Tent Performance in Rain

9:44 a.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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So what is good performance from a tent (any tent) regarding extended rains?

I’m really curious after reading some recent posts and specifically spurred by this statement from Mike in his bivy topic:

mikemorrow said:

 my TNF Canyonlands wich failed me on one trip last year. After 3-4 days of nonstop rain it started to drip.

I’ll admit that I’ve been mostly a fair weather backpacker up until the last two years or so and so I don’t have a great deal of foul weather experience. This makes it hard to judge for me.

On a recent trip (My last Trip Report in fact), I found myself in a steady rain for about 16 hours at about 3500 ft in Eastern TN.

This was the spot it happened:


Fall-5-2011-088.jpg

The tent was on a grassy spot (actually on the trail) and had the Big Agnes foot print under it. There was water running down the trail and under the tent as the rains picked up.

I was mostly dry but my tent did seem to “sweat” ever so slightly from the floor, but more disturbingly I had jtwo big drips inside the tent. Not steady flow but only two total drops of water. I was pretty alarmed at that though. This was the longest I had ever stayed put in a rain; I‘ve used that tent in many storms with no drips but never for that long.

I called Big Agnes and asked their tech support if I needed to re-seal something or the like and they said that condensation was normal in rain for that long of period and that it sounded to them like the tent performed well. When I awoke with a drip on my face I didn’t feel like it performed well.
But maybe it did given the tent and scenario?

Thoughts?

11:17 a.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I've used this Marmot tent while I was in the Wheeler Wilderness back in September and each day there were thunderstorms which lasted anywhere from 2 to 4 hrs with fairly heavy rain.  One overnight, it rained a good portion of the night into the early morning hours.  Even had water under the tent and the tent never leaked.  Other than humidity being a slight issue, all of my gear was dry.  There were periods of sun during the daytime which would allow everything to completely dry out.  The only real issue I had, was, when it rained hard enough, the drops hitting the ground nearest the edges of the fly would "splash" just enough to cause the water get under the fly and  mist onto the mesh inner.  Nothing ever truly became wet because of this but I was able to see it on the mesh.  I suppose in a driving rain this would be a problem.   
DSCF0592.jpg

11:28 a.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rob, is that a Limelight?

11:52 a.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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if you spent sixteen hours in a tent, in a rainstorm, and all you got is a couple drops of water, you're fine, and your tent performed well.  if you had a leak, you would most likely experience more than a few drops - more like a steady drip.  those two drops easily could have been condensation.   

the 'sweat' on the floor was almost certainly condensation, not a leak. 

12:05 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Patman said:

Rob, is that a Limelight?

 Funny you should ask.  No, it is the same as the Earlylight.  Same dimensions but the inner is entirely mesh.  I think they discontinued this model.  It's a Titan 2p.  There's no roof vent like on the Earlylight, but the doors zip from the top or bottom.  I used two small (inch and a half) sticks and unzipped the doors partially from the top, then wedged the stick in there which separated the zipper creating a vent.  It worked good enough in all but the heaviest rain.  Surprisingly, no condensation issues. 

12:30 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I agree both 'issues' sounds like a condensation problem. As the colder water flowed under your tent that resulted in condensation on the tent floor, and the two drips you mentioned were more than likely from condensation resulting from your breathing.

Different materials perform differently in prolonged rain. For example my tarp is silnylon and under a light to moderate rain everything is fine. During a really really hard rain it will occassionally mist through. This is a known flaw with silnylon, but is rarely an issue for me. I have been in some really bad thunderstorms in my silnylon tarp and even during the worst of the misting it doesn't amount to more than an actual few drops of water, which doesnt even get my gear wet.

PU coated nylon is more more waterproof but the tradeoff is PU is about double the weight of sil.

All in all it sounds like your tent performed well. If I notice condensation starting to really form I just take my pack towel and do a quick wipe down every so often if needed.

12:53 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Awesome, Thanks guys...this is exactly the kind of experienced feedback I was hoping for. Despite my presence on a gear website, I’m actually not much of a gear head and I’m continually learning as I go. Like most, I can’t afford to try out all the different types of gear out there and things that probably seem simple and stupid to a lot of folks are real points of learning for me.

Rambler,

That is fascinating regarding silnylon as my tent is very thin (20D) silnylon fly and floor. It seems now I know another trade off of the light weight. The whole kit ( body, fly, poles, footprint, stakes, stuff sack) is less than three pounds.

1:28 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Patman, you have to remember I'm in the PNW. In the winter it can rain for months without drying out. That means my demands on a winter tent is differant than yours. I have no worries about a snow load on it as well. Eveyones tent should be suited for the climate it will be used. I wasnt trashing TNF Canyonlands. In fact I love the tent. The point was that it was not designed to be used the way I was atempting to use it. The canyonlands holds up well in overnight storms. But the soaking that it got on that trip was to much for it. Not the tents fault at all.

 Your tent sounds like it held up well. 16 hrs with only a drip or two is good. If you moved to the PNW ....Well.... your demands would change.

1:39 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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lol, no worries Mike...feel free to trash that tent all you like!

Very true about having the right equipment for the right place. I'm curious, when the Canyonlands dripped on you was it constant? The timing of your topic was interesting as I was still mulling over my experience. I was trying to decide if I was (or even should be) dissatisfied with my tent and then read your post; human nature I guess to see someone dissatisfied and start asking yourself if you are too. : ) )

3:09 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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It wasnt a big leak kinda like yours but for days. I use a down bag and it alarmed me enough to do something about it. And after our last storm I think I'm going to buy a em bivy too. I'm looking at this one

http://www.backcountry.com/adventure-medical-emergency-bivvy

I know it isnt anything great. But It would do what I need it to do if I ever need to do it. I hope not. But at 3.5 oz, water proof, and keeps in heat. $16 well spent.

Like I said I wasnt dissatisfied with the tent. It just wasnt made to do what I was trying to do with it. I will do an update sometime on the Canyonlands, and it will be a good one. I would never give a bad review on a product that fails when you push it beyond its limits. It would be like complaining about a 4 season tent being hot in 90 degree weather. OH wait people do that dont they. :)

3:33 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Hmmm, does SOL stand for Sh** out of luck?

As in, that is your condition if you need this product...

 

That does look like a neat product.

4:54 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Here is my theory regarding the waterproofness of tents. A water proof tent should be water proof. There, that was simple. If your tent leaks water then it may be considered water resistant depending on how much water gets in but not waterproof. If too much water gets in then it would be considered a crappy tent and not even water resistant, I don’t care who’s label is on the tent and how proud of the tent you are.

There are four reasons tents leak water. 1) It is a crappy tent that has no business being sold as a tent.  In the end it's your fault if you buy a crappy tent. 2)  It is a one,two or three season tent that is being use in the fourth season and that would then be due to operator error. 3) The improper use of tent in regards to setting up the tent, again operator error. 4) A poor job of seam sealing, again operator error.

The tent is your house, your shelter on the road. Would it be ok if your house leaked. Would you go get some spray and spray your roof hoping it would work so that the next time it rained your roof would not leak. Would you build your house at the bottom of a flood plain and then when a raging river ran underneath your house say “I wonder why I got water in my basement?”

OK, I get made a lot of fun of because I always buy 4 season tents. A properly designed four season tent should never, and I mean never leak. I have many, many tents, nearly all four season tents. If a tent leaks because you(I) did a crappy job of seam sealing than that is your(my) fault and you(me) can go back and seam seal it correctly later in dry conditions. I've had this happen and it has cause me to learn how to seam seal a tent correctly.

If a tent leaks water thru the material than the tent is not water proof. Why on deity’s earth would you buy a tent that is not waterproof. Get rid of the tent. I've seen way to many people scrimp on the cost of a tent and almost always end up buying yet another and then another because just because their just to cheap to do it right in the first place. If they were to add up the cost of all there tents they could have bought a top of the line four season tent in the first place. If a tent leaks water at all under any circumstances than get rid of it unless it is leaking due to bad seam sealing.

A good tent should have a bathtub floor so that the seams are well above where water my run under and around the tent. No matter how hard you try and pitch your tent above the ground where water is likely to run, if it rains, and rains enough in both volume and duration of time water will run(get) under and around the floor of the tent. I have heard mention of people saying that if your sitting on the floor they have had water bead up through the floor material in the area where there was pressure on the floor. This is indicative of a tent of lesser quality materials. Again, why would you buy a tent that leaks anywhere including the floor.   Again I don’t care who’s label is on the tent and how proud of the tent you are. If my Hilleberg leaks do to materials it will be out the door.

I used one tent for the first 25 years of my outdoor activities and it never leaked once, ever. I once spent 10 days in Lake Tahoe in which the rain did not stop for the entire 10 days of a ragging down pour. Not a drop of water got in the tent other than when I got in and out due to me getting wet outside and bringing the water in the tent with me from getting wet while outside. Back in those days we did not have vestibules. This tent was/is the TNF Ring Oval Intention.

I am floored that people say things like if it leaks just a little than there is nothing to worry about. Really, your tent’s leaking. I would say there is something to worry about. If tahts the case, what is the proper volume of water then where one would think that it is then not ok for your tent to leak.  And which bit of gear do you want to put under said leak.

It's is this kind of thinking that allows tent manufactures to make crappy tents that leak so that people then buy crappy tents. I have been buying tents for many years. If any, and I mean any of my tents leak due to anything other than bad seam sealing then it is out the door without reservation unless I own a tent as a collectors item and will never use it in the field.  With that beings said at this point in time I would use any and all my tents out in the field in any conditions without reservation and without worry of water entering the tent via the materials used in the tents construction if set up and used properly.

Many of us here can give you a long list of tents that will not leak. The caveat here is that almost all of them will cost you a bit of money. You could buy one of them used but what I find is that most people are resistant to this. Their loss, my gain.

If they can and did make a tent(s) 35 years ago that did not leak one single time in 35 years and was vented properly I'm fairly sure that with the much improved materials of today that they can make a tent now that won't leak and are vented properly.

If your down sleeping bag leaked just a little would that be ok, how about your camelbak, and maybe your stove just leaked a little fuel, but that would be ok cause it was just a little bit. What if your backpack leaked just a little would that be ok, I mean you only lost a small amount of gear, nothing major.

Here's the deal, you can buy a four season tent , that, if built properly can be used in all four seasons very comfortably and be solid in all four seasons. A three season tent is more likely to leak than a four season tent. Even more so with a two season tent. Any and all tents should have proper ventilation. This includes and is most important in four season tents.

So, in answer to your statement or question "Tent Performance in Rain(?)"

The answer is not your tent should not ever leak in the rain, ever. If it does than you've been taken for a ride in regards to the money you spent on your tent, fore answer me this. What is the ultimite purpose of a tent?  I know it's not to let water in amounst other things.

5:35 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Patman, welcome back.  I just got back yesterday and I call my new trip In The November Rains.  I recognize the campsite, it's in the upper bowl of the North Fork Citico at a place I call Snake Mt Camp.


TRIP-120-308.jpg


TRIP-120-309.jpg

These two fotogs show my Hilleberg tent set up at the same exact spot, and about the only level spot on the North Fork trail.  Luckily this spot drains well but can get walloped by strong winds.


TRIP-127-484.jpg

I just got back yesterday (Nov 28) from a long November trip and got rain most of the trip.  Here I am looking out the tent door on sodden ground.


TRIP-100-220.jpg

I agree pretty much with Apeman on all of his points.  Ozark Trail tents come to mind, ugh.  There are two kinds of tent wetness: Water from above and water from below.  The above photo shows clearly what happens in most campsites in a deluge: pooling groundwater, the "lake effect".  My food bag is perched atop my crocs to stay dry as the vestibule of my Hilleberg Staika fills with water. 

Here's the thing:  I didn't get a drop of ground water into the tent or have it seep thru a seam or come thru due to hydrostatic pressure, i.e. sitting with weight atop a porous floor.  Very few tents can withstand the above, but if they cannot then as apeman says, they are crap.




5:45 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Wow Brian having a bad day? LOL Should I send you some Barleywine to mellow you down. ;) But I do agree with you to a point. Some tents shouldnt be exposed to certain contitions.. Lets say I get a tent for summer camping. FG poles with a 800mm HH. Should I take that tent into a rain forest? No. That is not what it was made for. You pushed its limits. Not the tents fault. That is opperator head space. And in truth most tent failures are becouse the owner didnt do things right. "Oh, Its a free standing tent. I dont need no stinkin stakes!" Knowing and understanding what you need is important. Most of your tents are designed to with stand a snow load, and cold weather, plus higher winds. Most dont need a tent of that magnitude. I would never try to take one of mine into those type of areas.

What I need is a tent that will stay dry. Thats why I look at the euro tents like I do. Most US 3 season tents have 800- 1,500 mm HH. While the Euro tents are more made for days of rain 3000+mm HH. I would never think of taking out a UL tent out here in the winter. They are made for fast travel with minimal streangth. OH god I do hope I'm not opening up a can of worms with that! But that is IMHO. Some very cheap tents will last for years. If they are used how they are supposed to be used. Others are just junk from the get go.

I will stand on my statement that not all tents are equal. They are made for differant enviroments. If you push some tents to far they will fail. Understand what your tent was made for. And then use it that way. It should not fail you. Push it, and... well thats your fault.

I dont know any ULer that would take any of your tents trying to hike 20 miles a day. Your tents arnt made for that.

6:01 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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mikemorrow said:

Wow Brian having a bad day? LOL Should I send you some Barleywine to mellow you down. ;) But I do agree with you to a point. Some tents shouldnt be exposed to certain contitions.. Lets say I get a tent for summer camping. FG poles with a 800mm HH. Should I take that tent into a rain forest? No. That is not what it was made for. You pushed its limits. Not the tents fault. That is opperator head space. And in truth most tent failures are becouse the owner didnt do things right. "Oh, Its a free standing tent. I dont need no stinkin stakes!" Knowing and understanding what you need is important. Most of your tents are designed to with stand a snow load, and cold weather, plus higher winds. Most dont need a tent of that magnitude. I would never try to take one of mine into those type of areas.

What I need is a tent that will stay dry. Thats why I look at the euro tents like I do. Most US 3 season tents have 800- 1,500 mm HH. While the Euro tents are more made for days of rain 3000+mm HH. I would never think of taking out a UL tent out here in the winter. They are made for fast travel with minimal streangth. OH god I do hope I'm not opening up a can of worms with that! But that is IMHO. Some very cheap tents will last for years. If they are used how they are supposed to be used. Others are just junk from the get go.

I will stand on my statement that not all tents are equal. They are made for differant enviroments. If you push some tents to far they will fail. Understand what your tent was made for. And then use it that way. It should not fail you. Push it, and... well thats your fault.

I dont know any ULer that would take any of your tents trying to hike 20 miles a day. Your tents arnt made for that.

 Hey Mike, Nope I'm not having a bad day as I'm now on my way to get some Barlywine, but thanks for the offer.  There are currently three Breweries with Barlywine on tap at the moment.  My point was not to say that anyone should try and hump  most of what I have for tents around. My point is that what ever tent you buy it should not leak,  I don't care how much it weighs.  No matter how UL you are trying to go, if your are out in the outback you will get rained on  A good tent, properly seam sealed, used as designed, used in the proper conditions should never, never leak.  With the amazing mateials  that are being employed today it is such that a tent should never leak.  The exception it that American tent makers keep making crappy tents that leak and people just keep buying them.  Ya know, the Euro tents don't leak, even the inexpensive one's.  I finally broke down and bought a Hilleberg, it better not leak.  I'm hoping it gets here from the UK befor I leave for Thailand, not that I'll be using it there I just want it.  But again, if your tent is so UL that it leaks then it's a piece of junk and the limits have then been pushed to far in the making  UL gear.  I ask again "what is the intended purpose of a tent?" 

6:11 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I agree. a tent shouldnt leak. I had a very cheap Coleman tent that after a tornado had a thimble of leakage, though the tent flatened a few times during the storm. But it came right back up every time. In the morning I was on a waterbed. 6" of water all around me. I was high and dry. All that for $39. Trailers were tipped over. God I love tents!

6:55 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I figured I would chime in on this one being I have a comparable silnylon model.

1st and foremost 16hrs is alot of rain. I have had my Spur in driving rain for prolonged periods and this is what I have noticed. 

During a long deluge my tent will have a misting effect as well at times. This is caused by alot of condensation on the inner be pelted by heavy rain on the outter. When the fly is being hammered by rain it causes the condensation on the fly inner to mist. Now being the inner on these tents is primarily mesh there is no protective 2nd barrier to block this from happening like there is on the Hilles and other 4 season models. 

Last time I checked I couldn't carry water with a screen. 

Many people mistake this as a leak and this is not the case. Also, the drip Patrick experienced could have been caused by condensation build up on the poles which migrated its way down a webbing point, etc.

16hrs in a wash out is alot of water and I would rather be in a 4 season tent as well in this kind if scenario but for the most part for what the tent is it held up very well imho. 

On a side note, there are unexpected scenarios when a burly 4 season tent can bite the dust and fail.

Nothing made of fabric is truly bombproof. I personally use my Copper Spur well into fall and have yet to have any major issue I have not expected to some degree based on what cards mother nature was dealing me. 

The reason I bought a Hille is snow and cold, not rain. I have been out in weather that hit 17 below +(windchill) on more than one occasion. There is no way in Hades I would be caught in a 3 season anything in these conditions. Been there done that many, many moons ago. 

Lets just say it was an experience. Didn't have any condensation problems being all the condensation on the inner was crystallized lol. 

7:34 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I saw the other day on TV that they sell a water tight spray! On TV they cut out the bottom of a boat and replace it with a screen door. Then spay it with this. It doesnt leak! Maybe if we spray our screens with this stuff we would never leak again! LOL And could gather water with our screening!

7:41 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Ahh yes. I saw that as well. I don't know if I would spray my screen in my tent with it lol. Probably be warm mid summer. 

I was thinking of how it could be utilized on tents though. Its basically a liquid rubber. 

7:45 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I agree with Brian and will only buy tents that simply do not leak, ever. I do this by just buying Hillebergs, now that Integral Designs is just another corporate gear company with manufacturing in Asia, (sob) and this works for me. At 65, with three Hilles, three real IDs and a Kifaru 8-man tipi, I think that I have probably got the tentage I need and they will probably last longer than I will!

7:50 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Dewey said:

I think that I have probably got the tentage I need and they will probably last longer than I will!

I think I would have to agree with you on that one. You should be covered on tents for awhile.

Summers here can hit above 100 on the heat index. Thats probably the main reason I bought a UL 3 season model in the 1st place.  

I am thinking with the acquisition of the Soulo I may use the Copper Spur late spring thru early fall and the Hille will cover the rest. 

Plus the Soulo will retain more heat. 

8:03 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Damb you guys with you hilles. Now I've got to save up and buy one. But then my fun looking for a great tent would end. I'll hold off for a year or two. Its just too much fun checking out the others only to have them fail. What, WHAT? Did I just say that?

8:05 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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There is a big differenance between a tent leaking and going beyond a materials limits. Every material has its limit of hydrostatic head pressure that it can withstand before it will begin to leak. If you want to shell out major money as well as carry a very heavy load then by all means buy a hardcore 4 season tent such as a Hilleberg etc. Otherwise just understand what material your tent or tarp or other shelter is made of and know its limitations. Most materials can handle steady light to moderate rains for a few days, most can handle short duration torrential down pours. The bottom line is that any material WILL leak eventually, just some materials do so sooner. Honestly, if my tarp mists on me every now and then I could care less, it means little to nothing and makes almost no difference.

If you notice a seam start to drip a little then that just means you probably need to reseal it, no biggy. If you see drips coming through the material itself then that means that the PU coating on your fabric is probably thin and wearing out, and you need to either buy a new tent or strip it and retreat it(which is time consuming but fairly easy to do). If it's silnylon and drips are coming through then that means you bought cheap silnylon and you need to buy something new. If your silnylon mists occassionally that is normal and should be expected during VERY hard rains.

Materials in a nut shell:

PU coated Nylon, which is what almost all tents are made out of. -Will NOT leak as long as the PU coating is intact. This coating will wear out over time and will begin to peel or flake off(typically after 7-10 years depending on the amount of UV exposure it has had). PU coated materials are more prone to 'crease leaking' than other materials as the PU coating at the crease will weaken and break apart overtime.

Silnylon-Will NOT leak, but a very fine mist can pass through during VERY hard rains due to the lower hydrostatic head pressure. The exception to this is a silnylon fabric that is coated on BOTH sides such as the Kerlon fabric that Hilleberg uses, which makes the material much heavier but also much more waterproof.

Goretex-Will NOT leak as long as the membrane is intact

Event- Will NOT leak as long as the membrane is intact

8:18 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Yeah, Hilles Kerlon fabric is coated twice on the outter and once on the inner. Gotta say Kerlon 1800 and 1200 are both pretty strong materials.

8:24 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Is the Hille Kerlon coated on both sides with Silicone?

Or is it a PU/Sil ?

Mike G

8:27 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Good points Rambler.

8:35 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

Is the Hille Kerlon coated on both sides with Silicone?

Or is it a PU/Sil ?

Mike G

 Hey Mike, listen to this podcast. Its a phone conversation with Petra Hilleberg. It should answer your question as well as others you may have. 

http://www.practicalbackpacking.com/blog/archives/000036_pbp_episode_32_new_hilleberg_allseason_tents.php

8:38 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Lot's of good points here.  Not going to add anything new, just mention my latest experience with tents and rain.

In September I spent three weeks in Utah, camping every night.  The first week (in Grand Escalante-Staircase National Monument) it rained every afternoon and evening.  Not terrible hard, but a good steady rain.

Then, my first night in Moab it rained like it was never going to stop!  The streets in Moab were running six inches deep!  Locals said it was the worse rain they ever remembered.  People were saying it was a "100 year rain."

Anyway, though all this, my REI Taj 3 tent (now quite a few years old) held up with nary a drop of water getting in.  I was very happy!

Jim

9:03 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rick she confermed what I was saying about differant tents for differant climates. Every tent has its place, Damn! I want, need a Hille. But alass it will have to wait. :)

9:20 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Absolutely agree Mike. There is not one shelter that does everything well when it comes to the various climates and conditions one can encounter.

I have a shelter for warmer climates and a shelter for when you know what hits the fan.

I am going to try the Hille in the summer just to see how it performs. I suspect it will be "warm."

9:51 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rick send it out here. I will test it out in the summer and winter. summer and winter. and again summer and winter. I'll make sure it gets back to you in oh...say...20 years or so. :)

9:53 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Lol.

10:00 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Testing takes time Rick. I've got to make sure its right for you.

10:02 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I thinks I hates people with Hilles.

10:14 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

.... I once spent 10 days in Lake Tahoe in which the rain did not stop for the entire 10 days of a ragging down pour. Not a drop of water got in the tent other than when I got in and out due to me getting wet outside and bringing the water in the tent with me from getting wet while outside. Back in those days we did not have vestibules. ...

 Wow! You spent 10 days in Lake Tahoe, and not a drop of water got in the tent! That is impressive! But if your airlock was properly made, you shouldn't have gotten even a drop in from being wet outside. But I have a question - I thought it was illegal to camp in Lake Tahoe. Didn't the rangers say anything about your setting up the tent in the Lake? Or is the tent blue in color, so they couldn't see it in that deep clue lake? Also, how did the tent survive a "ragging downpour" In the vast majority of "ragging" downpours, the tent is truly in rags and barely usable. Or maybe that's ragging winds. Raging winds and raging downpours are no problem for a quality tent.

Out of curiosity, when was it you spent 10 days continuously in the Tahoe Basin with it continuously raining (month/season and year)? Backpacking or car camping?

The reality is that tents, both single and double wall, get wet inside in extended rains, mostly from condensation, but also from dragging the water in with you. Vestibules do help, but are not perfect. Seams lose their seamseal and seam tape loosens with age. Coated floors get the coating worn off, even with a footprint or other floor protection. As mentioned above, water will condense on metal poles if the humidity is high enough.

I have spent a few times in tents in week or longer rains.  Although the heaviest rainstorm I was ever in was a hurricane that came through during a canoeing trip in Mississippi - prediction when we headed out was that it would miss the state completely, but we did learn what is meant by "fire-hose rain" . Tents tend to sag a bit with that heavy a downpour.

10:20 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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mikemorrow said:

Damb you guys with you hilles. Now I've got to save up and buy one. But then my fun looking for a great tent would end. I'll hold off for a year or two. Its just too much fun checking out the others only to have them fail. What, WHAT? Did I just say that?

Here is one for ya Mike.  Denver craigslist Soulo. $400 used once.  I bet you could score it for less, or put me on him, I'm pretty sure I could knock  him down a bit.  Not many people camping this time of the year in CO. which means not many people buying tents in CO this time of the year.

 

http://denver.craigslist.org/spo/2678890118.html

10:32 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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On my September trip during tropical storm Lee I counted 84 hours of nearly nonstop rain.  On my most recent November trip I had 63 hours of pretty much nonstop rain (pretty much means it may stop for five hours and then start up again for two days).  This recent trip really was just a series of long cold rainstorms.

TENT RULE---Here's a pet peeve and my current Tent Rule:  No part of the tent should touch the sleeping bag.  Period.  This is the most important rule when it comes to tents (or tarps).  No part of the tent should touch your bag, whether the tent is dry or wet.  If your tent rubs up against your bag, especially the foot of your bag, then that tent is worthless.

This applies to all the small tents so popular nowadays, the Akto, the Seedhouses, the TarpTents, the Eureka Solitaires, etc.  Here's the problem:  The cant of the side and end walls vs the height of your 12 inch lofted down bag atop a three inch pad, ergo you have 15 inches of elevation at the end of your tent but the end wall is angled right onto the top of this 15 inch height.  Not good.  Alot of inner tent moisture is transferred to a sleeping bag this way.

So, most tents are "useless" and just too small to prevent wet draping due to in-tent condensation.  People love super light shelters but if any of these shelters touch your bag they are not worth having.  Get in a 40 hour winter deluge and you'll know what I'm talking about.

HILLEBERGS---Hillebergs are not perfect.  They have a design flaw with their hanging interiors held up by stretchable elastic.  And these interiors tend to shrink and drape over or onto the foot of a sleeping bag.  This is routine with the Akto and noticeable with the Staika and the Nallo and the Nammatj and the Allak and Soulo.  I call it The Incredible Shrinking Tent.  The reason I like the Keron so much is because it has vertical head and foot ends. Hilleberg inners are not rigid like with most tents.

11:06 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

apeman said:

.... I once spent 10 days in Lake Tahoe in which the rain did not stop for the entire 10 days of a ragging down pour. Not a drop of water got in the tent other than when I got in and out due to me getting wet outside and bringing the water in the tent with me from getting wet while outside. Back in those days we did not have vestibules. ...

 Wow! You spent 10 days in Lake Tahoe, and not a drop of water got in the tent! That is impressive! But if your airlock was properly made, you shouldn't have gotten even a drop in from being wet outside. But I have a question - I thought it was illegal to camp in Lake Tahoe. Didn't the rangers say anything about your setting up the tent in the Lake? Or is the tent blue in color, so they couldn't see it in that deep clue lake? Also, how did the tent survive a "ragging downpour" In the vast majority of "ragging" downpours, the tent is truly in rags and barely usable. Or maybe that's ragging winds. Raging winds and raging downpours are no problem for a quality tent.

Out of curiosity, when was it you spent 10 days continuously in the Tahoe Basin with it continuously raining (month/season and year)? Backpacking or car camping?

The reality is that tents, both single and double wall, get wet inside in extended rains, mostly from condensation, but also from dragging the water in with you. Vestibules do help, but are not perfect. Seams lose their seamseal and seam tape loosens with age. Coated floors get the coating worn off, even with a footprint or other floor protection. As mentioned above, water will condense on metal poles if the humidity is high enough.

Only times I ever spent in more than a week of continuous rain were in the PNW (Olympic NP, 2 full weeks), Bugaboos (3 weeks, mixed snow and rain), BC Coast Range (2 weeks). Dunno how to count the 10 days in Kosciukco Park backcountry in mixed rain and wet snow - snow or rain?? Only got a week of solid rain in Tanzania in the rain forest. About a week in Chamonix waiting for it to clear so we could climb (used a tarp for that trip, but broke down after a week and bought a tiny tent which I still have 35 years later, and had perfect weather the remaining 3 weeks of the trip).  Although the heaviest rainstorm I was ever in was a hurricane that came through during a canoeing trip in Mississippi - prediction when we headed out was that it would miss the state completely, but we did learn what is meant by "fire-hose rain" . Tents tend to sag a bit with that heavy a downpour.

I guess I should have said a camp ground at the lakes edge. I don't know how things are now but back then in 1978 there were a number of camp grounds located on the around the lake. It was the end of September if I remember and the weather was really really nasty. Not quite cold enough to snow but in the 34-36 deg range. After riding my BMW R90/6 (motorcycle) on its first journey for me thru the Nevada desert and sun burning my eyes because I didn‘t have sunglasses and the reflection of off the pavement fried my eyes, I finally went up this mountain where upon I came into the Lake Tahoe area. I thought I was in heaven. It was gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful, esp. after that hot freaking desert. I set my tent up at the camp ground, watched the sun set, went to one of the casinos for dinner, partied for a bit and then went to bed only to wake up to 10 days of torrential down rain. It would let up here and there but never enough to pack up my gear. I have not camped there since. As America has filled up and is becoming more and more used and abused and regulated I have no doubt that there is no longer camping at or around the lake. And actually yes, the tent was blue in color, at least the fly was. Where I was camped at the lakes edge there were trees that were probably in the 80-90 ft range so wind was not a problem just the rain. As I was much poorer in those days I had no money to get a motel room, so I was forced to stay the ten days in in the tent. I believe the year was 1978, I think the month was the end of September, I had to stay in Tahoe as all around me I it was snowing as I was on my way to CA. Every time I thought the rain might just let up another wave would come in.

And yes as a mater of fact the rain fly was blue, one of the most depressing times of my life. It taught me a very valuable lesson that tent color makes a huge difference in regards to mental stability if one has to spend days on end in a tent. I honestly don't know if I could have done it with another person. 

And yes at the end of the of the 10 days most everything in the tent was damp, but not because the tent leaked but because of the ambient humidity. With that being said things were damp but nothing was wet form any water leaking in the tent. As I said before after 35 years this tent has never, ever had a leak.............and it's seen a lot of water in the form of mostly and a bit of snow.

And I guess that’s what my whole point has been. There are tents that can stand up to that kind of abuse. I still have that tent and had only had to seam seal the fly and tent twice in the 35 years I’ve had it. About ten ago the fly gave out due to UV degradation so I had a new fly made for it.

It is also my experience that newly applied seam grip does not lose its seal no matter how much water you throw at it. Some seam sealers will do that and I don’t use them. It is my experience that Seam Grip will degrade after many years due to off gassing and become brittle but I have never had a tent leak when using seam grip when I have sealed the tent properly. That is why I only seal tents with seam grip. As well this tent did not have any seam taping when it came frame the factory on either the fly nor the sems of the tent at the floor. The tent did not have a bathtub floor, but properly sealed inside and out has never leaked. I had to seam seal it inside and out including the floor of the tent and part way up the seams of the tent because the original fly ended 4-5 inches before the bottom of the tent leaving the lower seams exposed.

The tent that has survived it all.
DSC03228.jpg

The new fly I had made Yellow instead of Blue. The fly is very heavy silicone impregnated heavy duty waterproof pack cloth and actully weighs more than the tent itself.
DSC03702.jpg
I have so much respect for these tents that I know own three of them.

11:12 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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The tents like the one Brian just posted are great(Oval Intention?) but when you are on the trail for a week and setting a new site every evening the last thing I want to be doing is hauling something of that size on my back for 100 miles.

Great if you are setting a base camp w/o relocating for days but for backpacking to me something like that is more of a burden than a benefit.

11:33 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

The tents like the one Brian just posted are great(Oval Intention?) but when you are on the trail for a week and setting a new site every evening the last thing I want to be doing is hauling something of that size on my back for 100 miles.

Great if you are setting a base camp w/o relocating for days but for backpacking to me something like that is more of a burden than a benefit.

Yep Rick, the ring Oval intention with the new and improved fly, ain't no water getting thry that thing.

But again with the new materials that they make and are using now esp. in Europe one is now able to take tent with the qualities of the Oval Intention with you. Besides the fact that that the oval intention was listed as a 4 man tent. If you use quality materials and quality labor to make a 1-2 man tent than you can haul it 100 miles. In fact I believe your might have just bought one. That is again my point. If you by a crappy tent that is not made to stand up to harshest environments you get what you get. I noticed you bought a Hille, a tent know to stand up to some of the harshest conditions on earth.

Even I would not hike this tent in now when backpacking, unless of course we had some money riding on it. I would then have to give that a second thought

11:59 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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If it wasn't for this site I would have never researched the Hilleberg tents. Now I own one! I will no doubt get another in due time.

12:05 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Tipi Walter said:

On my September trip during tropical storm Lee I counted 84 hours of nearly nonstop rain.  On my most recent November trip I had 63 hours of pretty much nonstop rain (pretty much means it may stop for five hours and then start up again for two days).  This recent trip really was just a series of long cold rainstorms.

TENT RULE---Here's a pet peeve and my current Tent Rule:  No part of the tent should touch the sleeping bag.  Period.  This is the most important rule when it comes to tents (or tarps).  No part of the tent should touch your bag, whether the tent is dry or wet.  If your tent rubs up against your bag, especially the foot of your bag, then that tent is worthless.

This applies to all the small tents so popular nowadays, the Akto, the Seedhouses, the TarpTents, the Eureka Solitaires, etc.  Here's the problem:  The cant of the side and end walls vs the height of your 12 inch lofted down bag atop a three inch pad, ergo you have 15 inches of elevation at the end of your tent but the end wall is angled right onto the top of this 15 inch height.  Not good.  Alot of inner tent moisture is transferred to a sleeping bag this way.

So, most tents are "useless" and just too small to prevent wet draping due to in-tent condensation.  People love super light shelters but if any of these shelters touch your bag they are not worth having.  Get in a 40 hour winter deluge and you'll know what I'm talking about.

HILLEBERGS---Hillebergs are not perfect.  They have a design flaw with their hanging interiors held up by stretchable elastic.  And these interiors tend to shrink and drape over or onto the foot of a sleeping bag.  This is routine with the Akto and noticeable with the Staika and the Nallo and the Nammatj and the Allak and Soulo.  I call it The Incredible Shrinking Tent.  The reason I like the Keron so much is because it has vertical head and foot ends. Hilleberg inners are not rigid like with most tents.

 Hey Tipi, does the Saitaris have the same problems as the tents you listed with the dagging elastic?    

12:23 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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I was thinking about the elastic issue. If one were to coat the elastic with maybe something like Seam Grip do ya think its possible that it could decrease the stretching out of the elastic?

At the same time it would still leave them flexible.

12:46 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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The BC Coast is the wettest region of North America by actual measurement and periods of weeks of heavy rains, high winds and cold temps. are just a fact of life here. We had 75mph. winds here last week one night and it rains almost constantly, one just gets used to it.

I have experienced alpine storms in the Canadian Rockies where 3 inches of rain fell in an hour and this was measured by my rain guage, some of my old stations in the BC Coast Range had rainfall in the fire season measured in 10 ft. increments.

Hillebergs are not perfect, Walter is right about this, BUT, they beat any other tent I have ever tried in the above conditions and I am going to experiment to see just how I can improve the sagging problem Walter refers to, a minor annoyance, but, why not try to improve it.

The wettest tent I have had was a North Face dome and I disliked it, so, gave it away and then went to Hillebergs. I would like a perfect tent, but, that aint likely to happen anytime soon! So, I go with what I find most useful for me and just enjoy using it as much as Mother Nature allows.

2:09 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

If you want to shell out major money as well as carry a very heavy load then by all means buy a hardcore 4 season tent such as a Hilleberg etc. 

Yes, the Hilles are expensive. I have $613 wrapped up in mine with the footprint but you get what you pay for.

As far as the heavy comment the Soulo weighs in at a packed weight of 4lb 14oz. Not heavy when ya take into consideration of how burly this tent is and my 3L bladder weighs more full. 

If one were to compare a Hille to a hammock then yes it is heavy but at the same time a tent is alot more comfortable than a hammock or a bivy during prolonged bad weather. Plus on the whole hammock thing my trips are not limited to areas that only have trees. 

If ya looked at Jake's Unna review the individual's name who put the tent together is on a tag on the inner.

I have to say that's definitely a great way to monitor quality control.

2:24 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Dewey said:


"The wettest tent I have had was a North Face dome and I disliked it, so, gave it away and then went to Hillebergs."

 

Do you mind if I were to ask what tent that was?

7:15 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Wow, I just checked this thread after begin offline all evening. Great stuff guys....Where else but within the Trailspace community can you get such a spirited discussion of tents?

7:57 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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I don't want to turn this into a hammock vs tent debate , but, I am about 1000x more comfortable in my hammock during prolonged periods than I ever was in my TNF Mountain 25. Both kept me dry, but the hammock is the comfort king if you know how to set it up properly. I am honestly considering selling off all my tents except for one because I like my hammock so much.

The hammock aside which was $80 used, my Superfly tarp cost $110 and weighs 18oz. For 110$ and 18oz I have never once gotten wet or otherwise adversely affected by weather. And I have been through some pretty strong storms thus far in it.

I suppose comfort is relative to the user, but don't knock hammocks unless you have given them a thorough try. I did the 4 season tent thing for awhile it was comfortable and kept me dry, but IMO does not even compare to the comfort of my hammock.

8:48 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

 Hey Tipi, does the Saitaris have the same problems as the tents you listed with the dagging elastic?    

 I do not have any experience with the Saitaris tent, or for that matter with the Saivo, Tarra, or Jannu.  The Saitaris is a 14+ lb tent, so it's even out of my range of consideration.  But it's 97 inches long inside, and has vertical end walls which negate the sagging problem.  It's 53 sq ft which is huge.

The Saivo is 91 inches long like the Staika but it also seems to have vertical end walls.

The Tarra is 83 inches long which is short but has vertical end walls too but only has 30 sq feet.

Finally, the Jannus is 93 inches long with angled end walls more like the Staika, and has 37 sq feet, plenty big.

When you look at the Staika, which seems so big from the outside, is actually a very small tent inside.  It's 91 inches long with very angled end walls and a "closed up" feeling to it.  The Hilleberg website diagram is misleading as it seems to show vertical end walls which it does not have.  Here's a Moontrail Staika and it's small:


int-model.jpg

Check out Moontrail and run thru some of their excellent Hilleberg fotogs:

http://www.moontrail.com/tents/hilleberg_tarra.php

9:55 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

I don't want to turn this into a hammock vs tent debate , but, I am about 1000x more comfortable in my hammock during prolonged periods than I ever was in my TNF Mountain 25. Both kept me dry, but the hammock is the comfort king if you know how to set it up properly. I am honestly considering selling off all my tents except for one because I like my hammock so much.

The hammock aside which was $80 used, my Superfly tarp cost $110 and weighs 18oz. For 110$ and 18oz I have never once gotten wet or otherwise adversely affected by weather. And I have been through some pretty strong storms thus far in it.

I suppose comfort is relative to the user, but don't knock hammocks unless you have given them a thorough try. I did the 4 season tent thing for awhile it was comfortable and kept me dry, but IMO does not even compare to the comfort of my hammock.

Believe it or not I have actually considered a hammock for my over night trips. Figured I could fit one in my 26l daypack. May make for a sweet little over night kit. I've definitely been tossing that idea around quite a bit.

I like exposed/above tree line areas as much as I like wooded areas. With a hammock I will set limits for myself as to where I can actually pitch. Anything exposed and rocky is not going to happen either. 

10:29 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I was thinking about the elastic issue. If one were to coat the elastic with maybe something like Seam Grip do ya think its possible that it could decrease the stretching out of the elastic?

At the same time it would still leave them flexible.

 I have waders I use when I duck hunt and I have a product made by McNett named "Aquaseal".  I have Seam Grip also and it appears both of these are the same urethane adhesive.  Other than having to use quite a bit of the adhesive to coat the elastic, and it would be tedious, I don't see a reason why it would be a bad idea to do what you suggest.  Maybe a small paintbrush would speed up the process.  I'm willing to bet, however, based on the customer service I received, with the small blemish issue I had, Hilleberg would take the inner tent back and repair/replace the elastic.  As a matter of fact, I am going to email Hilleberg and ask the question, unless someone on this forum has already done so.

10:37 a.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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rob5073 said:

I am going to email Hilleberg and ask the question, unless someone on this forum has already done so.

 Good deal. Please keep us informed on any feedback you receive on this matter. I actually need to get in touch with them as well. 

I am curious if there is any chance that they are going to make a mesh inner for the Soulo as they do with some of their other models. 

http://www.hilleberg.com/home/products/mesh_inner_tents/mesh_inner_tents.php

12:05 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

Dewey said:


"The wettest tent I have had was a North Face dome and I disliked it, so, gave it away and then went to Hillebergs."

 

Do you mind if I were to ask what tent that was?

 It was a dome tent, light grey fly with blue walls and floor and white canopy. It was VERY well made, maybe a "Westwind" model, one of NF's first Asian tents and the size of a VE-24. It had NO ceiling venting and while the door was zippered, the "windows" were the old style drawcord tunnels. So, it was not too bad in some major late hunting season snow storms, when used on multiday solo hunts in the BC interior in  late November, but, was really "wet" in rain when used at other times of the year.

I bought it in '87-'88, just after leaving the Canadian Coast Guard and used it until about 2008 when I gave it to one of my nephews as I never really liked it and had only bought it as I was a little short of spare cash at that time. I had my beloved Early Winters, 1978 vintage "Light Dimension" during much of this time and it was, GT singlewall and all, FAR "dryer" in rain than the NF.

But, WTH, it got me out there and Hilles were not available at that time. I wish I had bought a couple of the ID eVent tents that Evan Jones made during that time for a couple of years, but, then, I wish I had won a lottery 30 years ago, as well...........

12:38 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

rob5073 said:

I am going to email Hilleberg and ask the question, unless someone on this forum has already done so.

 Good deal. Please keep us informed on any feedback you receive on this matter. I actually need to get in touch with them as well. 

I am curious if there is any chance that they are going to make a mesh inner for the Soulo as they do with some of their other models. 

http://www.hilleberg.com/home/products/mesh_inner_tents/mesh_inner_tents.php

 Already got the answer back.  Here's the email response:

"Hello,

Thank you for the email.

On some occasions with a lot of use that can happen. We usually take care of it depending on what it looks like.

Thank you again.

Best Regards,

petra"

 

So I figure as with any warranty, they will assess it and determine if was misuse (accidental or otherwise) or just wear and tear. 

12:50 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Interesting. So maybe not doing any type of mod the alleviate this potential issue may be the best approach being if one was to mod the elastic in any way it may void the warranty. 

Hmmmm...

1:13 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Interesting. So maybe not doing any type of mod the alleviate this potential issue may be the best approach being if one was to mod the elastic in any way it may void the warranty. 

Hmmmm...

 Probably.  Someone like myself, who doesn't subject the tent to heavy usage, wouldn't have to address the elasticity loss issue for years.  Someone like Tipi who uses the tents frequently would have it addressed sooner.

2:24 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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I received a similar email from Petra on this subject last year, and she offered to either send me the elastic bands and let me sew them in myself (alot of work), or send in the thing for them to do.  There are other options.

The toggle can be pulled thru the ring and wrapped around the elastic several times and then re-toggled to created a shorter/tighter connection.  This is the easiest solution and requires no knotting or cutting/shortening, or replacing.

I've often considered what would happen if all the elastic connectors were replaced with permanent webbing connectors, as Hilleberg uses on special points like around the bottom perimeters and at the very tops.  The Staika in this case has a total of five non-elastic connectors and the Keron 3 has a total of nine.  I imagine in a tough windstorm the inner tent with permanent webbing connectors would probably tear the yellow canopy fabric---there's no give, etc.

7:36 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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I just found out via email from Hille that they have a mesh inner for the Soulo and it should be out around May. 

I will definitely be ordering one. It will be $160. Also I would like to mention that Hille has a new catalog coming out in January.  

10:31 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Some of you guys must have gills.  If the forecast calls for extended rains or I am subjected to two or three days near continuous rain that was not forecasted, I am out of there, that is not my idea of fun camping! 

I have yet to see a tent that doesn't leak after being subjected to forceful windstorms.  (Nothing like seeing daylight through the seams after a couple big winds stretch everything.)

When I camped in the PNW, my sheltering kit included a tarp I could use to place over my tent, in addition to the rain fly that came with the tent.  If I could camp under sheltering trees the tart was used as a cooking fly.

Ed

10:51 p.m. on November 30, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Ed, my Hille could take a direct hit from an asteroid. Its the bestest tent ever, I have yet to receive delivery of said tent but I know its awesome.

The kid down the street told me his cousins, best friends, uncles, girlfriends, neighbors, cousins, uncle has one and it is bombproof. 

No literally, its bombproof. He tried to blow it up with 4.5lbs of c4 and it didn't even put a scratch on it. 

1:19 a.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Hey Ed, my Hille could take a direct hit from an asteroid. Its the bestest tent ever, I have yet to receive delivery of said tent but I know its awesome.

The kid down the street told me his cousins, best friends, uncles, girlfriends, neighbors, cousins, uncle has one and it is bombproof. 

No literally, its bombproof. He tried to blow it up with 4.5lbs of c4 and it didn't even put a scratch on it. 

 Did you order it from the Redmond, WA location?  I think I received mine in under 5 days.

1:33 a.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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No, I actually ordered it from Moosejaw. I build up points thru them(basically I get back 10% of what I spend) and get free gear. Plus they also gave me a $101 gift card with the purchase of the tent... more free gear. :)

So for the $560 I spent on the tent I will get $157 to spend on whatever.

I had to get the footprint through Hille. From what I saw with my order online the tent will ship on the 2nd.

2:30 a.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Hi, I'm new here and this thread is very informative and entertaining. Lot's of knowledge flowing here. And yes, Brian does need more Barley wine. Peace.

2:56 a.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Hey mtwillyman, welcome to Trailspace. Awesome to have ya along for the ride. 

I hope you find the site informative, helpful, entertaining, and just a fun place to be. 

 

3:31 a.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Rick,

Did you get the red or green Soulo?  I don't remember if you had mentioned it.  I have the red and it really does stand out.  Not that I'm complaining.  It is supposed to rain here tomorrow night and into Friday.  I might set it up in the yard since it hasn't actually been rained on yet.

3:43 a.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Hey rob, I actually went with green. I like to blend in. The red is cool. Just too loud for me. Sometimes(dependent on where I am and how bad I am getting hammered) I will camp off trail and for this blending in is key for me. 

Kinda funny, the footprint came in a green stuffsack. 

Hille-Soulo-Footprint-005.jpg

12:21 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Great Read Guys!  Very informative too. 

After reading this thread I have a few, OK lots of questions, any and all feel free to answer, or if I need to start a new thread let me know.

1) My Walrus Arch (Original verson) is about 15 years old, I got it from REI back in the 90's, I think it was 92 or 93.  Anyway, when I am in rain or other high humidity situations (often in the PNW) the fly seems to get covered with moisture on the inside.  I have never had it "Drip" on me but I have gotten wet from brushing the side of the went.  For some reason the tent mesh (The entire tent except for the lower 8" or so) dose not seem to stop much water!  I know the fabric is not Sil-nylon, thanks to Apeman, but do you think this is just condensation or is the fly actually wetting through? 

2) Is there anything I can do about it?

3) What is 3600 mm HH?  or the other numbers, and how do I get this information on tents and fabric?

4) If I was going to make my own tent, mainly for the PNW, for 3 people and maybe a different one for 1 person for thru-hiking, would I be better off with Sil-nylon or PU coated nylon?

5) I never seam sealed the Arch, but it never seemed to need it, not really sure about that though, I try not to camp in the rain a lot.  Yes I know that really restricts the amount of camping I can do out here where it rains for 370 days a year. 

Keep up the great threads and I eagerly await your answers!

Wolfman

3:08 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfman,

I will take a stab at a couple of your questions.

#3 - HH is Hydrostatic Head and is usually measured in millimeters (mm) of water in this application.  It is the pressure at which the material will "start to leak".  These materials are mostly woven fabrics and if you put enough pressure on them, water can be forced through them.  If you envision a tube of water over the material, the height of the water column is equivalent to a pressure being exerted on the material.  1200 mm of water is around 4 feet of water. The pressures can be achieved by rain drops falling on the tent and penetrating the fabric known as "misting" (larger drops reach a higher terminal velocity so hit with a higher pressure and then add wind effects) or if water is under the floor of the tent and you kneel down on the floor you can create a pressure than can force the water through the floor (concentrating a significant portion of your weight on a small area creates high pressures).  Some manufacturers use standard sil-nylon with a 1200 - 1500 mm of water Hydrostatic Head and some use a higher HH material to preclude misting and floor penetration.  The specs are usually shown on the manufacturers website.

#5 - My guess is that your Arch is made from a PU (Polyurethane) coated nylon fabric.  Tents made from this kind of material are typically seam taped at the manufacturer and do not need to be seam sealed by the customer.  Sil-nylon (silicone-coated rip stop nylon) can not be seam taped - there is no tape that we have found that will stick permanently to sil-nylon.  Therefore these tents must be seam sealed with a liquid silicone based sealant (only silicone will stick to silicone coated material).   So your tent may have never needed to be seam sealed unless the seam tape starts to deteriorate and come apart.  If so, you would want to use a non-silicone based sealant (like McNett Seam Grip) to attempt repairs.  This does not necessarily mean that PU coated tents are better than Sil-nylon tents or vice versa.  You see most cottage industry manufacturers using sil-nylon (and cuben fiber lately) and many mainstream industry producers using PU coated material.  There are several reasons for this including weight, flame resistance, mildew resistance, price, etc. but I will leave the judgment up to you as to preference.

Marc Penansky

LightHeart Gear

6:05 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfman, I live right next to the OCT (dunes area). And I can tell you there is no tent that can vent enough to keep it from condensation problems. I just was out for an overnighter. Thought I would just head to the beach and camp. I dont know if it was my new hiking shoes, or just a call of the wild. But I had to keep hiking. I took off heading north. It was a wonderful sunny day. I  kinda hugging the hills staying clear of the ocean. Within an hour of hiking I saw no human prints, nothing! Just Deer and coyotes tracks. Fantastic! Anyways,

Like allways in the winter months I take my tarp along to cook under in case of rain. Like I said it was a sunny day temps in the mid 50's. I got the tarp up and the first thing I saw was driplets forming on it. The sun was shining right on it. Within an hour the underside of it was damp. Point is that if the underside of a tarp is not vented enough to keep it from getting condensation. What chance does a tent have.

That night there were a billion points of light up above and no wind. Temps droped into the 20's Ice formed everywhere. It was an overnighter that reminded me why I came out hear in the first place.

10:32 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

No, I actually ordered it from Moosejaw. I build up points thru them(basically I get back 10% of what I spend) and get free gear. Plus they also gave me a $101 gift card with the purchase of the tent... more free gear. :)

So for the $560 I spent on the tent I will get $157 to spend on whatever.

I had to get the footprint through Hille. From what I saw with my order online the tent will ship on the 2nd.

Wow, the $101 gift card is tempting, thanks for that tip.  Did you find anything that describes any limitations on it?  A cash rebate would be better :).  I saw the "details" page but it doesn't say anything about expiration, limitation on products it can be used for, etc, etc.  Sure, I can contact them directly but figured you probably already did.  Too bad they don't stock the footprint, that'd be $50 of the gift card right there...

I'm not convinced on the "10% points" thing.  It's 10 points per dollar, but you can only use them on the moosejawrewards.com site, which appears to be a limited selection of "reward" items, kind of like those credit card reward programs that let you redeem from a catalog full of things nobody actually wants (heh heh) - and they expire if you don't use them within a year, if I read correctly.  And the points don't necessarily translate back into dollars (e.g. 50 points doesn't buy a $50 item).  Hence I don't really consider it to be "10% off".  But it's still better than a sharp stick in the eye! :)

BTW, they're now listing the ship date for the Soulo as Dec 7 (today is Dec 1).  Yesterday they indicated a ship date of Dec 6.  Moosejaw must special order them rather than keeping them in stock.  Are Hillebergs made to order?

10:51 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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When ya break the 10% or 10pts per dollar it pretty much evens out. I basically got $56 bucks back to spend on the $560 I spent initially plus the $101 gift card. They actually have OR Expedition Croc gaiters, ArcTeryx' stuff, etc... The things on the rewards page aren't bad. I have a bunch of points. I may snag up some gloves and a few other things. 

The card is just like $101 in cash, its a gift card from my understanding. You can spend it on what ya want. 

I am wondering if they stock everything as well. I ordered 2 OR Prismatic caps from them(1 black, 1 fossil, 2 separate orders) and it came direct from OR.  

I look at it like this. Buying a Hille on sale is never going to happen. They don't go on sale. A little kickback regardless of what it is from the retailer is never a bad thing. 

11:35 p.m. on December 1, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks Marc,

I thought it was related to water transmission but was not sure.    On the tent fabric and the seams, PU should be water proof right?  So I could run the hose or something on the rain fly and if no water is getting through then it would still be good, right?  As far as I can tell their is not "flaking" or anything coming off the tent seams and fabric.  My plan was to spray it with Nikwax Tent & Gear solarproof it is a water based UV and water blocker,  I am fairly sure it is not silicone based.  (Water based)

Mike I totally envy you!! 

I was wanting to go out to the coast this weekend and maybe some of next week, it should be dry but cold for the next 10 days or so up here, but I don't think I can take the time off from work. :(

But I do understand the condensation issues, and always thought that was the issue with my tent.  With the fly zipped up their is very little air movement inside the tent.  But with all this talk about water I just want to make sure. 

Wolfman

12:39 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

When ya break the 10% or 10pts per dollar it pretty much evens out. I basically got $56 bucks back to spend on the $560 I spent initially plus the $101 gift card. They actually have OR Expedition Croc gaiters, ArcTeryx' stuff, etc... The things on the rewards page aren't bad. I have a bunch of points. I may snag up some gloves and a few other things. 

The card is just like $101 in cash, its a gift card from my understanding. You can spend it on what ya want. 

I am wondering if they stock everything as well. I ordered 2 OR Prismatic caps from them(1 black, 1 fossil, 2 separate orders) and it came direct from OR.  

I look at it like this. Buying a Hille on sale is never going to happen. They don't go on sale. A little kickback regardless of what it is from the retailer is never a bad thing. 

OK, this is better than I thought, much better.  I didn't read the points as a point=dollar thing.  That's great.

And if the gift card is really a generic gift card, that's awesome.

BTW, the weekend before last, the Hilleberg website showed a demo model for 10% off.  But it wasn't enough to convince me to pull the trigger.  But I can't imagine that one lasted long...

ooops, ummm, "Soulos should be great in the rain", there, back on topic :).

12:41 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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mikemorrow said:

Wolfman, I live right next to the OCT (dunes area). And I can tell you there is no tent that can vent enough to keep it from condensation problems. I just was out for an overnighter. Thought I would just head to the beach and camp. I dont know if it was my new hiking shoes, or just a call of the wild. But I had to keep hiking. I took off heading north. It was a wonderful sunny day. I  kinda hugging the hills staying clear of the ocean. Within an hour of hiking I saw no human prints, nothing! Just Deer and coyotes tracks. Fantastic! Anyways,

Like allways in the winter months I take my tarp along to cook under in case of rain. Like I said it was a sunny day temps in the mid 50's. I got the tarp up and the first thing I saw was driplets forming on it. The sun was shining right on it. Within an hour the underside of it was damp. Point is that if the underside of a tarp is not vented enough to keep it from getting condensation. What chance does a tent have.

That night there were a billion points of light up above and no wind. Temps droped into the 20's Ice formed everywhere. It was an overnighter that reminded me why I came out hear in the first place.

Mike, are you sure that this is not due to the fact that your tarp is open to the air on the top and the bottom which makes it open on both sides to the ambient air on the bottom/top and then due to the dew point is causing condensation on the top and bottom of the tarp?  I have tented in many, many areas where the outside of my tent is wet due to the dew point but the inside is safe because it is enclosed, The same thing happens here where I live on the Hood Canal (98380). If I leave my bike (motorcycle) out in the open it is and wet and covered with dew by 9-10pm. If I park it in the temp. garage (basicly a big tunnel tent for cars and trucks)  the outside of the garage surface is wet with dew but even with the door open the bike is still dry. One of the differences between tarps and tents in my experience.

1:19 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Hey rob, I actually went with green. I like to blend in. The red is cool. Just too loud for me. Sometimes(dependent on where I am and how bad I am getting hammered) I will camp off trail and for this blending in is key for me. 

Kinda funny, the footprint came in a green stuffsack. 

Hille-Soulo-Footprint-005.jpg

 How much does it weigh?  The website doesn't list any details, just a "buy" button :).

1:29 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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I willing to bet the Soulo footprint is 9 or 10 oz not including the sack.  Rick, got a scale?

1:53 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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8.04oz in the sack. My scale may be batty. I think its pretty close though.

Nope, just checked, the scale is pretty accurate. It may be off a tenth of a gram here or there but....

The sack is pretty light. It weighs in at 14 grams. So the footprint is around 7.5 grams

I need to get a new scale. I have had this one for about 10yrs or so. 

7:27 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfman said:

Thanks Marc,

I thought it was related to water transmission but was not sure.    On the tent fabric and the seams, PU should be water proof right?  So I could run the hose or something on the rain fly and if no water is getting through then it would still be good, right?  As far as I can tell their is not "flaking" or anything coming off the tent seams and fabric.  My plan was to spray it with Nikwax Tent & Gear solarproof it is a water based UV and water blocker,  I am fairly sure it is not silicone based.  (Water based)

Mike I totally envy you!! 

I was wanting to go out to the coast this weekend and maybe some of next week, it should be dry but cold for the next 10 days or so up here, but I don't think I can take the time off from work. :(

But I do understand the condensation issues, and always thought that was the issue with my tent.  With the fly zipped up their is very little air movement inside the tent.  But with all this talk about water I just want to make sure. 

Wolfman

 Your good woflman: I would suggest washing your tent with a tech wash and let air dry both body and fly then spray it with Nikwax solar proof. FWIW

8:59 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Marc Penansky,

Is there a known standard with Silnylon that prevents the misting effect? Such as 1500mm or above won't mist?

And can your Lightheart Solong tent be made with the denser fabric? Ya'll list it at 1200mm....

 

9:10 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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The only thing that will prevent silnylon from misting to my knowledge is to use silnylon that is coated/treated on both sides of the fabric. Most silnylon is only treated on 1 side to make it affordable. When silnylon is treated on both sides it is both more expensive and heavier, so you have to pick your tradeoffs.

9:58 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

8.04oz in the sack. My scale may be batty. I think its pretty close though.

Nope, just checked, the scale is pretty accurate. It may be off a tenth of a gram here or there but....

The sack is pretty light. It weighs in at 14 grams. So the footprint is around 7.5 grams

I need to get a new scale. I have had this one for about 10yrs or so. 

Thanks for the info.  You meant ounces, right?  So this would place the Soulo + footprint at 5 lbs 6 oz based on the published specs.

11:18 a.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

The only thing that will prevent silnylon from misting to my knowledge is to use silnylon that is coated/treated on both sides of the fabric. Most silnylon is only treated on 1 side to make it affordable. When silnylon is treated on both sides it is both more expensive and heavier, so you have to pick your tradeoffs.

 Patman and Rambler,

Actually, silicone coating on both sides of a rip-stop nylon base does not insure that a tent fabric will not mist.  Most sil-nylons used in tent making are in fact coated (often referred to as impregnated but it basically means the same) on both sides.  Some have a silicone coating on 1 side and a PU coating on the other.  I don't know of and have not been able to find any sil-nylon made in the USA that exceeds a nominal 1500 mm of water hydrostatic head spec.  The only place to find sil-nylon with high hydrostatic head is in the Far East (Korea, China, etc) and the hurdles you have to overcome to import that material are high including very high minimum quantities, high tariffs, and lack of willingness of these companies to even talk to you.  It is interesting that the tariff on finished tents is less than the tariff on roll fabric brought into the US. 

What makes some double coated sil-nylons of the same denier have a higher HH than others?  I am not exactly sure but I believe it is the composition of the silicone coating.  It is not pure silicone but a mixture of silicone, PU, and several other components.  There was a mill in the US that was making high quality sil-nylon in the 1990's but it was shutdown due to environmental permit issues.  

We had a run of our Standard Solos and Duos made in China using the special high HH sil-nylon because we couldn't meet the demand with our home based production and wanted to offer the high HH material just because of the concerns with misting.   All of our US custom made (in our home in Fletcher, North Carolina) product is made from the best available US made fabric.  Our SoLong 6 tents are all custom made in our home and therefore are not available in the 3500 mm of water sil-nylon.  We have never had any complaints of misting on our tents.  I have read comments from others about misting on our competitors tents that claim a 1500 mm of water HH.  So I'm not sure if there is any specific HH number that precludes misting.  

12:11 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfman said:

Great Read Guys!  Very informative too. 

After reading this thread I have a few, OK lots of questions, any and all feel free to answer, or if I need to start a new thread let me know.

1) My Walrus Arch (Original verson) is about 15 years old, I got it from REI back in the 90's, I think it was 92 or 93.  Anyway, when I am in rain or other high humidity situations (often in the PNW) the fly seems to get covered with moisture on the inside.  I have never had it "Drip" on me but I have gotten wet from brushing the side of the went.  For some reason the tent mesh (The entire tent except for the lower 8" or so) dose not seem to stop much water!  I know the fabric is not Sil-nylon, thanks to Apeman, but do you think this is just condensation or is the fly actually wetting through? 

2) Is there anything I can do about it?

3) What is 3600 mm HH?  or the other numbers, and how do I get this information on tents and fabric?

4) If I was going to make my own tent, mainly for the PNW, for 3 people and maybe a different one for 1 person for thru-hiking, would I be better off with Sil-nylon or PU coated nylon?

5) I never seam sealed the Arch, but it never seemed to need it, not really sure about that though, I try not to camp in the rain a lot.  Yes I know that really restricts the amount of camping I can do out here where it rains for 370 days a year. 

Keep up the great threads and I eagerly await your answers!

Wolfman

 

Hey Wolfman,

1) Regarding your double wall tent. Your inner tent is designed to breath and let moisture thru so that moisture does not build up on the inside of the tent, while the fly is designed to keep water out and is not breathable. It will there for collect a certain amount of moisture on the inside of the fly depending upon how many people are in the tent and the ambient amount of moisture in the tent unless it is vented. Most tents designed in the USA are not vented where as many tents made or at least designed in the Euro zone are vented thereby riding the fly of moisture. In theory if the moisture builds up enough to drip it should by that time roll down the sides of the inside of the fly to the ground as you do not want it dripping upon the tent body which is not water proof. The time to usually be careful of this is in the morning when you wake up and knock the tent about thereby knocking the collected moisture of off the inside of the fly onto the parable tent body all at once. Once you wake up in the morning and get out of the tent carefully take the fly of the tent so that it can dry off. It is my opinion that all tent flys should be sealed on both the inside and out side. There is great debate upon this. My theory is better safe than sorry. If you just seam seal your fly on the outside then if you miss a spot or you stretch the seam sealer of off the stitching you will have a leak. Most tents now are seam taped on the inside but I still recommend that you seal it from the outside unless this is a "collector" tent and want to keep virgin seams. Yea, I know it sounds kind of silly, but just like anything else, I know guy's that have over a dozen motorcycles that they will never ride as they are for collecting and not for using. Same thing with stamps and coins. When and if you do your seam sealing there are ways to make it look nice so that it does not look like a kindergarten class got a hold of the tube and did it for you. Let us know if you need advice on this. There is a recent thread regarding seam sealing. I have never my self had a tent leak that was seam sealed on both the inside and the outside of the seam if seal properly. I have seen tents that are seam sealed on just one side leak. I have seen tents that are just seam taped leak. We would all hope that they, the manufacture, would get the tape on correct 100% but this is not always so. You can try running a sprinkler over your tent to see if it leaks but this will not replicate a driving force, 50 mile per hour rains storm that will find any and every hole in your fly. You do not want this to happen. I have seen this happen it is an ugly thing when everything in your tent is soaking wet including you. Tents that become water logged do not do well in high wind situations, much like, boats are designed to keep water out not keep water in as wet tent will self destruct in high winds. Your poles are designed to handle winds on dry materials not wet materials. I would highly recommend that you seam seal your tent's fly from the outside and since its an older tent make sure the tape on the inside is not brittle and or separating from the fly. Do this now, not do this when it is to late. Seen that happen, again it ain't a pretty sight, esp. when you have to dump all your stuff in my dry tent. Don’t ask me how I feel about that as this is a family based site. ;-}>

4) Regarding making anything out of Sil-nylon for outdoor use. I have been reserving my judgment about this fabric as I have never used it myself. It is very light weight, rather fragile, abrades easily and from what I can tell is not water proof in really heavy rain but in fact only water resistant. It seems to be a great money maker for american tent makers that like to make lot’s and lot’s of money from people who are willing to buy the stuff. Each to there own. What’s the point of that. That sounds utter silly to me and goes against everything I look for in a shelter that is designed to, be stout, last along time, and keep me dry. I find the stuff to be utter useless for anything I can think of except maybe a tarp to sit on while having a picnic or maybe a light weight footprint, but even then it would need to be water proofed it properly. I will never, never buy a piece of Sil-nylon equipment and would only have one in my collection if it were given to me and even then I would never use it my self out in the field. I did not even approach the fact that Sil-nylon stretches when it gets wet. Now that’s really,really stupid…….the ever expanding tent becoming less and less taught in a driving rain storm. Who thought that baby up. What an utterly usles material to use as for outdoor gear. I would use PU coated material or better yet silicone impregnated material. Silicone impregnated materials are the gig. I have silicon impregnated leather coats and my ‘o’ my, never a drop gets thru even when I'm riding at 90+ mph (I know risky behavior). I have never seen silicone tent material leak period except thru the seams. and have never seen it leak when properly sealed with silicon seams sealer. I have never seen silicon materials degrade the way PU coated materials sometimes can, though with that beings said PU materials seem to be much better now than they were 20-40 years ago. All materials used for tents will degrade under UV conditions, hey there’s a use for Sil-nylon, take a piece with you since it’s so light and let it die a slow death in the sun.

5) I live in the PNW myself and have done many days/nights in a tent during rainy extended rainy periods of time. As Ed said it make for a bad time. What really, really helps though, is the properly colored tent that is large, yes I said it “larger” not smaller as the trend seems to be. If you want to be stuck in a coffin for 5+ days during the rainy season out here have fun with that. I always try and have a 3 or 4 man tent with me and people have for years made fun of me.............until their tent dies a horrible death due to weather, gets wet due to the many reasons tents can get wet on the inside or they have to live in it for days on end. Ain't so funny then is it?. Every once in a while I get to say Na-na-na-na-na back at ya. Don’t make me do that, you know I will!!!!!!!!!!! There is a time a place for UL equipment. A good solid tent will keep all your UL gear protected. That does not mean you need to go as heavy as I do but some of the tents these are getting just plain stupid. I just bought one. The Black Diamond Firstlight, to take with me to Thailand. They list it as a 4 season tent. I will say categorically here that they are crazy. It is a 2 season at best in bad conditions and a light weight 3 season tent if the pellets are not hitting the fan. Use your judgment on the season ratings. Season ratings are guesstiments and have not measurable basis rather than static measurements such as Hydrostatic Head measurements, thickness measurements and other such measurements that can be measured with actual equipment. There is not a season tool measurement device, that would be your brain. It will be very rare that I use the Firstlight but for the conditions I will be in in Thailand it will do the job I need it to do. I would not depend upon a tent like this or some of the light weight Big Agnes tents if the pellets were hitting the fan. Please remember these are IMHO"s and others will disagree with all that I have just written on this matter. Remember your tent is your home away from home.

 


Now just a quick point to be made.  As ed said : "Some of you guys must have gills. If the forecast calls for extended rains or I am subjected to two or three days near continuous rain that was not forecasted, I am out of there, that is not my idea of fun camping!"

I, like a number of us, live in the PNW.  If I were not to go camping/hiking/backpacking because of extended rains I would only have a 45-60 day window to get out side as it some times does not stop raining till into late July and then will starts raining in Sept.  As always it's different every year. 

Some of you like to hike ten, dozens, hundreds of miles.  Any more, with my bad back I like to go in 5-10 miles and stay in one place and fish or just hangout.  If I had to do this in a small little depressing tent then what would be the point. 

It took me five years to find this tent (The Mountain Hardwear Double Wall Satellite Tent) and it was the only one I could find that was not new, full price from a MH dealer.  It was unsued when I bought it and it cost me no more than a new good quality dome tent at REI.

 

This picture was taken on a rainy day.

DSC00007.jpg

.

 

This is what on sees in the morning waking up looking at the top vent
DSC00020.jpg

 

One of the doors with a window.
DSC00010.jpg

Two of the window vents.
DSC00012.jpg

This is what one sees on a boring rainy day when one wakes up.  This is a really happy tebt when the sun is out.

The first time I used this tent it rained approx 2 in. during the 1st night and 1.5 the 2nd night. I slept thru the rain storm both nights without realizing it had rained either night and did not know it rained until I got out of the tent in the morning. Why do we buy ugly boring tents that don’t' function as they should when they can make tents that do work. I'm not saying that anyone here (except me) should try and hump this thing any length or distance. If I'm going to go in for no more than 5 miles I and be staying more than three days I'll make two trips if I have to, too live in this. I would guess that the MH Triango 2, 2.1, 3, 3.1 & 4 look much like this from the inside. Spending rainy days in this tent is not a big deal because of the color is no problems and actually a happy time if only because of the color. All the room is nice as well, it really is a small room a 62 sq ft, but I could do with half or the space if necessary if I had to spend days on end in my tent if it were a happy tent such as this. Why are we not dictating to the tent manufactures what we want by buying what we want instead of buying what they just make. They dio make a few really cool tents that each of us can afford it we do it right. If I could find another one of these tents I would try and ride out a class two hurricane if I could be on the leading edge of a coast with no flying debris as I truly believe this ten pole tent could withstand the hammering.  The only thing I wouldchange on this tent is tha i wwnat vents on the rain fly.  They almost got it right.

There is absolutely no reason to have to buy a tent that leaks. We choose to by tents that leak. We choose to buy ugly tents that are depressing to spend time in. Would you buy an ugly house that leaks. Do your homework, spend your money wisely and your can have the coolest equipment made in the happiest environments all over the world that you choose to spend your time in.   This is suppose to be fun, not a hassel.

The fly on this is Titanium Oxide coated for UV resistance and a properly taped Expedition 70D Nylon fly that will never leak, but if by chance it wver would I would seam seal it. Why do we not demand specs. such as this on the tents we want so they won't leak. Ya know they can make small tents with the same specs. that don't leak. It is up to us after all to demand the products we want to buy. They will stop making the products we don't buy.  Mogh does not like to leave this tent, for again it is a happy tent.

Camp on people.

 

1:47 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Apeman... silicon impregnated nylon IS silnylon. Your say you hate it and you like it all at the same time lol. However, all silnylon is not created equally and the quality of the waterproofness of the material can vary greatly between manufacturers. Manufacturers that use silnylon for their products usually test every batch they recieve to make sure it meets their standards. Cheap silnylon can easily leak or wet through and start dripping in spots. Good silnylon does not and has a very consistent treatment layer.

Silnylon does stretch a little when wet. This is such a minor problem that it is barely noticeable most of the time. If you really rig it up tight at first you will never be able to tell it stretched at all. Using a line self-tensioner(small piece of shock cord tied onto the guy line in 2 places) completely eliminates this problem in any case. I have yet to have to retighten my silnylon tarp during or after a rainstorm due to it 'stretching'.

Silnylon is not fragile either, nor does it abrade easily. Not sure where you get that idea from, but it is no different than most any tent material, and other ripstop nylon fabrics. It is a little 'slick'n due to the silicone treatment, which usually aids in its ability to avoid abrasion damage etc.

By all means though if you despise silnylon so much then don't use your fancy 4 season tents that are made out of it! haha

3:01 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Rambler, Well I guess back to the notion of "not all materials are created equal" the floor of my 20D silnylon tent is somewhat easy to abrade: Fly-Creek-Tear.jpg

 

These little holes were not noticed until I was in a heavy rain (about three months ago now) and awoke to water pooling on the floor. I didn’t think I was rough on gear but maybe I am…

3:49 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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This is interesting. My Copper Spur fly is silnylon with a PU coating on the fly inner. I am still sticking with my condensation theory. 

Brian, large tents are great with one caveat, the temps in the solo tents I have used over the years can be 10 or more degrees warmer inside the shelter when buttoned up due to the fact that your body produces heat and there is less space inside a small shelter to "heat up."

Now to me 10+ degrees can be a big deal. Especially in sub freezing temps. 

I don't know if ya have seen the video of the Soulo review on youtube but his thermometer was reading 15deg difference from outside temp as compared to the temp inside the shelter.

I also noticed with my Spur that it retains heat as well. I have found when the temp drops that if it is warm in the shelter I can open the little flap on the inner that accesses the "pet chipmunk storage area" on this tent and it makes a substantial difference as well.

Big-Agnes-Copper-Spur-UL-1-034.jpg

So I guess there are trade-offs to size as well. I could spend days on end in a 3man+ ice chest and have the room to move around(although I have to fight the urge to not get out of my bag in the morning) or I could be a bit warmer in a smaller shelter with less space to move around. 

Someone needs to come out with a tent that has telescopic poles, single/double wall fly option, and an inner that can be adjusted per occupancy needs. :)

Oh and one last thing, Hillebergs are coated with Silicone twice on the fly outter and once on the inner. 

The Kerlon 1200, and the 1800 is rated at 3000.

This is an ISO(International Organization for Standardization) rating.

There are companies that do their own lab tests in regards to this(ie Terra Nova)and make bold claims that are comparable to Hille for instance but these tests are typically done in house. I for one trust independent findings more than I do trust the in house ones. 

The tear strengths on these fabrics(Kerlon) is also from independent testing. 

This goes with the research the hell out of whatever gear you are buying logic I use. A tent is an investment that may very well dictate whether or not ya make it out of bc alive or not. 

3:57 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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The floor of your tent is regular silnylon? I think tent floors are one of those things that are in a totally different category when talking about durability of materials. I mean after all the floor of a shelter is the only item on a routine basis exposed to excessive abrasion, punctures etc. 90% of the battle to protect your tent floor is removing those sharp, pointy, rough items from the area you are setting up on. This is also where the use of a footprint comes into play.

If you have something actualy make a hole in the material that typically isnt from abrasion but from a puncture. For example, my silnylon tarp shows 0 abrasion on the end doors from where it often rubs against trees.

I would never buy a tent with a silnylon floor, it just isn't meant for that kind of job. A heavier (30+) denier PU nylon taffetta or ripstop is a much more common tent floor material typically.

Do you use a footprint with that tent? I certainly would if you don't.

4:11 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

The floor of your tent is regular silnylon? I think tent floors are one of those things that are in a totally different category when talking about durability of materials. I mean after all the floor of a shelter is the only item on a routine basis exposed to excessive abrasion, punctures etc. 90% of the battle to protect your tent floor is removing those sharp, pointy, rough items from the area you are setting up on. This is also where the use of a footprint comes into play.

If you have something actualy make a hole in the material that typically isnt from abrasion but from a puncture. For example, my silnylon tarp shows 0 abrasion on the end doors from where it often rubs against trees.

I would never buy a tent with a silnylon floor, it just isn't meant for that kind of job. A heavier (30+) denier PU nylon taffetta or ripstop is a much more common tent floor material typically.

Do you use a footprint with that tent? I certainly would if you don't.

Its PU coated as well. I have never had any issues with water coming through the floor on mine. When I first got the tent I left it up in the yard and slept through a pretty good rainstorm w/o a footprint and nothing made its way through. The floor and fly on the Spur are 30D, Patrick's model is a bit thinner at 20D. 

I am a stickler when it comes to footprints and tents. I do use one on the Spur as well as purchased one for the Hille as shown above.

I find myself making camp in the dark at times when I decide to do a long haul and skip a shelter. Lets face it, when ya trudge 30+ miles the last thing ya want to do is let OCD kick in and find yourself on your hands & knees looking for every prickly, pointy, puncture producer at your site. 

I want to set up, grab some grub, and check my eyelids for holes. 

Footprints, whether the one designed for the shelter, tyvek, or any other protection barrier is definitely the way to go as far as I am concerned(unless you are on sand but even then sand can cause abrasion on a shelter floor over time.)

Its alot cheaper to replace a footprint than it is a tent floor.

I am with you 1000% on the floor/footprint subject. If you press down on the floor of the Spur(or Patrick's Fly Creek) you can actually see the grass as well as the color of the grass through it. 

4:27 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Rambler,

Yeah, I use a footprint now! I had always used at least a 1.5 mil or 2 mil painters plastic until the hole incident.

This wasn't very environmentally friendly but I had a roll of the plastic and would throw it away after a trip if it became super muddy rather than clean it. And I don't know when or where I made those holes because it they weren’t noticed until I was all wet. Any security in life is only perception I know, but I now perceive much less security in that tent than I used to. LOL

Again, I've had many successful uses of that shelter (over 40 nights easy, maybe 50) with no issues. But the thin floor, the (what I now know a name for) misting, and just worrying about it are making me consider getting something sturdier. Rick for example hasn't had the problems I have with just the next beefier model up (Copper Spur).

My first night in that tent was on top of MT Sterling in the Smokies in a fierce wind and rain storm; I came away so impressed with how well the tent held up. But getting even a little wet a couple of times (water pooling from the floor holes and then the recent "misting") just messes with your head and rocks your confidence in the equipment.

Like Ed said it's not lot of fun to camp in constant rain but sometimes I go so far out from the car (and often as I can do shuttle hikes ‘casue I love the adventure of having to go forward) that I need a certain level of protection if things turn bad.

As I told Brian in a PM:

I didn’t find my passion for backpacking until later in life…I’m 39 but have only been doing this for about the last 7 or 8 years with the last two years being pretty intense (I’ve gone on about 23 short trips this year, two day / two night deals mostly).

When I first started my solo trips 7 years ago I would just not go if the weather was too bad. Now I go regardless and have come to appreciate the variable weather as part of the experience that comes with backpacking. But I’ve discovered that there is a minimum of functionality that you need from your gear to be reasonably safe on a solo trip.

I think in the case of my gossamer tent I probably need something a bit more sturdy. I don't know if I really need a Hilleberg (but man they are super cool). So I’m going to do some research going forward.

Patrick

4:41 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

Apeman... silicon impregnated nylon IS silnylon. Your say you hate it and you like it all at the same time lol. However, all silnylon is not created equally and the quality of the waterproofness of the material can vary greatly between manufacturers. Manufacturers that use silnylon for their products usually test every batch they recieve to make sure it meets their standards. Cheap silnylon can easily leak or wet through and start dripping in spots. Good silnylon does not and has a very consistent treatment layer.

Silnylon does stretch a little when wet. This is such a minor problem that it is barely noticeable most of the time. If you really rig it up tight at first you will never be able to tell it stretched at all. Using a line self-tensioner(small piece of shock cord tied onto the guy line in 2 places) completely eliminates this problem in any case. I have yet to have to retighten my silnylon tarp during or after a rainstorm due to it 'stretching'.

Silnylon is not fragile either, nor does it abrade easily. Not sure where you get that idea from, but it is no different than most any tent material, and other ripstop nylon fabrics. It is a little 'slick'n due to the silicone treatment, which usually aids in its ability to avoid abrasion damage etc.

By all means though if you despise silnylon so much then don't use your fancy 4 season tents that are made out of it! haha

Interesting. I will have to try and find out about where I read about sinylon being such a problem with being fragile, abrading easy, as well as stretching. Back in the day it was not called sinylon, it was called silicone impregnated "name your material". One day it's called on thing the next decade you wake up and someone has given it a snazzy new re-name. This is good top know and I thank you for your keeping me up to date. A while back there was a thread going some where it was discussed that people had to get up in the middle of the night in the middle of rainstorms and reset the stakes on their tents, due you happened to remember that by chance, where and what thread that was? That is what I was basing some of what I said. has the nylon changed from the old days, maybe it's thinner now. I do not ever remember silicon impregnated nylon stretching back in the day. Funny about the name change thing. In music there used to be a genre called "folk", I woke up a decade later to hear it being called "alternative".

I will try and find out were I heard what I heard about the "sinylon" that made name think I did not what it.

4:59 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

This is interesting. My Copper Spur fly is silnylon with a PU coating on the fly inner. I am still sticking with my condensation theory. 

Brian, large tents are great with one caveat, the temps in the solo tents I have used over the years can be 10 or more degrees warmer inside the shelter when buttoned up due to the fact that your body produces heat and there is less space inside a small shelter to "heat up."

Now to me 10+ degrees can be a big deal. Especially in sub freezing temps. 

I don't know if ya have seen the video of the Soulo review on youtube but his thermometer was reading 15deg difference from outside temp as compared to the temp inside the shelter.

I also noticed with my Spur that it retains heat as well. I have found when the temp drops that if it is warm in the shelter I can open the little flap on the inner that accesses the "pet chipmunk storage area" on this tent and it makes a substantial difference as well.

Big-Agnes-Copper-Spur-UL-1-034.jpg

So I guess there are trade-offs to size as well. I could spend days on end in a 3man+ ice chest and have the room to move around(although I have to fight the urge to not get out of my bag in the morning) or I could be a bit warmer in a smaller shelter with less space to move around. 

Someone needs to come out with a tent that has telescopic poles, single/double wall fly option, and an inner that can be adjusted per occupancy needs. :)

Oh and one last thing, Hillebergs are coated with Silicone twice on the fly outter and once on the inner. 

The Kerlon 1200, and the 1800 is rated at 3000.

This is an ISO(International Organization for Standardization) rating.

There are companies that do their own lab tests in regards to this(ie Terra Nova)and make bold claims that are comparable to Hille for instance but these tests are typically done in house. I for one trust independent findings more than I do trust the in house ones. 

The tear strengths on these fabrics(Kerlon) is also from independent testing. 

This goes with the research the hell out of whatever gear you are buying logic I use. A tent is an investment that may very well dictate whether or not ya make it out of bc alive or not. 

 

Hey Rick, The funny thing is it has always been the same with my Oval Intention it has always been a very warm tent. With ujsut me inside it’s about 1-15 deg warmer than the outside temp and that is a fairly large thing of a tent heavy tent by today’s standards. I would guess that with the thinning and lightning of all the materials that maybe they just do not hold temps the same as some of the old tents that I'm used to. In fact it would get so warm in the Oval Intention when I would share it with a friend that we would have to open up the windows/vents to cool it down as the bags we had would then be out of there temp rang becoming way to hot. I never shared it with more than one person. Again I can only go on the products I have used thereby going on my own experience. Even my new tents are made of big thick materials as compared to most of what is coming out right now and what most people use as a solo tent. The MH DW Satellite is like 16 lbs or something like that. I must also admit that I do not have a girlfriend to share a tent with any more but Mogh is quite the little heater. A lot of what I was also trying to impart in my last long rant was that even little tents don’t need to be he horrid little caves that the American tent industry now makes. It will be interesting to see what the Hilleberg’s are like. Mine is slated to be here on Tue. I would guess that you are going to find that your new Soulo will stay much warmer than your Copper Spur. It will be interesting to see.  I have always way erred on the side of caution in regards to the bags i've used.  I've never once been cold in a down bag and generally have to open it up and vent the bag and the tent more just so I don't get to warm.  I like warm, warm is good.

 

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

" If you press down on the floor of the Spur(or Patrick's Fly Creek) you can actually see the grass as well as the color of the grass through it."

 

Where I come from we call that a Kleenex not a tent floor.

5:28 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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@ Rambler :

Rick was kind enough to find the threads I was alluding to:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/backcountry/topics/98806.html

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/95045.html

Do you remember these or have you read these?  If not when you get the chance let me know what you think.  Why would anyone make a tent or tarp that stretches?  That would be like having the roof of your house sag during a rain storm and being ok with that.  Not me, that's for sure.  Again back in the day the silicone impregnated materials we used did not streatch.  None of my tents that I use now that use silicone streatch.  I don't ever remember having to redo any of the tents I have after a rain.  Something's up??????

5:32 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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bheiser1 said:

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

8.04oz in the sack. My scale may be batty. I think its pretty close though.

Nope, just checked, the scale is pretty accurate. It may be off a tenth of a gram here or there but....

The sack is pretty light. It weighs in at 14 grams. So the footprint is around 7.5 grams

I need to get a new scale. I have had this one for about 10yrs or so. 

Thanks for the info.  You meant ounces, right?  So this would place the Soulo + footprint at 5 lbs 6 oz based on the published specs.

 Ugghhh, yeah I meant ounces lol. I was up way late last night. Still the tent and footprint weigh less than my bladder fully engorged. 

During the winter/colder season my lighter weight logic goes right out the window. 

I can't set weight restrictions on comfort and safety. Especially being I am typically solo. If I get into a jam its primarily going to be a self rescue situation. Even in the warmer months. At the least its going to take a minimum of 3 hrs for anyone to get to me after I(if possible) make contact with the rangers, SAR, etc.

Winter(dependent upon conditions) can take much longer. When one gets in a jam second/minutes count let alone hours.

I avoid any unnecessary risks at all times especially when it comes to gear.

6:13 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Yesteday I posted about my little trip. Anyway something happened that for the life of me I cant explain. As I took down camp I noticed that my sleeping pad was wet on the underside. I had used a footpint. But when I pulled up the foot pint it was dry on the bottom. It seemed that condensation had collected between the foot print and the floor of the tent. I was using a Seirra West tent around 30 years old.

As the temp droped that night I compleatly sealed  up the tent. There was no wind. rain. In the morning there was Ice covering eveything. Was this condesation forming between the two layers?

6:24 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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mikemorrow said:

Yesteday I posted about my little trip. Anyway something happened that for the life of me I cant explain. As I took down camp I noticed that my sleeping pad was wet on the underside. I had used a footpint. But when I pulled up the foot pint it was dry on the bottom. It seemed that condensation had collected between the foot print and the floor of the tent. I was using a Seirra West tent around 30 years old.

As the temp droped that night I compleatly sealed  up the tent. There was no wind. rain. In the morning there was Ice covering eveything. Was this condesation forming between the two layers?

 

I would say it was and that you need to reseal the bottom/floor of the tent. I myself would try and recreate the situation to see if that is what the problem is but that's the only thing I an think of. Unless you dumped a bottle of water or your bottle of water leaked. When I came down and camped with you I had a bottle of water that I did not get the lid tight on after a midnight drink of water that leaked and it was wet underneath my pad and the tent floor.

6:35 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Interesting thought. Nothing but my clothes go into my sleeping area. My packpack stays out side! But that night I did take in my new goretex shoes. I was testing them all day (puddle walking). Hummmmmm

6:41 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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I have had times that I encountered what I refer to as the "sweating effect" with a tent floor. It typically happens with a thick floor in cold(below freezing) temps for me. 

If my memory serves me right the tent I was using at the time was rated at 5000mm for the floor and I was on snow with a footprint. Temps were in single digits. 

When I woke up the next morning and pack my gear I pulled my pad and noticed an outline of moisture in a perfect rectangular shape which outlined the area of my pad.

It really didn't amount to much of anything. 

7:05 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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The whole condensation thing is somewhat mystifying to me…

Last summer I was in the Roan highlands and wound up at a crowded shelter where there were about 10 tents pitched (of various makes, models and sizes as you could imagine). It was a temperate day, and we all noticed that at the exact same time (about dusk) everyone’s tents became saturated with condensation on the inner flys (and some canopies) and no one was in their tent yet. There were about 6 AT thru-hikers that day and all said they had not seen a phenomenon like that yet. Weird.

7:15 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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But It is away of moisture to get into a tent. Not everything comes in from the outside. ;) Sometimes we bring it in with us.

7:17 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Patrick, bet ya never would've thought this would be a 100 hit+ thread huh? :)

7:20 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Ya, this has been so informitive  I'm posting it on FB. Just too much info being passed around

7:22 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Absolutely. Its been a great thread. 

8:14 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Even when using my TNF OI for 25+ years I have just never had a condensation problems. It doesn’t have a vestibule so everything had to come inside. Wet clothing and all goes against on one side of the tent along with dirty clothing shoes boots wet coat's.......... I get the other side of the tent with the partner and or the dog(s). I just don’t understand the condensation thing. I mean it makes sense but I always had two window's that I would leave cracked, always, no exceptions. I would leave the top of the door cracked, always, no exceptions and the very top of the rain fly door cracked when weather permitted, which is 98% of the time. I always had condensation on the inside wall of the fly, but never in the tent. I just don't get it if you have any kind of venting at all and how could you not as you have to get in and out of the tent. Don't get me wrong, and I'm most certainly not complaining by any mean's and I’m not bragging. The majority of my tent pitching has been from Colorado going to the Pacific Coast and then up the coast as that's where I'm drawn to be when I need time away from life and I can't leave the country. I lived and grew up in Colorado so that is the second highest percentage of tent pitches for me. In Colorado one does not worry about this phoneme called humidity, no such thing. But still most of my tenting is/has been done on the west coast of the US. The venting in the OI was nothing special, two small windows, a door and a zipper on the rain fly. I'm mystified at the amount of problems that condensation has cause people over the years.

On my brewery tour/kite festival trip of the OR/WA coast this past summer I twice tried to get some condensation by shutting down my tents doors vestibules window and vents in tow of my Garuda tents, on single skin one doouble skin. It was hot and stuffy that’s for sure. One morning at the kite festival I awoke to the tiniest of droplets on the internal aluminum poles in the morning. I'm assuming this was due to the temp diffferetnail from the much warmer insde of the tent vers the outside air temp.   By the time I got out of the tent changed clothing and got the tent ready for sleeping again the next night, maybe 15 min. it was all gone. I mean really what’s up with the condensation thing. My double wall tents always get condensation on the underside of their rain flys but since I’m drawn to geodesic dome tents they have steep walls and the condensation on the inside of the rain flys runs down the inside of the rain fly and drips to the ground. But even with Mogh, (in the past it was Rohanan, Mahlia, Bachra, and or Sasha, yes these were all dogs and not women) in the tents it just doesn’t happen. Maybe I have a really severe case of sleep apnea which allows me too stop breathing all night till I wake up. Man I just don't get it. I do know it get’s different when it get below freezing and I don’t much do that any more but still?

Oh yea, that great thread thing........yea ..............that............

Actually it has been a great thread as it's allowed my to think about the things I seem to be into right now the most gearwise.  Tents.

8:28 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Brian, I'm always talking about conensation on the fly. Very rarely do I get a drip in the inner tent. The problem with this is packing up and going in the morning. Shamwow takes hours off the drying time. Conensation on the Inner tent? Thats just wrong.

PS if you see my R's missing it is my computue not typeing them. Getting tired of going back and getting them

8:42 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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Patman said:

The whole condensation thing is somewhat mystifying to me…

Last summer I was in the Roan highlands and wound up at a crowded shelter where there were about 10 tents pitched (of various makes, models and sizes as you could imagine). It was a temperate day, and we all noticed that at the exact same time (about dusk) everyone’s tents became saturated with condensation on the inner flys (and some canopies) and no one was in their tent yet. There were about 6 AT thru-hikers that day and all said they had not seen a phenomenon like that yet. Weird.

It elementary Watson!   Err, I mean Patman.

Actually the phenom you saw on the trail happens all the time, you just haven't noticed it before.  Tent condensation is all about dew point.  Where dew forms is a matter of micro climates.  It usually forms first on the coolest object, because they chill the air in close proximity.  In the instance you describe the initial condensation surfaces were the tent flies because the tent interior and it fabric cover remained warm above the dew point.  As the evening progressed the condensation surface would change to the tent walls if the temperature drops sufficiently. 

If there is sufficient draft the air may evaporate collected condensation if the circulating air brought in from elsewhere is above the dew point (remember this is a micro climate thing).  On the other hand if the condensation surface is cool enough it may harvest the moisture from a circulating wind, and create even more condensation (to vent or not to vent, that is the question).  When the entire air column drops below dew point, you not only have a condensation issue, you have rain.

Ed

11:00 p.m. on December 2, 2011 (EST)
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mikemorrow said:

Hey Brian, I'm always talking about conensation on the fly. Very rarely do I get a drip in the inner tent. The problem with this is packing up and going in the morning. Shamwow takes hours off the drying time. Conensation on the Inner tent? Thats just wrong.

PS if you see my R's missing it is my computue not typeing them. Getting tired of going back and getting them

 

I get it now, yea on my double wall tents I try to make it my first thing in the morning to pull of the fly to dry or at least lift it if I'm staying, though this usually does not happen till after I've come out of my coma and had my caffine.

And the M thing, I just thought your were just another day older and starting to studder.  If you want I can get you an "M" of off a key board at my local Goodwill store as they have M's on sale on Fridays. ;-}>

1:58 a.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Well Mr, Ed beat me to it but I know that water vapor transmission and Due points can effect materials differently.  This is one of the largest debates going on in construction now days.  I won't say that I understand all the factors involved, heck I'm not sure anyone dose, but the quick and simple is water vapor want to move to warmer areas. Most think it's the other way but from what I have read in the construction trades it's not.   Although warmer air will carry more moisture then colder air.  I don't really understand it all my self, mostly just how to keep it from getting into the walls.  By the way Tyvac is not a vapor barrier of any kind, it will "Plane" liquid water but will not stop the transmission of vapor through it.  This is one of the reasons about 5 years ago Tyvac had to stop using vapor barrier in their advertising.  (I don't think I am spelling it right. :))

So Mike in your situation, with the wet floor, I would guess that the ground was much warmer then the air and the vapor in side the tent was "Condensing" at the floor of the tent or between the tent floor and the ground cover.    What where you using for a ground cover? 

I also think this has a lot to do with the "misting" effects some people get on their tents, more so if they are not in the tent. 

Apeman

Thanks for all the info, I think I need to do a lot more research and then of coarse come up with a tent design!  And I will be going over my tent this weekend to try to get a idea of the seam condition and many even get the thing cleaned and coated, well see. :)

Wolfman

7:47 a.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Here is the best way I can describe why silnylon stretches.

Silnylon is generally Nylon, Spinnaker cloth is Polyester. Nylon fibers be them in fabric, rope or webbing stretch as part of the nature of the material. Polyester on the other hand is made to not stretch. It is a molecular structure difference at the root of the nature of the two, though when wet nylon fibers are loosened as the surface tension on each fiber is reduced making it seem to have greater stretch. Poly on the other hand is hydrophobic and does not absorb water the way nylon does....though it is curbed in Silnylon with the coatings, but as we all know sil will wet out. The difference with tent silnylon is that it typically has a double layer, or a pu layer as well. This prevents water from being absorbed by the nylon.

I believe silnylon stretch is pretty much limited to lightweight silnylon tarps. Most of the lightweight silnylon tarps are only impregnated on one side with silicone and so they can absorb more moisture.

But like i said before my tarp does stretch but it isn't like its a drastic change. If I rig it really tight to begin with(I use figure 9s or trucker hitches) i see little to no stretch after a rain. All it takes to prevent this is to take about a 5-10 inch piece of shockcord and tie it onto your guy line in 2 places and it will take up any slack during the night. (also called a tarp self tensioner, or self tensioning line)

10:41 a.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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@ TheRambler and others who know:

 

Makes sence  The Black Diamond firstlite is Spinnaker?  100% polyester with silicone nanocell coating.  Would that be the definition of Spinaker?  Any Idea how that will act react when getting wet?  It's very thin with the total tent weighing in at 3 lbs.  To light for my taste but it's a new day and age.  I know nothing of these newer light weight materials other than what I have heard and read from others.  One of the reasons I said that I would stay away from silnylon.  Is just does not seem right to have materials stretch when wet and then return to shape when dry.  Is silnylon itegrated into a tent going to act different than a tarp?  I'm willing to give some of these light weight tent materials a chance but it will take alot for me to change my thoughts on what it really takes to make a strong stout shelter.  I'm used to hugh winds, I don't have mph counts (though I jsut got an anometer), but still hugh  winds that wreack other tents and keep people up nights that I can just sleep thru and see the mess in the morning.  I rather like not knowing that it rained heavy till I actually step out of the tent.  I can't imagind tents like the first light, copper spur, fly creek, etc handling anything near what my OI's and others I have can handle.  But then again I'm used to High alt base camp tents.

8:41 p.m. on December 3, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

bheiser1 said:

Thanks for the info.  You meant ounces, right?  So this would place the Soulo + footprint at 5 lbs 6 oz based on the published specs.

...

During the winter/colder season my lighter weight logic goes right out the window. 

I can't set weight restrictions on comfort and safety. Especially being I am typically solo. If I get into a jam its primarily going to be a self rescue situation. Even in the warmer months. At the least its going to take a minimum of 3 hrs for anyone to get to me after I(if possible) make contact with the rangers, SAR, etc.

Winter(dependent upon conditions) can take much longer. When one gets in a jam second/minutes count let alone hours.

I avoid any unnecessary risks at all times especially when it comes to gear.

 

Actually I agree.  I am very risk adverse too  I'm sure you can tell from the way I analyze every gear purchase to death (hmmm maybe that's a bad choice of words :)).  At the same time I am weight conscious (even my summer pack is wayyyy too heavy, so it'd be easy for the winter pack to become prohibitively so).

Here's why I asked:  I am, ahem, ... weighing the pros/cons of using my old MH Skyview 1.5 in winter vs spending moocho bucks on a real 4-season tent.   I guess it's established that the Soulo weighs about 5 lbs 6oz with footprint.

By way of comparison, I just finished weighing my MH "1.5 person" tent (the one that still needs the zippers replaced).  The total weight is 8 lb 4.8 oz.  I could shave a few ounces off by using lighter stuff sacks for the tent, poles, and stakes.  But still ... EIGHT pounds.

So the reportedly "expedition ready" Soulo (far more than I'm likely to need) is just under 3 pounds lighter than my adequate but far less capable MH tent.  Three pounds!

Everyone please bear with me while I rationalize buying a new tent, I'm sure you'll understand :-).  Believe it or not this is actually on-topic because "tent performance in rain" is directly applicable to winter tenting in California :).

1:58 a.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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bheiser1 said:

..Everyone please bear with me while I rationalize buying a new tent, I'm sure you'll understand :-).  Believe it or not this is actually on-topic because "tent performance in rain" is directly applicable to winter tenting in California :).

Bill:

The Skyview works well in rain; why not use your skyview on trips where rain is the threat, and emphasize snow and wind performance for whatever four season tent you are considering?

Ed

10:37 a.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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bheiser1 said:

So the reportedly "expedition ready" Soulo (far more than I'm likely to need) is just under 3 pounds lighter than my adequate but far less capable MH tent.  Three pounds!

 Its only 3lbs. ;)

3:01 p.m. on December 4, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

bheiser1 said:

So the reportedly "expedition ready" Soulo (far more than I'm likely to need) is just under 3 pounds lighter than my adequate but far less capable MH tent.  Three pounds!

 Its only 3lbs. ;)

Rick, big help you are!  LOL :)  Anyway the MJ e-card promo ended a day earlier than they said it would, so the decision has been made for me.

And Ed, yep, that's exactly what I've been thinking.  Well, either that or just avoid camping in wind & snow... given the macro economic conditions...

10:24 p.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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Patman said:

I called Big Agnes and asked their tech support if I needed to re-seal something or the like and they said that condensation was normal in rain for that long of period and that it sounded to them like the tent performed well. When I awoke with a drip on my face I didn’t feel like it performed well. 

But maybe it did given the tent and scenario?

 Hmmm this has me concerned.  I haven't had the "opportunity" to use my Copper Spur in any real rain yet.  And now I'm wondering if I should...  and if I do, I guess I better carry my heavy synthetic bag just in case...

10:41 p.m. on December 5, 2011 (EST)
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I've used mine in a few hairy storms. Didn't have much problem.

7:28 a.m. on December 6, 2011 (EST)
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This is why I'm looking into buying a UL bivy. SOL has them for $16. And they weigh in at 3.5 oz. I use my down bag this time of year. With the rains we can get I'm not going to take a chance of my bag getting wet. Small price, water proof, and light. I can reseal the tent when I get home. Just a little peace of mind.

December 26, 2014
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