Is this just badly pitched...? Tents for windy conditions

Discussion in 'Shelters & Accessories' started by maddogs, May 17, 2021.

  1. maddogs

    maddogs Ultralighter

    Been thinking about a tent to survive 2 months in Scotland in late autumn (i.e. expecting wet, very windy, and possibly light snow). The main concern is the wind.

    Are these just poorly pitched, or are the designs not as wind-worthy as one might hope?

    I'd have thought MSR might do better

    I expected a mid/tepe design would be well triangulated

    By comparison, this looks like it might survive (shame they're sold out until November!)

    Anything else you'd recommend looking at for a couple?
    (I'm not sure we're brave enough to go single skin, so have ruled out a lot of the usual Mids and Trailstar)

    Any videos of an X-mid 2P in a decent breeze? Adventure Alan's review gives me pause on this one aspect.
    "One of the only downsides to the design of the tent is the large sidewalls, a necessity for the doors. On these large walls, there is no tie-out (guy line) in the middle. This isn’t as much a structural issue, but you get some significant deflections in strong wind. This means the walls can move in the wind and can get pushed into the interior walls without middle guy outs."
  2. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker

    Tarptent Scarp 2? Vid here of a Scarp 1 in 60mph+ winds in Lakeland.

    Edit: Helps if you post the link! :facepalm:

    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  3. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Poor pitch on the Hexpeak, which is also the previous model because there are no mid-panel tie-outs.
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  4. Baldy

    Baldy Thru Hiker

    If you don’t mind a tunnel and inner pitch first. Lightwave handle the wind and rain very well.
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  5. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Bad pitch on the Luxe. They are solid pitched properly. I wouldn't want to spend a long time with 2 in one though.

    Don't you have a Stratospire?

    That'll be less of a wind sail than an Xmid2.

    For that length of time, at that time of year. I think I'd consider a solid inner "proper" tent.
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  6. maddogs

    maddogs Ultralighter

    Yes, we have a Strat Li. It's remarkably stable in the wind; I've been very impressed with that aspect. It's a superb tent for the USA where my experience is either wind or vertical rain.
    A front country camp in the Peak last weekend convinced me of its shortfalls for Scotland. Rain blew in sideways through the vents (which have no closure mechanism) and on that occasion, the rain carried on through the mesh panels in the upper part of the inner doors to provide a lovely fine mist in the inner. I find I can't get it pitched low enough to prevent significant splashback/blow-in under the skirt of the fly either (I acknowledge this latter aspect could be my incompetence, but I have given it a damn good go!). And I find it's a little too short so any hint of moisture results in a wet foot to my sleeping bag. So I'm not brave enough to commit to a long UK trip with it; save it for when we can get back to the US :)

    TBH I would have just bought the Anjan 2 but they're out of stock.

    Unfortunately so is the Scarp 2....which looks like it gets a bit heavy once you add 400g for the cross poles.

    Haven't looked at Lightwave, good call!
  7. Patrick

    Patrick Ultralighter

    The hexpeak is pitched too slack, but I do feel their pain. I think these designs - I've used the larger octopeak for about 60 nights over the past three years - can work in strong winds, but they need to be pitched really well, and that's much harder to do if its already windy when you're pitching than if its nice and calm. Lessons I've learnt, or am still learning(!), are
    - the pole needs to be good and rigid (my coupled walking poles tended to "give" a little in their first iteration, and it only needs the pole to shorted a few mm before things start to go slack
    - on the same lines, the base of the pole needs to be on something solid, so it can't sink into the ground
    - the perimeter needs to be level. Be aware of any dips and leave the guy longer there, so the base of the tent is off the ground at that point. If you pull it down into the dip you'll distort the shape.
    - If the wind gets up, and the sides start bowing in as in this video, tightening the guys on the windward side alone doesn't help, and can actually make things worse. Its as important, if not more so, to tighten the guys on the downwind side of the tent, to help pull the pole back upright and hence restore the shape of the windward side.
    - I'm beginning to favour using the mid panel ties on the base in preference to the ties halfway up the sides in windy conditions - using the ties halfway up can improve things for the top half of the tent but often seems to make things worse down below, again, as seen in this video.

    If anyone else has some windy pitching tips it'd be great to see them - as I say, I still feel I'm learning how best to pitch a pyramid / tepee design in wind.
    gixer, Diddi, Daniel and 5 others like this.
  8. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I don't think Hilleberg would endorse the Anjan for anything but "clement" conditions - just not designed for heavy weather.
    You need to consider one of the Red label tents and one with a decent porch (eg. Nallo GT) - getting in and out with rain and high wind you don't want the inside flooded out in seconds.
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  9. maddogs

    maddogs Ultralighter

    yes and no. Have managed fine with a standard length tent (various TN Voyagers) over the years for getting in and out without drowning. I don't think I'd want the weight of the extra pole and longer fly.

    There are a couple of videos of the Anjan in pretty decent winds; I'm not sure it's that much less reasonable than the Nallo, and it's a LOT lighter. I suspect the main differences are the cat cut bottom on the fly would let spindrift in, and the lack of guys on the ends in line with the tent axis. So certainly not as stable as the Nallo, as you say, but maybe a reasonable compromise. It's a bit academic for me as there are none available and Hilleberg lists availability as Week 45 (November!) :(
    cathyjc likes this.
  10. Myles21

    Myles21 Ultralighter

    I live on the west coast of Scotland and for two people for two months in late Autumn then I'd personally rule out a mid. I love mids, and have found my Hex Peak 4Va to be very wind stable, but I wouldn't recommend it for two (especially a couple) in winter. The evenings are very long and dark so you need somewhere liveable, not just strong in the wind. I went from using a lot of tunnel and geodesic tents to using mids and trekking pole shelters, but am going for another semi-free-standing tunnel (Hilleberg Nallo) for winter for my wife and I. Pitched correctly (as with all tents I guess), tunnels offer very good stability and strength, as well as excellent living space. I personally prefer a good sized vestibule and/or sizing up from a two person to a three person. The weight penalty isn't that much and the extra room is very welcome if it's getting dark at 4pm and the wind and rain are coming at you. Condensation is an issue with tunnels so you need to make sure there are venting options, even with a solid inner. I like having a double inner door - a solid fabric door with an extra full mesh behind it. It leaves you with more options for temperature and humidity control. I think Hilleberg, Lightwave and Nordisk (and possibly Fjallraven) are all a good bet. Not sure about Terra Nova these days but they had a solid reputation. The Anjan looks nice, but personally I'd go for one of the red label Hillebergs. I always carry a blizzard stake for the main into-the-wind tie out, and then use gold Eastons for the rest.
  11. Myles21

    Myles21 Ultralighter

    Just to add to my previous post: as mentioned, we are looking at Nallos (2 GT and Nallo 3) and have been liaising with Scandinavian Outdoors in Finland, who ship free to the UK. Their prices are without VAT, but we've worked out the costs (you have to add VAT and custom charge = around £145 total) and it still works out better than buying a Hilleberg here in the UK. AND they have quite a few models in stock.
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  12. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Hex and Octo shaped teepees are good in wind so long as you have pegs suitable for the ground to get sufficient tension, and your pole is up to the job. Easton alloy Hex3 poles have been known to fold in really strong wind. I'd consider a steel sectional pole if remote camping in Scotland.
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  13. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Re @Patrick 's Hexpeak observations, I agree that over-tightening the mid-height guys on the windward side is the wrong approach, and the video gives ample illustration of that. I find the windward guys are most effective when used to share (and not to override) the load with the corner tie-outs, and indeed with the mid-panel tie-outs too. This needs a bit of practice and concentration to learn/achieve, but there's a kind of 'sweet spot' you eventually get to recognise when you've got the load distributed in the right balance.

    @Rog Tallbloke mentions a strong support, and I use both my heavy-gauge alu hiking poles (full-fat Leki Sherpas), bottom sections removed, joined with a short 'Missing Link' section. Far away stronger than some of the 'purpose-built' lightweight poles I've seen bending under the strain, and stronger than a single pole as well. Flicklock sections add easy and infinite adjustment too.

    To pitch during strong wind, I just focus on getting the four corners (the ones linked with the black tapes) staked down in the prescribed rectangle, and the rest follows naturally.

    The Hexpeak isn't the easiest or quickest tent to pitch, but when done correctly it's properly stormworthy. 6 years on and it's still my go-to shelter, replacing my TN Voyager at half its weight. Like @Myles21 , I wouldn't care to use it for two, unless perhaps I was dispensing with an inner.

    Time will tell if a Scarp 1 gets me out of the Hex...
    maddogs likes this.
  14. Robert P

    Robert P Section Hiker

    I'm not advocating this, but sometimes it surprising how liveable a tent can be inside when on the outside it looks like you should abandon the pitch and retreat

    I'd spent the night in this distressed looking Notch and not really thought anything of it, until I got up and saw what it was looking like from the outside.


    In retrospect I should have been worried about the pitchlock ends letting go (at that stage they still had the original cord from Tarptent and were quite short, so providing maximum leverage for the wind)
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  15. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I used to have a Hilleberg Staika - that was a seriously solid tent; tad heavy...
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  16. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Force Ten Vortex 200. Nuclear air raid shelter :angelic:

  17. Robert P

    Robert P Section Hiker

    And for seriously solid in all weather conditions you couldn't beat a Saab...
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  18. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    I miss my Saab. Great car. Still got my Vortex.
    Robert P likes this.
  19. Jim_Parkin

    Jim_Parkin Trail Blazer

    Was it you posting a picture of I think a Tarptent in a Glen (maybe on a TGO walk) in bad wind and the tent looked absolutely solid?

    I think a Scarp 1 or 2?
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  20. Robert P

    Robert P Section Hiker

    I had a 900 (the original version): every car I've had since has seemed a bit characterless. Anyway, back to tents
  21. mjh

    mjh Hiker

    This! Tents are meant to flex and bend to a degree. As long as it keeps you warm and dry. The bigger issue for a 2 month trip might be durability if you have a lot of heavy wind nights, but you can minimise some impacts by picking more sheltered pitches etc or accepting that in extremis you might have to repair or replace a damaged lightweight tent/tarp. If you're wanting something bombproof for the whole trip then you're probably looking at accepting that the weight will be higher. Another vote for Nordisk or Hilleberg.
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  22. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Might have been Glen Markie on my 2015 Challenge in my Scarp 1 (see last photo)

    It was so windy that Bob and Rose Cartwright who were a bit further down the glen had to brace themselves against their tent poles and couldn’t cook dinner. Me and my Scarp? No problem :)
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  23. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Mine was a 9-5 2.3t. After that I had a 9-3 Carlsson (only 100 or so made). It was mental. AWD with a 2.8L V6 turbo. Basically a rally car. It kept going wrong. By that time Saab had gone bust, so I traded it in and now have a Volvo V40.
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  24. Jim_Parkin

    Jim_Parkin Trail Blazer

    That's the jobbie. :thumbsup:
    Robin likes this.
  25. JRT

    JRT Trail Blazer

    Helsport are reputed to be as good or thereabouts as Hilleberg. No experience personally, but the look and cost is pretty similar.
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