Apr 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm #1288829
Companion forum thread to:Apr 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm #1868344
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Everyone seems to be too busy still commenting on Part 1! I read Part 2 as soon as it posted, even though that meant I had to file an extension of time on my taxes (professional procrastinator here!).
From the comparisons of the "Caffin" tent versus the commercial alternatives, it's obvious that most of us will wait for Ruta Locura to produce the former!Apr 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm #1868345
– -K.T.- –Participant
EnjoyApr 18, 2012 at 4:52 am #1868473
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Roger, once again an excelent job. Looking forward to more!Apr 18, 2012 at 6:25 am #1868492
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"From the comparisons of the "Caffin" tent versus the commercial alternatives, it's obvious that most of us will wait for Ruta Locura to produce the former!"
Or, make your own!
He's given enough info on various threads
I have an old hoop tent that I used to use, but like Roger complains about, you set the tent up, then the fly, and if it's rainy or windy it's a mess… Roger's set-up is much better.Apr 18, 2012 at 11:12 am #1868637
@joarrLocale: RussiaApr 18, 2012 at 11:22 am #1868642
Dealing with Big Sky is tenuous at best and fraudulent at worst.
The Anjan is not yet available for sale.
Can't comment on the other two but they look neat.Apr 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm #1868662
@joarrLocale: RussiaApr 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm #1868673
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I used Lightwave T0 trek for a while and it was a great little tent.Apr 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm #1868685
I find it refreshing that Roger is letting so much of his personal opinions bleed into this article. There are some things I don't agree with, but I can always read Backpacker if I want a boring, generic article that pays homage to advertisers.Apr 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm #1868715
Looking at the close-ups of the "Caffin" tents, the quality of workmanship is almost unbelievable.
Like everyone else, I want one…Apr 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm #1868741
Hi Roman and all
> Big Sky Montana
> Hilleberg Anjan
This came out after the deadline, but it could be added – when they have production.
> Helsport Rondane Light
Agree, but they declined as 'they do not sell to USA'.
> Vaude Power Ferret
They didn't have any to supply at the time.
>Vango Nitro Lite 200 (1.4 kg!)
Agree, but not sure it was available before the deadline.
> Lightwave t20 trek
If any of the above companies want to have their tents added to the table, they have but to contact me and supply a sample. YES, we can add tents to the survey table and mini-reviews even now.
Roger CaffinApr 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm #1868746
CheersApr 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm #1868781
I almost feel like the theme of this series (unintended, I'm sure!) is that there may be a couple manufacturers out there doing a couple things right, but Roger's done a lot more things right than any of them with his MYOG tents.
This is depressing to those of us with no sewing skills or inclinations. It seems like there's literally nothing out there close to being as good, available to us.
What can we do with all this information?Apr 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm #1868784
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
Are you up for changing your name, Roger? Your birth name might scare off buyers, if you ever sell again. How about "Roger Paradise"?Apr 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm #1868814
> It seems like there's literally nothing out there close to being as good, available to us.
I don't think that was what I was trying to say. If you read the summary right at the end I point out that what might suit you will depend very much on what criteria you have.
Are you looking for a low-cost reliable 3-season tunnel?
Are you looking for something robust for teenage novices?
Are you looking for something to take extremes of 4-season weather?
There is no such thing as the perfect tent, pack, quilt, jacket, rainwear, stove, pot … for ALL conditions. It might be nice to say (and advertisers do it all the time) that X is perfect for anything you might ever need, but reality does not work that way.
Even my tents are tuned to certain criteria. Being robust against novices and cheap to manufacture are NOT among those.
So, having read lots of surveys and reviews, now look at what you really need, and assess the market accordingly. We just try to help.
CheersApr 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm #1868821
Models compared in the field?Apr 18, 2012 at 6:38 pm #1868824
"If you read the summary right at the end I point out that what might suit you will depend very much on what criteria you have. "
I understand this – but you're writing for the BPL crowd, which (generally, with exceptions of course) probably leans a lot farther towards the requirements which spawned the creation of your tents, than anything that otherwise exists on the market.
In other words, here's what I'd personally like (ultimately speaking – I couldn't possibly afford one now, but would consider it a very important investment in the future)
– 4-season extremes capable
– Extremely lightweight
– Excellent craftsmanship
– Well-thought-out floor plan
– Great considersations to things like headroom, hydrostatic head, condensation management, vestibule access, pole design, no-rain entry.
– Aluminized fabric (this is a very particular personal preference of mine – never actually tried one, but wanted one ever since thinking through the physics of it)
The closest thing on the market, as far as I can tell, is a Warmlite tent.
But these have serious compromises, like you mentioned, in tensioning and spacial issues.
Your tents already come closer.
I'm just saying that it is frustrating, as a user, to see all the logic and thought that has gone into your decisions, but are often ignored or overlooked on in-market tents. I really think you are writing to an audience which would largely prefer something like a Caffin over any of the other tents mentioned.
I'm not in any way trying to suggest that this is your fault :)
I guess we can hope that having this kind of information propogate will put pressure on manufacturers to go more in that direction.Apr 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm #1868834
> Models compared in the field?
Mini-reviews of all tents in the table next week – as noted in italics at the table.
Apologies – big lightning strike last year took out my main hard disk and the backup disk, while I was in Europe. (WON'T happen again!) I had to retake a lot of the photos at home.
CheersApr 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm #1868838
> – 4-season extremes capable
> – Extremely lightweight
> – Excellent craftsmanship
> – Well-thought-out floor plan
> – Great considersations to things like headroom, hydrostatic head, condensation
> management, vestibule access, pole design, no-rain entry
Oh, I agree entirely.
The mini-reviews will address these questions as best as I could manage. I hope they satisfy.
> – Aluminized fabric
Only found on tourist tents. I suspect it is used there because tourist tents do stay pitched in the sun for weeks on end, whereas we don't. Tends to make the inside of the tent a bit gloomy though.
Commercial production: it's a goal. I am still working on it. The problems are finding the capital to get the right fabric (it usually comes in 1,000 m rolls with very limited QC) and a competent Asian company to make them at a reasonable cost (they want to make something like 300 – 1000 of them, in one batch). Quite a few Asian companies can make cheap pop-up domes out of medium-weight fabric, but technical designs like mine need a lot of training, which costs.
Failing that it is cottage industry production in small quantities and much higher prices.
We don't have a textile and clothing manufacturing industry in Australia any more (apart from some high-fashion fast-turnaround stuff). It's all gone off-shore. Difficult.
Cheers (or sighs)Apr 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm #1868861
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Great review – great fun! Maybe it will inspire more manufacturers to make light tunnel tents.
And on a serious note: So what's all the fuss about? Why not just get a 2 pound Bear Creek Solo on Ebay and lug along your super lightweight cot?Apr 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm #1868862
"> – Aluminized fabric
Only found on tourist tents."
Just to be clear (and maybe you got this), I'm interested in it for its ability to reduce IR losses on clear nights outside of tree cover. Apparently this can reduce temperature drop on the fabric significantly enough to make a big difference in condensation.
This was the article inspiring this thought (possibly obsession? been thinking of all kinds of uses for this): http://windowoutdoors.com/WindowOutdoors/Dew%20Frost%20Condensation%20and%20Radiation.htm
"Commercial production: it's a goal. I am still working on it. "
Fantastic! :)Apr 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm #1868865
@lotuseaterLocale: Colorado Foothills
Roger – I want to show my appreciation for what you have done in writing these extraordinarily detailed articles for BPL. Certainly they are opinionated, and I think you deserve that based on your experience. That you have gone through multiple generations of summer and winter MYOG tents speaks volumes about your desire to tweak and improve. Personally, as an owner of both geodesic and tunnel tents, and finally a tarp, I have learned a lot from the first two articles in this series.Apr 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm #1868872
'And on a serious note: So what's all the fuss about? Why not just get a 2 pound Bear Creek Solo on Ebay and lug along your super lightweight cot?'
Because it is 3.55 lbs trail weight (from their website…) and a flaming orange, otherwise I would buy 2.
Oh, and it has to be a tunnel tent.
Now for a different note :
FrancoApr 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm #1868905
@bumperLocale: Coffs Harbour
Roger, this is turning into a fantastic primer on tunnel tents for those of us who still fall in "the Great Unwashed" category. On that point, can you elaborate a little on what Ti wires are and what they do please?
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