- Dec 3, 2008 at 10:03 am #1232375
nmDec 3, 2008 at 11:15 am #1461873
I’ve used the Northern Light tarp with Dodgers.
The tarp provides a taught, bomber pitch.
Adjustable guy-out loops make the tarp easy to adjust without having to retie knots or move stakes.
The perimeter snow flaps do block wind and snow very well.
The tarp can only set up using an A-frame configuration.
The Dodgers can be difficult to pitch.
The Dodger / Tarp combination requires 16 stakes for a taught pitch (12 for the tarp, 4 for the Dodgers).
Weight: 34.5 ounces (20 for the tarp, 13.4 for the Dodgers)
Personally I like the various pyramid tarps available. They weigh less, use less stakes, and provide much more room during a snowbound evening.Dec 3, 2008 at 11:26 am #1461877
It seems like you could buy an MSR twin sisters for less weight and less money. It also has snow flaps and is probably more wind resisitant with a lower fiddle factor.
Just a thought.Dec 3, 2008 at 12:05 pm #1461884
The MSR strikes me as a one trick pony with limited ventilation. The GG looks to be a bit more modular than the MSR and all season with the opportunity to pitch in nicer months off the ground. Good option though – thanks.
The Golite pyramids are nice but the 1 person is too short between poles for me, the two person forces each to the side of the poles which only provides 28 inches of width and considerable sag (in the face if you know what I mean). The 3 person is an option but too much shelter for one, I believe….Dec 3, 2008 at 12:54 pm #1461892
The GoLite 3 person mid is my favorite tent for crappy weather. Although your definition of winter weather is probably more severe than mine, the Hex3 is great for damp, muddy weather allowing room to enter, tramp around with your boots on with your other gear protected and out of the way. The steep roofline is perfect for unavoidable snow loads. If this is too much tent for you, the duo-mid from MlD looks like it would provide the same features at less weight.Dec 3, 2008 at 12:56 pm #1461894
I agree that the MSR is a dedicated winter shelter, and probably wouldn't be appropriate for summer, due to the ventilation.
Now David, I get the impression that you are notorious around here for your gear-lust (and with this group, myself included, that's saying something), so why not go with the dedicated winter shelter, and then buy yet another tarp to play with in the summer
Or the scarp1?
or another shires product?
or the refuge X?
or all of them?
You know you want it. Christmas is coming.Dec 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm #1461903
If you are unhappy with the pyramid tarps from GoLight you may want to check out the tarps from Oware.
Many people here (myself included) have used their tarps with very good results. All of their pyramid tarps are 6’ tall and come in a variety of sizes.
10’ x 10’ tarp, 26 ounces
5’ x 10’ half tarp, 19 ounces
Dec 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm #1461905
@missingutahLocale: Smoky Mountains
I'm in the process of ordering a MLD DuoMid for 4-season use. My theory is that I can use it as a fully-enclosed shelter for severe nights, or I can give it a high-pitch with the doors rolled open for clearer, warmer nights. I'm not sure how well this will work in a bivy on warm nights; but I'm a cold sleeper and I still have a few months to figure that out.
I do suppose that the Oware mid has the same benefits, though with a higher weight penalty.Dec 3, 2008 at 5:59 pm #1461954
Which golite pyramid for one person, the Shangri-La 1? All you do is use both hiking poles in an inverted V at the head end and a stick at the foot end. You could sleep an 8 foot tall hiker in that bad boy probably.Dec 4, 2008 at 6:00 am #1462033
This may help you out a bit:
Edited to show the correct tarp dimensions.Dec 4, 2008 at 7:39 am #1462040
I don't think I'd like that Shangri la 1 anyway for winter since I think it would not be good for snow loading. A pyramid shape would be better. If base camping I would not want to use my trekking poles even for a Shangri La 3.Dec 4, 2008 at 8:29 am #1462053
Huzefa SiamwalaBPL Member
David, I think you will find this thread interesting.
Are two-pole tarp shelter better then pyramid/half pyramid??
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/13359/index.htmlDec 17, 2008 at 8:10 am #1464918
The Golite Utopia 1?Dec 17, 2008 at 8:18 am #1464920
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Chad, it's good to have an architect/CAD junkie like yourself around for times like this ; )Dec 17, 2008 at 8:27 am #1464923
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
Show coverage when the door is open, say when cooking just
outside the door. You will find with the duo you will be
letting in a lot of snow/rain.Dec 17, 2008 at 10:19 am #1464953
Joe ClementBPL Member
Gear-lust. You say that like it's a bad thing.Dec 17, 2008 at 11:11 am #1464964
Richard ScruggsBPL Member
Re Dave's comment: "Show coverage when the door is open, say when cooking just outside the door. You will find with the duo you will be letting in a lot of snow/rain."
This "exposure" when the door is open would appear to be a characteristic shortcoming of any pyramid tarp.
The alphamid likely mitigates the rain/snow exposure of an open door a bit since its doorway is a nearly vertical wall rather than sloped. But even with the alphamid, even a tiny wind brings rain/snow through its open doorway.
I've wondered at times about the feasibility of a simple and easily deployed awning that could extend just a bit of coverage over the door of pyramid-style shelters — at least when the door is open and rain/snow is falling. An awning that affords even partial coverage (say, for the top half or so of the open door) might help to deflect a good bit of percepitation.
Perhaps an awning could be fashioned with a peice of wedge-shaped material (cuben for lighest weight?) that has one of its points attachable at (or somewhere below) the peak of the pyramid, with the other two points of the wedge pulled taut (almost on a horizontal) to extend a few feet of protection over the open doorway — maybe by means of guylines running down to the front stakes from the end of very light weight rods (carbon fiber?) that are secured (somehow) to stick out at each side of the doorway?
Upon pondering this problem a little more, seems like the pyramid-style shelter would really benefit from a tunnel entrance, quasi-igloo-like to eliminate entirely the issue of exposure to wind-driven elements when entering or exiting the shelter. This solution was part of the design for one of North Face's old A-frame tents ("The Mountain Tent" from back in the 60's) which had a tunnel entry set into one wall for foul weather use and with a panel door set in the opposite wall for fair weather. A vent sleeve was also provided above the tunnel entrance for when the tent had both doors shut tight.
And if the roof of the tunnel entrance extended a few feet out from the pyramid — bingo, a protected cooking porch.
Inquiring minds and wet heads would like to know.
But please, don't ask for a diagram.
JRSDec 17, 2008 at 2:50 pm #1465016
Actually the pyramid tarps tend to do quite well in strong winds. This is due to a pyramid tarps stable pitch and angled shape. I've found that the half pyramid shelters will do just as well in high winds as long as you've pitched the shelter with the flat side away from the wind.
This is assuming that you have your pyramid tarp staked out properly.Dec 17, 2008 at 3:05 pm #1465021
Jim ColtenBPL Member
You can expect pyramid tarps to do even better with guy-out loops in the center of each panel and about 1/3 way up each edge. That does mean more guy lines and stakes however.Dec 17, 2008 at 3:39 pm #1465032
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Good advice for square pyramids Jim. My hex 3 cheats the wind well enough without.Dec 18, 2008 at 8:24 am #1465145
Brad GrovesBPL Member
Dave, just to help your habit along, how 'bout MLDs Spinntex mid at 19 ounces? Seems like I saw one at Oware before, too. Somewhere floating ethereally through this site I'd swear I've seen a full mid around 13 ounces…Dec 18, 2008 at 9:16 am #1465158
Someone wanted to see a drawing of the GoLite Utopia 1 so here it is.
Keep in mind this is only an approximate representation of the shelter. All dimensions are from the manufacturer. I am in no way affiliated with GoLite or any other shelter manufacturer.Dec 18, 2008 at 10:40 am #1465174
Greg MihalikBPL Member
I want to say 'Thank You' for providing these drawings!
I find them invaluable in evaluating the fit of these shelters.
In my opinion they should included on every tent review. Even though many vendors provide similar images on their respective web sites, this would standardize our perspective across the board.
BPL Staff: Hint…. hint……Dec 18, 2008 at 11:57 am #1465184
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
Pyramids do very well in the wind and are the classic
Arctic/Antarctic tent shape. I have had a mid stand up
to winds in Eastern Oregon that blew down and broke poles in a large North Face Dome. You just need good anchors for
the tie outs.
Additional tieouts are not necessary unless the mid is
very large with lots of surface area, or is very small, then
they provide more headroom.
4 sided shelters are way easier to set up than 6 sided
ones. The 6 sided ones are hard to get the footprint
straight unless you have a floor in it. This can cause one
or more sides to be off the ground. This is especially apparent and vexing if trying to set them up on a slope.
One of the Alphamids of cuben I made for Ryan's Alaska
trip had 6 sides. Six sided shelter make for wasted
space and weight too.
The cuben 8×8 mid I made for Roman and Ryan's Alaska
traverse weighed 13 oz. The Alphamid TM was 7.5 oz.
I just made some silnylon mids for a scout group
which were the same dimensions as Roman's and I made
a few extra. They weigh 20.5 oz and sleep 2-4 kids
or a couple of adults.
I also made a pair of Alphamids to sell, to the same
dimensions but for one person and they weigh 13.5 oz.
Times are slow, so I have a sale on too.Dec 18, 2008 at 12:04 pm #1465186
I'm glad I could be of some help. If BPL wanted me to do a series of drawings for any shelters they wanted to review I would be happy to do it.
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