Looking to purchase the Half Dome 4 plus tent but a number of 1 star reviews talk about excessive condensation and water infiltration. The reviews on the 3 plus have no mention of this issue. Any ideas why?
All I can think of is that scaling up anything may or may not work. There may be adequate venting scaling up from the 2 plus to the 3 plus but not when you increase the number of people in the tent breathing out lots of water vapor 33% from 3 to 4. Shear speculation on my part with no scientific proof to back this up. Any idea why there seem to be moisture issues with the 4 plus but not the 3 plus?
I checked with our Co-op Brands team and there should be no reason the Half Dome 4 Plus tent would be more prone to condensation that the other Half Dome tent sizes. In fact, the 2019 models have more and better venting than almost all tents in their category!
There are many factors that go into the amount of condensation that will build up inside a tent. Many of those are discussed in the Expert Advice article about How to Set Up/Pitch a Tent. Specifically the article mentions a couple of tips to prevent water-related issues:
Seek higher, drier ground so you have less moisture in the air to form condensation inside the tent as temperatures drop.
Look for sites under trees because they create a warmer, more protected microclimate that will produce lower levels of condensation.
Avoid camping in low areas between high areas, because cool, damp air settles here; rain can also channel through and pool when a storm blows in.
A few additional thoughts:
Pitch to take advantage of the breeze
Utilize high vents as well as low venting options (open and rolled back vestibules, stake out side panels to create more gap between fly and canopy, etc.) to create low-to-high chimney effect air flow.
Don’t bring wet / damp gear into the tent, or even into the vestibule
As water evaporates off the wet gear, it saturates the air inside the tent / fly and you’ll increase the amount of condensation.
With so many variables in each person's experience (including how many people are in a tent!) it can be hard to pinpoint the reason behind a specific user's experience. This is one of the many reasons our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is so great! Additionally, many of our stores rent gear such as the Half Dome 4 Plus so you could try it out before you buy it. Check with your local REI store for availability.
I hope this helps, thank you!
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