Force Ten Nitro Lite Mods Update

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I used my Force Ten Nitro Lite 200 for one night on my recent Carneddau trip (I used my Duomid on the other two to test out the mods on that shelter). It was a good chance to see whether my mods were effective. Firstly, I can tell you that the extra pegging point on the rear panel worked perfectly. It maintains the gap between the fly and inner, so there’s no chance of it touching and transferring moisture.

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A lack of rain (now there’s a thing) meant I can’t tell you whether the rain gutter in the rear vent works. Also, there wasn’t enough wind to assess the effectiveness of doubling the side guys, but I have no reason to doubt that they are more effective than the original configuration.

While the bottom set of loops seem secure enough, when I arrived home, I saw some comments from Andy on my mod post, suggesting a different way of securing the lower cord. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to try it out.

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Essentially, it involves adding a second linelok on the lower section of the cord, mimicking the arrangement on the Akto. To secure it to the pole, the loop of cord is passed through the loop on the pole sleeve and around the pole. The (slightly fuzzy) picture below illustrates how.

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While it’s slightly more fiddly, looping the cord behind the pole means that all the strain is taken by the pole, rather than the loop on the pole sleeve. Ideally, you need to do this when threading the poles. However, if you forget, you can always undo the knot on the linelok, loop the cord through the pole sleeve loop and behind the pole, back through the pole sleeve loop and retie the knot on the linelok. That could be a bit fiddly in bad conditions, so I might take some mini karabiners, to revert to the original configuration if necessary.

I’m really pleased with the mods, especially the rear pegging point. My trip was hardly a test of the Nitro’s capabilities. However, I do think it’s a really good tent and love the amount of space it provides. I still think the Scarp is a slightly better tent, but there’s not much in it. Unfortunately, the Nitro is still not a tent for tall people. Much over 5’10” and I think you’ll find it a bit short. One minor irritation I found was that occasionally the shock cord loops on the inner tent slip out of the retainers on the fly. I might try some thicker shock cord.

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10 thoughts on “Force Ten Nitro Lite Mods Update”

  1. Aha! Interesting implementation of my suggestion. I did it slightly different, in that I ran the guy line through the loop exactly like at the top attachment point. When I insert the pole, I run the pole through one side of the guy line. It’s not really looping it round the pole, so the tension is shared more or less equally between the pole and the unofficial attachment point.

    Your way is much neater than mine and all (or most) of the tension is taken up by the pole, which must be a good thing. I like it a lot!

    The only advantage of my arrangement is that if you forget to thread the pole through the guy line you still have an attachment point. But your system is definitely classier!

    Only thing: I would replace the guy line with either 1.7mm or 2mm dyneema and make it a bit longer. I find that the extra length gives way more stability in high winds. Also, I wonder how much water the Force Ten guys would absorb. They look rather spongy to me?

    Good to know about the rear arrangement working nicely. I think I’ll implement myself.

    As for the vent: on my TN Solar Photon, the rear vent has a guy line, but it has also got a velcro tab such that you can close off the vent by velcroing it to the fly. Obviously it would require going outside to close it off so it would only work if you pitch in the rain, and it would also reduce ventilation, but perhaps that’s another quick and dirty way of sorting the water ingress problem? It’s a serious issue only in high winds, so condensation might be less of an issue then?

    1. I’ve replaced the Vango cord with some very nice cord from Marlow (through Amazon). I’ve got 50m of the stuff so I can make them longer if I want! The front set is longer than the supplied set. I think Vango need to change the vent so it can be closed.

  2. Interesting video here, Robin:

    They pitched the Nitrolite, the Soulo, the TN Voyager and LC together in 35mph winds. You could criticise their pitching skills… but what I found interesting was that the Nitro did really well compared to the Soulo. I’ve never been convinced by the Soulo’s design—its saving grace is the number of guy lines! It’s tall and if the wind turns round from the long side, it flaps like mad. The Nitro took it all in its stride. Very impressed. The Voyager did fine too, if one likes inner first, of course. Anyway, instructive comparison, I thought.

    1. Cheers. Tail into the wind, tunnels are strong. I’m not surprised at the Voyager. Geodesic inner pitching first tents have a stronger structure. However, they are prone to catastrophic failure as they flex less.

      1. Yes, of course. But what surprised me (well, I’d seen other footage that suggested that, but not as clearly as this one) was how flappy and ungainly the Soulo is! Even when they re-pitched it narrow side into the wind, it was still getting hit on the long side and the fly was caving in a fair bit. It sure looks a noisy tent with that vent cover at the top. And one wonders how usable the porch is with the wind hitting it from the side like that. It’s way too tall a design, and pitching it looked mighty fiddly too. Finally, I didn’t like it a bit that when he was tightening up the guy line connected to the pole sleeve, the pole was visibly bent. I’ve seen videos of Hillebergs in wind machine tests where the pole gave way precisely at that point. I’ve always fancied the Soulo (I have an Unna) but this has put me off it for good! Its strongest point is surely the ability to withstand very heavy snowloads but other than that, I’m unconvinced. The search for the perfect winter tent goes on!
        The Nitro Lite by contrast looks just amazing. It’s giving me new confidence to use it on exposed pitches too.

      2. Agreed. The Soulo did look a bit flappy. It’s also not that big. I’m trying to persuade F10 to do a stronger winter version. If they made it with an entrance at either end and another hoop it the middle, I reckon you’d have a very strong winter tent. Add valances and double guys at the side with TBS at either end > bomber tent. If you’re reading, F10, I’ll spec it for you 🙂 and I have an idea which is a variation on the TBS.

      3. Yeah, it’s out of anybody’s league, innit. They should sell timeshares in this tent…
        On the other hand, if the vents have no-see-um mesh, it could work as a summer tent too (and 1kg is good enough for me). So it could be all the tent you’d ever need and if you add up the cost of a summer shelter + winter shelter, you begin to get close enough to what they’re asking for it, don’t you.

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