Tarptent Stratospire mods

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Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Drew » Sat 07 Jan, 2017 10:59 am

Sorry to start a new thread on this tent - I had added my post onto another thread in the gear reviews section but there's very little traffic over there!

I recently bought a SS2 and have used it for a few nights so far in benign conditions. I'm very happy with it so far, but can see that I need to make some modifications to get it ready for nasty weather. Looking at various reviews, forum discussions etc it seems that almost everyone makes some sort of modification to this tent, whether it's different ways of using the panel lifters, different lengths of guy rope for the main guys (the supplied ones are certainly not long enough), what pegs are good to use (other than those supplied), etc. Chezza's photo here (http://www.bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=21071&p=280405&hilit=stratospire#p278096) looks like a great pitch, and she mentions a "must do mod" where the struts are but it's impossible to see what it is in the photo.

I was thinking about some line-locs on the peg points where the tent currently has bungee cord, for those annoying times when there is a rock in the ground right where you need to insert the peg (I've always found the adjustability here on my old tent to be handy).

I find the lack of gear pockets inside the tent a bit annoying. I was thinking of attaching a piece of cord to the hooks along the ridgeline on the interior and hanging a little bag on it for a place to put my glasses, phone etc. Any better/other ideas?

Before I order some reflective guy cord I'd love to see/read what others have done.

Cheers
Drew
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby kitty » Sat 07 Jan, 2017 11:30 am

I have 6 foot of 3mm reflective cord for the two main guys points on my SS1.
I use 2mm line for the panel guys with a short loop of 2mm bungee each of the 4 attachment points.
For the pegs I use the 6 yellow Easton stakes plus when required 2-4 MSR ground hog stakes or MSR blizzard stakes.
I would like to know what the "must do mod" on the strut corners is.
Personally the lack of gear pockets does not bother me.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Franco » Sat 07 Jan, 2017 1:00 pm

Some have put longer cordage on the PitchLoc corners of the Scarps and the SS.
Personally I don't think they are needed but for the ones that do like tinkering with tents it is easy enough to do .
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Chezza » Sun 08 Jan, 2017 12:18 pm

I shouldn't respond after you called me a "she", and failed to read my post properly :-)

The "must-do mod" is simply replacing the supplied 1.8mm cord in the line-locs with 3mm cord.

Also think about replacing the CF struts in the pitchloc corners with roll-wrapped versions (they are pulltruded), and if you are in the habit of pitching it taut then keep an eye on the stitching connecting all the tie-out points to the fly. On my example the fly is tearing because some of these tie-outs are wider than the seams that they should be stitched to. A couple of stitches end up in a single layer of silnylon, and the silnylon is tearing around these stitches. The major seams are flawless, which is more than I can say about the Hillebergs I've owned, but they definitely let the apprentice loose on the bits and pieces sewn to the fly.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Drew » Mon 09 Jan, 2017 8:58 am

I shouldn't respond after you called me a "she", and failed to read my post properly :-)


Whoops. Sorry. For some reason I just assumed that Chezza was for Cheryl! Anyway, thanks for spelling out what you'd done with the line-loch. It seems agreed that the supplied 1.8mm cord can slip, so I guess I'll order a decent amount of 3mm.

Also think about replacing the CF struts in the pitchloc corners with roll-wrapped versions (they are pulltruded)


Can you explain why I might consider this? What's the difference between roll-wrapped (sounds lunch related to me) and pulltruded?

Cheers
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Chezza » Mon 09 Jan, 2017 5:34 pm

Pultrusion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MoHNZB5b_Y
Roll wrapping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKfLvRdCYfQ

Pultruded tube is good in low load applications where you need maximum stiffness (think kites, RC model aircraft etc), but they fail at unpredictable loads if it is cheap tube and they have little crush resistance. I found one of my pitchloc corners snapped near the bottom when drying my tent once. Pulled out the other three struts to inspect. They had no visual defects. I tried to break the three by hand - one snapped fairly easily between my hands, another snapped but required all the strength I could muster, and the third I wasn't able to break at all. There are many possible reasons for this very varied failure, but basically cheap pultruded tube does not have reliable strength when taken to failure. Roll wrapped tube is more consistent in its failure, but has a lower stiffness-to-weight ratio. Look for wrapped tube with fibres mostly in the 0deg direction, with 0/90 fabric on the outside. Having said that, almost any wrapped tube will work, but might be a bit heavier and flex more than the OEM pultruded tube.

From the sounds of your first post you are a bit OCD about the tautness of your pitch, like me. In that case you can definitely load those pitchloc corners quite heavily. Because the bottoms of the struts stick out past the fabric a couple of inches, if you pull the bottom lineloc after the top lineloc is tight, you can put those bottom two inches of strut in serious bending. That's how I broke mine. Of course, you could make a point of loosening the top lineloc, picking up the struts while pulling on the bottom lineloc, and avoid this problem.

If you pull those pitchloc corner linelocs little more than finger tight, ignore everything I just said and just don't step on the struts.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Drew » Tue 10 Jan, 2017 4:36 pm

Thanks Chezza. Not sure that I'll be replacing the struts but it's good to know that it's a potential problem. I'm not really OCD about my pitch but just reading people's reviews it sounds like a few modifications are required to get it ready for bad weather. Hard to know what's actually necessary and what's just people getting carried away.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Franco » Wed 11 Jan, 2017 8:27 pm

I asked the person that looks after materials and service at Tarptent (Scott) , he is not aware of those corner struts breaking.
However of course there could always be some faulty ones.
They are from Easton BTW...
Now , don't do this , but I have, more than once...
Image
To explain, CF works very well with vertical pressure but not so much with lateral pressure.
That is why I can lean on those two struts but if I had one in my hands I probably would be able to snap one by twisting the two ends.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Drew » Sun 12 Mar, 2017 7:05 pm

I've added nice long 3mm guylines. No problems there - they certainly help to get a much more taut ridgeline and better pitch. And some cord on the interior to hand things from.

I haven't changed the line-lock cord. It's hard to imagine it slipping really. Perhaps I should.

I've just been playing round with the panel lifters (see photos). I'm pretty happy with how I've got them now but interested what others think/how others have done it. To me it seems a vital part of the pitch for bad weather, and I think it's strange that no instructions are given for how best to do it (let alone supplying the materials to do it). I used loops of shock cord on the attachment points to reduce strain but I'm still concerned that it could damage the stitching on this unreinforced spot. And, not having used this sort of set-up before, I have doubts that the trekking pole won't just flip out and go flying (although I guess a trekking pole doesn't catch much wind so it should be fine)!

Regarding the pitch in general, I find that no matter how I fiddle around with it I don't get as much space between the fly and the inner as I should (without using the panel lifters). Any thoughts on why this would be? I've usually pitched with poles at 125cm.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Franco » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 9:17 am

Hi Drew,
We are now starting to ship with cordage that is about 0.5 mm wider than the previous type.
On ours and customer test it does not slip inside the type of Line Loc we supply.
(the previous type was delivered to us slightly under the specified measurement)
Your set up looks good but try the poles at 127-130cm and make sure they are straight at that height. (127cm is the standard height)
If you post a photo of the pitch loc corner from the inside (from the vestibule) I might be able to work out why you don't get enough separation between the inner and the fly.(should be 5-10cm )

BTW, I would add some seam sealer at the base of the guyout loop (last photo)
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Drew » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 12:18 pm

Thanks Franco. I'll try a little higher next time. Unfortunately the pitch loc corner from inside is one of the few angles I didn't get a photo of! Oh well, next time. I figured it must have something to do with those corners.

I suspect my seam sealing job wasn't adequate (the tent hasn't seen any rain yet so I don't know for sure). I don't have much tent space in the garden but I'll see if I can put it up and get the hose on it.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Franco » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 3:05 pm

The base of those loops is the typical place where water comes in. It can happen with tents that are taped or claim not to need seam sealing.
You can touch them up in small areas like that without having to set them up.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Drew » Mon 27 Mar, 2017 12:15 pm

If you post a photo of the pitch loc corner from the inside (from the vestibule) I might be able to work out why you don't get enough separation between the inner and the fly.(should be 5-10cm )


I got out over the weekend and remembered to get a photo of that angle.
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I didn't remember to pitch it with the poles a little higher though, so this is at about 127cm. I thought it was a good pitch but then when I looked inside I saw that the fly was almost touching the inner along the seam that runs up from the middle of the pitch loc corner. I feel like it might be because the bathtub floor is floating so high off the ground, but it was still almost touching when I was in the tent. Maybe if I'd had some weight right in that corner it would have lowered the inner enough, but I shouldn't need to do that.

Thanks
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Franco » Mon 27 Mar, 2017 2:26 pm

I feel like it might be because the bathtub floor is floating so high off the ground, but it was still almost touching when I was in the tent.
Yes. You can also drop the apex height of the inner by using the shock cord instead of clipping directly to the ring on the fly.
(the photo I posted here was from : http://bushwalkinglight.blogspot.com.au ... k-and.html)

BTW, (minor point) you can see from your inside shot that the base of the fly in that corner is not in tension, that will also pull the inner down and out a bit and give you better performance in the wind. (common set up problem)
Should look like this :
Image
you can also see it in the Scarp shot I posted above.
Last edited by Franco on Tue 28 Mar, 2017 8:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Avatar » Mon 27 Mar, 2017 6:06 pm

Yo Franco, that top photo looks like the one on my blog!
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Franco » Mon 27 Mar, 2017 7:24 pm

Hi Avatar,
I did steal that photo from Google Images ..(sorry about that)

I had posted something like that before but could not find my own shot.
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Re: Tarptent Stratospire mods

Postby Drew » Mon 27 Mar, 2017 8:57 pm

Yes. You can also drop the apex height of the inner by using the shock cord instead of clipping directly to the ring on the fly.


It was actually hanging from the shock cord. The cord came with a know halfway along, so there are three height options. The first couple of pitches I had it attached to the ring at the top (where it was attached when shipped). Since then though I've had it in the middle (see pic). I didn't really want to have it lower, as I would lose a tiny bit of that lovely headroom! But maybe I'll try that next time.

Cheers.

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