Having been a long-time fan of the Pioneer, and particularly of the ease in which it is erected and put away, I was keen to try out the Tempest, having been told that it was the next step forward from that winning design.
Soon after first using a Tempest I decided that it was every bit exactly that… and then some. After just two nights I could erect the Tempest in around a minute, including pegs and groundsheet, and once up it continued to impress. I have now done a few more nights under the Tempest and it gets better every time.
Unlike the Pioneer, and all of the other non-pram-hood bivvies that I have tested, the contour of the ribs increases the internal space considerably, without any significant increase in footprint. I can easily push my bedchair to the back of the bivvy and have plenty of space still left at the front. This often means that I do not need the front panel attached, even in the rain, because I am comfortably tucked away in the bivvy.
On the subject of front panels, there is a mozzie window on the door and each side, which I much prefer to full mozzie fronts. I wouldn’t entertain using a bivvy with no rear vents these days, and the Tempest boasts one either side of the rear-most rib. Finally, I have to return to the point about ease of use. The unique and innovative block system is superb. Simply unroll the Tempest, pop each elasticated rib together and pull the lower section of the block up to meet the other piece. Slide the retaining sleeve onto the handle and it’s job done. There’s a great video of how this is done on the Trakker website too. Genius!.