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Tent Tech
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Tent Tech on 04/19/2014 23:09:55 MDT Print View

I love a good tent. But what IS a good tent?

->lightweight - This usually means silnylon or cuben fiber for the fabric and aluminum or carbon fiber shock-corded poles. Also strong but light aluminum stakes like MSR Ground Hogs in reg. or small. Single wall tents are usually the lightest.

->easy to set up - The Tarptent Moment is one of the fastest out there but a few extra minutes to set up is no big deal as long as the tent has other good design elements.

->good vestibule(s) - FIRST this means keeping out rain or snow when zipped open to enter or exit. Wedge tents are notorious for failing in this department. Second a good vestibule can store your pack(s) AND have room to cook in a storm.

->good ventilation - Even double wall tents need good ventilation. For single wall tents it's a must.

->quality construction - Wanna see your seams part in a windstorm? Like leaky floor fabric? Love hearing poles snap under a medium wind or snow load? Then buy a poor quality tent.

->highly wind resistant - This comes down mostly to design. Yeah, you can use guy lines 'till he!! won't have it but a good design such as a quality dome or partial dome or tunnel tent is where wind-worthiness is found.
SO... Let's hear about your favorite 3 season tents that are good in these categories. What high tech designs and materials do ya like?

Got more than one? That's OK. Got more "good tent" categories? Let's hear them.
PROs and CONs are nice for your evaluation, It shows your objectivity.

For ex.
Tarptent Scarp 2
1.Fairly light for its floor size and volume Silnylon fabric and netting throughout
2.Medium easy to set up for one person, easy for two.
3.It has two doors with nice vestibules for packs and/or cooking in bad weather.
4.Decent ventilation & venting options, esp. for the full netting inner tent option.
5.Very high construction quality.
6.Medium wind resistance (with guys and W/O X-ing poles).
Medium-good wind resistance with guys and X-ing poles.
7.very fair price
8.** great manufacturer support ** (very important at times)
9.Good guy points are provided on sides and ends.
10.Fly or inner tent can be pitched separately.
11.A roomy 2 person tent that can take "three consenting adults", head-to-toe.

1. Vertical rectangular ends subject to some deformation in high winds. Hem stake loops here are important!
2. In high winds or heavy snow load the small external X-ing pole attatchment points put a strain on the fly.
3. Eight fly hem stake loops should be standard equipment - two on each side two on each end.
4. Two more vents at door peaks, a-la Moment DW, would be nice.
5. Velcro wraps to hold end, center CF rods in vertical position is needed. A critical area in high winds.

Edited by Danepacker on 04/23/2014 15:38:04 MDT.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Tent Tech on 04/20/2014 09:50:39 MDT Print View

I like your general analysis.

But like a "good" tool for a carpenter, some tools are simply better for some activities, simply by design. A screwdriver is a wonderful tool, but if youre screwing decking down all day, I'd prefer the cordless impact driver.

The more "generalized" something becomes, the less "awesome" it usually becomes at everything, in my experience. But for the person looking for general use, that might simply be perfect for them.

For the person who might backpack with the tent 10-15 percent of the time, there might be better considerations that the lightest thing out there. I love my Rainshadow II, but the campsite me & the scouts stayed at the other weekend (on a backpacking trip) had well defined tent sites, using railroad ties and pea gravel. As a result, staking out a non-freestanding tent became a creative endeavor.

Hey, like Richard Nisley's "Axis of understanding" for wpb fabrics, what would at proper "Axis" look like for tent considerations?


Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Test Design on 04/20/2014 10:58:00 MDT Print View

I'll play.... my current Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1.

* Weight - Should be the first item in a UL forum. ;-) I'd call it heavy compared to most of the cottage industry tarp/tents but the newest version is a reasonable 35 ounces, maybe 38oz with stakes. Not bad for a large single person double wall shelter with it's own pole system.

* Size - Ooodles of usable room for one person.

* Ease of Set-up - It works.... takes me a couple minutes. Not as quick as something like a Tarp Tent Moment but it isn't so bad that I find it a negative.

* Protection - Excellent... good fly coverage, good double wall design with ventilation and plenty of room between inner/outer. Would stand up to a snow load with some tent shaking in the night and I'm fairly certain a reasonable amount of wind. Never had it out in anything to test this though.

* Livability - Related to size but also ease of entry/exit and storage space for gear. Good.... I have my gear typically inside and out and the headroom is exceptional (I'm short so that may have some impact).


* Price - I choke on $400 tents.

* Weight - Not UL ... you can find structures from cottage makers that are half this weight (but at different prices and tradeoffs for space/protection/single wall.

* Durability - The fabric on the floor is thin. It may necessitate a ground sheet for some people or situations which adds to weight (4.5 oz Tyvek). I don't fear for the construction of any of the other materials.

* Flexibility - One of the things I'd like is a symmetric tent design because if you are camping in tight spaces you don't always get to choose where the door or foot/head is best placed. The Copper Spur is ok if you have plenty of flat area in a typical camp site but if you are cowboy camping in the woods you often have a swale behind a log or other feature that gives a very limited space. A symmetric design where you can sleep in either direction and enter/exit from one end is better for these situations.

* Stake Points - I have a tent that is 20 years old now that is what I consider a very smart design. It required one stake at the foot, and two at the head to erect. It was a double hoop design like a Clip Flashlight (older one)or a Moment and that design simplicity is very nice for a quick pitch. It was also very stable in high wind situations. You could stake out the sides of the fly also which I did if I was expecting weather but you could get away with carrying three stakes. The Copper Spur requires four at a minimum and I typically carry six.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Another Look at Tent Design on 04/21/2014 13:51:07 MDT Print View

Perhaps I've originally written a non-starter post.

Let me revise the question:

Given the above posted factors and others that go into a good tent WHAT ASPECTS OF TENT DESIGN (esp. your current tent) DO YOU WANT TO SEE IMPROVED?

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Another Look at Tent Design on 04/21/2014 14:36:08 MDT Print View

Basically I think most of the bases are covered with the current crop of tent designs.

The current crop of Tube tents makes really good 4 season shelters. From Exped, Nemo, Hilleberg, and others, you get some darn good 4 season tents. Roger's tents sort of flopped and are a bit heavy.

Freestanding designs have just been reviewed, but again, they cover 3 season tents pretty well.

Tarptents are the standard for UL packers, but even they offer several choices depending on what you are doing.

For super ultralight stuff, cuben fiber is more or less the standard. Extremly light, you can get a fully enclosed tent for 16oz or less. Some people push it with smaller tarps, but you refered to tents.

The only big improvement I can see is price. For myself, I refuse to spend 200-300 dollars for myself. I will by $75 worth of materials and make one. It is rediculous when you consider that the price of most fabrics cannot be had to match any clothing made in a factory.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Tarptent Moment on 04/21/2014 16:21:38 MDT Print View

I want a Tarptent Moment that will fit two 20" full length pads. And I'd be happy enough with the single wall version. This would then make a great single person tent and a great two person (me and my wife) tent. Since they don't make this tent I will probably get the Rainbow.

Weight and ease of setup are my biggest factors. I camp very little in rain, etc., although the tent can't let rain in simply from "opening the door". I don't want the fiddle factor of trekking pole setup when my wife is along and I don't use them. Quick easy setup is very important. I will sacrifice other features to get this.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tarptent Moment on 04/21/2014 17:04:18 MDT Print View

'...I will probably get the Rainbow...Weight and ease of setup are my biggest factors. I camp very little in rain, etc., although the tent can't let rain in simply from "opening the door"'

Note that the Rainbow does NOT have dripless entry, as Tarptent calls it.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tent Tech on 04/21/2014 17:41:24 MDT Print View

A Double Moment ?
and why not....

Rainbow dripless* entry
* conditions apply .

With the Rainbows (as an exception to the rule) the dripless entry is obtained with the Rain Curtain in place.
A feature much loved by some and totally eliminated (via amputation) by others.
So it is a day feature , not all that good for a relief break on a stormy night but works on a rainy afternoon .
DR rain curtain

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Tent Tech on 04/21/2014 17:45:29 MDT Print View

Somehow, this just looks like it would be a "dripless" entry. I must be missing something...

Edited by Hitech on 04/21/2014 17:46:44 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tent Tech on 04/21/2014 20:20:21 MDT Print View

The design has changed a bit since the original.
As it is now it is better protected than some.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Tent Tech on 04/21/2014 21:27:41 MDT Print View

"Somehow, this just looks like it would be a "dripless" entry. I must be missing something..."

That crossbar at the top is significantly narrower than the floor, so when the door's open, vertical rain will fall on the floor. Here's the picture from the Tarptent website:

Tarptent Rainbow dimensions

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Tent Tech on 04/22/2014 09:57:55 MDT Print View

"A Double Moment ?"

Not exactly. The Rainbow is technically a two person tent. I want the same in a Moment. But, Double Moment is fine by me! ;) Come on Franco, you've got some pull, have Henry build me one! ;)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
AHA! on 04/22/2014 14:05:16 MDT Print View

Now that's what I'm talking about in "improving" the genre. a "Double Moment".

The Scarp 2 is close to what you want but has those rectangular ends. Hmmm, a narrower Scarp 2 with larger triangular ends?? Or hoop ends?

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Scarp 2 on 04/22/2014 16:10:46 MDT Print View

The Scarp 2 is too big and too heavy. It's GREAT for a three person tent, but I don't need anywhere near that much for just my wife and me. I just need to 20" pads to fit side by side, like the Rainbow does. But I like (but don't require) having a dripless entry and I love the ease of setup on the Moment. I just want a Double Moment as in just enough room for two 20" pads, not Double as in Double Rainbow (again, I don't need that much room).

Added: And for a 3 person tent I think I'd rather have the Cloudburst 3. But...

Edited by Hitech on 04/22/2014 16:16:58 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tent Tech on 04/22/2014 17:29:26 MDT Print View

OK Larry, consider it done.

Update on the Double Moment.
Henry was up all night making one so that he can have it ready for Show and Tell at Long Acronym (ADZPCKO)
Be there !!!!

Edited by Franco on 04/22/2014 19:42:05 MDT.

Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: Tent Tech on 04/22/2014 20:14:44 MDT Print View

You mean something like this?

Double Moment

We'll have one at ADZPCTKO (Lake Morena, CA) this weekend.


Edited by 07100 on 04/22/2014 20:15:45 MDT.

Myles Booth
(mbooth0007) - F
double moment on 04/22/2014 20:20:59 MDT Print View

That looks great!

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Re: Tent Tech on 04/22/2014 20:31:42 MDT Print View

Now we are talking!


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Tent Tech on 04/22/2014 20:46:35 MDT Print View

Pyramid tents are good. They're somewhat generic. At least half dozen people make them. Or Trailstar is slight variation.

About as light as anything

Easy to set up - stake 4 corners, put up center pole, I put in one stake at door

Good ventilation if you leave the door open. You most need this when it's still and cold, when you can leave door open. If it's windy you want door closed, but then condensation isn't so bad. Any condensation flows down inside walls which are steep.

Fairly good in the wind because the walls are sloped in, peak is narrow, where the strongest wind is.

Gives you way more headroom which is good if you have to exist inside during rainy period.

Biggest problem is if you want to sleep next to someone, there's a pole between you.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Tent Tech on 04/22/2014 21:10:25 MDT Print View

"Now we are talking!