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Mafaking

A lot of condensate in tent

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I used a brand new Marmot, Aspen 2p - two man tent this weekend. I really like the tent, the construction, style size and weight. BUT I woke up in a rain forest. Way more water inside than the Eureaka tents with two scouts.

 

Question; do I have an issue here that I should take back the tent or could it be something else?

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Need some more information.

 

Weather?

 

Air Temp?

 

Location of Campsite? Hill, valley near water???????

 

The actual internal volume of the tent.

 

It all plays into condensation

 

Being a more mature sized scout I also tend to cause a lot of condensation in a tent. I carry a walmart version of a shamwow and wipe the fly in the morning.

 

I am not going to insult you with question about doors and vents, I assume they were all open.

 

I may be a bit bias, but Marmot makes a fantastic tent. I have been kept dry in torrential rains and high winds.

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Yah, I'm havin' some trouble findin' da specs on that tent, Mafaking. Old model yeh bought on Ebay?

 

Some old model tents didn't have da factory taped seams, eh? Did yeh seal the seams or at least look to see if they were factory taped? Lots of tent floor seams need to be sealed even if the factory taped the fly.

 

Temps, location, humidity, whether yeh had vents open, etc. would all help us diagnose. I suspect that the tent has less volume than the boys' tent, and that you have more volume :). It's that volume to volume ratio that matters.

 

If you're in the real cold, it's hard to avoid condensation in a tent. I prefer flies, bivvys or snow shelters for winter campin'.

 

Beavah

 

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The condensate is due to lack of ventilation. Really drafty tents never condensate. Better tents allow you to control your ventilation. Its a compromise. More ventilation, less condensation, less warmth. Less ventilation, more warmth, more condensation. The higher end tents give you lots of options for ventilation.

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Yep, you really do need to ventilate - something that seems counter intuitive when winter camping!

 

I have a Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, and if I don't open the door a bit, and then open the top vent a bit, it will snow down on my face just from my breath when camping in the single digits!

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Yea I could not find it either on the net. I bought it at Dick's Sporting goods ~$140 ouy the door. It was marked downn from 199.

The closest model to it is this Marmot Adobe (see link). My pole configuration is a little different but otherwise its close. Lots of mesh and a rain fly that goes to the ground with a vestibule on each side.

 

The weather was damp and in the 40-50's. The night started with a good wind from the south and died to a breeze by morning. But the Eureka didn't have the same problem.

 

 

My tent:

http://marmot.com/fall_2009/equipment/tents/backcountry/abode_2p

 

 

The scouts were in these Eureka's with no condenstae.

http://www.eurekatent.com/p-57-apex-2xt-tent.aspx

 

 

 

 

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Interestin'.

 

All kinds of reasons, eh?

 

If the kids were doin' what kids often do and snuggling down inside their sleeping bags (breathing into the bag) but you weren't, that would make the difference. The boys' sleeping bags would be damper than yours, but your tent would have more condensation.

 

The cold outside air on the tent fly is what causes the moisture in the tent to condense on the inside of the fly. The moisture in the tent comes from you breathin'/sweatin', and from anything damp that you have near your body heat to turn into vapor.

 

You can't help your breathin'; you can help the rest by not sweating (adjust layers and bag so you don't overheat) and not tryin' to dry out too much stuff in your bag.

 

Mostly, though, yeh have to deal with it by letting the moist air out, and keepin' the temperature inside the tent close to the temperature outside the tent. That means ventilate! That fly in the picture really goes all the way down to the ground, so if you're rigged for a storm you've got no ventilation. The boys' tent fly leaves a big gap at the end which allows a lot more ventilation (but will make it a lot damper in a storm!).

 

Open up the vestibule doors some, either from the top or bottom. Pitch at an angle to the wind so you get some cross-flow of breeze without being annoyin'.

 

Or, if you really don't tend to be out in wind-driven rain, trade the tent in for one with a less secure fly.

 

Beavah

 

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Are you sure it's condensation, and not, say, moisture seeping through the floor? From your descriptiona dn the link you posted it looks like most of the upper part of the tent is mesh, so the moisture from your breath should pass through that and any condensation form on the fly, where it drips down to the ground (unless the fly is touching the tent somewhere, another possible problem). Maybe if the mesh was really fine it could support condensation, can you see where it's forming?

 

As one of the previous posters suggested, I'd recommend checking and maybe re-sealing your seams.

 

Good luck!

 

DWS

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I think Beavah hit it: the fly rigged right down to the ground makes you a little bowl of moist air waiting to drip.

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You can pitch a tent a bunch of different ways.

 

I am speaking of a tent with a fly.

 

Fly Tight to the ground for bad weather, or A few inches off the ground in nice weather or don't even use it.

 

Condensation in a tent is a normal thing. You think your wet in a tent with a fly. try one of the single wall silicon impregnated nylon tent.

 

I have started using just a tarp, of course not really appropriate at a camporee.

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I think I'll give it another try next month. It had rained for two days prior to us camping at that site. I use a ground tarp but not under the vestibule. I should see if I have double zippers on my rain fly and open the top six inches or so to improve circulation. The only time I really need the full rain fly is when it is raining cats and dogs.

 

 

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I have a very different tent, but let me offer my take, based in part on my very wet experience this weekend. I have a Mountain Hardware Viperine 2. It is a 2-man LOL tent in the shape of a wedge. Weights just over 4.5 lbs, so it is good for me as a single person backpacking tent. The rain fly on this tent does not come all the way to the ground, staying up about 1.5"-2" except in the very back (bottom of the wedge); even the front entry vestibule stays off the ground. There is also 1"-1.5" between the rain fly and sidewalls/mesh; this allows for tremendous ventilation all around the tent. But since the back of the wedge comes down to the ground, point the end into the wind and it sheds it like it was nothing.

 

I have tried, in the past, to stake down the fly close to the tent (on the side) but while backpacking with the troop this weekend, I set up the tent with the middle of the fly staked slightly out. Somehow I missed this in the past, but it made sense on Saturday afternoon when setting up the tent in a steady rain. We ended up with 12 hours of heavy, steady rain with 20+ kts of wind. I stayed 100% dry (the only one in the group to remain moisture free), but I even noticed that I had near zero condensation, which I have frequently observed in the past. I am convinced this was because I kept the sides staked away from the tent.

 

Agreeing with what others have said here, I think that applying this principle of keeping the fly vented, up (off the ground) and away from the tent would do much to limit condensation. Again, more ventilation, means less retained heat. I have had this tent in temps below 15F, and would not plan on doing that again (way too much mesh and ventilation).

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Buffalo that is a real nice tent. It is on my desired to own list. But, Just too much for these old knees to hump into the woods. I have an MSR fling that is about 18 ounces per person.

 

I like to keep my tent bag and backpack under 8 pounds. Tough getting old.

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Basementdweller,

Under 8 pounds? Sounds like you are an ultralight fanatic. Just so you know there are deprogramming centers for those who have been so brainwashed ;>)

 

I am a bit of a gearhead, and I really do like my titanium cookware and other lighweight gadgets. But I am an aging fart myself, and I really like my comforts. This last trip, I borrowed a (stainless steel) french press and used it for the first time. WOW! that was the best backpacking coffee I have ever had. Thankfully, Snow Peak makes one in titanium, so that has moved to the top of my "needs/wants" list. I like to keep my pack under 40 lbs with food and water; I went out at about 42 lbs this time around. I always want to carry 3 liters of water (2 in a blatter and one in a nalgene for cooking); we always have water filters, so I could easily skimp and just refill the nalgene when we get to camp. That would save me 2 pounds. Weight (or lack thereof) is always a compromise. For me, weight savings is a means to achieving my minimun comfort level. I did suffer this last time, so I may look at reconsidering a few things.

 

We work hard to keep our scouts' packs at 25% of their body weight, but some wander closer to 30%, if they are really small. Most of our scouts are under 110 lbs, so that means we want packs under 30 lbs. For those who weight 80ish lbs (or less!), it is hard to keep 3 days of food plus tent and gear at 20 lbs.

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My favorite tent is my Mountain Hardware Kiva. Its really just a fly with a single pole in the center like a teepee. Goes all the way to the ground on the edges, so almost no ventilation unless you keep the door open and open the roof vent. No floor.

It always condensates. Horribly. But its really a simple tent and only weighs 4 lbs, can sleep 4 and you can almost stand up in the center. I use it in the winter mostly and is almost as warm as a snow cave. Its a bit too warm for summer, and with no floor, all the lively critters are your bed mates.

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