Tent trivia

There are a couple of interesting tent items on OM this week. Firstly, Vango is launching a series of lightweight tents under the Force 10 brand. Of most interest is the Helium 1 man, which is claimed to weigh 900g, serious competition for the TN Laser Competition (ho, ho). Without seeing it in the flesh, it does look as though it might be a bit flappy in high winds. For those that like a bit solidity, the Nitro 1 man looks like a very strong tunnel tent, weighing a reasonable 1.75kg. It could be competition for Akto owners as it is only slightly heavier, but a lot cheaper. The tension band system that Vango uses definitely adds to stability and the materials and workmanship are certainly very good on the TBS Micro 100 that I have. I would also like to give a little plug for their customer service as I lost the little repair and spares kit and they sent me a new one free of charge! Unfortunately for Vango, this particular camper is out of the market at the moment as I already have four 1-man tents!

The other article that drew my attention was a video of a geodesic getting trashed by some strong winds. The reason why this is interesting is that while strong winds destroyed the geodesic tents, it left a Lightwave tunnel tent standing, challenging the assumption that geodesics are stronger and better in windy conditions. Tunnel tents tend to bend with the wind whereas geodesics stand firm, which can lead to catastrophic failure. If you really want to strengthen your geodesic, try taping the poles together where they cross, which stops them moving against each other. The other issue that I can see from the film is that the wind got underneath the fly sheet, so a snow valance would have been a good idea. To be honest, if the wind is that strong, you’re better off taking the poles out and just use the tent as a bothy bag/shelter.

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3 thoughts on “Tent trivia”

  1. The question is will Trail be rushing out and report back what wind speeds regular tents can withstand, as they did lightweight tents when a similar thing happened to a lightweight tent?

  2. I know the man who designed the new F10 tents and the lengths he went to to push them through to production at the specification he wanted. I’d trust them implicitly, but only use of a production model will reveal the truth I suppose.

    It’s interesting your point about taking the poles out and going bivy style, I had this in mind when Big Agnes got in touch http://www.petesy.co.uk/?p=75 I haven’t bivied in years, but it’s got to be a winner in avoiding the wind even in the exposed pitches I usually end up on.

    Thoughtful pitching can alway fool your tent into thinking it’s less windy than it actually is :o)

  3. My impresion is that Vango had gone slightly backward in their tent designs recently as they had generally become heavier, so this redresses the balance. I have fond memories of F10 as I had a cotton Mk2. These new designs look very competitive, especially at the price.

    It seemed to me that one reason for the geodesic failing was the wind getting up under the fly sheet. I would have put some turf/rocks at the rear to prevent this.

    Look forward to reading your experiences in the BA bivvy sack.

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