Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   11/10/22

      Help keep cascadeclimbers.com going!  Please consider donating so we can keep this site going.   We have set expenses right now but no revenue.  We do hope to getting a sponsor to help out, but for now we just need funds to upgrade the site and pay for hosting and licensing. See the "DONATE" tab in the top menu.
Sign in to follow this  
JDCH

Bivy Tents

Recommended Posts

Hello!

I am looking for a lighter/bivy style tent that can stand up to 4 season alpine use. I currently lug around the MH Trango 2, and I am looking to make my overnight kit a whole lot lighter.

I have thrown around the idea of the firstlight, which sounds like exactly what I am looking for in a tent. However, I am 6'2" -- and unless I am climbing with my girlfriend, most of my regular partners are close or similar in height. I have been warned that the firstlight will be VERY "snug" for 2 people, and that my feet will have to hang out of the end of the tent.

Do any taller folk out there have experience using this tent? Is what I heard about this accurate? Any other suggestions for something different/better?

 

Thank you in advance for your help!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstlight is very water resistant, but not waterproof, so you'll be cramped and wet.

 

Great tent for drier climates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

don't bother looking at either of the rab 'bivy-tent' options. I'm 5'8" and have the summit mountain (the bigger of the two) -- for me it is snug. two 6 footers would really, really hate it/need to be deeply in love.

 

sorry it isn't a suggestion but at least helps you eliminate that one if it was on your radar since it is in the 4season bomber bivy-tent category.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a firstlight and I'm 6'2". Last year I spent 3 weeks in Chamonix with another CC.com regular who is at least 6' and we didn't find it terribly cramped. There certainly "could" have been more space, but even with bringin some gear inside, it was manageable to stay organized and not feel literally on top of each other - like in the Rab bivy tents. I also have a Sierra Designs Clip CD (non-freestanding ultralight 2 person backpacking tent) which feels absolutely claustrophobic compared to the Firstlight.

 

[img:center]http://i.imgur.com/yeEV9l.jpg[/img]

 

You said it yourself - you're looking for a bivy tent. A Trango is a totally different class. I reckon the Firstlight would be fine for you in terms of available space. However, the moisture issue is a different beast entirely...

Edited by Jon H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I used one as a solo tent and the moisture thing was huge, I remember feeling REALLY micro droplets that were coming through the walls as it poured in a Tstorm. You don't want to be up against it either.

 

They're not so good in really high wind. Still really good.

 

Try looking at the RAB eVent tents too, got the Superlite and it's waterproof and bomber. Pretty much identical weight.

Edited by Coldfinger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Firstlight and it's bigger cousin the Skylight. It weighs about a pound more, but has a lot more room. I've been in North Cascades and Olympics rain in both and stayed dry, though condensation can be an issue. If you like the Firstlight, but want a bigger tent but still want to keep the weight around 4 pounds, take a look at the Skylight.IMG_1680.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome,

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I think I may still go with the firstlight, it seems like my concern of not being able to fit is not an issue, more likely I will get damp a few times.

 

I can handle a little moisture with that kinda weight, as long as I can fit inside!

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you find that the vestibule was necessary when you were in Chamonix? Or was it big enough to fit the two of you+ gear without it?

Thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was the other guy (a skinny 6') in Jon H's firstlight in Cham. We didn't use or need the vestibule - even though I had one in my pack. I think we left our boots and packs outside, but that was it. It wasn't too bad. I like the vestibule, and have used it on other trips, but it's certainly not necessary.

 

I've also spent quite a few nights with a big 6'2" guy in a Hilight that was fine room-wise. We even crowded a 3rd guy in there one night. That night wasn't super comfy, but it worked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the same boat - tired of carrying the bigger and heavier tent, but can't find a good light option. 6'2" - I understand the BD first/hi are going to be snug on length. I'd be worried about the tight walls pressing down on my footbox and killing the loft. Cold feet. Down here in the Sierras, it's a lot drier. PNW, the wet seems like it would make those single-walls with only "water-resistant" ratings a drag. I don't think those BDs are really built for T-storms, I'd imagine they're intended for cold and snow mostly. Been eyeballing the Rabs, but they seemed cramped as well.

 

I do know just a bivy can be hell in the wrong conditions. Trying to get out and dressed at 2am in a storm can break your trip, so much nicer to have a vesti to hunker down in, but then you're carrying that weight. Just pray for good conditions?? Using this right now Uber Bivy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a tarp like the Black Diamond Betamid? I've slept in it under every conceivable conditions: mid winter alpine and BC ski trips, wind storms, rain storms, mosquito infested areas and I stayed dry and comfortable. They can be had for about $79.00. Plenty roomy for two people, gear, and with enough room to cook in. If you are set on a tent, the Stephenson Warmlites are light and roomy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the ultra tall. Will BD or other company custom make a tent? I know this would probably cost a ton and add weight defeating the purpose of what you want. Just wondering if companies will do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephenson's may offer either a long version or might custom make one. The BD Betamid should be long enough for very tall folks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My partner and I spent 10 nights in a single-wall dome even smaller than the firstlight on the Cassin Ridge in 1981. I am 6'0", and the tent floor was 6'x4'. I don't recall being particularly uncomfortable during that period, but then, it doesn't RAIN on Denali in April/May. I now own a Firstlight, andregularly use it as BIVOUAC shelter. I don't use it as a "basecamp" tent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at Megalite by BD for 2-3 climbers plus gear - basecamp style. Wish it had snowskirt, have read about people modifying them and adding one.

 

MEGALITE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also look at the Golite Shangrila 3. That is what I would buy for 2 -3 climbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all of the responses! It looks like the price is right on the firstlight if I go the tent route. DPS, did you think it was exceptionally cold to camp on snow with the betamid? I have a WM alpinlite, and I am also concerned that it will get wet and lose its loft. Do you bring a groundcloth or just deal with the wet/cold?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DPS, did you think it was exceptionally cold to camp on snow with the betamid? I have a WM alpinlite, and I am also concerned that it will get wet and lose its loft. Do you bring a groundcloth or just deal with the wet/cold?

I never had a problem with camping in the winter with the Betamid. Some partners complained it was drafty, I thought of it as well ventilated. I have a WM with a Dryloft shell which keeps the bag pretty dry and I use a full length, thin Evazotte pad that keeps the bag off the ground. If you are worried about wet ground you could get a piece of 4' x 6' Tyvek or Silnylon as a ground cloth. Not all my partners were as thrilled with the floorless desin. During one really hard rain storm camped at the Stuart-Sherpa saddle (we stayed completely dry) my partner mentioned he felt like he had gotten away with something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I think it's a gamble with the floorless tents if you don't have the burlier sleeping bag fabric, especially for multi-day trips. You could toss on a bivy sack, but now you're adding more weight. I'd also be concerned if you like getting out in the wind, with no snow skirt, a pyramid/ish shelter is hard to keep the spindrift out of. You can really sink in the tent edges themselves and pile on snow, but then you loose usable floor space. I'm thinking about sewing a tyvek skirt on a BD betamid/megalite - would add minimal weight, but I think it would do the trick. Less snow blown in would help you keep the down intact as well, although larger concern is the snow you're laying on / what gets between your pad/bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/essential-series/twin-sisters/product

 

The MSR version has a built in skirt which is very effective at keeping the bugs out as well as spindrift. If you sew tabs on it, it is also compatible with the BD floor for the Betamid. In a pinch you can get three people inside. For two it is cavernous and with room to stash packs between your feet and the door.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that is nice. Seems a bit expensive, though, but it does come with a snowskirt and tent poles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at the twin sisters - I've got a roomy 2-man already, was thinking megalite (with custom skirt) for 3-4 guys, moving fast. We got shut down with bivi sacks on a recent Palisade Traverse attempt (lack of sleep, snow/wind gettin up in our gear)...would have been fine with a decent shelter at base camp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow that is nice. Seems a bit expensive, though, but it does come with a snowskirt and tent poles.

 

I completely agree, but It's the same price as the firstlight, and the same weight, granted it may be bigger, but I only need to fit 2 people.

So for weight and cost to warmth, I think the firstlight is a better choice (for me). It seems like the only drawback is the single wall's potential for being wet, but I think I'll take my chances and give it a shot.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×