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Topic: Tarptent Stratosphere 2, first impresions< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:21 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I finally got my SS2 sealed and was able to get out with it. I think this may become my favorite TT. Set-up is pretty easy. I do wish that the pole-pockets had been designed for the handle end instead of the tip. Gotta run to work but here is a pic before the storm hit Saturday evening.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 9:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been eying that shelter for a while, I'm really looking forward to your full writeup.  My understanding, from Franco, is that it can be pitched with either pole end up, Henry sets the tip ends up, Franco likes to pitch it handle end up.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 5:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Right, when I sealed it I did the tips up way which works very well to hold the poles in place. But the ground was very wet under the prairie grass so I wanted the handles up when I used it last weekend. The handles do not "lock" in very well that way.

I like to get at least 5 trips or so with anything before I write the in-depth review so it will probably be end of summer before I get a review to BGT.

Funny, I am finally seam sealing my Sublite right now. In CA I never bothered as it was my desert tent (and I only got a couple uses with it before moving). I want to take it out again but you never know when it will rain here, so I figured it is time to do it. That one I will write up soon if I can at least get a couple trips here in MN with it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 5:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

“Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.”
http://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Now, that very well could be a canal in your back yard, but why do I see so many pictures here and elsewhere with tents pitched next to bodies of water? Huh? Is this just a “photographic aesthetic”, or do people actually violate the rule above as a general practice? Don’t you, Ray, as a well-respected “expert” on things backpacking need to exercise a little forethought when publishing pictures like this?

And…it’s StratoSPIRE. It’s right there on the website. If the name were StratoSPHERE, I suspect it might have a very different shape. (Henry probably doesn’t care – as long as he sells them.)
http://www.tarptent.com/stratospire2.html

And…no, I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of bed today…
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Because that would imply there was a right side.....

comes to mind.

[Oh it's not like you all weren't thinking it]
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ray,
The original name of that tent was "the circus" tent , eventually,a few years after Henry started tinkering with that design, he came up with StratoSpire.
(not Strato Sphere, he was not aiming that high)
StratoSpire is a reference to the two peaks...
Surprising how difficult it was to come up with a good name that was not already taken.

I have used it handle side up,as Trinity noted, but only because I can....
It is a bit tricky to do (so I have been told), so now you can buy from TT the "trekking pole handle pocket adapter".

They attach to the grosgrain ribbon that holds the grommet under the apex.
It will be interesting to hear how the SS2 compares to the green tent.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Gabby, I have been making the name mistake since day one. It is stuck in my head.

Yeah, I,  the expert, am well away from the water. That is the Red River of the North and is much bigger than you think. There is a huge drop-off just past my tent and then the actual banks of the river.

About 12 years ago during a huge flood while the water was receding it tore a hole though a raised road that led to a massive erosion on my side of the river. That side now has huge cliffs and is the reason the land owners never went back. (They can't get to their house and it would take too much to try to repair the banks to ever be safe there.

But MN has much more lax standards for camping distances. The State themselves place campsites for fisherman right on the banks. They put fire rings and somtimes picnic tables there too. I have many pictures at "official" backpacking and camping sites that are right on the water like this one at Hungry Man Lake. Is it OK if they say it is Gabby?

But thanks for watching out for my immortal soul... ;-)


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Franco @ Jun. 24 2013, 5:17 pm)
QUOTE
It will be interesting to hear how the SS2 compares to the green tent.

Um, it is much better at this point. I am taking it to north-central MN next weekend hopefully for two nights.

I need to find some Tyvek big enough to make a ground cloth. I just have a 3' wide roll and used a strip under the center but I want to make a full-size footprint for it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I had the cover photo of Eliot Porter's book ""In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World" framed on the wall near my door for years and "knew" it said "Wilderness..." then when I was moving out and was taking it down, all of a sudden it popped out at me. Funny how things like that get stuck and then the actual printed word just gets skipped over.

One of those terrific Sierra Club Exhibit format books they did to promote conservation.

http://www.wildnesswithin.com/2001/01-12/inwildness.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Actually I have been making that mistake even before it came out. Franco had emailed me to say that there was this cool tent coming up called the StratoSpire and I am not kidding I answered him saying that I would look forward to seeing the StratoSphere. Just a brain-lock thing. I will have it right in the review. I has a good editor...

Here is a another pic for Gabby. An official North Country Trail backpacker site. If I drop my pot it will roll into the lake.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 6:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I usually opt to stay clear of water because the water is where everyone else is. But that's just me. Yes, I've gone out with other people, but I don't like it. Much. :^)

I once (voluntarily) went for a "motorcycle trip" with a bunch of other guys. I only got about 10 miles down the road before turning off and leaving. I realized that it wasn't me, and not the reason why I had a motorcycle in the first place. Ask my wife, who has gone to concerts and baseball games by herself (or with other people). Yes, I've done it, but I never get to watch the game. I'm psycho around other people, but that's just me. I'd be okay with you, Ray - but, when I want to "turn left", don't tell me to "turn right". That is, unless I've given up the privilege to make up my own mind for the trip. I'm not completely crazy. (Though I'd suggest you don't ask the wife...)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 7:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is so much water here that I rarely have to share. Mainly because I will use those official site on the "trails", and really, not many people hike here. But I love all the campsites they put in for fisherman. There is a nice dirt road going to a nice lake, with almost always a pit toilet and most times a table and fire ring. They are packed from May through September. Then they are mine all fall and winter. Once the snow hits I am the only one on the excellent winter trails, I mean buried dirt roads.

And I hear you about being the lone wolf. Some of our members here know how hard it is to get me to hike with anybody but Dave.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 10:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This tent is the main reason I haven't already bought a Notch.  I don't like going much heavier than my Contrail, but the Notch appears less roomy and the SS2 looks nicer in that regard.

How much hassle do you think it would be to set up in heavy wind?  I find that challenging for the Contrail, but not enough to keep it from being my current favorite.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 5:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is almost always blowing here on the west side of the state. (Very flat) I had more of a problem getting my strip of Tyvek to stay put then I did with the SS2. I learned right away to set up the pole on the side away from the wind first to let the wind push away from the other side. At first I did the opposite and it would push it down.

Next weekend I will be in a forest so won't have as much wind, unless it storms.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 8:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Only time I've set up the Notch in high wind, it was a bit of a pain, but only took a little longer. Since the ends were already staked, I did like Ray described, and tried to let the wind hold up one side while I stood on the other. Had to reposition the stakes a bit, but it wasn't too bad. I've been happy enough with the Notch that the SS2 is what I'm already planning to buy in the event I need a 2p tent. Especially enjoy using it as a "tarp" in cool weather without the inner.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 10:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Gabby-You're wrong. Ray actually does have a Stratosphere II, which is a special model designed to work best at altitudes of 30-40,000 ft.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 7:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I must be doing something wrong with mine.  I recently received my SS2 and it seems like the fly is very close to the mesh every time I've pitched it.  I've staked and re-staked it and it just seems like with any rain whatsoever it would push the two layers together.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2013, 8:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If pitched correctly you should have a few inches between the inner and the fly.
Take a close look at the photos on the TT site and maybe have a another look at both how Henry sets it up (video on the TT site) as well as how I do it.
My way :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyQT9JHloQM
Some tips.
It should look exactly as it does on Ray's (or the TT photos) not somewhat like that.
(I just had a look at Google images and could not find a single "bad pitch" but I can do that if you need to see one...)

The poles need to be set at around 50" and must be straight, not at an angle.

The panels , if set up correctly , will be nice ant taut.
This photo may give a better idea :

Once you can do that you will have the desired separation between inner and fly.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 26 2013, 8:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rayestrella @ Jun. 24 2013, 6:21 pm)
QUOTE
I finally got my SS2 sealed

My apologies for going slightly off topic.

I live, hike and backpack in Western Australia where we have resorted to desalination plants for water supply :( so getting wet is difficult (and camping next to a "body of water" is almost impossible unless it's the ocean)

I am waiting for my first Tarptent (a Contrail) and I am curious as to the need for "sealing" as I will hopefully use the Contrail in wetter climates as well, would someone please summarise for me what sealing is required.

Thank you kindly  :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 26 2013, 9:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

With the Contrail you just have the two seams at the top of the tent to do (from the apex to the ends)
This is how I do it :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYjOkxR4sgc
(Selley's Roof and Gutter silicone and Mineral Turpentine)
There is a video on the TT site on how Henry does it.
If you can find it , for one tent only , Permatex Flowable silicone comes in a small tube and it is ready to use.
(used for car windshields, so from car care places)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 6:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(reandt @ Jun. 26 2013, 7:43 pm)
QUOTE
My apologies for going slightly off topic.

I am waiting for my first Tarptent (a Contrail)

No problem, most of us are off a bit...

For dry climes like yours I like the original Sublite. I bought mine just to use in the California desert. It does not get used much here in Minnesota though.

Here is a pic of it and a Contrail. What a segue...


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 8:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you for the helpful suggestions.

I checked out your instructions on seam sealing Franco, I've picked up my supplies and as a fellow Aussie you and I are amongst the few on here that have shopped at Bunnings  :;):

I considered the Sublite as mentioned by you rayestrella, the weight saving was tempting but I am hoping that the Contrail will travel with me to more exotic destinations  :D and it's weatherproof qualities was the deal maker.

I also ordered the optional adaptors for a two hiking pole/tip down set up which I think I prefer http://www.tarptent.com/photos/trekpolehandleadapter.jpg


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