Friday 29 August 2008

At Last – A video of me pitching the Seedhouse SL2

Those of you who are present and correct will recall I purchased the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 back in June. I test pitched it pretty much immediately and described my first impressions here. I promised that I would do a review once I’d used it and stupidly mentioned a video in there somewhere too. Well, someone noticed, and now I realise I can’t carry on making false promises, so in between torrential downpours I made a video with my ugly mug pitching and showing you around the Seedhouse SL2.

Sorry for the terrible sound. I wanted to overlay a soundtrack but Adobe Premier is playing up for some reason - it doesn't like MP4 files which is helpful because that's all the Nokia N82 will record to. I had to revert to Ubuntu to make and edit the final video and my patience was running VERY low!

As most will already know, the tent is extremely lightweight considering it is a real 2 man tent. Without the stuff sack I weighed the whole lot in at 1550g. It does this by using an incredibly thin sil-nylon rip stop fabric for the groundsheet and fly and also replacing the standard inner tent material with an all mesh construction.

There is a small porch for boots and packs etc and I found this a really useful space when I used it in the Coniston Fells. unfortunately the door only has a one-way opening so doesn't offer much option for different configurations depending on the weather. However, you can unzip from the top allowing you to ventilate the porch if you need to cook in the tent whilst its raining outside. The latest model has a storm flap over the zips to prevent any leakage and this worked perfectly in the torrential downpours I experienced on Grey Friar that night.

Though the tent is not geodesic, when guyed out in just 3 of the 7 guying points it is surprisingly stable

As the video shows, the tent is so easy to put up and the strange single pole almost flicks itself into place once you start to open it out. If you absolutely had to pitch this in the rain I don't think you'd have too many problems but I guess this should be avoided for obvious reasons - especially if its hammering it down!

There is one little annoyance about the tent though and that is getting the flysheet taught on all sides, particularly on the two front side panels. Having noticed this on Grey Friar, I soon realised that its all in the front-rear alignment of the flysheet. The issue is completely resolved if you tighten the webbing on the rear fly clasps and tightly set the guy point at the rear. This takes up the slack at the sides and makes for a really taught and neat looking tent.

The space inside is remarkable considering how small it seems from the outside. There are 3 small storage pockets on the entrance to the inner which are great for phone, head torch or whatever you like.

The space is really down to the four clips on the inner which attach to the fly to pull out the side walls. This does make a big difference although isn't necessary if you're using it solo.

The groundsheet is a real worry for me since it is so thin you can see through it and I demonstrate this in the video. i need to make a lightweight protector for it as I can see this getting damaged far too easily. I was impressed at how high the bathtub style groundsheet is on this tent. I can't see much getting up over that despite the ample clearance between the fly and in the inner mesh.


Martin Rye said...

Good write up and explains the pros and cons of the tent. I questioned the inner pitch first, and your answered that point well. I see PTC has fallen in love with the SL1. Big Agnes is a growing brand over here it seems.

Marcus said...

Hi Martin - hope you are well.

Not that excited about the write up to be honest and nor am i that pleased with the video. I'm learning about this video editing lark in Linux though so I can only get better!

Hadn't picked up that PTC was into the SL1, I'll look into that!