- Jul 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm #1318805
A recent post on a thread about modding Jansport frames and suspensions mentioned Kuiu packs. A looksee revealed that the packs, built for hunters, were on the heavy side; however, their tents were something else altogether:
The Mountain Star 1P is around 2.5# trail weight, pitchable in the rain, appears windworthy, and spacious. The fabrics sound impressive, with a 30D floor and 10Dx20D canopy (there is a suspended net inner). Easton carbon freestanding poles. The only niggle is the reference on the site to the tent's length as 86" being 2 meters. But two meters are under 80", raising a question whether it is really 86" long, probably the minimum acceptable length for many.
The only minus I could find was the width of the floor – 27". While no smaller than a Hubba or its progeny, a wider floor would be better. Which raises the modding issue.
Last year, I modded a One Planet 1P dome by extending the floor and inner into the triangular-shaped rear vestibule. The same thing could be done to the Kuiu, increasing the floor space from 15+ sq feet to around 19. Wish I'd done that, because everything else about the tent is on the plus side.Jul 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm #2118901Robert MeurantBPL Member
Interesting geometry. Maybe the roof is a little flat?Jul 11, 2014 at 6:59 am #2118936Jordo _99BPL Member
I'm curious but what others think the fly geometry is like?
It looks almost like a SMD Haven that's been modded to be a free standing, 4-season tent. http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tarps/69-haven-tarp-cuben.htmlJul 11, 2014 at 7:05 am #2118938Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right thereJul 11, 2014 at 9:15 am #2118963
Before posting On the prior thread, I could not find much in the way of specs.
This time around they were easy to come by, more than ample on the website of the company, which is in California. It would be nice to get some comments from some BPL folk in California after meeting the tent in person. There is too much glibness about new products here, often with not much to back it up, and the previous thread was a classic example of this. And that can be very misleading to readers, and therefore very unfair to both consumers and companies alike. I've been accused of it as well, but do make an effort to limit criticisms to hard experience, or only express them as concerns that may or may not be justified.Jul 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm #2119242Jesse AndersonBPL Member
@jeepin05Locale: Land of Enchantment
Having seen the mods to your other tent, I'd love to see what you could do with this one. What's interesting is that the length of the 1P is the only spec that seems to be off. I checked all the others and they are correct. I even watched most of the videos posted about it on Youtube. The only thing I got was when the made an off hand remark about how the 1P and 2P models were roughly the same length and height. I can't imagine if that is the case that there would actually be six or so inches difference between them in length.
Also, I agree with your assessment of the previous thread about this tent. It seems that a great deal of new items are dismissed without a second thought unless said product comes from one of the "en vogue" cottage guys.
Just for my clarification, the mod you're thinking of on this tent would expand the inner into the small doorless vestibule in the back, correct?Jul 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm #2120064
Re: "Just for my clarification, the mod you're thinking of on this tent would expand the inner into the small doorless vestibule in the back, correct?"
Yes, correct. Of course, the vestibule need not remain doorless if one adds a zipper; but then again, the question is always whether it is worth the weight.
Glad you caught the thread on the Goondie mod. I'm still working on a built-from-scratch "XX tarp tent" that was envisioned in a 2011 thread. (Now with high HH 1.12 oz silnylon from Terra Nova for the canopy, and half oz netting, 17 gm from Extrem Textil, that clips in overhead if desired.) So with the Goondie to hold me over, it's high time to focus on the XX. Hoping against hope that it will come in under two lbs, at least without the net ceiling liner installed.
Also wanted to mention that the frame design on the Mtn Star is very similar to that used on the Terra Nova Solar 2, which has good rep for performance in foul and winter weather. But the poles are clipped to the outside of the Mtn Star, while the Solar 2 has a conventional pole sleeve inner tent with a fly on the outside.
So the question is how clipping up the fly to an outside pole frame, as opposed to the conventional construction, will affect performance. This raises some concern, and suggests that figuring a way to easily install the poles inside most of a 'pitch-fly-first' tent is preferable. TarpTent has addressed this in the Stratospire models, with good reviews from users. I think folks would like to see tents with a smooth fly/canopy on the outside, but that will pitch 'fly-first' to avoid drenching the bathtub floor when pitching in the rain, especially deluge type rain in exposed and windy locations.
As for the windy issue, it's been suggested that a 'pop-up' design, that pushes the the tent up into shape when last few poles are inserted into their holders, will not fare as well as a tunnel tent that can rise in one fell swoop when pulled up to be staked and one end. It may depend on which way the wind is blowing. A tunnel turned broadside to the wind might fare no better than a kayak in similar straits. In either case, key stake-out points would be firmly staked before the tent rises. Backpacking hasn't provided me with enough experience to do more than speculate about this, so it would be great to hear from some mountaineers with experience pitching in hostile conditions.Jul 16, 2014 at 7:37 pm #2120392Jesse AndersonBPL Member
@jeepin05Locale: Land of Enchantment
While I wouldn't consider myself a mountaineer I have spent a fair bit of time high up in the Rockies pitching tents in the snow. My go to bad weather tent is a traditional dome with 4 crossing poles and a 5th that supports the extra large vestibule. The 4 main poles are inserted into the tent inner and the fly is then thrown over.
Honestly, I'm not sure how this idea ever made it out of anyone's engineering department. While I have always been able to overcome the problems with this tent, pitching a tent with the wind howling and then trying to line up a parachute sized fly is not my idea of a great time. When it comes time to replace this tent, it will be with something where the flay and body pitch at the same time.
I guess I don't see a problem with the poles on the outside approach. I recently bought the new SD Flashlight 2 because I needed something fairly light and I'm on a pretty tight budget. It uses an exterior pole down on the foot end and I have nothing but praise for it so far.
The guys at Kuiu have a video on Youtube where they use a fan boat to torture test the tent and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with how well the poles maintain the shape of the tent. One thing I found interesting on the Kuiu, was that the guy out points are made to come out from the body, wrap around the pole, and then attach to the guyline for staking out. That seems like a pretty smart way of distributing forces and fully utilizing the frame rather than just the fabric strength.
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