Friday, 8 May 2009

Phreeranger pt2

I picked up another Phreeranger a few days ago, cheap and a newer model than my other one as this one has a taped fly and the inner has a full mesh door in addition to the plain door. I was pretty sure my original EB model had a full mesh door and this confirms it. Unfortunately the fly sheet on this one has seen better days as the tape is coming off in places, it also looks as though someone has attempted to re-seal the seams with silicone. That aside I now have a nicer inner tent but the groundsheet doesn't seem any better than the other one. I might be tempted to ask Scottish Mountain gear about replacing the ground sheet, that would cost around £50 going by the prices on the website, alternatively I'll just use a footprint.

I'm not sure what to do about the fly taping, I left it pitched up over night in the rain and the inner was still dry in the morning but it would be better sorted. I tried sticking it back using an iron but it looks like the tape has come away with the pu coating attached. The fly has lost any water repellancy that it had but I'd simply treat it with Grangers Fabsil. I'm not sure what to do about the seam tape, I could leave it as it is, try to replace it completely, seal over it with silicone sealant, something like McNett Sil-Nett or simply remove it and seal the seams with silicone. I assume any work on the seams needs to be attempted before treating the fly with Fabsil. One other option is to do nothing at this stage and use the other un-taped fly for the time being.

I'm seriously considering updating the Phreeranger and using it rather than the Laser. Some things I'd considered were;

1. Replacing all the guys with 1.5mm Dyneema
2. Making up a new peg set split 50/50 between Camcleat Y and the heavier of the ti skewers from Terra Nova (Voyager type)
3. Replacing the poles with DAC poles, (not sure if this is even possible let alone practical)

It might seem crazy to spend so much on what is basically a 20+ y/o tent with an unknown history of use/abuse but the reality is that I've been through an F10 (Vango) Nitro 100, TN Voyager standard (returned) and now the Laser and I still much prefer the Phreeranger. Ultimately I'd like to try to make a new fly but there's a world of difference between sewing up a few stuff sacks or replacing a rucksack strap and sewing up a fly. That said my wife's a qualified seamstress (not in tentmaking I'll grant you) so it isn't beyond the realms of possibility. Maybe a winter project? you never know.


  1. I wonder if there is a shop somewhere that has stockroom with a few brand new ones hidden away.

    It'd be a nice little find :-)

  2. I wish someone would revive the Phreeranger.

  3. I'm sure there are a few tucked away somewhere, last year there was a brand new Phoenix Fusion 1 on ebay. Similar to the Phreeranger/Phreerunner but 'improved'?? so that it weighed 2.8kg instead of 1.8kg. Looks like the handiwork of Karrimor/Vango.

    The website is out of date, last updated 2002.

    I wonder what it would cost to commission a run of Phreerangers suitably modified of course.

  4. I wonder whether Vango (who took over Phoenix) still have the patterns for the Phreeranger. Perhaps I'll email them. It's a shame that the Phreeranger wasn't made by Saunders. A while ago I had an email exchange with them and they offered to make a Backpacker S for me as a one-off.

  5. I wonder if you (re)designed a tent how you would go about getting it manufactured?

    The pattern wouldn't be too difficult if someone had an old one that they didn't mind taking apart............... hmmmm?

  6. Talk to one of the cottage manufacturers, sixmoondesigns, henry shires, Gossamar gear, or podcast bob, doesn't he get his tarps made somewhere in the U.K.

    Best guess that the other get stuff made in the far east or china.

  7. i own both the phoenix fusion 1 and 2;new condition both;the quality is very good;i could sell if interested.