Friday, 24 January 2014

Karrimor Elite Ridge 2 - First Wildcamp Test...

Karrimor Elite Ridge 2, near The Woolpacks on the Kinder Plateau; Peak District.
So, I have now been out for a wild camp with the Karrimor Elite Ridge 2 and feel that it performed as well as it did when used on a site. It held fast, didn't leak, and was plenty big enough for me. Is there anything else to say for it? Well, yes there is...

It was another windy night, and so it was tested in that regard again. I didn't notice any give in how taught it was pitched.Which is what you want on a windy night really. I only used four of the six available guylines as it appears that I have lsot some tent pegs again, which is usual for me! There didn't seem to be much of a problem with wind making its way between the flysheet and the inner, which I thought may be an issue due to the slight difficulty I had in getting the flysheet close to the ground last time. As a result, the flysheet did not flap around too much.

It was pretty cold after the sun had disappeared, and so I decided to use the external vents. They're very good in their design, and use a wire enforced length of webbing with velcro on one end to hold the vents open. These did not collapse in the wind either (although the gusts were not overly strong). The door end of the inner has mesh at the sides, and the door material can also be unzipped to reveal a mesh only cover. This would provide much more ventilation if necessary, but it seemed that the side mesh panels to this end and the external vents were enough that I awoke to find no condensation on the inside of the tent.

My view from the tent in the morning. Note the mesh side panel of the front end of the inner.
Again, I found that the head height of this tent is sufficient that I can sit up without having the slouch. It's a luxury that you only notice when you've used tents that give you back ache while trying to cook! The porch has plenty of space for gear storage and cooking. The door on the flysheet has a two way zip, so it can be opened partially from the top to provide ventilation while cooking. The only thing that sort of bothers me is that the tent does not come with a ground sheet for the porch. Im used to using one with my Vango Tempest 200. That said, there isn't anything stopping me from making one. So I may well do so in the future.

There was persistent rain throughout most of the night, but the tent did not let any water through that I noticed on the inside. One thing about the tent that I questioned before I bought it was how well the seams would be sealed, but they seem fine thus far. If they leak, buy some seam sealer and reseal them - simple solution. It was good to wake in the morning, get out of my tent and see the rain night's rain water running off the flysheet in beads. I had managed to pitch the flysheet closer to the ground on this occassion, so no rain water had been blown between the fly and inner either.

Our camp just after sunrise. Karrimor Elite Ridge 2 is at the back.
The main problem that I had during this wild camp, and one that I did have in Great Langdale aswell nowe that I think back to it, was the zip on the door of the flysheet. It seemed to have a fantastic ability to chew the material that is supposed to cover the zip and track when fully closed. Everytime that I opened or closed this zip, I had to hold the material out of the way. It isn't a massive problem, but an annoying one. Especially if you forget while in a hurry because of the rain.

Upon packing away, I also noticed that there was a damp patch in the very middle of the roof of the inner. As I saw no condensation inside all night, or in the morning before I packed away; I can only assume that some water did perhaps ingress through the flysheet material. It was not enough to cause any water dripping through to the inside of my tent, as I say, I only noticed it when packing away. I did see, before removing the flysheet that there was a bit of a pool of water collected right in the middle of the roof. Whether that was down to the volume of water that fell, or a slight mistake in the way I pitched I couldn't say but I will be having a look when I next get out at how the roof sits. Im going to reproof the flysheet anyway, just as a precaution.

All in all, it was a successful test on the tents first wild camp and I'm looking forward to getting out and using it again. I'm still favouring it over my Vango Tempest 200 currently.