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FIELD REPORT: Big Agnes Seedhouse 3 - Fuzzy

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  • Fuzzy
    Here it is, only a day behind. Yahooisms blah blah blah... HTML in Test folder at http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/Seedhouse%20-% 20Fuzzy/
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 30, 2004
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      Here it is, only a day behind. Yahooisms blah blah blah... HTML in
      Test folder at
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/Seedhouse%20-%
      20Fuzzy/
      Enjoy.

      Fuzzy (Chuck Kime)
      **************************
      Big Agnes Seedhouse 3 Tent
      Field Report – June 29, 2004

      Contents
      · Reviewer Information
      · Product Information
      · Features and Benefits
      · Description
      · Field Testing
      · Things I Like
      · Things I Don't Like
      · Backpacking Background

      Reviewer Information

      Name: Chuck Kime
      Nickname: Fuzzy
      Age: 38
      Gender: Male
      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

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: Big Agnes
      Model: Seedhouse 3
      Year of Manufacture: 2004
      URL: http://www.bigagnes.com
      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
      oz
      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
      coating–minimal stretch and prolonged UV protection
      · Floor is a seamless, 70D, 190T nylon, 1500mm waterproof
      coating
      · 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


      Description
      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.

      Field Information
      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
      one-hour drive.

      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.

      Backpacking Background
      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.

      Chuck Kime
      a.k.a. Fuzzy
    • colonelcorn76
      Fuzzy, Good job. You know the drill. Once you ve handled the edits please upload it to BGT. Thanks, Jim Test Monitor ... ### EDIT: This is all written
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 30, 2004
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        Fuzzy,
        Good job. You know the drill. Once you've handled the edits please
        upload it to BGT.

        Thanks,
        Jim
        Test Monitor

        --- 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?
      • Fuzzy
        ... It s ... 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
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 1, 2004
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          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "colonelcorn76"
          <colonelcorn76@y...> wrote:
          > > 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.)

          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 have
          gotten
          > > 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.

          > > 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.

          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"
          > ### EDIT: "setup"
          > ### EDIT: "setup"
          > ### EDIT: "setup"

          Is there some kind of point here? I'm beginning to think you don't
          like something I've written... :->

          > > · 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?

          Ahh - good. I will include a comment.
        • colonelcorn76
          ... ### gone into ?
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 1, 2004
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            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Fuzzy" <ckime@n...> wrote:

            > > > 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.
            >
            > 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.

            ### "gone into"?
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