View Full Version : Keeping my tent walls taunt when using rainfly

08-05-2015, 12:32
I'm a noob. When I set up my Big Agnes Fairview 2, I love it. Then I throw on the rainfly because it MIGHT rain, and 1 or 2 walls of my tent become loose/ not taunt. Can anyone tell me what I might be doing wrong?

I stake out the four corners of the tent, insert poles (everything's gravy), then I throw my rainfly over the assembled tent, clip it onto the poles, clip the corners to the tent's corners, and tighten the rainfly straps in an 'X' pattern.

Thanks for reading.

08-05-2015, 15:47
"1 or 2 walls of my tent become loose"
If by "tent" you mean this part
my guess is that the rain fly puts enough pressure on the poles to push them downwards and therefore give you loose panels.
Easy to test simply by setting up that inner (tent) and push those poles downward and see if you get the same result.
It is more important (weatherwise) to have the fly than the inner taut but you might be able to figure out how to reduce the fly pressure if that is what's happening.
I just had a look at some pics of the 1, it has tensioning straps at the point where the fly clips on to the pole.
Maybe you have one or more of those straps pulled in too far.

08-10-2015, 14:00
Thanks, Franco

08-10-2015, 16:16
To keep your fly taut, a trick I learned from a really old hiking book is to include a length of shock cord with the guy lines. The idea is that the shock cord allows for a little give when a wind load pushes on the fly, but then the fly remains taut when the wind changes.

The trick is in finding the right size and length of shock cord so that the cord provides the right amount of pull. If the shock cord is too strong, you won't be able to get any stretch or give. If the shock cord is too weak, you'll stretch the shock cord to it's full length providing no where for some give.

While I don't recall the exact size I use, I seem to recall that the most common sizes to find is 1/8" and 1/4" in diameter, with 1/8" being too weak and the 1/4" is too string. I wind up going to the local Jo-Ann's Fabric and Craft Store where I can find the right size shock cord (3/16" I think), sold by the yard, in the elastic section.

I cut the elastic in about 9 to 12"(+/-) strips and tie both ends of the elastic to a piece of guy line using double fisherman's knots (so that the elastic forms a tear-drop shape). I then attach the guy line to the tent similar to how destination baggage tickets are attached to luggage at the airport (feeding the free end of the guy line thru an attachment loop on the rain fly and back thru the loop formed by the elastic).