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Jarred_Jackman

Bibler Tents: How Much Can They Take?

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Hello, I have Bibler Fitzroy, supposedly the ultimate in tents. I have used it twice, both times in very comfortable and moderate conditions, babying the tent the whole time. I just found a small hole in the floor and the side pocket is ripping away from it's taped seam. Do any of you know if these tents are for real, are they really that great or are they only great if the owner completely pussyfoots around the inside and never really just uses it as a "great" tent is supposed to be used. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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The tent is not meant to be used in "moderate" conditions. extreme conditions only!

Moderate conditions (car camping for instance) are what WalMart style $65 tents are for.

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I have a 1993 Bibler I-Tent. No problems whatsoever so far, and its been to Alaska and back. Perhaps it makes a difference if you buy the Bibler pre-BlackDiamondSellOut or post-BlackDiamondSellOut..?

Alex

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I have an Eldorado which has been on a few trips. So far most of the damage I've done to it has been pretty much what I'd expect; bent a pole, put a hole in it with a rock. No other unprovoked damage/failures. The door is alkward and in some respects the internal pole system is a pain but for this type of tent I think it's done pretty well.

If you want something like the Eldorado your choice is a bit limited. Integral Designs make something similar for a bit less money an Wild Country make the Gemini, which is even smaller but looks like it might hold up better in a storm. I'm not sure I'd buy a single skin tent that was much bigger then the Eldorado though.

Mine was bought about the same time as Alex's, maybe they've sufferend from QA problems recently?

[This message has been edited by Ade (edited 09-17-2001).]

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I've used a Bibler frequently for the past 5 years, including stormy trips to Denali and Waddington. It was a "pre Black-Diamond-sellout" model, and I've since heard several stories about a significant drop in quality since the sellout. Our Bibler (my partner's actually) has been outstanding for they way it has held up in relation to it's weight, handled high winds and snow loading very well in addition while being light weight and easy to set up. I have an old TNF mountain which is definitely more bomber but weighs twice as much.

Main drawbacks with the Bibler in my experience are:

condensation; prone to heavy condensation on inner wall, it's only single walled so that is an inherent problem. The newer models have better ventilation.

Material strength; while diggin us out during a storm on Denali, my partner put his foot through the wall near the base just by stepping on it. Have not seen any problems with seams or zippers.

Don't know if I would drop the cash for a new one, but I would definitely buy an older model at a used price. brukb

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I have a Bibler Fitzroy tent. Took it to Denali for 25 days last year, had it in 60 mph winds on Rainier and so on. It is the most bombproof tent I have ever seen. Yes, they are a lightweight tent. If they added another 3 pounds to the tent it would be made out of more durable material but then why not buy a double wall tent. After owning a Bibler, I will NEVER buy another brand tent ever for use in the northwest.

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Dru, thanks for the "hot-tip" about Wal-Mart and their ability to outfit the "moderate" climber in all of us.

All others, thanks a lot for the responses, definitely helpful. I didn't even consider the BD sell-out before buying the tent. I got it on a pro-deal so thought of it as a pretty good deal. Considering the "ginger" quality I have to treat it with I'm not sure about keeping it now.

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I bought a Bombshelter back in '98 in preparation for a trip to the Alaska Range. Used it the summer and spring before the trip and was not impressed for what seems to be the same reasons as you. Stitching, seam-tape, door size (too small), velcro, you name it. Fortunately, I was able to sell it before it got too hammered. There is not much point in having a tent like that if you can't put it through the wringger! I ended up buying a TNF VE-25 instead and I'm able to use it hard and it still looks pretty new. While it is a bit heavier, it is SO MUCH more versatile.

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Jared, glad you liked it. Maybe I should make my point more clearly. Single wall tents are not the "ultimate tent". They are designed to be super light and pretty much used on snow only, for lightweight high alpine ascents like you might find in the Himalayas, Alaska, Saint Elias etc. I have some experience with them and frankly my bivi sack is more durable, and my MEC Snowfield is about 10x more durable than either (but weighs 5X as much).

I compare using a Bibler single-wall, or a Garuda, or Integral Designs, for every day tenting use, to using a pair of touchy-feely twisted toe sport slippers made for overhanging 5.14 redpoints to climb 5.6 chimneys and fist cracks. Sure you can do it but it is not what they were designed for and they will suffer accordingly.

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I have bibler I-tent aas do twwo buddies and we all love them. They do have limitations, small and lightweght will bring on limitations, but I love them.

If I was on a thirty day alaska/yukon trip I would love the TNF-VE 25, but here on short trips they rock.

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Dudes, BD makes a killer new tent that will keep you very happy in everthing EXCEPT hurricanes above treeline and that is the new Black Diamond Betamid- 2.2 pounds light sleeps two and gear, sets up on trekking poles and is very wind stable- 99 bucks!

The quality of the stiching and fabric is very high.

 

I had a Bibler I tent I used for years until it just kind of wore out, my current bivy is a Bibler and I've not had any problems with that either- I wonder if BD moved Bibler's production line to China in the last couple of years? Or if it's hard to find good seamstresses in Salt Lake City's economy right now? I guess McDonald's has the same problem, finding enough people to work for low wages- It's a problem big enough that our government's trying to signifantly reduce immigration and work standards for Mexicans- imagine that!

 

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Dru, I comletely understand where you're coming from and actually appreciate the second reply. I hadn't seen many single walls in the cascades, I suppose this is due to the reasons you noted, and possibly the cost. I realize that it's not the best tent for the job in my case and am now trying to get out of from under it before it becomes "used."

Later

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I have a betamid and like it very much, however, unlike the older BD Megamid (pyramid shaped, floorless tent) it leaks through the seams.

This is nothing that some seam seal wouldn't fix, I suppose. Other than this one problem, I like my betamid very much.

Had some fellows admiring it in Boston Basin back in July -- they had lugged a big, heavy tent up that "Beckey-type"(vertical) trail into the Basin and were drooling over the less-than-three-pound betamid.

They do look a little bit like a circus tent, all bright yellow . . . but I don't mind.

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Gobs and Gobs of seamseal, inside and out makes it tight as a drum...what do you think of the Betamid's wind handling performance, goatboy? I haven't yet had to string out guylines from the two peak guyloops but probably will have to this winter..

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