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NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

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NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby philso » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:51 pm

for the last 10 years or so i've been doing the bivy bag + siltarp(summer) or betamid/megamid scene, but it seems i always get dumped on by the weather. especially after my last three trips with mixed sleet, snow, rain in spring and rain + bugs the rest of the summer for about 19 days out of about 3 weeks, i find myself longing for the comfort of a double-wall tent. my old nf mountain 24(?) is still servicible, but a real pig to carry. my other tents have been run into the ground long ago.
i picked up a nemo obi1 for 3-season use, and on my last trip it worked well enough at slightly less weight than my bivy+tarp. now i'm looking for a new winter/mountaineering tent. i don't need to rehash the singlewall/ doublewall pro's & con's debate, or need info on biblers or integral designs, etc. and i know i can shave 2 or maybe even 3 pounds off my old nf mountain with some of the new double-walls. however, the stats on the nf assault 2 look pretty impressive on paper: low weight, "drywall" "technology", includes detachable vestibule, & at a relatively reasonable price. i used to have a single-wall tent about 20 - 25 years ago which was usually wetter inside than out. i don't expect miracles, but i was wondering if the assault 2 might actually have "dry walls", relatively speaking. the problem is that i've only been able to find about 3 user reviews. 1 said they hadn't had any major condensation issues, another said it was weather tight, and another said the listed weight was correct. encouraging, but not enough to base a decision on.
 if anyone has had any exprience with it, i'd be real happy if they could weigh in the pro' & con's.

and on another but related topic, i've seen reviews re: the bd first light which seem polarized between saying it's drum tight or you might as well sleep in the rain. is this an old version/new version issue?

and while we're at it, any rab summit "shelter" users out there?

any and all input will be welcome. thanks in advance, phil
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Re: NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:31 am

No idea on the Assault but it seems good - but small.

I've used a Firstlight quite a bit - early model, beige not green. It's too small for me really - I'm 6' 7" but it works solo. It's fine in light rain, moderate winds, light snow. High winds would really deform it a bit but it might not break. Lack of guy points mid-wall is a minus in my view, so it's not as tight as it could be. I've also had considerable condensation buildup in it, in cold/dry conditions (low camp on Vinson) but with the thin fabric it melts/disappears faster than with a Bibler. Hard to beat for weight though. If you're in Japan - not sure how it would handle a big load of snow?

I've heard OK things about the Rab from someone who used one on a big mountain route, but you've probably noticed that the smaller one is particularly LOW inside.
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Re: NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby sharperblue » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:22 pm

FWIW, I've used the earlier issue of the BD First Light, and it works marvellously well - for what it was intended to be used for: drier conditions at high altitude. That having been said, its kept us dry through days and days of rain and sleet as well.

I did seam seal the heck out of the thing and have used it a very few times in very wet conditions much lower down with no complaints then either, so I would expect its more modern brethren to do the same, but I would not rely on it as my primary tent for areas that are consistently wet and at lower altitude: that line of tents just weren't designed for that. My two cents.
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Re: NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby philso » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:08 pm

thanks for the input guys. i guess the assault just came out this year, so there aren't very many users yet. i'm planning on getting a new winter tent while i'm back in the states next january, hopefully at a post-christmas discount. if i can't find decent info on the assault, i may go for an eldo or mk1lite. i definitely need something that can handle a snow load and wind.

both of you have been using the firstlight for a while so i'm guessing that you use canister stoves. i've always used msr white gas stoves; one reason for wanting a tent with a fair-sized vestibule for cooking. i may need to rethink my cooking stategy.

thanks again for the response.
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Re: NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby sharperblue » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:45 pm

The FirstLight/LightHouse vestibule is surprisingly roomie, for cooking and storage; with in in place, we actually slept 3 in that tent. it was...intimate (but warm!) but certainly perfectly capable of providing the needed area for cooking (white gas stove, in this case)
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Re: NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby philso » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:54 am

bumping this up once as i' m heading to the states in a couple of weeks and am still looking for input before shopping. if you or a buddy have any experience, especially regarding condensation and durability issues, your comments will be much appreciated.
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Re: NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby Autoxfil » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:22 pm

My partner has a FirstLight. He has summer-camped in it, but it's less than ideal.

On the same trip I was in my MSR Hubba Hubba, which was great. It's a touch under 4lb with all the cord and stakes I usually bring, has two big vestibules, and much more room than the FirstLIght.
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Re: NF Assault 2 / bd first light - any users out there?

Postby alpinedan » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:51 pm

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