Walrus Zoid 2 in the rain
- I got out this weekend and had really wet weather to test the zoid 2. To
summarize the experience, it was not particularly pleasant but we stayed
dry. The tent and fly do not stay taught when wet. The inside of the tent
gets wet when the doors are left open. On the good side, there was no
condensation anywhere inside the tent to cause stuff to get wet. I was
particularly shocked to find the foot of my sleeping bag dry in the morning.
All of the condensation stayed under the fly and was not on the tent body
walls. In general I thought the tent worked well and future experience
should help my figure out how to get around its problems.
I went to hike in the southern Adirondacks in NY and it has been raining
frequently for the last few weeks. It rained for several hours Friday night
during my hike in and nicely let up for a few minutes when we got to camp at
10pm. The forest floor was soft soaking wet duff that was quite loose but
the curved tent stakes held up well. I only used 6 stakes and no guy lines.
Shortly after setting the tent up it started raining again and the rain
lasted all night. Night temperatures were in the upper 40's-- the
conditions were ideal for loads of condensation. Every time I try to set
the tent up I can't figure out which end of the fly is which. I was
particularly annoyed about the fly confusion when setting the tent up in the
wet weather in the dark. I'll have to figure out some way to remedy the
I never bothered to figure out how to cook from the tent in the rain, I just
went outside and cooked in the rain. My large pack did manage to fit under
the vestibule, all 4700 cubic inches of it (macpac ravine). But if the pack
was under the vestibule you could not easily get in or out of the tent
because you had to climb over the pack. The underside of the fly was soaked
so climbing over stuff got me wet. I didn't trust the vestibule to keep my
boots dry so I put them inside the tent above my head. There is enough
extra room to put stuff inside the tent. Another note is that you can't
easily put your boots on (or off) if you have a large pack under the
vestibule. In the future I'll just leave the pack outside like I have
always done in the past. It is nice to have the pack under the vestibule
when packing or unpacking your stuff.
After I setup the tent the rain soaked the fly and it stretched quite a bit
and started to sag. The vestibules sagged a lot and I found the end of my
pack sticking out in the rain. There is no way to tighten the vestibule
other than to restake it. I couldn't justify climbing out in the rain to
use the bathroom so I most certainly wasn't going to go out to retighten the
fly. The top of the tent started to sag too and tightening that would have
required staking out the entire tent or using the guy lines. Sitting up
would cause my head to brush against the top of the tent. Walrus advertises
that their diamondback rain flys are designed to reduce sagging when wet. I
am disappointed to see that the fly sags quite a bit. In the morning I
found some good size puddles on the top of the tent. Much of this sagging
could be corrected by using guy lines, but I'd rather not carry them and I
would rather not take the time to set them up. I think the problem would be
better corrected with better fabric. I would like to see walrus add some
way to tighten the vestibule from the inside of the tent. I think I'll add
a short adjustable line for staking out the vestibule.
It was quite a pain to setup gear in the tent in the rain (particularly when
two people are trying to do it at the same time). I have a sleeping bag
with no bottom insulation (macpac pinnacle) and sliding the pad into the
bottom was quite a pain in the cramped interior of the tent. When its dry
it is easy to stand outside and toss it in through the large doors. Opening
the doors lets rain inside the tent. I briefly opened the doors and held
them open with the toggle, threw my stuff in, then immediately closed the
door and went inside to setup. I didn't appreciate fumbling with the toggle
when rain was getting in the tent so I may replace it with velcro that is
quicker, lighter, and brainless.
The tent kept us dry all night. I noticed no leaks and no condensation on
the tent body walls. The inside of the fly was covered in condensation but
the fly never touches the mesh tent body. Even the waterproof bottoms of
the walls remained dry. The foot of my sleeping bag stayed dry despite
rubbing against the tent walls all night. I was quite surprised to find my
gear dry in the tent in the morning, so I must commend walrus for their
excellent design. The fly and its taped seams worked great. I seam sealed
the floor but I wouldn't have expected a problem if I hadn't. I made sure
to set the tent up in a well drained location. In the morning the ground
under the tent was dry. The other person's tent in the group was a sierra
designs meteor light CD and their gear got wet inside the tent. Backpacker
magazine describes the meteor light as "quite possibly the ideal backpacking
tent." So the zoid 2 performed extremely well. It exceeded my expectations
I was also quite surprised to find out how easy it is to clean out the
inside of the tent in the morning. After removing the poles and stakes you
can open a big side door and two people can easily shake all the junk out.
I always thought freestanding tents were at an advantage in this respect--
one can pick the whole tent up with the poles in place and shake it out. My
reservations about using a tent that is not freestanding are pretty much
Another note is the tent fly did not dry quickly the next day. The tent
seemed to dry somewhat, but leaving the fly out for a couple hours in high
humidity and 60 degree temperatures did nothing.
Anyway, despite my complaints about various problems in the rain I thought
the tent performed quite well. My opinion is that it should at a minimum
keep me dry in wet weather, be comfortable in normal weather, and work
acceptably in bad weather (comfort is not required). I'll try to figure out
some ways to work around the problems I found to make it more comfortable in
bad weather. It will be quite helpful if I get a chance to spend some time
in the tent in the daylight when it is raining. We'll see if my next two
trips in June will offer some good test conditions.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Justin E. Vlietstra" <justin@...>
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 5:50 PM
Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Walrus Zoid 2 in the rain
The tent and fly do not stay taught when wet.
### Did you pull the straps tight though the adjustment buckles (where it
buckles to the tent body)
On the good side, there was no
> condensation anywhere inside the tent to cause stuff to get wet. I was
> particularly shocked to find the foot of my sleeping bag dry in the
> All of the condensation stayed under the fly and was not on the tent body
### I had mine (Zoid 1.0) out in 25 dg., 65% humidity last week. There was
tremendous condensation on both the inside and outside of the tent. What
little bit dropped off the fly landed on the panel at the top of the tent.
None got inside the tent body. I had no problem with fly stretch but I had
it pulled drum tight before I went to sleep. Getting out is a bit tricky. I
left the net door unzipped and rolled. I carefully unzipped the fly (it was
staked down on the small end only) and VERY carefully rolled it up and
latched it. It would have worked MUCH better if the retaining loop was
elastic as the mesh door one is. I've never had a tent with that much mesh
recieve that much condensation and not leak any into the tent body. I had
exactly the same experience with a Coleman Cobra except for the 2 or 3 cups
of water that ended up in the tent. One minor but annoying thing I did
notice about the Zoid 1.0 is that the door is on the left side and, like
most people, I think, all my bags are righthand......
> The tent and fly do not stay taught when wet.(where it
> ### Did you pull the straps tight though the adjustment buckles
> buckles to the tent body)I set the tent up quickly and it looked taught when I set it up. I'm
sure I could have made it tighter-- it was definitely not drum taught.
I left the adjustment buckles in the same position as the prior time
I used the tent on a humid night where I had no problems with tension.
It didn't become loose until an hour or so after I set up the tent.
Anyway, It was late and wet and I had no desire to fuss with the tent
in the rain. After this experience I'll take more care to really
tighten the tent if rain is likely. I would have fussed with it more
if I had gotten to camp in the daylight.
- That may have been it. Hopefully it will work better next time.
> I set the tent up quickly and it looked taught when I set it up. I'm
> sure I could have made it tighter-- it was definitely not drum taught.
> I left the adjustment buckles in the same position as the prior time
> I used the tent on a humid night where I had no problems with tension.
> It didn't become loose until an hour or so after I set up the tent.
> Anyway, It was late and wet and I had no desire to fuss with the tent
> in the rain. After this experience I'll take more care to really
> tighten the tent if rain is likely. I would have fussed with it more
> if I had gotten to camp in the daylight.
> One minor but annoying thing I didUnless you're a lefty. Then it's rather cool!
> notice about the Zoid 1.0 is that the door is on the left side and,
> like most people, I think, all my bags are righthand......
- LOL....it must be an insidious lefty plot..... ;o) But, actually, you're
right. I guess you all should have at least one tent that works right for
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sonjia Leyva" <sonjialeyva@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 10:11 AM
Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Walrus Zoid 2 in the rain
> > One minor but annoying thing I did
> > notice about the Zoid 1.0 is that the door is on the left side and,
> > like most people, I think, all my bags are righthand......
> Unless you're a lefty. Then it's rather cool!
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