Anyone use single wall tents?

11:14 a.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm a fan of them and own two:A Eureka Lite N Up 2 (same as the Zeus LE 2 made in 2006, but sold as lit n up in 2007 when they went back to the Classic) and a MSR Skinny Too. I like them both, but the Eureka is one of the best I have used. It has lots of ventilation and is very roomy. The Skinny Too is a great tent as well. This one has to be staked/guyed out well. It breaths good in nice weather but in the rain it's a bit stuffy. After the rain, you can't reopen the back window without the inside of the tent getting wet.

I used to have a Mountain Hardwear Mountain Jet 2 that was my favorite. Unfortunately, I had it set up in the yard after a trip to clean, and a storm came by and a tree fell on it. Luckily I wasn't in it at the time.

So in curious to hear some opinions about single walls and what you have used.

Some more tent talk.

11:38 a.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I Bkuti I am currently useing and own a Henry Shires Virga 2005.. Works great for me presently. But with all single walls the misting effect play's a hand...But yeah It was a great deal from a friend...

12:10 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Like you, I have used a Mt Hardwear Mountain Jet for a winter trip, and a single wall Integral Designs MK3 on a trip into the Bald River wilderness.


41-Fine-Winter-Scene-at-Cascade-Winter-C

Here is my Mt Jet single wall set up in a light snow in the Bald River wilderness.  Mt Hardwear used to make high quality tents until they went to the Atlas pole system---and I turned away from them after I had a pole break with the Atlas insert.


41-Mountain-Jet-Tent-on-Whiggs-Meadow.jp

Here's the Mt Jet atop Whiggs Meadow at 5,000 feet in the aftermath of a snowstorm.  I need to take this baby out again and do some yard camping in it just to play with it.


Trip-87-033.jpg

And then we come to the Integral Designs MK3 tent, supposedly at the top of the heap of single walls.  I have a long history of disappointment with this tent caused by water leaks around the low perimeter seam---taped at the factory and seam-sealed by me using two tubes of McNetts---still leaked.


Trip-87-035.jpg

This pic was taken along Bald River on a six day backpacking trip in a cold rain.  It leaked of course, about nine separate leaks around the bottom seam and around the door.  Plus, the thing is just too short to keep the foot of my sleeping bag dry from condensation.


Trip-87-046.jpg

Final shot.  Single walls were designed, I believe, for high altitude snow camping without the chance of rain.  The idea occurred to me to go the ID single wall route as it seemed a perfect solution to several tent problems but a whole new slew of hassles emerged, so I returned quickly to my double wall tents.


TRIP-115-578.jpg

And then there are the single wall TarpTents, so popular nowadays with the UL crowd.  Here's a buddy's older TarpTent on a long backpacking trip on the Benton MacKaye trail on Brookshire Creek.  He had a serious leak along the ridge pole seam and had to bail for a day or two to dry out his sleeping bag.  Not good.


trip-96-170.jpg

Finally, this picture epitomizes the drawbacks to a Tarptent single wall---sagging silnylon resting on the top of your sleeping bag.  This was taken up on Bob's Bald in a nasty 5,300 foot rainstorm, and shows a friend's Tarptent in compromise-mode.  TarpTent fanatics will say, "He should've went out (at 3am?) to tighten up the quylines!", as if that's a standard procedure with a good tent.







12:50 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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The only single wall I'd use would be made of EVENT.  My ID Wedge does not develop condensation (so far) and it is long enough that the bag doesn't touch the foot end.  And I am 6'1".

12:57 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I have had three different single walled tents. Two were made using Gore-Tex. One was a Golite tent, not sure what they called the material. None in my opinion were okay. Well, they were okay if I didn't touch the tent on the inside which seemed to let water drip or run down from the area touched.

Also used a canvas tent in the 60s that also was okay as long as the inner wall was not touched.

I guess it was natural oil on the fingers that could/would be left behind and make the tent leak?

12:58 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I pulled up this fotog of the ID Wedge from their website, assuming this is it?  It's the same length, 88 inches, as the MK3.


BWED_sm.jpg
They don't mention the sq footage.  The problem I have with 88 inches is sleeping on a two or three inch pad (Exped comes to mind) and having the foot of my lofted down bag touching the end wall after a good night of condensation.  I would be interested to see how this tent does in a three day rainstorm.

1:32 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Rain? Better get a tarp or the optional vesti for the Wedge. It opens from the top down. Rain could turn the inside into an aquarium in no time.

1:49 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I am pleased to see / hear Trailspace members "tell it like it is".

Way to go, Lads !

A few expressions to consider:

(This one ... a Southern expression) -- 'Ya caint' polish a t*rd !

(From the construction trades) -- You can't weld rust.

(To our "friends" in China ) --  Junk is junk, the world over.

It irks me that we often have to pay a 50% premium ( or more ) to get the good stuff.   But, in the long-run ... it is well worth it.

Many do not want to acknowledge their disappointment(s) in purchasing at a price-point that is perceived to be a bargain, when confronted with the poor quality.

                                                  ~r2~

3:00 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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The issue with single wall tents is the overall support poles. Like Tippi has pointed out the silynylon droops and sages once concentrated with rain or condensation. Thats based on the surface tension. The molecules of the rain have nowhere to deflect the surface tension. The nylon is getting beaten down so to speak and the lack of more poles in the Older models show it. The new models such as the Moment have more support poles to keep the sureface tension from inplodeing. I do agree you do have to try and retighten as Tippi has said "but" at times it's just not enough as pointed out by Gary about the built up condisation issue's in single wall tents. But I do the best I can and the materials as well are the hardest to seal do to the fabric coating..

3:14 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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This is why the tents Joe's making over at www.zpacks.com are so spectacular. No stretch cuben construction, and no bugs, for 8 ounces. 8 ounces!! Don't need bug protection? How does 3 ounces sound?

3:29 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

This is why the tents Joe's making over at www.zpacks.com are so spectacular. No stretch cuben construction, and no bugs, for 8 ounces. 8 ounces!! Don't need bug protection? How does 3 ounces sound?

 I would consider these more in the Tarp or Tarptent category.  Here's a ZPack tent from their website:


hexamid_cdt_4_l.jpg

I can see right off the bat that in a decent windstorm or blizzard there could very well be blown snow as spindrift coming inside the tent---especially it there's no sealable inner canopy instead of the mesh.  Sgt Rock showed me a homemade cuben tarp of his he used on a trip together and mentioned something about its strength but also something about its poor abrasion qualities.  Any truth to this??

3:34 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Everything I've read mentions that puncture holes are much more of a problem with cuben as well. 

4:09 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Very true, but cuben comes in many different weights.

4:27 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

Very true, but cuben comes in many different weights.

Yeah with one hefty price tag...

Is it worth it when you take into consideration of what else is available on the market?... for some reason I doubt it.

In another year or so there will be another latest and greatest fabric to hit the market.

It will probably be 4x sil coated, kevlar impregnated, toilet tissue that has a greater tear strength than 16 guage sheet metal.

I can see Johnson & Johnson talking it over with Dupont now.... Uggghhhhh....

6:18 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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As far as the topic I have used them in the past but have ran into insane condensation problems. Even though I am currently looking into a bivy I typically steer clear of single wall shelters.

I am really considering the Wedge that Tipi has pictured above but without a tarp or the optional vestibule it is pretty much useless as far as I am concerned. I am not sure what ID was thinking when they designed the entrance on the Wedge but its not a good design. When ya open it the inside of the shelter is exposed to the elements.

wedge-200x198.jpg

6:30 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick doesn't matter the Tent from single walls to double walls they All have condensation issue's. Even Hildies! Tippi pointed that out last year dureing one of his winter report. Now the cuben Pillowthread is saying comes in different weights which is true. That also means more weight overall and less punture and tear.Again surface tension. Look at the design joe did for his hex on Zpacks.Notice a lower profile and a higher center ridge profile? Again thats surface tension being dissiminated across the whole structure. He did a great job at dissiminateing the idea about water molecules.

6:51 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Ok, let me rephrase what I meant. I was was speaking in reference to the amount of condensation. On a double wall condensation is typically stuck to your fly. That being the case you really don't run into problem with you bag getting wet, etc due to the inner(mesh, etc.) typically keeps you from getting dripped on.

On the flipside on a single wall if you have condensation on your inner which you will if its sealed up there is a pretty good chance you may wake up to a wet bag etc because of the lack of a barrier in between you and the interior of the shelter.

When I was referring to the whole cuben thing I was going after for what are getting is the outrageous cost justified when compared to what else is available out there.

On a side note I have woke up many times in my Copper Spur with barely any noticeable condensation on the inner of the fly. Mind you the tent was completely sealed up. Now if I were in the same conditions in one of my other dbl wall tents the levels of condensation would be thru the roof.

The levels of condensation are quite minimal when compared to other tents I have used in the past. Especially when compared to a single wall shelter.

7:03 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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yes totally agree with your statements. Also look at the Present and old designs of tarptents prime example. Not only has Henry Shire added more support poles in almost all of them again munipulateing of surface tension and the properties of DWR. He also took into effect the condensation aspect. More ventilation at the bottom and by the Beak..Almost all your "cottage designers" have learned and are learning about surface tension. I had class's on it in college. it applies in structural design. So they are doing well becomeing self educated..I also purchased a Montrail Diamondback monoframe double wall for this winter to try out..

7:07 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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When it comes to the whole surface tension thing I am cluless lol. I did notice that my Spur has a low stance to it. I have to crawl on my hands and knees just to get in it. :p

7:31 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Your not clueless it was just not pointed out to you..easiest way to describe it. When it rains and water doplets hit the surface of a sidewalk. They change form into tiny droplets and layeracross the surface of the concrete. That creates surface tension and weight.If it's a flat surface surface it pools because the molecules or droplets have nowhere to travel. same with any structure or Tent. Add that the DWR helps to channel that tension away to the lowest point.Same with buildings with arched roofs..now you know how surface tension works and what it is. Theirs also mathmatical formula's but that's really more the geek in me. LOL I just like alot of the design aspects of all the gear because I wonder how far the Test the design when it comes to materials etc. Just really interesting to try and think through..

8:23 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I guess this is applicable to when jumping into a body of water from high above it is smart to maybe throw a stone 1st to break the surface of the water.... I found out about that a few years back.

Kinda wish I knew that as a kid jumping off the coal tipple roof on the river. I had a tendency to walk funny at times lol. Then again it was  over 200ft high so I should be grateful I am walking period.

10:14 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Whats the rock trick? I've never heard of that.

10:19 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Throw the rock b4 ya jump to break the surface tension on the water so your entry is a lil friendlier.

10:26 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah I didn't know it when we were jumping off draw bridges either. LOL  My father and one of his closest friends a former professor who worked at ATT Labs had conversations alot  about it when in college when I visited home. Its also used in Skydiving to make chutes and any concept for aviation flight. All the same prinicples.

10:28 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I am familiar with that aspect of the principles. It was just the whole tent thing that confused my one lonely brain cell. He does have his moments though....

12:16 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

I pulled up this fotog of the ID Wedge from their website, assuming this is it?  It's the same length, 88 inches, as the MK3.


BWED_sm.jpg
They don't mention the sq footage.  The problem I have with 88 inches is sleeping on a two or three inch pad (Exped comes to mind) and having the foot of my lofted down bag touching the end wall after a good night of condensation.  I would be interested to see how this tent does in a three day rainstorm.

Tip- I used to own a MK1XL and sold it because it was too short for me.  I use an Exped DAM and my bag would touch.  Yes, they are the same length, but I think that the foot-end of the Wedge is steeper than the MK1.  I would be nervous using it in a 3 day rainstorm, because of the openness of the door.  I do have the vestibule, and it would work, but I would still prefer the Hillebergs. The Wedge is a very specific shelter for limited applications. I will say that I have been very impressed with its lack of condensation inside.

11:11 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi, I'm very jealous of your Mountain Jet, I miss that tent. I've been looking for another, check ebay almost every day with no luck. I even contacted MH and they don't have any available. So yea if you wanna get rid of it one day....

The ZPack tents look interesting. I like the idea. I never thought of a screen floor but see the benefit of it. At 8oz, it pretty intense. Still not full coverage though and I really wouldn't think of using it in the winter/snow.

I never was a fan of the Tarptents. My friend had one and sold it. Very saggy and misty. Besides the weight, I don't see to many positives with them. They seem very delicate to me as well.

I don't see the thrill with the Integral Designs tents. I'm sure they have their place for some. Specially the size, the XL is only 86 inches, to short for me. They seem to be a condensation magnet to me.

I really like the Golite Eden 1 tent. Anyone use one? I've heard a ot of good things about them.

My MSR Skinny Too is a great single wall that has received a bad reputation. The tent has a lot of guy out loops and all should be used. A lot of complained about sagging but it doesn't happen if it's guyed out right. I'm currently in the process of modifying it. I'm taking out the stupid mesh gear loft ceiling and putting some mesh over the front vent. It doesn't work well as a gear loft, the lightest thing in there makes it sag and lose your head room. I'll also gain a good amount of head room without mesh constantly brushing my head. This is my first tunnel style tent and really, really like them. I wanna look into another but they all seem very pricey. Marmot has the Widi tents that look really cool, I like what you can do with them. There not single wall and are kinda heavy for a 2 person tent that will mostly have one person and a dog inside. Real nice though.

1:11 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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For what it’s worth:

My first real backpacking tent was a single wall LL Bean model and the condensation was a killer. Every morning it was like it had rained inside and outside of the thing. The venting was horrible. That purchase was actually one of my first lessons about relying on advice from uninformed (inexperienced?) sales people. I guess I don’t have enough experience to say that the whole category of single wall tents are prone to condensation (maybe mine was just a horrible design), but living in East TN, I would never purchase another single wall.

1:46 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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One day when I get a Bivy but not presently as I enjoy a MH Skyledge 2.1

3:43 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I've used a gore tex tent a few times and never had any condensation problems.  This was old school gore tex with a fuzzy surface on the inside, not sure if that makes any difference.  I left the vent at the foot of the tent open and the inside was dry each morning.  All in all I think I prefer double wall tents.

3:13 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I have posted this here before, but, will reiterate, that I have owned an Early Winters Light Dimension, a Bibler Solo Dome, an Integral Designs MKI-XL, an Integral Designs MKI-Lite and an Integral Designs Mega Sola and all of these tents were/are made of some variation of Gore-Tex. I have used them in every season of the year, all over BC and other parts of western Canada and I have never had problems with condensation in 33+ years of this use.

Integral Design tents were not designed for maximum comfort for urban backpackers, they were intended for use by serious mountaineers in severe conditions and are sized and kept very simple to that end. I like them for several uses-reasons, such as extreme strength under very heavy snowload and light weight relative to space protected. I prefer the MKI-XL as a winter tent to any  other I have used and the tiny, light MKI-Lite is a sheep/goat hunting tent "par excellence" and that is what I bought it for.

Hilles are great and I love mine and may well buy more, but, the fact is that tent selection is "horses for courses" and some are better for some uses than others, while no single design is best for all uses. Simple, really.

4:00 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Dewey said:

Integral Design tents were not designed for maximum comfort for urban backpackers, they were intended for use by serious mountaineers in severe conditions and are sized and kept very simple to that end.

 Yes, but you'd at least think they could make it waterproof.

5:59 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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You are the first person whom I would consider an expert on this topic that I have ever known to complain about these tents. I met one rather snotty young climber, just before I retired from a position selling gear in what was Canada's largest private gearshop who had a minor problem with a lower arm seam on an ID parka when climbing Mount Logan and that is the only other issue with their gear I have encountered.

Conditions here in BC are VERY harsh, ambient temps. to 103*F and colder than -40* are in my experience in remote wilderness camping and there are huge tracts of raw, never-touched wilderness larger than many US states. I have seen a lot of this and used ID gear by choice for almost twenty years of that and have never had a problem.

I do not doubt your word, as I would that of some here and can only say that any gearmaker can send out the odd "lemon", my first Synergy Works pack and some other VERY highend stuff have not been what I expected, so, I know how you feel!  Did you return the tent and did Evan make good on it?

6:18 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks Dewey for the response.  I must have gotten a "lemon" but no, I haven't contacted ID about the tent or tried to get a return or replacement.  I am sure they would stand behind it as I've heard they are an outstanding company to work with.  The only other tent floor I've seen that comes up to Hilleberg's standard is in my MK3's floor---very robust.

11:24 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Golite Shangri-La 2 and haven't had any condensation issues, although I live in  So Cal and haven't slept in it through a night full of rain. Only sustained rain for an hour or two. The design is highly adjustable for venting.

11:31 p.m. on July 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I will be mindful of the inherent sagging nature of silnylon tents after prolonged exposure to rain, although I think the tent's pyramidal design, with steep walls, will help reduce surface tention and sag. Denis, your thoughts?

Overall I am very pleased with the SL2's versatility and efficiency thus far. Will have to see...

12:14 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Ahhhhh, single wall tents.  I love them but they are not for the faint of heart.  Though some can be and are effective in the rain, that was not there designed purpose.  The purpose was for high altitude  mountaineering and setting up in small spaces in a quick amount of time using the least amount of materials to conserve weight.  If ya don't know tents and or,  are still learning about tents, then I would most certainly go with a double wall tent rather than a single wall tent.  With that being said I own 7.  The Garuda Emeishan, Kaja.....The Garuda "Dana Design" Trikaya ....Bibler's Bombshelter, tripod bivy, and Elderado.  I also own a Marmot Gortex bivy that I bought in 1982, I think for $45.  This is a bivy that I used a lot and has has never let me down.  Regarding the marmot.  I only use this in emergencies as it is just big enough for you to put a pad and bag.  There is some room at the bottom but not enough for a pack. It has a little three piece fiberglass pole that fits together with metal conectors.  They did this long before I saw anyone else use a pole or hoop on a bivy.  It has just enough room to kinda sit up but not really.  I once spent 3 days and two nights at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival around 1983-84 in it.  It rained the entire time.  After many wet hours of listining to music I would come back to my bivy and pour the pooled water of of it and climb into my "dry" bivy.  I have never had any condensation problems with this bivy.  I do not use it anymore as I usually have to get up once or twice a night now and a bivy is not very condusive to that esp. in the pouring rain.  I do however carry it with me on bike trips as a quick emergency shelter as I can be in it as fast as I can throw it on the ground and set the pole up in it later.


DSC03605.jpg

 

I regards to the Biblers.  I have used the Elderado extensively in the rain and never had a leak or condensation problem.  I have used the Bombshelter just a bit in the rain and it has not leaked.  The Bombshelter is Bombproof with two attached vestuibles.  It is a 4 man tent that only weighs in at 8+ lbs.  I have only used my tripod bivey one time and it was in fair weather.

My favorites are the Garuda's both before and during the Dana Design era.  They are well designed, well made, with quality materials.   They do however neeed to be sealed correctly so that they do not leak.  My Trikaya took me 11 hours to seal the first time I did it.  If a tent could be sexy, this one does it for me.  I bought this tent from someone who had bought it new but never used it of off ebay back in 1993 or 94 when Ebay was young and fun, unlike today.

Here are two picts of my favorite single wall tent the Trikaya
DSC03828.jpg

DSC03824.jpg

This (below)is the Emeishan a two man tent  I bought the from a member of Trailspace for $200 a couple of months ago and though I have set it up I have never slept in it.  I have an album on the set up of this tent with many pictures.  It's a really nice tent that i can't wait to try.
Garuda-Emeishan-1.jpg
My last single wall tent is the Garuda Kaja.  I have only seen pictures of this tent and am awaiting it's arrival.  It will be here when I get back from OR.  It is also a two man single wall tent.  If you take a look at all the garuda tents they all are vented really well, all their tents are very well thought out. I personally have never had any venting/condensation problems with any of my tents with the exception of having two many people in a tent.  It is my opinion that if a tent has condensation it is either a design flaw, two many people in the tent, or the person(s) in the tent do not know how to use the tent.

I don't know what to make about the claims of not getting wet while setting up a single wall tent with internal poles.  Try to throw out a tent on wet ground, open the tent, throw you already wet pack into the tent, crawl into the tent dragging mud,grass,sand along with your wet body into the tent.  Try and put together 2, 3, 4, or 5 poles with all your stuff inside the tent and then get back to me with how it went.  The best tent I have found for this is the 2 pole Bibler Elderado (basicly the same as the Bibler I tent).  Only two poles makes them easy and fast to set up.  From what I understand The Integral Design single wall 2 pole tents are easy to set up as well.  I have not had the pleasure of owning any..............yet.

12:23 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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@ apeman- How many tents/shelters do you have man? The blue and tan one is a sweet looking tent.

12:50 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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XterroBrando said:

I will be mindful of the inherent sagging nature of silnylon tents after prolonged exposure to rain, although I think the tent's pyramidal design, with steep walls, will help reduce surface tention and sag. Denis, your thoughts?

Overall I am very pleased with the SL2's versatility and efficiency thus far. Will have to see...

 Yes and No! Yes  the design is great to facilitate  wicking the water to the lowest point. No because the actual purpose of this style Like( Apeman) said is for quick alpine accents. Get In and Get out.

Also they have come far from the first they all threw together with no type of netting for ventalation or support features.Your Tent imparticular is actually a copy of a 1930 tent. Just updated. But you are right you can manipulate the back pole and your sides to facilitate maxium circulation and reduce the condensation.The issue with single walls also theirs no dead air space inbetween the membrain. They get bombarded with full force rains that the water goes to the weakest point being the seams and as difficult as seam sealing them is thats a 50/50. But you are like me you like your tent it's a good shelter and works. But give it 3 years and they will come up with even better idea's. I would love to test one in a rain chamber. I also admire the "cottage industry" what I call "Boutique Designers" because they are returning to the roots of Mountaineering design. They are being self taught as well and doing pretty good at it.    I also blame Apeman for putting it in my head to look at more tents being used on the trails and what materials and at the designs and how simple sometimes works and why it doesn't. AHH All his fault. LOL

1:08 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Rick-Pittsburgh  I think I'm at about thirty one or so.  I haven't set up even half of them as of yet.  Back when all this stuff was comming out it was way to expensive, now with the down turn in the economy I can buy what used to be $600-$800 for quite often  $150-$200 or less.  I bought  a twice used Walurs Terramoto 2.0 the other day of of Craigslist for $10 because it had one broken pole section and all the shock cord was streatched out.  Took me under an hour to fix it all.  There are currently about 8 tents I have my eye on getting but it takes time to find the deals.  By blue and tan do you mean the one in the middle, the Trikaya.  It's a bad picture its actually balck and yellow.  The black used to be redish/maroon but it got sticky tent syndrome and I had to heal it.

1:11 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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@apeman-yeah its the middle one. I really like that tent.

2:39 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh ,  Yea it's my favoriate single wall tent (and the third tent I ever bought) at 48 sq ft +16.5 vestibules. 8.8 lbs, 5 poles.  Only needs 3 stakes...... 1 in the back and two in the front to erect (like all Garuda single wall tents that I'm awear of).  Here's a pro shot of it from the day.  Mine is the same yellow,......... my pictures are just washed out form the sun. The red that is on this tent is now graphite black, literely "graphite" black.  I'll do an album on it when I get back from OR if you want.  It's even cooler on the inside.


Trikaya5-2-.jpg

4:04 a.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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denis daly said:  I also blame Apeman for putting it in my head to look at more tents being used on the trails and what materials and at the designs and how simple sometimes works and why it doesn't. AHH All his fault. LOL

 

Is it not amazing how we can take the most simple well working, well thought out idea and actually make it so complicated that it does not work any more, usually in the name of competition and or refining the item.  How do you make a perfect circle rounder, I'm sure there is a way?

And yes I do take responsibility.........It is.....sadly after all,............................. "all" my fault. ;-}>

7:11 p.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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After returning from my road trip I Have found the  Dana Design/Garuda, 3 pole, single wall, 29.5 sq ft + 9 sq ft, 5lb 6oz.,  "2?" man tent, made in, I belive 1994, waiting in the wings for me.  Here we have the tent set up with two poles crossing in the center going.  Corner to corner.  The third pre-bent cross pole is sitting across the front of the tent.  I believe that this pole can be left at home if one was on a trip where you did not need a skin tight 3-4 season tent.   Notice the vent flap on the front of tent on the 9 sq ft. vestibule.  My 80lb Dog is in the picture to show scale. 
DSC04325.jpg

 

Here we have the tent totaly set up.  It takes 5 stakeout points to erect the tent.  two in front and three in the rear.   Notice again the venting on the front and now, the side of the tent.  Total set up time the first time without instructions was jsut under 5 min.  I belive I could have this down to 2-3 min with parctice, maybe less.  There is a vent on the other side as well.  The side vents have 2 zippered adjustments on the inside which employ a wide range of venting options with one using zippered opening using screening and the other opening, which is wider that does not us screening.  The amount of venting is controled with a adjustable strut system ustilizing velcro so that one can open and close the vent on the outside while bing able to open and or close either one or both zippered vents on the insde.  Garuda has made the best vent in "all" there tents that hI have seen to date bare none.  Notice the strong tie outs on the sides.
DSC04326.jpg

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This is the rear of the tent.  Underneath the rear flap is a zippered vent that is adjustable from the inside of the tent and runs nearly the entire width of the tent that also utilizes screening.
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Here I am laying on my back on the foor of the tent so that you can see the top vents on either side of the tent.
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Here we are looking at the rear of the tent.  Notice that the vent spans the nearly the width of the tent.
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The front of tent with the door down,  The screen door is incorperated in to tent door.  I belive that this is a properly vented tent.  regardles of which way the tent is set up it can utilize wind from any side as well as big adaptable to changeing wind direction and weather conditions.  All my Garuda tent have similar venting.
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I believe that these tents are as good as most any tents made to date for their particular design and use.  I'm obviously in a minority but luckily for me  these tents have not gained cult status as they can become quite expensive when they do.   I used one of the  Dana Design/Garuda tents on my recent road trip.  It was called the Jana which is a double wall tent.  It was rock solid in the gusty thirty mile an hour winds with which it handled with ease.  The other tents around me moved and puffed with the wind.  Notice the color yellow.  This is the same color that Bibler uses and I believe Integral Designs uses in some of there tents.  This is the best color I have found for an all around all purpose tent.  I have been drive out of many a tent early morning in sauna like conditions far to often.  It is my experiance that the Garude line of tents  one of the best made tnts due to the materials, venting, and the color(s) of their tents.  I believe that most tents are not vented correctly for multiple person use because of the high costs of labor (sewing),materials (cost) and added weight.  I do not believe that the majority of people that a company has to target would want the extra weight and cost associated with a tent with that was vented properly, as well thought out vents need to be made so to be weather proof.  They also need be held away form the body of the tent or fly and must be able to be closed in event of severe up drafts which sometimes inlude rain and or snow.  There is really quite alot of thought that needs to go into vent design.  Of all the tents I have and have ever seen and used that the Garuda line of tents is the one that has gotten it right.  A really cool thing that Bryon Shutz, the original designer and owner of the Garuda line of tents has done is that he has a site that posts a series of drawings of each one of his tents that include:

  • Schematic:Top, Side, Front, Rear
    and 3-D views
  • Manual
    Graphics: 2-D
    drawings for the User
    Manual
    orientation
  • Exploded
    View
    : construction drawings of each piece and component
  • Patterns: marker of every pattern
    piece

  • Pattern
    Layout
    : marker
    orientation and alignment per fabric
    type

  • Zipper
    Markup
    : length and alignment
    patterns of zippers and pulls

I'm  thinking of designing a tent based on his patterens as well as the other options that I find I would want in a tent.  It would be a 4 person multi pole tent which one could leave some of the poles out for different seasons there by saving weight.  I would at this point use Event fabric for the body if I could get some.  If i get closer to doing this I will start a thread.

10:43 p.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Garuda tents are incredible...

Here's a link to Byron's website; it's one of my favorites...

http://byronshutzjr.org/gm_cadd.html

Mark my words: in 5 years, Garuda tents will regularly sell upwards of US $1000, as Moss tents do today. Their quality and purity in design is remarkable...I really want a Kusala...

12:14 a.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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@ pillowthread : I believe that as well.  I have, I think I have eight now and am on the hunt for all of them.  Not because of what they will be worth, In fact I'll prob donate them all to a meseum, but because of the marvel that I believe them to be.  I so wish I had collected the  Moss tents when I had the chance, though I fear, it is to late, at least for me.  Thanks for listing that site, I do have that site already archived but I do think others will find it fascinating, assuming u'r into tents that is.  Maybe some day I will have the enough of the right tents to start a meseum.  Well see, stranger things have happend.

3:34 a.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Silly me.  I forgot to tell your all that the name of the Garuda Tent in my post above is called the Kaja.

7:42 a.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Guess I missed this thread back in July when i was out of town. I have a Nemo Meta 2P which is a single wall trekking pole tent. I am really a fan of this tent, the design is great, materials are durable, and the tent and vestibules are roomy.

I now typically only use my meta when out with the wife. I am a recent hammock convert.

But back when i was using the Meta solely I found it a perfect tent for 3 season use. The size was perfect for two people, it is a true 2 person tent. The vestibules are quite large enough to store a pack and any other gear needed. I have been thrpugh some really bad rain storms in my Meta and I am very happy with it's performance, never had any issues.

The one con to the Meta is sometimes you will get condensation, this is also common to most if not all singlewall tents. I typically don't find it too big of a deal. It was never so bad as to drip on me. I found if you could have half of each vestibule open and faced into the wind depending on weather conditions there would be 0 condensation. But really, a 30 second wipe down of the inside of the tent ceiling with a bandanna etc in the morning took care of the condensation. It was really a minor problem.

Just because a tent is light weight doesn't mean it isn't a bomber tent, I would trust the Meta to stand up to any weather.

Vestibules rolled up
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Vestibule Half delployed.
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3:44 p.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler said: "The one con to the Meta is sometimes you will get condensation, this is also common to most if not all singlewall tents."

I've never once had a condensation problem in a single wall tent, with that being said I sleep by myself as I belive each person sould have there own tent, my personal preferance of cource.  All the single wall tents I use and have used in the past have had great venting designed into their construction with the exception of my vintage Marmot single wall gortex bivy (pictured above in my first post), but I found by opening the door at the top a bit so I could get some fresh air (and actually beable to breath in the thing) and the fact that it's all gortex on the upper side of the bivey I don't get condensation in that either.

Are those vents on the side of the Meta or just side guy out's?  Do you find any difference in condensation if your sleeping by yourself as opposed to sleeping with your wife?

4:45 p.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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I am usually with my dog and wife, or just dog and me. There is always some either way. Well not always, it depends on the season. If it is cooler out, then condensation is almost guranteed. The meta has awesome ventillation, the best of most single walls i have seen, both ends are entirely mesh, and the side with the guyouts is vent also, and an upper vent on both sides. I typically dont get condensation in summer months.

I am very surprised you have never seen condensation in a single wall tent, that is the main problem with single walls. In fact, your one of the few ownesr of a single wall tents that I have ever heard say they never get condensation lol.

5:27 p.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Well, I am always by myself (does that mean there are two of me?), that will change now that I have my puppy.  I always open all vents and doors all the way regardless of the temp of the weather as long as the weather is not comming in thru the  vents or doors, at night I leave the top third of the     door(s) open andI then I adjust the openings not to let the weather in if nescssary still leaving as much open as possible.  Being that I'm not a minimalist nor a UL'er I almost always have more then than most people bring.  If I'm in my tent for more than just one nite I use a 3 man tent, or four man tent if I'm car/bike/motorcyle camping.  Even for one nighters by myself I use a 2 man tent.

5:43 p.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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No-one has mentioned using a tube tent. I lived in one for three weeks back in the early 1970's. No problem with condensation, the air flow was perfect from front to back (couldn't tell one end from another, of course). Fold the bottom ends inward to provide a tub floor and all is well. Not bad for just a few dollars.

6:23 p.m. on August 16, 2011 (EDT)
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@ overmywaders  Do you remember what brand and model by chance.   What wer it's materials and some basic construction info, #of poles, etc .  I've never had a tube tent.  Most like a baby tunnel tent I would imagine?

5:49 a.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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It was a single piece of medium-weight plastic film formed into a tube with a seam running the whole 9' length. No poles, just string a line through the tube and fasten taut between two trees. Use possessions, logs, or rocks to create a triangular shape to the interior. By folding the bottom ends back, you have a tub floor and an overhang. Easy and cheap.

6:05 a.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Huh, I'm pretty sure I've never seen one I'll have to do a search and see what I can find.

8:27 a.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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We used one of these tube tents way back when I was a boy scout in south Texas, where the humidity was above 90%.  Our sleeping bags were wet due to the large amounts of condensation on the inner surface of the tube tent.

They might work fine in drier climates.

10:16 a.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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When I was a scout, our scoutmaster showed us how to make a "tube tent" as a cheap, 'emergency' shelter.

Go to your local furniture store, or, ideally, a mattress store.    Ask them for one of their plastic wrappings that are used to ship mattresses.   If they do not  rip them too badly as they unpack them, they are useful.   You probably will need to clean-up the jagged / ripped open end with scissors.

Baring that, you can buy a cover for a mattress, for moving purposes, from a U-Haul or Penske outfit.

They all work.   But, definitely not "high-tech".

                                                     ~r2~

7:56 p.m. on September 1, 2011 (EDT)
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If you are one of the people who dislikes long ivolved postings with many pictures please bypass this posting.  Thanks.

 

For your viewing enjoyment.  Here is the Garuda Ataman 21.5 sq ft + 7 sq ft. vestibule, single person, assualt tent that weighs in at 3lb 13 oz. I got from a guy of off Craigslist.  He bought this tent in 1992 and used it one time on a four day mountainieering trip and it was only pitched in the snow.  One of the really nice things about this tent is that he didn't seam seal it.  Many times I find vintage tents that are in great/mint condition where people think Seam Sealing products have directions that say "dump seam grip on top of tent. Find a 2-4 year old child to smear in seam grip.  Walk away and let dry, make sure said child is not glued to tent."   This tent is spot on brand new in looks and apearance.  Here is part of a review I pulled of the web.  "The Atman is a two-arch hoop tent designed for serious four-season soloists.  Ventilation, wind-resistence, and interior space are all superior, offering prone and sit-up room for 6 footers in a 4-pound bundle. This high-quality tent is made of a “ three layer canopy fabric that is strong, waterproof, and stretch resistant. The Atman is light (4 lbs), compact, easily pitched and tough.....”

 

Once along time ago some tent makers sent a small package of all the materials use in their tents so that when and if you tore or put a hole in your tent you had all the avaliable materials to address this in the field.  Some also came with pole splints/sleeves and seam grips of different makes.  Please notice that they even included a piece of screen.  They mesure 5.5 X 4.5.  Three of my Garuda tents have their original packets.
DSC04479.jpg

 

I layed this out in the orchard to show how small the tent is and how it will fit into really tiny places.  I could have found an even smaller place but I would not have been conducive to photographing.

Lying flat befor set up.

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The two prebent poles.  The smaller pole may be left at home saving a few oz.
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The thet with the vestibule door closed.  This tent takes a minimum of three stakes to set up. Two in the front and one at the rear cone.
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The door vestibule door is open and tied back with the screen door partly open.  The tent door is seen in the bottom front corner on the floor.
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From the front on the opposit side of the door.  Notice the vent.
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Showing (not very well) the front two stake down corners staked down. 
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Showing the rear cone staked down.
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Notice the bungee cord doubled into loops.  This bungee is much thicker than would be needed to keep the material streatched and in fact would, I believe, would ruin the material if streached when staking.  I believe the bungee is to be used as a quick release so that one can quicky and easily release the stap holding the cone in place so that one can get better venelation in the lower end of the tent.  A future picture will show the vent on the inside of the tent.  Being that I'm in contact with Bryon Shutz the origial owner and designer of Garuda tent Company,  I will ask him if this was a add on or came with the tent and it's exact purpose.
DSC04489.jpg

 

 

Here  I have released the rear tie down (by streatching the bungee cord) and raised it by tying it to a tree.  Notice that I'm using bailing twine as my extenders.  I do not buy "rope" of tie down material anymore.  Bailing twine is free, strong, is easily doubled, tripled, etc. for strength.  It can be cut (no worries as it's free) without problem, and ties togerther with ease.  you can wrap tape around the ends or melt the ends to make is so it will not unravel.  For those of you who need color in your rope I used a yellow, red, and orange piece to make life a little more "Spicy".  You can tie the cone higher  and even fold it back to the tent in a rolled position so as suppling free flowing air into the tent.
DSC04516.jpg

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Venting up front on this tent consists of two vents on either side of the tent.  This picture shows the vent on the door side of the tent.  By opening and closing the top of the door you adjust the flow of air through the front of the tent.  If you leave the top of the vestuible door open and thn leave the Tent door all the way open there is enough eair flow to knock the flam and a lighter around.  Then by ccxlosing any of the vents in various positions you can get exactly the exact amount fo air flow/venting  you wish.
DSC04502.jpg

 

 

In the fifth picture from the top you see the vent on the opposite outside of the door.  This is the inside vent adjustment for that front side.  I forgot to stand the picture up.  The picture shoud be such that the open flap would be hanging downward, sorry about that.
DSC04507.jpg

This is the vent at the end of the tent that is under the rear cone. there are  stakeouts that would allow one to stake out the end of the tent inward of the cone so that the end is taught and not all deshelveld as in the picture.  Notice that all of Garudas vents have screening.
DSC04510.jpg
 

 

Looking down the length of the tent from the door. Notice the single velcro loop holder at the top center of the pole.  The pole ends on most all the Garudas fit into little pockets sewed int the side/floor bottom of their tents. 
DSC04508.jpg

 

Looking at the front of the tent from the rear.  Note on the left is the inside vent adjustment for the front vent.  On the left is the door which is partly open with the screen door closed behind it allowing more air flow in good weather.  On the right is the vent in which I forgot to put in the proper position.

 DSC04522.jpg
 

 

Back to the ouside of the tent.  A really cool thing I discovered when I was releasing the tie down for the rear cone is that this tent will collapes in on  itself for stealth camping.  you release the tie down and the tent folds into itself.  When you pull on the stakeout the tent pops back up into place.   You can leave your pad and sleeping bag in the tent when you do this and then just cover it up with a thin green tarp and or some branches and leaves.   It's a pretty cool gig. This is a picture of the tent totaly flat on the ground.


DSC04512.jpg
 

Here is a picture of me begining to  raise the tent back into it's standing position.  Notice this can be done with one finger.  The rear stake is left in place so that this operation takes maybe 5 seconds.   I think this will work with a number of the Garuda tents that have a rear cone and or 1 rear stake out int the tents aht use the hoop pole system.
DSC04513.jpg

This is a truly thin tent.  My 26 in Themo-rest pad was to large to fit in so I had to use a 21 in metal stem themo-rest pad instead.


DSC04524.jpg

Incert the holubar bag and there is really no room left in the tent.  Notice how far foward I have the bag.  This is so the loft of the bag does not touch the roof of the rear of the tent there by restricting air flow form the vent at the rear of the tent.  With only 22.5 sq ft inside the tent and 7 sq ft in the vestibule you do not want to have much gear with you unless you are prepard to leave a your large pack outside with a weather proof cover.
DSC04525.jpg

 

The Garuda label


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A picture of the tent in the enviorment that it was designed for.  I got this picture of off the Craigslist add from the guy I bought it from.  I did not ask him but this could be a picture of his when he used the tent in 1992.


Garuda-Atman-2.jpg

 

Finally a promo shot.  How come tents look so much better in the promo shots than in the field?  Must be that marketing thing.


Garuda-Atman-3.jpg

 

below is a ling to htis and other Garuda tents.

http://www.byronshutzjr.org/gm_cadd.html

11:46 a.m. on September 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I've used Stephenson's (warmlite.com) tents since I was able to afford one. 

Sets up in under 5 minutes (from stuff sack to occupancy), down in less time if you are not too fussy with the result. Set up in rain is not a problem. For 'normal' use the two person 2R uses 3 stakes the three person 3R uses 4.  If in a big blow, stake down the 4 corners as well. Options are available for the crazy storms and heavy snow loads.  Both provide spacious room as compared to other 2/3 person tents.  The footprint is large - but most would consider that a plus considering the weight per square foot or per person.  The climber's version of the same tent are smaller and lighter weight.

Depending upon options, the weight is under 3lb for 2R and under 4lb for the 3R.  Lighter weights and sizes for the climber version.  I made my footprint from very bright colored sylnylon.  In deference to wife, it makes a loud spot on the ground if seen from the air and if I can see any of it while tent is pitched, I know the tent is not set up on it correctly.  It is lightweight, almost fits in a clinched fist and no dirt sticks to it.  I attached 4 corner loops to temporarily stake it out and hold it down while the tent goes on it in a blow.

I've been in all weather with both the 2R and 3R including multi-day rain trips, heavy snow and very strong winds up to 14,000'.  Waterproof, wind and snow proof.  Adjustments of tautness is from inside the tent which means you only get your hands cold/wet in the middle of a storm.

I get the expected condensation inside at times but not so much as to be more than a minor nuisance.  The venting on the 3R is better than the 2R and the 3R has two doors.  This is very handy when more than 2 in tent.

When packed, both are about the same size as two bottles of wine punt to cork.

My one luxury is the side 'barn door' openings.  Adds a few ounces but extends the tent use into very warm nights and gives a bit of a view outside and a use for the trek poles to keep the 'awnings' up.

After 20 years of hard use, I've had no material or tent construction problems.  It amortized the initial cost early on in weight savings alone.

11:08 p.m. on September 2, 2011 (EDT)
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@ speacock: I'm so glad that i'm not as quite as crazy as I was begining to think I was.  It's good to see that someone else feels that Stephenson (warmlite) is a quality product.  The original owner of Warmlite (Stephenson), Jack  Stephenson is a quirky kinda guy............ he is feverent in his beliefs.  Because of this and his apperarent abruptness, people have discounted his tents for years.  Their loss, my gain.  If Elvis came up to you and was rude would that make his music bad or would that just mean he was rude to you.........would you never listen to his music ever again.  If so, your loss.  He was way ahead of the curve and made UL's tents way before anyone ever though of the term UL (ultra lite tents).  He was instrumental in some of the great strides and designs of tents and tent materials in the industry.  Just cause you dont like the guy does not mean he does not make one of the best tents on the market.  Each to their own.  I own the 3R with the drop front and can't wait to find the opportunity to use it.  They also make the best, by far, discriptive catalog of any product I have ever seen in my life bar none.  Even if you don't like their quality products their catalog is a marvel, "a masterpiece".  I've seen alot of catologes in my time and this is the finest piece of catalog engineering I've ever seen.  I do not give accolades if they are not deserved. 

I will warn you that naked people are shown in the catolog demonstrating the products.  This has nothing to do with why I recomend the products or catalogs.  Regardless of this fact I still think they have made best catalog I have seen bar none.

11:12 p.m. on September 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I have the catalog as well... Definitely different if you have never seen one. 

3:23 p.m. on September 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Re: single wall tents? MOMENT

I have a Tarptent MOMENT and have used it for 2 seasons. I love this tent's aerodynamic & ergonomic design and ease of pitching.

 

Options I have:

> ripstop liner (makes it a double wall tent for high condensation situations)

>crossing pole (I modded the tent to run the crossing pole Inside for more canopy support. The pole runs out Velcro-reinforced holes at either end at the apexes of the netting.) This pole is use only if I need the Moment to be freestanding or am worried about possible snow/wind loads.

Eric

 

 

3:45 p.m. on September 3, 2011 (EDT)
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I dumped my Moment after one season.  Way too difficult to manage the copious amounts of condensation and there was no way to avoid my long bag from hitting the walls.  It is a really small tent at the ends (okay in the middle).

After adding the liner and seamsealing, you are at the weight of a double walled tent with the same space.

It requires redesigning for better ventilation.

11:51 p.m. on September 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman: I apparently hiked or spent a night on the trail with Jack Stephenson when I was in college.  I didn't know that until a much later conversation on a phone call strayed afield. He was just as excitable and excited about his new ideas and tent then as he is now.  I saw it then (an early version) and knew then I'd get one.  I'm still waiting for that Ferrari I saw about that same year. 

We chatted infrequently at times since the 60's.   I thought I knew him well enough after decades of chats on the phone to suggest that tie out wind stabilizers would make me feel a lot more comfortable at high altitude.  I would have gotten off easier if I had said his kid was ugly.  I got the entire engineering background and basis of the design that would be completely screwed up by stupid nincompoop ne'er do wells such as I was turning out to be.  I notice now that there are tie out options - 30 years later.  Recently, wrote to ask about his experience with Cuben Fiber and received a long exposition of why he wouldn't use it in tents - but great for sails.

I stepped on a section of a pole bending it.  I just happened to mention to him that I was sending in for a replacement of an engineering failure.  I knew I shouldn't have tried to make a joke about his ugly kid.  Got a lecture about how stupid klutzy people should not be around his tents and it took a thinking man to 'play' with his baby.  Discussions about condensation, and added pockets and tie backs for the doors, seam sealing, vestibules, sleeping bags, cold weather gear and tent footprints pretty much ended up generally the same.  But always with a description of the foundation engineering behind what was being provided woven into the lecture.

I suspect there are many similar anecdotal incursions with Jack.  He definitely is one of a kind.

He was always worth a chat on a good day.  You never had an iota of suspense about what he was thinking at the moment. He did what he could do very well. He, of course, should never have been near a telephone in the customer service area :)

I have/had (someplace) an original catalog.  It was passed around like a classic Playboy Magazine.  VERY racy for the times.  Only comment was, that his wife (I'd guess) was in front of a tent and for those that wanted, couldn't get a good view of what the tent looked like.

Dang good tent too.  At 2.5lbs, I use the 2R as my solo tent.  Expansive luxury still reaping the rewards of being light on the back.

12:28 a.m. on September 5, 2011 (EDT)
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@ speacock :  Thats funny.  I've heard much the same from other people.  Sometimes is seems that guy's like Jack Stephenson are a little on the eclectic side.  He is ferverent about his beliefs that he as the best tent's made.  I personally think he has some of the best tents made from what I have heard about his tents.  I have not had the chance to use mine yet.  It's the 3R Dropfront.  They have a version that has large side windows that includes an tie out awning over the windows the way it's set up and the way the side window's open.  I'm going to call them and see what it would cost to add this optiion.  I believe this would negate any build up of condensation in regards to any of his tents.  I personally have not had the opportunity to speak with Jack.  I have only had a chance to talk to his son who is a has a better bed side mannor.  I do look foward to talking to Jack as he has been a success in the outdoor gear industry selling and making the same product longer than anyone I can think of at the moment while making great contributions to the oudoor industry along the way.  Thanks for your experiances regarding Jack and his company.

11:51 p.m. on September 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I like my 'awnings' and it does help on condensation.  The 3R might have little anyway and it is just a quick wipe with a sponge.  I live in lower temps usually and dryer so not a big problem.  The windows are absolutely water proof when closed. I've added a tie up to keep them up so I can see out.  They add a bit more weight but probably worth the few ounces. 

8:25 a.m. on September 7, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Henry Shires' Contrail in this long thread that won't die. Living in NC, humidity is definitely an issue. I think Henry did a great job with the Contrail in managing this. The copious ventilation from both top and bottom make condensation quite manageable.

As far as rain goes, I have been in downpours -- not for days on end, granted, but for some or most of the day for days on end -- and I'm satisfied with how it handled that too.

There are tradeoffs to everything. In buying the Contrail, I wanted something that was very light, good ventilation, insect protection, bathtub floor, at a reasonable price. I know it is not going to manage rain or condensation like my 4-man Eureka Timberline (which I use as a one-man tent for Scouts and car camping.) It manages moisture issues well enough, and does the things I wanted it for very well indeed.

By trade-offs, I don't mean shoddy design or materials. What I mean is, I don't cook multi-pot meals on my GigaPower stove, and I don't take my Coleman 425 backpacking. Both involve trade-offs. Each is excellent at its main functions.

And so, IMHO, is the Contrail: excellent at its main functions, good enough on the moisture front.

There was one night I wished I had brought a heavier sleeping bag. It got down below freezing and all that good ventilation made it a bit brisk on the inside. Operator error, not design or materials. LOL.

I also wish the beak came down a little lower. It would protect gear in the vestibule from rain splash a bit better. I haven't asked Henry why the beak cants upwards. Ought to do that sometime. I'm sure he had a reason. Just bringing it down so that it would be level along the bottom edge would do the trick, I think.

8:41 p.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
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From Tipi Walter, re TT Contrail : "TarpTent fanatics will say, "He should've went out (at 3am?) to tighten up the quylines!", as if that's a standard procedure with a good tent."

 TT fanatic well describes me. I used them for 5 years and then became part of the TT team. One thing is for sure and that is that these shelters (apart from the more tent like Scarp/Moment and Rainbows) need some minimum amount of skill to set them up correctly. Looking at the pic I can see several problems. For a start the pole appears to be too high (should be at 45") and that is why the front is narrower than it should be.


contrail-2-carbon-ples.jpg

Next the rear guylines are not set at the correct angle to be able to give it the correct shape. The included instructions and the video on the TT site shows you how to do that.

The center tie out point at the rear is also out of allignment with the corners(should be a straight line). There is no way of getting a taut set up starting like that...

You can also see that the grouncloth is way too large for the floor , that just suggest lack of familiarity with basic tent skills.

 As for sagging, the maximum amount it can sag is 15% (that is from maximum shrinkage at high temps in low humidity to maximum stretch at low temps in wet or high humidity conditions)

 Now I doubt that from the time that Contrail was set up to max stretch the weather conditions changed that much. Looking at that shot the sag from a good set up to that is way over 15% suggesting a less than ideal set up in the first place. (compare these two shots)


sadContrail.jpg


Contrail-in-Nepal.jpg

Now have a look at this video and see the

 "sag" you get after an all night rain;
http://www.youtube.com/user/francodarioli?feature=mhee#p/u/13/lFnO2xcfevg

 Note that in the 12 hours plus from the evening to the morning I did not touch the shelter.

Franco

 franco@tarptent.com


3:10 a.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Ooops.. I meant 15cm (6") , lengthwise, not 15%... I tried a few times to measure a percentage on a tent set up rather than the fabric itself. The best I could do was that measurement , obtained one day when I had the Contrail up in the sun almost bursting taut and then later in the evening we did get heavy rains. Once the Contrail had been under the rain for a few hours , I measured the amount of guyline I pulled in to get it again as taut as I could. However the video I posted the link to above should clearly show what happens if set up taut in the first place.  Franco

1:56 p.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
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"CWF",

I owned the TT Contrail first and for 3 seasons it was fine but a bit "flappy" in high winds. So I sold it for the Moment. Both tents had a very few times when condensation was a bit heavy but it was not a constant problem by any means. A synthetic towel wipe-down was all that was needed. OTOH the Moment has a lot of options for venting and I find it very well vented when max venting options are used. Often I lay clothes to cover the floor level vents to cut down on breezes. This doesn't cause condensation, even on sub-freezing nights.

I've found the Moment to be an ideal solo tent and very versatile with its optional crossing pole and liner - which can both be used at the same time, even with my internal pole modification.

At 5' 10", a fairly "average" height, I find the Moment has plenty of room and at the right places. I'd guess that your experience with the Moment must have occurred in high condensation situations, such as along creeks or costal areas.

4:56 a.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Now on display: The Dana Design/Garuda Kusala.  Big brother to the last tent I put up which was the Dana Design/Garuda Atman.  Both were made in 1992.  This tent is a 4 season, 3 pole, 30.5 sq. ft tent + 7 sq ft vestibule, that weighs in a a very lite 4 lb. 13 oz.  This tent is a two man assult tent or a great one man anything tent.  I will be using it as a one man anything tent.
DSC04844.jpg
This tent is another amazing tent produced by Dana Design/Garuda.  Beside it is my new Stephenson (Warmlite) Triple Bag.  This is now my go to 2 man single wall tent.

 

Getting started takes only three stakes to get this tent off the ground, two in frontt and one in back. Each side has two additional stake down loops in the ever the weather kicks up.  This tent is solid with only five stakes.
DSC04807.jpg

 

Not bad for just one pole.  If it is calm you would only need to put the one modified hoop  pole in at the front.  This is the largest of the three poles
DSC04808.jpg

 

Two poles and ever so much more sturdy with the middle parobolic arch pole in place.
DSC04811.jpg

 

With the two inner poles in the tent it's now time for the third modified hoop pole which goes outside under the tail.  Tis is the smaller of the three poles.   Notice the bungee on the tailend.  This is the same bungee style loop that is on many of my DanaDesign Garuda tents.  It makes it easy to pull from the stake so that you can incert the pole or adjust the tail for more ventilation.
DSC04814.jpg

Notice that the pole ends fit into gromets while being fitted underneath the tails section where the tail meets the tent. 

 

If a person wanted to just use the front pole and the rear pole in a 2-3 season conditions I believe that it would be fine.  With that being said it, only takes 10 seconds to put the pole in so one might as well go ahead and put the middle pole in anyway.

 

A end view with the third pole up.  the tail is in the lowered position attached at a stake in the ground.
DSC04816.jpg

By lifting the tail you can get a lot more ventilation, though with this tent is  unlikely you would need more ventilation in this baby.  With the tail or foot of the tent pointed windward you will get plenty of ventilation.  The tail can be tied to a tree, a rock or what ever you want above ground level.
DSC04857.jpg
 

 

A bit higher.  This is as high as you can lift the tail and keep the proper tension on the rear of the tent.  The tab you see in the bottom of the vent, thur the mesh netting, is the tab that holds the vent door when it is open and rolled up from the inside of the tent. 
DSC04858.jpg

 

The side of the tent opposite the door.
DSC04818.jpg

The back side of the tent from the rear.  This tent has much less of a slope towards the rear as compaired to it's little brother the Atman.  If you look back at the Atman you find that you have to sleep as far foward in the tent so that a lofty sleeping bag does not block the vent at the back of the tent.  Not so with this tent.  As far as I'm concerned, this is the perfect one man + gear tent.
DSC04817.jpg

 

With the vestibule door open and the tent and screen door closed.  Notice the venting, there is a vent on either side of the outside of the tent as well as on the top front of the tent.  Also, please notice the tie off up by the side vent.  This is a really sturdy tent, I mean really sturdy.  There are only two tie off's on the tent body.  One on each side by the side vents.
DSC04832.jpg

With the screen door open and the tent door closed.
DSC04833.jpg

All doors open looking down the tent.
DSC04822.jpg

The up front venting is accomplished via three front vents along the top, one on each side and one in the front. DSC04835.jpg
 

 

Looking up the front vent.  Notice the spacer to hold open the vent.  This is by far the best vent spacer I've seen on a tent vent.  Now that's how you hold open a vent.  The front vent closes from the outside and does not have a closure on the inside.   To close the vent you simply pull the ring which has velcro attached to it away, fold it up and under from the tent and close the vent flap with...........you gessed it, velcro.  When looking up the vent you can see the mesh on the inside.  I forgot to take a picture of the vent from the inside of the tent that shows the mesh, sorry.
DSC04836.jpg

Here is a look up the one of the side vents.  When you look up at either of the side vents they look the same.  These side vents flaps do not close.
DSC04837.jpg
  

 

Here is a picture of the vent from the inside off the tent.  You are looking at the vent on the back side of the tent, opposite the door. Here the vent is closed.
DSC04838.jpg

 

And here we have the vent open.  Having a triangulated venting closure with two zippers offers one many options regarding the amount of venting with this vent.
DSC04839.jpg

 

 

This is the inside of the side vent on the door side of the tent. This vent vents into the vestibule along with the top front vent.  While the back of the tent (front) side vent vents into the tent.

DSC04830.jpg


 

 

I will try to explain this so that this picture makes sence.  When the door is closed the top of the door is vented by not being sewn or zipped to the tent.  When you open the vents in the vestibule the air flows thru this open area at the top of the tent door.  If you point the tail of the tent into the wind then you get air flow from the back of the tent moving foward.  Sometimes the wind changes and you are not perfectly pointed into the wind.  Not a problem as there are vents and all four sides of the tent.
DSC04831.jpg

 

 

This is the zippered vent at the end or foot of the tent.  This is the part you don't see from the outside as it's under the tail when looking at it from the outside of the tent.  Notice that the entire end of the tent is a vent, not including the bathtub foor.  Whoda though that a larger hole ment more venting.  Even with two people in this tent I'm confident enough to say ther will not be any condensation problems with the Kusala.
DSC04834.jpg

This is showing the vent with out the sleeping bag in the way.
DSC04823.jpg

 

 

Here is a poorly taken the shot of the rear vent closed.  The sleeping bag is the Stephenson warmlite bag.  This picture shows that there is exactly enough room in tent for two people and no gear.  The gear would have to be kept in the 7 sq. ft vestuible.  Interestingly enough you could keep a pair of wet boots under the tail section.  Since there is alot of air flow comming thru the foot of the tent and the fact that the tail is dark in color it your boots or wet items will dry out faster if the sun is out and heats up the darker material of the tail.
DSC04840.jpg
 

This is a three pole tent with two poles on the inside of the tent and one outside under the tail.  Here are some of the pocket pole holders with the poles in them.  Notice the reinforcement behind the pockets.  You might also notice the webbed pockets that run part way along each side of the tent.  This is the middle pole.
DSC04828.jpg


Again a pole and pole pocket with reinforcment.  This is the front pole
DSC04829.jpg

 

 

Looking down the ceiling of the tent at the middle pole.  Notice that there are only two velcro holders on the ceiling.  The voecro holders are on long extenders about 3-4 inches long.  I believe that this is designed so that you can adjust the pole along the top and sides of the tent making the tent more taut in stong and gusty winds, and for snow loads.
DSC04825.jpg

 

This is looking just inside the door.  Here we see both the long front pole and the med center pole.  Notice the netting side pocket.  There are pockets on both sides of the tent, as I stated above.
DSC04824.jpg
 

This is one of the easiest and fastest tents I own to set up I believe that with practice this tent could be put up in three minutes or less

And last I leave you with a pro shot of the Kusala and its little bro the Atman.


GM_Cat4Co97_Atman_Kusala-1-.jpg

9:49 a.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice tent and pix Apeman. Looks like it breaths/vents pretty well.

5:00 p.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Bkuti : Glad you liked that.  I do so enjoy setting up tents, must be my OCD among my many other neuroisis.

I have yet to take the Kusala out, but, out of all my tents this my well be the best vented single wall tent I have to date.  Again, I really find it interesting that since at least the early 70's there have been single wall tents made, in North America, with superior venting, yet most of the American companies make single wall tents that build up condensation, only, because of lack of venting.  Much more perplexing to me is that people buy and even defend such tents based mearly on brand name marketing esp. since said tents are beings sold at very high prices and have such a glaring design flaw.  most all the tents I see in this class of tent could be fixed mearly by venting them properly, IMHO.

9:35 a.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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The Kusala reminds me of an updated Marmot Taku.  The Taku had a floor in the vestibule section, but the rest is quite similar.

4:49 p.m. on October 3, 2011 (EDT)
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And this is what I was talking about, in practice :

http://www.youtube.com/user/francodarioli?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/31PNJTJwdGg

Franco

10:36 p.m. on October 3, 2011 (EDT)
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love the video

2:45 a.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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alan said :

"The Kusala reminds me of an updated Marmot Taku.  The Taku had a floor in the vestibule section, but the rest is quite similar."

Good eye Alan.  I thought so as well the first time I saw some really good pictures of the Taku.  As I had been reading about the history of Garuda tents and learned that Byron Shutz had gotton his first Gore-tex from Marmot to mess around with.  I thought that this was to much of a coincidence and felt the need to know if the Taku and the Garuda tents had anything in common.  I then found Bryon Shutz's email address and emailed him with a bunch of questions regarding Garuda tents and the fact that the Taku has such a resemblance to the Garuda line.  I was actually suprised when he emailed me back with much information about Garuda tents and it's history.  One of the things he told me was, yes indeed,  the Taku was one of the three main insperations behind the Garuda line.  The other two tents that shaped his tent creations were the Marmot Summer Solstice and the Marmot Winter Solstice.  I have never seen either of the Solstices nor have I been able to find pictures of either.

Here are some Picts of my Marmot Taku from a outing this past summer (what little we had of one anyway)

The Marmot Taku was started production some time in the early 80's if I remember right at the same time they were making the Marmot bivy named the Burrow.  I've had the Burrow since the early 80's and it has been my go to Bivy for emergencies since then.  I now have other bivies but it is still in almost mint condition.  The Taku is listed as a two man, 4 season tent.  I would call the Taku a 1 man and gear tent or a two man assult tent.  It is fairly lite as it is single wall Gore-tex tent.  Weighing 4 Ib. 15 oz., the Taku has 4-ft. head clearance and is 9 ft long.  The MSRP in 1985 was $465.  That was a lot of money back then for a two man tent. 

So we ended up 10 miles up this road on the Olympic Peninsula in the Olympic National Forest when all of the sudden the road stoped.  Kinda weird.  So we got out and went to investigate.  About 150 ft of the road had slide down the hill about 70+ feet.  Cool, it was becoming over grown and it looked as if no one had been there in years.

So, I ended up setting the Taku on tar and chip as there was only road to set up on as everything to the side of the road was overgrown.

Here I have just staked the tent down to the side of the road.  I have now have the largest pole in at the front of the tent.

DSC04532.jpg

 

 

Here we have the tent set up with the door open and the screen door closed.  As I was on tar and chip road it was a pain to put stakes in so I only put in the front two and the one in the rear.  I had to be very careful as I did not gt a footprint with this tent and I forgot to bring a tarp.  As it appeard that they had just tared and chipped the road just before the road slide, the rocks were poky sharp on the bottom of the tent.   It takes a minimun of three stakes in to pitch the tent.  If I would have put in the rest of the stakes the tent would be much more taute.
DSC04539.jpg

 

 

The front with both doors open.  It's Ben, Stef and Mogh my camping mates.
DSC04533.jpg




Here we have the Taku from the rear with just the front pole in it.  If the weather is nice you can use just one pole in the tent.  Even though the rear pole is not in holding up the tail of the tent there by blocking the rear vent, the ventelation is just fine, at least with just one person in it.
DSC04531.jpg

 

 

The rear of the tent with all three poles in.  Notice the arc in the bottom of the tail allowing much ventilation.DSC04536.jpg

 

 

A straight on shot of the tail.  The way this tent is built it really does not allow you to raise the tail like many of the Garuda's much for increased access to more ventilation.  With that being said, I can't imagine needing any more ventilation with this tent since it is Gore-tex as well as being so well vented in the first place.

DSC04535.jpg

 

Here is a pictrue of my tent that was taken before the trip with the doors closed. This is a better representation of the real color of the tent.
MARMOT-TAKU-1.jpg

 

 

Here you can see that the vestubile is actually not a vestuable and in fact is part of the tent.  I much prefer this method as opposed to a floorless vestibule.  I find that floorless vestuibles are basicly usless for my needs.  If it rains then all the stuff in your vestibule can get wet.  If you set up your tent on wet or moist ground then condensation builds up on the inside of the vestuible making it usless.  In this case no moisture buildup as the whole tent has a floor.
DSC04549.jpg

 

 

Here we are lookin at the front of the tent with the door and the vent open.  by leaving the top of the door open on the other side you get equlized vent on both sides of the tent.  Notice the floor up front.  It is not worth the weight savings to me not to have a floor up front.
DSC04543.jpg

 


 

 

Here we have the rear of the tent .  Notice that the vent covers the whole end of the tent.  Whoda thunk they would have figured out the single wall venting thing in the late 70's.  Why no one paid any attention to this accept Garuda is beyond me.  So far no one I've talked to has any answers regarding the lack of knowledge regarding the ventelation/condesation issues with the modern single wall tents.  Bibler comes as close as I've seen for single wall tents having the required ventelation.  I feel even Bibler could have done a better job in venting their tents.  I've had never had any venting/condensation issues with any of my Bibler tents.  They can get a little "stuffy", though, when compaired to the Garuda's and the Taku.
DSC04542.jpg

 


 

 

 

The vents operated by leaving the top of the doors open one either side of the tent.  This is one of the best vented tents (yet again) that I've ever slept in.
DSC04541.jpg

 

 

 

 

One of the pole pockets.  This is the middle pole.
DSC04540.jpg

 

 

 

There is just one tab holding the middle pole to the ceiling of the tent/  how easy can that be.  This tent is exceptionlly easy to set up.
DSC04545.jpg

 

 

 

Mogh gaurding the tent late into the evening.
DSC04551.jpg



 

 

Here is another picture of the tent with the doors open to give yua better view of what the whole tent looks like with the color not so washed out.
MARMOT-TAKU-9.jpg

 

 

 

Ah, when you see the old white tag you know you got quality goin on.  Even now I find Marmot to be one of the top American gear companies.
MARMOT-TAKU-6.jpg

 

 

 

Another Trailspacer , Schlockmyr, has a Marmot Taku and has added a 4th pole to make his even stronger than the original.  If you go to the link below and scroll down part way you will you will see his tent totaly staked out to show how tight the tent is when all the stakes are used.  His pictures also shows his tent with 3 and then 4 poles.
http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/99941.html

7:28 p.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Man I love it when apeman breaks out the tents, especially if Mogh is in a couple pics!

1:22 a.m. on October 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks, Jake.  Mogh will hopfully be staring in many more tent pictorials.

10:23 p.m. on October 7, 2011 (EDT)
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I picked up a Marmot Taku this summer, I've set it up but have not yet had a chance to use the tent in the field.  The rear vent is similar to the Early Winters designs and goes a very long way to eliminating condensation.  Plus the coverage over the vent will nearly ensure rain won't get into the tent so you can almost always leave the vent open.  The North Face had a similar vent in the Westwind (though that was a double walled tent).

12:36 a.m. on October 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi Apeman,

I've enjoyed seeing shots of  your Garuda collection.  I've used a 1st generation Kaja for years as my Rainier high camp/winter mountaineering tent but this past March took the Atman out for the winter overnight session I teach. Both are great tents as are the Jalan and the Paimihr that I own

You are right when you talk about the venting on the Garudas being superb. My first outing in the Kaja was up towards Yellow Aster Butte (up by Baker for those not in the NW) and it was warm and dry when we pitched the tent but raining in the morning....I still had some dust floating around in the tent from tracking it in while outside it was cold drizzly and foggy...no condensation to be found in the tent though and my old EMS down bag was totally dry. 

Best,

Mazama

PS..good to see Alan posting on this thread. I was wearing the Holubar chamois shirt I got from him while over at the cabin this weekend.

1:42 p.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Mazama, good to hear the Holubar shirt is still going strong!

1:04 p.m. on October 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi Alan,

...and I now have both a Fitzroy II and Fitzroy III in the stable thanks to your giving me a heads up a few years ago.

I've got several other Holubar products like one of their winter bags and a summer one that I really like to use. (I'm actually looking to sell the big winter bag as it is a bit too long for me.)

Best,

Mazama

2:49 p.m. on October 11, 2011 (EDT)
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What was the difference between the Fitzroy II and III?

12:13 a.m. on October 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Alan....the II is more like the old North Face Sierra in its shape (simple and clean) and the III is more like my Sierra Designs Glacier with the vestibule and tunnel entrance for winter. The III also has a provision to be almost free standing with a ridge pole. Both are quite nice tents.

Maybe I'll take the III up to Mt. Baker  for the Avy field trip and pitch it outside instead of trying to sleep in the Mountainers Lodge this year. I'd rather hear tent flapping than snoring any day...besides...that monster Holubar bag is real warm and cozy.

Best,

Mazama

1:34 a.m. on November 8, 2011 (EST)
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So................................I was typing at the computer and Mogh just would not shut up. After telling him twice to be quite I noticed that he was still sitting in the driveway and still barking towards the gate at one of my driveways.  Upon further investigation I find a tiny little box in a plastic bag tied to the fence, I sure wish UPS would not do that.  What could it be as it's much to small to be a tent I think.  Upon opening it I find that it is a tent and in fact with room to spare in the box that is 12X11X4in.  Inside I found the following items. 
DSC05090.jpg
The stove of cource did not come with the tent but is shown to give perspective and because it really is a cool stove.  It is a Coleman 502-700 of which I have 2 of and use on a regular basis.  The tent is the Black Diamond Firstlight that I got to take to Thailand with me.  It only weighs 3lb 5 oz.  It's rated as a 4 season, two man, two poles ( DAC Featherlite poles) single wall tent.   The canopy is contructed with water resistant, breathable NanoShield fabric.  Silicone based.

 

 

Here's the pole bag contents along with the tent in it's stuff sack. 
DSC05091.jpg

 

Here are the contents of the plastic bag.  This is a bare bones tent with no extras.   Six stakes, a bit of rope, some silicone sealer and a curve syringe.
DSC05141.jpg

 

 

 

Mogh sits next to the unfurled tent, extended poles, and a rolled up 20x72in. old school metal stem Them-a-rest next to Mogh.
DSC05099.jpg

 

 

 

The front of the tent, putting the poles in corner to corner.  With the tent staked into the ground, just by pushing the poles in together is by far the fastes way to rais this tent.  This is the easiest, fastest setup time for a tent I have ever had.
DSC05100.jpg
Placement of the poles to the rear of the tent.  The poles are seated (set into) into a snap head in each corner.  It is fast and easy to hold the tent up and carefully push each pole in one at a time so that the pole stays seated in the snap head in the far corner then push the pole in thru the door and place the other end of the pole into the snap head in the opposite corner up front.  But, if you just need to jam the poles in as fast (but in a carefully and in a controlled maner) as you can,  inividually or together,  you will not hurt the tent.  Once the poles are in place and you have all your stuff in the tent with the door shut you can then seat the poles into the snap heads.

DSC05102.jpg
A close up of the front door with the two poles comming in thru the doors.

 

 

 

One pole in. That takes about 3-10 seconds depending on if your fumbling.

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A pole seated in the snap head in the corner.  This is a frinbt corner but they are all the same.
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Set up with the screen door closed.  Both poles are in place but not yet secured by the six form fitting velcro tabs that hold the poles in place.
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Notice the large venting flap on the front of the tent.
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Here is a look up the front vent from the outside of the tent.  Looking in the front of the tent with the vent/door open you can see the closed vent in the back of the tent.
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The back of the tent. with the rear vent flap spanning the entire upper part of the tent.  This is a tent that is vented in the proper manor.
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A close up of the rear vent.  Both the front vent and the rear vent have  bendable stays/spanner bars sewn into the vent flaps end to end that allow you to adjust as needed.

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Looking into the tent and after ensuring that all the pole ends are nestled down into their little snap heads one see's this.  This shot was taken looking thru the front door showing the rear vent all the way open.  It is a large vent.  A last someone was paying attention when attending "single wall tent venting 101" in regards to newer single wall tents.
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This shot is taken while in the tent and shows the rear vent slightly open at the top of the vent.  Notice that the poles are not yet paced into the formfitting tabs.  There are two yellow tabs (tie in's) at the front and the rear of the tent to be used in the event of windy conditions. You can use these ot han stuf from as well.
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I should have take a picture of the front vent while sitting in the tent but I forgot.  Sorry

 

 

Here is a picture of one of the velro clasps (tabs) that hold the poles in place in the tent.  There are three velcro tabs per pole.  Notice that each clasp has a small tab that make them easy to poen and close.  The tabs are form fitting and are by far the easiest velcro tabs I have run accros in regards to setting up a singloe wall tent.
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The tent now holds the old school Term-a-rest pad, a light weight white tag Marmot sleeping bag and the Bora 80 backpack, all of which I'm planning to take with me to Thailand. 
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This is a cool bag. It is the only bag I have that has a seperate zipper for the foot box area.  Both zippers open fully allowing one to use this a a quilt.  I had bought another bag for the trip but I believe that this will serve me better do to the foot box zipper as well as only paying $30 for it off of Craigslist.

DSC05131.jpg

 

 

As I have a roll of  3 ft wide Tyvek I thought I'd make a foor and a footprint for the tent.  Seeing as the tent measures 82 x 48 x 48.  Each side will be unprotected 6in per side.   I will be making the floor and the foot print in a mannor that will allow them to be attached in either the middle of the tent or to either side.  I will demenstrate later as I'm running out of light today.

DSC05132.jpg

 

One last look at the tent.  Mogh is just way to happy and thinks I set this tent and pad are set up for just him.  He is wrong.  I'm glad I cut out a floor for the tent befor walking away and coming back to find him like this as he has long, strong, sharp nails.  I had to drag him out as I could not coax him out for nuthin.  I guess that pad is more comfy than the ground.
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This tent is rated as a four season tent.  I would not want to be caught in this tent in a raging blizzard.  This is a two pole tent and not designed for high wind situations.  It was built on the same platform as the Bibler I Tent and the Bibler Elderado.  The addition of two more poles done in the manor of the Bibler Fitzory would make this a respectable light weight 4 season tent.  As it stands I would consider this a light 3 season tent IMHO of cource.

 

4:57 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
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Personally, I'll never trust or own another Black Diamond/Bibler tent.  I've had 2 Bibler Eldos destroyed with me in them, once at 17,200 on Denali (= Hasty retreat into a quickly built snowcave before the weather kills you) , and another in a stiff wind on a baja sea kayak trip.  Admittedly, the Denali fiasco was my own damn fault for trusting a bibler in fierce (60+mph) conditions, even though I had a double thickness snowblock wall built full circumference.  They just don't take the winds, no matter how you guyline them down. 

The BD Megamid, OTOH, I couldn't be happier with.  I've used mine since ~1987,  as a basecamp/mid elevation tent on several denali trips, on numerous Trans sierra ski trips, (sometimes in heavy weather),  on hundreds of river and sea kayak trips, etc.  The point with a tarp tent is to A) guyline it nice and tight, B) be smart enough to recognize what kinds of foul weather conditions are a potential, and set the thing up accordingly,  and C)  avoid the temptation to go with the ultralight silnylon, as it can't take the beating required of it when I stumble into it and fall on it after sipping Tequila over dinner.  OTOH, you ultralight types out there can't afford to carry the weight of a flask....so you won't hafta worry about C) above.

Most of my other tents have been relatively heavy double wall 4 season affairs.  Westwinds, VE25, etc.  But I'm currently looking to pick up a Garuda if I can find one, for next summer's sea kayak lap on the inside passage.  From what I hear, they may have enough ventilation to be worthwhile on that trip.  Input appreciated from those of you who've actually owned a Garuda. 

7:59 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
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Well, that is certainly a huge amount of field experience, I doubt that many here have been on ...hundreds of...trips... and most probably would not carry and imbibe from a flask of Tequila in very dangerous conditions. However, I had my Bibler, an oiriginal one from Todd's shop in several storms with 60+ mph winds in the Eastern Slopes of the Canadian Rockies and I had no problems with it.

I have never been to 17, 200 ft. but, I have lived in some of BC and Alberta's most remote mountain and coastal wilderness for extended periods and I just cannot see how a double snowblock wall, ...built full circumference... and, given your experience-expertise, I am sure to the appropriate height, would allow a tent failure such as those you experienced.

I bought my Chouinard Pyramid in 1987, after my stint on an "Inside Passage" Canadian Coast Guard lightstation, all winter and I used it in several areas of BC in every month of the year. I hated the dark blue colour and it was never as "windworthy" as my Integral Designs MK tents, much like Bibler Eldorado-I Tents in design, but, IMHO, better made and I finally gave up using it and it still is in my gear room somewhere.

I also dislike tipi-style tents in heavy snow and have had three, a Fjallraven Expedition, my Chouinard and my Kifaru 8-man tipi. I would and do trust my ID MK and Hilleberg dome tents in such conditions far more than any of these. I grew up in the region of BC that has some of the highest snowfall in North America, have experienced buildings crushed under it and camped extensively in it and I just seem to do well with good singlewall tents.

I would LOVE to have one of the Marmot Taku tents in mint condition, just one of the best rigs ever, IMHO. Anyway, it seems that different people have widely varying experiences with various items of gear.

12:46 a.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
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Rosamond said:

"Personally, I'll never trust or own another Black Diamond/Bibler tent.  I've had 2 Bibler Eldos destroyed with me in them, once at 17,200 on Denali (= Hasty retreat into a quickly built snowcave before the weather kills you) , and another in a stiff wind on a baja sea kayak trip.  Admittedly, the Denali fiasco was my own damn fault..............."

 

I have no doubt that your Elderado's were lost in high wind situations. The Bibler Elderado and it's smaller brother the I-tent are two pole tent's that were never designed to withstand high winds. They are lower elevation tents designed for four season use in low wind situations. I would say you used the wrong tent for the situations you were in. Bibler made, and now Black Diamond makes the Black Diamond/Bibler Fitzroy and the Bomb shelter, both of which were designed for high wind four season situations. The Fitzroy is exactly the same size and dimensions as the Elderado except it has 4 poles instead of two poles. If you find that you will be in a low wind situation then you can leave two poles at home to save weight and it will be exactly like the Elderado. The Bibler Bomb shelter has little equals among it peers in regards to amount of protection size, and vestibules for its weight. Just because it's a four season tent does not necessary mean it was made to be used in all the situations that one might encounter during the  fourth season. IMHO of course.

And you also said:

"But I'm currently looking to pick up a Garuda if I can find one, for next summer's sea kayak lap on the inside passage.  From what I hear, they may have enough ventilation to be worthwhile on that trip.  Input appreciated from those of you who've actually owned a Garuda."

 

I own 8+ Garuda Dana Designs/Garuda single wall tents/bivy and I can attest to how wonderful they are. They are hard to come buy and you will usually have to be fast as well a be willing to pay a high amount of money when and if you find them.  If you find them on eBay and they are being bid on,  be ready for war.  They have a following like Moss tent but there were many less made than the Moss tents. A Dana Design/Garuda Trikaya just went on EBay for a buy it now price of $695 in the off season and it was on there for less than 24 hrs. I wanted it bad, but well, I already have one so I let it go. Their ventilation is beyond reproach. The only tent that I've encountered that are vented as well are the Marmot Taku(s?) and they are built on the same principle.  The only other tent I can think of that might be vented as well as the Garuda's my be the Stephenson/Warmlite 2R with window's.  As of yet, I've not had a chance to try mine, but,  rest assured that when I do I will report on it.

.

11:40 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
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All,

I would think that of all the Garuda tents that would be about the same size and most like the Eldorado, the Garuda Kaja would be the most likely choice for the high wind situation. The have 3 poles instead of the two that Apeman describes on the Biblers. I've been at Muir and up high in winter in it many times and never an issue.

That said, I also have had my Hilleberg Namatj in a 50 mph blow in the Wind River Range a couple of years ago and it hardly flapped..but it's not a single wall tent so I'm off topic.

Apeman..do you have a 2R as well...that Stephenson you got from me is a 3R with a drop front....just checking here.

5 inches of snow  with more coming down as I write this from my place in Mazama...

12:26 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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Mazama said:

All,

I would think that of all the Garuda tents that would be about the same size and most like the Eldorado, the Garuda Kaja would be the most likely choice for the high wind situation. The have 3 poles instead of the two that Apeman describes on the Biblers. I've been at Muir and up high in winter in it many times and never an issue.

That said, I also have had my Hilleberg Namatj in a 50 mph blow in the Wind River Range a couple of years ago and it hardly flapped..but it's not a single wall tent so I'm off topic.

Apeman..do you have a 2R as well...that Stephenson you got from me is a 3R with a drop front....just checking here.

5 inches of snow  with more coming down as I write this from my place in Mazama...

Yea, I picked up a As New 2R w/ tags and all of off EBay for fairly cheap.  It's got the window's and the larger door.  I can wait to use it.  Wanted to take it to Thailand but thought better of it as it's expensive to repalce and I'm trying to mostly take things that if I don't come back with won't be to much of a loss.  It's a tiny little tent when rolled/packed up and just weighs 2.75lbs.  Its a really cool.

1:44 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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...cool... good find Apeman. 

I'm still thinning the herd a bit in stoves, packs, and tents so I've not been looking around all that much.

Best,

Mazama

3:48 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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The Fitzroy is exactly the same size and dimensions as the Elderado except it has 4 poles instead of two poles. If you find that you will be in a low wind situation then you can leave two poles at home to save weight and it will be exactly like the Elderado

No . It isn't . And no you should not. Different design,different floor size, different geometry. If you take two of the Fitzroy poles out of it you get a badly set up shelter with floppy walls.

BTW, it's Eldorado.


fitzroy-dims.jpg



eldorado-specs-new.jpg

Franco

4:03 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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Huh,  My bad.................insert foot in mouth.  That's what I get for listening to someone else.  Never been in a Fiztroy but was told it was the same as the Elderado (Eldorado).  Thanks for clearing that up for me...........errrrr............us.

"BTW, it's Eldorado."

Yea my spelling does leave a lot to be desired!

 

I still put forth that the Bibler Fitzory is the tent to have in the highcountry above tree line in storm/blizzard and high wind situations rather than the Bibler Eldorado.

10:34 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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An easy error to make, we all make simple mistakes every day and it just makes us that much more human, eh.

I agree on the Fitzroy, never bought one from Todd or MEC as I setup a couple at MEC's main store here in Vancouver and it is too complex to erect for me on a solo trek. However, for two climbers above treeline, it is going to be stouter than any other SW wpb tent I can think of.

My "dreamtents" would be an "earthcoloured" Marmot Taku and an Early Winters "Starship", blazing "dayglo orange" with 100dn. coated black floors, optional "footprints" and EVENT canopies, made to the standards of the US, Canadian and best Euro. tents, made here and with various options for repair and longevity......hey, at 65, I can dream, eh!

3:26 p.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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Dewey said:

An easy error to make, we all make simple mistakes every day and it just makes us that much more human, eh.

I agree on the Fitzroy, never bought one from Todd or MEC as I setup a couple at MEC's main store here in Vancouver and it is too complex to erect for me on a solo trek. However, for two climbers above treeline, it is going to be stouter than any other SW wpb tent I can think of.

My "dreamtents" would be an "earthcoloured" Marmot Taku and an Early Winters "Starship", blazing "dayglo orange" with 100dn. coated black floors, optional "footprints" and EVENT canopies, made to the standards of the US, Canadian and best Euro. tents, made here and with various options for repair and longevity......hey, at 65, I can dream, eh!

Hey Dewy, Did Early Winters Make the "Starship" in day glow orange? I have one that I got from a guy of off Seattle Craigslist that a guy used for years with his 3 son's camping. I have know idea how he keep it in as wonderful shape as he did considering this was the only tent he and his three son's used for their entire time they went camping. It is a testament to how things were made in the before times when things were made to keep rather than through away. I ended up with it cause his son’s are grown up and he's downsizing and moving. It's yellow like the Biblers only not quite as bright with a green floor. The only other color I have seen this tent come in is a light or minty green.  The mint foot print that came with mine is a darker green and I don't think has ever been used. Funny thing though the Pole bag is orange, go figure.

5:53 a.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
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So I guess it's time for another single wall tent report.

The Bibler Boombshelter. Bibler has now been swallowed up by Black Diamond. This tent is an actual Bibler tent. The newer tent actually says Black Diamond on the sides.

The Bombshelter is a 4 pole tent plus 1 pole for the attached front vestibule. This is a two vestibule tent with only the larger front vestibule using a pole.

 

DSC04863.jpg

This is a two door freestanding tent that measures 80" x 90" with 44 inches of head room. It is a tent that has 50 sq feet with 20 more sq ft of storage in the front and rear vestibules. Now get this, it only weighs 8 lb. 13 oz. This rated as a 4 person tent by Bibler but you are side by side touching each other at all times and would only have 20 sq ft of storage in the floorless vestibules with absolutly no room left in the tent for anything at all. I consider this a very roomy two man and gear tent or bring along your Mastiff to fill in the extra space.

Let set er up.

All the polls on the tent are internal. Notice how strong and tight the tent is when it has the first two poles in form corner to corner. These would be the longer poles.

DSC04864.jpg
Some of the smaller single wall tents I have are really a pain to set up as the are small low and do not give you much room to work in. This tent is different. In the event that it's raining out while setting the tent up you can through your gear in and very easily unfold the poles inside the tent and get it standing quickly. If the weather is calm these are the only two poles you need. Yes I have used this tent sep up just like this.

From the rear of the tent before staking out and putting the two shorter interior poles in.

DSC04865.jpg

 

Here we have the tent with all 4 poles inside looking at the rear of the tent or at least looking at the end of the tent with the smaller vestubile.

DSC04870.jpg

 

 

The front vestuible is now set up with the 5th pole and stakes in place.
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Notice the vent on the large vestubile.

The underside of the front vent with the door totaly closed.
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And now open.
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The rear vestubile is now staked out so that it is extend and set up
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Mogh as always is a happy on looker. The rear or smaller vestibule has a vent at the top of the door which is located at the top the zipper. The one and only thing I don't like about this tent is the fact that there is no way to hold the vent in an open position when the zipper is down enough to vent the tent. We will remedy that soon.

 

Lets check out the insde of the tent.
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Here we have the locking ties that hold the poles in place.
DSC04883.jpg
I like these ties but they can be a little stiff in the cold.  If you break one you just slip it out and put a new one in.  What a good idea.  I do not know if the Black Diamond Bombshelter use the same same ties.  I like these ties better than most of the velcro ties that are in most of the other single wall tents I own.

 

A side pole in the reflective pole pocket.  A nice touch when setting up at night and using a head lamp.
DSC04885.jpg
The poles fit easily inthe pole pockets.
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The top poles crossing at the top of the tent.  Notice that one of the poles has finally slipped out of one of the ties.   This happened after being set up in the field for a month.  This happens once in a while as the tent is drum skin tight.  Ihave never had it be a problem and one just puts it back in place
DSC04948.jpg


From the inside of the tent we spy Mogh having growlies.  He just loves when I set up tents. 
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And now the door open more.
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The closed front door from inside the tent

DSC04894.jpg

And now the fornt door with the screen door closed.  Notice the front vestibule is open at the top to allow the venting of the tent.

DSC04896.jpg

The rear door open with the screen door closed. Notice the small mesh pockets, one in each corner of the tent. Notice that there is what appears to be a slit at the top of the rear vestibule. This is the rear vent is very poorly designed as far as I'm concerned.

DSC04898.jpg
I have slept alone in this tent a number of times and once with Mogh and had no problems with condensation.  If left like this I think that there would not be a condensation problem as that's a deal breaker.  With that beins said it was flat out starting to piss my off everytime I looked at it.  Wow hard would it have been to make a proper vent once you got this far.

 

So let go to the outside of the tent and take care of the problem with a quick fix.

 

Notice how close the top of the vent sits against the bottom of the vent.  What the heck were they thinking??
DSC04876.jpg

Here is another view of the vent at the top of the vestubile door.  I actually have to pull to get it to seperate and creat a space so that the tent will vent.  We will have none of that.

DSC04877.jpg

As Mogh likes to eat everything that is avaliable to eat he decided that he would see how a kite I had would taste.  Luckily he picked the kite that I just could not get to fly no matter what I tried, good thing it only cost $5 at the Good will.  Since all the various poles were left after his chow session I decided to use a short length of one.  We use what we have.
DSC05011.jpg

 

Well that was easy. I fit the pole into the seam along the edge of the each piece of fabric so that it would not poke thru the vestibule material. But as I tried to take the pole out of the vent it sprang away never to be seen again.

DSC05012.jpg

So, It was back to the house to get the sissors and another piece of kite pole.  This time however I taped a piece of fishing line to it and put a fishing snap swivel on the zipper pull so it could not be lost.
DSC05013.jpg
 


DSC05015.jpg
 

 

Ok, so that's taken care of. I'm confident that there would be no venting or condensation issues at this point, not that there ever will be with me and the tent as it's just Mogh and I. But it was getting on my nerves every time I looked at it. The next time I set the tent up I'll apply some sick back Velcro for the ends of the poles to sit in so it does not accidentally poke a hole in the material. I played with the pole a bit and by moving it around I was able to change the amount that the vent is open I will apply either a number of pieces of Velcro or a long strip on each side of the vent for varying amounts of adjustment.

 

Lets get back to the inside of the tent.

 

First notice that this is a bathtub floor but notice that the way the floor is built that the edges of the tent length wise sit lower that the floor. That is a great thing in the event that you do have a leak. As this tent has such steep walls the water will run down the side of the wall into the lower are of the floor by the pole pockets

DSC04882.jpg
The other tent that I have that is built like this with the recessed floor edging is the Mountain Hardwear Double Wall Satellite. Not a chance the Satellite will ever leak.

Here we have the tent with two bags inside. The bags are the Stephenson/Warmlite Triple Bag (Green) and the Marmot Aiguille (Blue) rated to be a -5 bag.

DSC04901.jpg

 

Showing how much room there is left after putting to bags in the tent. 
DSC04906.jpg

 

Showing again the tent totally set up form the front.
DSC04874.jpg
I always forget to take at least on picture and thsi time I did not get one with the larger vestibule and it just to cold and wet to set it up right now.

 

Here is the smaller vestibule opened up with the screen door closed.
DSC04878.jpg

I left the tent set up a full month out in the sheep field. It endured 7 inches of rain in the first two weeks with about 3 more inches over the next two weeks. The day after I set it up it rained 3 inches and then rained on and off for the 10 days with rains totaling about 4 inches. It then rained on and off over the next month. After a month in the field it and a small amount of water along the sides of the walls in the depressions that I discussed earlier. This tent had seen 4 major expeditions before coming into my hands and just needs a good resealing. This is not a pretty tent or one that catches the eye like the Garuda tents but it is every bit as good and functional.  This is a really solid tent in the wind and I have never heard of  one failing.  This is a tent I would expect to handle the harshest of conditions.  It goes up easy and comes down easy. As you can see it has great tie outs that are reflective like the inside pole pockets. I judge this to be a superior tent and this is one of my go to tents when I need a light weight (8lb 13 oz) 50sq ft tent+20sq ft. vestibules.

 

Regarding floorless vestibules.

During the entire month that the tent was out there were no leaks in the vestibules, but as you can see it ended up wetting out in spots.
DSC04942.jpg
This was cause by the fact that the inside of the vestibule would build up condensation on the inside. As the inside has no water proofing and the material would wet out form the inside.
DSC04943.jpg

Every time that I went out to see the tent (usually every other day) the vestibules had condensation on the interior walls. Some days I could open them up and vent them out to dry and some days I could not as it was raining. Would you want to keep your gear in a vestibule that built up condensation, I know I wouldn't. It has been my experience that floorless vestibules can be utilized for gear storage in dry and snowy conditions but are not very useful in rainy wet conditions or when used on green growing grass as plants expire moisture as part of the growing process.

DSC04944.jpg

7:24 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

The Bibler Boombshelter. Bibler has now been swallowed up by Black Diamond. This tent is an actual Bibler tent. The newer tent actually says Black Diamond on the sides.

 Bibler has been a part of Black Diamond for many many years (since 1996). BD kept the Bibler logo on Todd Bibler's tent designs (including ones he made after he joined BD) and stoves until about 5 years ago. At that point, they introduced some slightly different versions (for example, ultralight version of the I-tent and Eldorado that don't use Bibler's own ToddTex fabric), then more recently changed the logos on all the Bibler gear.

8:25 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

apeman said:

The Bibler Boombshelter. Bibler has now been swallowed up by Black Diamond. This tent is an actual Bibler tent. The newer tent actually says Black Diamond on the sides.

 Bibler has been a part of Black Diamond for many many years (since 1996). BD kept the Bibler logo on Todd Bibler's tent designs (including ones he made after he joined BD) and stoves until about 5 years ago. At that point, they introduced some slightly different versions (for example, ultralight version of the I-tent and Eldorado that don't use Bibler's own ToddTex fabric), then more recently changed the logos on all the Bibler gear.

I guess I should have worded that differently.  I know it happend at some time in the late 90's but did nott know the date and was two lazye to go look.  Thanks for correcting the fact that I made it sound like it just happened.

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