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Ground cloths keep those pesky rocks from poking straight through your tent floor.
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If you are looking for a sturdy shelter that is very light weight, this is your tent. It is compact and durable. I carried it for thirty miles through the Whitecloud mountains without worrying about pack space or weight. At night, my wife and I easily fit ourselves, our pads and sleeping bags along with some spare clothes, food, and other miscellaneous small gear into this tent. I do not yet own the vestibule, but I am sure that our packs would have fit there nicely. Tall and wide people might have more trouble fitting inside.
The tent does not come seam-sealed. It comes with a do-it-yourself sealant kit. The process is simple and effective. We received rain every night on our trip, one night up to four hours or more of heavy rain. The tent did its job. We stayed dry.
Ventilation is an issue. Condensation is heavy unless the front door is left wide open, but this is not a good idea in a rainstorm without the vestibule. The inside of the tent had to be dried each day before packing.
The footprint is waterproof and durable. It is also lightweight. It does seem a couple of inches too short.
Overall, it is one of the best tents I own. It is a reliable piece of equipment. I look forward to testing it out in more situations.
Great High Altitude Tent
I bought this tent for high altitute alpine camps. I recently used it around 12500ft and it performed excellently. Wind gusts were in the 50 mph range, and the tent was pretty stable. I didn't use steaks, anchors or guylines however, so with these it would be pretty bombproof. As far as condensation goes, I did get a thin layer of frost on the inside, but that was only after I boiled two liters of water for the days summit attempt. Other than that no condensation with the vent window open. Great overall, price and weight are definitely right. The seam sealer is kinda hard, and there is not enough supplied with the tent, but an extra bottle costs $4. Well worth it. Great high altitude cold weather tent.
the nylon is very durable, it is rubber coated on one side. it has six grommets and elastic cords, which is fine. it will hold up well, but it is a bit heavy considering how light the firstlight tent is.
hmm... how do I rank a groundcloth. seems fine to me. a little heavy, but probably well spent on durability. i spent enough on the tent, so I use it. one trip to wheeler with it so far, seemed worth the cost to me.
Maybe overkill with Firstlight
I used the Ground Cloth with my Firstlight and had no problems though I can imagine attaching it (which I didn't bother to do) might be troublesome as there is no clear way to do it. On the AT in New England the Ground Cloth may be overkill at established campsites and not worth the extra 1 # weight. However, I'm glad I have it for more rugged terrain.
When you spend this much for a tent, it would be insane not to get a ground cloth. Its very nice to have if it rains, or youre camping anywhere other then on sand, and it takes up no room at all in the pack.
This footprint weighs 8oz and really should be considered a necessity with the Firstlight tent. It fits the tent very well. See my comments on the tent.