How would you grade this itemʼs materials, construction and workmanship?
How well this item performed in its intended use, and beyond.
Just got this tent in, and already I am super impressed with it. It packs down small and light, with provided storage sacks in a nice, durable gray color, each sporting bright, reflective fiber orange drawstrings. The provided stakes, simple aluminum shepherd crook style, feel sturdy and light. Provided poles are light, and fit together well, and the center pole, which is adjustable (sweet deal, didn't expect that!), is beefy, yet lightweight. The tent material feels durable, and all the stitches and seams appear to be tight, neat, and well executed, with ample apparent seals.
Off the bat, I was warned when I ordered it, that the trussring would be hard to get in the first time, and that once in, should be left in for a few hours to allow the fabric to stretch in and aid future use. They weren't kidding, but with patience, I got it. For an idea, if you have a plastic bicycle tire lever, you could use the flat spoon like side to avoid crushing your fingers and aid in the last bit.
Setup, once the ring was in (which was pretty easy, just took some patience and leverage the first time, but the fit is tight and secure), was a breeze. Watch the video (under the Hoopla 4), and it makes it all make so much more sense.
Once up, and some quick stake adjustments, the tent is taut, and looks good. HUGE amount of usable space inside, and the zippered door is a breeze to use.
As for surprises, the (required by law) flame retardancy and warning paper tags are loosely stitched along the bottom hem, and easily and safely removed without fear of cutting the tent! Thanks for that attention to detail!
Two initial bits of feedback to the designers; One is inside, at the peak, there is a great little round patch of what feels like polyvinyl to seat the pole against. Great touch, but it could use a little dishing or cupping, or an outer ring to make a depression for the pole to seat in, as until tension is achieved, it keeps wanting to slip off of it. The second has to do with the pole. If you set up in softer ground, the rounded ends work like a big stake, making it difficult to achieve and maintain tension. Not sure if one end being flat would help, or perhaps a piece of flat, stiff plastic which would fit in the bottom of the tent body stuff sack to put under the pole would work. I will probably cut something to work as that from plastic for me.
Overall I am very impressed. I used domes for years (my last was a Mountain Hardwear Haven 3), but realized that for the most part, the extra weight of the double walls (most of which were bugscreen anyway), tub floors, extra zippers for doors, extra number of poles, and often a footprint, just add up when packing in, and going far. There are tricks for keeping the bugs at bay (try tea tree oil and peppermint oil), I carry a small groundcloth and a sleeping pad anyway. This is so much lighter, uses less space in my pack, and will stay cleaner (no muddy floor!).
Once I get some miles and nights under this, I will update for sure!
I would recommend this product.
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