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POST: Integral Designs SilDome Tarp IR - André

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  • André Corterier
    ... text (LTR only) below, full html here: http://tinyurl.com/6kzvxs Long Term Report Field Experience: I ve set up the tarp three more times, at elevations
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2008
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      > POST: Integral Designs SilDome Tarp IR - André

      text (LTR only) below, full html here: http://tinyurl.com/6kzvxs


      Long Term Report
      Field Experience:
      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.

      Size:
      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.

      Weather Resistance:
      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
      bay.

      Condensation:
      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.

      Stake Use:
      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.

      Durability:
      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.

      Summary:
      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
      shelter needs.

      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.
    • a_henrichs
      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
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 1, 2008
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        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!

        Andy

        > Anyway, it'll fit me and my two daughers.
        EDIT: daughters

        > Well, there was that one night here in Bonn where the wind was
        actually stronger, but that over- turned a 40-ton-truck...
        EDIT: overturned

        > 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 the
        zipper, 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
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