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Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent
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Scott Van Doeselaar
(vandoe) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/03/2007 22:20:48 MDT Print View

I love my one person double wall tent but it is just too heavy. But thanks to this website and all the Cuben fiber information I have started a project to build a double wall one man tent with Cuben fiber(CTO.6K.08) and nanoseeum netting as the primary materials. I am using Carbon fiber poles from Fibraplex.

The tent is patterned after the Eureka spitfire UL with some tailoring to improve and reduce the size. I chose this tent after studying the Big Agnes Seedhouse and the big sky one man tents. The spitfire design has the lightest potential. My weight estimate is 1.5 lbs. I know that is still pretty heavy for the SUL crowd but I think you still might be interested in the construction.

I have done some testing and have come up with ways to make all joints with tape or bond. Each of these joints I expect to be stronger than the material itself and the equivalent sewn joint. I have tried tape from Quest (unknown type from sail industry) and I plan to try 3M 9460. The bond recommended by Chris at Cuben is loctite U-10FL. Since this is a urethane flexible adhesive I decided to try Aqua Seal. This is also a urethane adhesive. It worked great. I failed the material with no impact at all to the bonded joint. I have used Aqua Seal in other applications and I think it will survive the backpacking environment just fine.

I am creating the tent pattern by constructing a styrofoam skeleton that supports the main seams as shown in the picture.Support frame for tent patten
The main tieouts for tent floor and rain fly will be made similar to this sample. This sample joint was made from individual strips of cuben arranged in V's. One leg of V goes on top of sheet and the other goes on the bottom. Each adjacent strip is a narrow V-shape until the center strip overlays itself. I have tested this with about 20 lbs with a 4 inch drop. It is working as well as the joints in my existing tent. Here is a picture.
Test joint using Cuben and tape from Quest Outfitters

I will add more as I progress through the design

Edited by vandoe on 04/03/2007 22:24:28 MDT.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/03/2007 22:24:36 MDT Print View

Cool project. I think the Spitfire is a good model, probably one of the more under-rated tents out there. I think one hard part will be keep all the doodads (webbing, zippers, loops, snaps, buckles, etc) as light as the fabrics.


Scott Van Doeselaar
(vandoe) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/03/2007 22:32:25 MDT Print View

I am stripping out some of the unnecessary doodads and this tent does not have many to start with. If they had made this with the lightest silnylons they could have saved alot of weight. I think I can keep all of the extras down to a few ounces.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/03/2007 22:38:11 MDT Print View

Scott, all the credit in the world to you for creating a lightweight one man tent. Yeah, us hardcore tarp campers may scoff at the idea of needing a tent but that's just us. If you need or want to use a tent then this is the perfect way to go about it.

I like to see that you've tested various taping methods and that you're mocking it up with styrofoam and such. Very professional. I look forward to following your progress.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/03/2007 23:24:46 MDT Print View

Hey Scott,
I am just wondering what you are planning to do with the floor?
Will is contain a floor? I wouldn't think you would want one due to abrasion problems, unless you use something underneath.

If no floor, then what are you doing where the tent meets the ground?

Looks good, I hope you're having fun with it.

Scott Van Doeselaar
(vandoe) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
Re: Re: Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/04/2007 07:25:59 MDT Print View

The floor will be a bathtub floor using Cuben Fiber and I am planning to use the Gossamer Gear Polycro groundsheet.

Glen Van Peski
(gvanpeski) - F - M

Locale: San Diego
Re: Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/04/2007 07:44:49 MDT Print View

Scott -

Nice work! Just finished a single-wall cuben fiber 'concept' tent (single wall) last night. With a silnylon bathtub floor, full tulle netting with zippered netting and beak, came in 11 oz. unsealed. I liked your idea of a cuben floor and a polycryo ground cloth, as the silnylon bathtub floor on mine weighs 3 oz. by itself! Your's is a much better solution. I was in a time crunch on this, so didn't experiment with the sealing tape. Let me know how that works out, I would like to try it on my next attempt.


Scott Van Doeselaar
(vandoe) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
Re: Re: Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/04/2007 08:26:40 MDT Print View

Do you have any pictures? I would like to see it.

Edited by vandoe on 04/04/2007 08:27:29 MDT.

Chad Lorenz
(ChadL) - MLife

Locale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
Re: Re: Re: Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/04/2007 08:44:08 MDT Print View

Regarding the tape, I believe someone posted here about it not holding up in cold weather. Am I mistaken? Or are you planning to use your tent in warm climes?

Clay Moore
(cwm_nm) - F

Locale: On the Rio Grande
Stephensons Z tent on 04/04/2007 10:22:18 MDT Print View

Quite a few years ago, Stephensons made a version of their 2R out of a mylar spinnaker fabric very similar to cuben, even in looks. It was called the 2Z, the whole tent, double wall with poles weighted 1 1/2 pounds. A friend of mine owned one, it finally tore a tiny bit in a severe wind storm, but he just taped it back.
I dont recall the type of tape Jack recommended, but they would probably discuss it with you.

Does anyone here remember these tents ? It was sold in the early 80's.

Scott Van Doeselaar
(vandoe) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuben Fiber Double Wall Tent on 04/04/2007 10:37:35 MDT Print View

I will do some pull tests after putting a sample in the freezer. Most of my use of this tent will be summer hikes in the Sierra with minimum temps at around 25 F.

Eric Parsons
(EricP) - F

Locale: Alaska
Awesome on 04/04/2007 12:55:02 MDT Print View

This is the coolest project I've seen,
looking foreward to seeing it come to life!
Looks very Professional so far.
Good luck