Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW

Two-person bomber tent constructed of eVENT - waterproof, very breathable, and now rarely available in tents.

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by Doug Johnson | 2005-08-02 03:00:00-06

Overview

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 1
The Nemo Tenshi is a super-breathable and well ventilated bomber tent.

The Nemo Tenshi tent does the best job of avoiding condensation of any tent I've used. With waterproof and highly breathable eVENT fabric (much more breathable than Gore-Tex or other laminate fabrics), three vents, and a rear window with bug screen, I experienced extremely minimal, to no, condensation in winter conditions. A removable "condensation curtain" helps further by limiting all condensation to a small area and directing it to a vent. A retractable awning also allows you to leave the door partially unzipped for extra ventilation and effectively protects your gear when entering the tent. At 45 inches tall (114 cm), the Tenshi allows for significant airflow and usable living space.

All of these extras come at the price of weight. Although the Nemo Tenshi tent is only 1 inch wider and 4 inches longer than the discontinued Integral Designs eVENT MK1Lite, it weighs over 2 pounds more. Further, it is taller than several comparable tents, making its side walls steeper and more susceptible to deflection during high winds. That said, the Nemo Tenshi survived being pitched on a ridge top with wind gusts over 70 mph - where I was unable to walk without being blown over - with only minimal damage. Pressure vents in the awning allowed it to remain open all night without damage, proving that it's tough enough for a mountaineering tent. This is a versatile tent that can take serious weather.

Note: General Electric purchased eVENT and now restricts its use in tents due to flammability considerations. Integral Designs and other manufacturers no longer use eVENT in their tents. The Nemo Equipment Tenshi tent is among a rare few tents that are still constructed of eVENT.

In Brief

  • Waterproof and highly breathable eVENT fabric
  • Three vents, a rear window, and a door with retractable awning allow excellent ventilation
  • Innovative "condensation curtain" focuses condensation in a small area and directs it toward the front vent, and is removable
  • The retractable awning can be easily stowed and pressure vents release air gusts
  • At around 5.5 pounds, the Tenshi isn't the lightest single wall tent, but extra features add to its versatility
  • Usable space is improved by extra height (3 to 6 inches taller than some comparable tents) and steep side walls, at the cost of increased side deflection in high winds
  • Optional insulated floor is bulky and heavy (2 lb 13.9 oz), but may be useful to some

Specifications

• Tent Type

Single wall with floor

• Fabric Description

Shell: eVENT fabric; vents and awning: Dimension-Polyant VX02; floor: PU coated 70D Nylon

• Pole Material

DAC Featherlite Aluminum poles (tent was tested with a heavier pre-production pole set)

• Weight Full Package
As supplied with stuff sacks, stakes, guylines, etc.

Backpacking Light scaleManufacturer claim
5 lb 15.5 oz (2.71 kg)*4 lb 14.4 oz (2.22 kg)

• Weight Minimum Package
Includes tent body and fly, minimum necessary stakes and guylines, no stuff sacks or extra hardware

Backpacking Light minimumManufacturer supplied minimum
Same as Manufacturer Minimum but with:
0.25 oz (7 g) titanium stakes, 0.004 oz/ft (0.37 g/m) Aircore Pro Dyneema guylines

5 stakes, 12 ft (3.7 m) guyline
5 stakes, 12 ft (3.7 m) guyline
5 lb 6.4 oz (2.45 kg)*5 lb 8.5 oz (2.51 kg)*
*Note: tent was tested with a heavier pre-production pole set

• Weight of Accessories

Condensation curtain (included)Insulated floor (optional)
3.9 oz (0.11 kg) 2 lb 13.9 oz (1.30 kg)

• Floor/ Vestibule Area

Floor area Vestibule area
28 ft2 (2.6 m2) n/a

• Floor Area/Backpacking Light Minimum Weight Ratio

0.35 ft2/oz

• Dimensions

inchescentimeters
Width47119
Length86218.5
Height45114

• Model Year

2005

• MSRP

$675.00 USD, (optional insulated floor $89 USD)

Usable Features / Ease of Use

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 2
The retractable awning uses one pole and is easily stowed.

Setting up the Tenshi is very easy. Like other single wall wedge designs, the poles are set up outside the tent, slipped inside, and flexed into their corner spots. Pole tips are placed into the corner grommets. Velcro tabs are then attached to fix the poles in place. A minimum of five stakes is recommended to achieve the maximum stability and floor space (one at each corner and two for the side guy outs). When conditions were very windy, I was able to set up the tent from inside. However, the Velcro tabs are rather narrow, making them more difficult to attach than on similar tents.

The tent material is eVENT, a fully waterproof material that is far more breathable than comparable Gore-Tex or other laminate fabrics. The Nemo Tenshi is among a rare few tents that are still constructed of eVENT. Dimension-Polyant VX02 fabric is used for increased strength in the canopy and external vent flaps; I have seen this fabric used in several products through the years and it has worked very well.

A unique feature of the Tenshi is the retractable awning. My test sample awning sets up with one pole that is a very tight fit and takes a great deal of shoving to slide into the Velcro attachment. I've been assured that this difficulty has been addressed in the production models. The awning features pressure vents that are designed to release pressure during high winds. I found these vents to be extremely effective during a night of high winds when I had the awning deployed. Further, the guy out on the end of the awning added additional stability at the front of the tent.

A rear window is lined with bug mesh and provides cross ventilation and an extra look at the surroundings. This can also be used as a second door in an emergency but isn't designed to be used regularly. I found it be unneeded in most situations but in warm weather, the cross ventilation was a nice change from most bomber tents, which tend to be pretty stuffy in these conditions.

An optional closed-cell EVA foam floor mates with the Tenshi floor, creating a fully insulated base. The floor weighs 2 pounds 13.9 ounces and costs an additional $89. It is extremely bulky and I never used it in the field, although it may be a useful option for some people.

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 3
A rear window with bug netting provides cross ventilation and additional views.

Weight / Sizing

All of the extra features of the Nemo Tenshi are nice but they come at the price of additional weight. These extras, such as the rear window, three top vents, awning, additional height, and condensation curtain (3.9 oz extra), contribute quite a bit of the 5.5 pound weight of the Tenshi. I would like to see a pared-down version of the tent available.

Compared to the other bomber tents in our review suite, the Nemo Tenshi floor area to weight ratio of 0.35 ft2/oz is close to the Mountain Hardware EV2 (0.36), and lower than the Crux X2 Storm (0.44) but these other tents are much more stable three and four pole designs. The Outdoor Designs Summit Extreme, with an area to weight ratio of 0.52 ft2/oz, has nearly one and a half times the area per ounce, but sacrifices living space. Still, the Tenshi could easily lose weight and retain its size.

Usable Space

When compared to similar tents, the Nemo Tenshi has a taller ceiling height:

  • 45 inches: Nemo Tenshi
  • 42 inches: Bibler I Tent
  • 41 inches: Outdoor Designs Summit Raider
  • 39 inches: Integral Designs MK1 XL

This extra height increases the steepness of the walls and the usable space of the tent. This Nemo Tenshi is comfortable for two people to sleep or sit up in, although there isn't much room left over for gear.

Unlike the Bibler I Tent or Integral Designs MK1 XL, there is no optional full vestibule for the Nemo Tenshi.

Wind Stability

Camped on a ridge in the North Cascades last winter, I had this tent in the most serious winds I've ever experienced. Wind gusts that were approximately 70 mph made it impossible to move around camp without crawling. I used all seven of the Tenshi guylines and laid in the darkness, hoping that the tent wouldn't blow off the mountain or disintegrate. It didn't, and I was happy to wake up in safety. The Nemo Tenshi can survive serious winds and proved that it is a true bomber tent.

However, these high winds also revealed some problems in the design. While the steep sidewalls increased usable space, they also increased side deflection. Although the side guy outs did a good job of counteracting this, they tensioned the upper portion of the wall much more than the lower section, causing the lower sidewalls to flap in even moderate gusts. Further, having the upper portion of the tent more rigid made the tent unable to "spill" side gusts like some other two-pole tents that lean over slightly to release pressure. The consequence was extra stress on the seams, resulting in several internal Velcro pole attachments coming loose through the night and one ripping free of the tent wall (see Durability below).

Storm Protection

The steep sidewalls helped the Nemo Tenshi to effectively shed snow and rain. During heavy snowfall, keeping the upper vents closed was important because they acted to flatten the roof and cause snow to pile up.

In heavy Washington rains, the Tenshi shed water easily and the eVENT fabric proved to be completely waterproof. When sitting out bad weather, the sufficient usable space and yellow walls made things a bit more comfortable and cheery. We often had to drag our gear inside the tent - a vestibule would be a really nice option to keep wet gear outside the living area.

Ventilation / Condensation Resistance

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 4
Three large vents include support rods, Velcro closures, and can be opened and closed from inside the tent through zippered access slots.

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 5
The condensation curtain keeps any condensation in a small area, directing it to a front vent. The curtain drapes loosely across the body and is easily removable with Velcro attachments.

There is no such thing as a 100% condensation-free fabric. Given subzero conditions, sealed vents, and high levels of humidity and warmth inside a tent, condensation can occur with any fabric. The beauty of eVENT, though, is that the range of conditions in which condensation will not occur (or will be minimal) is much broader than Tegral-Tex (Integral Designs), Todd-Tex (Bibler), Epic (Black Diamond), and even Gore-Tex (Outdoor Designs). With all the vents sealed in conditions well below freezing, the condensation I experienced was extremely minimal. With the three vents open or the door or rear window cracked, I never experienced any condensation at all. I was stunned by the performance of the eVENT fabric.

The Tenshi has three vents that close with Velcro and prop open with small support rods. The side vents have small internal zippers that allow you to reach outside to adjust the vents without leaving the tent. With a bit of a stretch, I could also reach the front vent. This feature was very useful during storm conditions, especially because the awning prevented reaching out the door.

If that wasn't enough, the Nemo Tenshi also includes a removable "condensation curtain." This curtain attaches to the sidewalls with Velcro strips and drapes across the chests of the sleepers, trapping moisture in a small portion of the tent and directing it toward an upper vent. When used with the door cracked under the protective awning, specific high/low venting can be achieved. This is a brilliant design that would be well worth the extra 3.9 ounces in subzero conditions. This is a well thought-out innovation that would be especially effective in tents made of less breathable fabrics. However, with the excellent breathability and ventilation of the Tenshi, I found it to be overkill in most situations.

Insect Protection

It's rare that a mountaineering tent would be found in bug-infested areas below the treeline. However, living with the Tenshi in these situations would be quite comfortable. It has a large door, rear window, and three vents that are all backed with mosquito netting. As temperatures rise, the eVENT fabric would also help to keep things comfortable. This is a very versatile bomber tent.

Durability

(Before commenting on durability, it is important to note that the tent tested was a pre-production model and came with a detailed outline of problems already addressed before the first production run. Flaws found that were addressed in this outline have been indicated.)

During the night of high winds described in the Wind Stability section, the poles were stressed out of the internal Velcro attachments on several occasions. During one of these events, the attachment partially tore from the inner tent wall. Improvements in internal welding are intended to address this problem in production runs.

Another potential durability issue was corner pockets that came loose from the sidewalls. With the resulting gaps, a pole could easily slide behind the pocket and come against the weaker eVENT fabric. Nemo is sewing these corners in production runs to address this possibility.

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 6
Problems with internal welding have been addressed in production runs.

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 7
Corner pockets will be sewn in production runs.

Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW - 8
Using shorter, or elastic, cord would be more secure for roll-up doors.

The only other flaw I found in the tent was door tie-up cords that were too long. Shorter cords or those made of elastic would keep rolled doors and windows closed more securely.

Value

At $675, the Nemo Tenshi is in the upper end of high-end bomber tents but is also made of more expensive (and rare for tents) eVENT fabric. (In fact, the only other eVENT tent that is currently on the market is the Exped Polaris, which retails for $619.) Considering the versatility and amazing condensation-resistance of the Tenshi, the price is reasonable.

However, when you consider that for less money you can pick up a Bibler I Tent or an Integral Designs MK1 XL with the optional vestibule, the decision becomes less obvious. If you're looking for the ultimate in fabrics, though, you'll be hard pressed to beat eVENT, and in today's market, that leaves few options. With the Nemo Tenshi, you'll have a versatile design that you'll enjoy for years to come.

Recommendations for Improvement

The Nemo Tenshi is a well thought-out design with many innovative features. It is well-built and will last many seasons of winter and mountaineering use. However, there are some changes that could improve this design:

  • I'd like to see a pared-down version without the rear window, canopy, condensation curtain, vent zippers, and front vent. This would not only cut weight, but costs as well, and most of the time I wouldn't miss the extras.
  • An optional vestibule would increase overall usable space by providing a place to put gear and to cook. This would improve the tent's usability in the winter.
  • The cords for door closures need to be shorter or made of different materials.
  • Lowering the ceiling height a few inches would improve wind stability with a minimal loss of usable space.
  • Lower the side guy outs a few inches. This would put more even tension on the sides of the tent and would reduce flapping and stress.
  • Increase the length of the internal Velcro pole attachments so they would take more force to come loose during high winds.


Citation

"Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW," by Doug Johnson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/nemo_tenshi_tent_review.html, 2005-08-02 03:00:00-06.

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Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions?


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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 08/04/2005 00:09:35 MDT Print View

Think: steady winds in excess of 30 mph, lots of snow or sideways blowing rain, above treeline or otherwise exposed. Do you reeeeeally need a Bomber Tent? Whether your answer is yes or no, what's your response to proposing a camping kit - be it tent, tarp, or other - for ultra-foul conditions? Companion forum thread to the Bomber Tents Review.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 08/04/2005 02:07:35 MDT Print View

No experience in this area. Let me put my ignorance of these matters on display with the following question.

Can an ID eVENT Unishelter (31oz) be used in these conditions? Why, or Why not? I like this shelter for winter in New England. Haven't used it yet on any exposed eastern mtn. tops (merely "hills"/foothills to you out west - though winds/weather on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire is supposed to rival the tallest peaks of the Himalayas).

I'm thinking low profile to wind. The bivy can be staked down with several stakes so it doesn't blow away in the high wind. Great WPB eVENT fabric to help minimize the condensation possible due to the conditions (precip+no wind) & the small internal air volume, and to keep the moisture outside, ...outside. Rigid, bent, sectioned-hooped Pole (not merely a bendable wire) in head area to keep snow from pressing the bivy against one's face. However, must keep the one stake req'd for longitudinal pole support staked well in the high winds.

However, do I really want 2' to 4' of overnight snowfall [can y'all out West in the Rockies get 6' overnight???] on top of me by morning? Will the fabric in the body section be flapping too much, unless it's volume is filled with a cold weather bag? [I can sleep through most anything, esp. if I'm "whipped" from a day of hard trekking. So, guaranteed, I won't wake up periodically to clear snow off of the bivy. Oh...and any flapping won't wake me either.]

Now, I know that I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, so, what other points, pro or con, am I missing here?

If the eVENT 'Uni' is not appropriate for use in these conditions, what about the ID Sola (ok...difficult to get into) and/or MegaSola (a bit on the heavy side for what you get)? [too bad both of these can't be considered bivies, & then made of eVENT to save a bit of wt - prob a 6oz to 12oz "guesstimate", based upon a loose cp. b/t the Unishelter & the eVENT Unishelter.]

I'd be interested in knowing more. Anyone care to enlighten me on any/all of these questions/issues, please?

[Note: These questions are not intended to "question" the four choices in a recent BPL on-line Review Ariticle. They are just for my own information.]

Edited by pj on 08/04/2005 04:05:50 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Why no tunnels? on 08/04/2005 05:00:02 MDT Print View

I note all the tents reviewed are domes. Now domes are NOT as stable as tunnels under really bad weather, nor are they as weatherproof. Why are there no tunnels included? Does no-one in America make decent tunnels these days?

(See the top of http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/FAQ_Shelter.htm and the second row of http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/FAQ_Photos.htm for what a tunnel tent looks like.)

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 08/04/2005 09:57:34 MDT Print View

My short answer is no. I don't need bomber tent provided the ground isn't solid rock (e.g. I can drive stakes into the ground). I have been using a GG Spinshelter for around seven months. I have had a number of trips which I was exposed to 30+ mph winds, sideblown wind. I was find. Of course there was some condensation that dripped on me, but it was very minor.

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Jim on 08/04/2005 13:04:14 MDT Print View

Have used a Golite Hex this past winter during some downright severe weather in NH Presidentials, Stood up fine to 35-50mph gusts and heavy snow fall, had a few stakes come undone during the night but was impressed by the overall perfomance of this lightweight tent.

Larry Smith
(7633) - F
Re: Jim on 08/04/2005 19:30:27 MDT Print View

What about Stephensons Warmlite. The original superlite gear. Had one of their tents for years. Bombproof, lighter than any of these reviewed, actually made in the USA. Easy to pitch. Cutting edge in the 1960s and I'd say it still is cutting edge.

Dan Healy
(electricpanda)

Locale: Queensland
Re: Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 08/04/2005 20:06:36 MDT Print View

I’m with Jim… we also use a Hex 3 in conjunction with BMW bivys for alpine/bad weather trips … the space is luxurious for cooking in. The headroom is truly magnificent – changing clothes is too easy and you don’t have the damp gear in the attic in your face.. The condensation that forms when it is pegged to the ground in bad weather is not really an issue because the thing is so big you do not get to touch the lower sides anyway. With the conical shape, it is amazing how much the wind is shed from any direction, though you do get a bit of blown rain spray through the vents at the top. Because the Hex is so big and requires 11 pegs for a good pitch, finding campsites is sometimes a juggle. The Hex is also versatile. We have used it in heavy constant rain in a tropical rainforest to cold windy sleet at 3000m in the French Alps - this thing rocks!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Warmlite on 08/04/2005 20:06:47 MDT Print View

can't really speak for BPL, but three points worth considering.

1) if i understood the article correctly, there might be at least one more article (and reviews) in the "series" (not sure if this referred to the current "series" of four shelters, or if to a "series"of articles on this subject). Since this one dealt with some freestanding shelters, perhaps another article will cover some non-freestanding ones?

2) often a mfr must submit a sample to be reviewed - and then, not request that it is returned & hold the reviewers responsible for any possible damage to the product. not sure if/how this applies to BPL review policies in this case.

3) the article mentioned "new" shelters. some popular shelters wouldn't qualify, solely on this basis.

Dan Healy
(electricpanda)

Locale: Queensland
Re: Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 08/04/2005 20:09:04 MDT Print View

Paul re the ID Unishelter, from experience, 8inches of snow on an unsupported bivy end is very cold! (how about a 3 pole bivy like the Bibler Tripod?) and I certainly wouldn’t want to spend a night and day in one when the weather turns really bad… like the folks in Patagonia had to…

Dan Healy
(electricpanda)

Locale: Queensland
re Why no tunnels? on 08/04/2005 20:39:55 MDT Print View

Roger, as a fellow Aussie I have read your first rate articles. I also own a tunnel tent – the excellent Wilderness Equipment First Arrow – but I would certainly like to see any data you have that supports the idea that the large amounts of unsupported fabric on a tunnel tent makes them more stable/weather proof as opposed to good 4 pole design like the Bibler Fitzroy. Or are you comparing them to the cheaper types that really are more about being free standing rather than weather resistant? One of the advantages of tents like the WE or Macpac range is the quality of the fabric and design – they punch above their weight. But all things being equal, a good interlocking pole design with less unsupported fabric at the same tension must surely be stronger.
I know I only got my engineering degree from Melbourne (and it is not civil or mechanical!) and you Sydney chaps are sometimes more informed ;) but if you have any data on this would you mind sharing!

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
some explanations on 08/05/2005 00:12:58 MDT Print View

Hello everyone- I'm Doug Johnson and I put this release together. I'd be happy to explain a few things that you've found here:

1) You aren't seeing bivy shelters because we tried to focus on 2-person tents that could handle the worst conditions- high winds, sustained heavy snow loads, and the possible need to cook and live inside for extended. However, there are certainly bivies and solo shelters that could survive serious winter conditions.

2) I hear you on the missing Stephenson's tents Larry- I've been trying to get one of those to review for years! Not all companies participate. Then again, tunnel tents just won't stand up to heavy snow loads like a tent with interlocked poles. I love my Hilleberg tunnel tent but its flat roofline means that it won't shed snow like a 2, 3, or 4 pole interlocked design.

3) Like Paul said, you will also notice many missing ultralight bomber tents from this release such as the single wall Integral Designs and Bibler tents. For this release, we chose to focus on a smaller amount of great new designs. Of course, that doesn't discount other excellent designs on the market.

4) Re: the Hex. Yes- great tent. I've spent several nights in a similar BD Mega Light and it's been great. Then again, there are few who would pitch one of these on top of Rainier or high in the Himalayas. That's more of the focus of this release- tents that can survive the absolute worst. For a review of the Hex and other floorless shelters that are great for most winter conditions, check this out:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/00174.html
The MSR Twin Peaks fits this too and its review can be found here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/msr_twin_peaks_shelter_review.html

Thanks everyone- good questions!
Doug Johnson
Shelter Systems Editor

Edited by djohnson on 08/05/2005 00:16:26 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
to Dan, re: bivy response on 08/05/2005 03:28:47 MDT Print View

Thanks for responding. Good info. Appreciate it.

Bibler Tripod - don't know why I didn't consider it.

Ingress/egress much easier than Sola & somewhat lighter too. Much lighter than MegaSola - though smaller.

thanks again.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re tunnels, and strength on 08/08/2005 22:43:21 MDT Print View

Dan
The WE 1st and 2nd Arrow tents are not bad, as long as you get the wind drection right. The classic tunnel for extreme conditions is imho the (old) Macpac Olympus. I know the Olympus has been tested to over 100 kph many years ago. It has also been used around the world under all sorts of extreme conditions.
Why is a tunnel more stable than a dome? Because the poles in a tunnel are much shorter than in a dome. The shorter the pole, the stronger it is.
Also, many domes (no, not all) have the poles separate from the fly. You just throw the fly over the top.This means the poles can move relative to the fly, go into an S-bend, and the tent can collapse. In a proper tunnel tent the poles are threaded INTO the fly. They canNOT twist. Sure, some may say that makes such a tunnel a bit harder to pitch than a pop-up dome. True - but I am far more concerned with spending a comfortable confident night than with a few minutes of 'convenience'.
The reason dome makers stress the 'crossed poles' is because poles which are not anchored togather at the top really are bendy and can collapse.
I don't agree that a tunnel has long sections of unsupported fabric: far from it. I do agree that some tunnels have an unfortunate flat top: that's because they are trying to use a straight pole rather than put a bend at the top. The bend makes the roof shed rain and snow far better.
I've made many versions of both designs, and used them under gale-force conditions. I trust my tunnels.
Cheers

Nikolas Andersen
(nsandersen) - MLife
Re: re Why no tunnels? on 08/09/2005 15:04:59 MDT Print View

Some veterans on the nice (but not ultralite) UK site http://www.outdoorsmagic.com claim that tunnels flex better than geodesic domes, giving way temporarily to the worst gusts and then flexing back up again when the wind settles down a bit. I am unfortunately not an engineer either, so wouldn't know how much merit that holds.

A really nice (but UK, admittedly) tent brand is Lightwave (http://www.lightwave.uk.com/) -eg. they have a 2-pole double-skin 1-person tunnel at 1.3kg. It does unfortunately have a flat top.

Their customer service has a very good reputation, it might be possible to persuade them to let this site test their tents.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Bivys and Cooking on 08/09/2005 19:57:39 MDT Print View

Paul, Ryan recently made a post on another bpl thread praising the ID Unishelter bivy. Check out
www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/991/index.html?mv_session_id=nrgjblym&mv_pc=198&skip_to_post=6071#6071

Though I've never tried it, it seems like with a few tricks, a hooped bivy might be a workable way to go ultralight in extreme conditions. Like Dan suggested, I guess you'd have to deal with snow accumulation somehow.

But, what I'm really wondering is, how do you melt snow or cook during a storm if your sole shelter is a bivy sack? Any of you mountaineering bivy users have any tips to share?

Edited by MikeMartin on 08/09/2005 21:18:52 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Bivys and Cooking on 08/09/2005 21:15:40 MDT Print View

Michael,

Many thanks for taking the time to reply. I haven't spent extended days out during the winter. I was just curious if my current overnight winter shelter would work for longer winter treks - even below treeline.

Snow is melted outside the bivy for drinking. Cooking is often not necessary as I often just eat GORP for several days + a multi-vitamin & mineral supplement.

Edited by pj on 08/13/2005 16:44:38 MDT.

John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 08/13/2005 16:24:02 MDT Print View

Having backpacked over 200 Munros in one of the worst summers on record (1986) as well as gaining experience in Iceland and New Zealand, I feel that this is a bit of a specialist subject. So the first thing to ask is what do you consider ultra-foul? I mean, if the wind is above 10 metres/second the midges won't be biting and rain always sounds worse on the flysheet than it really is. Modern waterproofs almost negate rain.

Today's 12 miler round Snaefell took place in windy but humid conditions. Humidity means sweat and a major challenge for clothing. Humidity also stops the ground from drying out, a major challenge for groundsheets. And if the wind drops on a humid day, the backpacker is in big trouble from biting insects. However, my nightmare walking condition is extreme heat. Ultralight is the only possible solution.

Edited by JNDavis on 08/13/2005 16:24:51 MDT.

John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 08/31/2005 08:19:39 MDT Print View

Tarps can be very comfortable in foul weather. Mine has beaks. I use one to block off the windward end and pitch the other end of the tarp high, with the beak horizontal, so that I can sit and drink tea as the rain is hurled past. The only real ultralight compromise is using a bigger tarp than the one Carol used in her Uintas trip.

In medium wind strengths my tarp flaps quite badly, far worse than a hooped tent, but there is the certain knowledge that an increase in wind strength would only pull pegs. The tarp and trekking poles are not going to break. Backpackers in latest generation tents don't have that comfort. Hoops definitely do break (although I admit that the BBC said wind speeds had reached 90 mph when my Tadpole's front hoop broke).

John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Ultralight in Ultra-Foul Conditions? on 09/06/2005 13:09:25 MDT Print View

Hmmm, I seem to be the only person enjoying this thread, but walking through the storm has some sort of appeal - don't want to speculate what - so here goes for another post.

We know what ultralight is because Ryan has given us a definition, but what is ultra-foul?

In the 1986 walk mentioned elsewhere I was wet to the skin on 23 consecutive days, including the day of my final Munro in round one. But, I was used to it and never felt uncomfortable till the water reached my groin. That is most definitely not my attitude today, so one of the aspects of ultra-foul lies in recent experience.

Another aspect of ultra-foul concerns the kit selected. I cannot help feeling that some of Ryan's gear choices for his Lost Coast trip meant that he experienced more discomfort than he would have with slightly heavier kit. Nokian Trimmis, waterproof trousers and a Cave 1 would not have made the load unbearable and would have kept him both warmer and drier. (Ryan seemed to feel fairly happy with his kit in his summary.)

So if attitude and gear selection influence our definition of ultra-foul, perhaps ultra-foul just means we've gone too far with the kit we've got. That can happen with any approach to backpacking, not just ultralight.

Do we experience more ultra-foul days with ultralight kit? Perhaps, but ultralight kit also makes it easier to clear out to a more sheltered area.

T. Sedlak
(busotti) - F
Hilleberg Unna on 04/26/2006 16:47:33 MDT Print View

Hilleberg makes a number of non-tunnel tents.

Unna specs: $400
4 lbs (64 oz) with 27 sq. ft. area,
40 inches tall, 2 interlocking poles. Sized on the threshold for 1-2 persons.

Edited by busotti on 06/22/2007 09:41:02 MDT.