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The CAFFIN tents come!
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Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: The CAFFIN tents come! on 06/08/2012 19:37:24 MDT Print View

+1 Miguel.

Call it 48"- two 25s squeeze/ or/ two 20s have a little room.

Name it the Easton CaffinE. (caffeine)

a b
The Roger Caffin Design Tents on 06/08/2012 19:39:53 MDT Print View

Congratulations Roger!
From what i can discern here on BPL you are a thoughtful and practical man who uses scientific method and logic to design and test things.
It is nice to see something created by you get recognition.
I have a question.
Assuming the tents sell well, are there any plans on introducing your Mountain Poncho Design?

In answer to the post above regarding pre-bent poles and the ease of assembly.. I had a Sierra Designs Divine Light back in the 90's that used Easton aluminum poles shock corded with pre-bent joints between the segments.
It was quite easy to assemble the Divine light as the tent itself was sewn in an arc.
The arc of the poles slipped into the tent sleeves like putting a glove on a hand: There was a little tension at the half way point but then the poles would just slide into place in the terminal grommet with ease.

It is really great to see a well thought out and executed design make the "big leagues".
Wish you all the best mate!

PS. The "Caffin Baffin" in honor of baffin island comes to mind as a great name. :)

Edited by Ice-axe on 06/08/2012 19:41:12 MDT.

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
SIzing on 06/08/2012 20:23:13 MDT Print View

Regarding width, it's probably important to consider the design goals of the tent first and foremost.

There are plenty of big, unstable, heavy tents out there.

If adding width would make your tents even moderately less stable and moderately heavier, then I think they have a bit less of a reason to exist in the marketplace.

I say this all rather hesitantly, because I like a bit of extra room, too. Especially with another person.

If they would still be lighter than just about anything else and still stable "enough" in particularily terrible conditions (which is really the goal of the tents, right?) then maybe it is worth considering at least a bit of a compromise. I'm not sure.
But the stability is a very important point in consideration.

To me, the solution that makes the most sense is for the summer tent to perhaps be a bit larger, but the winter tent your normal 42" or thereabouts. In the winter survivability trumps everything, and weight just below that. In the summer skin-out weights are significantly lighter anyway, so a few more grams on a larger tent could make sense.

Edited by dasbin on 06/08/2012 20:32:01 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: The Roger Caffin Design Tents on 06/08/2012 20:38:57 MDT Print View

Congrats on finding a manufacturer and best wishes on the outcome.

I'm not so likely to be a buyer because my camping is rarely in places exposed enough to experience winds it's designed for (at those winds I'm worried about being crushed by falling trees!) but I'll wait to see the cost.

But I'll still add my two cents worth about size:

* mountaineers will value storm worthiness very highly, roominess be d*mned
* ditto for far north tundra travelers
* ditto for backpackers who strongly dislike bailing on a trip due to weather
* as Miguel said, smaller folks will value the reduced weight of a narrower tent
* tent-mates who want to be physically close won't care so much about the 1100mm width but I fear that Roger's design iterations have all happened in an environment where that's usually the case. I know he often mentions the warmth advantages of being together under a shared quilt.
* I have slept in tents 84 inches long (about 2" short of Roger's 2200mm) and found them "just adequate". I'm 72 inches tall when upright but 76 inches long when prone (lay down with legs straight and relax with your toes just touching a wall then place a book next to the top of your head and measure the distance). Add twice the thickness of your sleeping bag to that.
* his generous vestibules on each end should handle gear storage and provide a sense of more length
* folks with even very mild claustrophobia express discomfort in small tents
* I imagine there's an expectation of some minimum sales potential before the manufacturer says yes to the final project

In the end, it'll be up to Roger and the manufacturer to agree or not agree on a final design.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Your tents on 06/08/2012 21:15:10 MDT Print View

Congratulatons, Roger. You picked the one company that can provide good quality, strong carbon poles and alloy elbows without going overboard on the weight.

Someone asked about 1+ size. For me, that's about the 41", and thanks for the review and diagram of the 'bucket' floor attachment.

Already, from the comments on this thread, the pressure to make the tents wider can be felt. That will make them heavier. No more 1.2 kilograms. Hope you can resist this pressure. Maybe a + model for larger Northamericans would be a good compromise.
Good luck. Hope you get a lot of enjoyment from this venture.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Your tents on 06/08/2012 22:24:34 MDT Print View

I'm glad that I can eat what I want and get a tent made around whatever dimensions I may be.

Eat it non-Americans!!

Hangs head in shame

EDIT- Samuel- that wasn't directed at you!!

Edited by WoodenWizard on 06/08/2012 22:25:46 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Caffin tent ? on 06/08/2012 22:34:15 MDT Print View

> Aren't those pre bent poles a bit fiddly to insert?
Nope. No trouble at all.
They slide in and out of the silnylon sleeves very easily in fact. I think that you can blame the slippery surface of the silicon coating for that. Virtually no abrasion inside the sleeves over 6 years use either.

The only time I have any trouble is when there has been a cold snap in the night (-10 C for instance) and a wet pole gets frozen to the inside of the sleeve. But this is not a problem in practice. Under those conditions I wear gloves (they are essential for survival!) and just briefly wiggle the sleeve over the pole. It turns out that the ice has very little bond to the silnylon. Then they come out easily.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The CAFFIN tents come! on 06/08/2012 22:37:53 MDT Print View

Hi Bob

> Roger, how long will it be before you have lost all of your objectiveness?
A very long time indeed.
The contract does not include a royalty. There is a small licence fee for the design.

> Will we start to see late night television commercials with your smiling face?
Sounds like a post-midnight horror show to me. :-)


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: The Roger Caffin Design Tents on 06/08/2012 22:39:27 MDT Print View

Hi Matthew

> Assuming the tents sell well, are there any plans on introducing your Mountain Poncho Design?

You know, I had not even thought about that one. Oh well, I am open to offers.


Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Congrats! on 06/08/2012 23:06:00 MDT Print View

Roger, thanks for all you do for this community. It's about time you get recognized for some of your designs and contributions.

BTW, guess you can't use the accronym "TT" for TunnelTent since Henry's already got that covered!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The CAFFIN tents come! on 06/08/2012 23:20:52 MDT Print View

"The contract does not include a royalty."

That's a shame, but I understand that you Aussies aren't really big on royalty, anyway. Maybe they could make you a duke or something. Roger, Duke of Tunnels.


Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The CAFFIN tents come! on 06/09/2012 08:53:51 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,
Thanks for the pic and diagram, they really describe the width well (I'm a visual person).

I had not seen a pic of your tents in a while and did not realize the mesh on the side extended that far up. Also, I was not aware that the side walls get wider for a bit as you go up the wall. That really changes things! I'm used to single wall tents that immediately slope inwards as you go up.

I think the relatively narrow footprint width could actually work quite well with that design.



Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
size comments on 06/09/2012 13:58:22 MDT Print View

Roger - congratulations or as they say in your neck of the woods, Good on ya, mate!

I think your length is fine, given that your ends are vertical or nearly so. I think your width is narrow, though. For two guys in two bags, my experience is that at 48" we are touching the walls, even in a tent with very step sides. Now I understand your construction, so I think the 48" (about 1200 mm) would work with that configuration, giving usable floor width roughly equivalent to a BD lighthouse which is 52" with steep but still inward-sloping walls. I know that most of your use of your tents is with your lovely wife in the cozy comfort of a double quilt - have you ever shared one (the tent I mean, not the quilt) with a 6-2, 200 lb guy?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: size comments on 06/09/2012 15:48:10 MDT Print View

Hi Paul

> have you ever shared one (the tent I mean, not the quilt) with a 6-2, 200 lb guy?
Errr - no! :-)

The difference the outwards sloping walls make is not obvious until you actually see it in practice. We fill that narrow gap between the edge of the mat and the outwards sloping groundsheet wall with stuff-sacks of gear or food. Just gear or food bags which would normally sit in your pack or at the foot of the tent. That means I don't even touch the side wall of the groundsheet much, and the stuff sacks also act as a side wall of insulation when it is cold. It does mean that my mat is touching my wife's mat.

Unfortunately I don't have a good photo which shows this. Lots of photos of the doorway and me cooking, lots of my wife in the tent eating dinner, but her quilt and mine usually mask the gear at the side.

Anyhow, everyone's comments are appreciated.


Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
A suggestion on 06/09/2012 20:46:55 MDT Print View

I think a good idea would be to get some folks together and some sleeping bags and have them lie down in the tent and see how they like it. Market research, if you will. Always a good idea to get some independent opinions on the product during the design phase. What works perfectly for you and your uses may need to be tweaked a bit to suit the larger needs of the market. I can tell you that I and my usual backcountry companions would not be comfortable with our mats touching each other - we need a good 6" in between for elbow room - literally elbow room!

al b
(ahbradley) - M
Re: The CAFFIN tents.....Caffin rucsac? on 06/10/2012 16:49:29 MDT Print View


Would Easton be interested in making your lightweight H-frame pack designs with their tubing?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: The CAFFIN tents.....Caffin rucsac? on 06/10/2012 20:51:47 MDT Print View

Hi Alan

Hum - packs ... dunno.

Con: There are an awful lot of pack manufacturers out there
Pro: But not many making good UL external frame packs (actually, none)

Way into the future I think, but thanks for the idea.


drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: The CAFFIN tents.....Caffin rucsac? on 06/10/2012 21:34:05 MDT Print View

Zpacks Exo? I'd definitely like to see more options in this regard.

Jean-Francois Jobin
(jfjobin) - MLife
Go for palatial luxury with the extra weight on 06/10/2012 21:51:56 MDT Print View

Call it a 3 person tent(like all tentmaker) if you want but go for a size good for the majority of people that use tent for two.So 60" wide in my opinion.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Go for palatial luxury with the extra weight on 06/10/2012 22:42:42 MDT Print View

I want it ultralight. Keep the 3-season tent narrow Roger. It's good for sleeping two, a palace for one. It's a tunnel with steep walls, so it's possible to get out without crawling on your tent mate.

I don't see the problem here.