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pattern for a dome-shaped tent, rainfly
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Andrey Revyakin
(runcyclexcski) - F
pattern for a dome-shaped tent, rainfly on 08/28/2009 14:23:52 MDT Print View

Hi all, I've been lurking here for a while.

Would anyone point where I can find patterns for a standard dome-shaped tent with a rainfly?

Regular 2-pole design. Dome-shaped to shed snow in the winter (4 season-worthiness would be great). I've worked out the pole lengths based on the diagonal of a 44x80 rectangle (dimensions of my bed :) ). The diagonal is ~91 inches, which I then consider the diameter of the dome, i.e. half-sphere (thus the tent height ends up 91/2 = 45.5 in).

When I think about the shape of the inner tent all I simple patterns I can come up with are a based on a pyramid, maybe, 2-segment pyramid at best. And I am at a complete loss how to make a dome-shaped rainfly.

For the fabrics I am considering a breathable nylon for the interior, with the bottom made of smth sturdy and waterproof (no idea how to make a bathtub floor, I guess, I will have to go with stitches and tape instead, like a regular parallelogram). The rainfly fabric - I am tempted with Cuben, but I am concerned about how fragile it is, based on what I've read here. At any rate, I would have to make a prototype with smth cheap first.

Since I want to make the tent 4-season worthy, and I am intrigued by the flaps that Big Sky uses on their flies, thinking to do the same with my rainfly.

The sewing machine is a basic Singer, may be a few steps up from rock bottom. The threads - may be #50 polyester?

Any advice would be very appreciatedruncycleski tent drawing

Brian Kelly
(bkelly) - F
Sketchup? on 08/28/2009 15:31:06 MDT Print View

Did you do your models on Sketchup? If so, I think sketchup is able to tell you the dimensions of the different sections of the tent. Voila, the measurments you need to make your pattern.

Also, I think it was here that someone once posted an excel spreadsheet the generated the dimensions for a dome tent. Try searching on "dome tent generator" (I think....).

Andrey Revyakin
(runcyclexcski) - F
canvas on 08/28/2009 16:11:12 MDT Print View

The drawing was done in Canvas. I should be able to workout the math and the geometry if I stick to the 2-segment pyramid design (I can use two segments of the half-sphere: lower one 2xPI/6 and the remaining would be the top segment).

But I was wondering if there were better ways to approach a dome-like shape with flat materials (and Cuben does not stretch from what I hear).

I hear that spreadsheet page is in German :) I guess I can figure it out somehow. I would be surprised noone on this forum has tried making a dome-shaped tent.

Oh - one more thing. What do you call zippers that have sliders with two handles on both sides. You know, to unzip the tent from both sides.

Brian Kelly
(bkelly) - F
Zipper Q on 08/28/2009 18:07:06 MDT Print View

For the zippers, you are looking for a double slider, the slider being the piece that mooves along the teeth on the zipper chain.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
tent patterns - dome on 08/28/2009 19:38:37 MDT Print View

Some very cheap dome tents can be purchased from Wal-Mart and other mass marketers. Even cheaper are the ones at the traveling tool merchandisers (They set up for a day at a Holiday Inn or the like). Surprisingly, they often are reasonably taut, and provide good patterns. Purchased a 7 x 7' dome for a pattern at a tool show for $20. For the more sophisticated designs, such as domes with hubs, you can look for a used one on the web.
Sam Farrington, Chocorua NH

Jan Rezac
(zkoumal) - MLife

Locale: Prague, CZ
RE: pattern for a dome-shaped tent, rainfly on 08/28/2009 20:18:07 MDT Print View

If I remember, somebody posted here a spreadsheet calculating the pattern from some basic dimensions. It may be worth some searching.

The shape of the poles is not a simple arc, they are bent most strongly in the center, while the ends are almost straight. The best way to make well fitting pattern might be to get the poles first, set them up ant then either measure or trace the pattern.

Andrey Revyakin
(runcyclexcski) - F
pole bending on 08/28/2009 23:26:17 MDT Print View

>they are bent most strongly in the center, while the ends >are almost straight

Is this a more efficient shape than a simple hemisphere?

Andrey Revyakin
(runcyclexcski) - F
On Fraying on 08/28/2009 23:30:17 MDT Print View

BTW - is a hot knife a must-have, or are scissors acceptable for cutting things like silnylon?

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
pattern for a dome-shaped tent, rainfly on 08/29/2009 07:50:43 MDT Print View

You might want to look at a velox 2. Very nice dome tent and about 3# 8oz or so.

I still intend to build a dome tent one day, but for now my energy is going into getting set up for a trip.

Once you figure out the 4 sides its not that big of a deal.

I did a layout in cad, IE projected lines to create the 4 pieces, and its not a simple triangle. The side pieces are curved, so you want to make sure its right otherwise you might have to start over.

Walmart sells a 5x6 foot kids tent for $20 that I intended to use as a pattern, but in the end I figured I would be better off taking measurements off a velox 1 or 2 or starting from scratch.

The pole weight kills you on a dome tent. From what I remember the velox one poles weighed about 12oz, velox 2 about 14 and those were the light dtac alum poles. It would cost about $60 from quest to duplicate that pole setup. Carbon fiber would be half the weight but 2x the cost.

If you can find a source for light carbon fiber arrows, like bass pro shop, and come up with a connector, you can buy 12 32" long arrows for about $60. You would just need to pull the nocks and strip the fletching and cut them in half. That would get you 32 feet of poles.

Edited by tammons on 08/29/2009 07:58:12 MDT.

Andrey Revyakin
(runcyclexcski) - F
dome shape, poles on 08/29/2009 13:55:04 MDT Print View

Indeed, with the Nano Poles from Quest the weight of the poles comes up to about 16 oz.

I agree that it's always a compromise... but I do want the tent to withstand ~2 feet of new snow overnight. Pyramid shaped (lighter) tent which I've used would start getting "squished" with falling snow from the sides. So I figure I do need the sides of the tent be "vertical.

I am also thinking that an onion shaped tent would be perfect for snow shading :) Like, if I use 90 degree elbows in the center of the poles.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
pattern for a dome-shaped tent, rainfly on 08/29/2009 21:26:19 MDT Print View

I am no snow expert, but your idea sounds good. Sort of a cathedral shape.

I think you would want the option of a 3rd pole for that much snow.

IE the tent would be square but the fly would be a hex shape creating 2 vesibules.

Edited by tammons on 08/29/2009 21:27:56 MDT.