Monday, 8 June 2009

Phreeranger Upgrade

With the Laser gone I'm now left with no alternative but use the Phreeranger so I've started to make a few upgrades that I'd been thinking about. I replaced the original guylines/Alloy Rings/Alloy Sliders with 2mm Dyneema/Mini Lineloks from Team IO. The Phreeranger should have 3 lines along the back and 3 at each end attached to the pole sleeve. I've reduced the pole sleeve guys to 2 at each end mainly to reduce the number of pegs. I also ordered 6 alloy V pegs from Shelby Finland which as it turns out are made by Hampton Works, the makers of the original pegs and poles for the Phreeranger. The V pegs weigh in at 10g each. My provisional peg set is made up of

6 x Terra Nova Titanium Skewers (Voyager Type) at 5.5g each from Sub Zero Store
6 x Hampton Works V's at 10g each from Shelby Finland
2 x Vargo Nails at 15g each from Team IO
2 x Camcleat Y's at 16g each from Camcleat

Total weight including an Alpkit A6 Stuff Sack is 163g

One thing about the Phreeranger compared to the Laser is that the porch is a bit narrower, fortunately the inner is a bit wider so it's easy enough to unhook the front corners of the inner and push it back to create a bit more porch space. With the inner pushed right back to the centerline it can still take a full length rectangular sleeping mat although the inner is pretty close to your face when lying down.

I had an idea a while back that I intended to use on the Laser and that was to make a roll/slide back inner. Basically it involves having a cord tied to the rear corner loops of the inner tent which then runs along the ends of the inner, through the front corner loops and through a captive cordlock before hooking to the normal inner/fly shockcords. To move the inner back I simply press the cordlocks and slide the inner back on the cord in much the same way as curtains on a flexible wire. It took a bit of adjusting to get the tension right but it works really well, the inner can be pushed back to any point on the cord on one or both ends as required. The porch can be up to half the total area covered by the fly while still giving me enough inner tent space. I used a soft braided cord to give the cordlocks something to grip on but I may change to shockcord as it might be easier to balance the tension which changes as the inner is pushed back. I didn't have any captive cordlocks so I just tied them to the front attachment point with 2mm Dyneema which still left space for the cord.

The sewn in groundsheet isn't waterproof anymore and I'd toyed with the idea of sewing in a new one from lightweight groundsheet fabric but I'm going to have a go at making a complete new inner tent with a few modifications. I'll probably make it narrower than the original which might mean I can dispense with the roll back mod, I want the door to fall away to the side like most modern tents and I'll make the top half from mesh, depending on how it turns out I might make a plain cover panel. I already have all the materials in the form of a Robens Double Dreamer that got flattened at the May Day weekend last year. It was it's 1st run out, 2 of the poles were trashed. I didn't like it anyway as it was too big and the poles were going to cost almost as much as the tent did it's been lying in the garage. I'll have to dismantle one of the other Phreerangers to use as a pattern but it shouldn't be too difficult to put an inner together as all the seams are overlocked (serged) and my wife has an Overlocker (Serger). In the meantime I'll just have to use a footprint.

It has crossed my mind that although I can replace guys and pegs, can probably make a new inner and even buy a new poleset from Hampton Works the critical component is the fly which I can't replace and it's unlikely that I could make a new one. All I can do is carry on, use the best of the 3 flysheets that I have and keep my fingers crossed. Fortune favours the bold but fools rush in...............


  1. Clicked through to Shelby. What a find! They've got all those little bits and pieces I'm always ripping up old gear to get at.

  2. They're fast too, I can get stuff from them quicker than Point North and they're in the UK. I like the way they tell you who the manufacturer is.

  3. Your groundsheet adjuster is very clever! Have you seen the MSR tent range as they have some that are very similar to the Phreeranger.

  4. Thanks, I wouldn't have thought of trying mods like that had it not been for your Laser Mod pages.

    I have looked at the MSR range but to be honest the colour puts me off. There isn't much wild country over here, you're always pretty close to civilisation and the hills aren't high enough to escape either. Wild camping needs to be done with a fair degree of stealth so a Yellow tent is pretty much out of the question.

    I've looked at pretty much everything currently available and there isn't anything that I think is an improvement on the Ranger unless you consider only weight. I'll probably use it until it blows out

    If I really had to have a tent right now I'd more than likely go for the Copperspur 1. (or perhaps a Spacepacker mk1)

  5. It's funny that you, just can't accept the way gear is and tents are, and then going to use them in outdoor elements where you can't change a thing about.:-) I suffer from the same illness so keep inventing and improving.