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Thread: Ultralight Hikers

  1. #441
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: Ultralight Hikers

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Willard View Post
    Hi, Stone. My MSR Elixir 2 man tent worked real nice. The highly reflective opaque silver fly and the opposing double doors allowed for reflection of light and cross ventilation respectfully to help keep the tent real cool on hot sunny days in the high alpine. I loved how roomy the tent was compared to my old tent, and I love the side entrances of the tent which facilitates easy access. The tent was also exposed to five fierce alpine storms. Two of the storms were full winter storms, and in all cases, the tent held up real well.

    I also just bought the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 man tent. I intend to uses it when I take family and friends up for a week long trip in early June. It is a nice tent for short trips for a week or less, but I would not use it for a 30 day trip. It is just not as beefy as the MSR Elixir. I set both tents side by side, and I do not believe that the Hubba could take the abuse that the Elixir can take. For me the extra pound of better pole support and thicker fabric of the Elixir is worth its weight in gold.

    The main draw back of the Elixir is not its weight, but rather its pack size which is is about twice that of the Hubba.

    The Elixir cost around $250 and includes the protective footprint. The Hubba cost around $450 to get the optional protective footprint.

    Hope this helps....
    Thanks Stephen!! Excellent review, I would love to know about water proof-ness and about how it handled condensation, in particular in unzipping the tent opening and getting out of the tent, did you feel as though you had to struggle to open it without getting your hair/head wet against the side of the tent, could you unzip it without water falling inside the tent? Or without having to reach far out to reach/get to the zipper.

    I have a lot of trouble with this and my current tent, which is why I ask, it's my ONLY real complaint about the Big Agnes tent I own, which is not the brother to the elixir but an older longer, single door design (similar to the current fly creek model but slightly different / heavier) I am blanking on the name.

    Thanks.

  2. #442

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    Re: Ultralight Hikers

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    ...150mm Rodenstock apo Sironar-s (a normal that folds-up with the camera and has the same FOV as a 120mm lens...
    Assuming "FOV" stands for field of view, please explain what you mean by this. With 4x5 film, a 120 and 150 have distinctly different fields of view, whether comparing horizontal, vertical or diagonal angles. If you instead were referring to image circles, which 120mm lens' image circle are you comparing the 231mm Apo-S image circle to? Thanks in advance.

  3. #443
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Ultralight Hikers

    I've adopted a two-tent strategy. I'll bring along both an ultralight and the Bibler, then assess the weather forecast at the last minute, and leave one of them in
    the truck. I seem to be a magnet for wacky weather. It also has a lot to do with planning the route day by day. I really don't like the idea of being up in some
    wind-tunnel of a high pass in an ultralight in inclement weather. Want to be able to make it to at least the edge of timberline. With the Bibler, I've got way more options. Those things can handle a serious storm.

  4. #444
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: Ultralight Hikers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    Assuming "FOV" stands for field of view, please explain what you mean by this. With 4x5 film, a 120 and 150 have distinctly different fields of view, whether comparing horizontal, vertical or diagonal angles. If you instead were referring to image circles, which 120mm lens' image circle are you comparing the 231mm Apo-S image circle to? Thanks in advance.
    I'm going to go out on a limb and assume they actually meant the angle degree number?

  5. #445
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Ultralight Hikers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    Assuming "FOV" stands for field of view, please explain what you mean by this. With 4x5 film, a 120 and 150 have distinctly different fields of view, whether comparing horizontal, vertical or diagonal angles. If you instead were referring to image circles, which 120mm lens' image circle are you comparing the 231mm Apo-S image circle to? Thanks in advance.
    The Rodenstock give me essentially the same composition as the 120 Nikkor SW and the 75mm Pentax 67. It's not identical of course ( the 120 and 75 are a tad wider but the difference is inconsequential. The Pentax is my favorite lens because I prefer a wider view than say the Pentax 105mm which is super sharp and if I went on a long trip and could carry only one lens, that lens would be the Rodenstock for 4x5 and the 75 Pentax for 6x7.

    Speaking of the 105 Pentax, several years back I dropped it very softly in a loose sandy soil in a ghost town somewhere. I had a B&W UV filter on the lens for protection and the filter hit a stone that was in the sand and cracked it and made it difficult to remove the filter. Instead of waiting until I got home to get a filter remover, I forced it off and the cracked filter left a nasty gash/scar on the outside of the glass. Although I use my equipment I take very good care and keep everything looking as close to mint as humanly possible. I was so taken back by this accident I didn't use or even look at the lens for years and even considered replacing the 105 with another on several occasions. Then about a year or so ago, again considering buying a replacement, I examined the lens carefully. The gash turned out to be bits of the filter glass stuck on the lens and wiped off leaving a very tiny spot (you have to really look for it up close) where the coating was damaged. I've put that lens back in my kit and nothing shows up on the negatives or enlargements. I'm sure glad of that because the 105 is a very useful lens and it was my first lens for that camera which I bought as a kit with the AE Pentaprisim viewfinder and 105 lens. And that lens now commands a higher price used than it did when new.

    Thomas

  6. #446
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Ultralight Hikers

    Stone - those new side-entry tents from both Big Agnes and Bibler should be more to your liking than front-entry, but it does add about a pound of wt in each case. You won't get wet crawling in and out of them. We had one along last year. Life if full of coincidences. A neighbor of mine recently retired and had knee replacements. He was just getting back from his first long walk up the canyon with an even older cronie. The old fellow turned out to be the person who drew up
    and marketed what was allegedly the world's first single-ply "no rainfly needed" pup tent, when Sierra Designs was next door to us here. And back then a hiking
    pal of mine happened to be the world's first customer/guinea-pig/sucker for the new tent technology. He bought it for a week-long trip we were taking up on the
    Goddard Divide during an exceptionally snowy year. One day a big storm was moving in and we made it back down to around 10,000 ft to camp at the head of
    McGee Canyon. He had a deluxe indoor swimming pool that night, courtesy of all the condensation. Had to hoof it all the way down to low altitude the next day
    to dry things out. Not a very good testimonial for Sierra Designs. I think Bibler was the first one to do it right.

  7. #447
    Stephen Willard's Avatar
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    Re: Ultralight Hikers

    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Thanks Stephen!! Excellent review, I would love to know about water proof-ness and about how it handled condensation, in particular in unzipping the tent opening and getting out of the tent, did you feel as though you had to struggle to open it without getting your hair/head wet against the side of the tent, could you unzip it without water falling inside the tent? Or without having to reach far out to reach/get to the zipper.

    I have a lot of trouble with this and my current tent, which is why I ask, it's my ONLY real complaint about the Big Agnes tent I own, which is not the brother to the elixir but an older longer, single door design (similar to the current fly creek model but slightly different / heavier) I am blanking on the name.

    Thanks.
    Stone, both tents have a gutter system above the the zipper on each vestibule. Any runoff on the fly is diverted to the ground at the bottom of the entrance. As a result, I have never gotten wet from entering or exiting the Elixir from water on the flys. I suspect the same hold true for the Hubba as well.

    The climate I use the tents is very dry so I cannot speak to cross ventilation from the fly vents. I can say the Elixir has twice the fly vent area that the Hubba has, and the vents are much higher up the tent walls than the Hubba, so if ventilation is an issue, then the Elixir is the better solution. Personally, I do not think any of the vents on any of the tents I have seen are sufficient in humid rainy climate. The Hubba does have the means of rolling up the bottom of each vestibule to achieve additional cross ventilation through the opposing doors. However, I have not used the Hubba in the field yet, so I do not know if this will offer any improvement or it is just a gimmick. The Elixir can be easy modified by adding a guy loop on each vestibule to mimiic the Hubba cross ventilation of the vestibules. I plan on making this modification to my Elixir.

    One very noticeable difference between the two tents is the Hubba fly is transparent and will allow a lot of daylight and moon light to pass through when compared to the Elixir which has an opaque silver fly and reflects most of the light. Out west moon light can be so bright that it can keep me awake at night. When sun light is not reflected by the fly, then your tent can heat up real fast. Some times it has been well over a 100 degrees in my tent at higher elevations where there can be no tree cover during the day. The Elixir was much darker at night and much cooler by day compare to my old tent, and I suspect this would also be true for the Hubba as well.

    The guys on the Elixir are much sturdier and higher up the tent walls which I believe is preferred for properly anchoring down the tent in severe storms. This is a big deal for me because some of those high alpine storms can have winds well over 100 miles per hour perhaps even closer to 130 miles per hour. One time I ran out of my tent with a heavy duty Marmot rain jacket only partially zipped and the wind ripped that jack right of my body. It took me two days to find my jacket tangled about 40 feet up in an Ingelmann spruce tree about three miles from my camp. Now that is unbelievable! The garment survived in tacked, and the rest of my camp site was well anchored and defied the storm's forces.

    My Elixir experienced no deformity form the high winds of the five storms I lived through. I suspect it had to do with the sturdy pole design and the wind dynamics of the tent. For those of you who are listening in, I would highly recommend you suit up in full rain gear with warm under garments when inside your tent during a severe alpine storm. If the tent should fail you can take cover under a big spruce and live for another day. I had a tent do just that about 20 years ago, and I almost died from hyperthermia. All I had on at the time was my briefs. This is a great tale of being young a stupid verses old and experienced.


    Hope this helps....

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