Description: (From their site) A Blacks Octane 3 technical tunnel tent that is extremely light and has a very compact pack size. Its aerodynamic shape makes it suitable for mountain use at all altitudes as well as backpacking and trekking.
As seen on the blog: Label : Blacks Octane 3
UPDATE : We took the tent out for a week touring in Croatia where it worked brilliantly, 10min or so to put up and take down, so simple. We also got to really test it out in the rain and wind, as we had two massive thunder storms. The short one lasted only two or so hours but the wind was quite strong. But Octane 3 tent stayed put though it did sound like it would take off once or twice doing the night.
The second storm, aka the great flood of 2009, had us worried for a bit but it kept us dry for the 4 or so hours of heavy down pours. Yes the vestibule got totally soaked and our Ortleib pannier bags had hard time trying not to float away. We just sat inside trying our best not to touch the walls, the most important rule of camping in a tent, while the river floated around and under us. Where we glad that we had our Exped DownMats to sit on or else we would have been cold.
After 4 hours of solid rain the tent was still keeping the water out, but the bit that holds the inner tent up and hooked onto the fly sheet, lacking the technical terms here, started to get wet and water started drip down onto the inner tent. The bottom part of the inner tent proved to be very water proof and we were sitting in what felt like a water bed.end update…
One thing – manufacturers need to be realistic when describing their products. “Meal for 2?” Yeah, right, it barely fills one person up. The same goes for tents. As the world is getting larger both weight and height wise, the manufacturers need to get away from the old measurements and figure out that average height is not 5’5″ any more.
I’m glad that we, in the end, went for a 3 person tent, lucky this Octane 3 tent is still very small and light when packed up, another factor for picking this. Because we would not have been able to move around in a 2 man tent.
I’m 6’4″ and can just lay on my back inside the tent, when on my stomach I’m touching the end walls. Peli is 5’6″ and does not have a problem with the length but when we both are in there we do have to plan a bit ahead, when and who moves first and who goes where to make space for each other.
There is no way that 3 persons at 5’10” could fit in there without stepping on/elbowing/kneeing each other every time they moved around. Even 2 kids and an adult would be squeezed in it.
But apart from the size issue, it is a great tent, very and I mean very easy to put up. Put it up the first time, and clip the inside “sleeping quarters” into place, and you don’t really have to worry about that in the future.
Which again will make tent even faster and easier to put up. I mean with 3 colour coded poles to slide into 3 colour coded “guide tunnels”, and plug the poles into a strap which then make the arch you will sleep under. Then a few pegs to hold the arches into place and you are pretty much good to go.
That is, if it is not windy, but with the numerous guy lines you are sure that the tent stays up and put.
The tent feels good quality, I’m sure that we are going to have some fun in it, for a long time to come. It is red so when you are in it you do have a funny glow, and taking picture of the tent the white balance on your camera is going to have a hard time :)
But at night it is not a day glow red so it will not stand out like a sore thumb, and hey a bit of colour make it easy to find in a crowed campsite full of blue or green tents.
The sleeping quarters is just big enough to take our 2 Exped DownMat 7Pump DLX (Size: 193x65x7 cm / 76x26x2.8“) with a little room on each side (3-4″) so that you do not sleep right next to the walls of the tent.
The ventilation could be a bit better, because when we woke in the night everything was wet. Yes we could have the door open more but me and flying biting things do not get along well, so that door needs to be closed. And it would be nice if the door went all the way to the floor, because we have a 6″ skirting board that you have to step over each time you get in or out of the tent.
4 of out 5 I would say, but you get what you pay for and for this price it could easy have been a 5 out of 5. The skirting board issue and if it was marked as a 2 (not 3) persons tent, would have given it its last point.
Since I wrote this last I have now use the tent and have gotten used to the skirting board. Though the size is still a big issue, when sleeping in my Alpkit SkyeHigh sleeping bag I touch the end wall. Which then push out onto the fly sheet and my down sleeping bag gets wet, which is not good for a down sleeping bag.
If this is 3 man size tent I wouldn’t like to be in a 2 mans tent.