Author Topic: Nallo2gt condensation  (Read 1895 times)

Nallo2gt condensation
« on: November 04, 2017, 08:18:10 pm »
I bought this tent for a trip to Norway by bike next year , used it at ALC meet @ Sherrif Hutton , wet but tent was great except for huge amount of condensation in the morning . Using full footprint and vents open . Anyone find this tent the same ?

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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 08:45:23 pm »
Nature of the beast with that Hilleberg material, I think - I find I get the same with my Akto.  What I do know is that ventilation is largely a red herring - I've pitched my tent dry, gone away for the evening and come back to my tent late at night to find it soaked with condensation in spite of there not being anyone breathing inside it.

The way I see it is that if the temperature drops below the dew point, water's going to condense.  Ye cannae change the laws of physics.  As long as the tent design is such that the condensation doesn't end up on your stuff[1], then that's not actually a problem, and opening vents in an attempt to reduce the total amount of condensation just makes you cold - defeating one of the reasons for having a tent in the first place.

My main problem with the Hilleberg is that radiant heat from the sun seems to pass straight through it - where other tent fabrics heat up and dry off in the same conditions, it tends to stay cool and soggy.  I've found that the best way to dry it out (unless it's really windy) is, perhaps unintuitively, to *close* all the vents so that the air trapped inside it can heat up and cause the moisture to evaporate.

If I'm setting off for a day of cycling at a reasonable time in the morning, I usually end up packing the outer and footprint away damp.  It doesn't usually take long for it to dry out when pitched in the evening, though.


[1] One of my issues with the excellent value Vango Banshee[2] is that it's designed so that condensation from the outer drips through a mesh vent onto your feet.
[2] Which is made of a cheaper, heavier and much quicker drying material.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 09:06:23 pm »
Nature of the beast with that Hilleberg material, I think - I find I get the same with my Akto.  What I do know is that ventilation is largely a red herring - I've pitched my tent dry, gone away for the evening and come back to my tent late at night to find it soaked with condensation in spite of there not being anyone breathing inside it.

The way I see it is that if the temperature drops below the dew point, water's going to condense.  Ye cannae change the laws of physics.  As long as the tent design is such that the condensation doesn't end up on your stuff[1], then that's not actually a problem, and opening vents in an attempt to reduce the total amount of condensation just makes you cold - defeating one of the reasons for having a tent in the first place.

My main problem with the Hilleberg is that radiant heat from the sun seems to pass straight through it - where other tent fabrics heat up and dry off in the same conditions, it tends to stay cool and soggy.  I've found that the best way to dry it out (unless it's really windy) is, perhaps unintuitively, to *close* all the vents so that the air trapped inside it can heat up and cause the moisture to evaporate.

If I'm setting off for a day of cycling at a reasonable time in the morning, I usually end up packing the outer and footprint away damp.  It doesn't usually take long for it to dry out when pitched in the evening, though.


[1] One of my issues with the excellent value Vango Banshee[2] is that it's designed so that condensation from the outer drips through a mesh vent onto your feet.
[2] Which is made of a cheaper, heavier and much quicker drying material.

Agreed with that but had hoped for better, expensive tent . Also think because fly goes right to ground level not much circulation !

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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 09:18:47 pm »
I reckon it's a reasonable tradeoff on the Akto, which is small enough that it becomes significantly warmer than ambient temperature when you close the vents.  It's also famously good in strong winds.

How important that all is depends on how much you feel the cold, of course...


Also, with a small tent, wiping the worst of the condensation off with a cloth is tedious but practical.  That really doesn't scale well to larger sizes.


TBH, Hilleberg tents are undoubtedly good quality, but I do think they're very expensive.  (Mine was a second-hand bargain.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 09:20:05 pm »
Agreed with that but had hoped for better, expensive tent . Also think because fly goes right to ground level not much circulation !

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The ventilation only works if there's air moving through it, on a still night you'll get condensation no matter what you do, even with an open tarp.
When there's some air movement, you can optimise the venting by raising the fly off the ground.  This is the big difference between European designs where keeping the rain out is a priority and American ones where ventilation is, just look at the likes of Big Agnes tents.  Good news is it's easier to lift the fly than it is to lower it, I stick my panniers poking out.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 09:23:58 pm »
Good news is it's easier to lift the fly than it is to lower it, I stick my panniers poking out.

Yeah, I've done that before in unusually hot conditions.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 09:39:50 pm »
Agreed with that but had hoped for better, expensive tent . Also think because fly goes right to ground level not much circulation !

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The ventilation only works if there's air moving through it, on a still night you'll get condensation no matter what you do, even with an open tarp.
When there's some air movement, you can optimise the venting by raising the fly off the ground.  This is the big difference between European designs where keeping the rain out is a priority and American ones where ventilation is, just look at the likes of Big Agnes tents.  Good news is it's easier to lift the fly than it is to lower it, I stick my panniers poking out.
Also have an MSR Hubba Hubba NS , loads of venting on that along with rain blasting in under the fly , can't win ? Never had problems with my Saunders Spacepacker , great tent !


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Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 09:58:55 pm »
The basic rule of condensation is that if there's dew on the grass outside your tent, there will be condensation on and in your tent (even if it's a tarp rigged to be open). You'll also get condensation if there's no dew, but it's warmer inside the tent than outside. That's all basic physics, and there's nothing that can be done about it (in practical terms).

American tents are designed for use where dew isn't common, and with lots of mesh on the inner and big gaps under the edges of the outer to reduce in-tent warming. You therefore generally get condensation in them less often, but on the other hand you may need more warm clothing and/or a warmer sleeping bag, and you may get rain blowing in under the outer edges.

European (or at least British and Scandinavian) tents are designed for use where warmth inside is more viewed as an advantage than a drawback, and wind-driven rain is relatively common. The downside is more frequent condensation.

That the UK is on the same latitude as Labrador or Edmonton, and that the US on the same as the Mediterranean, probably has a lot to do with the differing views on what makes a good tent.

Small tents warm up more easily than larger tents, so generally get more condensation.

One thing you may be able to do to reduce or eliminate condensation is to camp where you don't get dew, like under or immediately adjacent to trees. This does have it's own drawbacks though - drips all night after rain, sap drips in aphid season, or the chance of a branch falling off the tree and squashing you.

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 12:32:36 am »
Our Nallo 2GT definitely suffers from condensation. The good thing is that it doesn't fall through the inner, so that stays dry, unless until N jumps up and down and bashes it, and in the porch it tends to fall in a line, so can be avoided to an extent. I'd forgotten how bad it was until last weekend at Canterbury with the ALC, when it was just N and me so we used that tent for the first time in over 2 years.

I agree, it is disappointing that such a good quality tent should have quite such a bad problem. It really is quite severe.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 06:51:16 am »
Try to pitch a bit higher up and where there's a breeze if you can.  You can often see the layer of mist settled in the valley, it will be dripping off the inner tent if thick.  Used for several days like this a down bag will pick up moisture and become less effective - but since I now use a smaller tent where the sides get blown in closer I always take a very light bivvy bag to keep any drips off.
The Kettwiesel Ripper turns his hand to upwrongs...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 07:47:49 am »
Try to pitch a bit higher up and where there's a breeze if you can.  You can often see the layer of mist settled in the valley, it will be dripping off the inner tent if thick.  Used for several days like this a down bag will pick up moisture and become less effective - but since I now use a smaller tent where the sides get blown in closer I always take a very light bivvy bag to keep any drips off.

Generally speaking using a bivvi bag *INSIDE* a tent is a Not A Good Idea™.

A bivvi bag needs airflow over the top to breathe properly. If you use one inside a tent to keep your down dry, chances are you'll keep the tent condensation out, but keep your sweat moisture in.

Down bags accumulate moisture during use, your best bet is to hang it out to air in the sun at every opportunity, and in really cold weather (sub zero), use a vapour barrier liner, or a heated tent (or a night in a hotel every few nights to dry out).

As for the tent condensation. I've had it even tho I mostly use a tarp, it's just physics. What a lot of long distance hikers do is carry a small microfibre towel, and wipe down the inner so that it has less moisture when packed (saving weight... prolonging life of the tent). Hang the towel on the outside of your pack to then dry as you hike.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 11:09:02 am »
The Nallo is small enough that it will stay warm, even with a large amount of anti-condensation ventilation. 

Unfortunately, overactive kids and small tents are not a good combination, but there must be something about the tent design which causes the build up. 
Getting there...

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 12:03:24 pm »
Going by my own experiences of the last 20 years, most of the tents useable for cycle camping or backpacking with attract condensation in damp or humid conditions. The best tent I used prior to June 2016 for having the least condensation was my Hilleberg Nammatj GT.

Although I liked the Nallo GTs the condensation levels were much higher that the Nammatj. Saying that I have been able to use or try out many of the top makes of tents of which have performed far worse, IMO the worst of all was the TN Voyager followed closely by the Solar 2 and the MSR Reflex.

Since June 2016 due to a medical problem I decided having a slightly larger tent with doors either side would help me get in and out easier. Having already purchased a Colman Caucasus 3 tunnel tent for my grandson I decided to give it a try. Strangely it attracts far less condensation than any other tent of that size I have used. Forum members who have camped with me at York and Mildenhall have seen the tent and may have noticed how dry it remained despite dew on the ground
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Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 01:00:54 pm »
Try to pitch a bit higher up and where there's a breeze if you can.  You can often see the layer of mist settled in the valley, it will be dripping off the inner tent if thick.  Used for several days like this a down bag will pick up moisture and become less effective - but since I now use a smaller tent where the sides get blown in closer I always take a very light bivvy bag to keep any drips off.

Generally speaking using a bivvi bag *INSIDE* a tent is a Not A Good Idea™.

A bivvi bag needs airflow over the top to breathe properly. If you use one inside a tent to keep your down dry, chances are you'll keep the tent condensation out, but keep your sweat moisture in.

Down bags accumulate moisture during use, your best bet is to hang it out to air in the sun at every opportunity, and in really cold weather (sub zero), use a vapour barrier liner, or a heated tent (or a night in a hotel every few nights to dry out).

It seems impossible to avoid getting some moisture in the foot part of the bag, whatever you do.  I always take one, anyhow, even if I don't use it every night, it's also good for additional warmth and I've never had noticeable condensation from it.
The Kettwiesel Ripper turns his hand to upwrongs...

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 11:00:20 am »
Quote
...use a vapour barrier liner...
  Have you ever used these, I've read about them in Chris Townsend's manual, a set of old waterproofs tucked into a pair of socks?  When the book was written it was hard to find dedicated ones.

I'd also be more than a bit cynical about the "breathability" of bivvy bags - if it was outside it could be getting wet, and then it wouldn't be breathable at all.  The best way to ruin a down bag would be to use it in a "breathable" single-skin GTX tent, which will be awash with condensation on the inside in no time in poor weather and the bag will get sodden, as is well-attested.
The Kettwiesel Ripper turns his hand to upwrongs...

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 11:22:07 am »

I'd also be more than a bit cynical about the "breathability" of bivvy bags - if it was outside it could be getting wet, and then it wouldn't be breathable at all. 
Only if the water saturated the outer - the outer surface of the bivvi bag should have a water repellent treatment so that water beads up on it. I never had problems with breathability when I used a goretex bivvi bag (and for a brief period I used one a lot, should never have sold it, dammit).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2017, 01:26:54 pm »
So - strictly speaking - you don't need the GTX or any proofing, you can just use say pertex and apply a beading compound to it? :)  Sure it doesn't work like that in practice, though!
The Kettwiesel Ripper turns his hand to upwrongs...

Re: Nallo2gt condensation
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2017, 01:40:32 pm »
So - strictly speaking - you don't need the GTX or any proofing, you can just use say pertex and apply a beading compound to it? :)  Sure it doesn't work like that in practice, though!
No
You need the waterproof membrane as well. Read up on how goretex (and any other breathable fabric) work.

<i>Marmite slave</i>