POST: Integral Designs SilDome Tarp IR - André
> POST: Integral Designs SilDome Tarp IR - Andrétext (LTR only) below, full html here: http://tinyurl.com/6kzvxs
Long Term Report
I've set up the tarp three more times, at elevations between 100 and
300 m (330 and 1000 ft), in temps above, but not far above, freezing.
There wasn't appreciable precipitation and only light winds. In
short, boring conditions in comparison to the tempest the tarp was
exposed to in the field report.
My daughters aren't large (at seven and nearly three years of age),
and they fit under the tarp with me, in their sleeping bags. The
little one is more of a problem than the older one, because she's got
a rather voluminous blanket-shaped sleeping bag (to go over her
standard - indoor - sleeping bag with arm holes) and that threatens
to lay in such a way that with a minimum of movement she'll push a
corner of it out underneath the bottom ventilations of the tarp.
Staking that side down to the very ground helps, but I'm not happy to
reduce ventilation when I've got three people breathing underneath it
The taller one has a proper mummy-shaped sleeping bag which attaches
to her kid-size self-inflating pad and presents much less of a
challenge. So the smart money seems to put the little one on the
windward side, with the two inner stakes staking the center of the
tarp down to the very ground. Anyway, it'll fit me and my two
daughers. Not too much gear as well, but I pack as lightly as
possible when I'm already carrying the little one so that doesn't
seem to present a problem.
Well, there wasn't that much weather to resist. In fact, compared to
the two nights in the Netherlands I haven't encountered much weather
since then. Well, there was that one night here in Bonn where the
wind was actually stronger, but that over- turned a 40-ton-truck, so
there. In retrospect, I'm actually happy I didn't look for a more
sheltered spot in the Netherlands, because the trees hadn't been
shedding just leaves, they'd been shedding branches.
Compared to that, I was much to blas\'e9 about wind to notice much of
whatever amount of wind was actually going around at night around
here. There wasn't much rain, either, I guess. There must have been a
sprinkle here and there given the amount of wet ground the next day,
but I didn't notice any of that at night (little kids do that to me).
Overall, the tarp seemed to do an excellent job of keeping weather at
Often the reverse side of the coin vis-\'e0-vis weather resistance,
and that proved to be the case here as well. The way to escape
stronger weather seems to be to turn the tarp into more of a cheese
cover, with concomitant condensation problems. These can be somewhat
alleviated by leaving a small open slit at the top of the zipper at
the entrance. Of course, I'm loathe to do that on a cold night, as
having an air vent in the top of a structure lets the heat out pretty
well, but I guess them's the breaks.
Given less than adverse weather, allowing for some ventilation
underneath the bottom of the tarp, all around, as well as having a
little ventilation slit at the top of the zipper, worked very well
and while there was condensation on the inside surface of the tarp
right above my head, it wasn't much and none of it fell on me. I was
happy with that.
I've continued to carry six stakes, just to be on the safe side. When
by myself, in mediochre conditions, I only need to use three. One
goes at either end of the tarp to maintain the structure (the sides
with the pole generally didn't need to be staked down, they were held
in place well enough by the center strip), and one at the foot of the
zipper to allow one-handed operation.
No issues to report. The tarp has dirt clinging to it in a few spots
because I'm not the most scrupulous about cleaning these things, but
I have no reason to doubt that given a high pressure hose (or a
sponge and soapy water and half an hour to kill), I could make it
look like new.
I'm moderately happy with it. I'll be very happy with it in summer,
I'm sure - when I need it more for rain protection and a bit of wind
protection and heat isn't a problem (and I use less bulky gear
inside), I'll be happy to have such a spacious shelter at that little
weight. Being able to shelter me and both of my daughters at less
than a pound and a half is an awesome achievement - the kind of thing
I need to allow me to keep hiking with both of them until the little
one is tall enough to walk herself and maybe carry her own food.
Given current weather (just above or around freezing, general
tendency towards the wet), I'm less thrilled with it because it seems
to include a lot of volume which doesn't translate into useful volume
for me because of its steeply sloped sides at the head and foot end.
Overall - a great very lightweight solution for our warmer weather
This concludes my test report on the Integral Desings SilDome tarp.
I'd like to thank Integral Designs and BackpackGearTest.org for
letting me test this item.
- Hi Andre,
Good report. I have a few edits for you below. When they are
corrected, feel free to upload. Also, please be sure to delete your
test file. It's been a pleasure working with you. Thanks!
> Anyway, it'll fit me and my two daughers.EDIT: daughters
> Well, there was that one night here in Bonn where the wind wasactually stronger, but that over- turned a 40-ton-truck...
> Compared to that, I was much to blas\'e9 about...EDIT: it should be "much too blase" and I'm not sure about the strange
formatting. It showed up on the html version as well.
> Often the reverse side of the coin vis-\'e0-vis weather...EDIT: another formatting thing
> as well as having a little ventilation slit at the top of thezipper, worked very well and while there...
EDIT:I would rewrite this to read "and having a little ventilation
slit at the top of the zipper worked very well..." I think it reads a
little better with fewer commas.
> When by myself, in mediochre conditions...EDIT: mediocre