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REVISED: Kelty Carport Deluxe IR - Pam Wyant

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  • pamwyant
    I decided I did not like the formatting of some of the info (and caught a missed conversion), so here is a repost of my report: HTML:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2008
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      I decided I did not like the formatting of some of the info (and
      caught a missed conversion), so here is a repost of my report:



      OR: http://tinyurl.com/67bnrg


      Initial Report - July 31, 2008

      Tester Information:

      Name: Pam Wyant
      Age: 50
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
      Weight: 165 lb (77 kg)

      E-mail address: pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
      Location: Western West Virginia, U.S.A.

      Backpacking Background:

      Pursuing a long-time interest, I started backpacking four years ago,
      beginning with day-hiking and single overnights. Currently I'm
      mostly a `weekend warrior', hiking and backpacking mainly in the
      hills and valleys of West Virginia, but have started a project to
      section hike the Appalachian Trail (AT), accruing a little over 200
      mi (300 km) in the last two years. My usual shelter is a hammock,
      but occasionally I use a tent. In general my backpacking style is
      lightweight and minimalist and I try to cut as much pack weight as I
      can without sacrificing warmth, comfort, or safety.

      Initial Report - July 31, 2008

      Product Information:
      Manufacturer: Kelty
      Year of manufacture: 2008
      Model: Carport Deluxe
      Color: Grey & Blue
      Size: Large (fits mini-vans & SUV's)

      Website: www.kelty.com
      MSRP: US$ 320

      Photo - Carport Deluxe attached to side of Jeep Grand Cherokee

      Advertised minimum weight: 9 lb 9 oz (4.3 kg)
      Advertised packaged weight: 10 lb 3 oz (4.6 kg)

      Measured packaged weight: 12 lb 3 oz (5.5 kg)
      Measured minimum weight: 9 lb 12 oz (4.4 kg)

      Advertised size: 113 sq ft (10.5 sq m)

      Advertised dimensions: 126 x 116 in (320 x 295 cm)

      Advertised packaged size: 8 x 20 in (20 x 51 cm)
      Measured packaged size (after repackaging): 8 x 24 in (20 x 61 cm)

      Product Description:

      Photo - Attached to rear & raised

      The Carport Deluxe is part of Kelty's Basecamp Collection, intended
      for use at campgrounds, all-day festivals, and sports events. It
      attaches to the side or rear of mini-vans or SUV's with roof racks or
      roof rails, and is intended to provided shelter from sun or wet
      weather. The Carport Deluxe is not intended to be used in severe
      storms, especially those with wind. The shelter can be configured in
      different ways for privacy and weather-resistance or shade and
      cooling breezes, depending on whether the included staff poles are
      used or not.

      The shelter consists of a large shaped tarp with three windows and
      sets up with either 6 or 8 poles depending on whether the outside
      edge is to be raised for views and breezes or left near the ground
      for protection or privacy. Each side has four webbing loops for
      staking plus an additional webbing loop at the corner which has an
      adjustable sliding buckle and is attached to a metal split ring that
      also holds a metal spring clip and an additional small webbing loop
      for staking. The roof of the shelter arches upward to provide enough
      height for standing, and then slopes down to the ground, forming the
      front wall. A large semi-rectangular window is placed at seat
      height. Attached to each side of the roof/front wall is a side wall
      with a D-shaped window. Each window is covered with No-See-um mesh
      and also has a zippered nylon privacy panel which when unzipped, can
      be rolled and fastened out of the way with a toggle and loop system.

      At the apex of the shelter, a D-ring is attached to the seam at each
      end. No directions are given for use of the D-rings, but they seem
      like they would be useful to attach a light weight lantern or a
      clothesline for hanging wet bathing suits, dishtowels, or other light
      weight items. A large triangular mesh pocket is located at each of
      the front corners. The Kelty logo is printed on the center of the
      area under the front window.

      The shelter uses shock-corded DAC aluminum poles for support, and a
      hybrid system of pole sleeves, clips, and hook and loop straps to
      attach the shelter to the poles. Heavy hook and loop straps are used
      to attach the shelter to the roof rack of the vehicle. Four long
      guylines are provided to provide support when the staff poles are
      used to raise the outer edge of the shelter. Two short guylines are
      also provided, and although the directions don't specify their
      purpose, there are two flaps of material with loop openings just
      below the lower pole sleeves, and I conclude that the short guylines
      are to be used in these loops to provide extra guying when needed.

      Kelty also includes 14 Aluminum 'shepherd's hook' style stakes. This
      is enough for one on each webbing loop and four for guying out when
      using the shelter in the lowered mode. If using the shelter in
      raised mode, only four stakes need to be used to guy out the staff

      Photo - The parts

      Trying it out:

      A comprehensive booklet gives safety information and pitching
      instructions. The pitching instructions are clear and easy to read,
      although lacking somewhat in showing how to guy the shelter out or
      fully stake it. The two staking illustrations included show a
      slightly different webbing configuration at the corners than the
      actual setup, which consists of the short piece of webbing attached
      to the split ring instead of attaching directly to the longer
      adjustable piece of webbing, however this is relatively minor and did
      not cause me any problems trying to figure it out. Kelty does
      provide some tips on how to use rocks to anchor the shelter on
      surfaces that would be difficult or impossible to stake, such as
      gravel parking lots or pavement, using cord and rocks of different
      sizes. As of this writing, the instruction booklet is available as a
      PDF file when browsing Kelty's Website, under the category
      instructions and the subheading of 2007 tents-shelters. The cord for
      using this system is not included with the tent, so I will need to
      purchase some extra cord to carry in the event I need to use this

      The photo to the right shows all the included pieces. As is apparent
      in the photo, the bulk of the shelter is the pole system. From the
      time I took this photo to completion of the shelter took about 30
      minutes, working on my own, and referring to the directions as I
      went. I believe this time will become shorter as I become more
      familiar with setup. Although I haven't tried it yet, I think that I
      will be able to set up the shelter the next time without needing to
      refer to the instructions, as it seems fairly intuitive now that I
      know how it goes together.

      The first step was to put together the poles. Thankfully, they are
      shockcorded so this was simple. Kelty cautions to assemble the poles
      manually and not use the shockcord to 'snap' them together as this
      can damage the poles. Once the poles were together, I laid them to
      one side.

      The next step is to lay the shelter out, with the pole sleeves facing
      up. It takes a fairly large area to lay the shelter out, larger than
      it will end up being when finished. I found out it is best not to
      try this directly adjacent to the vehicle, but to allow 6-10 feet for
      inserting poles and working on the assembly. I assembled the shelter
      with the top facing my vehicle, which proved to be a good move since
      it made attaching the assembled shelter easier.

      Then the actual assembly starts. First, eyelets at the end of the
      top pole (which is easily discernible since it has three long and
      thick hook and loop straps attached) are connected to hooks on
      webbing at the top of the carport. Once connected, I found this pole
      stayed in place very well with only the two hooks while I assembled
      the rest of the shelter.

      The next pole to go in place is the one with the 'C' shaped aluminum
      sections, which goes at what will end up being the apex of the
      carport and is also is held in place by eyelets and hooks on webbing
      straps. Three short hook and loop straps across the center help hold
      this pole in place.

      Then two short poles are inserted in pole sleeves at the top of the
      carport and fit into the "C" shaped intersection on one end and are
      attached to the top pole by a metal spring pin at the other. To this
      point everything fit together very easily. The next step is to
      insert two long poles into poles sleeves near the mesh windows and
      connect them to the "C" shaped intersection at the apex on one end
      and to a metal spring pin in the corner webbing on the other end. To
      do this I had to adjust the sliding buckle to allow the webbing to be
      extended as fully as possible, and arch the pole by putting pressure
      on it while holding the spring clip with the other hand. I found
      this a little difficult as it was a tight fit. It took a few second
      of struggle to do this on this first pole, and several more seconds
      on the second pole, since the carport has a good bit of tension by
      this time.

      At this point the carport has taken shape, and I had only to fasten
      the clips on the lower section of the long poles and attach the short
      hook and loop tabs at the top of the carport to the top pole, making
      sure the long hook and loop straps are spaced on the outside of the
      short hook and loop straps. At this point, the carport is ready to
      attach to the top rail of the vehicle. It was simply a matter of
      picking the carport up by the top pole, and pulling it up and over to
      my Jeep, placing the pole across the rail, and attaching it to the
      rail by wrapping the hook and loop straps around the rail. There are
      also D-rings that can be used in attaching if needed.

      Then the corner webbing is tightened up and the corners and sides
      staked down, and viola! A nice, covered shelter area right next to
      my Jeep!

      Preliminary Impressions:

      Photo - Spacing at rear

      I had a lot of fun playing with different configurations for the
      shelter. It fit well on both the side and the rear of my Jeep. It
      seems very spacious, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing what
      uses I can put the Kelty Carport Deluxe to.

      I did have a little trouble with the sides seeming wrinkled and
      pulled to the front side rather than dropping straight down, but this
      seemed to be a little better after I pulled the webbing at the bottom
      corners a lot tighter. This puts a little more arch in the long
      poles, and less pulling or stress on the sides. I like the privacy
      offered by having the front side low, which I think would be good to
      make a 'changing area' for water sports such as kayaking if care is
      taken in positioning my Jeep so that people don't see into the areas
      not covered by the carport on the vehicle side.

      One thing that seems to be missing that would be a good feature when
      using the shelter in 'battened down' mode is a door. I will be
      playing around a bit with positioning of the top pole in relation to
      the front and back of my Jeep. It seems it would be feasible to
      leave a larger opening at the rear to allow access without having to
      unstake the part of the carport near the vehicle to allow passing
      through. As I had it set up, I could duck under, but it would be
      nice to be able to walk under it without having to duck.

      I also really liked having the shelter in the propped up position,
      which allowed a lot of space that I think would be ideal for watching
      a parade from shelter or using as a gathering spot when picnicking or
      tailgating. When using the shelter this way, the staff poles are
      used. The point on the staff poles fits through the loop in the end
      of the spring pins or the metal spring pin to hold them in place.
      Guylines further secure them. Kelty included a unique "Niteize
      Figure 9" tensioner that made adjusting the guylines quite easy. An
      instruction page for the Figure 9 was also included. Using this
      tensioner prevents having to use a sliding tension knot such as a
      tautline hitch, and small teeth on the tensioner keep it securely in
      place once fastened.

      Photo - Used "Free standing"

      The sides of the shelter are also rolled up out of the way when using
      it in the raised position, with loop and toggle fasteners holding
      them out of the way. Kelty has positioned three of the toggles along
      each side, however I found only the top two were useful. The bottom
      one did not hold well because there was not much fabric to be rolled
      up in that area, but it also wasn't really needed since the other two
      kept the rolled sides out of the way.

      One thing that I discovered is that it is possible to use the carport
      without having the vehicle attached if the front is positioned in the
      lowered mode and the staff poles are used in the spring pins on the
      top poles. This makes a shelter that is open on one side and
      enclosed on the other and I could see this coming in handy at times
      when perhaps parking space is at a minimum but there are grassy field

      Everything about the shelter seems to be of high quality, and I did
      not notice any blemishes, uneven stitching in the seams, or flaws in
      any of the materials. Overall, so far I am very impressed and
      greatly looking forward to camping, picnicking, and playing in the
      outdoors with the Kelty Carport Deluxe.

      More To Come:

      This concludes my Initial Report. Please check back in early October
      for field testing results.

      Thanks to Kelty and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the
      Carport Deluxe.
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