Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Black Diamond I-Tent Review

About a month ago I got some support from Black Diamond.  They helped me out with a few
pieces of gear for an up coming adventure in the high country.  One of the items I received
was the I-Tent.  I had always wanted to try one of these units out.  They are in pictures all
over, perched high on some crazy little spot in the mountains.

This past weekend while doing a recon mission to scope a north face I was able to test out
the new tent.  We made about a 6 to 7 mile approach on skis to an area above tree line at
12,500ft to test this thing out.  Arriving at our base camp area, we began to dig in the wind
blasted snow, leveling out a spot for our tent.  Lucky for us the winds were calm this evening.

This tent is one of the easiest things to set up.  2 poles that go inside the tent, Xing across the
top.  No sleeves to slide the poles in.  Just place them in the back corners, X across
the top inside, and put the other end of the poles in the front corners.  Once this is done, twist a
few plastic clips around the poles.  Presto, setup complete! (besides staking down the outside..)

One thing I really like about this tent is that you can throw it down like a bivy sack, (which you 
could actually use for a 2 person bivy.) crawl in and set it up from inside.  We didn't have to do
 this on our trip, as the winds were light, and no storm was in sight.  If it were nasty
out, what a better way to set up the tent than from the inside - protected from the elements!

After setup, we buried the loops of cord in the snow as anchor points, and piled some more snow 
up around the edges.  It is good to anchor things anchored down well.  You never know when 
the Colorado winds might start picking up 12,500ft again. . .

Over night was cold, and we brought all of our gear (minus skis, and poles) inside the tent with us.
It was a bit tight, but not bad.  There was  enough room for everything, and enough space for us
to get a comfortable nights rest.  (Although I will say it is hard to sleep at 12,000+ ft.!)

Here is a few specs about the tent from the Black Diamond website:

Classic compact mountaineering design for expedition use
  • Ultra-strong, lightweight 2-person design with efficient footprint
  • 2 internal aluminum poles for easy setup
  • 2 zippered vents at the peak, a hooded vent over the door and one at the bottom
  • Single door entry and optional vestibule for gear storage
  • ToddTex single-wall fabric - 100% seam taped

    Series :Bibler Series
    Season :4
    Capacity :2
    Doors :1
    Average Packed Weight :2.2 kg, 4 lb 14 ;z
    Minimum Weight :1.95 kg; 4 lb 5 oz
    Dimensions :208 x 123 x 123 x 107 cm; 82 x 48 x 48 x 42 in
    Area :2.5 m²; 27.3 sq ft
    Packed Size :15 x 48 cm; 6 x 19 in
(The Eldorado Tent is the the same tent, only larger for the taller people.)

Here is my list of Pros(+)  and Cons(-) about the tent.

+ Very light weight, and packs down small in the backpack.
+ Tent is single wall, and the fabric is very strong.
+ So easy to set up, even from inside.

- It would be nice to have a few loops sewn on the inside.  Then you could install cord to hang things.
- Mesh pockets could be a bit larger to keep more small items organized.
- Tent comes seam sealed on inside.  Consumer is to seam seal out side.  They do provide
   the sealer for this application.  I just wish this step was already done when you get it.
   (Once I sealed the tent, it was worth it!  High wear areas seemed much more durable then.)

Overall the tent performed at, or above the standard that I thought it should!  A great tent that will be
out on many mountain adventures with me, and whoever I can talk in to going.

 Thank you sunny Colorado windless weather, Summit Sealants Inc., and Black Diamond Equipment!




  1. One other thing to note. . .

    The first time I had set up the tent (without the additional seam sealer) it was not as easy as I thought it might be to get the poles in the correct placement in the corners.
    Once the additional seam sealer was put in the corners, it made them more ridged. The poles now perfectly seemed to slip into place. It makes perfect little cups that now stay open.

    This was one thing I was concerned about, not wanting to poke a hole through the wrong spot while trying to hurry along before night falls.


  2. Thanks heaps for the review dude. Seriously thinking about getting one of these. Do you know if you can get them in a 2 door config? I read a forum post somewhere that this was an option once, but i dont see it on the BD site.


  3. This tent has only one door. The only one that I know of (for two doors) is the
    Ahwahnee tent. That one is also single wall, four season.
    Hope that helps!

  4. thank you for your posting. my name is hayan seoul , Korea.
    I was searching for Black diamond tent which I am going to buy.
    so your posting was very helpful to me.
    Good to see.