BPWD … A Year On.
Well what can I tell you? The Lair has pretty much been my ‘go to’ shelter for the past year. I’ve used it in all kinds of conditions over the last 12 months but rain has been a pretty continual companion on every trip.
|Lair with Pyra Net 1 inside – a midge free haven!|
Besides using the Lair as a standalone tarp, I’ve also teamed it up with a BPWD Pyra net 1 on occasions to keep the midges at bay. The net obviously adds a little weight but the benefits are well worth it. When I haven’t deployed the inner I’ve used a homemade nylon groundsheet to help protect my gear from wet ground … again, well worth any weight penalty. One thing I have added are guylines to the three panel ties on the lair. This was something I did not to aid stability (it’s still amazingly stable in high winds without them), I did it to help keep a nice tight pitch when the heavy rains come … silnylon will stretch when it gets wet which can lead to a little ‘flappyness’ the 3 panel tie outs help keep it in check.
Something I’ve come to prize is the Lairs small footprint … it doesn’t require much floor space to pitch. On occasion I’ve been able to pitch in dense forest without any issues. Given the interior space available it would be easy to believe that the Lair needs a good open area around it, in reality if you can lie down then you can pitch it.
I can’t recall how many nights I’ve spend in it/under it but it’s quite a few and I haven’t got wet once. As long as you’re sensible and think about where you pitch, then even wind driven sideways rain doesn’t cause a problem … obviously if you pitched it with the door opening facing the wind it may be a different story.
I suppose the question is, would I change anything about it after living with it a year ? No I wouldn’t, it still performs superbly. I can’t think of any instance when I’ve wished for something else. I’ve actually been lucky enough to have a play with a couple of other Lairs this year. The first a cuben version with extended beak and the second was another silnylon version which also had the extended beak and vent plus full perimeter/door bug netting. Both were very nice but my own thoughts are that they somehow weren’t as versatile as the more basic version. The cuben is harder to pitch well and seems much more fussy about pole length and peg angle and the midge netting limits the amount of ‘outdoor’ space you’ve got under the beak for cooking, storing wet gear, etc. Don’t misunderstand me, they were both very good but I still believe that this version, especially if teamed up with the groundsheet/inner net options gives the greatest flexibility.
Would I buy another? – yes.
Do I still think it’s suited to UK conditions? – No doubt, even given the summer we’ve had.
Why did you get a brown one? – Because it’s not green!
Anything else? – Yes, don’t skimp on pegs. You only need 6, make sure they’re good ones. Saving 40g isn’t much use if the thing won’t stay up!