Hi Exped, After a powerful hailstorm in our Norwegian high mountains this summer, I decided to give you feedback about durability on Venus II Extreme and to send you lots of thanks.
Prior to this specific tour, the Venus II had spent about 200 days and nights with me in what’s called Norwegian higher mountains and wilderness in the past 3 years. It has definitely become my favorite tent. I also use Exped packsacks, Exped UL Synmat and Exped Vela I Extreme and I am mainly impressed by Expeds products.
On a warm and beautiful day, late July this year, my daughter and I observed with concern a big thunder/lightning weather system. It kept increasing in and around the mountains surrounding us. It accumulated with a sudden, powerful hailstorm straight on top of us. The size of the hail corns, both containing pure ice and snow, were up to 3 cm in diameter and hit the tent with incredible force for about 10 – 20 minutes. It seemed like it would never stop. Hail corns of this size is extreme rare in our cold climate, and accompanied with extreme wind it will of course do lots of damage. Luckily my camp routines are strict and well worked into my spine. Tent cords and guying lines are always constantly on my mind and were adjusted only seconds before the hailstorm. The hail corn size constantly grew and the combined wind force just seemed to get worse. I was seriously in fear for the tent to collapse and get torn apart. Bear in mind all the UV light the rainfly had been exposed to prior, with over 200 of our long Norwegian summer days. The little I’ve found about UV breaking down the ripstop fabric, is that after about 25 days outside the strength can weaken up to about 100 %. All through the hailstorm I was paying attention to the roof and sure enough, in the middle of the storm one hail corn came straight through, making a tear both ways in the rainfly fabric. All the time large hail corns were bouncing off the ground and off each other, around and into the tent. The noise was incredible loud; we had to scream at each other. It felt like hell had broken loose. I immediately put my hand and arm under the tear, to try to take pressure off and maybe save the tent. The pain when the hail corns hit my hand was enormous and I had to take it away at times, for pain relief. It was clear to me that we could be seriously hurt if we had to surrender the tent. When the hailstorm finally was over, I could not believe that the tent had survived with only one tear. Could it be possible? This millimeter “thick” ripstop fabric held? After its massive wear and tear? Venus sure saved the day! We felt lucky, allthough the hail laid in a 6 – 700 meter broad line across us and up the mountainside. On each side there was dry ground. I’m still absolutely amazed. I’ve experienced powerful weather at other hikes of course, but nothing like this. We had to dig ourselves out from 20 cm of hail corns with our pots and pans and agreed on sending you feedback from this experience and at the same time, send our sincerely thanks. The tear was quick fixed straight away and then sewn by hand of me when we came home. It was proper to this experience, I thought. The Venus Extreme tent has been on tour with me about another 40 days since the hail incident and although the terracotta coloring has faded drastic, Venus is still going strong! This was actually the Venus first repair! If you want to know more about how it is to live with Venus over longer periods, please let me know. I surely know the Venus “ins and outs”, especially after 5 consecutive months trekking and living with Venus in the mountains and in our wildest nature last year.
Sincerely regards and lots of thanks to you all at Exped!