User Review: Paha Que' The ScreenRoom (12x12)
Design: Double-ended Screenroom with 4 awnings
Ease of Setup: Very easy - see write-up
Weight: ~30 lbs w/rain fly and 4 awning pole kits
Price Paid: $385 w/Rain Fly
Paha Que Wilderness (PQW) made this one right! Three areas the I think need special mention
1. Quality Construction:
Frankly, I've never seen such high quality parts on a screen room that comes anywhere near this price point! The main poles (7/8" 6061 series aluminum alloy with thick tube walls and machined connection points - all shock- corded for ease of set-up/take-down and with bottom "tips" to fit quickly and easily into the screen room's grommetted bottom corner webbings - what a time-saver itself), the staking and guying system (I had it up and anchored in sustained 30 knot winds with no issues), all zippers (heavy-duty and corrosion proof), the roof AND awnings are both 150 Denier polyethylene (PE) with heavy-duty waterproofing and UV coatings - the awnings have heavy-duty velcro strips at their bottom edge as well as tie-off points at each corner pole, the no-see-um mesh (1.8oz/yd - very fine), the rain fly is waterproofed with 1500mm PU coating and its seams are fully tape sealed to keep out even the hardest rain, and the guy-outs lines themselves are all thick-braided water-repellent nylon (minimal stretch). Every attachment point is overbuilt with double and triple stiching and reinforced for peace of mind. There are enough stakes for every stake tab at the base (four on each side IIRC) plus the multiple guy-out lines.
2. Ease of set-up
This is a big screen room and while one person can set this up by themselves (figure at least 30 mins S-T-F), for ease and speed use two people (~ 10 mins S-T-F). Set-up is very intuitive and directions are excellent (see the PQW website for a video too), but at least set it up before you head out to your site so you can familiarize yourself with the pole connectors for the ceiling vault/suspension mechanism, fly (if you purchase this and I recommend that you do) and the best way to configure the awning guy-outs. This screen room will stand alone, so if you won't be experiencing any wind, then just simply stake-out the bottom edges, and raise your awning(s). However, if you'll be getting rain or heavy gusts (15 knots or greater), then PQW recommends that you stake AND guy the side towards the wind. If you have vectoring gusts, as I did on my last trip, then guy the two sides, the back and double-guy the awning. As I mentioned previously, this screen room was up in sustained 30 knot winds with no drama or concerns.
There is nearly 6 1/2 feet of step through room and the ceiling is a lofty 8 1/2 feet, so you never feel like you're cramped for room. Colors are well-coordinated and add a nice ambiance both inside and out. But what sets this screen room "system" apart from other competitor's models, is the ability to raise and adjust, or lower and lock, the side awnings at all four sides. This feature is priceless, especially if you're using it as your main cooking/dining and socializing center in a location where temperature swings and/or inclement weather are the norm, i.e., desert (hot days/cold nights); beach (gusty wind and spray); mountain locale where the sun is warm but the wind creates a steady chill, or rain is frequent and/or heavy.
- On my last trip, where the day-to-night temperature swing was nearly 60 degrees, we were able to experience firsthand the flexibility of the side/end awning system. We kept the leeward awning up full-time and the no-see-um mesh on that end folded back (day)/zipped (night) and then rolled, raised or lowered the sides and opposite end (back) awning as needed.
- Since each awning is 12 x 6.5 feet, raising the awning on the sun-ward side creates an additional 78 square feet of cooling space around that side of the screen room. Raising the remaining two awnings added an additional 156 square feet of sheltered area and created a wonderful place to stretch out in a lounger and enjoy the cooling cross-breezes coming through the screen room. At night we would just drop the side awnings, set a two-mantle lantern in the middle of the table, and the screen room would warm enough to sit around and talk, play games, or just relax in the lounger.
- With 144 square feet of usable room inside, you can set up your camp kitchen, your 6-8 person dining table, your coolers, your loungers, etc., or lay out a ground sheet, your sleeping pads and sleeping bags and use it for a tent. It works so well in just about any environment I think you could imagine.
To say that I'm sold on this item, is an understatement. I will likely purchase the bottom as well for grass camping, but for now, it meets every requirement we have and provides us the utility and flexibility we need. Given its quality construction, ease of set-up, and utility, I honestly believe you can't go wrong with the PQW 12 x 12 screen room and expect to use this product for many years before giving it to my kids for their use.