Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

FR - AGG Tarp Tent - amytys

Expand Messages
  • Andy Mytys
    HTML of AGG Tarp Tent FR can be found http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20AGG% 20Tarp%20Tent%20-%20amytys/ - or -
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 24, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      HTML of AGG Tarp Tent FR can be found

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20AGG%
      20Tarp%20Tent%20-%20amytys/

      - or -

      http://tinyurl.com/2knbw2

      ----------------------------------------

      Field Report:


      Field Locations and Conditions:


      April 21-22, 2007 - Jordan River Pathway, Mackinaw State Forest,
      Antrim County, Michigan

      Hike Description: A two-day loop hike along the Jordan River. The
      hike climbs into and out of the river valley, traversing hills,
      spring-fed streams, and low-lying wet areas. The trail is primarily
      single-track, but makes use of old logging railroad grades along its
      course as well.

      Nightly Temperature Range: 34 °F / 1.1 °C to 53.1 °F / 11.7 °C

      Humidity: 36 - 82%

      Dew Point Conditions: Air temperature always in excess of dewpoint,
      but the two were close enough such that, with the high humidity
      levels, there was mosture on the grass by morning

      Precipitation: None

      Maximum Wind Speed: Calm - no winds



      May 5-6, 2007 - North Country Trail, Manistee National Forest,
      Newaygo County, Michigan

      Hike Description: A two-day trail maintenance session along a 6.3
      mile (10 km) section of the NCT. This section of the NCT is comprised
      mainly of deciduous forest with some areas of pine plantation. The
      trail is generally level, with drops and climbs limited to a handful
      of areas where pothole glacial lakes are present - in these areas,
      the trail is routed high along ridges surrounding the lakes.

      Nightly Temperature Range: 44.6 °F / 7 °C to 57.2 °F / 14 °C

      Humidity: 30 - 53%

      Dew Point Conditions: Dew point well below air temperatures - dry
      conditions with no condensation

      Precipitation: None

      Maximum Wind Speed: 10 mph / 16 km/h



      May 25-28, 2007 - North Country Trail, Lakeshore segment, Pictured
      Rocks National Lakeshore, Alger County, Michigan

      Hike Description: A four-day point-to-point hike along Lake
      Superior's southern coast. This trail is primarily a single-track
      tread way that traverses dunes, beaches, and deciduous forest. Long
      sections of the trail can be characterized as either being sandy or
      comprised by many exposed roots.

      Nightly Temperature Range: 35.6 °F / 2 °C to 51.8 °F / 11 °C

      Humidity: 71 - 100%

      Dew Point Conditions: Air temperature always in excess of dewpoint,
      but the two were close enough such that, with the high humidity
      levels, there was mosture on the grass by morning

      Precipitation: Light drizzle for a few hours on the third night of
      the hike, otherwise none

      Maximum Wind Speed: 10 mph / 16 km/h



      July 14-15, 2007 - North Country Trail, Manistee National Forest,
      Newaygo County, Michigan

      Hike Description: A two-day trail maintenance session along a 6.3
      mile (10 km) section of the NCT. This section of the NCT is comprised
      mainly of deciduous forest with some areas of pine plantation. The
      trail is generally level, with drops and climbs limited to a handful
      of areas where pothole glacial lakes are present - in these areas,
      the trail is routed high along ridges surrounding the lakes.

      Nightly Temperature Range: 44.6 °F / 7 °C to 60.8 °F / 16 °C

      Humidity: 82 - 100%

      Dew Point Conditions: Air temperature always in excess of dewpoint,
      but the two were close enough such that, with the high humidity
      levels, there was mosture on the grass by morning

      Precipitation: None

      Maximum Wind Speed: Calm - no winds



      Pitching the Tarp Tent:

      Pitching the Tarp Tent is a quick and simple affair, provided that
      the manufacturer's instructions are followed. I found it easiest to
      pitch the two rear corners first, then secure the tent's peak, then
      stake out the two front corners, and finally guy out the two side
      walls and rear wall. When pitched correctly, there is no sagging to
      the shelter and the two front corners are at a distance apart such
      that the StormFlap or Poncho Villa vestibule can be attached to the
      two front corner clips. All of this takes me no more than 2-minutes
      of casual effort.


      Used With Trekking Poles:

      The roof of the tarp tent can be supported using a trekking pole
      positioned point-up. There's a small PVC cup at the peak of the
      roofline that's used to hold the tip of the trekking pole and protect
      the surrounding material from being punctured. I found the optimal
      height to pitch the front peak to be at 43 inches (109 cm). At this
      height, the front corners were positioned at a distance apart from
      one another such that I really had to stretch the corner loops of the
      StormFlap or Poncho Villa vestibule to secure them onto the clips,
      allowing for a very tight pitch to be realized. When using the
      vestibule, I found it necessary to have a trekking basket attached to
      the pole supporting the front of the tarp tent - a loop along the
      rear of the poncho is supported by the basket. In a phone call with
      the manufacturer, I was told that the basket wasn't needed, and that
      the tension at the apex of the roofline was enough to hold the loop
      of fabric on the outside of the cup. I tried this configuration
      several times and found the loop kept slipping out from behind the
      cup, and I became so engrossed with getting the setup to work that I
      totally lost track of where the tip of my trekking pole was,
      eventually puncturing the beak of the tarp tent. A pair of trekking
      poles are still only enough to secure two of the four tieouts - I
      chose to use my trekking poles for the peak and rear wall of the
      tent, using downed branches I found in camp to secure the side walls
      of the shelter.


      Used Without Trekking Poles:

      For those hiking without trekking poles, there's an external loop of
      fabric at the peak of the roofline that can be used to suspend the
      tent from a line. Anti Gravity Gear even sells a 40 foot (12 m)
      section of spectra cord for this purpose. Personally, I am much too
      impatient to be fooling around with tying a cord around trees,
      adjusting suspension height as needed, then untying the cord come
      morning. I was never a scout of any sort and the only "knot" I know
      is the kind that takes hours to undo, especially in the morning when
      my fingers are stiff and the cord might be a bit damp. A cord
      suspended at waist level is also an invitation for someone stumbling
      around camp in the middle of the night to accidentally tear down my
      pitched tent. Nope, I found a much better solution, my friends.
      Rather than futzing around with a cord, I carry a Coghlan's Stove and
      Lantern funnel. This item weighs a scant 0.4 oz (11 g) and creates a
      suitable "tip" on branches up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.
      Coincidentally, my navel is 43 inches (109 cm) off the ground so I've
      got an easy reference point to measure from. So, all I have to do is
      find a big stick - no problem in the terrain that I typically hike
      in - and snap a section off of it at the desired length. Using the
      funnel, I can have a really nasty and sharp tip on the branch, and
      the fabric of the tarp tent will be perfectly safe. The images to the
      right illustrate the way my system works.

      At the bottom of this Field Report is a final photo of a tarp tent,
      pitched with a large branch used for support. We don't need no
      stinkin' cord!


      A Bug-Proof Shelter?:

      I've found the tarp tent to be an effective shelter when it comes to
      keeping the bugs out; surprisingly more effective than a tent. The
      problem with a tent is that it has an "official" door, complete with
      a zipper for opening and closing it. When entering/exiting a typical
      tent, I have to open the door, move through the opening, then close
      it. Often times, the duration of time that the door is open is enough
      for 50 or more mosquitoes to get inside the tent - the fact that they
      congregate inside the vestibule and on the mosquito netting doesn't
      help the situation any. With the Anti Gravity Gear Tarp Tent,
      the "door" is actually a hole that my body creates by moving under a
      section of bug netting that drapes down to the ground. This allows an
      opening to be created for a short time, sized just large enough for
      me to get through without creating an excessive amount of additional
      openings into the tent.

      That said, I have found spiders and other ground-level creatures
      making their way under the tent's netting and into the shelter. While
      tucking the netting under the floor solves this problem, I've found
      that my movement throughout the night can "untuck" the netting.
      Because I don't carry a lot of excess gear, there's just not enough
      extra weight to place around the front of the floor to keep the
      netting tucked underneath it. My solution is to use the hooks sewn
      into the netting along the front door to lift the floor into
      the "bathtub" configuration.

      Of course, when I brought my dog along at the height of tick season
      and let her sleep in the tarp tent with me, I couldn't really expect
      the shelter to be totally free from ticks - and it wasn't. When I
      left the dog at home, I didn't have any problems with ticks.

      Maximum Occupancy:

      The tarp tent makes for a spacious solo shelter. Being a single-
      walled shelter, condensation is a concern. Sleeping in the center of
      the floor allows me to stretch out between the two peaks along the
      side-walls, keeping both my head and feet at a safe distance from
      contact with the walls of the shelter. However, when taking up this
      desirable position, there's really no room on either side of me for
      another person to sleep. Yes, I can fit another sleeping pad between
      myself and the front wall of the tent, but putting a person on top of
      that pad is another story altogether. The volume that another adult
      with a sleeping bag takes up in the tarp tent makes touching a wall
      inevitable for both individuals. If I were hard-pressed, I would use
      the tarp tent as a two-person emergency shelter. For day-to-day use
      however, I'd rather that each camper carry their own tarp tent - at
      about 21 ounces (600 g), it's not a burden by any stretch of the
      imagination.

      Sleeping with a dog is another story. With the tarp tent's trapezoid-
      shaped floor, there's plenty of room for a dog along the back wall.
      I've slept comfortably in the tarp tent with my 80-pound (36 kg)
      retriever without my having to give up one inch of "premium space" in
      the center of the tent, and awoken with no condensation above what I
      normally experienced as a solo occupant.


      Roominess:

      In terms of stretching out, there is an ample amount of room on the
      horizontal axis inside the 10-foot model of the tarp tent. When
      properly pitched, I never felt as if I were in jeopardy of touching a
      side wall - I just made sure my head was positioned below one side-
      wall pullout, and that my feet were positioned below the other.
      Before climbing into the tent, I arranged my sleeping pad, bag, and
      spare clothes inside. Once again, the design of the tarp tent's door
      kept the invasion of bugs to a minimum. I could reach under the
      netting without creating any large openings for bugs to take
      advantage of - I felt like I was in a neo-natal unit prepping an
      incubator through a protective wall.

      Headroom, however, is another story altogether. There isn't much
      vertical space inside the tarp tent, with the point of "maximum
      height" quickly disappearing due to the shelter's steeply sloping
      walls. I found it better to just stay in a reclined position for all
      tasks inside the tent. For me, this made getting dressed in the
      morning a pain, and I found it better to just exit the tent and get
      dressed outside.


      Stormworthiness:

      I found the beak and netting of the tarp tent to sufficiently
      shielded me from the elements only in the most ideal of conditions -
      a light rain, under a dense forest canopy, with little or no wind. I
      haven't had enough experience with the StormFlap to judge if it
      provides a bone-dry shelter in wind-driven storm conditions, but it
      seems to be pretty effective at covering most of the gaps created by
      the base shelter. For true "bombproof" protection, the Poncho Villa
      vestibule is really the way to go, in my opinion. Given that the
      vestibule only weighs about 4 ounces (113 g) more than the StormFlap,
      and that it can double as a windshirt/rain jacket (see my review of
      the Poncho Villa), the choice, to me, of which rain-shield solution
      to purchase is obvious. In my opinion, the StormFlap is really more
      of a "modesty curtain" to be carried in dry climates, given the dual-
      use nature of the Poncho Villa and how nicely it performs in
      inclement weather. I also prefer the aerodynamic shape of the
      vestibule to "yet another flat wall" in wind-driven conditions.


      Condensation:

      It's been an odd summer here in Michigan, with relatively dry nights
      and temperatures above that of the dew point. As a result, I can't
      say that I've really been exposed to conditions where condensation
      was a major concern. That said, the tarp tent is a single-walled
      shelter and if its walls sag or I come into close contact with them
      then moisture does appear along the inside walls. To minimize
      condensation, I definitely recommend using the tarp tent with the
      most amount of interior space - the 10-foot model. I also recommend
      guying out both side walls and the rear wall, and adjusting the guy-
      outs for maximum tension before settling in for the night as SilNylon
      tends to stretch and the shelter may have sagged a bit since it was
      initially pitched. In addition, I found it best to pitch the tent
      with the door facing into the wind. Curiously enough, I found that
      attaching the Poncho Villa vestibule and pulling half of it back on
      itself (see photo in Initial Report section, above) helped to
      decrease condensation levels inside. I think that this is because the
      wall allowed winds to bounce off the vestibule and circle back into
      the tent, which helped keep air flowing into the tent even if winds
      shifted a bit from the direction they were blowing in when I
      initially pitched the tent.


      Vestibule:

      The vestibule is cavernous - with food stored outside the sleeping
      area, I easily fit my wife's and my gear underneath - this included
      two pairs of boots, my camp shoes, both of our near empty packs, and
      my cook pot and stove ready to heat water in the middle of the night,
      should my sleeping bag prove too cold and I need a Nalgene bottle
      filled with boiling water to heat things up. I had enough room to
      safely navigate a cooking area underneath without disturbing the gear
      around it (oooops, you're not supposed to have an open flame near
      SilNylon, are you?)


      Storage:

      While the tarp tent doesn't have any pockets sewn into the walls or
      an option for a gear loft, it does have elastic loops along the
      inside that are used for securing the front wall netting/door in
      the "open" position. I've used these loops to hold my glasses,
      flashlight, and other items. They help keep small items up off the
      floor and within easy reach - a plus for me, as I'm basically blind
      without my glasses.


      Improving on the Design:

      So far, the only change I would make to the tarp tent's design would
      be to add another 3 feet (1 m) to the guy line for the two side wall
      and one rear wall pull outs. I camp in areas where soil can be sandy,
      and the amount of line that comes with the tarp tent received for
      testing results in limited staking options, particularly when the
      walls are pulled out onto sticks for increased peak height along the
      side walls.


      This concludes my Field Report. The Long-Term Report will be amended
      to this report in approximately two months from the date of this
      report. Please check back then for further information.


      - End of Field Report -
    • colonelcorn76
      Hi Andy, Nice job and as always an easy edit. Just a couple of minor things and it s ready to go. Thanks, Jim H Test Monitor ... ### Edit: 36% humidity is
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 4 8:26 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Andy,

        Nice job and as always an easy edit. Just a couple of minor things
        and it's ready to go.

        Thanks,
        Jim H
        Test Monitor

        --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@...>
        wrote:

        > Humidity: 36 - 82%
        >
        > Dew Point Conditions: Air temperature always in excess of dewpoint,
        > but the two were close enough such that, with the high humidity

        ### Edit: 36% humidity is dryer than the Mojave Desert - not "high
        humidity". I know you cut & pasted this with the others but you'll
        want to review the wording on this one.

        > the surrounding material from being punctured. I found the optimal
        > height to pitch the front peak to be at 43 inches (109 cm). At this
        > height, the front corners were positioned at a distance apart from
        > one another such that I really had to stretch the corner loops of
        the

        ### Edit: Since you measured the height, the logical question of how
        far is the "distance apart" for the corners arises.

        > section of spectra cord for this purpose. Personally, I am much too

        ### EDIT: "Spectra" is a proper noun and trademark. (BTW, I found
        this site once on tying Spectra after I had a nasty failure with a
        bear bag in New Mexico -
        http://www.fishingkites.co.nz/fishingknots/spectra_fishing_line.html)

        > impatient to be fooling around with tying a cord around trees,
        > adjusting suspension height as needed, then untying the cord come
        > morning. I was never a scout of any sort and the only "knot" I know

        ### EDIT: if you're referring to the Boy or Girl version, then
        it's "Scout" but if you're referring to the army type then it's
        just "scout".

        > Lantern funnel. This item weighs a scant 0.4 oz (11 g) and creates
        a

        ### Comment: How much does that 'biner in the picture add to the 1/2
        oz weight of the funnel? :-)

        > shaped floor, there's plenty of room for a dog along the back wall.
        > I've slept comfortably in the tarp tent with my 80-pound (36 kg)
        > retriever without my having to give up one inch of "premium space"
        in

        ### EDIT: "one inch (2.5 cm)" for the Imperial measurement challenged
        amongst our readers who aren't familiar with this colloquial usage.

        > I found the beak and netting of the tarp tent to sufficiently
        > shielded me from the elements only in the most ideal of conditions -

        ### EDIT: "sufficient to shield me" or "to sufficiently shield me"


        > around it (oooops, you're not supposed to have an open flame near
        > SilNylon, are you?)

        ### Edit: "silnylon" this is one of those words that no longer gets
        uppercase like Kleenex in most cases - you can though and if so
        should do so consistently thru the report
      • Andy Mytys
        Thanks for the edits - learned something, which is always a good thing! ... The point I was making was that the distance is such that the vestibule has to be
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 5 9:16 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          Thanks for the edits - learned something, which is always a good
          thing!

          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "colonelcorn76"
          <colonelcorn76@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > > the surrounding material from being punctured. I found the
          > > optimal height to pitch the front peak to be at 43 inches (109
          > > cm). At this height, the front corners were positioned at a
          > > distance apart from one another such that I really had to stretch
          > > the corner loops of the of the StormFlap or Poncho Villa
          > > vestibule to secure them onto the clips, allowing for a very
          > > tight pitch to be realized...
          >
          > ### Edit: Since you measured the height, the logical question of
          > how far is the "distance apart" for the corners arises.
          >

          The point I was making was that the distance is such that the
          vestibule has to be STRETCHED in order to hit those corner clips,
          which results in a tight pitch overall. The tight pitch is
          important, as that keeps things from sagging, and allows any incoming
          breezes to really work at drying out moisture inside.

          How far is the distance between corners gives no real practical
          information, IMO. It doesn't reflect internal space, how wide a door
          opening is, etc. It's just another number.

          All questions as to actual physical dimensions can be answered by
          reviewing my IR, which is where such information belongs.

          Now, here comes a long-winded rant on measurements. I'm putting it
          in to explain why none of my reports contain more than the bare
          minimum when it comes to stats, and also to give other reviewers
          something to think about, as I feel that the level of measurement is
          far less useful than detailing experiences in the field. I'm not
          trying to have a pissing contest here, but overall I see the pendulum
          at BGT swinging towards the "stats" more than I would like, and I
          don't want my reviews to be on the "stats" side of the balance.

          I really don't like fixating on dimensions in a shelter review as I
          feel that they give a false sense of being useful information.
          Experience tells me that no matter how big a tent may appear on
          paper, the slope of the ceiling can turn the shelter into nothing
          more than a condensation hut - not anything I want to sleep in. What
          reviewers need to strive for, IMO, is not listing dimensions and
          thinking the job is done - they need to detail the living experience
          inside and talk about how practical interior space actually is.
          That's what I focus on anyway - if you want a blueprint of an item's
          measurements, look elsewhere.

          If I was reading a review of a shelter, I would want to know if I
          could recline without my sleeping bag or head touching a wall and,
          above that, if I would have enough of a buffer to where I could shift
          a bit at night and not wake up with a wet bag because I rolled on my
          side and suddenly my backside was touching a wall. I would want to
          know if I could sit up and change my clothes without touching a wall
          having my shirt suck up a bunch of condensation from contact. This
          is what I consider "must have" information in a shelter review, and
          it is what I provide.

          I'd much rather have readers of my review look at my vital stats and
          read about my actual experiences in the shelter, then inferring what
          they will, rather than looking at some basic measurements and moving
          on.

          Now, everyone might not agree with my approach - that's why we have
          multiple reviews. My reviews are LONG and are worded very carefully
          to answer practical use questions and, ultimately, "should I buy this
          product" using my field experiences as a litmus test. The goal of my
          reviews is not to have more details than someone else's reviews, nor
          to be a dumping ground of all product details. There's definitely a
          style to my reviews, and measurements have nothing to do with it.
        • Andy Mytys
          BTW, need to have the ability to delete my existing report to upload the new report.
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 5 9:20 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            BTW, need to have the ability to delete my existing report to upload
            the new report.
          • Jason Boyle
            Andy, Please include the url so it can be deleted. Thanks, Jason
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 5 9:32 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              Andy,

              Please include the url so it can be deleted.

              Thanks,
              Jason

              --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > BTW, need to have the ability to delete my existing report to upload
              > the new report.
              >
            • Andy Mytys
              This covers both my AGG reviews that need to be deleted: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Rain%20Gear/Jackets%20and%
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 5 9:42 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                This covers both my AGG reviews that need to be deleted:

                http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Rain%20Gear/Jackets%20and%
                20Pants/AntiGravityGear%20Poncho/Test%20Report%20by%20Andrew%20Mytys/

                http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Tents/AntiGravityGear
                %20TarpTent/Test%20Report%20by%20Andrew%20Mytys/

                --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Boyle"
                <c4jc88@...> wrote:
                >
                > Andy,
                >
                > Please include the url so it can be deleted.
                >
                > Thanks,
                > Jason
                >
                > --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > BTW, need to have the ability to delete my existing report to
                upload
                > > the new report.
                > >
                >
              • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
                Andy - You re good to go! Thanks for the links! Jet ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 6 5:32 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Andy - You're good to go! Thanks for the links!

                  Jet

                  backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com wrote on 08/05/2007 11:42:05 AM:

                  >
                  > This covers both my AGG reviews that need to be deleted:
                  >
                  > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Rain%20Gear/Jackets%20and%
                  > 20Pants/AntiGravityGear%20Poncho/Test%20Report%20by%20Andrew%20Mytys/
                  >
                  > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Tents/AntiGravityGear
                  > %20TarpTent/Test%20Report%20by%20Andrew%20Mytys/
                  >

                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.