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Shelters The Shelters forum is for the discussion of backpacking shelters (tents, tarps, poncho-tarps, bivy sacks,...).


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  #11  
Old 03-17-2008, 11:29 PM
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Rickosovitch Rickosovitch is offline
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On a recent rainy day I pitched the Akto, using all the guy-outs and had it tight as a drum. I also made sure the inner tent was properly hung with adequate space between it and the outer tent. When I went into the tent that night, all was still tight and right. I left both head and foot outside vents open and the inner door vent open. I didn't get any drips, but in the morning there was a fine coating of condensation and the foot of my down bag was a little wet; probably from brushing against the inner tent when I turned from one side to the other. This is a definite improvement, but still not what I'm after. I've been advised to make sure the outer door vent is open and to point the head of the tent into any wind, so another field test is in order. I like the idea of adding inner foot and head vents. I think I'd opt for mesh panels rather than zipped ones, but I'm hoping to get the hang of pitching this tent without resorting to the cost of having it altered. I wouldn't dream of sleeping in it with ready access for mosquitos most of the year. We get a lot of them from Spring to late Fall. And, now that they carry West Nile Virus, I really don't like taking chances. Anyway, I know this tent will stand up to a howling gale or blizzard, so I'm willing to keep working with it. Does seem like it's designed to deal with extremes rather than more everyday conditions.

Last edited by Rickosovitch : 03-17-2008 at 11:33 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2008, 08:21 AM
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FamilyGuy FamilyGuy is offline
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I would like to see the Akto with a full door of mesh like the Soulo, instead of the small vent currently in the door. I think the ability to have a vent close to where you breath would definitely help and make the tent more bearable in warmer months. I still think that overall, it is one of the best tent designs ever devised. It just needs some little tweaks.
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2008, 10:17 PM
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Rickosovitch Rickosovitch is offline
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Well I'm just about to head out to spend another (hopefully rainy) night in the Akto. I've got it nice and tight and the vent in the outer fly is now open. I only realized after some input that I'd had it closed. Also, I've shortened up the cord that runs from one pole end to the other. This leaves the outer tent a little saggy on the vestibule side, but it adds a little more headroom. I'd sure like to be able to sit up on my exped 9 downmat without worrying about brushing the top of the inner tent with my head. Fingers crossed, here's hoping I wake up to no more than a teensy trace of condensation.

Big improvement by having the exterior roof vent open. Probably could be open a little more. Still a bit of condensation though, so tonight I'll close up the exterior end vents and see if that helps. Might sound like a step backward, but I'm just wondering if the cold air hitting the inner tent might have the opposite effect of venting. Anyway, we'll see. This tent has so many great features I really want to make it work for me.

Well, it's definitely better with the exterior end vents open. Had an email from Petra at Hilleberg suggesting I use a heat source, like a UCO candle lantern, as well as a ground sheet that covers the vestibule. Evidently, this tent is a little more prone to condensation than a tent with a full mesh inner canopy. This is the same thing that turned me off on the TarpTent Contrail. I know that both of these tents get rave reviews from lots of people, but I'm really happier with a double wall, mesh interior tent that keeps the condensation away from me and my sleeping bag. Too bad, but I guess it's time to move on. This tent will make someone a happy camper at a bargain price. Thanks to all for your help.

Last edited by Rickosovitch : 03-21-2008 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2008, 07:33 PM
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Rickosovitch Rickosovitch is offline
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Call me stubborn. I'm giving the Akto another go. I've cut a Tyvek groundsheet that covers main tent and vestibule. And I've dug out an old candle lantern. I have both outer end vents open and will leave the roof vent wide open. With these measures in play I will be using every technique suggested by respected members of this forum who've owned and praised the Akto; the head of Hilleberg here in the U.S, Petra, and Charlie Jennings of Bear River Outfitters, from whom I purchased the tent. I know I am being very demanding vis a vis condensation. Some might even say unreasonably demanding. Kind of has a nice ring to it.

Well, I finally achieved an acceptable result vis a vis condensation. I made a tyvek footprint that covered the vestibule and had all exterior vents and the inner tent door vent open. I found a bit of condensation forming around 0500, so I opened up the inner tent door all the way. By 0700 the condensation was almost completely gone. I think, if I had the inner door open right from when I went to sleep, there would have been little to no condensation. Made me wonder if it wouldn't work better yet if you didn't even use the inner tent. Of course, you do lose the extra warmth provided by it. Frankly, if the Akto came with an all-mesh inner tent I think it would be perfect for my needs. As that's not the case, I'm going to continue my search for the perfect winter tent. Single wall or mesh inner. Lots of headroom. Crossed poles. Flat panel TV.

Last edited by Rickosovitch : 03-23-2008 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2008, 07:36 AM
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NHiker NHiker is offline
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"Frankly, if the Akto came with an all-mesh inner tent I think it would be perfect for my needs."

Have a look at the Exped Vela. Last I knew they made two versions...one with an all mesh inner.
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  #16  
Old 03-29-2008, 09:18 AM
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rogerb rogerb is offline
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Atko condensation

I agree with Rickosovitch latest post when I first used the Atko, fully closed up there was a significant amount of condensation, but opening the vents and the mesh on the door (only half of the door sadly) was enough to clear the majority of the condensation by morning. As others have stated a full mesh door sounds like a good option as does more ventilation from the ends.

The atko is still my go to winter tent.
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  #17  
Old 04-04-2008, 10:02 PM
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Vigilguy Vigilguy is offline
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Atko

Hey Rick-

Glad to hear that you are figuring out how to minimize the condensation. Glad that you spoke with Petra...she's one sharp cookie.

Have the nights been REALLY still? As in NO wind? I think that you will find that as you use the Akto in breezier weather, and point the end towards the wind, open up the end vents and also the top vent, that it will create a flow of air between the inner and outer tent surfaces and will eliminate the condensation.

I have not found the perfect tent. Leaving a gap between the outer tent and the ground would surely help in minimizing the condensation by increasing airflow, BUT, when all hell breaks loose with horizontal rain and 40 mph winds, you'll be grateful that the outer tent fabric is snug against the ground. Pretty tough to have a tent meet our criteria for all conditions.

Petra told me once that somebody sent a Nallo back to her that they were using in Alaska...with the vents closed....right next to a river...with several people inside. ALL of these factors will contribute to condensation on the inner surface of the inner tent.

I had me and my two sons in a Nallo 3 GT this winter and also last winter. One night was -20F, the other was +15F. Both nights we experienced ice on the inner tent. Not bad, maybe 30% of the surface. There was ZERO wind, and three bodies exhaling humid air vapor into the tent. Oh well, stuff happens.

I could have lit a candle lantern, but wasn't too concerned about it.

Keep us posted on your use in a variety of conditions. Your posts are very helpful.

Charlie
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  #18  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:17 PM
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Rickosovitch Rickosovitch is offline
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I gave up on the Akto and just sold it today. The only way I could keep the condensation on the inside of the inner tent to just a light mist was to have the inner tent zipped completely open as well as having both end vents and the outer tent roof vent wide open. And as it's a little short on headroom it's just really difficult not to brush up against the mesh roof and get a wet head. Not my idea of a good time in the morning. Lots of people love this tent, but I just don't get it. Maybe if you're experiencing gale force winds in a blizzard, but for most of my backpacking in Oregon winter weather this tent is too darn wet. It would be greatly improved, in my opinion, by having an all mesh inner tent. I wrote to Petra about this. She said they had made some inner mesh tents a few years ago for the Japanese market, but had no plans this year or next to offer them here. So I sold the Akto. I got an MSR Hubba and I have spent a few nights in it. One night it got down to 18ºF and I woke up to a fair amount of condensation on the inside of the fly, but not a drop on the mesh or on my bag or on my head. It's a breezy 3-season solo tent that has all the length I need, plus I can sit up without any danger of brushing the mesh, which stays dry anyway as it's kept well away from the outer fly. I'm heading out for a four day jaunt tomorrow morning and will be filing a report on this tent and a bunch of other gear. Best of luck to those who love the Akto. It just wasn't the tent for me.
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  #19  
Old 04-11-2008, 09:20 AM
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FamilyGuy FamilyGuy is offline
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I guess its a location 'thing.' I have only experienced condensation once and it was only on the outer fly, not the inner tent. However, I backpack in the Rockies where the air would be far less humid and the peaks and valley permit a fair amount of air flow.

You mention getting condensation on the outer fly of the Hubba but none dripped off. Again, this implies that there is very little wind flow where you backpack because if there was, there would be a strong chance that condensation would fall off through the mesh as the shelter shook from the wind.

Nevertheless, it is always great to hear that someone has identified gear that works for them. This iterative process can be really, really tiring (from personal experience of course) but nice when it all falls into place.

Great stuff and thanks for sharing your experiences.
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  #20  
Old 04-15-2008, 08:40 PM
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Rickosovitch Rickosovitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyGuy
.
You mention getting condensation on the outer fly of the Hubba but none dripped off. Again, this implies that there is very little wind flow where you backpack because if there was, there would be a strong chance that condensation would fall off through the mesh as the shelter shook from the wind.

Actually, when there's even a bit of wind the Hubba seems to ventilate the condensation really well. You wake up with next to none on the inside of the fly.
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