Agree that if you are careful, stakes can be critical tent supporting points and pole sleeves can be of the lightest fabric. Being alone in a gale, whiteout and/or hail storm, or just simply being exhausted from slogging, hypothermia or an unfortunate injury, do not promote being careful. Idiot proof may be a pejorative, but I'm not embarrased to admit that it works best for me and friends I make gear for. I still believe there was a good reason why Henry used heavier fabric for the sleeves on the Moment and Scarp. Hope to put a carbon pole over the Moment and find out this summer how well it works to make the tent freestanding. (Idea: Instead of twisting the one ribbon sewn perpendicularly across the pole sleeve, remove that ribbon, and sew on two ribbons crossing diagonally over the sleeve with just enough slack for the pole to slide through under the cross).
About snow fences and rain collectors. First, I should have been clear that my posts were about single wall tents, since this is BPL, and my feeling is that single wall is the only way to get the best shelter in the lightest zone, Terra Nova and others notwithstanding. Having said that, I think that anything adorning the outer tent roof or canopy is going to create some retention of snow and water, even if all the poles follow the fall line on the canopy, but even moreso if they don't. Even if a pole sleeve just channels water vertically, it is still concentrating water on a more limited area than would be the case if there were no external sleeve. That's why carpenters put flashing and/or that sticky stuff, bituthane or whatever they call it, at the points on a roof where water collects and drains. OK, and I admit that a tent just looks more aesthetically pleasing to me with a clean, unadorned outer canopy. Henry's approach to sleeves on the Scarp and Moment is about the best I've seen, because the sleeve is only at the line going directly over the apex, or highest point, to the ground, and there is only one of them. The yellow color to contrast with the rosy gray canopy is a nice touch also.
But once you start crossing poles, as must be done for a dome or freestanding design (greatly enjoyed the recent humorous BPL thread on freestanding single pole designs), a number of complications ensue, including more snow and water collection, and more difficulty with threading the poles through the sleeves; ergo, the popularity of clips on domes like the Messner. Roger, please don't get the wrong impression; I love your design, and I also love the Moment design even though I know it would not protect me anywhere near as well as your design; but that doesn't hinder me from trying to build a better mousetrap.
Al and Mike,
There is an inner pole sleeve on the fly covering my Wilderness Equipment bug hut, and it works fine. However, inner pole sleeves generally do not stabilize the pole unless it is running inside a corner seam that limits movement, and even then, some manufacturers feel that instead of an inner sleeve, Velcro or other types of ties must still be added at points along the inside of the corner seam for stability. Also, inner sleeves would be even more difficult to thread without poking through the fabric, as there is less visibility than with sleeves on the outside. And if the poles cross inside? Yikes! It always helps to be able to see what you are doing. So cannot agree that there is any fault with the manufacturers on this score. Unlike us, they have no choice except to be idiot proof. Just about every aspect of Warmlite's design has been copied except the internal sleeve. Must be a reason. Patent or prudent? William Kemsley's Backpacking Equipment Buyer's Guide (1977) stated of the Warmlite: "You plug the shock-corded sections into one another while slipping them into the pole sleeves. It is an awkward operation the first time you try it, but once mastered, goes quickly and easily." Never found out, because did not want a tent that let the rain in when the door opens.
Sam Farrington, Chocorua NH