Black Diamond Lighthouse Tent.

10:54 p.m. on March 6, 2005 (EST)
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3 forum posts

Hello to all the 'post'ers on this site. I have recently been looking into buying a Black Diamond Lighthouse tent. The problem that I've had is that I can't find what I see as a reliable review. I've read a couple of reviews on Backpacking Light, and they all seem to enjoy the tent, but I would like an actual owners opinion of the tent, not a testers. If there is anyone out there with good first-hand info on the tent, I would greatly appreciate hearing about it.

A couple questions...
1. What are the advantages/disadvantages to setting it up from the inside? Is it difficult?

2. How water resistant has the fabric been, in your opinion?

3. How has the fabrics breathability performed?

4. How would the tent work for winter camping? (Or how has it worked for you while winter camping)

5. Any general comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Tristan

11:32 p.m. on March 6, 2005 (EST)

Tristan, I do not own the BD LH, but just wanted to know if you have checked out other forums besides Backpacking Light? How about Backpacking Lightweight, BackPacking or Thru-Hiker??

And if you do not mind, what is the reason for choosing the BD LH?


10:48 a.m. on March 7, 2005 (EST)
346 reviewer rep
982 forum posts

Hi Tristan. Welcome to Trailspace.

Two of our users have written reviews of the Lighthouse, which you can read here:

5:21 p.m. on March 7, 2005 (EST)
9 reviewer rep
6 forum posts

I posted one of the two reviews on the Lighthouse mentioned in an earlier post. At that time, I rated it four stars because I had not used it in really bad weather. I would now rate the tent with five stars because I have used it in the snow and a number of storms.

The answers to your questions:
1. Set-up: The inside set-up is a pain to learn. This is not a tent you will be comfortable setting up after the first time doing it. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it is not difficult, just awkward until you're familiar with it. On the plus side, I love being able to crawl inside with my pack and get out of the rain while setting it up after I have gotten the first short pole in. I just extend both long poles out through the door and feed them in, one at a time, as I get one end snapped in. Some people hate the velcro pole holders, however, I like them.
2. Water Resistance: I have weathered four days of solid rain (not drizzle) in this tent without seeing any water permeate the Epic material. I have seen some condensation form where the poles push against the Epic fabric. It then tends to either drip or run down the poles into the corner pockets. I want to be clear, this was a very small amount of water that could be taken care of with a small pack towel.
3. Breathability: I have to say that breathability is nothing short of fantastic. In normal weather, if I leave the front door and window open about 10", I get no condensation whatsoever. I do try to set the tent up to take advantage of any wind that is blowing and I think that helps.

4. Winter Camping: The tent works well in the snow.
5. General Comments: First, you have to watch this tent very carefully because, once it is pitched, if it isn't staked out it will take off like a kite. Second, the door arrangment on the tent is not well thought out. The epic fabric is outside the mesh. This means that when you want to partially zip or unzip the door, you first have to unzip the mesh. On buggy nights, that can mean killing a few mosquitos before going to sleep. Also, both the mesh and epic fabric on the door attach on the bottom not the sides or top of the tent. That means that, if you're not careful to roll them up out of the way, they get dirty from being stepped on.

You have to seam seal this tent and it is a pain.

Overall impression: This tent is the perfect tent for my trips. I like knowing that no matter what the weather, I not going to have to worry about the tent. The front door of the Lighthouse is huge and some of my all-time favorite days were spent sitting in my Thermarest chair in the doorway watching it rain on some mountain lake.

8:22 a.m. on March 14, 2005 (EST)
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3 forum posts

Thanks a lot for the information, that really helps. In fact, after finding a few more reviews, I ORDERED one yesterday, I'll hope to write my own review soon. Thanks again.


8:29 a.m. on March 14, 2005 (EST)
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3 forum posts

Hi Ken,
Well, first of all, the tent looked like the style I wanted. I knew that I didn't want another bivy, or bivy style tent (Kelty Dart 2). That tent in particular was extremely uncomfortable to sleep in, there wasn't even enough room to sit up, or get dressed in the morning. I hope that the Lighthouse has this problem fixed.

Also, the idea that it was built on the Bibler Eldorado style makes it even more promising. Bibler has had quite some time to make changes to their designs, yet they continue to use the same genral shape.

Finally, I was lookign for a tent for all seasons. At first I looked at a Mountain Hardware EV 2, which is bomber, and pretty light, something like 5 pounds, however, it doesn't have any mesh whatsoever. That made up my mind. With good summer/winter/fall/spring reviews of the Lighthouse, I actually just purchased one yesterday. I can't wait to give 'er a try, and I'll post back here for people to see. Thanks a lot for your time.


June 23, 2018
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