Tuesday, 19 May 2009

More Laser Mods

Laser Tarp?

One of the things that I don't like about the Laser is the fact that the inner is fixed. I find that trying to re-insert the end struts and get all the vent cords etc untangled makes pitching awkward. In addition and probably worse is the fact that the inner gets soaked if you need to pack the tent wet. There are a few things that prevent the inner being removed, the vent cords for one, but I think I've managed to sort the problem and gain an additional side benefit.

I removed the vent cords completely which allowed me to detach the inner, however with the inner removed there's no support for the end struts. What I did was make a webbing tape that runs the full length of the tent and that replicates the function of the inner with regard to supporting the end struts and pegging down the fly. I've just made a prototype so far so I'll need to order some suitable webbing.

Using 25mm webbing for the tape the 1st thing I did was measure the distance between the strut pockets on the inner tent tapes, I folded the webbing and sewed it up to form a vertical pocket at each end. The tape extends under the fly in the same way as the original tapes but I sewed a D ring as a pegging point (Permits the use of Y or V pegs as well as Skewers) and incorporated a Dog Clip and ladderlock. The fly end shockcord hooks to the dog clip and can be tensioned via the ladder lock. I can keep the fly shockcord attached to the dog clip so that the strut is raised into position when the tape is pegged out. You can see a split ring in the pics where the new longitudinal tape crosses the pole tape, this won't be on the final version, it's there simply as I didn't have webbing long enough. The longitudinal tape still needs attached to the cross tape to keep everything in line but I'll use a velcro loop on the final version.

I added a glove hook to the fly end shockcord at each end which allows me to hike up the fly for venting by clipping it to the now redundant vent cord rings attached to the inside of the fly. Obviously if you need to un-vent the fly due to a change in wind direction then you've got to go out to do so.

The tape complete weighs 94g wet (it was raining when I made it) I could offset this by cutting the original tapes off the inner tent but I'll keep them on in case I ever want to sell the tent.

It seems to work okay, I can now keep the inner separate from a wet fly for packing, hopefully be able to get the fly up and tensioned off more easily and also use the fly on it's own as a semi-tarp if I want.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Laser, not quite what I want but close enough to keep me working on it, I really think this has cracked it for me, can't wait to try it out for real.

End tape with D ring pegging point, ladder lock tensioner and Dog Clip (Fly shockcord unhooked)

Fly Tensioned, Fly shockcord hooked to Dog Clip

Layout from Inside, Logitudinal Tape crossing Pole Tape (Split Ring Temporary)

Fly Hiked Up for Venting

Viewed from Inside, The Fly Shockcord is simply Tied to the Strut here, I've now added a Glove Hook to clip the fly up to the Redundant Vent Cord Ring.

Pegged and tensioned Off.

I only need a way to connect the inner to the tape at the pointed ends, the tape on the original version pulls the inner out at this point. It isn't strictly nescessary as the inner still attaches at the corners to the fly shockcord loops. (I'd previously added glove hooks and an extra 2mm dia shockcord loop to each of the corner tie-outs to make it easier to attach/detach the inner)

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