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Small Solo Cuben Tent
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Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Small Solo Cuben Tent on 10/08/2011 20:30:39 MDT Print View

I'm not sure the design will interest many here, not exactly ultralight. Where I walk involves areas of extreme winds (often directional), sometimes poor pegging options and on rocky summits with little choice besides rocks (alone or over pegs). In cover there is often a need to pull tent seams over branches of low shrubs and spiky stuff. I had in mind something that could be enclosed fully (we get 2/3m rainfall.. night temperatures often hovering around freezing.

I was most interested in the tie outs (In this case more 'pegging points'). I wanted to use something abrasion resistant (for rock pegs), perhaps able to somehow 'give' a little in the reinforcement itself before meeting the cuben (where there is no stretch). I was interested in Dyneema X and somehow working with its inherent stretch

Where it covers a tie out changing direction (ie in a tipi style corner) would the circular form be most efficient? (To my mind it dissipates shock or stretching loads) appears fine on a mid panel but where changing angle and covering a seam i'm wondering about the various tensions at work or if they will matter much with such 'heavy' reinforcement'.., triangles seem a popular shape but are they better at pulling panels (via seams) tighter than semi-circular? I guess we'll see in the coming weeks lol..

Interested in the theory and any thoughts welcome, fire away.. ; )

These are some of the test samples I was using, shows the tie out about to be glued then trimmed..

Dyneema/Cuben Peg Points

The ones I eventually used had a smaller inner radius, larger outer 'half circle' (With the thought that it would help to disperse stress gradients, the asymmetrical one I tried did tear the cuben at the perimeter of this inner, inside circle. I should maybe have tested some more but there would e no mistaking the bond was up to the task if i made them BIG...

Edited by bankse on 10/08/2011 23:04:04 MDT.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Windward End on 10/08/2011 20:38:41 MDT Print View

OK, perhaps a bit of overkill?..


Excuse the messy floor... windy day

Edited by bankse on 10/08/2011 20:44:42 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Windward End on 10/09/2011 01:41:28 MDT Print View

Doesn't look like overkill to me considering harsh conditions. The added weight is likely pretty low. Tie outs a big point of failure with a lot of cuben shelters from what I've seen.

As far as the circular shape being ideal for those hard corner transitions? Likely computer modeling would come up with something more complex, but it seems like a pretty safe compromise, and that's what I'd go with.

Looks good!

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Pegs on 10/09/2011 03:57:43 MDT Print View

Thanks Javan, finally got to pitch it today, I am thinking the reinforcements could be half that size and still do the job (so long as they don't act in some sort of radical way when wet, stretched, frozen.. long term..) I think iv'e seen tie outs with the cuben cut away but cant recall if they were trying to achieve the same thing.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Small Solo Cuben Tent on 10/09/2011 06:44:36 MDT Print View

I'd love to see the rest of the shelter... looks great!

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
"Small Solo Cuben Tent on 10/09/2011 10:19:45 MDT Print View

Leave the tent alone it looks great and it will out last other cuben tents with the 210D gird stop reinforcements. Plus in harsh conditions it better to over build.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
I'd love to see the rest of the shelter on 10/10/2011 06:09:03 MDT Print View

Me too.

I’m thinking the same (small solo, for bad conditions) and will be using CT3.5K.18 Cuben for the fly. But.... since I thought that combining stretchy (Dyneema) and non-stretchy (Cuben) fabrics wasn’t such a good idea, I decided to use the same CT3.5K.18 for reinforcing the tie-outs points. To achieve the necessary elasticity, I want to use shock-cord.

Any thoughts?

And yes, I know, with CT3.5K.18 it won’t be UL but it should be bomb-proof.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Dont hold back (lol) on 10/10/2011 07:59:13 MDT Print View


It's outside, i grabbed a couple of pics between storms, strong winds and rain : )

Two things I'm not entirely happy with.

There is no 'flapping' but it is moving round a lot. I should have gone lower with the ridgeline seam catenary, also with the zip seam.

It's pretty gusty from underneath. I'm considering a 'valance', floor, 'something' to block the sides..

It's been a steep learning curve, I didn't need any stuffsacs, packliners, flat tarps lol.. but i did give it a generous size and I'm ready with the knife if there are any sound improvements? One of the best outcomes is learning how to fix things as well as build them.

I'm not sure i followed any 'plan' but thanks for all the previous pioneers and posts on here, I don't think i missed any ; )

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Dont hold back (lol) on 10/10/2011 08:04:54 MDT Print View

Nice tent!

I've been doing something similar, I think that's a really good design.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Dont hold back (lol) on 10/10/2011 08:07:57 MDT Print View

morning Jerry!

Well I think that tent looks sexy! I could see that the sides might let some air in, but if that is your first design- WOW.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
I’m impressed on 10/10/2011 08:31:43 MDT Print View

Hi Paul,

I really like it. My -initial- design is different in that it has a side entry and the front beak (which really isn’t a beak) has two tie out points -instead of one- separated about 28-30 inch (a little more than the width of my pad); this means I can have my head much nearer to the front part of the tent (therefore the tent can be a lot shorter) and, by using 2 trekking poles in an A-frame shape, I can have ‘storage area’ on both sides of the pad. This makes the tent a little wider, which could be considered to be a disadvantage but, on the other hand, it will make the tent less prone to moving around -- I think.

With regards to “moving round”, you might benefit from lowering the apex by staking out the side tie-out points a little further apart (although that might not be feasible due to the length of the seam (zipper) in the front beak (don’t know).

I agree with Jeff, regarding this being your first design- WOW; as I said before, I’m impressed.

Paul Sandhu
(psandhu977) - F

Locale: Foggy left coast
GREAT JOB!!! on 10/10/2011 08:37:01 MDT Print View


This tent is really amazing!

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: I’m impressed on 10/10/2011 08:46:00 MDT Print View

That looks *really* good, I'm impressed!
To help block the gusts coming under the fly, you could try an idea that I used on my silnylon tent - a bathtub groundsheet with noseeum mesh sewn to the top edge of the bathtub and the top edge of the noseeum bonded to the inside of the fly. I did this for protection from biting insects but if you made the walls of the bathtub a few inches higher it would block the wind too.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: I’m impressed on 10/10/2011 09:08:06 MDT Print View

Uh oh, we're sort of hijacking thread with other ideas : )

I like the peak like Paul's - it has to be high enough so you can sit up straight, move around a little, without your head touching the tent walls. 4 feet high is about right.

If there's a pole straight up in the center, it gets in the way. Better to have two poles, one on each side, in an upside down "V", each one 5 feet long. A little heavier though with all the poles.

I'de rather have a side entry for ease of entry. With the end entry, you have to get in and flip your feet around. It's sort of awkward.

But, the problem with the side entry is that when you open the door, if it's wet, water splashes onto your sleeping bag. With the end entry, there's a small "porch" area where you can shake off your wet clothes. Also, you can operate your stove there.

Then, on one side of your sleeping bag you have to leave it free, for room to rotate your feet around and take off your boots. On the other side of your sleeping bag is a little room to put stuff.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Thanks on 10/10/2011 22:36:17 MDT Print View

For the positive support. The other ideas are interesting. As i'm sure is the case with everyone who makes their own gear many of the alternatives did cross my mind. I guess little things can influence decisions along the way.

I realise the convenience of a side zip but as is I can open up the whole front and have it free standing, pole to the side, slung from a tree. I also like the idea of having the front open while in the tent in light rain. I don't much like acrobatics to get in, i guess that's where the compromise comes in.

Actually started with an idea of a stretched Shangri-la 3, it kept stretching and lowering with wind in mind lol..

Considered two poles but often use one as a monopod (or dont take any, its set up on a sawyer paddle shaft and blade at this height, the maximum height works well with a single pole and the tenkara tube.

Would like to keep the versatility in building any sort of floor or inner. I'm sure many have found this the difficult part from here ; )

Henk, I looked when I read your comment about the width.. In the second photo i realised that its not pitched straight at the ground side tie points (as it was built). the front will go out, might help..

Stuart, I like that idea. I like your tent, well done mate.. I am considering bonding a floor straight to the seam. I noticed you don't have ventilation in the end. I was considering none on the sides and a large adjustable vent in the foot end..

Really like Cuben Fibre. This morning (after two days and a stormy night), the tent looks like it did when first pitched..

Cheers guys, please, i like the comments, other suggestions feel free. I'm thinking of working it up to a two person shelter (after lots of testing) with the idea of using it on our guided walks (so it is very much a prototype)..

Edited by bankse on 03/16/2013 12:33:00 MDT.

Daniel Sandström
Re: Dont hold back (lol) on 10/10/2011 23:37:36 MDT Print View

Very nice shelter, congratulations. How's the width inside it, foot end? I'd say the most important aspect of a wind-resistant shelter is the footprint to height ratio (ie angle). So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you make a mark II, you can consider making it a bit wider for both comfort and stability, with a slight weight-gain ofcourse.
I love your tie-outs. I'm for round reinforcements all the way! They to take longer to make but I think they're both stronger and more beutiful. tarp

My Q's.
How did you finish the catenary edges, folded? Flat felled seams? Waterproof/ordinary zipper?

Good job.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Your Tarp on 10/10/2011 23:47:07 MDT Print View

I think i saw it, nice job iirc (the link does'nt seem to want to work for me).

i would likely take it wider (without going much higher) for a larger version. Size is fine (lets see, abt 28" across by 22" high as it is, pitched to the ground) but we do get more strong wind than heavy snow.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Zip on 10/10/2011 23:50:58 MDT Print View

Is no 3 Urtek(?) w/proof bonded and sewn. The catenary baseline seams are two layers bonded and cut to shape (with a hot knife). Those on upright seams are made with Cubictechs tape.

Cheers, Paul

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
The 6" Tent Model on 10/11/2011 05:57:07 MDT Print View


At this height with the pole forward it is big enough to face outwards and cook at the pole base, closed up in bad weather. I am hoping to pitch it higher in better weather, maybe pitching higher could acess more ventilation in the doing? Like to avoid an 'inner tent', perhaps a 'ceiling liner' if condensation proves too much..

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
D Rings on 10/11/2011 05:59:52 MDT Print View


I like D rings ( I have some brass ones with a break/ unwelded that ive been thinking to test and find their breaking strain (maybe a good place for a 'failsafe'?) perhaps they should be circular 'rings'?)

I would like to find a way to draw the knot right up to the D ring, no linelock. I was thinking some form of prusik but it would need to act in a similar way to a lineloc, not just half the cord length ..

Edited by bankse on 03/16/2013 12:28:26 MDT.

ziff house
(mrultralite) - F
wow on 10/12/2011 20:08:04 MDT Print View

thats really nice . whats surprising is that you have what appear to be compound curves with a 'rigid' material like cuben.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Ziff on 10/12/2011 20:46:50 MDT Print View

Thanks. Do you mean with the 'billowing' on the sides behind the door? It does/should pitch a bit wider at the front, i think that curve was just loosening material at the front side seam, fascinating material though..

I'm considering removing another 1 1/2-2" from the main (ridgeline) seam (taking the curve lower), it does take a lot of front/ back force on the ridge guys to pull tight through there. May end up more a bivy like foot end but for a solo tent i don't see a problem?

Edited by bankse on 10/12/2011 21:07:14 MDT.

Stuart Murphy
(stu_m) - MLife
Re Wow - MYOG design on 10/12/2011 23:05:10 MDT Print View

I concur.


How did you learn to do that? The design especially / how to know the shape of panels to get it to work? Is there a single resource to read or do you have to trawl the MYOG threads here?


Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Stuart on 10/13/2011 17:15:50 MDT Print View

I don't think it is so difficult, they are all flat panels. I built boats, canoes kayaks but not much experience with fabric. I would probably add traditional features and try for a design that someone else has built (pattern would be nice). The rest is info gleaned from the good folk posting their ideas on here ; )

Rob Daly
(rdaly) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
nice design on 10/27/2011 07:11:34 MDT Print View

She looks great Paul. Your design looks like it serves your high wind resistance purpose very well.

So, are any of the Cuben seams stitched or are they all bonded? Do you expect any condensation issues with your intended use?

Phillip Damiano

Locale: Australia
Cuben Shelter on 11/24/2012 02:53:32 MST Print View

How's your Shelter holding up Paul?

Samuel C Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
'moving around' on 11/25/2012 18:18:45 MST Print View

That is one beautiful job!
You could consider using two carbon poles for the inverted 'V' suggested.
If they were 5' long each, plus ferrules, the pole set and the V-shaped elbow would be in the 4-5 oz. range using very durable materials. The V could be slightly bowed for stability, as while the carbon is very stiff, it still has some flex.
Should you decide to pursue that, please PM me for sources of materials.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Stage Two on 03/02/2013 19:27:45 MST Print View

Sorry, haven't checked this for a while. So far so good. I have a number of tents, use a bivy for guiding so the little tent has only has a few weeks pitching. All the seams were bonded.. well, before I added any liner. I use a walking pole Samuel, it will still pitch ok at a fair angle but I might add a carbon pole or two at some stage, the walking poles are a hassle to carry through our scrub with a small pack.

A couple of weeks back I made an inner, kind of a half inner. It may seem all wrong, a bit of an experiment but therein lies the fun : ). Posted to our Ozzie forum if anyone is interested:

Edited by bankse on 03/02/2013 19:31:15 MST.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: D Rings on 03/02/2013 22:57:16 MST Print View

"I would like to find a way to draw the knot right up to the D ring, no linelock. I was thinking some form of prusik but it would need to act in a similar way to a lineloc, not just half the cord.."


Wouldn't replacing the D rings with the linelocs achieve this? (I may be misunderstanding the question)


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Windward End on 03/02/2013 23:05:01 MST Print View

> OK, perhaps a bit of overkill?..
In SW Tassie? The concept does not exist.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: I'd love to see the rest of the shelter on 03/02/2013 23:06:35 MST Print View

> To achieve the necessary elasticity, I want to use shock-cord.
Fow ALL windward anchors use 2 mm or 3 mm nylon cord. Do NOT allow any movement.


Samuel C Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
shockcord guys on 03/03/2013 17:09:03 MST Print View

I have a 7'by20' tarp over the open front of my woodshed and this year tried securing it with double guys of heavy shockcord, heavier than you'd want to carry for a tent.

After replacing the shock cord three or four times, switched to nylon cord. No problems since. Funny thing was that for a while, I could not even find the remains of the shock cord. The wind just took it away. When a few pieces finally survived attached to something, the wind had ripped off the covering, then severed the rubber inner.

So plus ten for your advice. BUT, haven't you mentioned something about using elastic cord at your stake pull-outs to keep your tents taut when the nylon sags?
Please let us know why one and not the other. Thanks.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Rings n Bungy on 03/03/2013 18:14:41 MST Print View

Hi Daryl, I have replaced the door tie outs with linelocs. I wanted to keep D rings at the foot end for now.

The only bungy iv'e used is on the mid-length tie outs (which are just pegged with enough tension to hold shape)(these might be better with cord loops but there really isn't much distance to tension them) and on the mid height guylines (which I haven't needed to use as yet)

There are a few things that I would do differently. The peaks and tie outs would be tough with half the fabric weight for eg... which would likely result in cutting 150grams (5oz) or so. Its at a stage now where building another shelter be easier.

Edited by bankse on 03/03/2013 19:37:47 MST.

Zachary SCOTT
Weight? on 03/05/2013 21:35:56 MST Print View

Paul, So I know you mentioned that the tent was designed for strength and resistance to the elements but out of curiosity, what is the weight on that bad boy? By the way it looks great! Nice Work!

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
About 800g's on 03/16/2013 02:43:56 MDT Print View

Hi Zach. Thanks. I'd say that if it was built with mainly weight in mind, lighter side panels and floor, lighter tie outs etc- would be more like 650-680 and a could be a bit higher, the width works well.

Edited by bankse on 03/16/2013 03:02:33 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: shockcord guys on 03/16/2013 04:46:58 MDT Print View

Hi Sam,

"So plus ten for your advice. BUT, haven't you mentioned something about using elastic cord at your stake pull-outs to keep your tents taut when the nylon sags?
Please let us know why one and not the other. Thanks."

Shock cord and bungees are basically rubber bands. And I'll admit to having tried using shock cord as part of a tensioning system for my tents and tarps. At first my application relied simply on the shock cord at the tie outs. Before I field tested this I was shown the error of my ways by other posters on this site and moved on to this design.

Shock-corded guy-out

The basic idea here being that the guy never depends solely on the shock cord. In practice the shock cord is stretched out until the guy line itself is under tension. Hopefully during the night if the shelter material "relaxes" the shock cord will help to keep the pitch taut.

FWIW the guy lines themselves are Triptease.

Here is the link to the original thread for anyone who is interested.

Here is a picture of these guys in use.

Self tightening tarp ;-)

As you can see some of the guys aren't as tight as they should be but it does give a good visual of the design concept. While in use, if the shock cord fails, the guy line is there to keep everything from tumbling down. ;-)

Party On,


Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: shockcord guys on 03/16/2013 09:00:55 MDT Print View


That photo is the best visual I've seen showing this technique. Very helpful.


Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Double D Rings on 03/16/2013 09:27:41 MDT Print View


If you want to keep the D rings but cinch things up closer to the ring you might try adding (tying on) another D ring so you have a double D ring. It would work like a double D ring belt works.

I used this technique on a tent I made about 40 years ago. I used two round flat rings instead of D rings. The round rings were more like flat washers than rings (Boeing Surplus).

If you decide to replace the D rings here's a way you can do it without cutting the webbing.


Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Re: Re: Re: shockcord guys on 09/13/2014 21:19:52 MDT Print View

That is a good idea. Sorry haven't been back for a while, I see so many cuben diy projects!

I kept some D rings, removed some that weren't close to the ground (in practice) (as well as the two front main ones) and replaced with cord locs.

Little tent is great, only had perhaps 15 more nights in various places (have limited chance for over-nighters and a bevy of other tent choices) but some in narly weather. I'd like to build another one day, mine looks a bit 'hand hewn' with all the alterations. Lighter, a few thoughts to getting more height from the cuben (width), not much else i'd alter tbh, even end opening is ok.. maybe this will change as age robs nimbleness : (

About to build a mega tarp/shelter.. well.. 4x4 m so 'big', so i'm catching up on the latest design thoughts here.

Edited by bankse on 09/13/2014 23:11:18 MDT.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
Inside on 09/13/2014 21:36:00 MDT Print View

Oh, I realised I hadn't finished off the inside here.

It may be of interest to some. Enclosed floor and mesh foot end and dividing door (everday A frame style). However..

The floor is bonded directly to the sides and the liner to the floor with extra CF (easiest to see this section in the last pic)

The (yellow) liner 'gathers' the floor into a gutter : ) rather than eliminating condensation (which can be over the top in such a small space) the bulk of what does form on the inner is redirected off the liner into this 'gutter'. It then has drain (openings) at the two front and two middle tie out points. I don't walk in excessive heat, as a winter tent it was toasty and condensation manageable.

The clothes line ; ) has also gone a long way to easier tensioning front> back when pitching.


Edited by bankse on 09/13/2014 23:09:35 MDT.

Jordo _99
(jordo_99) - MLife

Locale: Nebraska
Thanks for the update! on 09/15/2014 08:56:10 MDT Print View

I wasn't around the forums when you first posted this but I'd come across it at some point and was really impressed.

It looks like you must have been having some condensation issues too add the "yellow gutter liner" and a vent which was a very interesting solution. I don't think I've seen something like that before...most people just add vents until they give up and accept that condensation and tents go hand-in-hand.

Wild Exped
(bankse) - MLife

Locale: OZ
- on 09/15/2014 23:28:40 MDT Print View

Condensation wasn't unusually bad Jordan, I can sit up in inside facing the door to cook, the liner was more to stop brushing against the cuben fabric. I haven't actually seen anything 'run' off the nylon.

Had originally intended this to be just a tarp and separate inner. In starting the inner it was more a case of not seeing the point of a full inner roof/mesh.

I'm not sure it was the best idea, a separate inner would be much easier to build and attaching the mesh door and end vent meant sewing to those seams (which I couldn't avoid).

I'd agree though, especially in a small tent intended for cold weather, trying to control condensation through added venting is a loosing battle. Ventilation 'Hatches' could be cut into the eves under the 'gutter' though, so far, was not at all needed (ventilation from the side).

Glad someone at least browsed by, got something from it. Cheers!

Edited by bankse on 09/16/2014 21:33:12 MDT.