Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Exped Auriga Mesh Tent

Exped Auriga Tent 3100gm
Exped Auriga tent footprint 350gm
Cheap Poly Blue 6x8 tarp 220gm
Cheap Poly Green 6x8 tarp 340gm

The blue tarp goes on the ground, then the footprint is placed on top of that. The tent sits on the footprint. Some of my tent sites have lots of sharp stones. The blue tarp is getting very thin now and has many holes. I'll replace it soon. The footprint also has holes. So far the tent bottom is not holed yet, but does have some thinner spots.

Soon after starting to use the tent I emailed Exped asking about UV resistance. The instructs say to "avoid prologed UV exposure". What is prolonged?.

Their reply was very fast: "When daily exposed to the sun the fly will have a live span of around half a year. The fabric than will be UV-damaged, easy to rip and dull color. To expand the span of life of your tent, pitch it up in a shady place take away the fly or cover the tent with a UV-proof foil, like a first aid sheet." I've followed this - covering the tent, moving it about in the shade, or even taking it down if staying somewhere for the day.

The tent has a 5 year warranty, and I had one claim on it leaking. Exped couldn't find where it was leaking, but seam sealed it again. They also said they were happy to look at the issue again if it leaked, and asked that I mark the leaking points. They also noted that they had not had problems before with leaking. I only found good reviews online.

A couple of months later it did leak again. I elected not to claim again, as I'd be without a tent for the time to send it to Sydney, get it tested, and returned. So I bought some seam sealer and covered the seams again. I also started using the green tarp to cover the top of the tent when it rains. Not sure if it is the seam sealer or the tarp on top, but I haven't had it leak since. And it has been in some very heavy rain.

I used to be very sore on this tent considering the money I paid for it. But now after looking at other tents and having used it lots of different locations and circumstances, I'm feeling very friendly towards it. I appreciate more now the features and quality in the tent.

If you think my tent is "heavy" like I was initially. Consider this: the lighter weight tents are lighter because of thinner fabric. Thinner fabric isn't going to last as long, and is more prone to damage.

One thing I don't like about this tent is the bag. You pack it in from the top like a shopping bag. There is no real closing for this - just a string across middle of the opening.

At the moment, I'm giving it a UV treatment and going to add patches to the thinner spots on the floor.