/ Husky Fighter Tent Review
Before my trip I created a thread on budget expedition tents, it's been archived so rather than adding to it here is my review.
Cost: I got it on sale around £190 from a Czech website
Size: 3-4 people (or 2 people with gear in the tent).
Overall it's a great tent, but with some serious issues Husky need to resolve.
Pros: Really easy to set up, just four poles that clip on the outer with a suspended inner, which is well ventilated with a lot of mesh and vents. It has two entrances, one with a double door and one single, which is nice to have the option depending on your preference. The tent is fairly warm, the snowskirt does a good job keeping out draughts. It comes with a fairly roomy tent bag which provided your tent isn't all iced up doesn't need ten people to pack, which is always a promising sign.
Cons: So the main issues with this tent all centre around the poles.
Firstly the ends of the poles are open/hollow which connect to the flysheet by inserting a peg-like attachment into the end of the pole. This works well - that is until you take the poles out of the flysheet, snow gets into the poles and then when you are setting it up again the poles are full of ice and won't slot onto the peg. The quick work around was to grip the end of the pole with a gloved hand and melt the ice out which only took a few seconds, but not ideal.
The real problems started when the temperatures dipped under -30C. We pulled the poles out and went to start putting them together but quickly noticed the bungy cord holding the sections together, which worked great at -15, rather than tightening from the extreme cold, had lost all elasticity. This meant rather than snapping together, all the sections were loose and extremely difficult to connect as you had to push all the excess cord into the pole manually, and if the pole disconnected you had to start from scratch. In extreme cold this was very tricky, and in certain conditions could be lethal.
There are so many things to like about this tent, but until they sort their poles out it's hard to recommend this tent for anything extreme like the marketing suggests.
Bungy cord loosing elasticity is pretty common at -30C. You just need to tighten it.
Forgive my ignorance - how does one shorten and lengthen pole bungy on the fly, taking into account fluctuating temperatures?
Pull two central segments apart, tie an overhand knot into the cord, and squeeze it into one of the segments. End segments are easier, but would not work for your kind of pole attachment.
I've camped in temps nearly that cold in Hilleberg tents (not mine) and don't remember this problem. I wonder if the Swedes test components at those temperatures? -30 is pretty extreme so I guess it's hard to test (and review) things at those temperatures, particularly for firms not based in cold regions. A few years ago when I reviewed a -20 sleeping bag for Mountain Equipment here on UKC at -20 they seemed genuinely chuffed as they said of course most reviewers just don't have chance to use gear in such conditions.
I think it can happe with all tent bungees. At least I have seen it with tents from Hilleberg, Terra Nova, The North Face and Mountain Hardwear. The solution has already been described by others.
What happens when the temperature rises in the night and the elastic tightens?
MSR reckon their cord is good down to -40. Someone at UKC please rent a freezer and test this!
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