Paratipi review. 56k warning.

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Paratipi review. 56k warning.

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:17 am

Paratipi review.

This is my primary shelter during the colder months. I have extensive experience with this shelter system. The following is from the Kifaru web site:

“Specifically designed for those who really like to go lean and mean, the 2 Person ParaTipi weighs in at only 3 1/2 pounds! It is exceptionally light for its square footage, and best of all, it is the only small tent we know of that accepts our wood burning stove. You get ample room for two people and their gear. Ideal for the backpacking outdoorsman who wants to extend his reach. Outstanding windproofness! You get many of the same great features and function of our larger traditional Tipis. Floorless design and space age paraglider fabric bring this roomy tent into featherweight class! “

Features & Construction

Fabric:
- Ultralight Cloth for durability and weight savings.
- Waterproof - outlasts UV coating two to one!
- Beefy #8 Zippers: won't jam and open easily even in the coldest weather
- A-frame: provides a big footprint and weight savings
- Single Door
- Mosquito Netting is standard, but removable for weight savings
- Clothes Line: hang gear and dry out clothing
- Stuff Sack: included
- Colors: white or Coyote Brown
- Stovepipe port: fiberglass patch with rain flap

Specs

Includes:
Dual Poles:
break down into 6 pieces
Complete set of Dura Pegs
Dimensions: 12 feet, 6 in. X 7 feet 6 in. assembled
Packed Dimensions: 5.5 in. diameter X 16 inches
Height: 56 inches
Weight: 3 1/2 lbs. (add 4 oz. with Mosquito Netting in place)
The Paratipi comes packed with 3 stuff sacks that contain the canopy, poles and Dura pegs. The system packs down very small and can fit inside a 650 ci long pocket.

Here is a Kifaru long pocket containing a Paratipi.

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The shelter packed.

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Setup is fairly simple but does require some practice to master. Kifaru does a good job explaining the setup so I will attach a link to their site. I will add that the peg setbacks are more guidelines rather than rules as non level ground will change the distances. But this is not all that hard to work out once the first pole is raised. If there is not enough room to extend the pole than the front setback must be increased.

http://www.kifaru.net/pitch2mn.htm

This is what the shelter looks like before the poles are in place. There are a total of 14 tie-offs to ensure the shelter can withstand the harshest winds.

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The front pole is raised first. The cone is heavily reinforced. After that the back pole is raised. I place the adjustable poles on the lowest setting and raise each one until the proper pitch is set. There is some leeway in the setup. It is possible to make the shelter a bit wider and lower or a little narrower and higher depending on how it is staked.

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The primary tie-offs are marked with orange paracord loops for easy identification during setup. There is a brown paracord clothesline that runs down the middle of the shelter. The Paratipi has draw string cords to allow for a window to be opened in the front for ventilation. I find the clothesline useful for lighter items like socks and shirts. The draw string window works well to vent the excess heat of the stove but is not protected from rain or snow. If the window is open some water can get in. However this draw string opening system is foolproof and very UL.

The clothesline being used for the intended purpose.

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The bug net attaches to the front using Velcro.

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A door can made by opening the front zipper and either staking out the flap or pushing it aside. The bug net than covers the opening. I have only used the net on a few outings. I tend to use other shelters during bug season. When pitched over grass the gaps in the floor are mostly covered. The system was good enough for mosquitoes in my neck of the woods. Maybe there would be issues with black flies but don’t know.

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The Velcro net is less user friendly than a zippered screen door but offers the advantage of removal during the colder months.

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The stove jack is positioned about 1/3rd of the way into the shelter. It is placed in a central location. The position of the stove and poles takes up some internal room. The advantages seem to be more efficient heating and stronger support for the shelter. The jack has a Velcro flap for use without the stove.

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The opening is for a 3-inch stove pipe. The jack is made of flame resistant fiber glass.

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The pipe gets pushed though the jack. Care must be taken not to cut the fiberglass with the sharp ends of the roll-up pipe if one is used. Also the wing nut holding the end of the roll-up pipe must be turned in. Sometimes I forgo the wing nut all together if in a hurry or my hands are cold.

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The pipe vents the smoke and toxic gasses outside the shelter. Due to the floorless deigned, gaps in the stove jack and a large number 8 zipper there is enough ventilation even during heavy snow to ensure safety. If there was any possibility of CO poisoning etc I would have discovered this long ago. Here is the Paratipi setup with stove running.

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For me the best use of space is to put the sleeping bag off to one side. Often I use a small ground cloth to protect my bag. Gear is stored off to the other side. If two people are using the shelter gear can also be stored in front and back.

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To hang out I use my sleeping pad and lay across the front. There is not really enough room for a larger guy to sleep comfortably in the front but more than enough to rest and cook.

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I place the stove facing the front a bit off to the side of the sleeping bag reducing the risk of damaging my sleeping gear when moving around. So far I have never melted any sleeping bags or pads but seem to have an uncanny ability to melt the sleeves of my jacket liner. The stove can be placed facing the sleeping area if someone wants to start the stove in the morning when still inside a sleeping bag.

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Pros:

1. Shelter is very UL and packs down small.
2. Has a large foot print.
3. Extremely weather proof. I have used my Paratipi for years in nearly every weather condition and it has never failed me.
4. Has a stove jack.
5. Constructed of quality materials.
6. Floorless design. This reduces weight and allows for pitching over rough ground. Fundamental for safe stove operation. I find with proper site location a floorless tent stays drier.

Cons:

1. Expensive.
2. Poles and stove takes up lots of floor space.
3. Like most single walled non breathable shelters can develop condensation.
4. Requires careful seam sealing.
5. Setup takes practice to master and more time if using a stove.
6. Floorless design is less bug proof and requires more care in site location.

Conclusions:

I really like the Kifaru Paratipi. It has limitations due to the smaller size compared to other heated shelters. But the weight and pack size makes the shelter easy to backpack over a longer distance. Most of all I like the stove for winter. I can do a ton of things inside a floorless heated shelter during winter that would be far more difficult and uncomfortable in other tents. Snow baths when the outside temps are sub zero is just not an option inside other shelters. Burning the stove takes the edge off in the morning. Cooking on a wood stove is a more casual affair than using the pocket rocket under a tent awning. Finally fire is just plain old fun.

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Last edited by Woods Walker on Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by zoom1200 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:31 am

thanks for the review, I have been looking at these.
are the pegs sturdy enough to pound into frozen ground.



how does the stove work? does it throw a lot of heat and can you load it to burn thru the night.

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Post by Ovationman » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:54 am

Always thought they were cool but bloody hell they cost a bunch.

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Post by GeneralDiscontent » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:54 am

Nice review, WW. I have been thinking about buying a high-end tent this year, and the Paratipi is definitely on the list of ones I'm considering...

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Post by AltimGXE » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:16 am

Thanks for the review WW, there is all kinds of good info here I couldn't get from the Kifaru site :) Interesting implementation of the bug netting, something like that would be a necessity in the south. I like the simplicity of it all, I think I could use my hiking poles as the support as well to save space.

Maybe its just the camera angle, but that is a HUGE pile of wood. :shock:

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Post by Squirrley » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:27 am

Squirrley wants paratipi
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Post by Seanwins » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:58 pm

This is going into The Woods Walker Thread

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Post by JIM » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:16 pm

Why was I expecting a tipi, braided with paracord... Anyway, nice post WW!
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Post by Woods Walker » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:34 pm

Zoom1200.

The Dura pegs are strong but they don’t go into frozen ground well do to the shape. I use Ti-nail pegs for very cold. However Dura pegs hold better than other peg I have used in dirt.

AltimGXE.

Sure you can use hiking poles but the front pole is a bit higher than a standard hiking pole so the pitch must be adjusted. That pile of wood took about 45 minutes to cut and spilt but would heat the tipi for 3 days of normal use.

Jim.

I think the ones braided with paracord are made by this company:

http://www.eztipi.com/

However they are no longer selling the modified parachute tipi. I believe they are working on something similar to Kifaru or TI-goat but don’t know. The Paratipi is a modified A-frame with a sorta tipi shaped front.
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Post by GeneralDiscontent » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:56 pm

Woods Walker, do you have any experience with the ParaTarp? I would like to get the ParaTipi + Stove, but that's a lot of cash for me to drop on a tent - I noticed if I went with a ParaTarp + Parastove + Annex + pole & peg kit, I could save $115 or so... I can't imagine my finacee would be willing to camp in any weather cold enough to require a stove, so I'm wondering if I might be okay with the smaller ParaTarp...

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Post by Woods Walker » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:04 pm

Yes I have seen the Paratarp setup. It is just too small for me. However all one needs is a floorless shelter and a Ti-goat stove jack.

Here is a photo of a Kiva with a Ti-goat stove jack.

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http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/produc ... _id=Booyah

There are a whole bunch of tipi/pyramid shelters out there. Still more floorless shelters of other designs. Some people have added stoves to shelters with floors but I think this maybe looking for trouble.

Here is a link to Ti-goat for a stove jack.

http://www.titaniumgoat.com/stoves.html

Here someone put a stove jack on a MSR floorless tarp shelter.

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Stove jack on a Golite Hex.

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Post by GeneralDiscontent » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:10 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
Stove jack on a Golite Hex.

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:shock: Ooooh, the Golite Hex was what I was planning on before I got it in my head that I wanted stove capability... If I got one of those + a separate stove it could be considerably cheaper than a Kifaru. Does anyone make "universal" sew-in stove jacks, or do you just have to buy the material and find someone to make it custom?

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Post by Woods Walker » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:14 pm

Ti-goat makes a stove jack for UL tents.

http://www.titaniumgoat.com/stoves.html
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Post by GeneralDiscontent » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:32 am

Woods Walker wrote:Ti-goat makes a stove jack for UL tents.

http://www.titaniumgoat.com/stoves.html
D'oh! I went to that page the first time you posted it, I missed the stove jacks, though. Thanks WW, I will definitely be looking into this...

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Post by JCD » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:00 am

Searched the whole site. Does anyone know what the EZtipi costs?

Would a Golite Hex be a better option? I have three kids who might want to go and it seems a nice shelter.
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Post by Yaivenov » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:14 am

I really like that tent, but I'm curious, how well does it hold up in extremely wet weather? I'm originally from Oregon, so having the ground saturated from 3 straight days of rain isn't exactly unheard of.

*makes note to buy one of those stoves*
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Post by mk_ultra » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:56 am

Thanks for the Review . Well done :D

I was just talking to my Father in law about the ParTipi last weekend , now I have a good review to forward to him.

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Post by JCD » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:59 pm

There is also the kiva lite

and the nighthaven, although the last is a two pole system, much like the MSR Twin Peaks.

Has anyone tried any of these other tipis?
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Post by LittleTeapot » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:35 am

Your reviews are very well done.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to post them.

I always pick up useful information from your reviews and use the applicable parts to our situation.

Thanks again for all of your hard work.
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Post by Rynth » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:14 am

WW,

Do you have a small stove or parastove? I'm strongly considering ordering a paratipi and stove in the immediate future, but can't really make up my mind about which stove option I'll get, and a little feedback from someone with hands-on experience seems like just the ticket. I'm leaning towards the small stove just because it'd be a little easier to actually use (less feeding/worrying about the ashes while I was using it), plus a little more room to heat stuff on it. On the other hand, the parastove shows some pretty good weight savings for what it is.

So I guess the question boils down to how well they really heat. If caught out during a really cold snap, do you think the parastove would do a good enough job keeping a paratipi toasty enough for comfort if moving wasn't a sound option?

Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to beg you to whip up a thread on the stack robber you mentioned in a different thread. The photos seem to be gone, and it seems like a really great idea. I'm not keen on putting pinholes in an expensive tent, especially not if I can get some extra heat out of the same device that prevents them.

Oh, and lastly, thanks for yet another informative post. You rock, WW.

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Post by Woods Walker » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:35 pm

Yaivenov.

The tent holds up great to heavy rain. Sil Nylon is 100% waterproof but unfortunately non-breathable. Being floorless means site selection is key.

Rynth.

I have the Small Kifaru stove. I considered the Parastove but think bigger is better with a fire box for all the reasons you posted. The reduced effort is worth the extra little weight. I have seen the Parastove and it would work down to about zero. The Small stove would work down to nearly anything but any gaps on the bottom would need to be covered much below negative 5ish if one expects average inside temps to be 100 above the environment.

I have considered getting a Parastove for the 72-hour BOB and move the Small stove over to the INCH bag. But funds are tight right now and my stove collection is just too big. I think there is some info on the robber in the homemade stove/shelter threads. Going to work on that project soon but other issues have come up. A damper with inline spark screen added to the Kifaru collar/spart screens makes the stove nearly spark proof with less weight and bulk than my robber. This is the system I often pack when looking to reduce the weight. I think there is a photo within my Ti-goat stove review. Still testing out that stove and will not add it to the BOB until I know it is 100% reliable.
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Post by cg3006 » Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:50 pm

How long does it take the stove to cool down before you put it back in your pack? How much cleaning is required before you pack it up?

Great review by the way. I have enjoyed reading your threads.

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Post by Woods Walker » Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:27 pm

The stove cools down very fast once the ash is dumped. Maybe 5 minutes. Cleaning is not needed in the field as the ash is often just a fine powder so I just shake it out. If rain water ran down the pipe I use leaf litter to get the majority of the mess cleaned.
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Post by AltimGXE » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:26 am

Woods Walker - It looks like there is some cord running from a loop on the stove jack to two points in the back part of the tipi Is it structural, or is it just some line to hang stuff on?

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