FIELD REPORT: Big Agnes Seedhouse 3 - Fuzzy
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Fuzzy (Chuck Kime)
Big Agnes Seedhouse 3 Tent
Field Report June 29, 2004
· Reviewer Information
· Product Information
· Features and Benefits
· Field Testing
· Things I Like
· Things I Don't Like
· Backpacking Background
Name: Chuck Kime
Height: 5' 8" (172 cm)
Weight: 229 lb (104 kg)
Email address: ckime AT nelsononline DOT com
City, State, Country: Upper Darby (Philadelphia suburb), PA, U.S.A.
Date: June 29, 2004
Manufacturer: Big Agnes
Model: Seedhouse 3
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Listed weight (packed): 6 lb 8 oz (2.95 kg)
Listed weight (trail): 5 lb 14 oz (2.66 kg)
Listed weight (Fast Fly option): 4 lb 8 oz (2.04 kg)
Measured weight (packed): 6 lb 11 oz (3.03 kg), scale accurate to 0.1
Measured weight (trail): 6 lb 9.1 oz (2.98 kg), see chart
Measured weight (Fast Fly option): 5 lb 1.8 oz (2.32 kg), see chart
Color: Fly Grey/Burgundy, Tent Black, Fast Fly Floor Black
MSRP: Tent $239 USD, Fast Fly Floor $40 USD
Features (from web site)
· Super light, Yunan-9.5 mm hub/pole system.
· Plastic clips attach the tent body to the pole frame for
quick and easy set-up
· Fly is made of 75D polyester rip stop with 1000mm waterproof
coatingminimal stretch and prolonged UV protection
· Floor is a seamless, 70D, 190T nylon, 1500mm waterproof
· Tent walls, 40D nylon mesh
· Excellent cross ventilation with full mesh tent walls
· Clear plastic window in vestibule door
· Mesh floor pockets
· D shaped mesh door
· 13 tent stakes included
The Big Agnes Seedhouse 3 consists of a mesh-walled tent body with
floor, stakes, poles, and fly. A Fast Fly option is available that
consists of a floor designed to be used with the fly and poles
without the tent body to create a lighter package, at the expense
of bug protection.
The hub/pole system is a shock-corded arrangement with a 3-pointed
hub at either end of a sectional ridge pole. There is an additional
shock-corded pole with the Seedhouse 3 to help support the vestibule
area of the fly.
The tent body consists of a solid, bathtub-style fabric floor with
mesh sides and single zippered door at the head end. At each corner
of the tent, there is a web loop for staking out the corner. This
webbing loop has grommets used for the poles, and has the female end
of a side-release buckle that is used to attach the fly.
The fly is designed to fit over the poles. The vestibule is simply a
section of the fly that covers an area not taken up by the tent. The
door has a two-way zipper, with a storm flap covering the entire
length of the zipper.
The Fast Fly floor is a single flat piece of black nylon, shaped like
the floor of the tent with associated corner tie-outs enabling
the user to pitch the fly without the tent, thereby saving weight at
the expense of insect protection, while also providing more room
under the fly.
For a more detailed description, including measurements and photos,
please see my Initial Report.
Our Boy Scout troop camps monthly. Almost all of these outings
include a minimum of 2 nights of camping, with temperatures expected
to be from lows around 30 ºF (-1 ºC) to highs around 95 to 100 ºF (35
to 38 ºC). Elevations will range from sea level to approximately
2,000' (610 m). My girlfriend and I, who between us have 3 First
Class Boy Scouts (ages 12 oops, 13 yesterday 13 and 14), are also
looking into additional camping without the scouts, and the
possibilities of beginning to do some AT section hikes in
Pennsylvania as the weather warms up.
I am very happy with the fit. With my son and I both in the tent,
there is plenty of room for a third person between us, although we
keep his pack in the tent for bug-free access. There is also plenty
of room in the vestibule for at least two fair sized packs. I am
able to sit up in the center of the tent, at the door and facing the
foot, or even more easily under the fly. Most mornings I have gotten
mostly dressed in the tent, then got into the vestibule to finish.
During a recent Scout weekend, the camp was hit by torrential rains.
We (my son and I) had left the vestibule door open to air out the
tent, with the intention of closing it up before the evening
activities, but as one might have guessed by now we didn't get
back until much later. While the ground sheet I had placed out into
the vestibule area did collect a great deal of water (which could
allow water to flow under the tent), no splash other than a few stray
drops managed to get into the tent itself. There was no leakage at
all through any of the floor seams. All of our gear, other than a
hat I had left in the vestibule, remained completely dry. While
breaking camp the next morning, I toweled off the fly before
spreading the tent and fly out in the back of the van I was driving.
Both were dry by the time I got home, following a few meetings and a
Things I am/will be looking for:
· Ease/speed of set-up. Can I get it up easily in bad
weather? When I'm tired? When it's dark out (I prefer to know all
of my gear by touch)? How long does it take?
· Pack size/weight. Experience to date tells me that bulk is
more of a problem for me to pack than weight, although the Seedhouse
3, at just under 6 lb (2.66 kg) trail weight or 4½ lb (2 kg) in
Fast Fly configuration is lighter than anything else I've used
besides a tarp. A packed size of 8 x 20 in (20 x 51 cm) means I
should be able to pack it in the Z-Pack.
· Does it have everything I need for set-up? Big Agnes
indicates (accurately) that 13 stakes are included. Is this enough?
· Dimensions. Do I fit? Comfortably? With someone else
and/or gear? Will we be able to sit comfortably inside if caught in
extended bad weather? How large a site do I need? At just 6 ft (2
m) wide at the front, 5 ft (1.5 m) wide at the foot, and only 7 ft
(2.1 m) long, this should require slightly less real estate than I
need for a free-standing 8' x 8' (2.4 x 2.4 m) tent.
· Durability. Are there any significant wear points,
especially over time? The spots where poles contact the shelter will
be investigated, along with tie-out points, zippers, etc.
· Waterproofness. I don't mind being wet, nor do my
hiking/camping partners, but we both prefer that our gear
particularly sleeping bags be dry when we use it. How about in
Fast Fly mode?
· Ventilation. Do I need to worry about condensation? The
Seedhouse 3 has mesh walls, so, if there is any condensation, it
should be on the fly.
My findings so far:
· Ease/speed of set-up. With 2 people working together (and it
is intended as a 3-person tent), it goes up in less than 5 minutes.
I have set it up solo, without much difficulty other than wind, in
slightly more time. I have yet to set it up in foul weather, but can
tell that any decent wind can definitely be a factor.
· Pack size/weight. The weight is not bad, and the entire set-
up fits easily in my Z-Pack. Now that summer is upon us, and I am
going to my smaller Deuter Futura 32, it may be time to separate out
the parts of the tent and distribute the longer pieces (the poles) to
my son for carrying.
· Does it have everything I need for set-up? With tie-outs at
the midpoints of the floor, where the floor meets the mesh wall, and
the bottom edge of the fly, plus one at the middle of the fly
sidewall, I found that a couple more stakes could be used if I was to
stake out everything.
· Dimensions. While I have not measured from stake to stake,
this tent has a significantly smaller footprint than some other tents
seen at our Scout trips.
· Durability. No problems so far.
· Waterproofness. See experience above.
· Ventilation. With the Seedhouse 3 buttoned up tight on a
warm, humid evening, I did find condensation on the inside of the
vestibule, though a quick wipe with a small towel not only dried the
fly, but also gave me a damp cloth with which to clean my face.
Things I like
1. Lighter than every shelter I have, besides tarps.
2. Includes everything necessary for setup.
3. Fits in my pack.
4. Fast Fly option.
Things I don't like
1. Could be lighter, although I'm not sure how.
2. The hub/pole system is rather awkward. This may prove to be
less of an issue with experience.
3. The Fast Fly floor has only a single pole grommet at each
front corner, making it quite difficult to use the vestibule pole.
I started car/trailer camping with the family when I was about 5. I
enlisted in the Army Reserve during my first year of college and
spent 17 years fine-tuning my packing methodology - by the time I
separated from the service, I was down to what I thought was a
respectable 75-80 lb (34-36 kg) load. When my son started Cub
Scouts, I brought my 60 lb (27 kg) ALICE pack for a weekend. We got
to Boy Scouts in the Spring of 2002 and now camp monthly in locations
ranging from the Chesapeake Bay area (flat and lightly wooded) to the
Pocono Mts (flat spots hard to find and very wooded), in all seasons.
Lightweight (and ultralightweight) web sites, along with a day hike
up Pikes Peak in July 2003, have led me to seriously rethink my gear
choices. I plan to start doing more hiking/backpacking on our
monthly scout trips, taking along as many scouts as are willing, to
a) get in shape (yeah, yeah, I know round IS a shape), and b)
determine what I really need to take along. I am relatively
confident that I will be able to reduce my 3-season pack to 20 lb (9
kg), before food, fuel and water, by the time this season is over.
Thank you for your time.
Good job. You know the drill. Once you've handled the edits please
upload it to BGT.
--- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Fuzzy" <ckime@n...> wrote:
> Field Information
> Our Boy Scout troop camps monthly. ...
> possibilities of beginning to do some AT section hikes in
> Pennsylvania as the weather warms up.
### EDIT: This is all written projectively. You should describe the
field conditions you actually encountered. (How cold is it in PA? It's
been hot throughout June and extending back into May here in CT.)
> foot, or even more easily under the fly. Most mornings I have gotten
> mostly dressed in the tent, then got into the vestibule to finish.
### EDIT: "then go into" or something else less awkward.
> During a recent Scout weekend, .....
> Both were dry by the time I got home, following a few meetings and a
> one-hour drive.
### Edit: Any other experience you can relate would enhance the review.
> Things I am/will be looking for:
> · Ease/speed of set-up. Can I get it up easily in bad
### EDIT: "setup"
> · Does it have everything I need for set-up? Big Agnes
### EDIT: "setup"
> My findings so far:
> · Ease/speed of set-up. With 2 people working together (and it
### EDIT: "setup"
> · Does it have everything I need for set-up? With tie-outs at
### EDIT: "setup"
> · Dimensions. While I have not measured from stake to stake,
> this tent has a significantly smaller footprint than some other tents
> seen at our Scout trips.
### Edit: So? What's your conclusion -- is it good or bad?
- --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "colonelcorn76"
> > possibilities of beginning to do some AT section hikes inIt's
> > Pennsylvania as the weather warms up.
> ### EDIT: This is all written projectively. You should describe the
> field conditions you actually encountered. (How cold is it in PA?
> been hot throughout June and extending back into May here in CT.)It is just beginning to warm up enough for my girlfriend to be out.
We are currently working on the schedule, so all trips are still in
the future at this time.
> > foot, or even more easily under the fly. Most mornings I havegotten
> > mostly dressed in the tent, then got into the vestibule to finish.Both "gotten" and "got" are past tense (or, perhaps, past perfect?),
> ### EDIT: "then go into" or something else less awkward.
where "go" is present or future. I believe the tense matches better
the way I wrote it. I will agree to look at it, though, and see if I
can come up with something else.
> > During a recent Scout weekend, .....and a
> > Both were dry by the time I got home, following a few meetings
> > one-hour drive.review.
> ### Edit: Any other experience you can relate would enhance the
This is the only time we got rained on. For the sake of testing ONLY
I wouldn't have minded more rain, but it just wasn't to be.
> ### EDIT: "setup"Is there some kind of point here? I'm beginning to think you don't
> ### EDIT: "setup"
> ### EDIT: "setup"
> ### EDIT: "setup"
like something I've written... :->
> > · Dimensions. While I have not measured from stake to stake,tents
> > this tent has a significantly smaller footprint than some other
> > seen at our Scout trips.Ahh - good. I will include a comment.
> ### Edit: So? What's your conclusion -- is it good or bad?
- --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Fuzzy" <ckime@n...> wrote:
> > > foot, or even more easily under the fly. Most mornings I have### "gone into"?
> > > mostly dressed in the tent, then got into the vestibule to finish.
> > ### EDIT: "then go into" or something else less awkward.
> Both "gotten" and "got" are past tense (or, perhaps, past perfect?),
> where "go" is present or future. I believe the tense matches better
> the way I wrote it. I will agree to look at it, though, and see if I
> can come up with something else.