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stilllife
09-15-2011, 16:26
I really need some advice. I would like to get an ultralight tarp tent but I am really concerned about condensation. I know all tents will experience condensation at some point but it seems that all single wall tents have it on a more routine basis. I like the Six Moons Lunar Solo and the Tarptent Rainbow or Rainshadow. If suggestions?
Thanks

Spokes
09-15-2011, 16:30
I have the SMD Lunar Solo (replaced my MSR Hubba HP) and have not had any issues with condensation. I do use Easton 8" stakes to get the side walls up. The description about setting up this tent is like "balancing a plate on top of a stick" is correct. :-)

Serial 07
09-15-2011, 16:41
my experience with tarps is that your gonna have it no matter what...i'm not "chuck gaidica", but it seems to me that there are certain weather conditions that this will be unavoidable...proper ventilation will prevent what can be prevented...

ChinMusic
09-15-2011, 16:57
On some nights where you gotta batten down the hatches, you are gonna have condensation. I don't care what tent it is. The smaller the tent the more the issue is of rubbing against it. If you set up the tent for max ventilation you will have less condensation but more contact from the elements directly.

Condensation ain't that big a deal. It is one of the most over-fretting about facets of camping. Have a camp towel and wipe it down once you wake up.....problem solved.

garlic08
09-15-2011, 17:13
I agree, it's no big deal. Ditto wiping down in the morning. There have been times I've even enjoyed a sponge bath with the damp towel. The nice thing about a single wall silnylon tent is that it will dry in five minutes of sun and breeze during a midday break.

It's even less of a deal if you pay attention to where you camp. A breezy ridge is going to have less condensation than the valley a couple hundred feet below. Fewer bugs, too.

I'm a huge fan of Tarptent. You'll have to pry my Contrail out of my cold, dead hands.

Tarptents are relatively cheap. My Contrail cost $200. And they tend to keep their value for resale. So you won't be out a lot of money if you try one and and decide you don't like it. Or save it for dry weather.

Chaco Taco
09-15-2011, 18:02
2 words- SHAM WOW

Franco
09-15-2011, 18:23
Mostly the condensation you see (and can touch but also wipe off...) on single wall tents is the condensation you pack up in the morning with a double wall IF you do not let it dry first.
Some facts that exacerbate the condition are the size of the tent , larger is better, if you use a groundsheet to cover the vestibule area (only useful over grass to counteract ground evaporation) and how far your head is ,in a sleeping position , from the fly (the closer your mouth is to the fly ,the worst it is)
The TT Rainbow is a larger solo tent than many. The Rainshadow is a 3 person tent, however an Aussie customer told me a few days ago that he wants to give his to his 6'5" son, at "only" 6' he will use the Double Rainbow. His comment was "we like a lot of space around us" .
13865
Sham Wow. Yes I have seen the commercials. I use kitchen cloths. One for the tent, one is my towel and one for the "kitchen".
This is my towel, the one for the tent is about 1/3rd of that.
Franco
franco@tarptent.com

Kerosene
09-15-2011, 18:40
I use half of a kitchen sponge to mop up any condensation in my old Lunar Solo. Doesn't happen very often, but sometimes the conditions are just right. Your sleeping bag loft should be fine if it has a DWR treatment.

Wise Old Owl
09-15-2011, 20:31
2 words- SHAM WOW I totally agree..


Folks I have a theory - that on occasion, the Co2 you exhale is LOADED with water! and it condenses from 98 degrees on one the surface of the tent due to a 10 + degree cool difference.

LIhikers
09-15-2011, 22:25
My wife and I have both of the tarptents that you mention, the Rainbow for when one of us goes out solo (or with the dog) and the Rainshadow for when we go out together. We've gotten condensation in both of them, but if you follow the recommendations others have given you it shouldn't be a problem. Both of those choices are fine tents.

stilllife
09-16-2011, 13:06
Thanks for all the great help. I am sold.

Franco
09-16-2011, 18:02
Stilllife
At the Tarptent site Henry Shires can be seen setting up each shelter, under Video in each product page.
That should give you a better idea of their size. Henry is 5'11".
For example :
http://www.tarptent.com/rainbow.html#videos
Franco
franco@tarptent.com

Ladytrekker
09-16-2011, 18:05
I bought towels in the auto parts section of walmart it is a small microfiber towel I use it for everything but it soaks up water like a sponge and drys fast it is normally used to dry to your car after washing it works great and is cheap acts like a sham wow towel sort of.

Odd Man Out
09-16-2011, 20:16
Folks I have a theory - that on occasion, the Co2 you exhale is LOADED with water! and it condenses from 98 degrees on one the surface of the tent due to a 10 + degree cool difference.

Quite right. All of your metabolism produces carbon dioxide and water, such as this reaction:

C6H12O6 + 6 O2 ----> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O
or sugar plus oxygen makes carbon dioxide and water. And yes, the water comes out as water vapor when you exhale (with the CO2) and condenses when it cools. Base on the sizes of the molecules and the balance of the reaction, if you metabolize two pounds of sugar (or starch) in a day, you will produce about 1.2 lbs of water. So one solution to the problem is to stop breathing.

FamilyGuy
09-16-2011, 21:16
Quite right. All of your metabolism produces carbon dioxide and water, such as this reaction:

C6H12O6 + 6 O2 ----> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O
or sugar plus oxygen makes carbon dioxide and water. And yes, the water comes out as water vapor when you exhale (with the CO2) and condenses when it cools. Base on the sizes of the molecules and the balance of the reaction, if you metabolize two pounds of sugar (or starch) in a day, you will produce about 1.2 lbs of water. So one solution to the problem is to stop breathing.

...Or stop eating. Thanks for the analysis!

stranger
09-19-2011, 01:47
You can't stop condensation, and as Franco pointed out, there is really no difference between single and double walled tents...the condensation is simply in different places.

Take a cold beer out of the fridge, leave it on the counter for 10 mins, the outside will become damp = condensation. Two different temps on each side of nylon will give you condensation....even with good ventilation, this will occur. Even without someone breathing in the tent, condensation can occur at times.

Don't camp in large grassy areas or out in the open as others have said, under a tree is always good in my experience. Carry something absorbent...end of problem.

Chaco Taco
09-19-2011, 06:09
was out with my Double Rainbow Fri night in The Whites. I left one of my doors open through the night and still had condensation and it got down to the low 20's upper teens. My Brother in law had a double wall tent next to me and he had more condensation that I did. I know most of mine was just morning dew. The attachment Henry Shires has for the inside to make it double wall-like would be a good attachment for cooler weather. No matter what, you will have condensation, esp in fall and winter.

Spokes
09-19-2011, 06:13
I bought towels in the auto parts section of walmart it is a small microfiber towel I use it for everything but it soaks up water like a sponge and drys fast it is normally used to dry to your car after washing it works great and is cheap acts like a sham wow towel sort of.

Be careful of the "auto" chamois styles. Some get really rigid and hard when they dry unlike the ShamWow cloth types.

Check your local dollar stores too. Mine carry two sizes- standard and a 2 pack of kitchen size.

Chaco Taco
09-19-2011, 07:36
Be careful of the "auto" chamois styles. Some get really rigid and hard when they dry unlike the ShamWow cloth types.

Check your local dollar stores too. Mine carry two sizes- standard and a 2 pack of kitchen size.

I took one and cut it into an 8x8 inch square.