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Cuben tent
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Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Cuben tent on 08/08/2009 15:14:41 MDT Print View

Total weight including pole, seam sealing, stakes, tie outs, stuff sacks, etc. is just over 3 pounds. I have been wanting to make this for a while, but a tent recently completed by Scott motivated me to get started:
My tent has 6 sides and a non-removable floor. There is a tie-out at each corner of the floor and in the middle of each wall as well. In addition, there is a tie-out higher up on each wall. Three of the sides have a tie-out 2/3 of the way up and the other three have a lower tie-out/vent windows. The windows have a noseem mesh that can be opened by its Velcro attachment. Outside of that is a layer of cuben that can be zipped up partially or completely for added protection and strength. I added a snap to hold the unzipped cuben layer of the window in place. I planned this to be a family tent and was worried about my daughter pushing the pole over so I installed a snap on the bottom of the pole and on the reinforced fabric in the center of the tent floor.
On the opposite side of the higher tie-outs, inside the tent, are 3 internal pole stabilizers. They are not necessary in most conditions, but when in place the pole becomes very stable and I believe will bare much more weight. They also provide a good place for hanging things. When not in use, the internal stabilizers are held flush against the wall by Velcro.
I ordered 18 meters (19.7 yards) of .6 oz/yard cuben fiber directly from the manufacturer at a cost of $19.61 per meter (about $18.00 per yard):
I wanted to get a colored version but was told that they did not have any on hand and I would have to buy at least 100 meters of it if I wanted color.
The pole is a large Golite adjustable pole which weights 14 oz:
The water proof zippers and noseem mesh were ordered from thru hiker:
The tent requires at least 9 stakes and may use as many as 18. I have 3 sets of stakes I use for it depending on the conditions I'm expecting. Simon Metals Titanium tent stake, ultralight 6-inch weighs 6 grams and can be purchased for $1.35 each (order of +10) with cheap shipping at:
Another set is Easton Tubular Aluminum 9” which were chosen based on their performance in a previous BPL article:
Finally, I have a set of SMC T-Anchors set up according to Ryan Jordan's instructions:
I bought the guyline adjusters from quest outfitters:
and the guyline is Kelty Guyline Triptease Lightline:
Initially I had guyline and adjusters on all tie out points, but subsequently removed them from the 6 mid wall tie outs preferring instead to place the stake directly through the nylon webbing in order to avoid undue tension on the floor.
The walls are held by double sided “cuben tape,” also from quest outfitters:
The tape holds up very well, except for some trouble I had before reinforcing the very top of the tent where all the walls meet. The floor is sewn and sealed. The tie outs are sewn as well as taped or glued for added strength.
The nylon canvas used to reinforce the tie outs is from Walmart.

Almost finishedFits 4 comfortably with plenty of room for gear.Open windownoseem netting closedBoth Cuben and noseem closedInternal stablizerThe stabilizers can be enstalled/removed without removing the polepole snaped into reinforced center fabricPosing for a picture

Edited by ascientist on 08/23/2009 15:39:57 MDT.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
one more photo on 08/08/2009 15:19:13 MDT Print View

a close up of one of the tie outs

Scott Van Doeselaar
(vandoe) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
Cuben Tent on 08/08/2009 17:51:04 MDT Print View


Nice work. Tent looks like it should be pretty stable in the wind. My wife looks at mine and says "are you sure it is going to be strong enough?" Pretty amazing to get such a large tent down to these kind of weights. I really like your window idea. I am already thinking about another design with very large windows similar to yours.


Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Cuben tent on 08/08/2009 17:58:36 MDT Print View

Man, a lot of work went into that.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Cuben tent on 08/08/2009 18:42:35 MDT Print View

wow, nice work and it sure looks like you invested a lot of time in it.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Cuben Tent on 08/08/2009 21:15:14 MDT Print View

That is awesome. Would be interested to know how well the vents help with condensation.
Sam Farrington, Chocorua NH

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Cuben Tent on 08/09/2009 09:15:11 MDT Print View

i like the pic of the kiddo! cool tent too

N. F.
(NeezyDeezy) - F

Locale: ADKs
size on 08/09/2009 10:37:19 MDT Print View

how many people fit in it

Jeremy Gus
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
RE: Cuben Tent on 08/09/2009 10:48:55 MDT Print View

What are the dimensions of the tent?

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Tent size on 08/09/2009 14:59:49 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments. Projects like these always take longer than expected. At first it is a lot of fun, but by the time it is half way through you just want to get it finished. The 3 vents are each about a square foot worth of opening, and should be able to stay open even in horizontal rain so I have high hopes for them. If condensation is ever still a problem I expect the steep angle of the walls to allow the water to run down them rather than drip. The tent will easily fit 4 people with plenty of room for gear and without brushing agents the wall. It is about 6 feet 3 inches tall or tall enough for me (5' 10") to stand up in. The floor is 9' 9" in diameter at the narrowest point and 11' 3" at the widest point.
The little girl in the photo is my daughter, she says the tent is "pretty." My wife likes how comfortable it is to move around in. I'm just anxious to get it out in snow and 50 mph winds.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Wow !! on 08/10/2009 22:59:02 MDT Print View

Having made a large Cubin Mid I know how much work goes into these and your is over the top !!! Some nice looking features you added! Hope to hear a nice trip report soon!

No way you can lash two hiking poles together to make the center pole ?? Maybe the load would just be too much with the height you have ? Your current pole is almost 1/3 the weight of the entire mid ?

Again ... nice work!

Edited by kegelhoff on 08/10/2009 23:00:31 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Cuben Tent on 08/11/2009 09:31:50 MDT Print View

Really nice work! Love the windows, nice touch. For something nearing 90 square feet, wicked light! I'd agree, consider using trekking poles for the center to save nearly a pound... but awesome either way.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Trekking pole coupler recomendations for cuben mid? on 08/13/2009 09:51:28 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments. I've finished all the details and am happy with how the tent has turned out. Everything seems very solid and weather worthy.

I'm currently in my second year of physician assistant school doing clinical rotations. My last rotation had more free time than normal and I was able to complete the tent in about a week. But my current rotation (urology) is very busy and I did get a little behind on with my studying, so I'm not sure when I will have a chance to try it out.

I have a set of large Lightrek 4 trekking poles from gossamer gear, but did not plan on using them for the center support because I was unsure if trekking poles would be as strong as I would like, but maybe it would be a good idea to try it. Does anyone have a pole coupler that they recommend? I know Black Diamond sells one:

Edited by ascientist on 08/13/2009 09:53:06 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Trekking pole coupler recomendations for cuben mid? on 08/13/2009 10:27:12 MDT Print View

Look here for more ideas.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
No coupler needed on 08/13/2009 12:18:34 MDT Print View

If you have TiGoat AGPs, you dont need couplers for most shelters. You take a lower section from one pole, and insert it into the handle end of another pole, so you have a lower section hanging out the top and bottom of an upper section. The same can probably be done with GG LT4s if they have the straps, or you can modify a standard grip (put a hole in it) to do the same.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: No coupler needed on 08/13/2009 12:23:56 MDT Print View


Would you, or can I, add this post to the one I reference above? Collecting this stuff in one place is really useful.