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Difference btw Firstlight and Itent?

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Difference btw Firstlight and Itent?

Postby blazin » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:21 pm

Are there situations in which you would take an Itent (or similar) over a Firstlight (or similar)?

I'm looking to get a single wall tent and know that all the big boys and girls have been using Firstlights recently. It's appealing for all sorts of reasons--price, weight--but I'm trying to figure out whether it's the right tent for me. My understanding is that the Firstlight is a fast and light alpine assault tent for use in cold/dry environments (or at least when liquid precipitation is unlikely) and when comfort is not a priority. But that's pretty much the same functions I thought the burlier single wall tents (Itent, Eldorado, MK1XL, etc.) were supposed to serve. Are the latter merely more weatherproof? Is it simply a question about tradeoffs between weight and bomber-ness? Or am I missing something? Are there specialized uses where it would be better to have one rather than the other? Would you feel comfortable taking the Firstlight to Rainier or Peru?
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Postby Alpynisto » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:31 pm

I have a Firstlight and an Eldo. The latter is a better choice if you're going to use one tent for everything. It will keep you drier longer than the Epic fabric. Durability is about the same...handle both with care.
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Re: Difference btw Firstlight and Itent?

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:11 pm

I own an Integral Designs tent that is very similar to the I-tent. I also have a Firstlight. Because of the weight issue, I seldom use the Integral Designs tent any more. The Firstlight has almost completely replaced it. I would use a Firstlight on Rainier with no hesitation. Seal the seams, and you won't have problems with it in rain. (I have not ever had issues with leakage with my Firstlight, even in prolonged rain.) The I-tent will likely be a bit stronger and the fabric is a bit more puncture/cut resistant, but I think the Firstlight is a terrific compromise between weight and durability.

If I was faced with the decision of which to buy, I'd definitely buy the Firstlight. The weight savings is just too big to ignore.


blazin wrote:Are there situations in which you would take an Itent (or similar) over a Firstlight (or similar)?

I'm looking to get a single wall tent and know that all the big boys and girls have been using Firstlights recently. It's appealing for all sorts of reasons--price, weight--but I'm trying to figure out whether it's the right tent for me. My understanding is that the Firstlight is a fast and light alpine assault tent for use in cold/dry environments (or at least when liquid precipitation is unlikely) and when comfort is not a priority. But that's pretty much the same functions I thought the burlier single wall tents (Itent, Eldorado, MK1XL, etc.) were supposed to serve. Are the latter merely more weatherproof? Is it simply a question about tradeoffs between weight and bomber-ness? Or am I missing something? Are there specialized uses where it would be better to have one rather than the other? Would you feel comfortable taking the Firstlight to Rainier or Peru?
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Re: Difference btw Firstlight and Itent?

Postby kevin trieu » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:31 pm

Kai wrote:I would use a Firstlight on Rainier with no hesitation. Seal the seams, and you won't have problems with it in rain. (I have not ever had issues with leakage with my Firstlight, even in prolonged rain.)


define rain and prolong.
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Postby rhyang » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:50 pm

Most of my outings are short (2-3 days) climbing trips in California. If extended bad weather is coming in I generally know about it beforehand, and can make other plans. I'm not interested in climbing in bad weather -- a big snow dump usually heightens avalanche hazard.

So the firstlight works quite well for me. I've had it in light rain & snow and moderate wind (20-30mph). If I'm really worried about wind I'll dig down in the snow & build a snow wall.

I've been to Rainier during crappy weather (it was expected) and also during a nice high pressure ridge. I'd bring the firstlight if it was the latter. I like to think I have enough sense not to try climbing Rainier during the former :)
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Postby MoapaPk » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:50 pm

Does anyone have an opinion as to whether the new Nanoshield material is (in practice) more water-resistant than the old epic material?

Back in 1982-3, North Face made a double-wall, 4-season 2-person tent for about 5 lbs. It seems odd that no one is able to better that weight with all the modern fabrics and pole technologies.
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Re: Difference btw Firstlight and Itent?

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:04 pm

kevin trieu wrote:
Kai wrote:I would use a Firstlight on Rainier with no hesitation. Seal the seams, and you won't have problems with it in rain. (I have not ever had issues with leakage with my Firstlight, even in prolonged rain.)


define rain and prolong.



Rain, intermittantly heavy, then light, mixed with snow and sleet, lasting over 2 days.

That may not seem like a lot of rain to some folks, but I guess for a person from Colorado, it seemed like "prolonged" rain.
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Postby asmrz » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:21 pm

I have both I-Tent and the Firstlight. The I-tent is bombproof alpine tent that can be taken on any technical outing anywhere in the world. It will survive anything you can throw at it. It weights about 4.5 pounds but its weight is worth it, when you absolutely need it.

The Firstlight is very light, three season tent for reasonable conditions. It is NOT waterproof. It works well as an extremely light weekender tent in good weather. It works best in ex. Sierra Nevada in the spring and summer, Western US in summer and for some (dry) winter alpine climbing. The Firstlight will not survive strong rain. We got soaked in it last August in the Sierra when tropical moisture came from Mexico and hit the Sierra at night. Two hours of strong rain and we almost got soaked. I fashioned a fly from our ground sheet and that saved our hides. But the weight of this tent is what makes it attractive for some specific trips in specific places. If precipitation is not emminent and you climb and hike in drier regions of the US, this tent will do.

Just as an add on, if I went to Peru or anywhere over 5,000 meters and brought only one tent, it would not be the Firstlight. That tent is not build to be the one and only base for a month or longer of climbing, anywhere. It is more of a weekend type, light piece of gear for reasonable weather.
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Postby connollyck » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:00 am

Dude get the I-Tent. I have the Eldo cause I'm 6'2". The Bibler fabric is tits No condensation to soak your bag=priceless. It doesn't weight that much, is a LOT stronger than the Firstlight, and with a stuffsack fits easily into the sleeping bag compartment of my Osprey Aether 70.
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Postby Kai » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:46 pm

connollyck wrote:Dude get the I-Tent. I have the Eldo cause I'm 6'2". The Bibler fabric is tits No condensation to soak your bag=priceless. It doesn't weight that much, is a LOT stronger than the Firstlight, and with a stuffsack fits easily into the sleeping bag compartment of my Osprey Aether 70.


If you're going this route, you may also want to consider the Rab version. It's made with eVent, and has some nice features like rope tie-in places so you can tie yourself off while inside the tent.
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Postby MRoyer4 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:57 am

Kai wrote:
connollyck wrote:Dude get the I-Tent. I have the Eldo cause I'm 6'2". The Bibler fabric is tits No condensation to soak your bag=priceless. It doesn't weight that much, is a LOT stronger than the Firstlight, and with a stuffsack fits easily into the sleeping bag compartment of my Osprey Aether 70.


If you're going this route, you may also want to consider the Rab version. It's made with eVent, and has some nice features like rope tie-in places so you can tie yourself off while inside the tent.


I used a Rab Summit Superlite 2-man (2-man is generous) this summer on several alpine climbs during an expedition to Kyrgyzstan. It stood up brilliantly to 18+ hours of rain/snow and high winds. There was never the slightest bit of leakage. And it comes factory seem-sealed. The only downside is there is no option to attach a vestibule and there's not enough room for two people to sit up simultaneously.
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Postby connollyck » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:26 am

Kai wrote:
connollyck wrote:Dude get the I-Tent. I have the Eldo cause I'm 6'2". The Bibler fabric is tits No condensation to soak your bag=priceless. It doesn't weight that much, is a LOT stronger than the Firstlight, and with a stuffsack fits easily into the sleeping bag compartment of my Osprey Aether 70.


If you're going this route, you may also want to consider the Rab version. It's made with eVent, and has some nice features like rope tie-in places so you can tie yourself off while inside the tent.


Im actually going to ask BD about sewing me in a tie-in
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Postby Kai » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:27 pm

connollyck wrote:
Kai wrote:
connollyck wrote:Dude get the I-Tent. I have the Eldo cause I'm 6'2". The Bibler fabric is tits No condensation to soak your bag=priceless. It doesn't weight that much, is a LOT stronger than the Firstlight, and with a stuffsack fits easily into the sleeping bag compartment of my Osprey Aether 70.


If you're going this route, you may also want to consider the Rab version. It's made with eVent, and has some nice features like rope tie-in places so you can tie yourself off while inside the tent.


Im actually going to ask BD about sewing me in a tie-in


Rab makes a couple of models. One is smaller, one is larger. They both have the tie-ins. Check ebay. I bought my Rab off ebay (brand new) for about 60% off retail. I've seen similar deals since then.

Quick Google search revealed a couple of things:

Vestibule for the Rab tent

http://www.shopviewit.com/Merchant2/mer ... Code=TVAOS

Superlight (smaller version) of the Rab tent for $355

http://www.mountainhype.com/ProductDeta ... 9&click=35
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Postby SJ » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:41 pm

[quote="connollyck"]Dude get the I-Tent. I have the Eldo cause I'm 6'2". The Bibler fabric is tits quote]

Eldorado/I-Tent is the bomb. Can't comment on the other ones, but I definitely considered the Rab before I bought the Eldorado. I'm 6'6" so I had some serious space concerns and have been very pleased.
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Postby blazin » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:48 pm

MRoyer4 wrote:I used a Rab Summit Superlite 2-man (2-man is generous) this summer on several alpine climbs during an expedition to Kyrgyzstan. It stood up brilliantly to 18+ hours of rain/snow and high winds. There was never the slightest bit of leakage. And it comes factory seem-sealed. The only downside is there is no option to attach a vestibule and there's not enough room for two people to sit up simultaneously.


So this seems to be an interesting option. For the same weight (53oz) and costing only a little more, the Rab Superlite seems to provide a little more burliness and weatherproofness than the Firstlight. Does anyone else have any experience with it?
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