The Vault Regulars

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tarptent Moment major modifications

The Tarptent Moment in original guise.
The Tarptent Moment is a very good one man lightweight tent as i have posted before here. The weight of it is 0.85kg.
Having used it on it’s inaugural outing to the Scottish Borders i was made aware of a number of issues that i didn’t like and that would have to be put right.
The roof air vents would not stay open so this was resolved with a plastic stay.
There is a little more info on the stay here if anybody wants to make the support.
One of the ties holding the groundsheet had come away from its retainer so this needed to be sewn back and i glued it too to stop it happening again.
The 6” pegs/stakes were replaced with 8” ones so that they would cope with soft ground better.
2 guy lines were fitted to the main hoop pole sleeve. The ribbon was existing but not the cord or 2 extra pegs.
The zippers were quite small and these i put on extension cords so that finding them and operating them would be easier.
The inner door and outer door retainers were just elastic and had to be tied to retain the rolled up doors. I found these were poor and loosened off, especially in the wind.
I looped one side of the elastic and added a sliding cord grip to the other.
For me though the biggest and the main problem i found was the inner door. It was so restrictive and didn’t allow full use of the highest part of the tent. It also made getting hold of gear from under the porch problematic. So it had to be changed.
The original doorway.
I looked at doing the job myself but with no sewing skills at all and even worse, no machine i thought i had better look for help.
The help came from Robin, aka blogpackinglight. He put me onto Sean at Oookworks in Cumbria.
Strange name, which i will come to later.
I emailed Sean, showing him what i wanted and he suggested taking out the whole door and replacing it with a new mesh doorway incorporating an inverted “T” shaped zip.

With the Moment being single skin, the mesh is hemmed and stiched to the outer so i had doubts that it could be removed but i sent the tent off and waited to hear from Sean after he had chance to look at it in the flesh.
He said it could be done.
I waited eagerly for it’s return and when it happened it was immediately pitched in the garden. It was raining but what the heck i had to see it.

It’s absolutely fantastic. Sean picked the stitching from the mesh leaving the hem in place on the outer and replaced the whole door with a grey mesh instead of the original black.
The grey mesh believe it or not makes the inside so much lighter and makes looking out of the tent more pleasant.
The inverted “T” zip is the same spec as the original, 5mm YKK nylon.

Once the doors are open the Moment now looks cavernous. I can now sit sideways and have full access to the porch. It makes cooking so much easier. It makes getting in and out so much easier.
On wet days you can have the inner doors rolled back giving you more room to move around and on bug free nights you can leave the doors rolled up.

It is just fantastic now so thank you Sean for a wonderful job done and thank you Robin for putting me onto Sean.
The name Oookworks i am told was derived from the Terry Pratchet book where the Librarian at the Unseen University is an Orang Utan, who was once a wizard but now prefers being Simian and just says Ook.
Sean has added an extra O to the Oookworks name and says that it seemed a good idea at the time or maybe a few beers were involved. Anyway thats the story of the strange name.

Here are some pictures of the new doorway.

 How much better does the above photograph look in comparison to the original. Photo1.

So for the additional weight of a metre of zip the advantages far outweigh the penalty in my view. And now makes the Moment perfect or should it be magic. 

If anybody with a Tarptent Moment or any other tent or piece of outdoor gear would like the same or similar modifications done then Sean at Oookworks, see website here would only be too pleased to carry out your requirements. I can recommend him.


-maria- said...

The new doorway is really nice!

AlanR said...

Hi Maria,
Yes i am so pleased with the modification and you wouldn’t know that it wasn’t part of the original tent. He has done a superb job.
I was wondering who would read this post as most of my readers are doing the TGO challenge. So thanks for dropping in.

Anonymous said...

Looks very good. What's the total weight with mods and the roof liner? Also what did you use for the vent stays?

Given the cost, it looks a very tempting package compared with the very expensive cuben options. I imagine that the Moment must be one of the most stormproof tents on the market.

AlanR said...

Hi Robin,
weights as follows,
Tent with the new door, including the single crossing pole, bag, 4 x pegs, the extra inner liner and extra guys = 1.08kg. The 2nd Foul weather pole weighs 190gr.
I made the vent supports from the material from a plastic milk bottle. I tried a few materials but the milk bottle was more ductile and allowed a bend to be put in without fracturing.
I glued a second piece of plastic just onto the upright to give it a bit more rigidity in that area. The width of the stays are 12mm wide.
It works a treat.
If you have a go and use the same material you need to rough up the sides of the plastic that i glued together otherwise they don’t stick too well. I used Epoxy Araldite in the end but maybe a contact adhesive like Evo-stick would do it just as well.
I tried the solvent glue used on plastic sanitary waste fittings but it didn’t work.
I havn’t had the experience yet of a real hooley of a night but it’s been in the garden this last few days and it’s been very windy and wet and it’s been fine. It sheds the wind very well and hardly flaps at all.

I may be wrong but i think Cuben like the new TN could be an expensive failure. It’s too thin, it may be ok for adventure racers but for backpacking i would think twice and thats not for just the expense.
Maybe a thicker grade of Cuben would be better depending on how much weight it adds. But then whats the point of spending all that money. Catch 22.

Anonymous said...

I was amused to read in Colin Ibbotson's review that the groundsheet material was too thin and punctured easily. I can't see many buying it.

AlanR said...

I must have a read of it.
I just saw one in Manchester.
It didn’t make me go wow like the Moment does now. But the door on the TN is very similar to the original TT Moment so it wouldn’t make me happy.
Although it is on the opposite side to the Moments door so it would be slightly better if you are right handed i suppose.

Mac E said...

Good work there from Sean, I was talking to him back in February with a view to getting a bit of custom work done. I posted about the Shangria La nests that he'd started making back then.

AlanR said...

Hi Richard,
I've just re-read your posting. He does a good job.
The new door has made such a difference.

markswalkingblog said...

Alan, some clever mods there, well done ! Perhaps tent manufacturer's should take more notice of bloggers. The simple mods (Bob's suggestions from backpackinglight) I made to my Power Lizard, has made it much more storm proof. I was testing out a new mat over the weekend in our field and the tent hardly budged with the high winds.

AlanR said...

Thanks Mark. Things have improved really well.
I think you are right although small companies like TT get out there and do it themselves and larger companies pay for expertise, so i don’t get where they are coming from sometimes.
Why we can’t buy a lightweight breathable eVent or similar single skin tent yet beats me.
I look forward to seeing what you have done to the Power Lizard and the new mat review.

markswalkingblog said...

Alan, the nearest I have seen to an eVent tent is the Integral Designs Wedge Bivvy see

Sean said...

Hi Alan,
Excellent stuff, thank you; I'm really glad you're pleased with it.
As for eVent tents I'm afraid it's down to the folk who own eVent not wanting it used on tents at the moment, not manufacturers' lack of interest in using it.
The Exped Polaris is still available which is one of a handful of tents made before GE pulled the plug and some bivvy shelters (under 70cm high) are around, too.

AlanR said...

Hi Mark,
Thanks for that, i had seen it and also there is another from Black Diamond but the name escapes me at the minute. Thansk for the link.

Hi Sean,
No problems. A good job deserves credit. Thats a surprise about the owners of eVent. You would think they would want to use it as much as possible.
Thanks for sharing that info. Others will be very interested.
Thats the good side of blogging, information is freely and happily shared. Cheers.

AlanR said...

It was the Black diamond oneshot i was thinking of.

Sean, just had a look at the Polaris. Wow thats some price and its 2 man whereas it was a one man i had in mind. It’s no wonder there are still some left.

Sean said...

There's also the Rab Summit Superlite Bivi. One/two person, 1.5kg, and I have a feeling it's 70cm to the top of the door, but actually higher in the tent itself. It looks rather nice. Still not exactly cheap though.
I think the BD Oneshot is made from Epic so not entirely waterproof.

AlanR said...

Hi Sean, Thats more like what i was thinking.
This whole eVent/other single skin waterproof lightweight tent discussion came about months ago when we were discussing just how good the Pheonix Phreerunner was and that it’s a shame that nobody has taken the design further and made what is a very good tent even better with the latest materials.
Terra Nova have been asked but no reply as yet.

Regarding the BD Oneshot, it’s not very good having a not entirely waterproof 3 season tent unless it’s for use in Saudi or similar. Maybe the term 3 season needs expanding by manufacturers as every bodies idea of what 3 season means, varies depending on where you live.

Anonymous said...

Nice disucssion here,

I have a question too about doors in general: I had several tents, but one thing I found very annoying is the straight zippers, even if there are two, to open the door in a tent, You see this a lot in the flysheet.

Now I have a Vango Storm, with a round door, so you can open the door with one hand, one movement, and the door will fall to the left, lets say the 'hinges' side. With the usual straigh zippers, the doors hangs agains the innertent, in front of you,
Vango Storm, or Vango Tempest doors are so much more practical. I sold my Vango Spectre, who has straight zippers, for this reason.

Anyone knows what I mean and agrees?

AlanR said...

I know exactly what you mean and am in full agreement.
But that wasn't the major issue here for me. What i have ended up with is far better than what i started with.
Making a fully round zip would have cost me a lot more and been more difficult for Sean to manufacture. Without the benefit of a prototype this for me is perfectly acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, I did find this blog again!

Alan, I know that was not your issue here, you wanted to improve the innerdoor(s) and it looks like you managed. Did you discuss this with the manufacturer where you purchased your tent, I mean after you had it changed?

I can imagine he' d be more than interested.

AlanR said...

Yes i sent Henry before and after pictures. He agreed that the doorway could be improved but he wants to keep the one zip but extend it more into the mesh side of the doorway. As long as the curve is not too shallow i think it will be an improvement. Weight is important with this tent for the manufacturer.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see your imorovement being taken serious by the manufacturer.

Nice blog too.


AlanR said...

Cheers Pete.

Carl Mynott @GBWildlifeTales said...

Have recently contacted Sean at OW myself for the same mod. He's going to have a look at it for me in the New Year. For me the door was something I could absolutely live with but seeing this post I could instantly see the benefit of a full length door, especially with long hours in the tent.

You mentioned in an earlier post that you use the inner net and now don't remove it. Is this just so you don't brush against the flysheet and get wet? I didn't order the inner net myself as I haven't seen a problem with condensation yet. I didn't think that the net would help much.

Does it?

Carl Mynott @GBWildlifeTales said...

I meant to say also that you can use a trekking pole to peg the main door out into kind of a shelter to give you a bit more protection whilst still having the door open. It requires a wee bit of dyneema line and an extra peg.

Ok, its not exclusive to this particular tent, but I find it useful and probably worth sharing. Will post a piccy on my blog on my next overnighter if I remember.

AlanR said...

Hi Carl, Thanks for your comments.
The door is just so much better. No more struggling to get items in the far corner of the porch etc. I suffer with a back problem and this helps me enormously.
Yes the inner stay in all the time now. I do find it useful and with having a down sleeping bag it helps condensation run off. Therefore keeping the bag drier. I also use a lightweight bag cover too.
Sean has a template for the inner liner if you want him to make you one and it’s a bit lighter than the original from Tarptent too.

AlanR said...

Carl i know what you mean about using your pole as an aid to giving you a better shelter. I don’t use poles myself but i have used a length of cord to attach it to fences or trees to achieve the same end.

Unknown said...

Those are some fantastic mods. Quality looks great. I certainly constantly suffer from having to do the hooked arm around the side to get any of my stuff.

The plastic strips is a good idea. When the weather gets better I'll put mine up and think about what I want to change.

I need to put in a cover to stop misting. I was thinking of trying to just put my travel towel above me. But a lighter silk-like material would be good.

AlanR said...

Hi Bealer, The mods work really well, i am very pleased. Also the inner liner does stop you getting any drips off the outer shell.
To be honest i havn’t experienced much misting but plenty of condensation. I have now added an extra tie at the doorway(outer doorway) so that i can raise the flysheet up quite a way up the central pole. I have yet to try this out on the hill.

Sinbad said...

Hello Allan,

Having found this blog I too engaged the services of Sean at Oookworks to do exactly the same to the inner door of my Moment. Like Carl says above, I hadn't actually considered the original design an issue, but having seen your photos it made perfect sense, and it's only improved my Moment and made a particularly airy tent even more airy and versatile!

Sean also replaced all the (very user-unfriendly, slippery, grossgrain ribbon) door and vent ties with loops and toggles as yours, and added 4 x little webbing loops half way along each long side of the tent to allow extra pegging points, should I ever anticipate any serious windage!

Anyway, I too would thoroughly recommend Sean at Oookworks for these Moment mods, and probably any other mods to any other tent that might take your fancy.

All the best, Matt.

AlanR said...

Hi matt.
I'm pleased that the blog has done what is the intention. To pass on experience and information.
I think if i was in my teens or twenties the door would not be much of an issue but nearing 60 and with a bad back, i found the door a real problem.
The change is amazing. Better than i ever expected. Sean is good at what he does and i like the fact that you can discuss the job with him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan,
I wondered how you attached the velcro to the silnylon (for the vents). Would the adesive of the velcro suffice ?
Or did you need additional glue/stiching ?
I'm going to do the same this weekend for my double rainbow

AlanR said...

Hi Marco,
The velcro strip is attached to the vents already, by Henry at Tarptent. The mods i made just used the opposing strips to keep the vents open. Hope this makes sense.

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