Jun 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm #1260566
@bcrowellLocale: Southern California
For anyone ordering from fibraplex, be aware that they are taking quite a while to ship orders right now. I ordered a pole May 1, and it was shipped June 24. (Called them in early June and they said usually orders took about a month — but this is closer to 2 months.)Jun 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm #1623694
Not saying they will always fail, but I had very poor experiences with two different sets of Fibraplex poles. Together, they broke on 4 separate occasions — despite my being very, very careful when deploying them — slowly, and making sure all sections were seated properly.
I sold one set to another hiker who was too enticed by the light weight to pay heed to my warnings (ah, the siren calls of UL gear) — and he broke one of the poles on his very first "practice" set up!
Fibraplex was quick with replacement sections, but my faith in their poles is nil. Ditto for the guy who later bought my poles. Fibraplex replaced his broken pole section as well, but he never took those poles on any of his hikes.Jun 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm #1623695
@tacedeousLocale: East Bay, CA
I ordered from them a while back to make a tripod, took about a month and a half, and the guy who was answering the phones would keep telling me it would be shipped and wouldn't. finally it came, but I dont think ill ever order from them againJun 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm #1623953
I think the poles cracking has a lot to do with the amount of pole curve that the tent design requires. IIRC, your application (Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2?) has a fairly high amount of curvature, so they aren't far from snapping when the tent is just standing there. I could be wrong though…
I ordered a set from Fibraplex on May 11th and they shipped out June 25th…..so that's ~6.5 weeks. It'll probably be 8 weeks total by the time they arrive. Good thing I'm not in a hurry.Jun 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm #1623968
One set was indeed for the BA SL2 — which is one of the offerings from Fibraplex. That one broke 3 times.
The other set was for a 2-person dome tent – a simple "X". That one broke when I was setting it up leisurely in my own backyard with no winds at all. User error? Doubtful, but regardless, how does one build confidence in poles with such an unforgiving margin of error?Jun 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm #1623974
Fair enough….your posts do make me a bit nervous. Did you have success using Fibraplex's repair kit? I forgot to order one. Any suggestions about being prepared for a failure in the field? I'm not sure I'm going to be able to put these new poles to the test very much before an 11 day trip I have planned in a few weeks.Jun 27, 2010 at 10:05 pm #1623999
Repair sleeves (my own aluminum ones) plus duck tape will do nicely. But when you factor in the added weight of the sleeves (I highly recommend bringing more than just one) to the added cost — those poles don't compute any longer — at least not for me.Jun 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm #1624010
I suspect that this breakage is happening only on poles that are drastically bent/curved. I use the Fibraplex poles in their original/intended straight form, and I don't seem to have a problem with them. I've never even seen a metal repair sleeve.
–B.G.–Jun 27, 2010 at 11:10 pm #1624015
Which reminds me that I have also used Fibraplex pole "straight up" as part of my old SMD Lunar Solo set up. No problems there at all.
I don't know what you mean by "original/intended straight form" because Fibraplex website has a myriad of pole configurations for different tents — none of which is "straight up". To me, all those different pre-measured configurations represent "recommended use" on Fibraplex's part.Jun 27, 2010 at 11:39 pm #1624021
Benjamin, are you claiming that the curved pole configurations that Fibraplex recommends now have been around since the original Fibraplex "straight poles?"
–B.G.–Jun 28, 2010 at 12:04 am #1624024
@ckrusorLocale: Northwest US
I recently ordered from fibraplex and experienced long delays as well. I decided after seven weeks to cancel my order and go with aluminum. I'm comfortable with that decision in light of the many reports of breakage of fibraplex poles I have recently read.
Your unnecessarily sharp tone and eagerness to turn the discussion to bickering has suprised me in numerous threads, Bob. I think Benjamin was noting, as I might, that fibraplex poles are meant to be bent.Jun 28, 2010 at 6:40 am #1624063
@kashmirLocale: New York
here is some cross pollination with current discussion on carbon poles over
are there other alternatives with quicker shipping?Jun 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm #1624203
"I think Benjamin was noting, as I might, that fibraplex poles are meant to be bent."
I thought that there were two forms of Fibraplex poles, but I could be wrong. The original form was made for straight-only use, and the later form was made with more flexibility. Since I use the old straight poles, I was trying to figure out if problem reports were about the flexible ones or all of them in general.
I did not use any unnecessary sharp tone and I did not detect any bickering, at least not in flat text. If somebody ends their text with "You dummy!" then that would be bickering.
–B.G.–Jun 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm #1624637
@bcrowellLocale: Southern California
Interesting info from everyone. My own application is just a straight pole for use when tarping above tree-line, so bendability (or lack thereof) won't be a big issue.Jun 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm #1624734
I have a few tent designs that I want to bring to market and about 9 months back I looked into both Easton and Fibraplex carbon fiber poles. The initial order would of been for 100 tents/200 pole sets.
Easton responded to my request within a few days and had a proposal available for my review within a week. Fibraplex on the other hand took roughly a month to respond to my request and then another two months to provide me with a proposal. The prices were the same as listed on the website so I asked if a volume discount would be available and I still have never heard back.
Thats when I decided to develop my own carbon fiber tent pole : )Jun 29, 2010 at 10:17 pm #1624754
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
I agree. There isn't much out there. I keep trying the newest arrow and kite shafts, but for hoops and arcs, haven't found anything currently available much better than Fibraplex. That is why I turned to tent designs with much larger radius bends, using stiffer poles and alloy elbows. Thanks, Roger.
The Easton FX carbon tent poles are much beefier and quite a bit stronger, and in my break tests were about 25% stronger, almost as strong as the Easton .344 alloy used in the Moment.
The FX is just under 12 gpi, and the .344 is around 13.7 gpi, only a 12-13% drop in weight with the FX, but it is something, especially when you consider that the FL alloy poles that come on many of the tents are over 16 gpi. Haven't tried to break one of them, though.
Roger is strong on the Victory Archery, available in Canada, which he thinks are very similar to the ones he buys locally in Australia, but they didn't test much better than the Fibraplex in my break tests.
One caveat: A break test doesn't show how well the poles will stand up to repeated flexing over time, nor does it show crush resistance. But I had to start somewhere.
One problem: As noted by Travis, Easton only sells wholesale. They were willing to sell me 100 of the FX sections with their alloy ferrules, no less. I decided to wait on them, and keep looking.
Another problem, oft-noted by Roger: The carbon shafts are made in Asia, and i have found that the quality, strengthwise, is not consistent. That is why, IMO, some do OK with Fibraplex and others experience early breakage.
Will keep trying carbon shafts because I love dome tents. It is frustrating, because every new shaft is grandly touted as stronger, and so far, is not. But am currently looking at several possibilities. Expense means delay, because I do not have a lot of $ to throw at the problem. If I find anything good, will post it pronto on MYOG.
SamJun 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm #1624760
Both Fibraplex and Easton use the wrong layup. Their unidirectional roll-wrapped tubes are great for arrow shafts and trekking poles but are awful for tent poles. Easton's poles work better due to the thicker wall but who is willing to spend 3-4 times as much money on something that is only a few grains lighter???Jun 30, 2010 at 4:53 am #1624806
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
What you want is a 2-D 5-layer wrap. Very strong as a tent pole.
cheersJun 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm #1624982
@djohnsonLocale: Washington StateJun 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm #1625009
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
" But when you factor in the added weight of the sleeves (I highly recommend bringing more than just one) to the added cost — those poles don't compute any longer — at least not for me."
When I factor in the catastrophic nature of Fibraplex pole failure, they don't compute for me. The fail explosively and can shoot a jagged sharp edge at you with the speed of an arrow. Not worth the risk.Jul 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm #1625882
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Have you observed what you describe? I ask, because as indicated in my post, I've been doing break tests with carbon shafts for some time, including the Fibraplex, and have yet to see (or feel) anything go flying. Yes, there is a bit of a shock when the shaft snaps, but no flak so far.
SamJul 2, 2010 at 11:26 pm #1625907
@kashmirLocale: New York
mountain laurel designs carbon fiber tarp polesJul 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm #1627002
I got my Fibraplex poles today. So far I'm really impressed. The carbon is beautiful and the overall flex in my shelter isn't noticeably different. I thought they were going to be flimsier than this. I also didn't feel like I was close to breaking them as I bent them into place.
My original poles were DAC Featherlights NSL 9mm (18.5 grains/inch) and the set weighed 450g. These Fibraplex poles with 3/32" shockcord weigh in at 234g, or nearly half as much. REI Quarterdome T2 with MYOG cuben fly and Fibraplex poles is currently sitting at 2.61 lbs trailweight (2.50 lbs for fly, poles and inner). Amazingly, the inner tent (1.31 lbs) weighs more than everything else combined. I really don't want to start another major project right now, but I'd love to remake the inner with ~0.5oz cuben and a 1.5oz cuben floor and save another half pound or so.Jul 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm #1627006
"I really don't want to start another major project right now, but I'd love to remake the inner with ~0.5oz cuben and a 1.5oz cuben floor and save another half pound or so."
This reminds me so much of a recent kitchen remodel project — we gutted out everything except for the oven — which was 100% functional and really didn't look bad at all. But with everything else new — the oven is now a real eyesore. Sigh…
Betcha gonna be gutting out that "heavy" inner tent floor soon enough. Mwahahaha… (my best evil laugh).
But back to topic, methinks Fibraplex poles are fine for vertical support (a la Lunar Solo), OK for big, simple arching like your Quarter Dome, and very much suboptimal for smaller curve/more complicated structures like my old BA Seedhouse 2 SL. May your poles live long and prosper. :)Jul 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm #1627007
The nice thing with remaking the inner would be that the tent would be now 100% not an REI product.
One option that is perhaps the most tempting is a partial remaking of the inner. I could cut off the heavy bathtub floor and replace it with 1.5oz cuben and also replace the smaller sections of fabric with lighter cuben. This would leave the noseeum netting, interior pocket and all the pole clips in place so it wouldn't be that hard to remake. It's the pole clips and circular door zips that worry me the most if I did a complete remake.
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