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Craig Ross Please Read - Re: Owners Review Sierra Designs Iota

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  • Jamie D.
    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 1 of 3 , Nov 4, 2007
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      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
      Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
      official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
      from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
      timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

      To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
      that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
      experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
      yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved
      and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
      This way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy
      edits which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent
      reviews before submission.

      If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
      The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints,
      to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely
      manner. Once these first two Owner Reviews have been approved and
      you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to
      start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance
      with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to
      Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at (jennksnowy AT yahoo.com).

      You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
      These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
      carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
      review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
      will usually result in a better review, as well as making things
      easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject
      line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
      changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit

      Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups
      list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an
      Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post
      their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you
      have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in
      the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they
      will use APPROVED in the subject line.

      If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR, the entire
      Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on Fridays.

      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
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      Jamie DeBenedetto
      Edit Administration Manager
    • AndrĂ© Corterier
      ... This is the official Edit of Craig Ross Owner Review of the Sierra Designs Iota tent. Craig, welcome to BackpackGearTest.org! We re a bunch of backpackers
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 6, 2007
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        > EDIT: Resubmit of Owners Review Sierra Designs Iota - Craig Ross

        This is the official Edit of Craig Ross' Owner Review of the Sierra
        Designs Iota tent.


        welcome to BackpackGearTest.org!
        We're a bunch of backpackers that test a bunch of gear. To make sure
        that we can get the gear to test and provide the kind of reviews for
        which manufacturers are willing to part with sometimes expensive
        gear, we've adopted a bunch of rules. They've helped to create an
        invaluable resource to backpackers and allow us to test all kinds of
        cool (and sometimes not-so-cool) gear, but they're a bit hard to get
        to learn at first. Them's the breaks. We've sometimes had people who
        could test the hell out of gear leave because the fine-tuned editing
        got on their nerves too much. That's sad, but the fact is that while
        real-world testing is what we're about, the test reports are what
        people and manufacturer's see, so those too need to be up there and
        meeting a certain standard. A pretty high standard, these days.

        This shouldn't discourage you. That standard can be met by anyone
        with a mind to get there, it just takes a bit of work. Decide now
        that you're willing to put in that work, and you're good to go.

        One more opening note: If you have a strong interest in more
        background knowledge about BackpackGearTest.org, what we do, how we
        do it and why we do it, the "Bylaws" set it out nicely, they're here:

        It's pretty much up to date and covers pretty much all of the bases -
        that also makes it a lot of material to digest all at once, so you
        may wish to take it piece by piece. You can also get more personal
        assistance by asking for a mentor (which is a veteran tester who's
        willing to tag along with a new tester for a while, offering advice
        etc.) by sending a message to mentor@... or just
        posting to this list with "Mentor Request - Craig Ross" in the
        subject line.

        Forthwith, my first round of edits. They follow the convention set
        out in the Bylaws, which is: "EDIT" indicates something you must
        change (a typo or a matter of BGT policy), "Edit" indicates something
        which I suggest you look at with a view towards changing it (but the
        call is yours to make, you can insist to leave it as is), "Comment"
        means I couldn't keep my mouth shut...

        Here goes:

        EDIT: Whenever you post an Owner Review or Test Report, please
        include your name in the subject line. Makes for much easier
        tracking. Also include the manufacturer and item name (you did that).

        Comment: Also, please sign your posts. Not as important if you have
        your name in the subject line, but very important generally at
        BackpackGearTest.org's various lists - we have a lot of active people
        on these lists, so every bit of help towards keeping track of who's
        doing what is appreciated. Well, actually very strongly suggested.
        Make that mandatory.

        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Craig Ross <cr_gandalf@...>
        > Thank you.
        > BY CRAIG ROSS
        > OR

        EDIT: Please spell out "Owner Review"

        > October 27, 2007
        > NAME: Craig Ross
        > EMAIL: cr_gandalf@...
        > AGE: 43
        > LOCATION: Northern Virginia
        > GENDER: M
        > HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
        > WEIGHT: 229 lb (104.00 kg)
        > I have been an avid day hiker since 1982 with sporadic Backpacking.

        EDIT: While I dig your enthusiasm, "backpacking" is spelled lowercase.

        Over the past 3 years I have been hiking and or Backpacking

        EDIT: again.

        extensively averaging over 650 miles a year through all seasons.
        > I have Backpacked the Desert Southwest (Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce,
        Painted Desert),

        EDIT: I believe those are names of National Parks? You'd help
        ignorant foreigners like me by putting those two words ("National
        Parks") in.

        and the Northeast including: New England and the Adirondacks of NY.

        EDIT: Please spell out "New York" (for the really ignorant

        > Most of my recent hiking/backpacking is done in the Mid-Atlantic
        area including: Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
        > Manufacturer: Sierra designs

        EDIT: capital "D" on "Sierra Designs" (it's a proper name)

        > Year of Manufacture: 2006
        > Manufacturer's Website: http://www.sierradesigns.com/
        > MSRP: $189

        EDIT: The bloody foreigners again - some of them also have currencies
        called "dollars", so we go the extra mile and call the greenback
        a "US $" or "USD" just so we don't get them confused. We're told they
        confuse easily.
        Comment: And they like being shown that they're being taken
        seriously. The foreing testers at BGT are already miffed because a
        bunch of tests are "US only". Not your problem.

        > Listed Weight: (in pounds and ounces)

        EDIT: Guess what. You'll have to include metric conversions for all
        of these measurements. We really go the extra mile for the
        foreigners. Some IT freak even made a handy little conversion tool
        here: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/convert.html
        At the bottom of that table it even sets out how we like measurements
        to be written. How neat is that?

        > Trail Weight: 3 - 12
        > Fast Pack Weight: 2 - 11
        > Packed Weight 4 - 2

        EDIT: Please tell me what the hell the difference is between those
        weights. I see these distinctions made often at manufacturer's
        websites, but what exactly they signify escapes me. So please briefly
        mention what's included in these weights. What *I* need to know is
        how much the packed thing weighs that you took along.

        > Measured Weight: (in pounds and ounces)
        > Trail Weight: 3 - 10
        > Fast Pack Weight: N/A
        > Packed Weight 4 - 1
        > Other details:
        > Sq. Footage: Interior: 22, Vestibule: 14 (due to irregular shape -
        not fully verified)
        > Length: 89" - Verified w/ taut staking
        > Width: 55" - Verified w/ taut staking
        > Peak Height 36" - Verified
        > Packed size: 21" x 5" - Verified

        EDIT: conversions for "sq ft" and "in" please. Also, as per the list
        at the bottom of the conversion table, we write inches as "in" -
        again, so everyone understands it (the foreigner jokes are getting
        lame, aren't they? Or is it just because I'm a foreigner myself?)

        > Stakes: 7
        > Poles: 3 DAC 9.0 mm

        Comment: There's a bunch of technical specs where a certain standard
        of measurement is universal. mm for ropes, D (or den or Denier) for
        fabric weights, Litres (or Liters) for water bladders are examples.
        You do *not* need to include a conversion for these. We're not that

        > Materials: Floor: 70D Nylon Taffeta, Body: 40D Nylon Ripstop, Fly:
        70D Nylon Taffeta
        > General Data
        > The Sierra Designs Iota tent is a solo tent with a unique footprint
        and a large vestibule.

        Edit: That sounds like a quote. If so, please indicate it as such.
        Or, if it's your statement, I'd like to know what's unique about the

        > General Data:
        > Sierra Designs markets this as a 1-person 3 season backpacking
        tent, with a weight of 4 lb 2 oz.

        EDIT: Metric conversions again. Groan.

        The addition of the optional footprint will add another 11 oz. to the
        total weight.

        EDIT: You know. Right?

        > Description: The First thing you realize is that this tent has a
        unique footprint and has a large solo interior.

        EDIT: Oh, man. Another thing to wrap your head around, policywise, is
        the issues some of us have with "Projection". Some of us don't mind
        it so much, others do, but it's generally a no-no. Me personally, I'm
        a card-carrying member of the Projection Police. I can get a bit
        nitpicky on the subject. Call me German.
        Anyway, the EDIT is: Don't say "you realize". I've never seen the
        tent, so I haven't realized it, and who knows whether I'd feel the
        same way if I did indeed see it. You're assuming I'd do this. We're
        told not to ASSume any such thing. The only good thing about the rule
        against projection is that it's really easy to avoid. Just stop
        using "you", "yours" or similar terms and coach them in terms of "I"
        instead. Don't say "one can see..." or similar things instead, that's
        just projection without the "you"-word. "The first thing I
        realized..." says what I assume you meant to convey without making
        any such assumptions. It also makes the report more of a personal
        story, which I personally like.

        the interior has enough room to accomidate a full pack with a large
        hiker (see attached stock photo of the floor plan).

        EDIT: I can't see that picture (obviously). You need to post an HTML
        version of this report into the test folder, sub-folder "Owner
        Reviews" when you post an Owner Review, here:
        This requires logging onto the www.backpackgeartest.org site first
        (which requires registering first). If you haven't registered, please
        do so. If you have problems uploading a review, the good folks at
        are standing by to offer assistance. If you don't know how the heck
        one creates an html file is, please request mentor assistance.

        The bathtub floor color is blue, and rises up the wall of the tent
        about 8 inches

        EDIT: again, metric conversion please.

        assuring a waterproof floor.

        Edit: A projection issue. Has it been waterproof in your experience?
        If so, please describe the experience.

        The mesh walls are white with All of the seams are factory-sealed

        EDIT: superfluous "are"

        against leakage. The tent assembles with three poles in Sierra
        Designs sleeve fashion

        EDIT: ... Sierra Designs' sleeve ...

        making assembly quick, secure and easy.

        EDIT: this sounds like marketing hyperbole. If this is your
        experience, please include a small paragraph describing how *you* set
        it up and how it worked for you.

        > The fly is two shades of "cheery" blue making it easy to spot in
        the woods, and provides a single vestibule in front of the door. With
        practice a guide lines the fly door can be turned into an awning.

        EDIT: I'm actually not sure what you're saying here. With practice
        *and* *guy* lines? I think this warrants a few sentences.

        > Ventilation is provided by a combination of the fly zippers and
        the tent mesh. The mesh door has a double-zipper, and the fly has
        two zippers allowing the fly to be ventilated when it is pulled down
        or it can be rolled up and secured to the tent for full exposure.
        > Setup is fast (less than 3 minutes. There are 7 stakes used to
        secure the tent. Only two are required for the fly (if being used)
        being that the tent is free-standing.
        > Field Use
        > I have used this tent extensively, over the past two years, in the
        George Washington National Forest, Shenandoah National Park in
        Virginia, the Allegheny Mountains in Northwestern Pennsylvania,
        Seneca Rock area of west Virginia, and in Western Maryland on the AT
        throughout 3 seasons. Most of my trips have been either over-
        nighters or 3 days.
        > The average distance I walk per day is between 9 - 11 miles the
        longest being almost 16 miles
        > I have encountered conditions including:
        > Temperatures ranging from 22 F - 95 F and heavy rains in West
        Virginia and Pennsylvania.
        > I had gotten this tent due to my first tent being a 2-person 8
        pound tent. Most of my Backpacking I am solo or sleeping alone so the
        need for a 2-person tent is not necessary.

        EDIT: "the need for" is superfluous (regarding the conclusion of that

        > So far this tent has not disappointed. It has shed heavy rains and
        the only condensation issue I had was on a very warm rainy night and
        I had probably contributed to the problem due to pitching the tent
        fast and not getting it taught enough.
        > The tent has also with stood

        EDIT: withstood

        high winds at elevations of 4000 feet

        EDIT: conversion

        with barely a flap of material. The 9mm 3-pole design is bomb proof
        for a solo tent.

        EDIT: projection issue. I guess *you* have found it to be bomb-proof
        in the ambit of your use, and that's a fair statement to make. But
        please state it in terms of your own experience.

        > The vestibule is very large for a solo tent. I have been able to
        stow all my gear in the vestibule when the weather has turned.
        Everything has stayed dry.
        > When I pack my tent up, I simply stuff it into my Pack. This
        includes the tent body, the fly, and the ground tarp. The poles
        collapse and are put into the bag that was supplied with the tent. I
        also put the stakes in the same bag and then secure the bag to the
        outside of my backpack.

        Edit: And if it's wet? Please elaborate.

        > THINGS I LIKE
        > Large floor space
        > Large multi-function vestibule

        Comment: multi-function? You only mention storing gear there. I guess
        other uses can be made - have you? If so, telling us about it would
        be much appreciated (have you cooked in it? Did that provide
        condensation issues?)

        > Color
        > Quality construction
        > Ease of set-up
        > Headroom could be improved. 36"

        EDIT: "36 in" - and please include a conversion

        it a little short and if I was a bit taller it would be a big problem.
        > Weight could be reduced a bit. However for the size and
        construction, the weight is understood.
        > Overall Conclusion
        > The tent is a strong 3-season shelter that could go into a fourth
        season from a strength point of view. The tent has performed to every
        expectation and I have been very satisfied with this shelter and will
        no doubt use it for a long time to come.


        Okay, that was quite a bit. To put it into perspective: It's mostly
        the projection and the conversion issues - the two main "problems"
        most testers are initially confronted with and easy enough once
        understood. Then there's a few typos and a few requests to elaborate.
        Not bad for a first draft, really.

        Please take care of the above and repost the text version to this
        list, using "REPOST: Sierra Designs Iota Owner Review - Craig Ross"
        in the subject line. Please try to include, at the top of that text
        version, a shortlink (tinyurl or snipurl) to the html version (with
        picture) in the test folder (link above).

        Phew, that's quite a bit of homework, isn't it? You could probably
        buy most of the gear you'll get to test if you were to spend your
        time flipping burgers rather than writing Owner Reviews, applications
        and Test Reports. But I'd rather spend the time writing this stuff...

        So anyway, I'm sure you'll manage. You should you have a question,
        ping me offline and if you have many questions, request a mentor. We
        like to help and we know it's daunting at first. But you'll get there.

        Once you've reposted, I'll pick it up again eventually (pinging me to
        let me know it's reposted is not considered bad form) and probably
        ask for a few more elaborations on certain things, maybe fine-tune it
        a bit and you'll be good to upload your first report.

        I'm looking forward to seeing it online. Again, welcome to
        BackpackGearTest.org -

        OR Editor
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