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IR Titanium goat Vertex 5 (Jim)

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  • colonelcorn76
    This is posted over in the old group but as it s a cusp report (being submitted during the transition) I will now look for edits over here. Jim Initial Report
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2005
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      This is posted over in the old group but as it's a cusp report (being
      submitted during the transition) I will now look for edits over here.

      Jim








      Initial Report - Titanium goat Vertex 5

      Personal Information
      Name: Jim Hatch
      Age: 45
      Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
      Email: colonelcorn76@...
      Location: Connecticut, USA
      Date : February 18, 2005

      Backpacking background
      I've been backpacking and camping for 30 years (ever since I was a Boy
      Scout). I'm out once a month for a weekend or more and for 5 nights or
      more, 2 or 3 times during the year. Most of my backpacking is done in
      the mountains of the East Coast (Appalachians, Whites, Berkshires,
      Adirondacks) but I will occasionally camp as far south as the Florida
      Keys or as far west as the Grand Canyon. Having tired of 60 lb (27 kg)
      loads, I caught the lightweight bug about 5 years ago and am currently
      carrying a base pack weight of less than 10 lbs (4.5 kg) before food
      and fuel and rarely venture out with more than 20 lbs (9 kg) anymore.
      I am now trying to develop a low-volume style to go with the
      lightweight nature of my gear.
      Product Information:

      According to the manufacturer's website, "Vertex tents, by Titanium
      goat, are lite weight, four season, Truly conical tents. These single
      wall tents build on the proven performance of pyramid tents, while
      addressing the negative attributes inherent to pyramid designs.

      Standard Features:
      -1.1 oz DWR treated, breathable fabric
      -Peak and tail vents
      -Full length door zip
      -Removable guy out system
      -Peak loops
      -Sectional Easton aluminum pole
      -Aluminum Y pegs

      Optional Features:
      -Fabric options
      -Snorkel vents
      -Snow flaps/Sod cloth
      -Additional guy outs
      -Optional colors
      -Carbon fiber pole (The Vertex 5 was designed to use the Fibraplex
      Pinnacle 62 carbon fiber pole)

      Manufacturer : Titanium goat
      Manufacturer's website : www.titainiumgoat.com
      Model : Vertex 5
      Year of manufacture : 2005

      Specifications:
      Height: 62" (1.57 m)
      Measured: 62" (1.57 m)
      Length: 108" (2.74 m)
      Measured: 120" (3 m)
      Width: 96" (2.44 m)
      Measured: 102" (2.6 m)
      Square footage: 54 sq ft (5 sq m)
      Weight: 2 lbs 2 oz (0.96 kg) total weight
      Measured: 2 lbs 4 oz (1 kg) total weight
      Tent and stuff sacks: 19 oz (539 g)
      Measured: 22 oz (628 g)
      Measured Tent alone: 1 lb 5 oz (600 g)
      Measured stuff sacks alone: 1 oz (28 g)
      Pole: 9 oz (255 g)
      Measured: 8.7 oz ((247 g)
      Stakes: 6 oz (170 g)
      Measured: 5.6 oz (159 g)
      Pole: 5 section Easton pole
      Pegs: 12
      Shipped with: 14
      MSRP: $400 US


      Product description

      The Vertex 5 is a two person, lightweight, single-wall floorless,
      conical tent. It is a four-season tent based on the manufacturer's
      discussion of snow loading features and the inclusion of "multi-point,
      self equalizing, guy outs" that are "great for heavier snow loads" and
      "high winds". The fabric is a 1.1 oz (31 g) breathable DWR fabric with
      multi-stitched seams. The stake loops are grosgrain loops sewn to a
      reinforced triangle on the tent body. The peak also has a reinforced
      pocket for the pole to fit into. There is a main seam running side to
      side about halfway down the back of the tent. There are two guy-outs
      consisting of a daisy-chain on each side through which the guy line is
      run to provide the "self equalizing" tension on the tent body (see
      photo). These guy-outs are removable but all measurements include them
      as I will be testing their use over the next six months. There is a
      single zipper running up the front of the tent that has dual sliders.
      This allows the tent to be vented at the top by unzipping downward.
      There is also a rear vent at the base of the tent that unzips upwards
      and has a fabric flap "roof" to keep rain from entering when the vent
      is opened. There is a grosgrain loop at the peak to allow for hanging
      things from the peak, a rod of unknown utility (see photo) and two
      elastic cords running through cordlocks at the base on either side of
      the rear vent used to tighten the tent fabric when the vent is opened.

      The manufacturer calls this a "conical" tent because it has no flat
      panels in its design (this results in fewer seams, ostensibly reducing
      potential for leaks). However, this is not a cone of inverted
      ice-cream cone type. Rather, it is a "pole forward" design where the
      pole is placed closer to the front than the rear (53"/1.3 m front to
      pole, 67"/1.7 m pole to rear). This is typical of the traditional
      Tipis of the American Plains Indians. This provides a more vertical
      front that allows (for tipis) better venting at the peak, easier entry
      through a taller door and more vertical space at the front for
      sitting/headroom. From my early use of the Vertex 5 it appears that
      the benefits that accrue to the tipi design also apply to the Vertex.
      The American Indian developed the slanting design (which Titanium goat
      terms "racy") through considerable use & modification. It's nice to
      see that Titanium goat recognized the virtues of the design and did
      not opt for a simple inverted cone. The side view of the tent in this
      photo shows the longer slanting rear with the more vertical front that
      is a hallmark of this design.

      The manufacturer notes that the Vertex tents can be heated using their
      Vortex stove. Their larger Vertex 6 comes with a stove port and is
      larger. That extra size allows for the addition of the stove. I don't
      believe the room in the Vertex 5 is sufficient to include the stove,
      especially when large or two occupants occupy the tent. If I were
      considering the use of the stove in this tent I would spend some time
      in discussion with Titanium goat before I assumed it was possible
      despite the "stove compatible" comment on their website.

      The tent ships with a single Easton 5-section shock-corded aluminum
      pole. Titanium goat says that 8 oz (227 g) can be shaved off the total
      weight by switching to the Fibraplex pinnacle 62 pole (a carbon fiber
      pole) and Vargo ultralight titanium stakes. I found the pole to be
      deceptively light at under 9 oz (255 g) and was impressed with the
      supplied pegs. Rather than the 12 Y-pegs the website lists, I
      received 14 V pegs. These 14 pegs weigh slightly less than the
      specified 12 Y-pegs. The supplied pegs are aluminum Vs with a rod
      running down the length of the V providing outstanding strength. I was
      able to pound the stakes into frozen ground without any bending or
      deformity. Each stake has a notch taken out of each "wing" of the V
      which allows the stake loop to catch and hold (this means the stakes
      should be placed with the open end of the V facing away from the tent
      so the stake loops have something to hook into). The 14 stakes were
      sufficient to stake out the 14 stake loops sewn into the tent (I'm not
      sure why 12 are specified on their website unless they've made some
      modification that included the addition of two new stake loops).
      However, I will be adding another stake so I can provide another stake
      to tie the rear vent flap to.

      The tent comes with two stuff sacks - one for the tent itself and one
      for the included pole & pegs. I doubt that I will be using these as I
      prefer stuffing my tent into my pack to make the most efficient use of
      the space and will just use a couple of rubber bands to hold the pole
      sections and the stakes in a package. I usually keep my tent stakes in
      an outside pack pocket since after the first day they tend to have
      dirt and forest detritus clinging to them unless I spend more life
      minutes than I care to cleaning them.

      Initial impressions

      The Vertex arrived with a page of pitching instructions and one for
      care and maintenance. The care page notes that the seams need sealing
      and recommends a couple of different products (McNett Seam Grip or
      Kenyon Seam Sealer 3). Not always a patient man, I decided to table
      this exercise until after I found if it would leak. Inspection of the
      seams showed excellent construction with tight stitching and
      overlapped felled seams. I was willing to risk damp feet and put off
      seam sealing until later. I turned to the pitching instructions and
      after reading them decided to just do it. The sheet is well
      illustrated with a photo for each major step and the text clearly
      explains the steps involved in pitching the tent. A conical design has
      certain stresses designed into it in order to keep the fabric taught
      and staking the tent appropriately insures that these stresses are
      distributed correctly. In a tipi, this is accomplished by many poles
      as well as the stakes. Since there's only one pole involved here, the
      stakes are critical. This does mean that the tent cannot be
      free-standing and I'm unsure of how it will work in deep snow as
      providing deadmen staking options for 14 staking points may prove to
      be problematic.

      A quick 10 minutes later I had the tent pitched with only a single
      issue. One of the stake loops was folded under and sewn to the
      reinforcing patch. This eliminated the loop portion of the stake loop.
      I was able to finagle a stake between the loop fabric and the
      reinforcing patch but this will need to be corrected before extensive
      use of the tent is undertaken. The photos below show both the
      correctly sewn stake loop and the inappropriately sewn one. I will be
      contacting Titanium goat to identify an appropriate solution and will
      report on the results in my Field Report.

      As the photos show, the base of the tent can ride up or down based on
      where the stake loops are placed on the stake. This allows for a
      phenomenal number of venting options. The tent can have the base
      fabric raised to allow venting under the tent on one or all sides or
      the fabric can be pulled tight to the ground to seal the tent from the
      weather. This flexibility is one of the virtues of tipi type housing.
      I'm looking forward to experimenting with venting options over the
      next few months.

      One thing that once concerned me with floorless tents (tarps) was the
      possibility of getting soaked in the rain-not from water coming
      through the fabric but from underneath the tent walls. By and large
      though I've found that (at least with tarps) here in the forests of
      the eastern United States rain will typically soak into the ground
      very rapidly. I generally haven't found more than a 4 to 6 inches (10
      to 15 cm) of the ground around the interior perimeter of the tarp gets
      wet. I expect this will be true of the Vertex as well. Although I will
      make myself a bit of a floor in the form of a Tyvek ground cloth, I
      expect that I'll find it unnecessary and hope it will end up in my
      discarded gear pile.

      Pitching itself was simple enough by following the directions. I
      staked out the front loops, pulled the back taught, measured in 1
      stake length from the rear vent and staked the rear loops there. Then
      I followed the side staking order by pulling out the side loop of the
      two center loops and staked them. After unzipping the door and placing
      the pole (placing the tip into the peak of the tent and swinging the
      bottom inward until it was vertical) I re-zipped and placed the rest
      of the stakes starting at the front and working backward. Then a quick
      pull on the front door stakes backward to relieve some tension and it
      was up and taught. I left the guy lines attached to the tent walls but
      didn't bother to guy it out. Tight and snug.

      Re-entering the tent and placing my gear allowed me to familiarize
      myself with many of the features of the inside of the tent including
      the peak loop (perfect for a small light), top venting zipper (which I
      closed because it was due to snow and I didn't want it snowing on my
      head), and the rear vent system. I opened the rear vent zip, tightened
      the tensioning cords and reached outside to pull the vent flap over
      one of the stakes (at which point I decided I really needed another
      stake to center between the two used to hold the vent stake loops) as
      the vent flap was canted slightly to the right to get its loop over
      the stake. Rolling out my pad and bag I found there is plenty of room
      to stretch out. I'm a bit worried I'm going to roll into that center
      pole and have the whole thing fall on me. There's also room for my
      pack and to kneel comfortably. There's also room for a tent mate.
      Looking good here. I decided to unzip the peak zipper as it wasn't yet
      snowing and I was able to lay there and see a slice of sky. Later that
      night after the storm arrived I just sat up and zipped it back up.
      Although the storm was a combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain
      for 6 hours, I suffered no leaks. In the morning there was a thin
      layer of very wet snow on parts of the sidewalls but no problems with
      the fabric stretching or dipping.

      So far I'm very impressed with the quality of construction (with the
      exception of the one stake loop noted above), the fabric is clean and
      clear with no spotting from the DWR coating, the seams are tight and
      well constructed, the zippers slide well, the pole pocket is very
      sturdy, stakes are strong and light and the room is more than I
      expected. I'm looking forward to using it over the next few months as
      winter begins it grudging retreat. I'll be interested to see what
      happens when the bugs come out and the skeeters hit the air. I'm told
      that they tend to congregate at the peak in the warm CO2 laden air
      that collects up there but I'm somewhat skeptical. However, the
      flexibility in pulling the walls down to the ground in places and
      upward in others will hopefully give me options of venting that
      although open to air will confuse the flight patterns of winged devils.

      TESTING

      I'll begin the serious testing of the tent with a trip next week on
      the Connecticut/Massachusetts section of the AT. We're expecting a
      fairly significant snowfall this week (4-6 inches/10-15 cm) on top of
      what is typically another couple of feet (0.6 m) of base snow in the
      hills so I'll be able to evaluate it more fully as a backpacking 4th
      season tent. I'll be following up with trips throughout the spring and
      summer at various locations in the Adirondacks, Appalachians,
      Berkshires, and White Mountains for periods from 2 to 6 days. I expect
      to spend about 20-24 nights in the tent over the next six months.
      Temps are currently near 0 F (-18 C) and will undoubtedly hit as much
      as 100 F (38 C) this summer. Weather will likely be everything from
      more of the snow/sleet already experienced to high winds, rain, and
      thunderstorms.

      What I'll be watching

      How easy will it be to set this up in various terrain -- forest vs.
      rocky ground vs. snow?
      How well will it handle high winds and wind-driven rain?
      How comfortable is it for one occupant or two?
      Does it suffer from condensation issues?
      Will it be noticeably colder in this single-wall tent than my
      double-wall winter expedition tent?
      Do the potential venting options offered by moving the tent bottom up
      & down the stakes really work well?
      Will I become an involuntary blood donor for the mosquitoes?
      How well do the materials, stakes, pole, guy lines, etc. hold up to
      extended use?

      What I like
      Light weight.
      Ease of setup.
      Roominess.
      Solid quality construction.
      Wicked cool manufacturer's name.

      What I'm not happy about
      Mis-sewn stake loop.
      What's that small rod up at the peak used for?

      I'd like to thank BackpackGearTest and Titanium goat for the
      opportunity of taking part in this test.
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