I really hate to see folks write reviews about a failed camping product, especially a name brand quality tent. What makes it worse is when they compare apples to oranges because the name is the same.
Here, in the case of the Kelty Gunnison 2, we have a reviewer comparing his experience in a 4 person tent with a similar name .
To start with, a 4 person tent with the same architecture will have a considerably higher height, and width and hence a much larger exposure to wind loading. Accepting that the winds mentioned were actually 45 mph it takes little perspective to understand the stresses on a considerably larger area of cloth, with longer poles that protrudes considerably higher off the ground would react much differently than the offered product. If the reviewer had properly read the set up instructions I'm sure he would have noted the inclusion to add additional guy lines to stabilize the tent against potential high winds. Had the manufacture included a pole system that would withstand any foreseeable event then he would not have purchased it because of the exorbitant weight of the pole structure. Tent manufactures rely upon common sense and the printed instructions to properly support the structure in varying conditions that may be encountered. In fact manufactures of low quality tents will not even suggest the tent be used in stormy weather.
There are two ways to secure a tent in high winds. the obvious one is with exterior guy lines. However, it may even become necessary to unitize an interior guy system in extreme conditions. Most tents, unless they are of expedition quality or very high end will not offer internal guy points. You need to learn how to create them before you need them. One does not need a high end tent to weather any thunderstorm in the lower 48 states. One only needs to know how to properly guy out the tent both externally and internally. While external guys may depend on stakes that rain can soften the soil and they can pull out, but internal guy points are using the tent frame poles at their strongest points against each other to create internal stability that won't be compromised by wet soil.
Oh, and just in case you have never priced good quality backpack tents in a 4 man size, the prices don't start at $187.00.
For our reviewer I would suggest starting at say $800-900.00 for an expedition quality tent that would not flinch at a mild 45 MPH breeze. Did I mention that the weight would be around 18-20 pounds. Now there are some poles our reviewer can count on not to bend.
Happy trails (Posted on 10/21/13)
I purchased the 4 man Gunnison tent 2 years ago. I found this to be a very good tent, mostly waterproof, but when I was at the Lima, Ohio BMW ralley, the wind blew at about 45mph and the sides completely collapsed. From that point on the poles that support the tent were weakened and they do not support the tent as they used too. I realized that the wind was strong but for $187.00, I thought the tent would hold up better than it did. (Posted on 3/27/09)