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Thread: Single Wall Tents
Single Wall Tents
I currently have a Easton Kilo 1 that I have used on several backpack hunts, but am looking for something new. The problem I have with the Kilo is it is not good when it rains and terrible in snow. I will be keeping the Kilo but have been looking into a larger tent for hunts where I might expect bad weather. I have never used a single wall tent before and if anyone here has I would like to know what you think about them. Are they fairly reliable/durable? Do they vent well to prevent condensation?
These are some that I am considering:
The North Face Phoenix 2
Mountain Hardware Direkt 2
Black Diamond Firstlight
Well, I've had several single wall tents---black diamond first light and garuda emeshian and they both were very well made and pretty much bombproof--HOWEVER, both were very hard to control the condensation inside. And if your bag rubbed against the sidewall, it would get wet. I'm not sure you can avoid this with a single wall concept and I've had double wall ever since.
Randy"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than be in any city on earth"------Steve McQueen
"If you're gonna kill Kong, ya gotta hunt where Kong lives."
Black Diamond Bibler Eldorado- just make sure you keep the vents open and that puppy can take the pain.
It is heavier than your kilo but it is real bomber and not just a poser.
Tarptent Moment. Very easy to ventilate around the bottom to get air movement and 2 small vents at the top. It isn't as warm when heavily vented, but i use a 0 degree bag. You cab also add a liner to catch condensation, but I've never had a need to.
General question on the single wall tents, may be dumb but I don't know? Why do they condense worse than a double wall type tent with the fly on? Is it because the fly stops short of the ground all the way around and allows airflow as apposed to the solid construction of the single wall?
The Tarptents are very good tents. Hard to beat for the price and weight. I have spent some really wet days and nights in a them and I have never gotten wet.
I'm no expert in this subject, but since there are several sources that can cause condensation in the tent there is no easy answer.
Sometimes you think that in the area you're going to there will be no condensation and then you get a lot of it and the other way around.
Except for location and weather there are things you can affect that creates condensation in your tent.
When water vaporizes in the air and then hit the cold fabric of the tent you get condensation. It comes from air, yourself and the ground.
To get less condensation you should use a fabric in the tent that breathes, you should ventilate and you can cover the ground.
So why does it condensate more in an single wall tent? As I said, I'm no expert, but the double wall tents have a floor, so you get less condensation from the ground. If you have a large vestibule, you can cover that ground as well to lessen the moisture build up. They also have an inner tent that breathes a lot. The inner tent fabric is also warmer so that helps against condensation as well. You do need to have good ventilation in a double wall tent. I can also guess that it has something to do with a thermos effect using double wall tents.
To get less condensation in a single wall, you can use a floor, ventilate and carefully choose which fabric to use.
So the difference between single and double wall shoulb be that the double wall have a floor to stop some of the moisture build up, it has a inner tent that breathes a lot and it creates some kind of micro climate that prevents some of the condensation.
It would be nice if someone could do an experiment if you live in a warm humid area.
You know when you bring out a cold beer from the fridge and nothing special happens. The next day or week you do the same and the condensation on the beer can is massive (that kind of simulate warm humid air in a tent hitting a cold tent fabric). I would like to try to pour it in a thermos cup to see how much difference it makes. I don't know if that's a way to simulate a double wall tent though... but it will taste good! I will probably have to wait a few moths before I can do that here.
One thing you can notice is that if you are outside the house and the wind is blowing, you get a lot less condensation (simulating ventilation in a tent), compared to is the wind is still.
Sorry about the long speculating post...
Basically you have 2 types of single wall tents. Those that have some type of silicone coated nylon that are the tipi/tarp tent styles, usually floorless (Kifaru, GoLite, etc.) and then you have the mountaineering style tents that have an internal pitch pole system and a tri-laminate type of fabric that's kind of fuzzy on the inside like the Bibler/Blackdiamond tents to help dissipate moisture. There are also some mountaineering, internal pole pitch tents that have fabric more like the sil/nylon of some variation.
All need to be ventilated and all will get condensation inside. It's just the way it is and a matter of how you deal with it to minimize and dissipate it. The fabric of the BD/Bibler tents is similar to the ToddTex fabric North Face used back in the 90's in thier line of High Altitude, single wall mountaineering tents. I used to have one. TNF Apogee, comparable to the Bibler Bombshelter but a little lighter. It was a bomber tent in the wind and with the internal pole pitch it was like a drum and was very quiet in the wind. But, in still moist air the condensation was a real pain to deal with. I sold it and bought a Hilleberg. It just wasn't the tent for me. It would have been at home on Denali at 18000ft with cold, dry, moving air. But in moist, still air it was just plain wet inside.
The "fuzzy" type of material is designed to absorb and dissipate the moisture. But, if it's not had time to do that and you pack up your tent, you're packing up some water weight as well. The "slick" fabric can be dried off with a pack towel like a tent fly.
They all have advantages and disadvantages. If I were going to buy a single wall tent (not a tarp/tipi) I'd go straight to Bibler/Black Diamond tents.
Here's the TNF Apogee about 25 miles from the truck on a walkin sheep hunt.