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#174096 - 01/19/13 08:57 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: rockchucker22]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
There is always a possibility of condensation, depending on conditions and weather. Even if you use a tarp.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#174119 - 01/20/13 09:47 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
So, what's my own answer to the little puzzle?

Well, before going to the store, I would have prioritized my own needs. That starts with understanding my trips: I backpack in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, which means mild winters with mostly light snow, if any (and I tend to stay home if there is heavy snow or temperatures below 15 degrees.) In summer, temperatures and humidity are often in the mid-80's. Mostly, I do weekend trips, and tend to cancel trips if it calls for steady rain all weekend (still got my "I Can Camp in the Rain" T-shirt.) I don't do high mileage, and while my style is mostly minimalist, I don't equate that with uncomfortable. I'm in my early 60's and not as nimble as I was once, but no particular infirmities. I rarely - lately, never - share a tent with a hiking partner.

So, what am I looking for in a tent? In order, I want:
1. A small footprint, so I can tuck into smaller, more secluded spots.
2. Great ventilation. Since I'm only occasionally in the rain, or in foul winter weather, I often use the tent without the fly. That lets me take advantage of every breeze, and minimizes the tendency of an enclosed tent to overheat.
3. Light weight.
4. A side opening - like I said, I'm not as nimble as I once was, so I want to get in and out easily.
5. Plenty of head and shoulder room
6. Freestanding. Occasionally, I want to pitch it on an open ledge for the view. But mostly, I tend to find that they are somewhat sturdier in a strong wind than a tent that isn't freestanding - and I do sometimes find myself camped in the open in a windy situation.
7. Proven reliability. While I don't distrust new technology, I tend not to be a first adopter.
8. Price. My mortgage and the kids' college are all paid, and I don't smoke, drink, chase women, or own a boat. While I'm a long way from "money is no object," I am able to indulge myself in good gear. All of these tents are within my price range.

So, let's look at each candidate:

Fly Creek: This passes the first three criteria quite well. However, the end opening is problematic: I'd have to do the sit-and-spin routine to get in and out, and it would probably have to be done in and around any gear stored in the tent. Also, given the shape of the tent, there isn't a great deal of head and shoulder room. It's also not freestanding (A buddy and I both went through a 40 mph night recently; he was in a Fly Creek that had a great deal of deflection. Another friend, in a freestanding Copper Spur, had no such issues.) However, the tent seems to be a proven performer - and despite the deflection, my buddy's tent never threatened to collapse. This would be a definite contender.

Copper Spur: Great ventilation, compact footprint. The freestanding feature not only gives it a great deal of stability (see above), and also create a lot of interior volume. It's not particularly light, but not prohibitively heavy ("early 60's" means I remember when 5 pound tents were considered lightweight.) Nothing particularly cutting-edge about it, but a solid performer. Also a definite contender.

Slater: This appears to be a similar tent to the Fly Creek, except that it has a lot less mesh, and more length and volume. The price paid is some extra weight. It looks like it might be a good choice for die-hard winter campers, or for taller folks - but I'm neither. I'd probably pass on this one.

Scout: Definitely light weight, but the limited ventilation and the inability to pitch it without a fly give me concerns about it overheating in hot weather. (I had some experience with a Tarptent doing this in the hot, humid Ohio valley.) The footprint is large, and the large flat ends and walls raise concerns about stability in the wind. Definitely a livable tent, with lots of interior space. All in all, this would be a definite contender if I hiked anywhere but the hot humid eastern US. But, since I don't, I'd probably rule this one out.

Fishhook: This appears to be a near-clone of the Copper Spur, except that it has a "zipperless" door - a new technology that isn't well explained on the website. This would be a contender.

So, now what? I'd ask the staff at the store to set up the Fly Creek, Copper Spur, and Fishhook (side by side, if possible), and I'd start climbing in and out of them. Having actually done this, I chose the Copper Spur because of the side opening; the Fly Creek is just too awkward for me to get in and out of. (If the Fishhook had been available, the decision might have hinged on how "zipperless" works.

I hope this gave you some insight into how to narrow down choices when you're faced with an overwhelming selection of gear. You probably won't be choosing from a single brand, but the general principles apply: define your needs, prioritize them, and then evaluate the finalists based on what you, not someone else, needs.

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#174122 - 01/21/13 03:24 AM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
The important part is to find a product (not a brand...) that works for you.
For example in my case I would never choose a tent that sets up inner first and then "rain fly" on top and for exactly the opposite reason to yours. I often have to set up/take down the tent in the rain.
Secondly , to me, a tent that needs a very minimum of six stakes but more realistically 10-13 to stand up taut isn't a freestanding tent, so I might as well bypass terminology and just pick a tent that can stand up correctly with 4 or 6...
So my advice is to focus on the product not a brand name.

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#174127 - 01/21/13 09:42 AM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I fully agree about brand names; again, the only reason I chose all the examples from the Big Agnes line was that their "compare" feature made it real easy to pick 5 tents with various combinations of features, print out the statistics, and then type up the problem (I don't do well flipping from one window to another - as I said elsewhere, I'm old.) There was absolutely no intention to imply a brand preference.

I like the way you indicated how your choice would differ from mine: your needs ("I often have to set up/take down the tent in the rain.") are different from mine.

I also like your definition of freestanding; in the example I gave, two take a minimum of 4 stakes, are workable with 6, and use 8 for an optimal setup; the rest take more than 8 to set up properly.

The last full-blown, real-life selection process I went through (2 years ago) had me selecting between the MSR Carbon Reflex, the Tarptent Rainbow (which I consider freestanding because the ability to incorporate the poles is intentionally designed into it), the MSR Hubba, and the Copper Spur UL1. I eliminated the Copper Spur because of weight and (in that year's model) a rather clumsily-designed side entrance. The Tarptent Rainbow was actually my first purchase, but it heated up too much (which is a result of Ohio weather, not any design problem with the tent.) I replaced it with the Carbon Reflex, choosing it over the Hubba based solely on weight. (I mildly regretted that decision one night on the side of Mt. Rogers, in the open, with 30 mph winds.) The Carbon Reflex did everything I wanted it to do, but eventually I decided it just didn't have enough livability (shoulder room), and began looking again. The Hubba wasn't a candidate because it was a Carbon Reflex clone with a different frame. I ended up revisting the Copper Spur (because a design change made entering and leaving the tent more straightforward), but took a look at the Fly Creek only because it was so much lighter.

One important point: any of those tents would work. They are all well-made, highly functional tents. In the end, the decision was not quality related, but only related to convenience and comfort in MY hands. And I might be a whole lot more finicky than the next guy, which means I might over-think the whole thing.

Perhaps the last take-away from my own real-life selection process is: no matter how hard you try, you probably won't get it right the first time. smile

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#174128 - 01/21/13 10:13 AM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Glenn Roberts]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I'm going through a similar selection process because I want a new tent. I can't buy the tent today, but it's fun to decide on which one I'd like to have in the future. grin I feel like I'm settled on getting a Tarptent, but I don't know which one. It been a two horse race between the Notch and Moment. I like the Notch for its dual side entries and it looks like a better tent to vent. The feature where you can set up the rain fly and attach the bug net on inside during a rain is cool. The Moment cannot get wet on the inside during set up, least the way he set it up in the video on his website made it appear that way.

However, I'm fairly certain I will be using my hammock in the warmer months. I need a tent for places like Southwest Virgina and Roan Highland where there are bald ridges to camp on. I will likely use the tent for winter more than the hammock, so potential snow needs to be taking into consideration. This is where the Moment shines. Having an extra crossing pole increase snow loading capabilities and stability in event of high wind on bald mountains, theoretically.

I really don't want to spend over $300 for a non-mountaineering tent. Especially since the tent will be splitting time with the hammock and only getting used for certain weather conditions. I just don't know about using my hammock at high elevation where site selections can be limited. I get that feeling the wind will take my tarp off like a sail...Oh, well.


Edited by ETSU Pride (01/21/13 10:42 AM)
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#174138 - 01/21/13 03:12 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Glenn
"The Tarptent Rainbow was actually my first purchase, but it heated up too much'
Can't remember what tent I was seam sealing the other day in the sun (possibly a Double Rainbow...) but it definitely was warmer inside than out.
For some reason I don't think that I have tested the "liner" for sun protection but I know that the white fabric works for that in the Scarps .
I must test this soon, before summer is over...
Anyway Glenn, as a tip I would suggest you don't buy a Cuben shelter then...

ETSU Pride
Every TT shelter sets up dry. That is, you always set up the "rain fly" by itself or with the inner attached as it is the case with the Notch.
That is the advantage for example of the "duo mid" Strato Spire 1 and 2 over the other mids/duomids.
You set the fly and inner up at the same time (and no pole in the middle...)

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#174139 - 01/21/13 03:45 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By Franco
Glenn
"The Tarptent Rainbow was actually my first purchase, but it heated up too much'
Can't remember what tent I was seam sealing the other day in the sun (possibly a Double Rainbow...) but it definitely was warmer inside than out.
For some reason I don't think that I have tested the "liner" for sun protection but I know that the white fabric works for that in the Scarps .
I must test this soon, before summer is over...
Anyway Glenn, as a tip I would suggest you don't buy a Cuben shelter then...

ETSU Pride
Every TT shelter sets up dry. That is, you always set up the "rain fly" by itself or with the inner attached as it is the case with the Notch.
That is the advantage for example of the "duo mid" Strato Spire 1 and 2 over the other mids/duomids.
You set the fly and inner up at the same time (and no pole in the middle...)


Does the Moment not have a dual side doors?
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#174140 - 01/21/13 03:49 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: ETSU Pride]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
No it doesn't, it is an "hybrid"(like the Rainbow) so a fly with a mesh wall/door.
But things can change.

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#174141 - 01/21/13 04:19 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
One last question about the Moment: does it really only has two stakes? It shows two stakes in his spec, but in the video it shows an extra guy line on the door by the pole loop. It seems like the perception of this tent with lack of stakes and anchor points, it would be get blown around during a good breeze... Which is not the case at all, right? I'm torn between Notch and the Moment as a future expenditure. Ha!

Edit: I believe this video answered my questions. It comes with two stakes, but there is options to add extra guy lines?


Edited by ETSU Pride (01/21/13 04:29 PM)
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#174142 - 01/21/13 04:31 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: ETSU Pride]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
The standard fair weather set up for the Moment is with those two stakes.
The reason why it works like that is the Pitch Lock corner.(end triangle)
That pyramid shaped end gives support to the fabric and adds leverage so that you can have the shelter nice and taut.
In windy condition you should add the guylines to the main pole. That will give lateral stability and with those you have tension from the four sides.
In practice I set up the tent with the two stakes so that if I change my mind I can turn it sideways or move it very quickly, then once I am happy with the location I always have those guylines in place.
I use both the Moment and the Notch and still not sure which one I like best particularly because I always use trekking poles.
(so for me the Notch is smaller and lighter)

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#174143 - 01/21/13 04:47 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Thanks. That rest my mind on the wind, but now I wonder about condensation, if those vents are big enough... Ha! Okay, I'm done with questions and such for now. When I'm ready pull the trigger I'll revisit everything.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#174144 - 01/21/13 04:48 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
For some reason, cuben doesn't excite me in the least. Maybe I'm getting even older than I thought! smile

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#174145 - 01/21/13 04:50 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: ETSU Pride]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Don't be "torn" - get them both! (It takes a village to raise a child, but somewhere along the line, our little forum village seems to have failed with you. smile )

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#174148 - 01/21/13 06:16 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Glenn Roberts]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Haha! I come to realized some time back that all backpacking gears has tradeoffs in comparison to similar products. It just a matter of what tradeoffs you can live without.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#174150 - 01/21/13 11:11 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I have used the Moment for three years now. The one door is a real disadvantage with ventilation- the Moment has a serious condensation problem that could easily be solved with 2 doors. I have never set the tent up with 2 stakes only! That is asking for a midnight "get out of the tent and re-set". Yeh, it looks OK when set up with 2 stakes, but I always back up each end stake - either with another stake of a huge rock. I carry 6 stakes and with those and adding rocks I can set up bombproof in any site. I have also added tent strings. I broke the stake that came with the tent the first week. I would invest in some better stakes. I had left-over stakes from my MSR that worked better. The 2-stake setup with the stakes that come with the tent may work of you always have flat, grass or deep soft dirt sites. I end up on a lot of really rocky stuff and seldom can get a stake fully into the ground before it stops on a big flat rock under the surface.

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#174153 - 01/21/13 11:50 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Stakes are the often the first thing folk like to grumble about but really there is no perfect for every terrain solution.
(see reviews at BackPackGearTests for that)
If nothing else with TT they are included in the price.
As much as many like the Y types, others don't because they either cut themselves pulling them out or step on them or get annoyed because the collect dirt.
And that is why there are so many types available.
I always have two or three types of stakes with me and often do use rocks/branches /sand bags to help the stake to hold.
Personally I like the 8" Easton but also use Ti nail stakes, Y stakes and thin Ti shepherds hook type and snow stakes in winter...

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#174155 - 01/22/13 10:07 AM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
Franco said:
Quote:
"Personally I like the 8" Easton but also use Ti nail stakes, Y stakes and thin Ti shepherds hook type and snow stakes in winter..."


Interesting to me to see a list of four stake types that doesn't include my favorite: MSR Needle stakes. Pretty light yet pretty strong, I can sort of interlock sets of four or six so that there are just no sharp edges or points when packing them into a very space-efficient bundle, and they have decent holding power. In a great deal of use, I've only ever bent one, and it took quite a bit to do it.

Easton's are hollow, and too often it seems that I hit a rock, forget what stake type I'm using and pound a bit too much and crunch the stake. Y stakes indeed tend to rip up me or my gear, or both. I've little experience with nail stakes, but wonder what kind of holding power they have relative to the weight. I've used the thin shepherd stakes and carry them on occasion but am not impressed with holding power.

For me, at least, the MSRs are a good balance of factors for general use. If the MSR won't hold it alone, time to get a rock or a log or ad hoc deadman involved.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#174156 - 01/22/13 10:32 AM Re: You need a tent... [Re: BrianLe]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
DAC v stakes work very well and are tough as nails. I also like the msr stakes and use them with my tarp set-up.

I took another look at the scout, I really like this tent, packs small and weighs under 2 lbs. I ordered a MLD duo mid so I must resist, must resist!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#174161 - 01/22/13 12:53 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Typicallly, I uas a combination of Eastons and Ti shepards hook. Depending on the shelter, I try to place the Eastons where the most holding power is needed, then use the Tis for other guylines and floor anchors. My choice does vary, depending on where I'm headed and which shelter I'm toting.

I used to think the MSR needle stakes were unbendable, then I bent several on one trip (luckily, none broke). Live and learn.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#174213 - 01/23/13 03:06 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Claus Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 56
Loc: Central Iowa
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I have never set the tent up with 2 stakes only!
LOL I never used more than two stakes with the moment and am wondering why I bother to take four MRS GroundHogs along. The extra string guyline comes in handy with soft or hard ground. If possible align the tent with the wind. BTW the non vestibule side can be raised and lowered to adjust the ventilation. It's just a pain since you'll have to do it outside.
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Please feel free to disregard my opinion.
http://adventurelaus.blogspot.com

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#174215 - 01/23/13 03:12 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Claus]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Claus
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I have never set the tent up with 2 stakes only!
LOL I never used more than two stakes with the moment and am wondering why I bother to take four MRS GroundHogs along. The extra string guyline comes in handy with soft or hard ground. If possible align the tent with the wind. BTW the non vestibule side can be raised and lowered to adjust the ventilation. It's just a pain since you'll have to do it outside.


just wait for that windy day....

Don't say we didn't warn you.

All it takes is an afternoon in a coastal campground watching 20 lb cheap tents full of 200 lbs of chairs and cheap sleeping bags rolling around to love your tent stakes. Or watch one of those youtube videos from bonnaroo. Just punch in flying tent. It's a hoot.

I read a forum post many moons ago - a plaintive "has anyone seen my tent go by?" He told the story of guying out his tent eight ways from Sunday, all staked down, and then a freak gust tore it off the ridge and he watched it sailing across the canyon and out of sight.... Makes you really study up on tent site selection and guy that $200 tent out good.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#174223 - 01/23/13 04:01 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: lori]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
In strong winds the Moment (same as with other single hoop tents) will wobble with tail wind and bend inwards heavily with side winds.
This is the reason for using guylines.
More relevant if you camp in the open and particularly at altitude.

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#174250 - 01/24/13 10:33 AM Re: You need a tent... [Re: lori]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By lori
Originally Posted By Claus
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I have never set the tent up with 2 stakes only!
LOL I never used more than two stakes with the moment and am wondering why I bother to take four MRS GroundHogs along. The extra string guyline comes in handy with soft or hard ground. If possible align the tent with the wind. BTW the non vestibule side can be raised and lowered to adjust the ventilation. It's just a pain since you'll have to do it outside.


just wait for that windy day....

Don't say we didn't warn you.

All it takes is an afternoon in a coastal campground watching 20 lb cheap tents full of 200 lbs of chairs and cheap sleeping bags rolling around to love your tent stakes. Or watch one of those youtube videos from bonnaroo. Just punch in flying tent. It's a hoot.



I went to YouTube and ended up watching some Avett Brothers when they played at Bonnaroo. grin
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#174608 - 02/03/13 12:50 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: Franco]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I make a point of taking some thiner straight pegs and some of the three-flanged stakes. In hard ground the straight pegs go in better; on soft ground the flanged ones hold better. I also camp where there usually are lots of big rocks so having enough string to tie around a big rock is helpful. With the extra tent string, I do not take "emergency" cord. If my shoelace breaks I just cut off some tent cord. In the big scheme of things, the weight of a few extra tent pegs is insignificant. Make up the extra weight by giving up an ounce of food or carry one tablespoon less water.

By the way, I just got back from 2 nights at Point Reyes National Seashore. I had my Moment set up on dirt, door wide open, and it rained inside the tent both nights, with the outside of the tent dry. Yes, there is a condensation problem with the Moment. Other Tarptent models do better for condtions where you have 100% humidity. I am not down on Tarptent, just be aware that the Moment does have some design flaws with regard to humid conditions.

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#174613 - 02/03/13 02:43 PM Re: You need a tent... [Re: lori]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Lori, was that the same post I remember reading in which the poster had just removed his small child from the tent before it went sailing away? Scary!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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