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cabalot
12-29-2003, 00:14
looking to buy a backpacking tent and have a question about the terminology used describing the tent specifications.
what is the difference between min weight and packed weight?

i am interested in the sierra designs clip flashlight 2 cd tent 2003.
3# 15oz min, 4# 8oz packed.

anybody have experience with this tent? if so can it handle a good rain storm?
i live in NJ and plan to use it in temps 20F+, mostly 35F+ with no more than 2" of snow.

one more question, is a stand alone tent one that does not need stakes and guylines, thus standing only on its poles?

i believe the clip tent needs to be staked out, is this true? is this a disadvantage or an advantage?

hungryhowie
12-29-2003, 00:26
My girlfriend and I bought a clip for some winter hiking in Michigan. It is by no means a winter tent, but we're tarpers for the most part, so this is the most substantial backpacking shelter we own.

Minimum weight is the tent, fly, and poles only. it does not include the stakes or stuff sacs. Packed weight is the shipping weight (i.e. everything). This is kind of misleading though, because it is a well-known fact that every single major manufacturer lies through their teeth. Even if you don't carry any stuff sacs, still expect to carry about 4.5 pounds of tent. If this will be strictly a one-person ordeal, I would recommend going to the Light Year, as its smaller form will be slightly warmer for 1 person, not to mention about a pound lighter.

The clip flashlight is not a free-standing tent. There really is no advantage to having a free standing tent since ALL tents must be staked out to prevent the wind from blowing your tent (with you in it) over a cliff, and also to prevent the rainfly from touching the canopy (which would cause moisture transfer). There is no loss in strength, in fact the strongest wind-tent in the world is a design very close to that of the clip flashlight - it is able to withstand constant 175mph winds. One of my friends who is a guide in Alaska has a small fleet of Clip Flashlights. He sews over the netting on the sides (to make them warmer) and ads guyouts in the rear, and has had great success with them in the harsh winter backcountry. He says that when guyed out, they take snow reasonably well (this is a person who's had two TNF Mountain tents collapse on him during snow storms that dropped 15 feet of snow), and are still really light. It's a good-enough endorsement for me.

-Howie

cabalot
12-29-2003, 00:33
My girlfriend and I bought a clip for some winter hiking in Michigan. It is by no means a winter tent, but we're tarpers for the most part, so this is the most substantial backpacking shelter we own.

Minimum weight is the tent, fly, and poles only. it does not include the stakes or stuff sacs. Packed weight is the shipping weight (i.e. everything). This is kind of misleading though, because it is a well-known fact that every single major manufacturer lies through their teeth. Even if you don't carry any stuff sacs, still expect to carry about 4.5 pounds of tent. If this will be strictly a one-person ordeal, I would recommend going to the Light Year, as its smaller form will be slightly warmer for 1 person, not to mention about a pound lighter.

The clip flashlight is not a free-standing tent. There really is no advantage to having a free standing tent since ALL tents must be staked out to prevent the wind from blowing your tent (with you in it) over a cliff, and also to prevent the rainfly from touching the canopy (which would cause moisture transfer). There is no loss in strength, in fact the strongest wind-tent in the world is a design very close to that of the clip flashlight - it is able to withstand constant 175mph winds. One of my friends who is a guide in Alaska has a small fleet of Clip Flashlights. He sews over the netting on the sides (to make them warmer) and ads guyouts in the rear, and has had great success with them in the harsh winter backcountry. He says that when guyed out, they take snow reasonably well (this is a person who's had two TNF Mountain tents collapse on him during snow storms that dropped 15 feet of snow), and are still really light. It's a good-enough endorsement for me.

-Howie


howie,
i lived in michigan for 10 years. thats where i started camping in the huron national forest. i miss abundent solitude. i miss hungry howie's pizza with the parmasan butter crust too.

Blue Jay
12-29-2003, 08:40
In my humble opinion the SD Lightyear is better than the flashlight due to weight. The Clip is a great tent for two people or if you want to sleep with your pack. Don't worry about the free standing feature in any tent, it's much more weight than it's worth. Most posted or advertized tent weights, like most of the posted pack weights here are often exaggerated. You have to actually weigh them yourself.

Peaks
12-29-2003, 09:04
If you look around the hiker city at Trail Days, you will discover that the SD Clip Flashlight tent is a very popular tent.

I've never used a guy line with tents. Usually they are for heavy wind conditions. However, the typical backpacker tent, including the SD needs 4 stakes.

Perhaps a better question for you to figure out is how much tent do you want to bring along. As someone posted, the Clip Flashlight has room for 2 people, or room to bring your pack inside at night. If going solo, and leaving your pack outside at night, then you might consider a one person tent such as the MSR Zoid 1.0.

Go to your local outfitter and try on various tents before buying.

Jaybird
12-29-2003, 09:51
Cabalot:


the reviews for the Seirra Designs CLIPLIGHT 2 look good (4 out of 5 stars on most reviews) & i have a hiker-friend that has one of these tents....

he likes the tent but says:.."its not big enuff for 2 people of normal size."

i use a Kelty Dart 2, a low-profile, single wall tent. rated for 2 people....but, you'd better be "very friendly" with that 2nd person ;) (hehehehehehe)

i hear the same complaint about the CLIPLIGHT...

as far as staking.....all tents need staking! (IMHO)

unless you forget 'em...like i did on my last section-hike! (thanks to my hike bud "TeePee" who let me borrow a few from him )

min.packed weight is usually weight of all items (tent, stakes, line, sack, etc)

happy hikin'!

Jaybird

chief
12-29-2003, 12:21
In response to your questions about the clip flashlight.

I've been using the same clip for about 6 years now including 1,400 miles of the AT. It has absolutely kept me dry in some horrendous rain storms. I've been toasty and secure at 16 degrees and 40 knot winds. Don't know about snow.

I use 9 stakes (titanium) because I do like to guy out all points to reduce condensation and have a tick-tight setup. You can get by with 6 stakes, 4 for the body and 2 for the vestibule. Free standing or not, a tent needs to be staked.

I like the size for solo, as I will not leave my pack outside in any weather.

The packed weight has never been a problem with me and I find the advertised weight to be very close to reality. I'll save weight elsewhere.

cabalot
12-29-2003, 12:56
thanks everyone,

i need my pack in the tent with me. i am 5' 7" 145lbs, i dont plan to share the tent with anyone except mabe a lady friend. if i start hiking on a regular with her i will invest in a roomier tent since she'll be carrying some of the gear weight wont be as big of an issue.

Peaks
12-29-2003, 20:03
What the matter of leaving your pack outside at night?

Sounds like inexperience talking.

I think that you need to figure out if the extra weight of a two person tent justifies the comfort of having your pack inside with you. I'm sure it does for many, but when you have the load on your back for 2170 miles, you start to ask yourself why it's so heavy and how can I reduce weight (or at least I do).

cabalot
12-29-2003, 21:09
i like having my stuff within reach. if i ever get the time to do a thrue hike i'll consider going lighter. i would be inerested to know when most thrue hikers found the time to go the entire 2170. camping is my favorite part of getting out there so i want my luxeries and compforts. i like to car camp but cant stand the noisey kids at the state campgrounds or the no alcohol rule.

i used to live in marlboro and went to westboro high in 1982

bailcor
12-29-2003, 21:16
Now you go easy on CHIEF, PEAKS if hes the CHIEF that posted his journal on Trail Journals he should be allowed to put his pack where ever he wants. I followed a CHIEF on not one but three of his treks and he is one stubborn cuss. He succeeded on the third attempt and I know he carried a Clip.

illininagel
12-30-2003, 00:01
I've been using the same clip for about 6 years now including 1,400 miles of the AT. It has absolutely kept me dry in some horrendous rain storms. I've been toasty and secure at 16 degrees and 40 knot winds. Don't know about snow.

II like the size for solo, as I will not leave my pack outside in any weather.

The packed weight has never been a problem with me and I find the advertised weight to be very close to reality. I'll save weight elsewhere.

Chief,

I'm trying to select a tent for a thru-hike. My problem is that I'm tall (6'3"). Some tents just aren't long enough for me to sleep comfortably. Would the Clip tent accomodate a tall hiker?

I've been looking at the Sierra Designs Ultra Light Year CD tent, because it seems lighter (39 oz.). I'm also considering the following:

Six Moon Europa II (33 oz., 90 inches long)
Tarptent Virga (25 oz.)
Wanderlust Nomad Lite (27 oz.)

I've been told that the Nomad Lite might be too tight for a tall hiker. The Virga seem long enough, but I'm not sure I like the one wall, open door design. The Six Moon Europa II might be a good alternative.

Any thoughts? Sorry for the rambling...

Glenn

cabalot
12-30-2003, 00:36
Chief,

I'm trying to select a tent for a thru-hike. My problem is that I'm tall (6'3"). Some tents just aren't long enough for me to sleep comfortably. Would the Clip tent accomodate a tall hiker?

I've been looking at the Sierra Designs Ultra Light Year CD tent, because it seems lighter (39 oz.). I'm also considering the following:

Six Moon Europa II (33 oz., 90 inches long)
Tarptent Virga (25 oz.)
Wanderlust Nomad Lite (27 oz.)

I've been told that the Nomad Lite might be too tight for a tall hiker. The Virga seem long enough, but I'm not sure I like the one wall, open door design. The Six Moon Europa II might be a good alternative.

Any thoughts? Sorry for the rambling...

Glenn

glenn,

the light year looks like it would be long enought for you, check it out at campmor if you live close enough, they have all there backpacking tents set up all year.

illininagel
12-30-2003, 00:45
glenn,

the light year looks like it would be long enought for you, check it out at campmor if you live close enough, they have all there backpacking tents set up all year.

It appears that Campmor's only retail outlet is in New Jersey---too far for me to go from Chicago, Illinois! About the only "outfitter" store that is in my area is REI. But, they don't seem to have that many tents set up on display. We did have an Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) in my suburb, but that just recently closed.

It's a shame, but I sometimes have to trust the stated dimensions and then mail order the item.

illininagel
12-30-2003, 00:59
I just checked the weight (minimum weight) and dimensions of the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight and Light Year CD Tent:

Clip Flashlight weighs 3 lb, 15 oz; 7' 5" long by 4' 10" wide. The Light Year weights exactly one pound less and is 2 feet longer. However, it is 1' 5" narrower.

The Ultra Light Year is another 6 ounces lighter than the Light Year. It's one inch shorter and one inch narrow than the Light Year.

I'm going to have to find a store where these are set up. I just can't envision if a width of 3 feet, 8 inches is enough for me to comfortably bring my pack in the tent.

There are so many choices! And then the Tarptent idea is another thing to consider---so much lighter.

hungryhowie
12-30-2003, 15:04
For me, the choice is a no-brainer - The Tarptent Virga.

I would get it with a sewn in floor (I'm tired of dealing with separate ground sheets) and extended beak (this gives you a real vestibule for your gear). This configuration will weigh about 23-4 ounces.

Here's why its a no-brainer for me:

It is more than a pound less than the Lightyear. It is made of Silicone Impregnated nylon (and as a result is hydrophobic by nature - meaning that it won't attract and absorb moisture like urethane coated materials - this is why tents gain so much weight when they get wet). It is made with a true catenary design (any of Henry's products stay taught after you set them up...it's really quite amazing), it is more than adequate for any of the conditions that you will encounter on the AT, and Henry's customer service is excellent.

-Howie

illininagel
12-30-2003, 16:14
For me, the choice is a no-brainer - The Tarptent Virga.

hungryhowie,

Thanks very much for your response. I certainly like the lightweight design of the Tarptent Virga and I like the fact that it utilizes my hiking pole as a stake, thus saving more carrying weight.

Would you happen to know if it can comfortably accomodate a 6' 3" person? Also, I was somewhat concerned that I might not be able to close everything in the event of a bad rain storm. Finally, I am wondering about condensation associated with a single wall tent.

I realize that I can't have it all, but would you please share your perspective on these concerns? Thanks again!