Category Archives: Modding

MYOG lumbar pad for ULA Ohm

IMG_1684I’ve found the ULA Ohm a bit sweaty in the lower back region, so I thought I’d add a lumbar pad.

IMG_1687It was really easy to make. I cut an oblong from a Gossamer Gear closed cell foam pad. Added some shock cord loops at either end, secured with some duct tape.

IMG_1686I covered it in some open weave material which I had kicking around from another project.

IMG_1688The shock cord fits behind the Ohm pockets and stays in place well. Hey presto! A lumbar pad. Along with the hip belt and frame sheet mods, I’m rather pleased with the Ohm and will be using it this summer.

F10 Nitro Lite 200 inner tent vent cover mod

DSC00398The F10 Nitro Lite 200 is a good tent but it has a few design flaws. I’ve addressed these with a number of mods, a summary of which you can find here. The last remaining feature to be modified is the mesh vent at the rear of the inner tent.

There are two reasons for wanting to have a removable cover for the vent. Firstly, there is a possibility (admittedly remote) that rain or spin drift might get blown through the vent in the flysheet and through the mesh vent on the inner. Secondly, in cold windy conditions, it would be handy to be able to cut the draught from the vent to make the inner warmer.

As it was (still) raining today, I decided to have a tent modding session and make a vent cover for the inner mesh vent. I had a spare piece of lightweight nylon fabric, which I cut to the shape of the vent, but oversized. I didn’t bother to hem it.

IMG_1141Next I added snap fasteners around the edge of the mesh vent. This was quite fiddly as I had to reach inside the inner. I used some clothes pegs to gather the material.

IMG_1144Next I added the the snap fasteners to the vent cover. I did the first two with black thread, before remembering I had some orange thread. I couldn’t be bothered to unpick my work, so I left them alone. No one is going to see the vent cover anyway. I used the orange thread for the remaining fasteners to make it look neater (!)

IMG_1145I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve not been able to pitch the tent today as the ground is wet, but I’ll try it out tomorrow if the ground has dried out.

I now feel confident that the Nitro Lite 200 is fully primed against the elements and that there are now no areas of vulnerability. All in all, quite a satisfying afternoon of work.

MLD Cuben Duomid vent mod

Last year, on Dartmoor, I discovered that the vent on my MLD Cuben Duomid doesn’t close properly because the Velcro on the hood doesn’t line up properly. On that occasion, I used a clothes peg to shut it.

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Since then, I’ve been thinking of a more permanent solution using either some Velcro or some snap closures.

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I decided the neatest solution was to sew a strip of Velcro on the grosgrain strip that links the zip to the crown of the shelter (shown above).

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This now mates properly with the Velcro on the vent hood (shown above).

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The vent hood now closes securely (after removing the plastic hood stay) , preventing any wind blown rain from getting inside the shelter.

F10 Nitro Lite 200 rear pole TBS

At the same time as trying out my pole mod, I experimented with a Tension Band System for the rear pole. The Nitro has a TBS on the front pole arch, which adds significantly to the stability of the pole, but doesn’t have a TBS on the rear pole.

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It was very easy to make. Initially I thought of using some mini karabiners but I raided my bits and pieces bag and found a plastic hook (ironically from another older Vango tent) and two clips from an Ortlieb mapcase. Coupled with some cord and two line-loks, it took about five minute to rig up.

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Here it is inside the Nitro minus the inner.

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I was concerned that it might not fit with the inner in place. However, it only just touches the inner. The only disadvantage is that the inner has to be unhooked for the TBS to be put in place and adjusted. Despite this, it’s really quick to do and it does add significantly to the stability of the rear pole. It’s probably only worth doing in stormy weather and it needs to be removed before packing away. For the extra 11g in weight, I reckon it’s a good mod.

F10 Nitro Lite 200 pole project part 2

Yesterday the highly expensive eyelet kit that had ordered arrived, so it was time to kick on with my pole project. I won’t bore you with all the ins and outs. After some experimentation with eyelets and the removable cord locks that I had attached, I decided to go for a simpler approach with an eyelet on one side and an adjustable linelok on the other to tension the flysheet.

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However, waste not want not, I used one of the removable cord locks to secure the cord that attaches to the ends of the pole (see above).

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I added an extra Mcnett Tenacious Tape reinforcing patch (black) to the inside of the tent before sewing the adjustable linelok (shown above).

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Above is the cord that attaches to the pole end to achieve a hoop shape. It is removable, one end with a clip, the other by un-threading a linelok.

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The pole had to shorten by 5cm at either end, to fit the slope of the roof. It was slightly nerve-wracking using a hacksaw, but I achieved a neat cut.

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Fortunately, it was sunny this morning so I could  pitch the Nitro in the garden. As you can see the fit is not bad at all.

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Inside (above and below).

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Another view from a different angle.

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Although I was quite pleased with the result, I don’t think this is going to work very well as it stretches the flysheet material. If used too often I reckon it would stretch permanently. It really does need a proper pole sleeve.

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When I took the extra pole out there was a definite wrinkle left behind (shown above). I expect this will disappear after a couple of pitches without the additional pole. However, I think it means the extra pole idea is not going to work, which is a shame as it definitely adds to stability. It really needs a pole sleeve with stronger material. Still it was fun trying. I’ve ended up with a couple of extra pegging points and the additional weigh is about 10g with the patches and material. I think it also suggests the my idea for adding an extra pole to the Laser Comp is a non starter as well. There is a limit as to how much you can modify a tent!

F10 Nitro Lite 200 pole project part 1

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I’m working on adding an extra pole to my F10 Nitro Lite 200 tent at the moment. Adding an extra pole should make the Nitro Lite extra strong and help support the fabric in the middle of the tent, which has a tendency to flap a bit in a strong wind. It should help with snow loading in winter (should I ever use it in snow!).

My aim is to make this mod optional with a minimal weight penalty. To this end, the pole will be secured a small grosgrain loop on the underside of the roof seam. I’ve sealed this inside with some McNett Tenacious tape and silicone seam sealant on the outside.

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At the hem, I’ve opted for a short cord loop with a mini cord grip. The cord that secures the ends of the pole will be totally removable and the flysheet will be tensioned with removable line loks that I had spare from a compression stuff sack.

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My progress is now stalled because I’m waiting for some 7mm eyelets. I used some 8mm eyelets as an experiment but they are marginally too large and the pole end can slip through. I also had an eyelet failure, so I’m going to be more careful with punching the hole in the grosgrain. Vango have kindly provided a spare front pole, which I’m going to shorten by 10cm.

The unshortened pole weighs 112g.  Shortening it should lose about 5g. My guess is the lineloks, reinforcing patches and grosgrain on the tent can’t weigh more than 10g. The weight for the cord plus eyelets might be about another 10g, so the all in extra weigh shouldn’t be more than 130g for the extra pole. Without the pole, the extra, the weight gain will be minimal (c.10g), so there’s no issue if I decide to leave the pole at home.

I’ve also come up with a potential solution to the lack of a Tension Band System on the rear pole arch. Again, it will be totally optional and removable. I’m guessing that it will add no more than 15g. I’m hoping that it won’t compromise the inner. The only downside is that it won’t be adjustable from inside the inner. I’m not going to test it until I’ve completed the pole mod (and get some decent weather!).

None of these mods are strictly necessary, as the production model of the F10 Nitro Lite is a fine tent, but I enjoy messing about with tents and enhancing their design and function. The extra pole on the Nitro Lite will make it into a seriously strong tent for winter. One other mod I’m mulling is removable snow valances. Unfortunately my lack of sewing skills might prevent me from making them!