Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by tkww, Mar 12, 2012.
Pretty cool !!
i have had that REI alcove for about 6 or so years. freestanding, and fits over picnic tables at campsites, and works awesome. it has been used heavily and still is fairly waterproof. i found it in the returns/seconds at the seattle store for 60 or 70 bucks. worth every penny.
if you're considering a freestanding setup that's easy to carry you might consider some of the offerings Kifaru has, as well as things in the Piragus (sp) canoeing catelogue.
Moss Parawing. MSR purchased Moss a few years ago. Best wind tarp made no question. I have two, the regular 19' model for car camping and a 12' (rare) model for light packing.
Add on: I took a look and see that they stopped making these a year ago. Pity. If you can find one, snap it up. Unless you like the style like below, which looks pretty good too. My parawings have ridden out some severe weather, dealing cards and cocktails while my blue tarped buddies are in full damage control. Good tested kit.
The REI Alcove has served me well in multiple conditions. We field tested and reviewed it a couple times (recently updated version - accepts 'walls' to block side winds). If properly staked and -- when necessary - guy-lined, it can withstand 25-35 mph winds (as proven on the banks of the Henrys Fork last September: see below).
The Alcove is relatively inexpensive, but has proven durable. The first version I tested has lasted 6 years of HARD use (i.e. weeks of camping each year, lots of wind, rain, snow, etc.)
See reviews at the link below;
NOTE: I have also field tested shelters from Kelty, Coleman, MSR, and others. The Kelty Sunshade & Shadehouse products are very good, but have a few negatives that make them less desirable than the Alcove. Specially, they cost significantly more, have lower sides (so harder to get under), and not as easy to set up. They are a LITTLE more wind-stable, but only in those super strong gusts (over 35 mph) and frankly, those happen less than most people think -- most people are really bad at estimating wind strength. As a (former) paraglider pilot whose life relied on accurate wind measurement, I've learned to be very specific and accurate with wind speeds.
I've had a Kelty Sunshade (http://www.rei.com/product/808947/kelty-sunshade-large) for years and love it. Had to have it repaired once when one of the seams ripped, but it was worth it. Only for car camping as it is heavy, but not as heavy and bulky as other ones that are taller. It works great to cover the camp picnic table and with a camp stove under it heats up on a cold day. Only downside, is you have to bend over a bit to get under it, but it works great in the wind and rain. You do have to weigh it down, in addition to the stakes in high winds.. I would recommend them highly!
Well, I have tested and spent a "few" hours under the Kelty Noah Tarp and the MSR Zing Shelter. Both have held up very well, with some very serious wind and rain storms. Some advantages are that they are light weight and can be hung to dry quickly in your house. The other benefit that I have found is that can set it up in many conditions and can anchor it in many ways! If you want to really beef them up, you can add to the type of poles used to set them up, hiking poles, aluminum, or steel.
The two piece of advice I will give on any of the pop up type or even the tent type (not sure about the REI Alcove) is that any corner that you have poles inserted into a connector. make sure that that connector is metal... not plastic that is where they fail in most all situation. And the second is that when or if you tie off to your vehicle, make sure you put some kind of buffer, like a towel or rag, between the rope and vehicle, otherwise you may end up with paint damage.
Ive got the kelty noahs tarp? Works great for a wing design, if you need to you can make em damm near bomb proof
This isn't quite what you're looking for, but I think most of the better options have already been covered. I have this setup (Hobitat 4 with a Garage) and think it's just about the best setup you can get for car camping. Hobitat 6 is available if you absolutely, positively have to sleep in the castle. Take a look at all the pics to see the Garage attached. I definitely won't be building a fire near it though. Don't think I'd build a fire near any other shelter that included nylon anyway.
I also like the Kelty Noah's Tarp.Mine have held up very well in all kinds of conditions. They have plenty of guy out points which makes securing them very easy. I own the 12 x 12 and the 16 x 16 and find myself using the smaller of the two most of the time. I also recommend the adjustable poles that Kelty makes as they make setup very simple and fast.
I have also just purchased (have not used yet) the Kelty car tarp and i feel that this will be perfect for trips where I will be spending a lot of my time around the vehicle. I felt that it would fit my needs better than something like the REI alcove and it should be somewhat adjustable for use with different vehicles. The only downside that i see when comparing to the REI alcove or the Kelty sunshade or shadehouse is that the car tarp is not freestanding and may be more difficult to set up. http://www.rei.com/product/808944/kelty-car-tarp
For a really rugged tarp shelter system, check out www.creativeshelters.com. They sell connectors to use with electrical conduit or plastic tube that work exceptionally well and are very versatile.
Kelty's Noah looks suspiciously like the Moss Parawing... but not nearly as sexy.
It is a great design though no matter who makes it. Versatile in that you can set it up high for pleasant to gusty & overcast/rainy weather, or low for severe winds and rain. I was exclusively a tarp guy for many years and they make a nice living room in the forest.
But hey, I like the frame styles shown here too. Quite a bit more bulk and not as wind proof (without anchors anyway), but maybe perfect for a family camp.
I have had both the Kelty Noah and a Moss/MSR Parawing and an Outfitter Wing, along with a variety of other wings, framed shelters and pop-ups. The Kelty is nice, the various framed shelters and pop-ups provide more vertical space but nothing beats with Moss/MSR wings for durability and wind resistance. They are spendy but worth every penny when the weather gets really bad. If you want to maximize space for shade or light rain, one can use a bunch of shorter poles (4-6’) to support each side wing. When it gets really nasty, you can pitch it low to the ground and if your stakes and guylines are strong enough, it will be bombproof.
Dan, I want a tour of your garage someday. It always amazes me how much cool outdoor stuff you've got.
Good thread. Thanks for the info Dan- gonna go exchange my POS Noah's Tarp for an alcove today!