i-tent vestibule info


Original Post
neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

I have an i-tent - it has no vestibule. You can get one for like $130 and it weighs about 1lb or so. All of my 3 season tents have vestibules and its obviously a nice useful feature. Cooking, gear, boots, etc.

There are limited and mixed reviews (some very bad) about the value of the vestibule.

Anyone have any experience with it? Is it worth it to have for winter camping/mountaineering? Will it just be an unnecessary weight and cost that doesn't work well..or will I wish I had it?

I saw a pic of Steve House camping in the Himalaya in his Bibler with no vestibule...but I'm not Steve House :)

jaredj · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 0

Many moons ago I had the Bibler Eldorado, same design as the I-tent but with a little more space. I bought the vestibule and used it a couple of times. I generally found it to be a pain in the ass.

It only has the one front tie-out, a relatively small door, and doesn't get nice and flush with the tent body or the ground. If you're getting whipped by wind it'll be loud and it can be hard to keep the front secured.

I hate it when I ask advice online and peeps are always telling me to buy new / other stuff, but my general view is that a vestibule on this style of tent is a crappy compromise. Either you get a comfortable tent that has a better design (e.g. a double wall setup, vesitbule integrated with the fly with better tie-outs and easier egress), or you use the I-tent for its intended purpose, which involves bringing all your stuff into it at night (including boots and whatnot) if you feel the need.

If you are doing an AK trip and only wanna take one tent to both basecamp with as well as take on-route for something kinda hard involving a bivy in a tent, then I can see the vestibule allowing you to make the i-tent do double duty (especially if your overall shelter system includes some sort of pyramid cook tent). That's really the only circumstance under which I think the accessory adds value.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
jaredj wrote:Many moons ago I had the Bibler Eldorado, same design as the I-tent but with a little more space. I bought the vestibule and used it a couple of times. I generally found it to be a pain in the ass. It only has the one front tie-out, a relatively small door, and doesn't get nice and flush with the tent body or the ground. If you're getting whipped by wind it'll be loud and it can be hard to keep the front secured. I hate it when I ask advice online and peeps are always telling me to buy new / other stuff, but my general view is that a vestibule on this style of tent is a crappy compromise. Either you get a comfortable tent that has a better design (e.g. a double wall setup, vesitbule integrated with the fly with better tie-outs and easier egress), or you use the I-tent for its intended purpose, which involves bringing all your stuff into it at night (including boots and whatnot) if you feel the need. If you are doing an AK trip and only wanna take one tent to both basecamp with as well as take on-route for something kinda hard involving a bivy in a tent, then I can see the vestibule allowing you to make the i-tent do double duty (especially if your overall shelter system includes some sort of pyramid cook tent). That's really the only circumstance under which I think the accessory adds value.
thanks. Thats pretty much what I thought. It seemed a bit flimsy and superfluous. What did you think of the Eldorado? I got my i-tent for a good price lightly used but so far I am not loving it. I know it is reasonably proven and well made but I find it a bit annoying to set up and it seems like there are better 4 season options for mountaineering in the lower 48. For the price I got it for I can't complain but I have a little bit of buyers remorse. I am not entirely sold on the internal poles. Just some initial observations.
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,115

I have owned the I-Tent and the Eldo as well as several other Biblers. The vestibule is okay and more functional for the two door tents when one can get out the other door. Leaving stuff in a vestibule is always problematic when the weather is crap. That is were a plastic garbage bag comes into play. Light weight and you can dump stuff into it. At that point one can shove stuff off into the corner and have it help be a wind block so you can cook in the vestibule.

BTW the internal poles are a bit of a PITA but I have literally crawled inside and set the tent up when it was pissing sideways. That is a nice feature.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
Allen Sanderson wrote:I have owned the I-Tent and the Eldo as well as several other Biblers. The vestibule is okay and more functional for the two door tents when one can get out the other door. Leaving stuff in a vestibule is always problematic when the weather is crap. That is were a plastic garbage bag comes into play. Light weight and you can dump stuff into it. At that point one can shove stuff off into the corner and have it help be a wind block so you can cook in the vestibule. BTW the internal poles are a bit of a PITA but I have literally crawled inside and set the tent up when it was pissing sideways. That is a nice feature.
thank you - i keep trying it/practicing both ways - setting it up not crawling in the tent, and crawling in - the BD instructions say do not get in the tent - but I find it hard to get the poles in the grommets at the far end if I don't and I don't want to miss and puncture the tent - but crawling around in the tent is a bit cumbersome and hot to say the least. The tent has a very good reputation and I am sure is more than good enough for my purposes but it is not as user friendly as my BA Copper Spur UL 3 season ;)
Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 540

@neils: if it's too hot to crawl around in and set up your tent from the inside out, the conditions aren't burly enough yet ;) I find myself setting up the tent from the inside out in blowing whiteouts and similarly poor weather. Otherwise, inside, outside, whatever you can take your time.

Regarding the vestibule, I have one and have used it for basecamp. The biggest benefit to me is cooking outside the tent body proper when using a liquid fuel stove. For canisters, you can typically cook inside in poor weather. Otherwise, I've been doing the trash bag trick like Allen has suggested for a number of years and it works quite well, whether bivying out, in the tent, etc.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
Derek DeBruin wrote:@neils: if it's too hot to crawl around in and set up your tent from the inside out, the conditions aren't burly enough yet ;) I find myself setting up the tent from the inside out in blowing whiteouts and similarly poor weather. Otherwise, inside, outside, whatever you can take your time. Regarding the vestibule, I have one and have used it for basecamp. The biggest benefit to me is cooking outside the tent body proper when using a liquid fuel stove. For canisters, you can typically cook inside in poor weather. Otherwise, I've been doing the trash bag trick like Allen has suggested for a number of years and it works quite well, whether bivying out, in the tent, etc.
I guess that is true - I am just messing with it at home and in the yard and what not - I have not had an opportunity to have it out in the cold yet - good point. And yeah I can put stuff that I would put in the vestibule in a trash bag - i.e. boot shells or get snow off and bring them in even. With a canister I can boil water in the tent, so the lack of vestibule becomes less and less of an issue.
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,115
neils wrote: thank you - i keep trying it/practicing both ways - setting it up not crawling in the tent, and crawling in - the BD instructions say do not get in the tent - but I find it hard to get the poles in the grommets at the far end if I don't and I don't want to miss and puncture the tent - but crawling around in the tent is a bit cumbersome and hot to say the least.
Ah, do not worry about getting the poles right in the grommet - just make sure they are in the re-inforced corners. Then re-adjust once the poles are in place. Though that can be difficult because Biblers are tight.
neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
Allen Sanderson wrote: Ah, do not worry about getting the poles right in the grommet - just make sure they are in the re-inforced corners. Then re-adjust once the poles are in place. Though that can be difficult because Biblers are tight.
ok that is good to know and not that hard to do. I didn't think I would puncture the reinforced corner but I didn't want to take any chances and I am kind of anal. I have found that if not seated in the grommet correctly the poles by the door are easier to get seated correctly because you can reach your hand in, grab the pole, and then adjust the tent fabric on the outside. The two grommets at the far end, opposite the door, not as easy as you are working with the pole and tent fabric either all on the outside, or all inside
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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