Here is the BIG SKY MIRAGE 1P 2D SHELTER FR.
BIG SKY MIRAGE 1P 2D SHELTER
TEST SERIES BY CAROL CROOKER
September 01, 2009
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
August 17-19, over Wheeler Peak from West Fork (Red River) trailhead to Bull-of-the-Woods trailhead in the Carson National Forest just north of Taos, New Mexico.
Elevation 9600 -13,161 ft (2900 - 4011 m)
Weather mostly clear with temperatures from 80 - 41 F (27 - 5 C); breezy to windy the final half of the trip.
The trail was forested dirt trail at beginning and end, with rocky trail above tree line on both sides of Wheeler Peak - the highest point in New Mexico.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "End view with storm guy lines set.">>
I took the Mirage for a trip that included bagging Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in New Mexico, in August. I camped above Lost Lake the first night and next to a small stream the second. I found a large flat area the first night at an established site, cleared away pine cones and set up the tent. It was harder to squeeze in the tent the second night. I set it up on the only available flat area, then realized that sharp tips of rocks protruded just above the ground surface and would likely damage the tent floor even through the Tyvek ground cloth. It was a chore to unstake the tent, but it was then easy to move it fully erected with the ground sheet still attached. The advantage of a tarp is much less fussiness about the surface it is set up on. On the other hand, I realized a major advantage of a tent that second night. The wind blew and gusted almost all night but I slept peacefully knowing the tent wouldn't blow away with my body weight holding down the floor (I once spent several midnight hours in high winds holding one edge of a tarp over me after a stake was ripped out, trying to stay dry and hoping the torrential downpour would abate so I could move.)
That second night I moved the Mirage to the only area at the camp site that was large enough and free of rocks, but it had a slight tilt. My air mattress easily slid on the slick tent floor so I spent much of the night up against the side wall of the tent. A morning inspection showed no apparent damage to the tent.
I now immediately stake the four corners of the Mirage once it is up since it blows over quite easily. Something else I've learned is that I don't need to hold onto the first tent pole after I've inserted it in both grommets in order to insert the second. I can lay the first pole on the ground to leave both hands free to work on inserting the second tent pole.
The guy lines and extra stakes create a stable shelter that held up well under frequent winds of about 20 mph (32 kph) with gusts up to about 40 mph (64 kph).
The short C stakes held better in the dirt of the forest floor than in the sandy soil of my last trip.
The Mirage is well engineered. Zippers remain in alignment (and zip closed easily) even if the shelter is erected and staked out with the doors open.
I found I could unhook a tied back vestibule, zip it up, and even stake it out from inside the tent. Another nice detail: one side of each vestibule has a loop so it can be staked out and the netting door ties back under this side of the vestibule. I often rolled back the other half of the vestibule and tied it back. Since the netting door ties back to the opposite side, there is a cleaner look, and the two doors don't get tangled.
The Mirage is well engineered with many thoughtful features. It shows no signs of wear at this point. My likes and dislikes remain as listed previously.
Check back in two months for the long term report.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.