Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Shelter Nostalgia
Display Avatars Sort By:
Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Shelter Nostalgia on 02/20/2010 05:20:10 MST Print View

When reading Ben’s talk of “Memory Lane” concerning shelters, I went back and looked at the collection of photos I gathered over the years of shelters that I thought were interesting. Here are a few shelters you just don’t see anymore:







Phoenix Phreeranger


Outdoor Designs Raceranger 220

Raceranger 220

Mountain Equipment AR Ultralight Tent

AR UL Tent

Missing Link Tent

Missing Link

Trig 2 shelter

Trig 2

Douglas Adams Tent

Douglas Adams Tent... very old design... I wish I could get one! I think it was made by Vango?



Enlgihtened Gear Malcontent

Enlightened Gear Malcontent... only ever seen at the Outdoor Show, but it was so beautifully designed and so promising that I'm sorry that it never made it to market.

Edited by butuki on 02/20/2010 07:16:32 MST.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Shelter Nostalgia on 02/20/2010 09:35:30 MST Print View

Great collection Miguel! The wayback machine provides the following:



Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Shelter Nostalgia on 02/20/2010 09:47:34 MST Print View

Or click HERE for Rick's article above.

Edited by ben2world on 02/20/2010 09:50:17 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Shelter Nostalgia on 02/20/2010 09:54:11 MST Print View


Not all in the past is rosy. I used to own a Sierra Designs Solomente. I love its simplicity and all -- but alas, it has a fatal design flaw: there's no way to avoid touching one end of the tent wall or the other -- unless you use a short sleeping bag! And that just will not work in a single wall tent! Same for MontBell's puny single wall solo dome tents -- too short even for MontBell's own "regular size" sleeping bags!

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Re: Shelter Nostalgia on 02/20/2010 13:01:26 MST Print View

Like Ben, I own one of these, the Missing Link. While it has its good points (wind resistance, really nice if you're camped by a lake and want to enjoy the morning view), it is a bit rough around the edges. Specifically, if you're sleeping two, the one in back is almost certain to block the low vent in the rear and kill any chance for air circulation, and will have to climb over the person in front to exit the tent. My Tarptent Double Rainbow is better in all regards, and I'm confident that a Lunar Duo or other current lightweight shelter would be as well.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Shelter Nostalgia on 02/22/2010 01:51:31 MST Print View

I just love looking at these old pictures and catalogues! It reminds me that as much as we like to think of ourselves as having the latest ideas, few ideas are really new and different. During the 70's there must have been a passion for new ways of designing outdoor gear that rivals the passion for UL these days. Looking at the catalogue linked to above I only recognized a few of the designs; I'm not old enough (I'm 49) to remember most of them.

Two designs from the advertisements that intrigued me:

Snow Lion Mountain Tent

Snow Lion Mountain Tent (apparently Snow Lion was one of the most innovative outdoor gear manufacturers at the time)

Stephenson Silver Light Sleeping Bag

Stephenson Silver Light Sleeping Bag (waterproof, with a foam base, it floated)

While browsing related information I came across the revival of Rivendell Mountain Works, on of the most innovative outdoor gear manufactures in history, and the new offerings of custom-made Jensen packs. The packs had no frame, apparently holding their shape from the contents. I'd LOVE one! Fascinating!

Rivendell Mountain Mountainworks Jensen Pack

Edited by butuki on 02/22/2010 01:55:20 MST.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Memory Lane Tents on 02/22/2010 07:50:55 MST Print View

Here are a few I used and remember fondly:North Face Tuolumne

This tent go me through a lot of bag nights and had the round tunnel door and 3 poles: two A-frame and a single vertical back pole. It was part of the two-tent package available from North Face during the 1970s, the other being the Sierra below.North Face Sierra Tent

And then there's this great NF tent:North Face Westwind Tent

It's the 3 poled hoop tent called the Westwind. Discontinued, of course. Here's another fotog:Westwind Tent

A more recent tent now discontinued which I used:Mt Hardwear Muir Trail Tent

It's a Mt Hardwear Muir Trail tent.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Memory Lane Tents on 02/22/2010 08:11:38 MST Print View

That is one hell of a vestibule for the Westwind, Walter! I bet you could sleep another person under it.

How old is Mountain Hardwear anyway? I thought they started up in the early to mid eighties.

Love the hiking staves in the background, too!


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Memory Lane Tents on 02/22/2010 08:14:23 MST Print View

That Douglas Adams tent looks similar to a Kifaru Paratipi.

Siegmund Beimfohr
(SigBeimfohr) - M
Re: Memory Lane Tents - Snow Lion on 02/22/2010 09:04:00 MST Print View

I was pleased to see the picture of the Snow Lion tent in Miguel's post. It doesn't show the fly.

I still have (and used as recently as a few years ago) that tent. I've also got the snow module for the front (a separate piece with additional poles that comes in it's own stuffsack) although I've never actually camped with it.

Camped years ago with my son and daughter when they were kids (now in their 30's) and then (since I had it) used it for my solo outings when I started to backpack about six years ago.

Now I use the Lunar Solo e and the Snow Lion is still available for when there are enough grandkids camping that we need additional shelter.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Memory Lane Tents - Snow Lion on 02/22/2010 09:17:06 MST Print View

That Mountain Tent looks like a precursor to the Moment!!

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Douglas Adams tent on 02/22/2010 09:45:26 MST Print View

Yup, thats a Vango Force Ten mk1.
They don't make that model any more, but you can still buy the mk3, mk4 and mk5
Utterly bomb-proof with a weight to match, used on Everest and still popular with Scouts and D-of-E groups.
I've still got a 30yr old mk3 in usable condition, the fly is bleached white from the sun.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: Shelter Nostalgia -- Snow Lion on 02/22/2010 10:55:01 MST Print View

I owned the Snow Lion Mountain Tent (but not the add-on "Snow Module"). It was a fairly standard design A-frame tent, with a separate fly.

It was lighter than other A-frames because it was smaller -- a bit of a tight fit for 2 people. Needed about 12 stakes to pitch the tent and fly. It was well made...

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: Shelter Nostalgia on 02/22/2010 11:56:29 MST Print View

Who made the Tacoma tent, pictured above?

You could post that as a pre-production, sil-version of the Zpacks Hexamid and I'd believe it!

Marc Penansky
(MarcPen) - F

Locale: Western NC
Tacoma Tent on 02/22/2010 12:02:41 MST Print View

That is the Dancing Light Gear Tacoma Solo. I think they have been out of business for quite a while.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Re: Re: Shelter Nostalgia on 02/22/2010 12:11:02 MST Print View

Miguel, Rick & Ben,
Thanks for the memories of how colorful campgrounds used to be!
I still have the conservative-looking Diamond Free Spirit and its late 1980's clone from Eureka, along with my 28 pound Eureka Great Western. These get loaned out to Boy Scouts and neighbors anymore.
I use a tarp now, even when my flat-coated retriever comes along... but WOW that Snow Lion tent is a real thing of beauty!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re Shelter nostalgia, 1968 on 02/22/2010 13:33:08 MST Print View

Dome and Pyramid, Wales
Front: custom dome tent, MYOG, 1968 (nylon and fiberglass, 4-man)
Rear: Blacks (UK) pyramid with external poles
Site: Wales, ~1969


Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Memory Lane Tents on 02/22/2010 16:57:43 MST Print View

Walter, thanks for the partial picture of the 3 pole north face tent. That was the first tent I owned. My favorite early tent was my dad's 3 man tent from SD.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Older Tents on 02/22/2010 22:37:22 MST Print View

Someone on the world wide web emailed me about a year ago and knew my interest in the old North Face Tuolumne tent and he sent me these two fotogs of his you may enjoy. Mine was brown with a blue canopy but otherwise the same. Later NF upgraded with a full length fly with vestibule for the thing.NF Tuolumne

Here's the other:Second NF Tent

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Shelter Nostalgia on 02/22/2010 22:42:27 MST Print View

What a great thread. What amazes me is that no matter what the next 'new shelter' is, it probably looks a lot like what has already been made.