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OR - Exped Andromeda II - Jerry Goller

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  • Jerry Goller
    HTML version at http://tinyurl.com/43e9o78 EXPED ANDROMEDA II TENT OWNER REVIEW BY JERRY GOLLER March 28, 2011 Image Courtesy Exped TESTER INFORMATION NAME:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2011
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      HTML version at http://tinyurl.com/43e9o78




      March 28, 2011

      Image Courtesy Exped



      Jerry Goller






      Salt Lake City, Utah, USA




      5' 11" (1.80 m)


      220 lb (99.80 kg)

      I started camping with my father at age 6 or so. I've backpacked and truck
      camped, off and on, all of my life. Even in the Marine Corps, I was in the
      Infantry. I consider myself a light weight backpacker with an average dry
      pack weight of 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 7 kg), depending on the season and
      terrain. I backpack year round. Most of my trips are 2 to 5 days long and in
      Utah. I also, from time to time, take much longer trips lasting one to two
      months or more. These trips are usually on the Appalachian Trail or the
      Pacific Crest Trail.


      Manufacturer: Exped

      Year of Manufacture: 2010

      Manufacturer's Website: Exped

      MSRP: N/A

      Listed Weight: 8 lbs 4 oz (3.95 kg)

      Measured Weight: 9 lbs 2 oz (4.14 kg) This weight includes all accessories
      and guy lines, some quite long, for all guy out points.

      I've used this tent for 1.5 winters and 1.5 summers. I've developed a good
      feel for its strengths and weaknesses. At between 8 and 9 lbs (3.6 and 4
      kg), this is not a light tent. But this tent is to common tents as a HumVee
      is to a car. There is simply no comparison. I have had this tent out in
      heavy snow, heavy rain, and heavy wind. That generally takes a heavy tent. I
      am a light weight backpacker and I'll be the first to say this isn't my
      general use shelter. But if I think it is going to hit the fan then I pack
      the Andromeda II. I love this tent in winter and it is the best rain tent
      I've ever had. In winter I have plenty of room to sprawl and my gear sled
      will fit in the vestibule. In the fall (Utah monsoon season) I have that
      same vestibule for cooking and eating while sheltered from the rain. LEGAL
      right tent and stove, I do when it is raining. Always. This tent is also
      extremely easy to set up by one person even in the dark and a snow or rain
      storm. Unfortunately, I can attest to this through personal experience. The
      tent uses capture pole sleeves with adjustable pole receivers on the other
      end. The receivers have a pole repair sleeve inside the webbing so the pole
      simple can't come out, if the adjustment strap is tightened, period. The
      manufacturer states that the tent can be put up with only 4 stakes. If you
      aren't expecting high winds or reasonably heavy snow, it can be. I've set it
      up with only 4 stakes more often than I have fully guyed out. But, if
      necessary, this tent has guy line pull outs all over it. It can be fully
      staked out and will handle very serious winds.


      Winter in the Uintas

      My winter use of this tent has been mostly in the Uinta Mountains of
      northern Utah. Temperatures have ranged from highs of 20F (-6 C) or so down
      to lows well below 0F (-18 C). Altitudes have been between 6,000 and 9,000
      ft (1830 and 2750 m). I was usually on 20 to 30 ft (6 to 9 m) plus of snow.
      I've had snow as heavy as 2 ft (.61 m) over night. I have also experienced
      high winds with snow. This tent has easily stood up to all of it. It is
      quite roomy and, for one person, palatial. I carry it in a large dry bag
      strapped to the top of my gear sled. That way I can set up the tent while
      the rest of my gear stays dry and out of the snow in the sled. Once the tent
      is up I can slid my sled under the vestibule side, out of the snow and wind.
      I can then unpack at my leisure. It helps me stay as organized as I ever get
      when camping by myself. The procedure is just reversed when I leave. None of
      my gear is ever exposed to the elements. The vestibule provides a great
      place to take my over boots and rain suit off. All that gear stays in the
      vestibule so melting snow never gets inside the tent body leaving everything
      stays dry and clean.

      Ready for the coming storm

      My summer use of this tent has been at similar altitudes as the winter use.
      Temps have ranged from the upper 30s to the lower 60s F (-1 to 15 C). I have
      experienced heavy rain on the order of 2" (5 cm) in a few hours. I
      experienced very little condensation, winter or summer, and what did form
      didn't prove to be a problem. I had no leaks. The large vestibule was very
      nice for storing my pack out of the way and the weather and for cooking and
      eating (see LEGAL WARNING) out of the wind and rain. I've also experienced
      some pretty high winds on the order of 50 to 60 mph (80 to 97 kph). As long
      as it was well staked out I had no problems. I also never pitched it on any
      bald mountain tops...


      Pole tension adjustment is loose in the left image and tight in the center
      image. The right image is the pole receiver.

      I especially like the way the tent poles work. The pole sleeves are sewn
      flat so the tent pitches tighter with less stress on it. The sleeves are
      capture sleeves. That means I can just set, or stand, on one side and feed
      the poles in the sleeves. The pole will be guided into a reinforced pouch on
      the other end of the pole sleeve so I don't have to fiddle with the far side
      or worry about the pole popping out of a grommet before I can get the pole
      fully installed. The feed side has a receiver pouch that accepts my end of
      the pole. This receiver is adjustable so it can be made loose so the pole
      fits in easily then the webbing can be drawn tight and tighten the whole
      pole sleeve. The receiver uses a pole repair section sewn into a webbing
      pouch so the pole is held very securely. This also helps relieve stress on
      the receiver. The poles are all the same length and both ends of the poles
      are identical. Very handy for setting up in crappy weather or at night. I
      also like the large vestibule with side entry. It just makes life easier.
      The gear pouches on the non-door side of the vestibule are very handy for
      getting gear up and out of the way but still very handy.


      The pole sleeve opening is the gray diagonal strip just above center

      There are a few things about this tent I don't care for. The rear support
      system seems too complicated to me. But I must admit that I can't think of a
      better way of doing it. I would really like to see the binding tape at the
      opening of the pole sleeve be made out of white reflective tape. As you can
      see by the image, the opening is gray on gray. This can be very hard to
      find, particularly when you are tired, it is dark, and it is snowing or
      raining. It would be a simple fix and would make the tent even easier to set
      up in adverse conditions. The stuff bag is hopeless as far as I am
      concerned. It is touted as an easy to use side stuff bag. In actuality, it
      is a loose piece of fabric vaguely in the shape of a bag. There are no
      compression straps, except sort of one in the center, so there is no real
      way to compress the tent or hold it in as I stuff it. I never use the
      provided stuff sack because of that.


      All in all, this tent was much more than I bargained for. I got it for
      winter use and it does that exceptionally well. I didn't expect to be using
      it in spring and fall for rainy weather. But it works so well in that
      situation that I was willing to take the weight hit when the weather was
      going to be bad. This will be my go to tent for winter camping for the
      foreseeable future. Or until something better comes along.

      This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version
      1.5 Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear
      reviews on the planet.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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