Tuesday
Mar242009

Kelty Triptease Lightline review

The idea to replace the guy lines on my Hilleberg Akto with Kelty Triptease was mainly sparked by my desire to have guy lines that were reflective. On my first trip out with the Akto very dense February clouds covered the mountain I was camping on. Visibility and temperature both dropped rapidly. I had the right equipment to deal with the changing conditions but my tent's guy lines seemed to disappear. With such limited visibility the Akto's guy lines were extremely hard to see. Later at night, when the clouds cleared away, the guy lines were still hard to see in the dark, even with my LED headlight. Although Hilleberg's factory guy lines were outstanding from a performance standpoint for obvious reasons I simply needed guy lines that could be seen when it gets dark or when the weather turns bad.

Kelty's Triptease Lightline comes in a 50ft length (15.25m) and weighs 1oz (28.35g). The Kelty guy lines have reflective fibers weaved into the cord making them highly visible and reflective to light. The guy lines come in yellow which makes them highly visible in daylight too. Yellow also contrasts well with the Akto, which is green.

Here is a photo of the door end of the Akto with the old Hilleberg factory guy lines. The bag with the Triptease Lightline is laying in the grass in the left corner.

In the next two photos you can see how much of a higher level of visibility the Triptease guy lines have even in daylight. In the first photo the left side guy lines are Triptease and the right side are Hilleberg's factory guy lines. In the second photo both sides of the guy lines are Triptease. In the grass a bundle of Triptease cord lying next to the Hilleberg bundle stands out more.

 

The guy lines were no problem to replace. The Triptease Lightline tied easily, and by burning the cut ends the cord won't fray on you and come apart. Loops on the tent were easy to pass the new guy lines through and Hilleberg's factory guy line runners were easy to tie off, although I had to use a double knot to make sure the slimmer diameter Triptease Lightline wouldn't slip out from the runners.

Overall weight savings wasn't really much. For the Akto, the Hilleberg guy lines I took off weighed in at 2.5oz (70g), and the Triptease cord I used to replace the Akto guy lines with weighed in at 1.15oz (32.7g). This is only a savings of a little over an ounce (28g). One considerable benefit is this ounce of weight savings includes the addition of Triptease Lightline cord as zipper pulls. I used the left over Triptease Lightline I had to make zipper pulls for all the zippers on the Akto. The Akto comes without pulls on the zippers, so now I'll not only have pulls, but reflective pulls that make it easy to find the zips in the dark.

The First night out with the new guy lines the temperature dropped down to about 25F (-4C). The day time high had been around 52F (11C), and as I always do around night fall, I tightened and readjusted the guy lines. The wind that night was about 15-20mph (24-32kph). The next morning the Akto had some ice on it. The Kelty Triptease guy lines were just as tight as the evening before when I adjusted them. You can see from this picture I took first thing after getting up that the guy lines and the Akto are still very taut.  

At 5:30 in the morning my camera flash shows how reflective the Triptease guy lines can be. 

So far I'm happy with the performance of the Triptease Lightline. All of the guy line knots were still tight after the first night of use which means they didn't slip even with the overnight temperature change. I will continue to post on my experience with the Kelty Triptease Lightline as I encounter more situations. For now I cannot give a long term opinion on the product, but initial impressions are good.