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#205818 - 08/21/21 01:35 PM Replacing a 2002 Mountain Hardware Tent
Loquinho Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/20/21
Posts: 1
Way back in 2002 at the young age of 21 I bought myself a fantastic backpacking tent (for the time). In those days Mountain Hardware and MSR were the new high-end technical outdoor product manufacturers on the scene, and after some deliberation on the internet I purchased a Mountain Hardware Hammerhead 2. It had everything I wanted in a tent:
- 2 doors
- 2 vestibules
- room to sit up
- LOTS of screening to see the starts
- ability to partially zip the screen so you had privacy, but could still see the stars
- A shape that was really wind resistant (3-pole, hexagonal, no flat sides, fairly shallow angle with ground)
- Easy up (clips)
- a window in the rain fly... granted it was super tiny and I would have preferred something larger.
- great color combo - not bright and flashy. Kinda disappears into the woods.

Anyway, I camped with this tent for the past 20 years almost, but recently I had an unknown can of bug spray explode in my gear locker. None of it touched the tent, but it fumigated all the gear. I don't know what's in that stuff, but it turned all my tent fabric... soft? And kinda tacky. The seal weatherproofing on the rainfly is peeling off, the ground cloth absorbs water, and the bottom of the tent feels like it would tear if I push to hard on it with my finger. Also, after a heavy rain, the tent was full of water, so I assume the rainfly isn't doing it's job at all. All the screening and upper tent fabric is still just like new though. It's honestly a tragedy. I really love this tent.

So, now I'm re-entering the world of tents after two decades, and it's... there's just too much information out there. SO my questions are as follows:

1. Is the tent a goner? I can't imagine how I could fix the integrity of the fabric itself, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

2. What are the "good" technical manufacturers these days? Has Mountain Hardware gone the way of North Face?

3 What tents should I be looking at to get similar features to what I had with this one? I'm ok with a slightly heavier backpacking tent to get the features I want. If I'm really going lightweight, I just take my Hennessy.

Here are the tent specs:

REI Mountain Hardware Hammerhead 2 https://www.rei.com/product/717779/mountain-hardwear-hammerhead-2-tent

But mine is in these colors:


You can see the light green color of the rainfly in the background - it was the same color as this:


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#205820 - 08/22/21 11:31 AM Re: Replacing a 2002 Mountain Hardware Tent [Re: Loquinho]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2107
Loc: Napa, CA
A few thoughts:

1. Is the tent a goner? I can't imagine how I could fix the integrity of the fabric itself, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

I think it is a goner. And I am not sure it is only because of the bug spray. I have an old North Face tent that has been stored properly, but it still suffers from this kind of deterioration. No idea how to fix it.

2. What are the "good" technical manufacturers these days? Has Mountain Hardware gone the way of North Face?

There are quite a few good manufacturers...but how and where do you use your tent? That would make a difference. Big Agnes, Marmot, MSR, and even REI make pretty good equipment, as do others.

3 What tents should I be looking at to get similar features to what I had with this one? I'm ok with a slightly heavier backpacking tent to get the features I want. If I'm really going lightweight, I just take my Hennessy.

Or a tarp? We use a Henry Shires Tarptent and are very happy with it...
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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#205821 - 08/23/21 09:54 AM Re: Replacing a 2002 Mountain Hardware Tent [Re: Loquinho]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1115
Loc: Madison, AL
Originally Posted By Loquinho


1. Is the tent a goner? I can't imagine how I could fix the integrity of the fabric itself, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

Yes, the tent is a goner. Some people report you can scrub all of the failed coating off and then reapply a new coating. It is an extremely tedious process and if you do a realy good job you'll end up with a tent slightly less waterproof than it was originally. I've never heard of anyone successfully completing the process. I think it is mostly for catharsis to emotionally help some people throw away a beloved tent.

And I agree with Paul above. It probably wasn't the bug spray. This has happened to all of my tents from that era. They were all stored properly and (unfortunatly) not over used frown

Originally Posted By Loquinho

3 What tents should I be looking at to get similar features to what I had with this one? I'm ok with a slightly heavier backpacking tent to get the features I want. If I'm really going lightweight, I just take my Hennessy.

You may not get a satisfying answer from this group. I think most people here prefer a lighter, less feature rich tent.

I can tell you the Tarptent Hogback is much bigger (4 person), much lighter (4 lbs), has two vestibules, and allows you to set up 1/2 mesh or full mesh for a view of the night sky. It doesn't have a window and it is not freestanding.

The Stratospire II is bigger (52" wide, 50" peak height), much lighter (under 3 lbs), has two vestibules, allows you to set up full mesh.

Actually if you have $700 burning a hole in your pocket the Stratospire Li is the same tent in ultra-light dyneema fabric. That fabric is so lightweight it will feel like the whole tent is a big window smile

If neither of those sound appealing to you, I would suggest going to REI and checking out the latest options: https://www.rei.com/c/backpacking-tents?ir=category%3Abackpacking-tents&r=c%3Bsleeping-capacity%3A3-person%7C2-person%3Bnumber-of-doors%3A2+doors

I've never known REI to sell garbage tents.


Edited by BZH (08/23/21 09:59 AM)

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#205829 - 08/26/21 07:21 PM Re: Replacing a 2002 Mountain Hardware Tent [Re: Loquinho]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1010
Loc: Australia
The PU layer on your tent fly is perishing.
Some think that it can be slowed down or prevented by letting the fly off-gass*, in other words not sealing it inside a tight stuff sack but leaving it open when in storage. The bad news is that it isn't practical to fix, the good news is that (apparently ) the new versions of the PU coatings don't have the same problem.
Or you can buy a silnylon or DCF (Cuben Fiber) tent , those fabrics/laminates don't suffer from it.
* you know that "new smell" from a car or matress/furniture ?
It's the material off-gassing.

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#205831 - 08/28/21 12:27 AM Re: Replacing a 2002 Mountain Hardware Tent [Re: Loquinho]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2930
Loc: NorCal
Have become a fan of side entry. For that in a 2-person tent, Big Agnes Copper Spur.


If you can make do with a single front entry, the BA Fly Creek is lighter.

Lots of choices, and it's sale season.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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