Wednesday, September 3, 2014

REVIEW: Darche Hybrid Single Shelter

Darche Hybrid Single shelter.


-Single person shelter with awning
-1.6kgs (3.5 lbs)
-Inbuilt mesh fly
-Head and foot vents
-5000mm PU pressure rating.
-Taped seams (except on awning)

Open dimensions (Not including guy lines)- 235cm long, 60cm wide, 100cm high at main pole, 60cm high at secondary pole.

Kit contains:

- Polyester tent
- Two support poles
- 12 pegs
- 7 nylon guy-lines
- Relevant bags

Unpacking shelter - neatly rolled and organised in pouch.

The first time setting up the shelter is slightly confusing, however once the base is pegged in, it is easy to finish putting it up.

After the base, the next step is to insert the support poles (good quality possibly aluminium? Doesn't say anywhere on the packaging). These are collapsible with an internal cable, and fitted with rubber end-caps. The small pole slots into an internal support pocket inside the tent with the other end pressing to the ground using pressure, rather than locking into anything. The large pole is intended to work the same, but the internal pocket designed to hold the top end is not designed suitably, so any lateral movement causes the pole to slide out, collapsing the tent.

Once the two poles are balanced and locked in as best they can, attach and peg the guy ropes for added tension. Unfortunately the toggles and the guy ropes don't create enough friction together, causing them to slip and in turn make the shelter sag.

As the shelter is a single shell, it's prone to a build up of condensation on the inside. It does provide excellent rain protection..... Except where the poles slot into the awning. These are not taped and the water splashes through underneath making the awning somewhat redundant. (Front / Rear)

It is designed as a single-man shelter, but is cramped for anyone over 5'8" (175cm). You can fit in there with your sleeping bag quite comfortably, provided you're not too tall, however, the internal shape makes it difficult to line up a sleeping mat and there is no room to stow your gear completely out of the elements.

I feel it could have been better utilized as a two-man sleeper/one-man plus storage, by fully extending and enclosing the tent floor under the awning area without adding too much bulk.

The awning can be poled or roped out straight to give a good amount of sheltered space, however the lack of flooring makes this unsuitable for wet conditions.

There is adequate head-room in the shelter. The large mesh panelling on the front gives good visibility when the awning is up and easy access to the shelter. Added meshing on the sides and rear gives it good ventilation.

The colour of this shelter helps it blend well in an Australian bush environment, however the provided guy-ropes are a brilliant white that stick out and need to be replaced with earth toned para-cord for those wanting to be inconspicuous.

On its own, this shelter is suitable for moderate conditions, warm or cool and in light rain. The addition of a ground sheet and top-cover/hootchie helps round out this shelters shortfalls and allows it to be used in more varied environments, although that defeats the purpose of buying this shelter in the first place.

After only the third time setting up this shelter, the peg loops snapped and the stitching came apart.

This shelter seems to be designed as a mid-point between a bivvy and a tent. Although the idea is there, it fails to reach it's potential. If the price were dropped considerably it might be worth a look, but as of now don't waste your time.

- Lightweight
- Subdued colour
- Quick setup/take down
- Low profile

- Toggles slip under pressure
- Guy ropes practically glow in the dark
- No appropriate gear-stowage
- Use of space lacking in full potential
- Not suitable for extreme weather
- Not value for money

RRP: AUD$79.99 (approx)

Rating - 2/10


No comments:

Post a Comment