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Single-wall hybrid tents

March 08, 2021 — BarryK

I mentioned single-wall and single-wall-hybrid tents a few days ago:

Here is a video of a Zpacks hybrid tent. These things cost over five hundred US dollars:

What that video shows is the horizontal mesh strip along the base, between wall and bathtub floor. The idea being that water will fall through the mesh rather than run into the bathtub floor.

That tent also has two walls of mesh, with outer fly, so it is a hybrid design.

There is a small weight reduction, compared with dual-skin tents, however, is it going to cause too much of a hassle with condensation? There are some comments from experienced hikers here:

Quoting 'marmottungsten' from above link:

You can be the most competent camper in the world, you will never be able to stop condensation in a single wall tent, especially ones made of DCM, like the Zpacks tents...It may be waterproof, but it isn't exactly breathable, so without leaving the door or doors open a bit, even in the rain, there is nowhere for moisture in your breath to go except onto the inner surface of the tent wall.
 The driest tents are two wall tents which have an inner tent that is mostly made of no see-um mesh. 
The mesh is highly breathable, allowing moisture to pass through and be carried away by the slight draught that the design sets up between the inner and outer walls, before it has time to condense on the inside of the rain fly.
 Most of the best new tent designs utilise mesh inner's as it is the most effective method to stop condensation.  Two wall tents are heavier though, so it comes down to whether you prefer to carry a lighter base weight or being able to enjoy a dry nights sleep.

Well, it doesn't have to be raining. Overnight, the temperature drops and humidity rises, and your breath and evaporated sweat condense on the outer tent inner-wall. Or, as 'marmottungsten' has said, the moisture might get carried away in the slight air current between the two walls. Even if it doesn't, it will condense on the outside inner-wall.

It is normal for the outer skin, the fly, to be damp in the morning, on the outside and sometimes a bit on the inside. Letting it dry out before packing it, is pretty normal practice.

Thinking back, on a mild dry morning, my experience was just leaving the tent erected for awhile after sun-up was sufficient to dry it.

Or, you could probably hurry the process by taking it off and giving it a shake, then drape it over the tent or a branch for awhile.

But even if you pack the fly still-wet, I don't think it matters. Dry it out properly after returning home.

A single-skin tent, however, there is going to be moisture inside the tent, which can be difficult to dry out. Probably not a good idea to pack it while still wet inside.

However, there are super-ultralight hikers who use these hybrid tents, and cope with the condensation. But I think that you would need to do a lot of research before deciding to go that way. 

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