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Tent design
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Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Tent design on 03/25/2009 18:51:49 MDT Print View

Getting totally fed up.

I designed a few tents back in the late 70's. I am an architect so I am always sketching etc. I could just design and dig in and build, but I thought some feedback might be helpful.

Figured out a few designs way back then. Built a tepee style tent. Thought it was dumb at the time and abandoned it but it did sort of work.

Now people are selling tepee style tarp setups. Maybe it was not so dumb after all.

I have an old Eureka tent that I have used for way too long but its too heavy and worn out.

I started searching for new UL tents to go with my other UL gear I have been acumulating although it seems like I am sending back 75% of what I order. THat said the newer materials are really nice.

Bought a Eureka Solitare for super cheap, like $35. Snapped a pole, but I think I will get new alum featherweights for it. I can get it close to 2#, but its almost a bivy bag.

Bought a Eureka spitfire, took it back.
A bit heavy.

I like the black diamond single wall tents but they are supposedly not 100% water proof.

One thing I like is a top shelf very waterproof tent that really works.

I have been caught in torential rain for days in the mountains, and I know how bad it can get.

Got a gogo, thinking gees, less than 2 pounds, I will put it under a cuben tarp for some extra room, well I got it and dont see how it could ever breath enough to limit condensation and it weighed over 2#. I bottomed out and my bag was wall to wall in the foot area. Way tighter than the Eureka. Sending it back.

Tried a Eureka velox 1. Pretty darn nice tent but a tad heavy. Also checked out a velox 3 and for 5# that tent was superb and huge.

#1 My critera for a 1 man tent
Want one I can sit up in, is preferably a double wall, can handle some stout wind, IE wont fold up. If its single wall it has to vent and breath enough not to condensate into a lake.
Also a vestible.
Most importantly 2 pounds.
Freestanding would be nice, but it aint going to happen at 2#.

#2 My criteria for a 2 man tent is about the same as the 1 man but
3# max and a bit roomy.

Freestanding wont happen at 2 or 3#, so that leaves me with a single hoop, or a hiking pole support.

Found this site that is interesting. 2 person Tyvek tent with plans, 2#-4oz.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Tent design on 03/25/2009 19:29:33 MDT Print View

I made a BILGY single wall tent from plans. It weighs about 2 lb. The Tyvek footprint (recommended for rough surfaces) adds another 6 oz. It's difficult to imagine making a tent much lighter than 1 lb. per person. It never rained when we hiked with it. I did hose it down heavily right after we finished sewing it and there was no water inside. It's very well ventilated, but we still got a fair amount of condensation under certain conditions. Here's a link to the thread I posted on it.

If you decide to make make one, I'm sure you can find plans by googleing BILGY TENT.

Edited by herman666 on 03/25/2009 19:32:55 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tent design on 03/25/2009 19:31:31 MDT Print View

So none of the Tarptents or SMDs work for you?

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: Tent design on 03/25/2009 19:49:02 MDT Print View

Seen the bilgy design and its interesting.
Think I would want it a bit tighter though for wind driven rain etc.

These tents are for the east coast, from Florida to NY. Probably more used on the lower end of the Appalachian for the next few years. Bugs in the summer and a lot of moisture all through the year. I have been on the trail in winter when it was foggy, cold, severly damp and rainy for a week straight.

My mucho expensive down bag from the 70's with 10" loft would deflate a little more each day. End of a few days in that crap it was about a 4" loft.

Still have it but no use IMO to use down bag in that type of weather with all the new super light synthetics out.

A tarp and bivys are out. Want a real tent with some room and noseeum mesh.

James Hopson
(jbhtek) - F

Locale: Upstate New York
TENT RECOMMENDS on 03/26/2009 10:29:35 MDT Print View


If you are looking for a real tent.

for 1 person.

1. Check out Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape (11oz) with Serentity Nettent (7oz) the Gatewood Cape is a poncho tarptent with no floor but add the Nettent and this becomes a full double wall tent with bathtup floor. Its Silnylon and during heavy rains it can mist. Setting up under trees though usually solves this.

2. Also check Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1.
This is a light weight freestanding tent with poles. trail wt = 1ld 14oz. packed wt = 2lb 3oz. fast fly wt (poles, fly and footprint) is 1lb 6oz. floor space is 22 sq ft. vestibule area is 5.5 sq ft. head ht is 38 inches.

3. Mountain Laurel Designs also has some full protection tarptents and all you have to do is add there Serenity Shelter to make a double wall tent.

Other than full double wall tents I would recommend. Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo & Gossamer Gear The One.

For 2 person tents.
checkout Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo or Refuge tents. Also check out Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 2 or Copper Spur UL 2.

I two looked at the Nemo GoGo and decided for less weight and more room I went with the SMD Lunar Solo (22.7oz) with a Gossamer Gear Polycro ground sheet (1.5oz). This gives me full rain & bug protection.


Edited by jbhtek on 03/26/2009 12:31:08 MDT.

Nicolas Costes
(ncostes) - F
do not understand the fixation on 2 pounds limit on 03/27/2009 11:51:55 MDT Print View

in double wall, check out the Terra Nova Laser or the Hilleberg Atko (operhaps more 4 season than the TN)

in single wall , the RAB summit extreme

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Tent Design on 03/27/2009 12:43:16 MDT Print View

Check out the Scarp 1 from Henry Shires. 4 season, double wall, solo tent with 2 doors/vestibules for 44 oz. The fly is pitched first, then the inner tent attached. This prevents exposure of the inner to precipitation, an important consideration in prolonged rain. The double doors and two peak vents should deal provide great ventilation. It wouldn't be difficult to construct an all-mesh inner for really hot weather; the inner is not load-bearing or framed, so the pattern wouldn't have to be perfect.

That being said, I think an open tarp/bug shelter is the best shelter for hot rainy weather. More ventilation than any tent, covered space to cook, congregate, etc. I find, as a frequent hiker in SE wilderness areas, that it's easier to find a spot for a tarp because there's no defined floor size that must be accomodated.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Tent design on 03/27/2009 12:58:08 MDT Print View

Have you tried a tarp in damp foggy conditions?

I have found them to be dryer over time than a fully
enclosed tent. Add a large bottle of hot water to
your bed and your down bag won't deflate so much over
the days. A thin synthetic fill bag over a down bag
is even better.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Tent design on 03/27/2009 16:36:53 MDT Print View

Not to distract from the thread, but 10" of loft is way too warm for foggy, humid conditions--that's about a -40*F bag in +40*F weather! Loss of loft would be particularly horrendous from sweating in the bag too much...

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Tent design on 03/27/2009 17:05:15 MDT Print View

That was a long time ago. In the late 70's.

It was between 5 and 15 degrees at night and believe me I was not sweating.

Edited by tammons on 03/27/2009 17:05:51 MDT.