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Got lost at choosing materials for a lightweight tent
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Vilius M
(willowbow) - F
Got lost at choosing materials for a lightweight tent on 09/25/2009 07:38:44 MDT Print View

Hi it's my first post :)
I just got lost at choosing the right materials for my new tent.
Let me start of that long time ago I have bought a crappy tent for just a few dollars but it was really not useful not only because it was leaking very much but it was not comfortable to take the time on rainy weather just sitting in it (because of the small height). I have fixed the leaking thing thou in a very simple way: I have took a PVA glue and stirred it in some amount of watter. Then took a sponge and washed all surface of the polyester tent. Now it has good waterproofness but bad breathability even it is not a big deal to me as the tent has lot of ventilation holes. Surface got some stiffness after that but it is still ok.

Why i am telling you that is i would like to make myself a tent that is more comfortable and is lightweight too. I cannot afford to buy a good one from the store so I look at what I can make myself. I have a few choice of materials but not sure what should I use best. I live in Lithuania and i think we have no silnylon material at the stores, but I have seen much choices of 100% polyester that is used to make a cloth lining. It cost around 1$ for a one meter of a 1.5 meter wide piece. The main problem it has no water resistant coating. We do have few types of Tyvek:
As you see the one tyvek (the one with green color) is not suitable as I think of it's wooly surface which will collect all debris, but the other two is ok I think.
Do you think if I make ground part of tyvtyvek and roof part of polyester coated with PVA glue will be a good choice?
I was searching where can I get cheap silnylon on other countries that could send me it by mail, but found it to be a overpriced to me and then the materials would cost me the same as I would by a good new tent from a store..

Sorry for the messy post and probably a bad English, hope you understood what I am asking and I would really appreciate your effort to answer :)

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Tent on 09/25/2009 18:02:45 MDT Print View

I would use silnylon for the floor. Tyvek, not so sure, but its cheap.

A lot of people here like single wall tents.

I prefer double wall, net inner with a fly.

You can get .7 oz netting at thru hiker.
Tru hiker also has silnylon, and .9 oz spinaker material etc.
Quest fabrics has silnyln 2nds, zips, poles, fasteners etc.

Not sure if either ships to Europe, but sil shipping should be cheap slowboat.

About the lightest custom 2 person tent with a fly I have seen was a copy done by Tim Marshall of a coleman tent.

It is really light, like 3#. I will see if I can find it.

Edited by tammons on 09/25/2009 18:14:49 MDT.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
3# on 09/25/2009 18:12:52 MDT Print View

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Tent on 09/25/2009 18:27:04 MDT Print View


i think the weight was just over 2#!!


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Got lost at choosing materials for a lightweight tent on 09/25/2009 19:01:59 MDT Print View

Maybe it helps to understand the question if you keep in mind that the average monthly wage in Lithuania is about 4x less than in the US.
In other words that $5.99 No see Hum is about $24 to Vilius ( I could be wrong...)

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Tent making in Lithuania. on 09/25/2009 19:35:50 MDT Print View

Hi Vilius, Welcome to BPL. Your English is better than our Lithuanian. If you don't understand my English, ask and I will say it differently.

Where do you camp? What is the weather like when you camp? Are there lots of insects, mosquitos? Will it be very windy?

The soft Tyvek is probably better than the green. Here is a tent made of all soft tyvek for design ideas:
You can search BPL for "sublite" for more data on this tyvek tent. Tyvek makes noise in the wind; wash it with no soap and will be a little less noisy. Tyvek is good for the floor of a tent. I think it is not as good for the top, but might be better than the glue covered polyester. Tyvek breathes (air and water vapor pass through it) but it is waterproof. I think it may not be as good for heavy rain.

If you can't get silicon coated nylon, second best is polyurethane coated ripstop nylon. I don't know how good your glue covered polyester is.

Have you thought of using a tarp instead of a tent? Simplest tarp is a square 2.5 meters x 2.5 meters.

Maybe there are things that are cheaper there than western Europe or USA and you can trade for silnylon with someone. Is good quality down cheap there?

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
lightweight tent on 09/25/2009 21:13:39 MDT Print View

Sounds like you don't have a lot to choose from.
There are several tents not in use in my storage room.
One is a Sierra Designs "Bikelite," about 1.5 kilo; another is a Tarptent "Virga," about half that weight.
If you are interested, drop me an email at, and I will provide more details.
If you provide me with a mailing address, I will be glad to mail one to you.
Sam Farrington, Chocorua NH, USA

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Awesome on 09/25/2009 23:47:31 MDT Print View

Thanks Sam for reminding me why I love being a part of this community. Me thinks serious trail magic is coming your way my friend!

Vilius M
(willowbow) - F
Answers on 09/28/2009 05:43:14 MDT Print View

Thank you for your answers on this thread. I'll start answering the questions too :)
Yes I think the wages in Lithuania are a bit different. 30$ is an amount of money that I get from parents and I spend them on food and stuff for a week when studying at town. I am not saving much of that sum but I do quite good. I have seen thruhicker website but even they don't look so to me :(

I am planning to camp in not so windy areas, we have not so much of strong wind here. Climate is rainy and something like 5 minus degrees of Celsius (23 of Fahrenheit)average winter temperature. Summers are buggy :) lot of mosquito but not o much as there is in northern parts of Europe in Taiga I guess..

And, Samuel, I have just sent you an email message to you to show you my email. If you won't get it it is
Thank you :)