NRS Emergency Shelter

Its too cold to paddle for me right now, so its time to gather up some xmas suggestions!

Does anyone have the NRS HELTER SHELTER? opinions?

or…the EXPEDITION ESSENTIALS one ? this one costs more though.

I may consider a Cooke Tarp but this was another “idea” (gift) and I think I would like a larger one which would be too big perhaps to take as a standard item.

Thanks for any help.

Integral designs?
Take a look at Integral Designs. They have a silnylon emergency shelter for $100.

This will definitely be lighter and smaller than the NRS nylon shelter and cheaper and better made than the EE.

I’ve not used this specific Integral Designs shelter, but I have several other of their products (tarp,sleeping bag, jacket) from them and they are absolutely first-rate.

I have both the NRS and EE shelters
Here is my opinion…

The NRS shelter is made of coated nylon (I think) and it has clear plastic ‘windows’. The EE shelter is silNylon, doesn’t have windows - but does have chimney vents.

When packed they are about the same size, but my Helter Shelter weighs a bit more than the EE shelter. The NRS shelter is also shorter than the EE shelter.

The NRS shelter is less expensive, but smaller and a bit heavier.

My NRS shelter sits in my garage on every kayak trip.

Noisy Cloth??
I have heard that one shelter is made from a fabric that is a bit “kinkely” and noisy when the wind flaps it about. I think it was the EE. Have you noticed that at all with yours? It has straps for using as a carry also doesn’t it? Thanks for info as I’m in the market as well and deciding between EE and the one GRO/Valley sells.

silny material is ‘crinklier’ and louder
but lighter. I haven’t met anybody who’s focused on the sound.

My biased response
I don’t know about the NRS version but the EE setup has “flaps” at the bottom you can sit on when in the shelter to keep in snug against the ground/sand, etc., which is a nice feature when it’s deployed.

It packs up snug (the four-man version goes way up in the bow of my Explorer LV on every outing). I also like that the EE version is colorful and may provide some increased visibility. I’m biased because we sell the EE model, and it’s the gear we carry as instructors. However, regardless of which manufacturer you choose, a shelter a great piece of kit for anyone that paddles in colder weather, even if it’s just used during lunch stops to warm up.

I wouldn’t worry about the sound
It does make a bit of noise, but when I am in the shelter I don’t worry about any subtle noise the shelter may drown out.

The GRO/VAlley shelter is made of heavier material and designed for larger groups. If you are planning on putting 6-8 people under the shelter I would go for the GRO, but if you want less than 6 I would go for the EE version. During a training class we fit 6 people in the EE shelter - it was tight but warm.

I just checked my NRS shelter - it does not have flaps to sit on. Also, the sidewalls on the EE shelter are twice as high as on the NRS shelter. But, the ‘roof’ of the NRS shelter is larger than the EE shelter.

EE Shelter
We have the 3-4 person - it is a nice piece of gear and actually does go back into the original bag without undue complaint. I think there is a larger size available if you call the EE folks, though whether that is a larger version of the one we have or you move to the 4-8 person Valley shelter I don’t know. The smaller EE one has flaps for the ground.

The 4-8 person Valley shelter (available from Great River Outfitters in the US) looks like it is slightly modified in shape from the original teepee shaped one a friend has and we have used, but the material looks the same. These are made large enough so that the inhabitants sit on the material to form a secure compartment. No chimney stacks to look out of, but it is also lighter in color.

The biggest diff I see between the two is the intended purpose. For an emergency shelter for a couple of people, oops we have to hole up somewhere for a while, the smaller one is fine. For guiding or larger groups though, the larger one would be a better idea.

How to remove Wesson Oil from the EE?
…anyone know how to remove Wesson Oil from the EE?..after a long evening of drinking, we sorta used it fer recreation…

It looks like the valley is ripstop nylon and the EE is silnylon? Which material do you prefer as you have used both?

Re the silnylon: does it not take more care as folding up can eventually cause the coating to wear in fold areas? Do you just stuff the EE in the bag or fold it?I am also looking for durability as it would be packed mostly and deployed only if needed.



What I can say
I can’t talk about long term durability of the Valley material from personal experience. I know a few BCU coaches who use them and, from the looks of the package when they unpack their gear at day’s end, they have beat the hell out of the material. Perhaps Otterslide or similar could comment on that.

The smaller EE one that we have was only purchased last winter, but it’s been out of the bag a few times and doesn’t seem to easily show wear.

valley + straps
The VCP shelter had/has straps so you can hold onto it when the wind is blowing. You can also use the multiple straps to carry someone who is injured.

They used to make them is different sizes, I assume they still do.

i love my EE one
Bothy bags are cool…

they were originally made for expedition mountaineers…any time i go out backwoods in the winter i toss my ee one (in a drybag) in the pack…

love it…

i would be wary of using one as a litter unless the straps are sewn all the way across the “roof”…otherwise you could stress out the seams too much and drop the patient…not good…

another one i toss in the hatch is a Dana Designs HatTarp…a hexagonal tarp that folds in half and can be zipped around the sides to make a 2 person bivy…silnylon…oh yes and you can use it like a tarp too…


EE overpriced
If you want silnylon, take a look at the Integral Designs. 20% less cost and an impeccable product made in North America with great customer service. Personally, I prefer a standard rectangular tarp or cantenary wing. These are cheaper and more versatile.

I have no financial interest in I.D., blah, blah, blah.

Oh yeah, by the way, I got an email today and Boye knifes sent me an email today. Holiday sale, 10% off folders and 15% off Basic 3’s… :wink:

The cheapo solution
I carry a rain fly from an old tent…worked great the couple times I’ve used it.

The straps are indeed sewn all the way through/across so you’re not holding the fabric. It’s not a spine stable litter but it’s nice to have.

Terra nova Equipment
Try one of Terra Nova’s Bothy Bags. I have two. A superlight Bothy 2 which is nice for one person or two. And I have a standard one for 4 people.

The four person could be used for a tight 5.

Both of these are light, cheap, and well made.

Just ordered this to try
If I don’t like it - easy to return as it is local. It is sil-nylon material,multipurpose and the price with all discounts was 81 dollars total at REI so worth a try. Not a perfect design but not too bad! This link mentions using a paddle for setup.

the Missing link is a neat
tent…i played with it when it first came out and liked it…then never got around to getting one…

(if you decide that you do not like it i will buy it from ya)…

in theory you can use paddles halves as poles…but in reality the paddles will most likely be short-unless you are paddling a 230 or longer…

great access into it…great square footage…great weight…love the awning and open feeling of it too…


missing link
Does anyone know if the missing link has tie out loops above the poles? That way it could be pitched without any poles, like a golite hex.