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KEN40
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Dec 4, 2018
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Have you done any testing in snow & high wind environments ?
Dec 4, 2018
dandurston
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Dan Durston
Dec 4, 2018
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Yeah. I've been testing the 1P for almost a year now in a wide range of conditions. In the snow it's excellent - about as good as possible for an ultralight tent. Performance here comes down the slope of the fly fabric panels. Panel slopes are unavoidably a trade-off because steeper slopes are better for snow shedding but shallower slopes are better for slipping through the wind. You need at least a 35 degree slope to reliably shed snow and ideally about 45 degrees. Whereas lower is better for shedding wind. You can't optimize for both simultaneously, so the best possible design for a well rounded tent is to have consistent panel slopes (so there is no weak link) and then have these consistent panels at a moderate angle to balance performance in the wind and snow. This is exactly what the X-Mid is. Notice how there are no relatively flat panels, but also no near vertical ones either. Almost every other ultralight tent has inconsistent panels so you get many of the panels at a good slope, but then a few panels that are either awfully steep or awfully flat. Many UL tents have are roof panels that are too low angled to shed snow or with a single pole mid you have end panels that aren't that steep. Or you get trekking pole tents with vertical side walls that are poor in the wind. Of the rare ultralight tent thats that do have consistent panels, the slopes could still be too steep or too shallow to be well rounded. For example, you could have a consistent tent with steep slopes (e.g. a very tall teepee) that is great at shedding snow but poor in high winds, or a consistent tent with very shallow slopes (e.g. MLD Trailstar) which is excellent in high winds but poor at snow shedding. However, for a versatile, well rounded shelter the best you can do is design a tent with consistent medium slopes. So that's the theory. In practice, the X-Mid is exceptional in the snow. A 6" dump is no problem at all. You would want to take advantage of some of the extra stake points around the base so all the snow sliding off and accumulating at the bottom doesn't push in the sides. The X-Mid has 6 extra stakes points around the bottom in addition to the four corners (1 stake out on the short sides, two on the long sides). In the wind, the X-Mid does well. Compared to a single pole mid you do have a little steeper walls but then you also have the advantage of peak guyouts so you can really secure the tent. The design is stable in light to moderate winds without the guylines, and then in high winds the guylines really help keep the tent solid. So it's not going to be the optimal choice if you expect to encounter hurricane force 70 mph winds, but it's plenty sturdy for any conditions you would reasonably encounter. The long sides obviously will catch more wind than the short sides since they have more area, so ideally you would pitch it with the smaller sides into the wind, but even the large sides can hold up quite well if you take advantage of the additional stake points around the base. I was using this tent on one trip where the winds had some really strong gusts and I had only brought 4 stakes to go super light, and it still handled it fine. So the bottom line is that the theory and my experience says that this tent is a strong performer in harsh weather. Certainly it's not a 4 season tent for the summit of Everest, but it's quite a bit more capable than the average UL tent and very capable for its weight.
Dec 4, 2018
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