rain fly windows

11:49 a.m. on October 13, 2010 (EDT)
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I own an Alps Mountaineering Catalyst 2 tent with a polyester rain fly. I am perfectly satisfied with the tent, but I want to talk about the fly. This fly has no windows and I wish it did! Has anybody out there installed after-market windows to their rain fly, and, if so, I could sure appreciate the methods involved in this project. Or, alternately, would there be an optional rain fly out there, with windows, to fit this tent? Thanks for any comments!

4:10 p.m. on October 13, 2010 (EDT)
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I would say no to the windows. Though nice, they will crack in around 8 years. I have a TNF Canyonland with windows. Lucky that TNF replaced the whole fly. Plus they are only so good as far as viewing the outside.

11:53 p.m. on October 13, 2010 (EDT)
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Windows are no problem, but I am wondering if anyone knows how to plumb their tent for a spring fed hot tube! You should pass on the windows. Consider every seam on your rain fly as another opportunity to leak. If you want a view, put on your poncho at stand outside, or erect a rain tarp to get under..
Ed

4:01 p.m. on October 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for your swift response! I was hoping technology would have improved on the older tent windows. But I guess not. I can live without windows!

7:51 p.m. on October 17, 2010 (EDT)
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I just bought a Mountain Hardwear tent with a window in the fly. I have to agree with the other guys here:

1. You dont see much

2. I can tell it will crack in just a few years (will remember to contact customer service to ask for a fly replacement).

3. Less seams, less chance of a leak.

If you buy a tent with one, so be it. I personally would never try to install one. Tents are too important a piece of gear to possibily compromise its integrity.

8:45 p.m. on October 17, 2010 (EDT)
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<p>I have a 12 year old MH Skyview 2 with a window in the fly, I haven't had any issues with mine (window) it hasn't leaked and it was seam sealed with the rest of the fly. It hasn't cracked or turned yellow either, most of the time I am tenting in the shade under tree canopy, that helps I'm sure.</p><p>Personally I like them, I don't need one of course, but it's helpful at times. </p><p><br></p>

11:19 a.m. on October 18, 2010 (EDT)
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I have two tents with windows and have used several others on expeditions belonging to other people. Several points, some of which are repeats -

- Even when brand new, the windows do not give a very clear view. They are not even "antique flow glass" optical quality, and since they do not have flat surfaces when the tent is pitched, the views are very distorted. Don't even think about shooting photos through them (unless you like abstract distortions, which can be very artistic).

- They do scratch fairly quickly, whether you pack the tent by folding, rolling, or stuffing. And after a few dozen packings and unpackings, they develop a bit of "frosting"

- I have not yet seen one made in the past 10 years or so that developed cracks, even along an apparent deep scratch line. The material currently used is pretty flexible, even in extreme cold. And I haven't seen any yellowing in ones made in the past 10 years - again, big improvement in the materials.

- They do collect condensation from your nightly perspiration and if you cook inside the tent (DO NOT COOK INSIDE TENTS! You have a good chance of dying from CO, oxygen depletion, or setting the tent on fire). They even collect condensation from sitting around drinking cups of hot drinks. The windows seem to collect condensation much more rapidly than the other parts of the fly material. Even using a microfiber towel to get the dew off, the water never seems to get cleared very well - lots of fine and large droplets left.

- In winter and in cold areas (Antarctica, Arctic regions, at altitude on cold mountains, etc), they frost over. Removing the frost with your soft microfiber towel seems to leave fine scratches in the plastic, plus (see "condensation" above) it never gets completely clear.

- You can tell if it is raining by looking at the window and seeing the raindrops (gee, I can tell without a window by just hearing the rain on the fly)

- You can tell if it is snowing by noting that your outward vision is blocked by white stuff.

- You can tell if that is a bear snuffling around your tent by the sloppy lick marks and saliva drips on the window.

- Views of the stars at night take on an artistic quality, reminiscent of Gaugin's "Starry Night" - this has been known to move tentmates into off-key renditions of the song "Starry Starry Night".

My current take on windows as currently implemented in tents - nice idea in theory, but doesn't really work in practice.

2:14 a.m. on October 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I have a 12 year old MH Skyview 2 with a window in the fly, I haven't had any issues with mine (window) it hasn't leaked and it was seam sealed with the rest of the fly. It hasn't cracked or turned yellow either, most of the time I am tenting in the shade under tree canopy, that helps I'm sure.

Personally I like them, I don't need one of course, but it's helpful at times.

Same here!  except mine is a 10 year old Skyview 1.5.  So far so good with the window.  It's not exactly a picture window ... but it lets a little light in, and lets me see enough to be able to tell, for example, if it's sunny or cloudy when I wake up :).  Personally I'm not a fan of being closed in so I can't see what's going on around me, so I like the window and wish the whole fly were transparent :)

Here's the Skyview 1.5 in Kings Canyon NP when it (the tent :)) was nearly new...

Skyview-1-5-when-new.jpg

 

2:18 a.m. on October 23, 2010 (EDT)
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- You can tell if that is a bear snuffling around your tent by the sloppy lick marks and saliva drips on the window.

hahaha, OGBO, good one :)

October 2, 2014
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