make the thing pretty darn sturdy
- I do think it needs a groundcloth. We're going to make a tyvek one. On my very first set up, I cleared out an area in the park of everything except a nice bed of pine needles. We set the tent up and climbed inside, and a pine needle was sticking straight up through the floor. I didn't have anything to mark the spot with, so now I have to locate this pinhole size puncture again and seamgrip it before we go
- The awning/gear closet setup limits your space to cook if the weather is extremely wet and windy. We are making a clip/extra line to run from the foot end of the tent (possibly from the bottom of the foot pole, not sure) so that we can clip the gear closet in more of an "obtuse angle" setup that would come partway across the front of the door. This will give me enough room to open half of the door and reach into the gear closet to cook with my jetboil. Small, lightweight zippers on the mesh in the gear closet would have been nice so you could open those and reach through to your gear without having to do it through the door.
That's what I've got for now, plenty more to come after the trip. So far, I'm very happy with how fast it is to set up, how small the footprint is because we don't use a bunch of extra space for our gear, and I can't speak highly enough about how responsive SD has been in addressing my concerns for this trip.