And now, for something completely different:
The Brooks Range Rocket Tent is the lightest mountaineering tent I've ever seen other than some floorless
tarp tents. It comes with aluminum poles, but you can use your trekking/ski poles and an avalanche probe to replace
the aluminum poles. Here is a breakdown of the component weights (in ounces):
(Tent body only) 23.8 (1 pound, 7.8 oz)
(2 side poles) 5.4
(Ridge pole) 5.7
(Probe extender) 2.4
(ground sheet) 2.9
(Komperdell probe) 6.2
The tent is wedge shaped, with a single, long ridge pole that supports the roof. This ridge pole
can be replaced with a 2.7 meter avalanche probe. The two sides are supported with aluminum poles that can be replaced
with trekking poles. I almost always have trekking poles with me on any climbing trip, so I doubt I will ever bring
the aluminum side poles.
However, I don't usually bring an avalanche probe, so I will likely carry the aluminum ridge pole except
on routes that are avalanche prone. If you have an avalanche probe that is a little shorter than average, the tent comes
with a probe extender that adds some length to your probe (or you can just use some Enzyte.)
So, the total weight of the tent in the configuration I will most often use it (tent body and the aluminum
ridge pole) is only 1 pounds, 13.5 ounces. With stuff sacks for the poles and the tent body, the total creeps up to
1 pound 14.1 ounces.
The tent goes up easily; just insert the ridge pole, tension it with a webbing strap; then velcro on the
two trekking poles. Stake out the guy-lines and you're done.
The tent is small and somewhat cramped for two people, but it has a decent vestibule where you can cook
and store gear. There are three vents in the main tent body, that you can zip shut. There are also two openings
(one on each side) just above ground level to run ropes through so you can stay tied in if necessary.
|Brooks Range Rocket Tent
The fabric is a Cuben Fiber variant. It's super light weight, but somewhat crinkley. The interior
is aluminized. It's pretty strong stuff, but not particularly cut resistant, so if you're going to be pitching the tent
on sharp objects like sticks or pointy rocks, it might be a good idea to use the (2.9 ounce) ground sheet for a little extra
protection. If you're pitching on snow, the ground sheet wouldn't be needed.
The guy-out loops are big enough to use with (skinny) skis, pickets, and the like.
I haven't used the tent in high winds, but the low profile and numerous guy-out points make me optimistic
that it will hold up. Experience has shown that it handles rain well. Ventilation is adequate, and although there
is some condensation build up on the interior walls, the walls are steep enough that condensation tends to roll down rather
than dripping on you all night long. Condensation is actually not any worse than many so-called "breathable" double
walled tents I've used.
It comes with a small stuff sack just a little bigger than a 1 quart Nalgene bottle. With a lot
of careful folding and rolling, I could get the tent back in the stuff sack, but it was a real hassle. I now use a small
(5" x 14") Integral Designs stuff sack to store the tent body. It's a bit bulkier, but much easier to stuff, particularly
when wearing gloves.
This tent weighs less than a couple of bivi sacks, and provides significantly more protection. It
has replaced my Black Diamond Firstlight as my "light and fast" tent. The lighter weight and the functional vestibule
of the Rocket Tent make it a better choice when I'm shaving every possible ounce of weight.