LTR Black Diamond Stormtrack tent Arnold Peterson
- BLACK DIAMOND STORMTRACK TENT
TEST SERIES BY ARNOLD PETERSON
URL for HTML in floder http://tinyurl.com/dn3ycq
Text version follows below
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I backpacked 2 times, each time for one night, in a forest of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. This forest is flanked on the east side by the railroad and on the west side by the Middlesex Canal (operational from 1793 to 1853). There is a small section of the canal that had been
restored but now has gone back to nature. Beyond the canal is a cranberry bog that has not been harvested in over 45 years. Between this and the canal there is a swamp used as an aquifer for the town water wells until they were closed due to contamination. The brush, thorny bushes and trees keep most people out of this area. Under certain conditions it is near ideal for radiational cooling, which means that the temperature drops lower just before dawn. The temperatures for these backpacks ranged from a low of 33 F (1 C) to a high of 55 F (13 C).
I backpacked in a forest in southern, New Hampshire. It is relatively flat, with a lot of rocky hills and several ponds which were ice covered. The trees are a mixture of hardwoods and mostly pine. The temperature was between 19 F (-7 C) and 38 F (3 C). The ground was covered in crusty snow that collapsed under foot.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Repair and recovery.
As mentioned in my previous report, I had made arrangements with Black Diamond and I would be receiving poles and patch material to repair my tent. When the materials arrived, I found that the sewing machine needed adjustment. After getting the sewing machine adjusted, I got someone to help with the sewing. Final adjustments to the sewing machine were made with a test portion of the patch material. The first step was to cut the patch material about 2 in (5 cm) beyond the rip. The tent was cleaned with alcohol and allowed to dry before sewing the patch. The patch was sewn to the underside of the tent. The outside of the tent is coated with silicon (slippery) and the inside is slightly sticky. The slippery side was placed down against the inside of the tent. A double row of stitches was sewn fairly close to the rip. The outside edges of the patch cloth were turned under before sewing along the edge. The corners of the patch were cut
at a diagonal so that when the patch was turned under the material would remain the same thickness all the way around the circumference. A double row of stitches was used for the outside edge. At this point, I turned the tent over and inspected the outside of the tent. I was now satisfied that it was time to apply the seam sealer to the stitched area. This was done on a flat surface and allowed to dry for over 20 hrs. The tent was turned over and the procedure was repeated for the inside and allowed to dry for 20 hrs. Both times the sealed areas were completely dry to the touch. See pictures below.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "smaller rip">>
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "larger "L" shaped rip">>
Backpacking in Middlesex County after repairs.
The tent was ready and a rain storm was predicted for the night. I arrived at the campsite before sundown. The temperature was still a warm 55 F (13 C) with a slight breeze. In the sunny areas, the ground was muddy and wet. In the shady areas and under the trees, it was icy and the snow was crystallized. I set up the tent under the trees where I would have no trouble with water or mud. I had no problems even though the ground was still slightly frozen. I went for a walk and when I returned, I found the outside temperature was 44 F (7 C) and the inside temperature was 39 F (4 C). I could feel the humidity in the air and I was sure it would rain during the night. I read a little and quickly went to sleep. When I was ready to leave in the morning, the inside temperature had dropped to 36 F (2 C) and the outside temp was 41 F (5 C). The inside of the tent was completely dry and there was a small amount of moisture on my sleeping bag
from my breath. It had not rained during the night.
Fortunately another rain night was predicted and this test period was coming to an end soon. This time when I arrived at the camp site the temperature was 39 F (4 C) and the ground was slightly frozen. The shady areas had areas of ice and crystallized snow. When I got set up, the inside temperature was 36 F (2 C). I read a little and went to sleep. When I woke 6 hours later, the inside temperature was 37 F (3 C). I went back to sleep for another 2 hours. When I woke the second time, the inside temperature was 35 F (2 C) and the outside temperature was about 33 F (1 C). There was a small amount of moisture on my sleeping bag near where I breathe. Although it did not rain during the night, there was a lot of wind that was very gusty. I could hear the fly moving in the wind but I could not detect any movement in the tent. There was one gust of wind that did shake part of the base of the tent very briefly.
Backpacking in southern New Hampshire.
I backpacked in a forest east of Manchester. The area is fairly flat with some rocky outcrops, several small ponds, and a mostly hardwood forest. At the time I backpacked, the snow was compacted and crunchy under foot. It was about 39 F (4 C) when I arrived and set up the tent. I set up the tent in an open area near a pond. The ground was harder under one stake and I needed a rock to get that stake into the ground. This turned out to be the hardest stake to remove. I left all the vents open and noticed there was no temperature difference between the inside and the outside. When I woke in the morning, I noticed a small amount of moisture on my sleeping bag and the rest of the tent was dry. The temperature was 19 F (-7 C) and I was not feeling warm enough to stay any longer. The outside of the fly was covered by a light frost. Packing was quick except for the one stake where I had trouble in the hard frozen ground. The ground
freezes harder in the open.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "in southern New Hampshire">>
I found the stakes to be durable and fairly easy to insert into ground that is frozen fairly solid. Removal of the stakes is slightly more difficult. There are some small features that make setting up the tent and taking it down easier. The preformed curved hook and loop tabs on the fly are easier to attach to the tent poles than non preformed tabs. The curved plastic hooks are easier to attach and detach from the tent poles than non curved plastic hooks. The tent tensions well so that the action of the zippers is smooth. I found that setting up the tent and putting my gear into the tent before setting up the fly made for a quicker set-up. Reversing this order for breaking camp was also a little quicker. Although I did not get to use the tent in the rain after the repairs, I am confident that it should keep the moisture out during a heavy sustained rainfall.
Best of all, I like the amount of space available in the tent. Second, I like the ease of setting up and taking down the tent. Third, I feel this is a well built tent that should last a long time. I do think there could be more ventillation area in the front and back doors to the tent. In the warmer weather, it may be difficult to get air moving in the lower part of the tent.
I hope to be using the Stormtrack tent for backpacking as well as for car camping for many years.
This concludes my Long Term Report. I wish to thank BackpackGearTest.org and Black Diamond for the opportunity to test the Stormtrack tent.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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- Arnold, thanks for your report -- one question: did you have to use your own
sewing machine for the repairs? If someone didn't own a sewing machine, do
you think the repairs could have been done by hand? This doesn't have to be
included in your report; it's just for my own curiosity. :)
Here is your edit:
"I do think there could be more ventillation area in the front and back
doors to the tent."
EDIT: Spelling: ventilation.
That's it! Please upload when ready. Thank you as well for a great test
"Not all who wander are lost"
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