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Application - Sierra Designs Zeta 2 Tent - Brian Hartman

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  • bhart1426@yahoo.com
    Please accept my application to test the Sierra Designs Zeta 2 tent.  I have read the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide, version 0609, including Chapter 5, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2009
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      Please accept my application to test the Sierra Designs Zeta 2 tent.  I have read the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide, version 0609, including Chapter 5, and I will follow all requirements.  I have also completed the tester agreement and submitted it as required. 

      Tester Bio
      Name:  Brian Hartman
      Age: 41
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5' 9" (1.7 Meters)
      Weight: 145 Pounds (66 Kilograms)
      Email address: bhart1426@...
      City , State, Country: Noblesville, Indiana, U.S.
      Date: May 31, 2009
      Backpacking Background:  I have been hiking and camping for over 20 years and enjoy backpacking solo and with my kids in Scouting.  My backpack and gear are older and weigh 30+ lbs (13 kg).  This has limited the distances I have been able to cover while hiking.  My goal over the next several years is to replace my existing clothing and gear with more suitable and lighter weight alternatives.
      Field Information:  My testing will take place mainly in the Midwest with trips to Michigan , Wisconsin, Ohio and Southern Indiana.  Temperatures during the next three months typically range from 65 F to 86 F (18 C to 30 C).  The precipitation during Summer averages 3 inches (7 cm) per month.  I plan to test this tent during several multi-day camping and backpacking trips I have planned over the next few months including a week long backpacking trip through Brown County State Park in Indiana .  In addition, I will take it with me on my son's Scouting campouts this spring and summer.  I intend to use this tent often over the next several months.
      Test Strategy:
      From checking out the Sierra Design's website the Zeta 2 is a three season, two person tent made of nylon with a polyester rainfly.  It weighs in at 5lb 15 oz and uses 4 poles with Jake's Foot pole attachments.

      Some of the things I would like to evaluate on this tent include the following:

      Set-up: How easy is it to pitch the Zeta 2 tent?  Will I be able to set it up in a hurry when bad weather is approaching?  Is it as simple as putting in stakes and raising the poles or does it require fidgeting with the position of the stakes to get a tight pitch?  Since the ground can be quite hard in summer, I will check to see if the tent stakes are strong enough so they don't bend when pushed into the ground.  Does the Zeta 2 need to be pitched in a particular direction in relationship to the wind?

      Space: Does this tent provide adequate space for two?  Can I easily stretch out without touching the walls?  Can I sit without hitting the ceiling?  Is there enough room for two to maneuver inside?  I will also check to see if my backback and gear fit in the vestible.  Is the door wide enough for an easy entry and exit? 
      Packing: How easy is it to take down the tent?  Once dismantled how easy is it to pack the Zeta 2 for stowage into its bag?  Do the tent, stakes and poles all fit in the one bag?  Is the packed size that is listed on the website easily achievable?

      Ventilation: From what I could see on Sierra Design's website, the Zeta 2 tent appears to have mesh around the perimeter for adequate ventilation.  Does condensation build up inside?  If so, can this be alleviated by opening or the front "vestibule" area?  Does the tent allow for much in the way of airflow?

      Weather Protection: Summer in the Indiana can be unpredictable.  The saying is "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes."  Some of the things I will look for include how well the Zeta 2 fairs in rain? Can the tent handle heavy rain and strong wind? Does the floor wet through after prolonged rain?  What about the rainfly?  Does any water enter the tent from the entrance during a rainstorm?

      Materials/Features: How well does the tent fabric hold up under extended use?  How strong and secure are the Jake's Foot Pole attachments and does this system make pitching the tent simpler?  Are the poles sturdy?  How easily does the tent fit into its stuff sack? 
      Weight: Although this is not a ultralight tent, it is still several pounds lighter than my current tent and offers adequate space for my backpacking needs.  I plan to weigh the tent, rainfly, poles and stakes to get individual weghts on these items.  I will be taking several long backpacking trips this summer and will evaluate how the weight of this tent affects my hikes.
      I am very excited about being able to test the Sierra Designs Zeta 2 tent.  I have lots of trips planned and intend to test this tent extensively.  Thank you for considering my application!

      My reports and reviews can be found at:
      I am currently testing the Black Diamond Lantern and Royal Robbins Vest.
      Thank you for your consideration,
      Brian Hartman

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