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OWNER REVIEW - MSR Sidewinder 2

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  • Wayne Merry
    Item: MSR Sidewinder 2 (2003) Tent Biography: Name: Wayne Merry Age: 33 Gender: Male Height: 1.8m (5 10 ) Weight: 90Kg, 200 Pounds Email address:
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 3, 2006
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      Item: MSR Sidewinder 2 (2003) Tent

      Biography:
      Name: Wayne Merry
      Age: 33
      Gender: Male
      Height: 1.8m (5' 10")
      Weight: 90Kg, 200 Pounds
      Email address: wayne_merry@... (replace user with yahoo)
      City, State, Country: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
      Date: March 2005

      Backpacking Background: I started backpacking four years ago, although I
      did day walks in childhood. I hike in various terrain from moderate/hard
      track walks to some off track walking. I generally like the temperature
      to stay above zero (C), and have not camped above the snow line. I enjoy
      going on multi day walks up to about a week. I carry a moderate weight
      pack to enjoy a few creature comforts at camp.


      Product information:
      Manufacturer: MSR
      Year of manufacture: 2003? (Actually unknown but either 2003 or 2004)
      URL manufacturer's web site www.msrcorp.com
      Listed weight:
      - Footprint, fly, poles: 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)
      - Tent, fly, poles: 6.3 lbs (2.9 kg)
      - Tent, poles, fly, stakes, stuff sack, guy line: 7.4 lbs (3.3 kg)
      Weight as delivered:
      - Tent, fly, poles: 6.6 lbs (3.0kg)
      - Tent, poles, fly, stakes, stuff sack, guy line: 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)
      Advertised Dimensions:
      - Floor area: 33.7 sq ft (3.1 sq metres)
      - Vestibule area: 22.5sq ft (2 sq meters)
      - Peak height: 45" (114 cm)
      - Packed size: 6" x 22"
      My measurements of the floor area gave 2.2m by 1.3m (2.9 sq metres)
      Price: US$299 recommended. Many US places seem to have this model at
      US$199 end of model runout. Australian prices seem to be around A$800. I
      imported it from the US for A$350 including freight costs.

      I bought the MSR Sidewinder 2 in preparation for walking the South Coast
      Track in southern Tasmania. Stories of the wildness of the weather of
      this area abound, so I was looking for a tent that could handle storms,
      high winds and long periods of rain. I have used this tent also in other
      areas of Tasmania and Victoria.

      I found the Sidewinder 2 easy to set up. 3 - 5 minutes for a single
      person at a relaxed pace is enough time. The main tent is free standing,
      so if it is not raining or windy, it can be raised, with the fly placed
      over before any stakes need to be put in. The fly can be used alone in a
      shelter configuration with 4 stakes, thus the tent can be setup in wet,
      even stormy conditions without getting the groundsheet wet. Raising the
      tent underneath the fly will take more time, but having a nice dry tent
      on a wet day is a good thing! I have not purchased the footprint, so I
      can't report on it's use.

      Having doors on both sides is a great feature of this tent. The
      vestibules and doors on both sides are the same size, but orientated in
      opposite directions, so you can take your pick as to which door is
      better to use during a storm. The zip lines on the doors are not over
      the ground sheet, so even if the rain is coming in near horizontal, you
      should always be able to use one of the doors to get in and out without
      getting inside wet. Each fly door has two zips, so the top part of each
      door can be opened to allow ventilation. A small opening can be made
      without letting rain in during calm conditions, so even after hours of
      rain, we felt that the tent remained well ventilated. The lowest
      temperature we encountered while using the Sidewinder was 5 degrees C,
      which no significant condensation was noted, even in quite still conditions.

      The Sidewinder does need a large area to pitch due to the two large
      vestibules, however only the area of the main tent need be near flat. In
      places, I was able to pitch the tent with substantial slope in the
      vestibule area.

      Inside the tent gives enough room for pillows, then thermarest, then
      packs. I wound not like the tent any bigger as this would mean more
      weight. Each vestibule is big enough to put two packs in & boots and
      misc stuff, so you can use the other for cooking without any gear in it.
      The ability to open the top of the door while keeping out rain makes it
      much easier to safely ventilate the tent while cooking. It must be said,
      however that I only cook inside when conditions outside warrant it.

      We encountered winds up to about 50kph (30mph) while using the
      Sidewinder. The tent was very stable, even without guylines staked. If
      raising the tent in this kind of wind, two stakes at the upward wind end
      should be placed before raising the tent to prevent it blowing away.

      One time during taking down the main tent I had a pole snap on me. The
      risk appears to be elevated by taking out one pole at a time. The second
      pole appears to be significantly more bent than when both poles are
      holding up the tent. If both poles are removed together, then the risk
      of poles snapping seem to be significantly reduced. The instructions on
      the stuff bag do not make any suggestions in this regard, but I think
      that it is much safer having poles bend no more at any time than what
      they do while the tent is up. After this experience, I both raised the
      tent and lowered it with both poles together. Even though MSR poles are
      covered by a lifetime warranty - the cost of freight to get the broken
      pole fixed would be prohibitive for me, so I repaired it and have been
      using it for the fly quite happily since.

      The Sidewinder is only suppled with 7 stakes, however 10 are needed to
      fully stake out the tent and use 4 guylines. Carrying an extra 3 stakes
      will add a little bit more weight, but is a smart move if you are
      planning a trip to particularly windy areas.

      Summary
      The MSR Sidewinder 2 is a roomy two person three season tent with good
      sized vestibules. It is easy to set up (but take care with poles) and
      performs well in the rain and wind.

      Things I like:
      1. Doors on each side.
      2. Decent sized vestibules (and one on each side).
      3. Sturdy.
      4. Easy to set up, take down and pack up.

      Things I don't like:
      1. Care is needed to avoid snapping poles.
      2. International Support: Pay high freight costs, or repair broken poles
      yourself.
      3. The manual was very thin – and instructions specific to the
      Sidewinder were not even in it (on stuff bag instead).

      Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 3, 2006
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
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        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
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        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
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      • nazdarovye
        Wayne - Nice, solid first OR. I ve made some edits below, and would like you to address them, then repost your review with the word REPOST included in the
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 9, 2006
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          Wayne -

          Nice, solid first OR. I've made some edits below, and would like you
          to address them, then repost your review with the word "REPOST"
          included in the subject line. Don't be daunted by the number of edits
          - most fall into just a few general categories (avoiding 2nd person
          and projecting others' experiences; conversions of measurements; some
          basic info we like to see in the reviews).

          I look forward to seeing and approving your repost.

          Regards,
          Steve
          BGT Edit Moderator


          [EDITS FOLLOW:]

          I generally like the temperature
          to stay above zero (C), and have not camped above the snow line.
          ***EDIT: consider saying "stay above freezing", or add Fahrenheit
          equivalent (even though it's obvious)

          Year of manufacture: 2003? (Actually unknown but either 2003 or 2004)
          ***EDIT SUGGESTION: you can just pare this down to "Unknown, but
          either..." and skip the first half for redundancy

          - Packed size: 6" x 22"
          ***EDIT: add metric equivalents

          My measurements of the floor area gave 2.2m by 1.3m (2.9 sq metres)
          ***EDIT: add imperial equivalents

          Price: US$299 recommended. Many US places seem to have this model at
          US$199 end of model runout. Australian prices seem to be around A$800. I
          imported it from the US for A$350 including freight costs.
          ***EDIT: Just state the MSRP - no additional prices needed

          ***EDIT SUGGESTION: Consider adding an overall description of this
          tent right up front. What style is it (single- or double-wall; dome or
          a-frame; free-standing or not, etc.)? For how many people? How many
          poles, stakes, entrances, vents, etc.? What materials were used? While
          you get to some of this later on in the review, putting a summary up
          front will help set the context for readers.


          ***EDIT: Please also add some additional general information about
          where you used the tent: you mention locations, but it would be good
          to see seasons/weather/temperature extremes and elevations/general
          location types. No need to go overboard on this - but great to note if
          you've had it on exposed ridges versus only in sheltered, tree-covered
          areas, and whether it's been out in blustery winds and strong
          precipitation.

          I found the Sidewinder 2 easy to set up. 3 - 5 minutes for a single
          person at a relaxed pace is enough time.
          ***EDIT: Best to say "It takes me 3-5 minutes by myself at a relaxed
          pace" so you're not projecting what others might experience.

          The fly can be used alone in a
          shelter configuration with 4 stakes, thus the tent can be setup in wet,
          even stormy conditions without getting the groundsheet wet.
          ***EDIT: "set up"

          I have not purchased the footprint, so I
          can't report on it's use.
          ***EDIT: "its"

          The vestibules and doors on both sides are the same size, but
          orientated in
          opposite directions, so you can take your pick as to which door is
          better to use during a storm.
          ***EDITS: "oriented"; also, while we try to avoid 2nd-person ("you"),
          this usage can probably squeak by...

          The zip lines on the doors are not over
          the ground sheet, so even if the rain is coming in near horizontal, you
          should always be able to use one of the doors to get in and out without
          getting inside wet.
          ***EDIT: Best to personalize; e.g., "We" or "I have always been able
          to use..."

          The lowest temperature we encountered while using the Sidewinder was 5
          degrees C,
          which no significant condensation was noted, even in quite still
          conditions.
          ***EDIT: Please add equivalent temperature in F

          The Sidewinder does need a large area to pitch due to the two large
          vestibules, however only the area of the main tent need be near flat.
          ***EDIT: "needs" or "needs to"

          Each vestibule is big enough to put two packs in & boots and
          misc stuff, so you can use the other for cooking without any gear in it.
          ***EDIT: again, best to personalize; e.g., "and we use the other" or
          similar...

          If raising the tent in this kind of wind, two stakes at the upward
          wind end
          should be placed before raising the tent to prevent it blowing away.
          ***EDIT QUESTION: We'd say "upwind end", but if your phrasing is
          standard in Australia, no worries

          Carrying an extra 3 stakes
          will add a little bit more weight, but is a smart move if you are
          planning a trip to particularly windy areas.
          ***EDIT: again, personalizing this would be ideal; e.g., "I feel it's
          a smart move when I'm planning a trip..."

          2. International Support: Pay high freight costs, or repair broken poles
          yourself.
          ***EDIT: I'd remove this point, as it's not a feature (or flaw) of the
          tent itself, but rather a fact of life for anyone ordering gear from
          overseas

          [END OF EDITS]
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