ExpedGemini

Here is a quick run down of the Exped Gemini and Outer Space setup.

Below is the tent body, fully setup and staked out.

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Next I added the rainfly.  Although I don’t think it really matters, I matched up the red and gray connections.  20150323_181907

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Vestibule staked out.  20150323_182036

And it all looks like this so far.20150323_182051 20150323_182109

It’s probably worth mentioning, I attached the rainfly at the peak using the black connections.  Per the instructions this is what keeps the rainfly taught and avoids water pooling on top of the tent.  I can tell you this does in fact work, as I didn’t have any pooling during the rain or my testing with a hose.

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I think so far, so good!

Next I rolled back one of the doors.  I rolled it back by curling it under, rather than over, thinking this will be less likely to trap water.  Once I had it rolled up, I used the two ties to cinch it down on both sides.

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And here is where the setup gets a little more tricky!  It’s time to add the Outer Space!

I unclipped the two corners of the rainfly on the of the door where the Outer Space will go.  Then pulled back the rainfly and attached the four clips and the rubbery strap as shown.

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I then very loosely staked out the  Outer Space on each end of the red “bow.”  I was careful to put very little, if any, tension on the tent.

Here is a side view of everything at this point.  You can already see the Gemini is starting to sag just a tad from the small weight and force from the Outerspace.

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Next I staked out the two corners of the Outer Space nearest the Gemini.  Again, I staked them out rather loosely.  I took pictures from a couple of different angles.

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And here is another overall shot with the setup so far.  You can see that there is no additional sag to the Gemini from staking out the Outer Space.  It’s still just a little and the same amount as in the previous photo.

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So now it’s time to stake the rainfly back out.  I used the cord attached to each side of the door on the tent, plus re-attached the clips mating the tent and rainfly.  There is just a bit more sag now, and I didn’t really fasten anything down too tight.  Just enough to make it secure.

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The vent on the fly is a little bunched, so I did some fixing.  You can also see there is a rather large gap at the bottom, where the fly and Outer Space connect.  I had to cinch that down a bit, or rain would simply bounce up and wet out the inner tent in a hurry.

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And ended up with this final setup:

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Here is a pic from inside after all is said and done.  It’s hard to tell perspective on that, but I’m looking up.

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So how am I looking?  I have not rain or hose tested this setup yet.  There is some sag to the Gemini, but I don’t see any way to avoid that.  The basic design of the Gemini means it has a lot of flex.  If you just put your hand on it it takes only a little pressure to bounce the poles.  I could loosen the four clips that attach the Outer Space to the tent poles, but I think I need the fabric to be pretty high up in order to create the gutter.  I can do some testing on that.

UPDATE:

I didn’t get enough rain to do any good testing, just sprinkles, so yesterday I applied the standard hose test.

I didn’t not get any rain coming in through the top this time, but the lower corners of the tent did get wet.

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It’s not a huge amount of water, but  I also didn’t run the hose very long.  I can fix that by cinching down the Outer Space a little more, but that also has one of two effects:

1. The Gemini is compressed, as in my original pictures from previous emails.

2. Or I loosen the Outer Space attachment straps, leaving less material to form the gutter.

One other note, since the Outer Space has at least two clips that will be connecting with the poles where the fabric sleeves are, I believe this would likely result in holes in the sleeve fabric over time.  It may not impact the structure or stability of the tent though.  Already you can see where it is creating a “dent” in the fabric.20150329_123053

 

So all of that said, I do think that the setup of the two pieces (Gemini plus Outer Space) seems very fussy.   Maybe over time we’ll get to be experts at setting up the system, but if it remains that the setup requires such attention then the Outer Space will likely end up getting sent back home.

If I may make a couple of suggestions, I think the collar could use a fabric stiffener, much like what is used on the rain fly vents to hold them open.  That would seem to be a better system than the rubbery strap that only does well to hold it up in the middle.  I think it would be ideal to have the fabric tent pole sleeves have a small break where it’s ideal to attach the Outer Space.  Then setup is more defined (someone doesn’t have to guess where to attach the clips), and they wouldn’t wear on the fabric of the sleeve.  Personally, I would also add a bit more fabric to the Outer Space at the bottom so it can be cinched down tight without compressing the tent and also leaving enough fabric higher up to form a nice rain gutter.

All in all, it’s a great concept!  Let me know if you have any other thoughts and/or advice, and also how your own setup of the tent and Outer Space went.

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