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Tent. Which freestanding double wall.


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Viewing 12 posts - 26 through 37 (of 37 total)
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  • #3760174
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    I think you were right to try the Marmot UL tent, if only because the fly is polyester that will not weigh you down with soaked water absorbing nylon, and be a chore to fold and pack up.  And the guylines won’t have to be constantly adjusted to keep the canopy tight in the rain so it will deter wrinkles and sagging, and resist high winds.   So it is too bad they sent you a tent with a defect, and perhaps you should consider a replacement.  Did you check the amount of overhang on the top ridge of the fly?  The fly does come as close to the ground as practicable, not the case with many of the others.

    However, another big issue is ability to pitch in the rain without water accumulating in the bathtub floor.  As you said, slingfin has a somewhat fiddly solution for that. But their fly is silnylon, with the flaws mentioned above.  Ditto for the Big Sky Revolution tents.

    Since building packs and tents are a hobby, I’ve spent much time attempting to address the  above issues.  External poles were not a great idea because they create snow fences on a canopy, that may also possibly be affected by strong winds, which may be one reason why Roger Caffin makes his external pole sleeves narrow.

    So those who see only unicorns may be right.  But as Mao stated, we may have to take a step backward in order to go forward with an inner tent that repels water long enough to pitch, and is joined to the vestibule beaks that also keep water out; thus doing away with with a huge fly that may get carried away by the wind, and allowing for a much smaller fly.  But haven’t seen any solutions of this sort being developed by the sporting goods industry, and you probably don’t want to pin your hopes on that.

    So if you are still strong on a self standing tent, you might consider another shot at the Marmot UL tent, and whether the Slingfin approach to pitching in the rain might be adapted to the Marmot, since they are both single cross pole wedge tents.  Please let us know what you decide, and how it survives your through hike.  One great thing about BPL is that you can dig out and post on an old thread, and the update will appear right along with the current threads. Happy trails!

    #3760185
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    polyester that will not weigh you down with soaked water absorbing nylon,
    I keep hearing about this, but with all my silnylon tunnel tents I have yet to really experience any significant weight increase after rain.

    A good silnylon fabric does not really leave the nylon threads exposed that much to the rain anyhow: imhe the silicone coating tends to run the water off before it can soak in.

    Cheers

    #3760188
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    You might look at the Big Agnes Fly Creek. It’s semi-free standing however. The body of the fly can stay attached to the fly when packing so it’s effectively fly-first pitch.

    #3760250
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Roger,

    It is a mystery.  Some possible explanations:

    The shock cord that tensions the tent, coupled with the tunnel design.

    Your climate has low humidity and precip compared to most of the USA and other places.

    Your silnylon is better.  (Am always open to testing a 12 inch square swatch.)

    That’s about all I’ve come up with.

    As I write this, it is pouring out.  Predicted to last three days.

     

    #3760252
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Sam

    The shock cord that tensions the tent, coupled with the tunnel design.
    I will certainly go along with this one, as I have frequently said. The heavy bungee cord keeps that fabric taut. I would put this suggestion absolutely at the top of the list.

    Your climate has low humidity and precip compared to most of the USA and other places.
    Cough, choke, giggle.
    Have you seen the flooding on the East coast of Oz recently? Inches of rain per day.
    Sydney has a very high level of humidity compared to the rest of the world. Keeping houses dry inside can be difficult.
    So, not this one, not at all.

    Your silnylon is better.
    There may be something in this. The fabric I use for my tents is some of the old Westmark stuff, from the era before the EPA shut their coating plant down. It has a glossy surface with a silicone layer which I think is heavier than the SUL modern stuff. You can guess why I do not change it. But sadly I am running out of it.

    Cheers

    #3760341
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Hi Roger,

    I’m sorry to hear about your weather. Have seen what is happening in Pakistan, Puerto Rico, etc.  The poles are melting and the seas are rising.  That just amplifies the need for truly waterproof shelters that can stand the forces generated by high winds.

    Years ago you did refer me to Westmark here in the US; but it tested poorly; so that must have been after the older stuff you mention.  If your tents are made out of that, as you describe it; that would largely explain why you have not experienced the issues with silnylon that are legendary on BPL.

    What was also asked on Murali’s current thread, is how moisture penetrates a good silnylon that is very waterproof.  I think it is because in a rainstorm, some of the moisture vaporizes, and enters the fabric as a gas.  That also explains condensation inside a tent, as ambient moisture from the occupants vaporizes, passes through the inner tent, and condenses on the inside of the outer tent.

    So I have looked for an inner tent fabric that passes moisture to the inside of the outer fly; but is water resistant enough to hold rain at bay during the pitch when the fly has not yet been fully attached.  Ideally that inner fabric would be treated with eVent; as I’ve seen displays of steam rising through eVent.  But haven’t found eVent on an ultra light fabric. Still have some very light fabric from an old GoLite poncho tarp that was marketed as ‘waterproof breathable.’  It is a misnomer, because air does not pass thru WPB fabric, while water vapor does.

    So that fabric or one like it will go into the ceiling of an inner tent.  Ironically, a lighter silpoly  fabric will go into the fly.  So no fumbling around when trying to pitch the tent in a downpour, while keeping the bathtub floor from filling up.  Getting caught having to do a rainy pitch doesn’t happen too often; but that could change with the climate.  Then we’ll see ultra light WPB inners.

    #3760343
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Sam
    Climate change is a problem, but so are the climate deniers, including many politicians.
    Our house is on top of a ridge, in a slight saddle. Site selection some 40+ years ago was not an accident.

    I believe the later (post EPA) Westmark fabrics were not a patch on the originals. Sigh.

    how moisture penetrates a good silnylon that is very waterproof. I think it is because in a rainstorm, some of the moisture vaporizes, and enters the fabric as a gas.
    I really doubt the significance of this. Really.

    That also explains condensation inside a tent, as ambient moisture from the occupants vaporizes, passes through the inner tent, and condenses on the inside of the outer tent.
    Absolutely. We see this all the time. Not just the occupants, but also wet clothing and even wet ground.

    I will stick my neck out (you know me!) and say that claims that the rain was misting through the fabric are 99.99% daydreams. The impact of the raindrops on the outside knocks moisture off the inside, but that is moisture from condensation. There is quite a high peak force right t the middle of the raindrop as it impacts: surprisingly high, but only for microseconds.

    I have looked for an inner tent fabric that passes moisture to the inside of the outer fly; but is water resistant enough to hold rain at bay during the pitch when the fly has not yet been fully attached.
    A tight-weave UL fabric with some sort of DWR coating is all one needs in a double-skin tent. Drops of water from the fly will just roll off in my experience. This fabric should NOT be membrane-coated: let vapour pass through it.

    But: I NEVER pitch the inner tent first. It is the job of the fly to keep the rain off, NOT the job of the inner tent. I never deviate from this. The inner tent in my designs is usually attached to the inside of the fly anyhow, albeit by Velcro strips. Ideas about splitting a tent into two parts to share the weight are just fairy-land. Share something else!

    Cheers

    #3760384
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Roger,

    “I really doubt the significance of this. Really.”

    OK, but then how do you explain how moisture gets into the nylon in silnylon.  Perhaps not so much with your silnylon, but most silnylon, and all ultra light silnylon that I’ve seen (and tested).

    Re: “Misting”

    Agreed.  Water vapor, like that smoke that rises above a pot of boiling water, is not mist.

    “This fabric should NOT be membrane-coated: let vapour pass through it.” (Referring to an inner tent or liner)

    Unfortunately, I have tested a variety of ultra light nylons that have very good DWR treatments.  Water does bead up and almost jump right off of them.  However, when the fabric is cupped, and a small amount of water is poured in, it starts leaking immediately.  On a tent, it will quickly leak in a heavy downpour.  So if used for an inner tent, and the fly has not yet been affixed over it, water will soak the bathtub floor and everything in it.  Just ask my dogs.

    Please note that I’ve never thought that you pitch an inner tent first.  Your netting ones would be swamped.  As for your fabric inners, they would suffer the same fate without an outer or fly.

    “Ideas about splitting a tent into two parts to share the weight are just fairy-land. Share something else!”

    Trying to pitch a tent in a savage downpour is not frairyland.  Anything but.  Of course common sense directs us to avoid this at all costs.  But sometimes it can’t be avoided, in the high country in Colorado for example, when one was hoping for the rain to abate before dark, but it’s not happening, and the wind is getting stronger and stronger after a long day of hiking in the damp.

    Scenarios like that are what led me to radically change self standing tents so that their inners can resist blown rain at least long enough to get the inner pitched and anchored.  And there are side benefits:  1- You can see what you’re doing; 2- Pitching the inner is not an exercise in contortions; 3- Once the fly is on, protection from the weather becomes greatly increased compared to a single wall outer with some netting pasted under it ; 4- A smaller fly can be used that will not blow away like those mega flies commonly used on self standing tents; 5 – And due to the partial fly, there are more ways to design openings that improve ventilation.  By “partial,” I don’t mean tiny top covers like the one on the Hilleberg Suolo that is reported to leak; but a fly that fully covers the inner tent, with some overlap.

    “I NEVER pitch the inner tent first. It is the job of the fly to keep the rain off, NOT the job of the inner tent. I never deviate from this.”

    Too many rules perhaps?  But of course we are wiser and more open to change.

    #3760398
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Sam

    OK, but then how do you explain how moisture gets into the nylon in silnylon. Perhaps not so much with your silnylon, but most silnylon, and all ultra light silnylon that I’ve seen (and tested).
    That is a very good question, and it goes to the heart of some of the problems. Small soapbox follows.
    What is a good UL silnylon fabric? There are two ways of looking at this. You can substitute ‘polyester’ for ‘nylon’ if you wish.

    * The first is as a UL nylon fabric with a light silicone coating on it. But such a UL fabric is likely to have a light weave, with significant gaps between the threads. These gaps lead to leaks, especially when the coating is thin and has been flexed a lot. In effect it wears out. In this case the coating is secondary to the fabric.

    You could do better with a very tight weave with the threads pressed tightly against each other, but this has two problems. The first is that the increased amount of fibre or threads makes the fabric heavier, so it ceases to be quite so UL. The customer does not want that. The second problem is that you need a much more powerful loom to make a very tightly woven fabric, such looms are not as common and a lot more expensive. Small Asian mills won’t pay the extra cost.

    * The second view sees the fabric as a silicone membrane which has been reinforced with a light nylon fabric inside the membrane. In this view the silicone membrane is critical, and can be relied on to resist leakage for a very long time. Such a fabric ,makes a very good storm-resistant tent. The catch is that the extra silicone polymer is more expensive and heavier than in the first case.

    You pays yer money and takes yer choice.

    ultra light nylons that have very good DWR treatments. . . . On a tent, it will quickly leak in a heavy downpour. So if used for an inner tent, and the fly has not yet been affixed over it, water will soak the bathtub floor and everything in it.
    To be sure.
    But that is because it is not meant for resisting rain. The fabric is being misused. That is not a fabric fault: it is a design fault. The inner tent should never be exposed to the rain: never. The groundsheet should not be left to act as a bucket in the rain either.

    Yes, that means the inner tent should probably be attached to the inside of the fly and the two parts should be pitched in one go: integral pitching. If you want to be able to pitch just a netting interior without the fly so you can look at the starrs, then my advice is of no use to you. Sorry: not my game.

    Trying to pitch a tent in a savage downpour is not fairyland.
    Well, no, but with an integral-pitch tent it is really not that hard. I guess it will depend a bit on the design of the tent. Certainly, I have pitched my tents in severe storms (wind, rain and snow) and the process has not been any slower than doing it in fine weather. Ha! It has probably been done faster in bad weather! There’s a motive there . . .

    I gave up on the whole ‘self-standing’ bit when I saw a video of one of those designs rolling along the ground, blowing away in the wind. I want my tent to stay right there!

    I am not sure about the ‘too many rules’ business. I do what I do because it is easy, it works, and gets me out of the bad weather fastest.

    Sorry about the length.
    Cheers

    #3760600
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Hi Roger.  Re:

    “You pays yer money and takes yer choice.”

    You may not have to choose.  A tent designed to weigh less will use much less yardage, and will drop a lot of weight that way.  A striking example are a number of DCF tents that also dump weight by greatly reducing inner space; hence less yardage, hence less weight.  But some believe the ultra light weight all comes from the DCF, and pay dearly for that.  I’ll let the marketplace decide if that is so; but will reference the original Hubba.  The floor was so small it reminded me more of a coffin.  When I replaced the floor and fly with a silnylon, and the framework with carbon poles, and hubs from Fibraplex, a smallish hiking companion loved it.  Confession:  I should have used Easton nanolites for the bottom struts, and did so in short order.  However, the point is that fabric is only one part of getting to ultra light.

    “But that is because it is not meant for resisting rain. The fabric is being misused. That is not a fabric fault: it is a design fault. The inner tent should never be exposed to the rain: never.”

    Testing fabrics to see how they perform is not a misuse by any standard.  Nor is testing WPB fabrics to see how they perform in rain.  Black Diamond did quite well with WPB tents, but unfortunately should not have chosen Epic as we both know, and their replacement fabric was reportedly fragile.  That does not mean they should never have tried.  It only means their efforts may not have succeeded.  Since then, WPB fabric tech has improved, such as with eVent for example.

    ” I have pitched my tents in severe storms (wind, rain and snow) and the process has not been any slower than doing it in fine weather.”

    Maybe you are in better shape and much swifter than I am in a downpour so thick you can barely see.  Yes, agree that some tunnels can be erected in one motion and that is a major plus.  But remember that many, if not most tent buyers pitch their inners first, then throw on the mega fly.  Unfortunately, that is the way most self standing tents are designed by the large manufacturers.  And sooner or later, buyers have to do it in a rainstorm.   One solution as you suggest is to have the outer and inner pitch together, but haven’t seen too many of those that are self standing, which is what the OP is looking for.  And many of those are a bear to pitch in the rain for the reasons noted in my prior post.  Again, the marketplace will decide who will endure that.  But that kind of pitching might look doable on a Slingfin Portal video, or on Ryan J’s dry pitch of an REI Quarterdome; but when pitching in a severe storm, there has to be a better way.

    “I gave up on the whole ‘self-standing’ bit … ”   No kidding, hah-hah, but admire your restraint in not using the phrase ‘pop up’ even once.  But I’m not ready to give up, because I think self standing tents have a number of great characteristics, and apparently the OP does also.

    #3760601
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Yeah, to each his own.

    For the record: my capacious and moderately storm-worthy blue summer 2-man 3-pole tunnel weighs 1340 g complete with poles and Ti wire pegs. That is 670 g per person. Note that it has vertical walls so you get the full width of the groundsheet without any contact with the walls: that is two standard airmats plus room beside them both for stuff sacks of gear.

    My equally capacious and seriously storm-proof red winter 2-man double-skin 4-pole tent weighs 2200 g complete with all poles and including 400 g of very serious titanium snow pegs. That is 1100 g per person for a tent which has happily sat there the whole night on a ridge-top in a 100 kph snow storm. The storm was so bad I had to crawl around the tent in the morning to bring it down: I could not stand up. OK, stupid place to camp.

    If people want to pitch the inner first and get it soaking wet in a storm and the groundsheet filled up, that is not my worry. It’s a free world (outside Russia and China).

    But I will take issue with you about the claim that most mass-market tents are ‘designed by the large manufacturers’. My understanding, from some dealings in the game, is that the ‘popular’ tents are designed in Asia these days and the western vendors just buy them in bulk. So OK, if by ‘large manufacturers’ you mean the Asian tent makers.

    Cheers

    #3760666
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Hi Roger:

    Re:  “My understanding, from some dealings in the game, is that the ‘popular’ tents are designed in Asia these days and the western vendors just buy them in bulk. So OK, if by ‘large manufacturers’ you mean the Asian tent makers.”

    Yup, that’s what I meant.  Not sure about who does the designing.  With one Vietnam packmaker, Osprey, I know it’s a collaboration.  Dan D. could probably tell you how much input he has with his tents; but I’d think it’s probably substantial.

    “If people want to pitch the inner first and get it soaking wet in a storm and the groundsheet filled up, that is not my worry.”

    With only a DWR treatment on the inner ceiling, agree with you. With a WPB fabric, I think the ceiling will keep out the water for the brief time it takes to pitch.  Granted, I’ve not yet built the tent and put it to the test.  ‘The proof of the pudding …”  Since the vestibules will be affixed to the inner ceiling, it will be up to that ceiling to keep out the deluge for a few minutes.  Therefore the ceiling will form a gothic arch, slightly convex to increase inside space, but fully sloping so the water will run off.  No hoops for me.  Incidentally, the GoLite WPB I mentioned weighs in at 1.13 oz/sq/yd (~38.3 gm/sq/m), not bad compared to the RBTR, that weighed in at 1.5 oz/sq/yd, albeit spec’d at 1.4.  But am still googling WPB ponchos for something lighter, though will probably go with the GoLite, based on Richard Nisley’s HH tests of yore.

    Would love to post diagrams, but justice cries out for the full monty.  It will be done if I last long enough, which I believe is up to a higher power.

    And yup, by “large manufacturers” I meant Asian tent makers.  As Pat Paulson used to say, “picky, picky, picky.”

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