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Advice on 2 Person Tent Design
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Robert Burke
(coastiebob) - MLife

Locale: Wishing I was Backpacking
Advice on 2 Person Tent Design on 11/02/2011 18:10:46 MDT Print View

Hey folks,

I am looking to build my own 2 person tent. It will utilize 4 trekking poles as the only time I would use this tent is when my wife or a friend is with me. The floor dimensions are a little different than it shows in my google sketchup. They are 90x54. The vestibule would extend out 21 inches. With the flat slanted roof, I think it would shed rain, but would have a tough time withstanding any snow load. I am not an engineer and am not sure about wind worthiness, but guess better than some, worse than others. I was planning to add vents on the front and rear and bug mesh from top to bottom similar to a lunar duo.

I was fortunate enough to buy some sil 2nds from David at Oware (thanks) so I plan to get to it after making a stuff sack or two to get the hang of sewing sil. If it turns out reasonably, I will consider using a lighter material.

What are your thoughts?Two Person Tent Initial Design

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
my 2 cents on 11/02/2011 18:22:29 MDT Print View

Looks like a cool idea. I think that with the sidewalls as steep as they appear to be, you will have a hard time getting enough tension on the two ridgelines. Extending the vestibules further out to the sides will help, or you could add guylines from the peaks out to the side. If you can mock your design up with plastic sheeting or a blue poly tarp you may get more insight into how the design works. or you can mock it up with some fabric at a smaller scale - like 1/4 or something.
Also - I'd think about some ventilation options.

Edited by paul on 11/02/2011 19:51:21 MDT.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Advice on 2 Person Tent Design on 11/02/2011 22:47:12 MDT Print View

Looks like the roof may have trouble getting taught with the natural stretch silnylon has. I imagine it could puddle up in rain since the roof angle is so flat. This could be remedied by moving the highest ridge more to the center of the shelter and/or dropping the height of the lower ridge.

At that point it would begin to look similar in shape to the Lightheart Solong or the SMD Vamp or Haven. The shape of the Solong may be similar to what you are aiming for. A touch wider and it would be a full on 2 person palace.

I suspect 4 trekking poles would make set up difficult. Lots of UL tent makers have been successfully using struts at the corners to increase head and foot room and keep footprint size and weight down.

On the ridges where you the poles support the tent, a ridge bar similar to the Tarptent Rainshadow could help, or you could sew in caternary curves to make a 'peak' for them so they don't slip out in winds.

Good luck! Shelters are tons of fun to design and make.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Advice on 2 Person Tent Design on 11/02/2011 23:50:22 MDT Print View

I wonder if the flat slanted roof on top will be taut.

On the one hand, you can amuse yourself trying out a new tent design. You may or may not be satisfied. Cost of the materials is small so if you're not satisfied no big deal.

Might be better to have two peaks with a ridge between.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Advice on 2 Person Tent Design on 11/03/2011 02:37:19 MDT Print View

I would suggest you make a prototype (or two...) using painter's drop sheets.
They are cheap, light ,easy to cut and stretch a bit.
You can "glue" panels together using standard clear tape.

Robert Burke
(coastiebob) - MLife

Locale: Wishing I was Backpacking
Advice - Thanks! on 11/03/2011 17:49:36 MDT Print View

Thanks to all for the advice. Designs/concepts are always a work in progress so this will really help. On the road a lot in the next bit, but will post progress.

Bob Burke

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
tent design on 11/03/2011 17:53:36 MDT Print View

Here's a you-tube piece about a similarly angled flat roof that has been posted here before:

When the silnylon sags, you will probably have the same issue.

Edited by scfhome on 11/03/2011 17:59:04 MDT.

dale stuart
(onetwolaugh) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
tent design on 11/03/2011 19:11:03 MDT Print View

You might take some of the sea to summits duo design. (
It uses only 2 poles. Make a cantenary curve between the vertical poles will help maintain a taught pitch. If the curve its not your forte then angle the support poles inward (reduces 2 person headroom though), this will make the large tail panel more triangular and maintain pitch again. The tent I just made is 1.5 person ( but can be made 2 person without much trouble.