I have owned this tent for 18 months (purchased early February 2010) and was probably one of the first people to own this tent in the UK. In this period I have slept in the tent around 15 nights, not as much as I probably wanted to, but enough to give a good impression of the ability of the tent, its attributes and some of its shortcomings.
I purchased this tent around six months before I started my blog and so some of the my trips and initial thoughts have not been posted. This was an easy tent to set up, although the end poles were always difficult to locate in the pocket at the top and very tight when the other end of the pole was inserted into the “ring” at the bottom. It seemed to strain the fabric a lot, but I thought at the time this was the tent design.
During a trip around Grizedale Pike whilst camping in an exposed spot I tightened one of the end guy lines, to stop the flysheet flapping in the high winds. Unfortunately the end pole went through the fabric of the fly. I also found that the pegs securing one of these end poles pulled out on a regularly basis under high winds. In the end I had to decamp in the middle of the night to avoid the tent blowing away. As you can imagine I was pretty annoyed about the tent.
Back home on the internet I tried to find out whether anyone else had similar experiences. It was then I found out through a post that the end poles supplied on some of the early purchases of the Power Lizard were too long. Instead of being 53cm they were 54.5cm . This is why the poles were always tight in the pocket located in the flysheet and ripped through the flysheet. Once I knew this and after a brief telephone discussion with Bob at backpackinglight (who was very helpful, even though he did not sell me the tent), I contacted the retailer to arrange a replacement. They suggested cutting down the poles to the right length and Mary repaired the rip so I could take it to a trip to the Lakes.
In the meantime the retailer confirmed that they would take it back and replace it when I got back from the Lakes.
During my conversation with Bob at backpackinglight, he talked me through some simple modifications which would in his opinion make a great deal of difference.
My replacement arrived and I started again. The rest of the post relates to the new tent and the modifications I made.
1. I removed the silly fixed guy lines either side of the Power frame and added Dyneema guys with “line-loks” to get a much tighter pitch.
2. The 2 small Ti pegs supporting the small end poles have been replaced with 2 V-shaped Ti pegs, so the pegs don’t pull out in strong winds.
The tent is extremely simple and quick to set up. It is a good idea to mark the centre of hoop pole and attach the middle clip of the Power Frame to ensure an even spread of the clips. Typical set up is about five minutes.
Layout and internal size
The weight of the tent with my modifications is 1050g which is very light for a 2 skin tent . The tent is advertised as a 2 man and you can get two full size sleeping mats side by side. It is however a little tight for moving about with two. I have been out on a couple of trips with my youngest son ( he was fourteen at the time) and it was OK, but I would say that it is a one man tent really and it is a palace for one with loads of space. The inner tent has two good size pockets at one end. You can sit up in the middle without touching the roof and when lying down, my face does not touch the inner tent like it does in some tents.
There is room at the foot end to store a 60 litre backpack and no gear needs to be store in the porch.
The porch (vestibule) has sufficient room for cooking and if necessary you can detach the inner at one corner to increase the porch space. I would have like to have seen a two-way zip for the flysheet to allow ventilation when cooking in the porch. I have found that if you are not careful you can catch the material around the zip. Using one of your fingers ahead of the zip can avoid this snagging.
With the modifications, the flysheet can be tensioned sufficiently to stop most of the flapping in the wind. I think tents of a single hoop design do suffer from this aspect, maybe less so with the Scarp 1 but this tent weighs nearly a third more than the Power Lizard. The Power Frame system keeps the single hoop pole rigid even in strong winds and I have tested the tent in winds up to Force 7 without problems. The Power Lizard has been waterproof throughout the period of ownership with condensation (not serious) occuring under certain conditions (still & cool) but due to the inner mesh I think it is better than similar designed tents.
Like set up, taking the tent down is very simple and quick. Both the inner and outer remain clipped together and I just stuff the tent into its sack and away I go.
Overall rating : 4/5 ( with modifications)
Price: £370 RRP – can be found for £285 on-line.
What I like: weight, internal size and space for solo camper, pack size and Power frame system
What I don’t like: No 2 way zip, zip can snag, fixed length guy lines ( I have removed these)
What I would recommend it for: 3 season lightweight backpacking or adventure racing. Can be used as a 2 man tent. I suggest that you do so only with family or friends you are very familiar with !