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MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:19 am

cgundersen wrote:
Each night the tents were on sandy gravel but no ground cover. But, the floor of the tent/vestibule was fine, it was just the condensation from above. I'll try to get a photo posted.


The floor will always be fine. All the vapor will rise and condense on the fly. If you're talking about the outside of the fly, that's dew. The inner side, that's vapor from the ground and from you, combined with any humidity.

I've actually had horrible condensation on an open tarp suspended eight feet on the ground - the only time I've ever seen that with my tarp/hammock, both sides of the tarp were wet, was in Lyell Canyon camping on a bench off the trail and slightly up from the river. The ground is boggy and soaked in the lowest part of the canyon. Conditions were evidently perfect - if the ambient temp is just so, and the air is humid, it doesn't matter what the heck you do. All of us, tarpers and tenters, had horrible condensation. All the many other nights I've used a tarp I had zero issues, even camping next to streams.



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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:10 pm

If conditions are right, you are going to get condensation. It is NOT pilot error! I am really tired of design flaws in tents being always blamed on user error. On my last trip (trip report soon to come!) I got serious condensation camped away from water on sand. Another night I camped next to water, on grass, no condensation. The difference was all due to night temperatures and humidity. (I am now using a Tarptent Moment, and it really sucks with respect to condensation- but am willing to trade the annoyance for weight savings- and am not rich enough to just dump the tent and buy another right now)

Some tents get condensation worse than others, depending on design. In single wall tents or tarps, that condenstion can directly drip on you or if you get hail or strong wind, it will "mist" inside the shelter. With a double wall tent, mostly mosquito netting for inner, you get a little more protection from direct drips. In a good mountaineering 4-season tent, with nylon inner, you will most likely not get drips on you (but these are definitely heavier tents). Also, the amount of interior volume vs the volume of people (or person) giving off moisture is also a factor. As is venting.

The issue with me is that what good is a tent if it only performs in fair weather (or when you do not need a tent)? I have gone the whole route: tarp, mountaineering tent, bivy sack, double wall summer tent, single wall tent. The only tent that I feel is bombproof in that near freezing, 100% humidity, stormy weather is the mountaineering 4-season tent.

As for the bivy sack, I have spent some really stormy nights in a bivy and although it is really restricting, I was cozy and did not get wet. A small tarp to cover the head of the bivy will allow you to get in and out without getting the bivy soaked. I have taken 12-day trips with a bivy sack.

As for people causing condensation inside the tent, I have had an empty single wall tent condense on the inside. You set it up, warm moist air is inside, and the temperature drops below dew point, and bang-- you get condensation.

So what is the danger with condensation? In the Sierra in the summer, it is mostly an annoyance. You have to wait for morning sun to hit to dry things out. In the Rockies or PNW where you can easily get damp weather for a week or more with no sun to dry things out condensation can be downright dangerous- your down bag losses loft every day. Continually damp air inside the tent will make you feel colder than if the air were dry.

When things get tough in a storm, I often will stuff my sleeping bag in a waterproof sack and put on my rain gear inside the tent and sit out the worst of the storm just to prevent my bag from getting wet. Getting my bag wet is my biggest worry.

What is worse than a tent that drips of condensation, is a tent that not only drips but also blows down in a storm and truely leaks! As much as I cuss my Moment, it is sturdy. And as much as I feel like a corpse in a coffin in my bivy sack, it does not blow down.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby cgundersen » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:41 am

[quote="Wandering Daisy"]If conditions are right, you are going to get condensation. It is NOT pilot error! I am really tired of design flaws in tents being always blamed on user error.

Amen! Ergo, the kudos to A16 for not balking at taking the tent back. I'll do a bit more homework before jumping at another tent.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby Hobbes » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:21 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:As for the bivy sack, I have spent some really stormy nights in a bivy and although it is really restricting, I was cozy and did not get wet. A small tarp to cover the head of the bivy will allow you to get in and out without getting the bivy soaked. I have taken 12-day trips with a bivy sack.


That's my current set-up. Over time, I've adjusted both the bivy & tarp in an attempt to balance the condensation vs rain protection equation.

For my bivy, I used Momentum 90 for the shell (same material as my APEX quilt), and stayed with 1.3oz silnylon for the floor. M90 is only DWR, not water proof (eg Gore Tex), but since it breathes pretty well, condensation isn't a big problem as long one's breath is properly vented.

As for the tarp, I copied MLD's design by making it both longer (9') and narrower (5'), but stuck with plain old 1.3oz silnylon, rather than get fancy with cuben. (The old method of using a small 5X7 poncho as a tarp left too much exposure.) Each tie-out has 3' cord extensions to give it some lift and keep the tarp off the bivy. The length is key, since you aim the foot into the storm to stay dry. Here's a pic of an MLD tarp in action:

Image

With this setup, I simply pull out the bivy and go to sleep at the end of the day. The footprint is tiny, and I can literally crash anywhere. (I'm not big on setting up, nor hanging around a camp.) If it's raining or looks like it's gonna rain, I dig out the tarp and use the dual configuration.

At the risk of tempting the gods, I feel like I've finally got a good system dialed in that works well in many/most situations.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby cgundersen » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:21 pm

Hobbes,
Very slick; back in the "dark ages" ('70s), a guy I backpacked with used our ice axes as supports for a rainfly and we saved a lot of weight, but fed a lot of mosquitoes even after rigging crude netting. But, having been tentbound for 2-3 day stints more frequently than I'd like (yes, mostly in June or later autumn), I'm happy to have a tent as opposed to the lighter, tighter regimes. That said, I love sleeping under the stars whenever the weather/bugs cooperate.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby rlown » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:58 pm

cgundersen wrote:...
That said, I love sleeping under the stars whenever the weather/bugs cooperate.
cg


Ahh.. A usual September.. Cowboy camped out on a tarp with just the bags.. Not this year. Did it for the last 12 though.. A weird year, weather wise.

Still not seeing the use of being in a Bivy and having a tarp over my head. That is definitely tent weather; a real tent. No disrespect, and to each their own. I've done the Bivy, and I got a lot of condensation. It was a polarguard bag, so I didn't care. Rung out the bag, packed up and moved on.
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby whrdafamI? » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:02 am

Like everyone else I have gone through the gaunlet of tents looking for Nirvana. I got a Marmot "Eclipse" which was a nice tent but ended up giving it to one of my sons. Also had a Walrus "Arch Rival" but that went to another son. Thankfully the oldest son doesn't like backpacking! I tried the Megamid Tee Pee looking thing and it wasn't bad but the skeeters didn't have much trouble getting in. A16 took it back with no problems. We then got a North Face Spectrum 33 and entered the 3rd level of hell. I had never seen condensation such as this before. I had to take a towel into the tent at night to keep wiping the walls down. To REI's credit they took it back, no questions. I told them anyway. We now have a Nemos Losi 3 and I have yet to see any condensation ever. At just under 6lbs. it weighs more than I would like but sometimes there is a trade off. When I think back many years ago when all I used was a Tube Tent I wonder why I can't be happy now with something so simple?
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby Herm » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:10 pm

Although not the lightest at about 5 pounds, my REI HalfDome HC has never produced any condensation issues. It has two doors and two vestibules and two functional vents (the best feature of all, in my opinion), along with a host of other nice features. I consider it a very good tent, and it has been tested in both rain and snow. But not quite good enough, in that I also have a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3 that I bought in the quest to reduce weight while increasing interior space. But the Big Agnes, with only one door, and a less useful vestibule, has not yet been exposed to conditions where weather\condensation could be factored in.
I really like the free-standing tents, but also have two other REI tents that are not free-standing, and both of those (Nite Lite and Coupe) have proven weather worthy (truly tested) without condensation issues.
That's my 2 cents worth, or maybe that would be 4 cents?!?!
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Re: MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Postby cgundersen » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:11 pm

Hi Herm
Yes, I've been a fan of the Halfdome (though, the zippers have tanked). A bit lighter would be great, but the dearth of condensation even in the damp conditions we hit last month was a big plus!
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