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IR - MSR Fling tent - Christensen

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  • Ryan Christensen
    Sorry for the delay...I was overcome by events (illness, hectic work schedule, etc.) Finally, here is the draft of my IR for the MSR FLING tent for your
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5 11:07 PM
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      Sorry for the delay...I was overcome by events
      (illness, hectic work schedule, etc.)

      Finally, here is the draft of my IR for the MSR FLING
      tent for your editing pleasure. I should post the
      HTML version tomorrow.

      I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
      Please pardon the Yahooisms.


      Initial Report
      MSR® Fling
      2-Person Freestanding Tent

      Ryan Christensen
      June 4, 2006

      Reviewer Information:

      Name: Ryan L. Christensen
      Age: 41
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
      Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
      Email address: bigdawgryan (at) yahoo (dot) com
      City, State, Country: Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.A.

      Backpacking Background:

      I began hiking, camping, backpacking at twelve,
      continuing until 25. After a hiatus due in part to a
      bad back, I resumed hiking, camping, and biking three
      years ago. Now, I have teen-age sons with whom I
      share my love for these sports. The past three years,
      we have hiked, or camped, nearly every month, in
      desert, forest, meadow, and mountain; in spring,
      summer, fall, and winter; in sunshine, rain, wind, and
      snow. We began backpacking together the summer of
      2005. I am not an ultra-lighter; but am looking to
      upgrade the quality and reduce the weight of my gear.

      Fling -- Product Information:

      The information below comes primarily from the MSR®
      website.
      Manufacturer Mountain Safety Research, Inc.
      Manufacturer website http://www.msrgear.com
      Year of Manufacture 2005
      Type 3 seasons, single-wall, freestanding dome
      Capacity 2 people plus gear
      Floor & Vestibule Area 32 sq. ft. (2.9 sq. m)
      Interior Peak Height 40 in. (100 cm)
      Minimum Weight 3 lbs. 6 oz. (1.5 kg)
      Packaged Weight 4 lbs. (1.8 kg)
      Material
      Body 1500mm polyurethane & silicone coated 30D x
      246T ripstop nylon
      Floor 5000mm polyurethane coated 70D 190T nylon
      Warranty MSR's Double Guarantee warrants to the
      original owner, the materials and workmanship of
      every MSR tent. If the MSR tent has received proper
      care, but fails due to a defect in manufacturing,
      MSR will either repair or replace it at their
      discretion. Repairs due to accident, improper care,
      or negligence, where MSR is not at fault, will be
      performed at a reasonable charge. MSR offers a
      lifetime warranty, to the original owner, on all MSR
      tent framework. If a tent pole breaks, MSR will
      either repair or replace it, free, for the
      lifetime of the tent.
      MSRP $269.95 US -- optional footprint available for
      $39.95 US

      Tester's Measurements
      Weight
      As Received 4 lb 8 oz (2.04 kg) (out of the
      box-everything inside stuff sack)
      Tent Only 2 lb 11 oz (1.22 kg)
      Tent Stuff Sack 1.6 oz (45.4 g)
      Three Poles 20.9 oz (592.5 g)
      Pole Sack 0.7 oz (19.8 g)
      Eight Stakes 2.7 oz (76.5 g)
      Stack Sack 0.5 oz (14.2 g)
      Owner's Manual 0.5 oz (14.2 g)

      Fling -- Product Description:

      The Fling is a member of MSR's Fast & Light® series,
      which MSR claims offers the maximum space and minimum
      weight. According to MSR, the Fling is its lightest
      2-person freestanding tent. In addition, MSR claims
      its "Fast & Light® tents offer ultralight options
      without compromising livability or durability. And
      they feature all the details--from bound and
      seam-taped floors to virtually unbendable Needle™
      stakes-of tents weighing twice as much." It also has
      reflective guy-out lines, which I think is cool.

      The tent arrived in a 21.25 x 5.125x 5.25 in (54 x 13
      x 13.3 cm) cardboard box. Inside the box in its stuff
      sack was the tent, three DAC FeatherlightTM aluminum
      poles and a pole repair sleeve in their sack, eight
      Needle™ stakes in their sack, and six separate Owner's
      Manuals in English, French, German, Japanese,
      Portuguese, and Spanish. The Owner's Manual includes
      information on MSR Tent and Shelters, and Accessories
      and Maintenance Kits, Setup Tips, Use and Care
      instructions, Tent Testing information, and MSR's
      Double Guarantee. However, it does not specifically
      call out the Fling in any of these instructions.
      Attached to the tent stuff sack was a colorful,
      ten-page informational brochure in the same six
      languages. A Tyvek® tag sewn just inside the opening
      of the tent's stuff sack has set-up instructions
      printed in English on one side and French on the
      other.

      The Fling is a 3 seasons, single-wall, 2-person tent.
      It is a variation of the hoop tent--the ridgepole
      enables the Fling to be freestanding, similar to a
      dome tent. This outline of this tent is trapezoidal
      in shape. The narrower end (foot) measures 4 ft. (1.2
      m) across and the wider end (head) measures 5 ft. 10
      in. (1.7 m) across.

      The orange tent body is made of 1500mm polyurethane
      and silicone coated 30D x 246T ripstop nylon. The
      red, bathtub-style, floor is made of 5000mm
      polyurethane coated 70D 190T nylon. The two pole
      sleeves are the same material as the floor.

      There are four guy-out lines: one at the head, the
      foot, and one on each side of the tent. These
      guy-outs have reflective material the entire length of
      them.

      There are three DAC FeatherlightTM aluminum poles.
      The silver-colored foot-end pole measures
      approximately 75 in (190.6 cm), the sliver colored
      head-end pole measures approximately 123.25 in (313.1
      cm) and the black ridgepole measures approximately
      146.5 in (372.1 cm).

      Each of the eight Needle™ stakes measures
      approximately 6.25 in (15.9 cm) from point to top.

      Fling -- Initial Impression:

      Right out of the box, I was impressed with this tent.
      Its compact size, lightweight material, and color
      immediately caught my attention. I was also impressed
      with the DAC FeatherlightTM aluminum poles and the
      Needle™ stakes. They appear robust, yet lightweight.
      However, I was a bit concerned as to the flooring
      material's ability resist punctures from sharp
      objects, such as rocks, small bushes, and pine
      needles. I was also concerned about its ability to
      resist abrasion from rocks, etc.

      Fling -- Initial Testing:

      As an initial test, I setup the Fling in my back yard.
      It took me about ten minutes to set up the tent.
      First, I staked the four corners. Next, put the three
      poles together. These poles nearly put themselves
      together. I then threaded the foot-end pole through
      its sleeve and secured each end in its grommet. Next,
      I threaded the head-end pole through its sleeve,
      securing each end in its grommet. The sleeve material
      is tackier than the material of the tent body.
      Consequently, the poles tend to catch, or stick, as
      they thread through the sleeves. Most of the time I
      took to pitch this tent was in threading the poles
      through their respective sleeve. This was a bit of a
      nuisance. Had it been storming, this would have been
      even more annoying.

      Next, I inserted one end of the ridgepole in its
      grommet at the foot-end of the tent, attached it to
      the clip on the foot-end pole sleeve, the head-end
      pole sleeve, and secured the head-end of the ridgepole
      in its grommet. I then attached the two clips that
      support the tent body to the ridgepole.

      Finally, I secured the foot-end, the head-end, and the
      side guy-out lines. The tensioners slid easily along
      the guy-lines and remained securely where I placed
      them.

      Once pitched, I unzipped the door. The zipper worked
      great, did not catch at all. I climbed inside to see
      how roomy the Fling actually is. Even at 6 ft. 2 in.
      (1.9 m) I was able to sit up, even kneel up straight
      without hitting my head on the top of the tent-at the
      head-end of course. There appeared to be enough room
      for two individuals my size to sleep comfortably in
      the tent. However, I did not see much room for gear.
      I will definitely test this with full-size sleeping
      bags in the tent.

      Fling -- Test Plan:

      The Fling, which is new for 2006, will be my shelter
      of choice on all outings during the test period. I
      will test its fit, function, and durability. In my
      test application, I planned to test the footprint as
      well. However, the footprint did not come with the
      tent, so I will not be testing the footprint during
      the test period.

      FIT:

      First, after opening for initial examination, can I
      easily get the Fling back to its packed size of 20 x 6
      in. (51 x 15 cm)? Can I do this repeatedly with ease?
      Space is a premium, so this is important to me.

      Second, is the footprint large enough for two larger
      individuals to fit comfortably, sleeping without
      encroaching on one another's space, or touching the
      tent walls? At 6 ft 2 in, (188 cm) can I sit up
      comfortably in the middle of the tent?

      Third, MSR® claims the "generous floor plan sleeps two
      with room for gear." My initial impression is that
      there will be minimal space for gear. However, I will
      see just how much gear, along with two people, the
      Fling can accommodate.

      FUNCTION:

      The first functional consideration is ease of setup.
      How easily can I setup up the Fling with its three
      poles and eight ultra light Needle™ stakes?

      Second is stability. Does the ridgepole make this
      hoop tent freestanding? Does the ridgepole truly
      create a more wind-resistant pitch? How well does the
      Fling withstand high winds? Does it make a difference
      whether pitched in rocky or in a softer-soil area?
      Will the Fling withstand heavy rains and/or snowstorms
      without collapsing?

      Third is weather resistance. How well does the
      lightweight, silicon-treated material shed water and
      snow? Does the material sag when wet? Do the taped
      seams remain waterproof? Does the awning provide
      adequate protection from the elements and enough room
      for two to prepare food? Does this tent work well as
      a three-season tent?

      Fourth is ventilation. Condensation is a typical
      problem with single wall tents. Does the strip of
      mesh around the perimeter provide enough ventilation
      to prevent condensation in the Fling? If condensation
      forms, does it run down the wall and escape to the
      outside via the perimeter mesh as MSR® claims it
      should?

      DURABILITY:

      First, do the poles maintain their shape and strength,
      or do they bend during assembly and/or use over time?


      Second, how well does the lightweight material resist
      snagging, tearing, and punctures? How resistant to
      abrasion are the awning, body, and flooring materials?


      Third, do the seams remain tight, or do they come
      undone over time? Are the seams waterproof and do
      they remain so over time?

      Fourth, does the tent come with a repair kit? If
      necessary, how easily can I repair the tent?

      Fifth, how soil resistant is the material? If soiled,
      how easily can I clean it?

      The sixth and final durability question is does the
      nylon material stretch over time? If so, does this
      create problems?


      I will address the items listed above as well as any
      other pertinent issues, which may arise during the
      test period.

      Thanks to MSR® and BGT for the opportunity to test the
      MSR® Fling tent.


      Ryan L. Christensen
      E-mail: mailto:bigdawgryan@...

      "Excellence is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

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