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nickabocke496335wrote a review of on October 1, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was so excited to find this tent. It seemed perfect at first! Awesome indoor space; nearly vertical walls; 2 double-zip doors; vented fly; good pockets (no loft needed); sizable vestibules (a bit high off the ground, but not bad - helps ventilation); easy to arrange the fly half-flipped-back, which is nice if you want to view the stars but need to be able to go full-cover fast for sudden midnight rain; sturdy in wind and warm enough to handle a surprise snowfall, based on personal experience; cheerful color. A bit heavy for backpacking, yes, but I decided it was worth it, and after the first few uses I was in love.
All that said, in the long run, it's been a BIG disappointment. After 5 years and only 4 uses, ALL of the factory seam seals started cracking/peeling/leaking in a major way, and the interior PU coating got sticky and smelly, which means it's degrading. Running an iron over it to reseal the PU or using talc to mitigate the stickiness are only temporary solutions. Eventually you're going to get wet. I got a replacement Mesa cheap at an REI garage sale, hoping the first was just a lemon; while the seam seal on the newer one seems to be holding, the PU coating is still starting to degrade, and I've never even used it. This is a normal problem if you put the tent away damp, but I always dried my first one indoors for multiple days, kept it clean, didn't store it in a hot location, etc. For the PU coating to degrade this quickly on multiple well-cared-for tents makes me think it's a general problem, and a few reviewers on other sites have mentioned it as well. The 1-year warranty means that poor REI takes the hit every time. Note they've stopped carrying it. If you're totally in love with it, keep it in a cool dry place, do NOT store it in the stuff sack, and be prepared to make your own fly after a few years. Personally, if you're going to spend this much money and have to get a tent with PU coating, I'd recommend getting one with a better warranty!




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