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Kane

Bibler Tempest

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I know how much people like the I-tent, but the tempest does not seem to get as much recognition. I found one new for 350, and I am tempted to buy it. Its 2 lbs heavier then the I, has 2 doors, and 4 extra square ft......Do you guys think its a good deal? Is there any reason I should just wait for an I-tent? Also, the Vestibule is attached and not a clip on like the I .

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Kane, I had a Tempest before my I-Tent (that I am nowselling). I sold the Tempest because it was too heavy. It is almost a 3 person tent, and with 2 vestibules that add a lot of weight. It's comfy, but not a "light and fast" sort of tent. It also is harder to fit in small bivi spots on a climb. I'd say is more of a basecamp tent, while the I-Tent is for on the route.

 

My wife loved the Tempest, but then again she never had to carry it...

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I went through a great deal of energy considering the Biblers (I-Tent, Eldorado, Tempest), and the Integral Designs (MK1 Lite, MK1 XL, MK3).

 

First off on your two tents, I-Tent and Tempest. The Tempest is not seam-taped, which is why it is a lot less money than it's closest competitor, which is the Fitzroy. That also means you really need to do a good job with the seamgrip stuff, and also be prepared for the tent to wear out sooner than the other tents listed here (I think it's the only one not seam-taped out of the tents mentioned here).

 

I called Black Diamond several times and spoke to several of their tent experts, but I was comparing the Ahwahnee to the Tempest.

One of my biggest questions was how the Tempest could have two more poles, two more vestibules, made from the same fabric (ToddTex), and still weigh only about a half-pound more?

 

The answer was that the Ahwahnee is heavy because of those two zippers that full-outline the big-side-doors.

And the Tempest is light because it has no seam tape, the end doors are not ToddTex but a lightweight nylon, and the vestibules have no poles and use a light SilNylon.

 

You have to make a vestibule decision first.

Do you need one? What will you use it for?

If you want one, do you need the extra headroom the I-Tent vestibule provides because it uses another pole?

The I-Tent has an optional vestibule, which would make it about as heavy as your Tempest.

Tempest 6 lbs 4 oz, I-Tent w/Vestibule 6 lbs 1 oz.

 

The I-Tent with a vestibule is not much lighter.

The I-Tent without a vestibule is much lighter.

The I-Tent vestibule is much roomier because of the headroom.

The I-Tent is stronger because of the seam taping, but the Tempest makes up for it with twice the poles.

They both have two vents on top, but the I-Tent vents right into the tent, where the Tempest vents into a vestibule which then must vent into the tent.

 

A very big decision for me was the Fire Retardant (FR) treatment. This treatment makes the tent heavier and less breathable. Canada and 7 US states require it. Integral Designs does not do this on any of their tents, and Bibler makes theirs with or without the treatment (check the small white tag by the door and see if the model number ends with "FR" to find out). Marmot Bellevue orders their Biblers without FR, where the Marmot Berkeley orders theirs with FR because it's required by CA law. On a side note, don't bother asking ProMountain Sports about any of this, because like many things I've talked to them about, they have no information or inaccurate information.

 

 

 

Other decisions you need to make are things like:

- what color do you want?

- do you want the door mesh on the inside or the outside?

- do you want the door to roll down or tie off sideways?

- do you want a heavy floor or carry a groundsheet or neither?

- do you want the pole retainers to be clips or velcro?

- do you want sleeve vents or top triangle vents?

- are you happy with a short door (like the MK1 Lite)?

 

Climbers like doors on the ends for ridgeline use, and prefer the mesh on the inside so it doesn't collect ice, but hikers want the mesh on the outside so they can adjust the heavy door fabric without letting in mosquitoes.

 

Oh, and the Black Diamond weights are not very helpful, because they don't give a with/without FR weight, and because "packaged" includes even the syringe and tube of seamgrip. I went to Marmot and actually weighed the tents myself.

 

Hope all this helps. I would also consider the Black Diamond tents made with Epic fabric. I did an extensive amount of research and review-reading and talking with people, and I'm convinced it will be waterproof in heavy rain for at least two days. After that it may start to fail. This assumes you did a good job seam sealing the tent. But the Epic tents are basically the same (I-Tent becomes the FirstLight and the Ahwahnee becomes the Lighthouse). I like the HiLight because it's almost the same weight as the OneShot, but nearly twice the size, plus there's a vestibule option, although the side doors make it more of a hikers tent and less for climbing.

 

Here's some links to do your own reading if you choose.

http://www.bdel.com/gear/tents_overview.php

 

http://www.bdel.com/gear/tempest.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/detail/tempest_detail.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/i-tent.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/detail/i-tent_detail.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/eldorado.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/detail/eldorado_detail.php

 

http://www.bdel.com/gear/firstlight.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/detail/firstlight_detail.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/hilight.php

http://www.bdel.com/gear/detail/hilight_detail.php

 

http://integraldesigns.com/product.cfm?id=7&CFID=8742553&CFTOKEN=98144808&mainproducttypeid=5

 

 

That should be enough for you to make an informed decision.

Later.

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Way to go AlaskaNative, I am going to take a closer look at your pst, check all the links, and narrow down what I want. Btw, you never mentioned what tent you chose?

 

THANKS!

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What did I choose?

 

I cheated.

I found a used Eldorado with two doors and no FR treatment, in excellent condition and bought it. My understanding is that once manufacturing moved to China for the 2002 production run, the two-door option was dropped, so you have to find an older tent to get that. I suppose Rainy Pass Repair (in Seattle) could put one in but I've never asked them about it.

 

I also bought a Black Diamond HiLight for a lighter weight solution that still stands up to severe weather for at least a day or two at a time. It also breathes much better than the ToddTex/TegralTex, or eVent fabrics, so condensation is less of an issue, although you will get condensation on anything under the right conditions.

 

 

In fact on the condensation topic, the options seem to break down as listed below.

 

These are the single-wall approaches:

 

- Epic. highly breathable and waterproof fabric but it will fail under enough days of heavy rain. (used by Black Diamond)

 

- eVent. More breathable fabric than other GoreTex-type materials. All the waterproof/breathable fabrics are the same; they stretch Teflon (ePTFE). Problem is that Teflon fails to be waterproof if it is contaminated with oil. The traditional oil-protection is to use a PolyUrethane (PU) coating, but this takes a lot of the breathability away, and it holds moisture on the inside of the fabric making it feel clammy. The eVent solution is to coat the fibrils of ePTFE which allows it to breathe better. Sounds great, but nobody makes a tent from eVent. Integral Designs did for a while (the MK1 Lite eVent), but it is no longer in production. I don't know if it was pulled for cost reasons, or durability reasons. Maybe someone else can chase that one down and report back.

 

- GoreTex and it's many derivatives. As mentioned above, they're all the same. It doesn't breathe fast enough to keep all condensation from forming on the inside wall in high-condensation conditions, so not many tents are made from it.

 

- ToddTex/TegralTex (same fabric, just using different colors, and sometime FR treated, sometimes not). These use the same ePTFE stuff as the GoreTex fabrics. But they manage the condensation problem by putting a paper-towel fuzz (Nexus) on the inside of the fabric. This helps by holding the water in place while it "waits" for a chance to vent through the GoreTex layer.

 

- Waterproof non-breathable fabric. Not much to say here, just that you will get a lot of condensation unless you are in a very dry environment with litle temperature difference inside/outside the tent.

 

It's worth noting that you must have a pressure difference inside/outside the tent also. The higher air temp inside the tent creates this and pushes airflow to the outside allowing for venting of the water vapor.

 

 

 

Double-wall approach:

 

- inside wall ("inner tent") is very breathable, the outside wall ("fly") is waterproof/non-breathable. Not much to add. It's good if the inside wall doesn't wick the condensation dripping onto it from the outer wall, to the stuff inside the tent, and it's great if the outer wall is strong and light. Double-wall tents need to have two walls each strong enough for their task so it is generally harder to make it as light as a single-wall.

 

Other double-wall issues:

- setup in rain. All the US-made tents require an inner tent pitch first, then the fly is pitched over the top. If it's raining this means you just got a lot of water in your tent before you even went inside. Only Hilleberg solves this problem, because you can pitch both walls at once, with their "linked" approach, so you can set it all up, then go inside where it's still dry.

- strength. Because you have two walls and weight needs to be kept low, most double-wall tents are not strong enough for hurricane-force winds and heavy snow loads. Hilleberg tents are strong enough for this and still weigh very little. You can also put two poles through the sleeves on their lightest tents (instead of one pole), making it even stronger for severe weather. Interestingly, they do not tape their seams. They say the waterproofing will not adhere to tape, so they use "fell seams" instead, which are stronger and still waterproof.

- inner wall wicking. Hilleberg uses a very breathable inner tent fabric, but it also sheds water very well, preventing just about any wicking. They even have a photo in their catalog of the inner wall material holding a tennis-ball amount of water inside.

- venting. All Hilleberg tents include at least one top vent, and almost all include two for cross-flow.

- wind penetration. Many double-wall tents have fly designs that do not go all the way to the ground. This is good for venting but bad for extreme cold or wind. Check out the fly design if those are issues.

 

On the pitch-in-the-rain scenario, nothing is drier than the staked-design (not freestanding) Hilleberg tents because you can do the entire pitch without unzipping or entering the tent wearing your wet clothing. Once its setup, you can enter the vestibule, pull of the wet gear, then enter the tent.

The Bibler and Integral Designs force you to unzip and go inside the tent during setup to put the poles in place.

 

If you're interested in more Hilleberg information, read here:

http://hilleberg.com/TentInformation.htm

http://hilleberg.com/Catalog/tents_47616_products.htm

 

Last issue is the freestanding or staked tent designs.

Freestanding is nice for being able to move the tent after setup, and it also has the smallest footprint, although some of the staked designs are quite small too. Check the space required for full guy-out and staking to be sure before you buy.

I don't consider freestanding much of an advantage otherwise, because if you're expecting strong winds you'll have to stake it all around anyway.

 

Bottom line is that I would go with one of these solutions:

- Bibler or Integral Designs (see previous post)

- Hilleberg (Akto, Nallo, Unna, or Jannu)

- Black Diamond Epic tents (see previous post)

 

As a side note, hikers can use some ultralight solutions like these, but for now I prefer a full tent, or a bivy sack:

- TarpTents

http://www.tarptent.com/products.html

- Hennessy Hammocks

http://www.hennessyhammock.com/comparisonchart.html

 

For a Bivy Sack, I looked at many of them and like these two:

- Integral Designs UniShelter - eVent (not TegralTex)

- Bibler Big Wall Bivy (Hooped Bivy is the same without the tie-off point)

 

This all assumes one or two people, wanting a very lightweight tent while on the move. If there's more people, or it's a basecamp scenario, then that's different. For example, at high camps, UV light becomes a serious issue, and you must consider how long your tent will last under that kind of stress. Another example is that many users want a tent without a floor so they chop in seating or whatever in the snow.

 

Everybody likes the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, but it weighs 10 pounds!

At that weight, there are many choices from Hilleberg as well.

 

I'm tired of talking tents.

 

Out for now.

Harry

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The short answer on why I said Epic is more breathable than eVent, is that I haven't tried to collect metrics on breathability of the various fabrics, so I inferred it.

 

It's annoying to me that there isn't a standardized test method, which would dicatate thinks like setting standard test conditions for things like the temperature, humidity, and air pressure on both sides of a material. In addition water vapor injection rate (simulates human release of vapor), fabric tension, and mounting axis (horizontal would be suggested so the test could look for the first drop of water to fall indicating the failure point of the fabric).

 

Back to your question, Epic is lighter than eVent, more transparent to light than eVent, and will eventually pass water droplets, leading me to assume that if it is less resistant as a barrier for liquid water it is also likely to be less of a barrier for water vapor.

 

I may be wrong in this assumption, but hope that answers your question.

 

 

One thing I forgot to mention is the option of Carbon-Fiber poles for many different tents from Fibraplex. I don't use them, and they are expensive, but I know some people do switch to them from the vendor's aluminum.

I would worry about fracture if I was in extreme cold. I talked with one of the Gregory staff several times about various issues (yes, I did quite a bit of research into backpacks like I did tents, but I didn't look at climbing packs, just hiking and mountaineering packs so I assume it's not of much value to people here). I have a Denali Pro and think it's a great pack.

He said they experimented with CarbonFiber on their Denali Pro but had too many instances of that material cracking in extreme cold (standard stays are 7075 aircraft aluminum). Of course, Boeing is making their new airplane out of CarbonFiber, but I'm guessing the quality (and associated cost) is a little different than Fibralex...

But there it is as an option.

http://fibraplex.com/tentpoles2B.asp

 

After you asked me about the Epic breathability I did a google search and found these two links:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/single_wall_tents_shelters_review_summary.html

http://reviews.ebay.com/Fabrics-that-breathe_W0QQugidZ10000000001030179

 

 

On that note, these are several places I look for reviews if anyone's interested:

http://www.trailspace.com

http://www.backpackgeartest.org

http://www.backcountry.com

http://www.altrec.com

http://www.ems.com

 

I also thought these Alaska outfitters had some good information:

http://alaskamountaineering.com/Product.cfm?id=486

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Integral designs stopped making the Event tents because of the fire issue. I gave up my Trango 2 for a Hilleberg Nallo. The Trango is bullet proof and great for multiple days stuck inside but like you said, heavy, and takes effort to set up. The Nallo has been great and less than half the weight.

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