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3/3/2014 7:45 PM
 

Hello all, I've been lurking around the forum for awhile but just finally got around to registering.

After having my lightweight dome tent nearly flattened by wind this past weekend, I've decided I need a sturdier shelter.  I like the lightweight pyramid style shelters but I'm wondering how well they hold up in serious wind? Better than a dome tent?  I imagine it mostly depends on how well it is staked out, but I would love to hear from anyone w/ firsthand experience.

 
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3/3/2014 8:42 PM
 

I've been using a Black Diamond Megalight for the past 5 years.  The Megalight is about 5 1/2' tall.  If it's staked down properly it will handle powerful wind gusts without feeling like it will topple over at all.  I have used it on our windy prairies and have occasionally found a solid rock to place over the windward stakes - just to be sure.  I can't speak for a true tipi design, but the Megalight will deform from the wind.  Depending on where your head is you can find yourself getting slapped with silnylon all night.  Most of the time I hunt around and try to find a better site that will get me out of the wind but sometimes that's just not possible.  I'm not sure that my mid will ever be quite as bombproof as a true four season mountaineering tent, but it's about a quarter of the weight. 

 
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3/4/2014 8:33 AM
 

 Thanks for your reply ChrisF, It makes sense that a tent that light wouldn't be quite as bombproof as a four season mountaineering tent.  The weight savings is definately a plus though. 

 
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3/4/2014 10:23 AM
 

No problem.  I should add that I added mid point tieouts to the walls which makes a significant difference to how much the walls flex in when it's windy.  I also bring along the supplied carbon fiber pole rather than lash together trekking poles - at least if I'm on the prairies.  In the forest I'll make a center pole or suspend the top of the mid from a tree branch.

 
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3/4/2014 2:40 PM
 

I always try to have a wind break, but sometimes that just doesn't work.  The plus of the floorless shelter is that it is lighter, generally keeps less dirt out of your gear, and lets you run a stove in inclement weather.  The con is that a good pitch is essential.  I have had several different floorless shelters of different designs out in high winds, and if I pitched them well they did just fine.  If I didn't you can get a ton of flapping and dishing. In extremely high winds you can still get some of that, but I have add that happen in dome tents too, high winds are just what they are.  The more squared the tent, the more likely it is to have trouble with a wind load in my experience.  If I expect wind I almost always use the mid-height guy outs, and have gotten to the point I am not sure I would want a shelter without them.  All that being said if I was truly worried about a steady diet of high winds I would probably skip right past a 4 season back packing tent to a mountaineering tent.  They are built to withstand those conditions better than even a good 4 season backpacking tent.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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3/4/2014 4:24 PM
 

Drewbee, what brand and model of dome flattened on you? Did the poles break or did the tent pop back into shape? How loud was the wind?


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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3/4/2014 9:41 PM
 

 Evan,  The tent was a mountainsmith Genesee 4.  It's a lower end model with just 2 crossed poles.  The tent actually popped back into shape, which was surprising because I thought for sure that one of the gusts had bent the poles. The wind was loud enough to keep us from sleepig. Honestly, it probably seemed worse in the moment than it really was, heightened by the fact that I had my wife and 2 little girls with me.  The tent just didn't inspire much confidence that it was going to make it through the night.

Thanks everyone for the responses. It sounds like a floorless shelter would be a good option for me, as I'm not necessarily planning to use it in high wind but just want something more dependable than what I have now.  The lighter weight is also a huge bonus, because I haven't found very many 4-5 man dome tents that I would consider backpackable. 

 

 
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3/6/2014 11:21 AM
 

I looked at the Genesee. The specs aren't bad at all. 7000 series aluminum poles are good. 2 crossed poles isn't a bad thing in smaller shelters, but in a shelter of that size it is a little light. It looks to me like the Genesee has mid-wall tie out points halfway up each of the corners. I'd say that if you add tie-outs to each of those points and stake those out as well you'll be in pretty good shape.

Floorless center pole shelters do have their strong points. Space to weight is the biggest one. They do have some weak points too. One is that I can't overemphasize how reliant they are on being well staked and well pitched to be reliable in high winds. Most of the time that's not an issue, but sometimes it can be. Out in the slickrock country west of us, it can be really hard. If you're at a single location for more than a night, they're going to require maintenance of the pitch to keep them taut - lengthening the center pole is a common need. Also, women and kids don't always like floorless. For toddler aged kids, I prefer a floored tent myself.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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3/6/2014 10:02 PM
 

Thanks for the suggestion Evan. Adding those additional tie-out points might just do the trick. 

You make a good point about having a floor for the women and kids.  The tent that has been tempting me is the Golite shangri-la 5 which has a nest that can be pitched with it.  guess I'll try adding the tie-outs first and see how that goes.

 
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