Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review

At 25.2 ounces for the Refuge and 15.8 ounces for the "world's lightest two-man" Refuge X, Six Moon Designs now has two of the lightest floored single-wall shelters on the market (and the only floored tent made of Cuben Fiber). Were the design compromises and added expense worth the weight savings?

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

When looking at the light weight, excellent usable space, and reasonable cost of $260, the Six Moon Designs Refuge is an outstanding tent and a good value. Despite the high cost of $400, the Refuge X weighs less than one pound, which is incredible for a spacious two-person shelter. However, it is difficult to get a taut ridgeline pitch with the Refuge X, and both tents suffer from poor wind stability, limiting their useful range. Further, the ground level mesh is a compromise that can limit ventilation and allows dirt and water to enter the tent more easily. That said, if you are willing to accept the limitations, there is no other shelter on the market that gives you better usable space for the weight than the Refuge and Refuge X.

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by Doug Johnson |

Introduction

The Six Moon Designs Refuge and Refuge X are the lightest two-person shelters by Six Moon Designs. The two tents are identical in size and design, with only minor differences in guyline and stake adjustments and a slight difference in vestibule coverage. The largest difference between these tents is in the tent body fabric - the $260 Refuge is made of silnylon and weighs just over 1.5 pounds, while the $400 Refuge X is made with a Cuben Fiber body and weighs under 1 pound.

Both single-wall tents offer excellent usable space and plenty of room for two large hikers. They use trekking poles or optional carbon fiber poles for support and have an integrated, non-bathtub floor.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 1
The Six Moon Designs Refuge X high in Washington's Cascades.

What's Good

  • Very lightweight for a two-person single-wall tent.
  • Refuge X is extremely lightweight, at under one pound.
  • Enough usable space for two to comfortably sit up or tall hikers to stretch out when laying down.
  • Excellent ventilation.
  • Uses trekking poles to save weight (or optional carbon fiber poles).
  • Quick and easy setup.
  • Usable vestibule with sufficient space for two lightweight packs.
  • Easy side entry.

What's Not So Good

  • No bathtub floor - less protection from dirt, splashing rain.
  • Mesh at stake points and perimeter is susceptible to damage.
  • Difficult to get a taut pitch on the Refuge X ridgeline.
  • Poor wind stability.
  • No interior storage pockets or hang loops.
  • Refuge X is very expensive, at $400.
  • Stakes are not included.

Specifications

  Year/Manufacturer/Model

2008 Six Moon Designs Refuge
2008 Six Moon Designs Refuge X

  Style

Three-season, single-wall, floored tent

  Fabrics

Refuge: Body and floor are 30d silicone nylon, interior mesh is 0.7 oz no-see-um netting
Refuge X: Body is CNK.8 0.75 oz Cuben Fiber, floor is 30d silicone nylon, interior mesh is 0.7 oz no-see-um nylon

  Poles and Stakes

Uses two to four trekking poles or two carbon poles (optional), stakes not included (optional)

  Dimensions

Floor area: length 90 in (229 cm), width 48 in (122 cm)
Overall area: length 108 in (274 cm), width 72 in (183 cm) peak height 45 in (114 cm)

  Packed Size

Refuge: 12.5 x 6 in (32 x 15 cm)
Refuge X: 12.5 x 5.5 in (32 x 14 cm);

  Total Weight
(includes tent, included guylines, stuff sack)

Refuge: 1 lb 9.7 oz (0.73 kg), manufacturer specification: 1 lb 11 oz (0.77 kg)
Refuge X: 1 lb (0.45 kg), manufacturer specification: 1 lb (0.45 kg)

  Trail Weight
(includes tent, guylines, excludes stuff sack and stakes)

Refuge: 1 lb 9.2 oz (0.71 kg)
Refuge X: 0 lb 15.8 oz (0.45 kg) (excludes compression stuff sack and stake sack)

  Protected Area

Floor area 30.0 ft2 (2.79 m2), vestibule area 6.0 ft2 (0.56 m2), total 36.0 ft2 (3.34 m2)

  Protected Area/Trail Weight Ratio

Refuge: 22.9 ft2/lb
Refuge X: 36.5 ft2/lb

  MSRP

Refuge: $260 USD
Refuge X: $400 USD

  Options

Stake set: 2.5 oz, $12
Tyvek footprint: 6.5 oz, $12
Carbon fiber tent pole: 1.8 oz, $25/each

Performance

The Six Moon Designs Refuge and Refuge X are nearly identical tents in design and features. Besides a few minor differences (explained below), the main difference between these tents is the fabric used in the tent body; the Refuge uses 30 denier silnylon while the Refuge X uses Cuben Fiber.

The Refuge tents have similarities to the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo, including side entry, trekking pole support, integrated floor with a perimeter mesh, high vents, and a spacious interior design. With floor dimensions of 90 by 48 inches, the Refuge is equal in length to the Lunar Duo but is 6 inches narrower. To save weight, the Refuge is also a simpler design, with less features (single door and vestibule, no interior pockets, no aluminum struts, no bathtub floor, etc.); the silnylon Refuge is over a pound lighter than the Lunar Duo at 1 pound, 9.2 ounces and the Cuben Refuge X, the lightest floored shelter on the market, at just 15.8 ounces.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 2
The Refuge (left) has a body made from silnylon while the Refuge X (right) is made of Cuben Fiber - all other differences between the tents are minor.

Fabric Note: Cuben Fiber (typically used for sailboat sails) is a laminate of Spectra fibers between two films of Mylar plastic, so it's not woven.

In comparing the Six Moon Designs Refuge and Refuge X, the largest difference is the fabric used in the tent body. The Refuge uses a 30 denier silnylon while the Refuge X uses a 0.75 ounce Cuben Fiber. The Cuben Fiber fabric drops the overall weight of the tent by 37% (25.2 ounces to 15.8 ounces) while increasing the cost by 53% ($260 to $400). However, there are other differences between these fabrics that make these two tents unique.

It is well known that silnylon is a fabric that can stretch to some degree. In the field, that means that if the ridgeline of the silnylon Refuge is not quite taut, tightening the guylines just a little bit more can stretch the fabric and achieve a taut pitch. The side guyouts on the silnylon tent also create a larger interior space because the fabric stretches to a greater degree. On the other hand, the silnylon tent can sag through the night, requiring occasional re-tensioning. I also found that the tent tended to ruffle in the wind more than the Cuben fiber version.

Cuben Fiber, on the other hand, has almost zero stretch. With the Refuge X, it was easier to achieve a taut pitch, and there was no detectable stretch to the fabric in cold or wet conditions. The side panels did not stretch as much as the silnylon Refuge, but once set, the side panels remained drum tight. On the other hand, the ability to stretch the ridgeline to make it taut is lost. In the case of the Refuge X, the way the beaks attached to the tent body didn't allow the ridgeline to become as taut as the silnylon Refuge, no matter how much I cranked on the guylines. While the rest of the Refuge X was tensioned like a drum, the ridgeline would move around in moderate winds, decreasing the overall wind stability of the tent and undoing some of the extra stability that came from the low-stretch fabric. In this case, a ridgeline/vent design that worked fine in one material (silnylon) had a drawback in another material (Cuben Fiber).

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 3
The Refuge X (foreground) sets up very taut due to its low-stretch Cuben Fiber body with the exception of a ridgeline that is difficult to properly tension.

In the months that I reviewed the two Refuge tents, I had them out in conditions ranging from high desert to lowland northwest rain forests to high subalpine camps in the Cascades. Overall, I was impressed with both tents' storm-worthiness, easily surviving extended downpours. In moderate winds, with all of the guylines in use, the tents had reasonable wind stability, but did experience some deflection and flapping (more than the comparable but heavier Tarptent Squall, for example). I wouldn't recommend either of these tents for very windy conditions.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 4
It is impossible to achieve a taut ridgeline on the Refuge X with the stock pole placement in the beak (left) but a taut ridgeline is possible when the pole is attached to the tent body (right).

In analyzing the ridgeline of the Refuge X and how I could never get the tension I was looking for, I decided to take a closer look at how the poles attached to the beak. Having the attachment point on the end of the beak means that the non-stretch Cuben fabric must be aligned perfectly to have a taut ridgeline - even a small error can put less tension on the ridgeline than on the tent body. To find a possible solution, I put the grip end of the trekking pole against the seam of the ridgeline and beak and found that greater tension was much easier to achieve. Although the current design has adequate ridgeline tension, moving the trekking pole attachment and redesigning the beak would increase the wind stability of this tent.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 5
The Refuge tents have one large mesh wall for good views and a single side-entry door.

While wind stability may not be the forte of the Refuge and Refuge X design, usable space most certainly is. There is an amazing amount of usable space in these tents, especially when the side guyouts are used. My wife and I shared the tent with our two-year-old son, Henry, on several occasions, and found the tents to be sufficient to fit the three of us (when Henry slept on the mesh at the end of the tent). When waiting out a storm, the adults had room to comfortably sit up while Henry walked inside the tent and climbed on us - four adults could sit up and play cards in a pinch. There is also excellent length for sleeping in the Refuge; at 6 feet 1 inch, I'm a pretty tall guy, but when I stretched out from end to end, I was unable to touch the walls of the tent. In maximizing usable space per ounce, Six Moon Designs has definitely hit the mark with the Refuge and Refuge X - these tents are much roomier inside than other tents in their class.

The entry and exit of the Refuge is through one reasonably-sized door. The vestibule unzips and clips to the sides with elastic clips. The mesh door also rolls up and shares the same clip as half of the vestibule door, adding to the thoughtful simplicity of the design. The large mesh wall on the front of the tent makes for great views during fair conditions.

Ventilation on the Refuge and Refuge X is excellent. Two large covered vents at the top of the tent, along with perimeter mesh and an all-mesh front wall, create a chimney effect and excellent airflow. I found the Refuge tents to have the least condensation of any lightweight single-wall shelters I've used. Even during calm, high humidity conditions (a single-wall tent's greatest enemy), the Refuge tents had very moderate condensation that was easily wiped away. I was very impressed by these tents' condensation resistance.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 6
The integrated floor has a non-bathtub design. While it raises off the ground, it is susceptible to dirt and water entering the tent.

The Refuge tents do not have a bathtub floor. A bathtub floor is a typical tent feature for many reasons - it keeps water out of the tent, offers increased splash protection when combined with mesh walls, and keeps dirt off of the tent floor. The Refuge tents work around this by having mesh floors that lift off the ground between 2 and 5 inches, depending on the length of stake out guylines. During field testing, I found that this design kept flowing water under the tent floor and provided sufficient ventilation. I also found that when adjusted correctly with longer corner guylines, the mesh rarely came into contact with the ground, keeping the mesh clean and mud-free.

That said, the seamless floor-to-mesh transition makes it very easy to slide or roll onto the mesh area, and on several occasions during testing, gear or a hiker's body slid into this area. When this occurs, gear or a sleeping bag can become wet very quickly and ventilation is decreased.

During dry conditions, the large mesh areas increase the potential floor space of the tent, but the thin mesh is much less durable than the silnylon floor, so this is not recommended.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 7
Detail of pole attachment of the Refuge (top left, bottom left) and Refuge X (top right, bottom right). Differences can be seen in the guyline adjustments (top) and less coverage seen on the Refuge X vestibule (bottom right).

The Refuge tent directions call specifically for a 45-inch (114-centimeter) trekking pole, and that's exactly what the tent needs to be set up as intended. The pole handle slips into a small pouch at the base of the tent (one in front and one in back) and attaches to a grommet at the top. This exact length creates the ideal tension, and a longer or shorter pole negatively affects the tent setup. This is very easy to achieve for those that use adjustable poles, but it can be a limiting factor for those that use fixed-length poles. I found that it was possible to use a longer trekking pole if I didn't use the handle pouch and used a small guyline and stake to extend the front attachment (this is also a trick to increase headroom). However, this creates the need for two additional stakes and guylines and adds a step in setting up the shelter.

The style of guyline adjustments at the front and rear beak are different between the Refuge and Refuge X tents. The silnylon Refuge has a nylon guyline with integrated plastic adjuster, while the Refuge X has a short section of webbing with an adjuster and lighter fixed-length guylines (included). The difference in usability is minimal, and I assume the change with the Refuge X was an attempt to shave some grams to hit the sixteen ounce weight goal.

Another difference between the two tents is the length of the vestibule wall. While the Refuge comes to nearly ground level, the Refuge X is about three inches higher above the ground. The difference in gear coverage or increased ventilation was very minimal.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 8
The silnylon Refuge has adjustable stake attachments (right). The non-sewn webbing is easily pulled out if you loosen it too much (left).

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 9
The Cuben Refuge X has simple, non-adjustable stake out points which can be extended with guylines for better ventilation (left) or staked to the ground during high winds or heavy rains (right).

The last difference between the two tents (besides fabric type, main guyline adjustment, and height of the vestibule wall) is the stake adjustments. The silnylon Refuge features adjustable stake attachments that make re-tensioning a breeze. (Keep in mind - the webbing straps are not sewn at the end, making it easy for them to slide out of the plastic adjuster, so be careful not to lose them!) When setting up the tent, I recommend starting with the straps adjusted to their longest length and tightening them as the silnylon sags; this way you maximize the height of the perimeter mesh off the ground.

The Refuge X has simple corner loops that require separate guylines (included with the tent) with no adjustor - presumably to cut a bit more weight. This requires repositioning the stake to change tension, rather than using a simple adjustment as in the silnylon Refuge. Again, using a longer guyline is preferable to keep the mesh off the ground.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 10
Both Refuge tents have YKK zippers with Velcro closures (Refuge X shown).

Both tents feature diminutive YKK zippers that performed flawlessly during testing. Storm flaps cover the zipper and a Velcro tab keeps the rain flap closed and takes tension off of the zipper.

The vestibule measures approximately six square feet, which is sufficient for two ultralight packs, shoes, and a few other items.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 11
There is plenty of room for two ultralight packs in the small vestibule (image taken in Arizona's Aravaipa Canyon).

While some may question the durability of the extremely lightweight Cuben Fiber used in the Refuge X, I found this to be an excellent material for use in a tent body. Cuben Fiber is waterproof and extremely strong and stretch resistant - its weakness is in puncture and abrasion resistance. Six Moon Designs was intentional in using this as a fabric in the tent body but sticking to 30 denier silnylon for the tent floor, a combination that plays to the strengths of the two different materials. Still, if durability is a concern, you may want to go with the silnylon Refuge.

A couple of durability concerns did come up with the Refuge tents. First, mesh is used at the base of the corner stake out positions. When adjusted too low, the mesh comes in contact with the ground, where dirt can get into the material. In one corner, the abrasion caused a small hole. I would recommend additional reinforcement in these corners.

I have a similar concern for the entire mesh perimeter - if the tent is staked too low, the fragile mesh comes in contact with the ground, causing a potential durability concern. While proper pitching with long corner guylines can alleviate this problem, rolling onto the mesh also has the potential to cause damage.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 12
The mesh used in the tent corners is susceptible to abrasion and damage.

Cuben Fiber requires additional reinforcement at seams that are under tension. On the Refuge X this only occurs at the junction between the tent body and the beak, and it's reinforced with seam tape. After several months of use, the seam tape started to peel up at the edges. While I don't believe that this will peel all the way off or lead to a seam failure, this is a spot that a Refuge X user will want to check periodically.

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review - 13
Seam tape on the Refuge X peeled up slightly after heavy use.

At $260, the Refuge tent is reasonably priced and offers excellent usable space, effective ventilation, good views, and a functional vestibule - all for just over 1.5 pounds. At $400, the Refuge X is a very expensive tent. However, it features low-stretch and very strong Cuben Fiber material and a weight of under one pound - a first for a two-person floored shelter. Depending on your priorities, both Refuge tents offer a good value.

What's Unique

The silnylon Six Moon Designs Refuge tent is a reasonably priced, two-person shelter that has incredible usable space for a weight of just 1.5 pounds. Released alone, the Refuge tent would be a welcome entry to the market.

As far as uniqueness, however, the Refuge X steals the show. It is the first Cuben Fiber, two-person tent on the market and is currently the lightest two-person floored tent, at just under one pound. It's not just an experiment in light weight, though - after several months on the trail, the Refuge X has proven its worth as a shelter that is both usable and durable.

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Consider moving the pole attachment to the tent body and redesigning the beak for greater ridgeline tension.
  • Reinforce the mesh under the corner stake out points.
  • Consider using a bathtub floor or attaching the perimeter mesh further up the side of the tent walls to get them above the ground.


Citation

"Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review," by Doug Johnson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/sixmoon_refuge_refugex.html, 2008-10-14 00:05:00-06.

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Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/14/2008 16:09:35 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/14/2008 21:01:48 MDT Print View

I want the 'X' version so badly, but they are sold out :(

I'll let Ron give specifics, but when I asked them to be put on the waiting list, I received a reply from SMD stating that the Refuge X will be going through some revisions before being re-released, and it will be available late winter.

15.8 oz is just crazy for a 2 person shelter like this.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/14/2008 22:18:09 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/29/2013 14:46:36 MST.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Refuge X review -- I'm confused about the sentence ... on 10/14/2008 22:34:51 MDT Print View

You wrote "To find a possible solution, I put the grip end of the trekking pole against the seam of the ridgeline and beak and found that greater tension was much easier to achieve."

Is the Ridgeline the line at the top of the tent, down the length? This means then, as I read it, that you had the hiking pole righted up, with the pointed end on the ground then. But the photos below this sentence shows the opposite. Can you help unconfuse me? Thanks.

ps - in the field, if you saw the wear in the mesh at the corner like you photographed, how would you field-repair that? Just curious. How would you reinforce/repair it at home then? Have you done such and can you present a photo of that? Thanks again!

Roleigh

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Refuge X review -- I'm confused about the sentence ... on 10/14/2008 23:02:29 MDT Print View

hi everyone,

I think the image near that statement best shows things in regards to my ridgeline comment. Yes, the pole was flipped with the tip down and the grip placed at the ridge/beak junction. This eliminates the beaks from the pitch which makes a taut pitch easier to achieve. I hope this clears things up a bit.

I did not attempt a repair because I saw it unnecessary. I suppose I'd use duct tape or something similar in the field. But I'd love to hear someone else's idea should this become a larger issue.

I agree that the bathtub floor is not a necessity. However, a bathtub floor does have some advantages and the ground-level mesh does pose some issues that needed to be addressed.

Last, I can't wait to hear about future improvements on this design!

Best, Doug

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/14/2008 23:21:24 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/29/2013 17:50:27 MST.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Taking up the stretch on 10/15/2008 07:34:51 MDT Print View

You can achieve taut stability thru the rain/dew stretch of silnyl by using Self Tensioning Lines.... Might be a nice addition.... Pair of JRB STL for example is 22 grams and that is with 9.5 ft of length...If shortened to about 5 ft they would come in at about 8 grams each or 16 grams for the pair.

Remember that I'm biased ... But fact is, these are very popular with hammock campers or their tarps.

Pan

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/15/2008 13:08:46 MDT Print View

I have since added my own bathtub floor to my Refuge-X. As noted in one trial where it was left pitched in heavy rain, there is a tendency for the water to "wick" underneath the edges and drip down the mesh onto the floor. It is also difficult NOT to roll over onto the side mesh perimeter when there are two people side-by-side. I made the bathtub floor "floating" so that it can be rolled back in fine weather.

As for the ridgeline, I came to the same conclusion as Doug. My solution was to sew a strip of gossgrain running from the edge of the ridgeline to the pole grommet. I made these two strips slightly shorter than the actual lenngth of the vent, so that when you tighten the pole guylines, the force is applied directly to the ridgeline via the grossgrain. Hope that makes sense.

I am also contemplating moving the mesh perimeter to prevent it from touching the ground (ala Lunar solo). This would decrease the chance for abrasion and stop the rain wicking under, but at the cost of some currently nice useable real estate. I think the mesh perimeter is part of what makes this tent feel so spacious (it's somewhere to put the dog and packs).

Finally (photos to follow), I have rigged up an MLD cuben poncho/tarp as an awesome rain porch over the door of the Refuge. This turns a refuge into a mansion!! 20 oz total, including rain porch, bathtub floor and extra stakes. Not bad for two people...

Edited by retropump on 10/15/2008 13:13:55 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Allison's Refuge on 10/15/2008 13:25:45 MDT Print View

Allison, you're going to also provide photos and explain how you gave the Refuge a bathtub floor too, I hope. How much weight difference was involved? When you mentioned the cuben fiber poncho plus bathtub floor only added 4.x oz, that is impressive. I thought the poncho itself was 4 oz, right? (going by memory, here).

Thanks.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Allison's Refuge on 10/15/2008 13:55:49 MDT Print View

Roleigh, I'll put up some photos soon. My Refuge-X came in at under 16oz (435 grams), and my poncho was under 4oz too (106 grams, whatever that works out at). Maybe just lucky, but I think both manufacturers include the weight of the guylines in their quoted weights. The guyline that came with the poncho was much more heavy duty than I needed, so I swapped it for some not much thicker than dental floss!! I also didn't include the weight of the stuff sacks as I don't use them.

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Re: Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/20/2008 08:52:31 MDT Print View

...

Edited by svenklingemann on 10/20/2008 08:53:09 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/21/2008 21:00:25 MDT Print View

Doug you have the coolest avatar pic around!!!

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: Re: Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review on 10/21/2008 23:26:29 MDT Print View

Thanks Ken! That's my son Henry- he's been on 6 backpacking trips now, at the fine age of 2.5 years. :-)

Ultralight backpacking even made it possible for the two of us to do a father-son backpack- I carried the pack, all our gear, and my 30 pound kid...my pack was about 45 pounds total for a couple of days.

Best, Doug

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Cuben Tent on 11/16/2009 00:01:32 MST Print View

Amazing tent. Anyone have any comments after using this for the past year or two? Is it holding up? Delighting you?

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Cuben Tent on 11/16/2009 07:39:45 MST Print View

Unfortunately, Dan, your question may be to little avail. This tent is no longer in stock and inventory will not be refreshed and I'm not sure the 2nd generation will ever be made as a tent. When I contacted Ron Moak, his current thinking if my memory is right, is that the 2nd generation when it happens, with his then thinking (which of course can change) would be to make it into a floorless tent with people who want to get a tent, having to buy the netting/floor option similar to what he has for the gatewood cape (it probably would be wider). As I figure things, the 2nd generation will be closer to 1.25 to 1.5 pounds in that combo-arrangement.

I was all set to order a 2nd generation Refuge-X tent but not sure anymore. I currently have the Gossamer Gear Squall Classic and Tarptent Silnylon tents and will probably continue just to stay with them.

I do hope that somebody comes out with a 1 lb 2 person tent in 2010 using Cuben Fiber (and hopefully a colored Cuben Fiber--I was not crazy about the clear color).

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Refuge X on 03/19/2010 20:22:13 MDT Print View

I now own a Refuge X and I've got a few chances to use it so I have some comments to share.

1) I made a 1.3oz silnylon footprint for this tent which weighs 6oz total. I designed the footprint to be just a little smaller that the outer edges of the tent, so that even if you roll onto the mesh you won't contact the potentially wet ground. I also added a few extra tie outs to the footprint so that it can alternatively be used a tarp. This is real spouse pleaser. If we get to camp and it's pouring rain, I can set up the 104" x 48-60" tarp over our cooking/sitting area and then later I can slip it under the Refuge X when we go to bed.

2) Regarding setting up the tent and getting the ridgeline taut, the length of the trekking pole used is a significant factor in this. Due to the design of the tent, a shorter pole (~105cm) that is level with the top of the tent will give you a taut ridgeline, but the sides will sag a bit in the middle since the line of tension runs through the ridge rather than across the sides to the opposite corner. If you use a longer pole (115cm) you can get perfectly taut sides, but you'll have a lot of slop in the ridgeline. The ideal setup is to set your poles just long enough to get the sides taut. The ridgeline won't be drum tight but it will have the minimum possible slop while having tight sides. Tight sides is more important that a taut ridgeline because non-taut sides sag inward and significantly reduce the interior usable space. If you use the optional tie outs on the sides to increase the interior volume, you want to do this before you do the final tweak to your trekking pole height because this affects the taut-ness of the tent. If you use the optional guy outs and get them pretty tight and high, then you can get away with a shorter trekking pole setting around 108cm that will give you basically a taut ridgeline too. The tent will still sag a bit at the edges though. I'm sure all of this doesn't make a lot of sense to the reader, but go and play with your Refuge X and vary the trekking pole length and you'll see what I mean.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Allison's Refuge on 03/21/2010 14:23:31 MDT Print View

"Allison, you're going to also provide photos and explain how you gave the Refuge a bathtub floor too"

Refuge-X plus MYOG bathtub floor (horrible white goop is just white silicone sealant coz I didn't have any clear):

Refuge plus perimeter

Refuge-X with cuben poncho as rain porch: Note the hood of the poncho is a perfect match to the pole that sticks up:

Refuge plus awning 2

Refuge plus awning 1

Inside perimeter showing how water "wicks" through the mesh and puddles onto floor:

inside refuge-x

Edited by retropump on 03/21/2010 14:24:55 MDT.