Dec 23, 2019 at 7:19 am #3623916
Re: “Almost all the tents made these days are side entry, which means the ceiling of the tent is apt to be less than 12″ from your head when laying down.”
I much prefer side-entry tents because they are usually so much easier to get in and out of, and the tent itself offers a larger wind barrier when using a stove in front of it. That’s assuming the rear vestibule of the tent is guyed facing the wind of course.
Side entries can have as much room at head and foot as the manufacturer wants to design into the tent. But you are right, and some designs leave a lot less than 12″ over the head and feet. These extremes arise from a concern about wind deflection and resistance, and to some degree, weight. But I think that the wind issue is paramount.
A side entry tent that has gradually sloping walls on each side presents a more aerodynamic surface to wind coming from either side direction. However, this does mean that there will be less space above the head and feet; so designers often use arched poles to increase the height above head and feet, such as MSR Hubba designs, and two pole, single pole-crossing designs often called ‘wedge’ domes. But if the tent uses only straight vertical poles, trekking or otherwise, the sides will slope in a straight line to the ground, which becomes a concave line given catenary force; sagging of nylon when moist, and any narrowing in the floor design of the tent as the ceiling approaches the end of each side; all of which add up to very little space above the head and feet.
So the Hubba and wedge side entry designs are popular because the ceilings above the head and feet are convex. Some times this gets overdone, however, so the poles approach the vertical over the head and feet, and the benefit of aerodynamics is lost. This may be in part what Mark V. was getting at when he said, “I would vote against the Copper Spur. I love it in mild conditions… but if you are expecting extreme weather it’s not up to the job. I have had the fabric tear and had one of the poles crack in a surprise storm.” There are a number of side-entry tents like this that approach a rectangular box shape, and are easy pickings for high winds. One from REI was recently reviewed on BPL. Manufacturers even boast about ‘near vertical’ walls, completely forgetting that those walls present barriers to high winds that make tent damage and collapse more likely.
With the above in mind, I’d like to suggest that a side entry tent with convex arched sidewalls is not overly confining when around 12″ above forehead and toes, considering the benefits of their aerodynamic profiles: 1) Less resistance to high winds; 2) Less weight; 3) Greater height above the center of the tent; and 4) How quickly the ceiling rises when sitting up from lying down. The seat of my MYOG camp chair is about 4-6″ off the ground, and when sitting in it with legs projecting into the vestibule, the arched ceiling, around 4′ high at the peaks, provides plenty of cover and room to cook and eat with a stove planted in the vestibule outside the tent floor. I could not do this comfortably in any concave wall tent I’ve seen.
I once took a front profile of the TT Moment on their website and superimposed an arched line over it from peak to ground with the same floor length and peak height, and was surprised at how much ceiling space was added to most of the tent. Having said that, I’ll now retreat not into a tent, but into a reinforced concrete bunker
So please consider that reduction of space over the head and feet that is only used when sleeping is a small price to pay for a tent that with proper guyouts is much more wind worthy, and uses less yardage of fabric resulting in lighter tent weight. Thanks.Dec 23, 2019 at 7:41 am #3623917
P.S. Wanted to post a photo illustrating the above, but the edit was timed out. So here it is:
(the scale is 1″= 1′ and the “Girl on the Beach” doll from the dollar store is 6″ long, so about 6′ to scale):
The wooden sticks represent the vestibule. Contrary to the appearance, the tent floor is 3″ (3′) wide and the vestibule a bit less than that.Dec 23, 2019 at 8:42 am #3623918
looks to me that Erica will comfortably fit inside your tent.
Do you have a link to a retail outlet that has that tent ?Dec 23, 2019 at 3:32 pm #3623932Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
I’d give my eye teeth for 12 inches over my head and feet. Often I just wish for the inner tent to not be touching me. You sprouts are so whiney.Dec 23, 2019 at 11:09 pm #3623967Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
There is (or was) also a TT Moment DW 2 person tent.
And Garrett Turner mentioned the Scarp 2 – which I have – but is not currently produced. A nice tent with room for “three consenting adults” if they sleep head-to-toe. I have “winterized” my Scarp 2 by shortening the X-ing poles and running them inside, beneath the fly. The pole ends fit the grommets (that were formerly outside) that I’ve sewn just above the Pitch Loc apexes in each corner. Very strong setup for high winds and wet snow load.Dec 23, 2019 at 11:36 pm #3623971Henry Shires / TarptentBPL Member
@07100Locale: Upper Sierra Foothills - Gold Rush Country
the Scarp 2 – which I have – but is not currently produced.
It’s coming back in January 2020 with updates.Dec 26, 2019 at 1:03 am #3624163
Sorry if I misled. My current tent is a side-entry wedge dome; but the model in the photo represents a tent I’m working on that greatly improves on the wedge dome. The wedge dome took a lot of remodeling to get the desired space and weight:
After replaclng the floor, I kept the fabric to use on a pack.Dec 26, 2019 at 1:22 am #3624165
The subtle point I was trying to make is that a stick mock up of a tent isn’t a tent one (Erica in this case) can buy.Dec 26, 2019 at 10:36 pm #3624234Patrick JBPL Member
The Hogback isn’t on our list because it is more tent than we will ever need. I have some concerns about the size of the footprint of the Cloudburst 3 and finding campsites it’ll fit in for some of the trips we have planned out West.
As for the discussions about reducing sag in sil-nylon – at least for me it isn’t as big of a concern as it may seem. I only mentioned it in my write-up because compared to Dyneema, sil-nylon does have some sag / stretch. Big picture, though, tightening a guy line takes 5 seconds – and the only time one would really need to worry about it is just the right weather conditions.
Not sure I understand the idea behind using some bungee in the guy lines, either. Doesn’t that just intentionally introduce stretch into the system – which is what you want to avoid in windy situations.Dec 26, 2019 at 10:44 pm #3624235
I tried the bungee thing , made my own , but after a few trips I went back to just tightening the set up before going to sleep.
Works for me.
On my last trip.
The tent was set up at around 5PM two days before. It was not re-tentioned after that.
There was ice on the fabric that morning (-3c at around 5 AM)Dec 27, 2019 at 5:38 am #3624278
Franco, re: “The subtle point I was trying to make is that a stick mock up of a tent isn’t a tent one (Erica in this case) can buy.”
I know, but understanding more about tents should make one a better buyer.Dec 27, 2019 at 6:13 am #3624279TOU-47BPL Member
Fair enough…makes sense. The TT Cloud 3 & the Strat 2 are definitely smaller footprints but…then again, they ARE much smaller usable space. That said, I looked at most of the tents you mentioned which is why I arrived at the TT HB. At 86″x86″ the TT HB had the largest interior space with the smallest footprint for the lowest weight ration. (Admittedly smaller vestibules but dual doors.) Definitely larger footprint than the two other TT’s mentioned but also definitely smaller than the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 or Copper Spur UL3 & Zpacks Triplex. To each their own & each of us have different needs, wants & priorities.
Best of luck!Dec 27, 2019 at 6:15 am #3624280TOU-47BPL Member
Btw, I mainly camp in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, Wyoming & Alberta.Dec 27, 2019 at 7:58 am #3624286
on a British forum someone got really upset when I pointed out that the Hogback with a sub 60′ footprint (51′ for the inner) has more usable space than the 90′ ShangriLa 5 with the inner in place ( a GoLite tent)
After a couple of two and fro , before he had the tent, he never came back to show , as stated, that I was wrong.
Like many he grossly underestimated the ammount of unusable space inside a typical backpacking pyramid tent.
(the smaller the pyramid tent is, the more the ,in percentage, wasted space)Dec 27, 2019 at 8:54 am #3624287Erica RBPL Member
Sam mentioned the Tarptent Moment in an earlier post. I looked it up, and I’m pretty impressed with the headroom lying down. Great design, extending the mesh roofline past the head area. BTW, in the photo below there is a little stake (pitchlock) holding up the end of the roofline. Still, this side entry gets headroom with a weight penalty compared to a front entry, which will have even better headroom.
“I’d give my eye teeth for 12 inches over my head and feet. Often I just wish for the inner tent to not be touching me.” Yes, me too. I think I might have 8″ or 9″ of headroom in my current Hexamid from Zpacks. It’s ok, unless it’s raining, then it’s not exactly cozy having the drumming so close to my ears.Dec 28, 2019 at 4:17 am #3624543
Nice choice of picture from the TT website showing headroom through the netting.
The profile of the Moment that I mentioned was of the original Moment, a single wall tent. I should have made that clear in the post.
But I guess you have the photo I posted and the photo of the inner of the double wall Moment, so can try to arrive at comparative estimates of headroom from that.
But I think the convex dome shape I tried to illustrate in my scale model photo suggests greater headroom both lying down and sitting up. Would like to know what others think, though. All that is needed to increase the degree of convex curvature is an increase in the angles of the pole elbows at the peaks. But with the goal of making the tent as aerodynamic in shape a possible, don’t want to do that if it is not really needed.
Not sure I follow why there is a weight penalty with a side entry per se, when compared to a front entry. And although a few front entries are tunnel shaped, most taper down toward the rear, and have considerably less head room than we have been talking about. After a visit in the night from a bear possibly seeking my blueberry kool-aid in the small vestibule, I’ve never felt very comfortable trying to sleep with my head at the front entry. Just water, no more bug juice anywhere around after that.Dec 28, 2019 at 2:29 pm #3624571Dean F.BPL Member
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
While I am usually a mid fanboi, I’ll disagree with Rex. Using an inner-net totally negates the weight advantage of using a mid. If you need an innernet you’re better off just getting a more conventional tent. Mids are great for being a light and roomy option that is also pretty bomber by UL standards.
That said, I am truly boggled that some people find the center pole annoying. Why? What is the issue?Dec 30, 2019 at 6:19 am #3624829
“That said, I am truly boggled that some people find the center pole annoying. Why? What is the issue?”
Maybe they are using smaller mids, which require wriggling around the pole to get in and out. Or maybe they sleepwalk, and don’t want to hit the pole and bring the tent down on top of them. Seriously, totally unobstructed access into, around and out of a tent is appealing to many, including those with bph who need to struggle in and out of the tent while half asleep a number of times during the night. And don’t come back with one of those gen X/Z wisecracks reserved for septuagenarians, or my nurse will whup you up the side of the head.
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