- Mar 24, 2020 at 4:48 pm #3637610Bruce TolleyMember
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am not in the market for a new tent, but some folks might.
Given the recent thread about how tents perform in high winds, the claims Zpacks make about this tent’s (comparative) performance in high winds is intriguing.
Zippered doors, yeah!Mar 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm #3637620Ryan JordanMember
@ryanLocale: Central RockiesMar 24, 2020 at 7:44 pm #3637641Bruce TolleyMember
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I look forward to the results and hope that the Free Duo does not become a kite.Mar 24, 2020 at 8:12 pm #3637651jscottMember
@bookLocale: Northern California
Zpacks simply doesn’t like bringing their door panels down to near ground level. this tent brags that the tent canopy closes closer to the ground than their hiking pole tents. True. It still leaves a gap.
The one issue that I had with my Solomid plus was that the door panel couldn’t be brought down anywhere near close to the ground, and that risked allowing gusts to enter and balloon the tent from inside. It never happened, but I never liked that aspect of the design. It seemed vulnerable to shifts in winds.
Why the resistance? Probably has to do with condensation management. Well, there are other ways to deal with that in most cirucumstances. I want a wind tight tent.Mar 24, 2020 at 10:45 pm #3637665Sam FarringtonMember
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Agree. Was convinced by a trip to a New Balance outlet sale in the Sebago Lake region of Maine. The commercial tent was set up over the sale tables. It was a large tent, maybe 30′ square or more. It had some sides, but they did not all reach the ground.
The wind came up, and the force that was projected on the tent by ballooning was unbelievable. The tent ceiling was converted to a dome shape and shuddered terribly. Fortunately the poles were steel tubing, the fabric was heavy canvas, and the guy lines were heavy rope with many heavy stakes driven in by a sledgehammer. So everything held. That kind of force on a small SUL BP tent would have decimated it.
The flip side of the coin is that wind ordinarily does not blow close to the ground; so vestibules need to come close, but not all the way to the ground. This does allow for some ventilation, protects the fabric and door zipper from gravel etc., and allows the tent to be pitched over a slightly irregular ground surface.
Was trying to see what type of hubs connected the cross poles to the vertical ones. Backed up the video several times but could not make them out. They are probably quite flimsy, but understand why: If sturdy hubs are used, they are heavy, and erase any weight advantage from using carbon poles.
Note that the number of connections between the external poles and the canopy are minimal. Nothing like the Kuiu (KU-you) Mountain Star, or some of the external pole tents from Big Sky. I think Ryan is on track in suggesting some wind tests, not the slight breeze that was blowing the canopy about in the video. Even if many stakes and guys hold this tent for an all night blow, better bring earplugs.Mar 25, 2020 at 1:22 pm #3637730Dan DurstonMember
I’m skeptical about the wind performance for a few reasons. First, the pole structure is in two halves (e.g. not solidly joined at the peaks) like the Flex poles for the Duplex, which gives up a lot of rigidity. This disconnected design won’t be as robust in the wind compared to if they joined the two poles with an elbow that would allow them to tension the tent across the top. It’s a bit baffling because an elbow would be easy to add.
Also, virtually all traditionally poled tents curve their poles around a curved tent body because that makes sense for a lot of reasons (e.g. even load distribution and stress). Here the poles run over peaks instead, which is an odd way to do it. The Duplex Flex kit does that, but because it’s a retrofit on a trekking pole shelter. If you’re designing a freestanding tent from scratch you wouldn’t normally keep the peaks – especially with disconnects in the pole structure right at the peaks because that is the highest stress part. If you do have a traditionally poled tent with a sharp bend in the shape, you’d always see a beefy elbow there but here there is the weakest part of the structure at the highest stress part of the tent.
IMO, they should at least use elbows instead of not joining the poles so they could tension it and one side of the frame would support the other. Much better would be to round off the peaks and run curved arch poles over them instead of kinked. Without tension here, there isn’t sufficient tension across the top of the tent, hence why they have to add guylines off the end walls. Those guylines primarily pull outwards on the pole structure which is what tension across the top would have avoided the need for. Even with these guylines, a wind gust on the end wall is going to post a much bigger challenge compared to a similar design but with normal curved poles instead of disconnected peaks.
To illustrate, if you bend a stick it is likely going to snap near the middle because that is where the leverage/force is the greatest. If the stick has a sharp kink in it near the middle, it is almost certainly going to snap there because now the stress is focused (like bending it over your knee). And if the stick had a sharp kink AND isn’t even joined at that kink – well it’s just not in the same league for strength as normal stick.
My guess is that they opted for the peaks because that was a much simpler thing to manufacture compared with a curved shape, even though there is a big loss in rigidity and also gains in complexity and weight (i.e. added stakes and guylines). All that is to say, I’m skeptical this is a particularly windproof tent. It’s probably good enough, but there appears to be clear concessions in structural robustness to make it easier to manufacture.Mar 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm #3637751
I counted at least 4 guy ropes with tent pegs, and I don’t believe the tent can stay upright without two of them.
Wind performance should be OK in a closed room.
CheersMar 25, 2020 at 3:31 pm #3637758J RMember
$699? But they said it’s free… =/Mar 25, 2020 at 3:43 pm #3637760Jeffs ElevenMember
Pretty sure this is just to appease all the people who are scared of the boogey man/ non- free standing tents.
I think it’s hilarious.
heavier, no more stable, more expensive. Let people who want it give joe their money. It’ll give us elitists something to laugh at while on the trail. Aren’t free standing tents for state parks anyway?Mar 25, 2020 at 4:29 pm #3637770JCHMember
“Wind performance should be OK in a closed room.”
That is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, and I suggest it could be wrong. 🤣
”Pretty sure this is just to appease all the people who are scared of the boogey man/ non- free standing tents.”
I have weathered some pretty serious storms in a Duplex. I had some trepidation, but it came through with flying colors.Mar 25, 2020 at 4:43 pm #3637773
The video does show the tent shaking in a light wind. Extrapolate.
CheersMar 25, 2020 at 5:20 pm #3637776
Where would you put those extra poles ?Mar 25, 2020 at 5:32 pm #3637779JCHMember
Roger – I’m just yanking your chain :)
To my eye, the shaking of the tent in the video looks suspiciously like someone off-camera yanking on the guy-lines trying to simulate the effect of wind…look at how the guy-lines go completely slack after they have been pulled. It definitely doesn’t look like wind…there is no deformation of the panels.
And to be clear, I too doubt that shelter’s performance in the wind…the design…it just…doesn’t…look right.Mar 25, 2020 at 5:39 pm #3637783
“To my eye, the shaking of the tent in the video looks suspiciously like someone off-camera yanking on the guy-lines trying to simulate the effect of wind”
yes, there is no movement on the vegetation at the back.
Mar 25, 2020 at 5:48 pm #3637787
- This reply was modified 5 days, 6 hours ago by Franco Darioli.
would be nice to be able to edit so that I could correctly spell extra polite .
The photo of King Arthur on a horse with coconut supplied sound effect was meant to be a GifMar 25, 2020 at 6:40 pm #3637797
yanking on guy lines
Oh dear – I missed that! As Trump would say, Fake Wind!
I noticed that tent did fall over at one stage, before an essential tent peg had been added.
So, just another pop-up?
CheersMar 25, 2020 at 9:02 pm #3637826Geoff CaplanMember
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
I suspect that most people in Europe don’t really understand this US thing of leaving large gaps between the fly and the ground.
Pretty much everything designed in the UK or Scandinavia allows you to nail things down all round when required. You’re in danger of blowing away if you can’t.
The key to managing condensation is a design that allows a thru-draft in all but the worst conditions, but keeps you safe when things turn nasty.Mar 25, 2020 at 9:07 pm #3637827
And the best place for the ventilation is at the TOP of the tent, not at ground level.
CheersMar 25, 2020 at 11:01 pm #3637830Dan DurstonMember
Yeah. Ground level venting just gives you a drafty sleep while warmer humid air still hangs out in the top half. It certainly doesn’t work as well as top venting, but it likely done because it’s lighter. Instead of adding vents up top, you just cut away the bottom of the fly.Mar 25, 2020 at 11:23 pm #3637833
likely done because it’s lighter
That sort of attitude is one which I find abhorrent.
Can you imagine someone trying to sell polyester climbing ropes ‘because it is cheaper’?
CheersMar 26, 2020 at 6:17 am #3637844J RMember
Something else about this tent that is a pet peeve of mine, the pockets are too low to store anything fragile without risking crushing them with your body while you sleep. Notice at 2:07 the eyeglasses in the pocket are lying flat on the floor, the 42″ wide floor that is supposed to sleep 2.Mar 26, 2020 at 8:26 am #3637857bradmacmtMember
While I applaud exploring non-trekking pole, UL tent design (I don’t use poles), this model seems poorly thought-out in the name of being “different.” It’s not just wind, but I question its ability to handle snow given a relatively flat, inward sloping “butterfly” roof. A few inches of wet snow is going to seriously test the design IMO.Mar 26, 2020 at 1:54 pm #3637910Doug CoeMember
@sierradougLocale: Bay Area, CA, USA
I counted at least 4 guy ropes with tent pegs, and I don’t believe the tent can stay upright without two of them.”
Roger—They show it in the video free standing on a wooden platform and it didn’t have any pegs used.
Of course, there’s no way to close the doors in that configuration (or tighten up the side panels) but, hey, who needs closed doors in a rainstorm, right?Mar 26, 2020 at 2:13 pm #3637915
I notice the glasses in the pocket lying on the floor. Very bad idea, but not the biggest fault in the design.
CheersMar 26, 2020 at 3:32 pm #3637930
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