So I now have test flown my new Flite. It arrived just before lunch. After lunch I took the kids out in the yard to try and hang the Flite. I had watched the instruction video many times. I found it on the Tentsile site so I had a pretty good idea how to go about it. It wasn´t too hard to get it airborne and I got the tension pretty good. I t´s not supposed to hang like a hammock. It must be tightly tensioned. I didn´t get the tension evenly distributed among the three sides. One of the sides was drooping a bit and I was not happy with my first try. You can see that Maija in the green fleece is lower than Tova. I tried to adjust a couple of times but my small fellow campers lost their patience so I had to wait in till they were asleep for the night. Before we returned home, there was a lot of playing and bouncing around. The girls loved it. Now that all was quiet I could analyze what was wrong, and managed to get the tension right between the sides.
To tie the Cows hitch as it is being tied in the video was not too hard. The trick was to remember to thread the straps from the top through the buckle. After that it was easy to tie the knot. Even after that amount of tension the knot was easy to untie. I pushed the strap towards the buckle, jiggling it a bit and it loosened straight away.
Something that bothered me when the girls were playing was the ridge in the middle of the floor. It is the to create a separation between the two bunks so that you don´t slide in to each other whilst sleeping. But since I was to use it on my own, I wanted to loosen the strap and remove the ridge. I found a buckle underneath the floor, on the bottom side that I loosened and the ridge disappeared enough. The sewing that was holding the separation strap still carried some tension, but it was not a problem anymore.
Another concern was whether I could fit a sleeping mat in the Flite. My experience has taught me that a sleeping without a mat will cool me down too much. Especially that the forecast was predicting several degrees below zero. I inflated my Exped Downmat and it fit well. I took my -9 C sleeping bag and a pillow.
I wanted to sleep with the tarp over my head to see how the condensation and frost situation was. There was pole that created a ridge and a cave overhead, and it worked out fine. The pole wasn´t the most expensive pole I have encountered, but it did the job. To don the tarp over the inner tent was easy, I followed the instruction video. I could tighten the tarp by pulling on the bungee cords that I had wrapped around the orange straps. What generated the most tension was a ratchet, similar to what you would use when securing cargo on the trailer to the car. There is only one, to reduce weight.
Summary: I´m very happy with my new unusual tent. I´m sure it will make a success this summer when I guide groups in the mountains, and I aviate my Flite and not a tent. I had a nice sleep last night. The temperature had reached -7C and I was only cold in my face. I just burrowed deeper in my sleeping bag and I fell asleep again. I had no problem turning from my back to either side, and when I did, the Flite waddled like a huge waterbed. I could not find and condensation. My sleeping bag was a bit damp where I had been exhaling all night but the flight was dry.
I am going to the mountains later this month I am planning to bring the Flite. Maybe I need some more experience and a few more tricks up my sleeve before I go and sleep in the tree line.
All the best!
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