May 8, 2007 at 6:48 pm #1223152
Benjamin SmithBPL Member
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
Companion forum thread to:May 8, 2007 at 8:03 pm #1388657
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
This is a great 2-3 person tent for extended backcountry ski trips and due to it's size, a great social tent. I've never used one at any other time, so no bug worries and one can dig in the tent into the snow to make it super strong—-in fact, I think the tent is physically stronger in Winter use than as a 3 season shelter.
Fine comphrehensive review.May 8, 2007 at 11:01 pm #1388680
@bjamesdLocale: South Coast of BC
It would be nice to see a comparo to the lighter and roomier OWare competitor… I've always wondered what the big differences are!May 8, 2007 at 11:03 pm #1388681
@crazypeteLocale: Above the Divided Line
Once again, in the "What's not so good" section, there are only two valid complaints.
A, that the tieouts are non adjustable like on some other pyramid shelters such as the Hex3, and that the interior bug liner is heavy.
Freestanding is a bad thing?? Aren't all tarps free standing??
Requires lots of space to pitch?? What type of lame complaint is this?? What is Black Diamond going to do about this?? It is a four person shelter and thus requires a certain amount of floor space.
This section should include only those complaints which are actually relevant to the design of the product, things which the maker could modify and thus improve the product.
Complaints like non-freestanding are simply ridiculous and should not be mentioned. Your reviews are becoming more and more like this as time passes. If it is a tent, you say it is not as light as a tarp, if reviewing a tarp, you say that it doesn't offer bug protection and that it is not freestanding.
Please keep design complaints relevant to the discussion of the actual design and intention of the product.May 9, 2007 at 8:54 pm #1388804
Ken T.BPL Member
nmMay 10, 2007 at 5:30 am #1388831
Rod LawlorBPL Member
I've just bought a Megalight after using a Megamid for about ten years or so.
To make the tieouts MORE adjustable (not fully) for NO weight penalty I simply untied them, threaded them thru the grossgrain twice more, so I now had a triple loop, and retied the ends. (The same as the double loops on some SLCDs)
Now to pitch, grab one loop off a corner (leaving the others wrapped around the grossgrain loop), pull taut and peg out. This will extend the tieout back out to essentially the same length as it originally was. Continue for the other corners.
To adjust (ie tighten) grab one more loop off the grossgrain and pull out over the peg. The loop is now half length. Still not tight enough? Grab the third loop and pull it over for a one third length loop.
It's not a perfect system, but it's simple, it's bomber, and you can do it even when you're out in the bush cursing because you forgot to sew on your adjustable straps at home.
RodMay 14, 2007 at 12:25 pm #1389207
In writing the "What's not so good" section, we are describing all the negatives or downsides with using a product. This is not our recommendations for improvement section nor is it "design complaints."
We have a fairly large and diverse subscriber base. We can't assume every reader knows as much about the differences between pyramids and free-standing shelters as you do, and therefore we provide all the limitations to using this type of shelter in the "What's Not So Good" section to help educate those who are less experinced with lightweight backpacking.
Our reviews have always been thorough, and by being thorough we might mention details that are obvious to some. Again, we are writing for a diverse lightweight community, not an elite few. I appreciate your constructive criticism and hope my explaination here sheds light on the task we strive to accomplish.
JayMay 14, 2007 at 12:28 pm #1389208
Not a bad idea with the triple loop. I'll give it a try.
JayMay 14, 2007 at 12:37 pm #1389210
Just a quick note – maybe it would just be helpful to change the "what's not so good" header to "ideas for improvements/limitations" or to "what's not so good/limitations".
S.May 14, 2007 at 12:52 pm #1389211
Benjamin SmithBPL Member
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
You'll find the "Recommendations for Improvement" section at the end of reviews. The "What's Good" and "What's Not So Good" sections are intended to outline the pros and cons of a product, even if the noted characteristic is inherent to the product type. For example, we typically note that a tarp is "lightweight" even though most people might assume that; we also note when a design takes up a lot of room, is bulky, or is heavy compared to other options, even when those aspects might be necessary to the design. As Jay noted, a new user who hikes in a "green tunnel" might be disappointed to find out that he has trouble pitching his new pyramid properly due to lack of space.May 14, 2007 at 12:59 pm #1389215
Thanks Benjamin – I really don't have a problem with the way the reviews are done. You are right – what is redundant to some may not be to others. Better to err on the side of caution than having people be disappointed.
SvenJul 10, 2007 at 9:47 pm #1395042
Great Review, I especially appreciate the discussion on options for the center pole.
I agree the megabug is overkill; why do you need netting all the way up the sides? A floor-only is available for about $70, and could be modified with 15" of noseeum and velcro tabs.
I understand the editors intent with the 'not so good' section; but it implies improvements would solve those problems. Making this tent with a smaller footprint, free-standing, etc.. is not making it 'better' for people who want a large pyramid. A better term would be 'limitations'; thus; 'what's good' then 'suggested improvements (change bug netting for example)', and then 'limitations' listing the INHERENT limitations of this design choice.Jul 11, 2007 at 10:23 am #1395085
Jason BrinkmanBPL Member
Have to agree with Brett on this one. The inherent limitations of the design would be better understood under a heading called "Limitations".
I for one like see how a particular item compares to other options, and what potential usage limits to expect. I think this is definitely valuable in a thorough review for at least some of the intended audience.Jul 11, 2007 at 11:36 am #1395088
I don't see any possible justification is stating "Not so good – requires a lot a floor space" when talking about a 4 man shelter.
Take your lumps and move on.Sep 6, 2007 at 6:58 pm #1401340
@sjnuttingLocale: Southwest Colorado
I've owned one of these for the past few years. Got mine at an REI garage sale (the only thing wrong was it was missing the pole). So I've never used the carbon fiber pole, but it sets up great with two trekking poles. I have wished for a non-conductive pole when waiting out severe thunderstorms above treeline, however.
It has been through heavy rains, hailstorms that left 2 inches of hail on the ground, and all-night snowstorms. I've found it to be great in every condition except heavy winds. The only times this has been a problem is when camping above tree line, and I found that even in light winds it can flap a lot, making it difficult to sleep.
Condensation has been a major problem only when I've pitched it over wet grass. That's when it did some dripping. Otherwise, it will get a bit wet inside on a still night, but not dripping.
What should be improved?
1. Add some guy-out points midway up each seam. This should help with flapping and in high winds. I'm looking at doing this myself, but it would be nice if it was done from the factory.
2. On the corner strings, some kind of taught-line hitch setup could work to make them easily adjustable. I've used the doubled stings (not tried triple), but that only gives fixed lengths and sometimes there are rocks in just the wrong spots.Sep 27, 2007 at 11:17 am #1403864
Bob ChilsonBPL Member
@bob-chilsonLocale: eastern high sierra
Rod, what a simple, excellent solution to a very minor problem. It would be nice if the manufacture made adjustable loops of some sort, but if not then I would hope most people would realize what they are buying and figure out a solution to any potential problems or bugs before they purchase the product or else buy a different product.Sep 27, 2007 at 12:19 pm #1403871
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
I'd have to agree about reviews that appear to complain
about an inherent feature of a product that in one case is desirable and in another is not.
ie. "Vanilla ice cream may disappoint lovers of chocolate ice cream."
Also annoying, are reviews that speculate without testing the
features or construction of products.
Stitching methods are one such where an untested comment about stitch strength was speculative and wrong.
BPL doesn't need more filler.
Just the facts, Mam.Nov 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm #1543735
I realize this comes in very very late but I have a suggestion for a possible improvement. Someone said the only real limitation was the Megamid flapped in the wind and made a lot of noise making sleep difficult. After doing some intense studying of Tibetan Nomads who live not in yurts but in woven Yak hair tents. The Megamid is already the right shape for wind but it has large triangular walls which are not held tight when staked down. I recommend more tie downs along the perimeter of the base and also tie outs centered on the triangle face where you can tie lengths of nylon cord out to another pole and then secure the nylon cord down to the ground. Then there would be less flapping. Click on link for a photo example.Nov 8, 2009 at 8:25 am #1543787
Jim W.BPL Member
Thanks for resurrecting this thread. I have been putting together a fabric order for a MYOG family pyramid.
Black Diamond's official spec's do themselves a disservice. They appear to say that the pyramid footprint is 86" square. Only if you dig do you realize that's the size of their optional floor or mesh inner tent, and these are sized approximately 12" in from the pyramid edge, giving a roughly 9' square pyramid. For my family I need a 9' or 10' pyramid and I initially thought this one was only 7'.
I wouldn't buy their floor or nest- instead go with edge mesh and a light floor.
The pole looks to be quite good- I learned last summer that I don't really need trekking poles on family trips.
Bottom line is that if I buy top quality silnylon that's been tested for waterproofness, my MYOG pyramid would cost almost as much as a Mega Light on sale. That doesn't include a pole!
My research had narrowed to 4 pyramids: MLD Supermid, Oware 10×10, GoLite Shangri-La 4+, and the Mega Light. The Mega Light wouldn't be my very first choice, but the vent, pole, and price combine to make it the best value for my use.
EDIT 5/27/13. I confirmed the dimensions a couple weeks ago. Pyramid fabric covers 104" square. The interior tie loops for the inner net tent or floor make an 86" square. With the tieout extensions staked out, the 86" square has about 13" clearance to the ground.May 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm #1989788
I know this is an old review, but…..
It displays as grey text on a grey background and is almost impossible to read using safari on my iPad. It's the only review I've seen that displays this way.
Can it be fixed please? (Or is it just a problem with my iPad?)May 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm #1989792
Ken T.BPL Member
Weird. That's the only one like this I've seen. I doubt this will be fixed soon if at all considering the age. Might be best just to ask questions.
Edit: Fixed now
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