RSBTR 7d MTN Silnylon 6.6 now available in dark olive and blaze orange
May 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm #3714093
Just look at the retail prices Big Agnes, Nemo, MSR and others charge
Well, yes, but …
Those companies would be marking the stuff up by at least 100% over their whole cost. At least. UL cottage companies sell direct to the customer, without that huge retail margin. Well, if the big chains can make that sort of profit, who is to stop them?
what suckers the consumer culture can be when it comes to marketing spin.
I was not going to be quite so blunt, myself. But Monte can say it.
CheersMay 25, 2021 at 5:40 pm #3714114
I would be curious to see BA’s sales numbers, but I’m confident in saying the platinum and carbon tents likely make up a very small part of their consumer base, and of that base, they are likely the consumers who are either a)buying a new tent every other month (WTAF) b)savvy buyers who know they are going to be babying their gear, or maybe c) rich guys who can afford to destroy a tent and likely have all the other contingency gear to minimize their risk. Either way, I feel safe saying the Platinum and Carbon tents are just what they are – ways for BA to offer a tent with stellar specs without a high risk to their consumer base. When you are that big, you can afford to more easily diversify your investments.May 25, 2021 at 6:45 pm #3714123JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
What are we debating here again? :) It’s not just Big Agnes though. Nemo uses 7D fabric in their Hornet Elite series. The Elite tents are relatively rare. I’m going to make up a statistic and say I see 10 normal Hornets for every Elite.
I’m not entirely convinced 7D is a bad idea for a tent fabric, provided it’s for the right tent design and used under the right conditions. The Hornet is a perfect little tent for it. A Duomid – probably not. Locus Gear’s Khufu HB is the pyramid tarp using the lightest nylon I know of (10D) and based on internet pictures, I don’t think it pitches as wrinkle-free as their 30D silnylon or DCF models.
I’ve had a few long-term, anecdotal experiences with 7D fabric now using stuff sacks made of Rockywoods’ 7D silnylon, which I think would be less durable than RBTR’s fabric (total guess). Here are my thoughts after using them for roughly 120-50 nights of backpacking:
- 7D tent stuff sack: stays inside pack, no visible wear
- 7D pole sack: often on the side of my pack, it gets exposed to brush and whatnot. Mutliple tears.
- 7D stuff sack for water filter and scoop: sits in the side pocket of my pack, has mild exposure to brush, no visible wear
My experience has been good enough that I’ve decided to make an inner tent for a pyramid tarp using RBTR’s 7D for the floor. I use a Tyvek groundsheet for sleeping pad puncture protection and am okay with patching a few tears (if/when they occur), so I think it will work out okay.May 26, 2021 at 11:33 am #3714280
What are we debating here again?
Going back to page 1, the thread started as PSA stating the RBTR had new colors of the MTN 7D silnylon. Immediately the questions came as to whether we (or anyone) has, or should, make a tent out of the material. There you go.
I think your experience speaks well for the uses of this material – use it in cases where the loading on the fabric makes sense and does not exceed the material spec. This is what is hard for many people. Making sure you do not exceed material spec requires either doing the math, making proper assumptions about your use case, and then doing proper design. If you can’t do this or are unwilling, then personal experience will be all you have to go off. I think BA and all the other tent makers have plenty of user experience to pull from as well as good designers, hence their decisions on the use of their fabrics. I think it is working out well for them , even if other people think that it is not a good move. Your experience on the Rockywoods material will continue to inform how you use the material, and I think that is an appropriate way to go about doing it. I’d probably not use it for a tent floor, even if I was using a ground sheet, for the exact reasons you stated regarding your pole sack – too many opportunities to step on it and pull/tear it. The weight savings of the floor moving from 20D to 7D is about 1.5oz for a 50″x80″ floor, so I’d just ditch the ground sheet and go for a heavier floor. That is the fun thing about having choices. I am sure we will both be happy with our material selection as long as we can get outside :)May 27, 2021 at 10:05 pm #3716119
“I’m really surprised to not see a fair number of disaster stories with the 7d Platinum tents in big weather.”
But Monte, is that not because users are being cautious by limiting the use of the tent in a number of ways suggested above?
This is the MYOG forum, not one about buying a medley of cheap tents. Don’t see how anyone would want to put the effort and time into an MYOG tent for general backpacking use unless it were able to function in a broad spectrum of weather. Maybe I’m missing something, but it sounds like many are just rationalizing the use of a lighter weight fabric because of its cachet.
Looking at the Big Agnes site, seems very unlikely the ‘platinum’ is the same or even similar to the RBTR fabric in the OP. The GG 10D sounds interesting, but it is not available by the yard, and I’m not going back to cannibalizing shelters to get the fabric unless all other alternatives are exhausted. Especially because prices on shelters, even non DCF ones, are climbing steeply.
On another note, am not sure that drops in temp alone, without increases in moisture or humidity will get silnylon to wrinkle and sag. Would be interested in hearing more evidence of this if so.
Not feeling good about BPL’s changes in format. The handsome coyote in my avatar is now shrunk almost beyond recognition.May 28, 2021 at 6:00 am #3716140Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
“This is the MYOG forum, not one about buying a medley of cheap tents.”
Cheap? I don’t see anything the least bit cheap about 7d tents on the market, at least as far as price goes. Cheap in construction and materials perhaps.
The comparison and analysis of 7d tents such as the BA Platinum series, Nemo Hornet Elite, MSR Carbon Reflex, etc is to try and gauge the limitations of 7d material and assess whether or not someone might want to make a shelter out of it.
I don’t mind making different shelters for different conditions. For example, I recently did a 3 day 2 night outing where rain and possible storm chances were high, so I packed my 30d Solo Hexamid Plus copy. Now I’m getting ready to do another 3 day 2 night where rain chances are slim, therefore I’ll carry my 7d cat cut tarp. When I look at what people spend for shelters, my MYOG habit is pretty inexpensive in comparison really. Of course I don’t use DCF and the 7d is admittedly pricey at $15 per yard. In all honesty though after field testing my 7d tarp I think 7d silnylon is a bridge too far. It’s just so hard to keep it taut in wet conditions, even with aggressive cat cuts. Now with a frame to help it out it might be okay, but IMO 10d should probably be the lightest material one should use. 15d silnylon is probably the best compromise between weight and durability. Good luck finding 15d silnylon material anywhere though. However, if money was no object I’d buy a couple of the Nordisk Voss 5 10d tarps and cannibalize the material.May 28, 2021 at 11:41 am #3716171
I don’t mind making different shelters for different conditions.
This. This is one of the things that has drawn me to MYOG, I can create a shelter that is tailored to my needs, not the needs of everyone else.
When I look at what people spend for shelters, my MYOG habit is pretty inexpensive in comparison really.
Also this. I can have several specialized shelters, or try out several form factors, often for less than the cost of just one mass-produced shelter. Barring DCF shelters, Most if not all 2P-sized trekking pole shelters can be made with fewer than 8 linear yards for the canopy – Even with the “high” price of the RBTR 7D, nearly any canopy can be made for less than $150. I acknowledge that SMD shelters can start to dip into this price, but not with comparable fabrics. MLD products, expect to double that cost.
The nice thing about mass-produced items is that they are typically able to be bought used at discount, and, if they are a reputable product, can easily be sold back into that same used market for about the cost that you paid if you do not like the product (“catch and release”). This is not usually the case for MYOG stuff, even if your MYOG stuff is made with much more attention to detail.May 29, 2021 at 1:32 pm #3716271
“Cheap? I don’t see anything the least bit cheap about 7d tents on the market, at least as far as price goes. Cheap in construction and materials perhaps.”
Monte, you are right, and my thought was poorly expressed. I put so much time and effort into each tent, even if it is not done from scratch but is a modification, I could not imagine making a number of tents for different conditions. An exception would be a winter tent; but snow travel for me would only happen if starting a longer trek in the Rockies where there is often a lot of snow in June or even July. But would not call that winter trekking, it is just that an early start is needed due to shorter summers. Although that may be changing due to global warming.
So I could not imagine having a bunch of tents to swap out for different conditions, as too much goes into each tent. Hence, buying a bunch of cheap tents is the only way I’d imagine that approach. Kudos to you and others who are able to create a variety of MYOG tents. But the only option for me is to build a tent that can cover a broader spectrum of conditions, last a number of years of moderate trekking, and meet the worse conditions that may reasonably be expected.
From reading what you and others have posted about the RBTR 7D, a tent using it would fill a pretty small niche; thus not be worth the time and effort, the value of which far exceeds dollar costs. And that sounds much like the situation of many who do MYOG tents. While I love MYOG, there are just a lot of other enjoyable things in life. I’ve already taken some heat for the amount of time spent in the workshop, and it was probably justified.
That may mean carrying a tent that turns out to be heavier than necessary if the weather is super; but my experience is that the weather often is not, and that it is often not possible to anticipate the really nasty storms. So the approach has been to have one good tent that can handle a wide range of conditions, and still try to build it as light as possible. By the time it wears out, a slew of ideas have already developed for the next tent, and the design and construction begins again in earnest.
While I don’t mind a slightly heavier tent to make it more versatile, the effort is still to make it as light as possible. And there are other ways besides lighter fabrics to do that. Design, for example, will help if the number of stakes required can be reduced to around 4. Or if the number of all the little parts can be reduced. I like to design tents that if not totally freestanding, are at least self-supporting; the purpose being to lighten the stakes by reducing the pressure on them when the wind is howling. Aerodynamics, with walls that tend more to the horizontal than vertical reduce that pressure also, but also requires walls that are partially convex to provide decent internal space. (That is where I part with tents that are close to bivies. I want to be able to live comfortably in a tent, including cooking and eating during storms.) Carbon poles can be very light and provide self-support; but only if designed to reinforce each other, unlike the two hoop wedge domes that put tremendous stress on the hoops in high winds.
Am just saying that ever lighter fabrics are not the only significant way to make serious inroads into weight, and other approaches should be brought into the mix. Failure to do that is IMO what got us into the race to the bottom fabric weight, which led to the excessive prices of DCF. I think it was one of the early BPL members who suggested something like ‘what next, saran wrap’?May 29, 2021 at 3:32 pm #3716284
That may mean carrying a tent that turns out to be heavier than necessary if the weather is super; but my experience is that the weather often is not, and that it is often not possible to anticipate the really nasty storms.
And that happens in the mountains.
Xmas here in Oz is mid-summer. On the low-lands it can get over 40 C. We have had hours of sleet on Boxing Day in our mountains. The idea of trying to shelter in a pop-up under those conditions …
CheersJun 1, 2021 at 11:39 pm #3716658
No rain,, nor sleet, nor wind, nor icy snow shall deter the quest for a partial dome that ‘pops-up.’Jun 2, 2021 at 1:09 am #3716661
You forgot the glom of nit.
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