Dissappointment in new gear

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longri
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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by longri » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:20 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:06 pm
Bought EXACTLY the same model and size of Merrel shoes (last two pair of shoes the same). I swear they cheapened the materials. These shoes killed my feet, causing serious problems.
I had the same experience with a different shoe brand. First pair were like a dream. I wore them backpacking, I wore them at home, basically every day until they had holes in them and all but fell apart on my feet. I loved them. The next pair were a nightmare. I returned them and got a replacement but they were also terrible. What I was told was that many of the companies relocated their manufacturing a year or so ago. The shoe is sold as the exact same model but there are subtle (or not so subtle) differences.

I went back recently and discovered that the exact same model had changed yet again, this time for the better for me.

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:06 pm
Do not like the new Rocky Mountain Gaiter design- the Velcro front tabs soon do not work because they get full of lint, sand and such.
Did you have the older ones with the metal snap closure? I always found those snaps a pain to operate in the cold. And they would gum up or rust after a while. But I agree with you that the velcro front closure system is also faulty.

I've considered making my own gaiters but I'm not sure what the best design is. I've made a quilt, a backpack, a tent, and other items. I didn't make those things to save money. I didn't save money and they took a lot of time. I made that gear to get what I wanted. Sometimes it's the only way.








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John Harper
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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by John Harper » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:32 pm

Try the Katadyn BeFree filter. Easy to fill, easy to filter. I used a Smart water bottle with my Sawyer Mini, but since I got the BeFree it's been easy squeezy!

John

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SSSdave
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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by SSSdave » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:43 am

A decade or two ago bought a reviewed higher quality REI pack on sale. First summer the plastic/metal insert frame cracked into 2 pieces and the pack bag stitching tore open. I was carrying over 60 pounds often off trails so it was probably not a well-tested during design pack made in Asia. Today I use it inside my townhouse to exercise walking up and down the stairs loaded with water containers. Wiser to go with known better brands and models for backpacks designed for heavier loads and more stress just like with mountaineering tents and boots.

Now you know the probable reason the tent was given to you. The new version I bought this year is wonderfully taut throughout without over-stressing and is probably the result of carefully re-engineering your previous design. Some have commented on never using a tent ground sheet but rather just tenting in flat safe sites. With this new era of ultra light sub 4 pound tents, tub floors with their coatings is where designs can reduce weight most. So one needs to use such tents with a much more fragile attitude or else expect it will develop pin holes and leak water.

Note I'd bet the majority of those that parrot they don't use a ground sheet and their tent doesn't leek have simply never experienced really strong rain and hail storms that last hours. At home outside, get inside the tent turned up-side-down in some shade while look up through the tub material towards a bright area of sky and I'd bet that would be a revelation to many. Shoeglue E6000 to the rescue.

My Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 floor after a few years developed several dozen pins holes despite the fact I always used a cheap blue plastic ground sheet. I spent hours patching the holes twice and more developed after each summer. One reason is that it is not only what is under a tent that could cause punctures but also tiny grains of granite sand brought in can puncture holes if one say kneels down on a spot with sand. Almost all my holes were at the zipper door end where I would do so. Additionally with ground sheets one must be careful to never use a side that had previously during a trip against the ground as no amount of shaking will get rid of tiny sand grains statically attracted. Rinsing off a ground sheet in a stream will detach such fine static stuck grit.

This year after buying the Copper Spur HV UL1 I bought for $11 a tougher while lighter weight Tyvek ground sheet that is working out much better. And I am being extra careful about not bringing dirt and sand inside from clothing including using a sponge if needed to wipe the inside floor down.

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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:23 pm

My primary filter is a Platy Cleanstream/MSR Dromlite Frankenfilter with recycled tubing I salvaged from the ULA gravity filter that they no longer make, after the nylon reservoir lost all waterproofness. My secondary is the Katadyn Hiker Pro, for destinations with less than clear water sources, since it has a better prefilter that can take a bandana for additional filtration. I am avoiding the BeFree like the plague, not impressed with it, and the Sawyer Mini is in my day pack as an emergency water collector, with a Platypus reservoir as the original bag developed a zillion pinholes.

My tent is still the Lightheart Solo - on my second one after the first died of wear and tear. Or my hammock, which is still saving my back when on trail crew. I can saw trees and sleep well, or sleep somewhat on the ground and be okay, but not both at the same time... The tyvek groundsheet is great as a place to sit when the saw gets farther down in the tree, also a good place for bare feet to land getting out of the hammock and a good way to protect the tent floor, so it always goes.

Shoes have been a long arduous journey for me. I know they've changed over the years. So have my feet, likely as a result of manufacturing changes. Because of neuropathy at night that keeps me awake if I keep using flimsy trail runners, I'm back in boots. Surprisingly the transition was easy. Heavy, sure, but it's worth it if I don't have awful spasms in the soles of my feet all night. (FYI to those about to tell me -- I have a podiatrist prescribing orthotics, don't need XYZ magic insoles from whatever wherever, thanks).

It's funny we go on a journey through gear to keep going on journeys with backpacks, but I can't say it isn't worth having the right gear.

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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by mrphil » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:17 am

I just bought a set of new poles and gave them a pretty good test. I ended up going with the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec. I wanted carbon fiber for the weight, but just couldn't get past the durability issues and limitations that everyone was reporting, and wanted something that not only broke down small, but would still be a workhorse in a broader set of conditions. Carbon fiber just didn't fit the bill in the latter regard. They worked fantastically, and the comfort of the grips was phenomenal...best ever.

If you end up swapping out your tent at some point, check out the MSR Hubba NX1. Slightly heavier than the BA, but much stouter.

We're getting to the point where weight savings is coming at the expense of gear being durable and actually lasting more than a few trips. Higher costs for the shear theory behind it, but mostly the same materials, just thinner and poorly executed all too often...a real manufacturer's dream...more money for far lower production costs.

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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by SSSdave » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:49 am

For the sake of saving a couple pounds, I would rather have tent design choices with marginal tub floor durability versus all designs with more robust heavier materials, as long as one can with more care maintain waterproofness. I don't mind patching a few pin holes after each summer.

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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:10 pm

A lot of the newer UL tent floors are not waterproof, per se. The material (silicon impregnated nylon) is waterproof only under a specified pressure- some are designed to withstand more pressure before leaking than others. So it is not just pin holes that cause leakage. Some, if you lean hard on your elbow or knee, will create enough pressure to compromise waterproofness. Same with the tent fly itself. Some sil-nylon will "mist" if the rain is driven by a serious wind. Also, pin holes are one thing; a big old tear is something else. Nylon has good when pulled hard, but in contact with something sharp, it can easily rip. One of my pet peeves is inadequately strong zippers. For every tent I have owned since tents have gone "light", the zippers have failed well before the tent itself leaks. I have also had to retire tents due to pole breakage before the tent leaked.

An example of waterproofness, I sometimes pick a bad tent site and am flooded. I had an MSR Micro-Zoid that actually floated in water, without a leak! As much as I like Tarptent, a similarly poorly selected site resulted in seepage through the floor. MSR is known to put more waterproof (and heavier) material in their tent floors.

In general, if backpacking below timber, simply selecting a sheltered campsite suffices. But if above timber, there may be no choice but out in the open. "Mountaineering" tents are made of material that can stand "mountaineering" conditions, and usually weigh more. There really is no one-size-fits-all-conditions tent. I will admit that I am always torn between buying a lighter weight tent and a more robust mountaineering tent, and the light weight usually wins, so it is us (and me) that drives the light and UL trends. I would rather my tent be light than last a lifetime. But I do want it to protect me during a storm!

Manufacturers are in a ridiculous competition with regard to weight, to the point, where even the "official" weight of the tent is somewhat of a falsehood. Some do not count the tie cords. Some only count two tent stakes. In most realistic conditions you need to use more than 2 stakes, regardless of the design. Most do not include the "footprint", even when they say it is needed. Two-man tents are anything but! I mean really, how much weight do you actually save with 2-4 inches width shy of what you really need. And none of the tents, when they first are sold, have been adequately tested. Those who buy the first edition of any tent are left to deal with design flaws.

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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by mrphil » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:45 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:10 pm
Manufacturers are in a ridiculous competition with regard to weight, to the point, where even the "official" weight of the tent is somewhat of a falsehood. Some do not count the tie cords. Some only count two tent stakes. In most realistic conditions you need to use more than 2 stakes, regardless of the design. Most do not include the "footprint", even when they say it is needed. Two-man tents are anything but! I mean really, how much weight do you actually save with 2-4 inches width shy of what you really need. And none of the tents, when they first are sold, have been adequately tested. Those who buy the first edition of any tent are left to deal with design flaws.
Yes, that's not only irritating, it's wrong. Perception-based, no semblance of practical reality. And you're absolutely right, consumers drive the market.

With tents especially, not only do I set up up in the yard first to understand it, the hose comes out, and I learned a long time ago to keep a rotating stock of j-pegs, 2mm Dynema cordage, and a big bag of micro line locs in the gear closet. I test it, re-rig it as conservatively as I can on the basis of how I intend to use it, then the true weight reveals itself...and it's never what the manufacturer said it was, but it's what I think I need. No tent has ever come away as I bought it or at its stated weight when it's been set up properly, or at least kind of the way it should've been. Sad, but it sure looked good on paper.

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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by Stanley Otter » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:04 pm

With regard to leaking through bathtub bottoms on tents and the "groundsheet" phenomenon, I will just plug the method I learned from Cliff Jacobson of Canoe Country fame 20 years ago: put your "groundsheet" *inside* your tent. Here "groundsheet" = "thinnest layer of plastic film you are comfortable carrying along for the ride and is larger than the footprint of your tent so it wraps up on the walls [when properly supported by your Crappe]". When hiking, I regularly use "painter's plastic" at 1 mil thickness and repair tears and holes that inevitably occur in it with duct tape that is part of my emergency supplies kit. Toss at the end of the trip and renew for the next. I never worry about the condition of the bottom of my tent because I have a bathtub within a bathtub. I get wetted out overnight sometimes because of condensation, but even in the worst of this summer's downpours I never had water intrude from the outside unless I brought it in with me, which did happen :rolleyes: My 2¢.
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longri
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Re: Dissappointment in new gear

Post by longri » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:35 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:10 pm
A lot of the newer UL tent floors are not waterproof, per se. The material (silicon impregnated nylon) is waterproof only under a specified pressure...
All fabrics are like that. They are "waterproof" to a certain hydrostatic head. That is, if you put a pool of water on top of the fabric it will leak at some height of water. The pressure that that height of water would create could be generated by another means, like pressing some part of your body against the fabric or from wind-driven rain.

It's a classic trade-off. I have a Hilleberg tent with a heavy duty polyurethane coated floor that's rated (when new) to be waterproof when up to 49 feet of water are on top of it. That's really good. It's equivalent to 21 pounds per square inch. It's also more abrasion resistant than a typical silnylon fabric. But it weighs 2.7 oz/yd2, roughly twice what a typical silnylon fabric weighs. A trade-off.

An elbow pressed against the floor takes up roughly half a square inch. So you'd only need to press around ten pounds with your elbow to reach the limit of waterproofness of one of the better fabrics available. Standard off-the-shelf 1.1oz silnylon fabric has about 1/10 the hydrostatic head so only about one pound of force is needed with your elbow to reach the specified limit of waterproofness. The Copper Spur floor is rated even lower, at 1200mm of water.

Given that you'd think we'd be swimming in water all the time in our tents. But exceeding the limit of waterproofness says nothing about how permeable -- how fast -- the water will actually seep. And tent site selection greatly reduces the problem as well. Condensation is generally a much bigger source of moisture in a tent. Unfortunately, while you could use thick, heavy materials that are a lot more waterproof (e.g. steel) there's only so much you can do about condensation, at least without something like a dehumidifier.


I have a couple of tents with skimpy silnylon floors. Durability is in some ways separate from waterproofness. Silnylon is fairly strong in terms of tear resistance but it can be abraded quite easily. On the other hand, it's easy to repair and re-treat (although not so conveniently on a trip).

Big Agnes isn't up front with the specifications of their proprietary fabrics so it's hard to say how durable the floor fabric is. Sometimes appearances are deceptive. But I wouldn't be surprised if they're pushing it a bit. It is the trend. It probably factored into your decision to buy the tent.

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