Aug 12, 2017 at 1:26 am #3484452
I am about 50% of the way to designing a 4 Season Ultra Light Extreme Weather Shelter System using almost entirely a combination of products that are already out there on the market, with little or no customization. The principle is simple.
1. Any Small to Medium sized Ultra Light Cuben FIber (Trekking Pole) Tarp Tent + Bathtub Ground Cloth and Mesh Bug Net Insert. Because we will be using this tent with some other pieces of gear, the dimensions of which model tent by which company will be slightly restricted, so custom is an option. However, I’ve found a few tents that are already on the market as potential candidates to avoid costly customization.
2. This thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klmI7IvG07o
At the 1:05 mark in that video, as well as in the thumbnail, you can see one cool looking piece of gear. That is the inflatable bladder designed to be the support beams for the Heimplanet Cave, semi freestanding inflatable tent. The Cave’s gigantic 40d sinylon ground sheet, and it’s very luxurious inner tent, with all of it’s extra pockets and unnecessarily heavy luxury features, all rendered in 40d sinylon, will not be getting used. Any Small to Medium sized Ultra Light Cuben FIber (Trekking Pole) Tarp Tent (w/ Bathtub Ground Cloth and Mesh Bug Net Insert) that can fit under the Cave’s Fly Sheet can replace all of that, and be the inner tent, while also having the ability to be used as a stand alone 3-season tent, without the fly, in fair to moderately harsh conditions.
The fly sheet is 66D PU Polyester. Believe it or not this is actually optimal. Polyester makes the best fly sheets for several reasons. It is virtually the only suitable water proof material for extreme winds that the Cave’s air supports and fly have been tested to withstand. While remaining somewhat light. It’s a heavy piece of gear for me to be calling it ultralight, to be honest. But it is ultralight in this category.
The supports + fly sheet, I have seen withstand 50-60 MPH winds. The fly sheet’s 66D PU Polyester is pretty much the lightest you can go with polyester and still have it take those winds. Anything sub 50D wouldn’t be able to take those extreme winds when I factor in the weight of the snow against the fly sheet.
It’s very resistant to puncturing, therefore protecting the weak, but very, very much lighter, Cuben inner tent, (which can not take puncturing), from debris and hail. Cuben can withstand moderately high winds, yes, but not when things are blowing around and puncturing it. With the Cave’s semi-freestanding fly sheet system, the cuben tent will be able to withstand higher winds than normal, as it will only be partially be receiving the force of the wind, and will have little to no snow loading. .
By combining all of this I hope to have a true 4 season shelter that can withstand extreme weather, accommodate up to 2 people and remain sub 10 pounds. (probably around 9lb or so packed), and shed itself down to sub 3 pounds (probably around 2lb) 3-season shelter system when the bomber fly isn’t needed.
I’m still working on improving the concept..Aug 12, 2017 at 4:22 am #3484454
Nemo Morpho from a few years back.
Good luck with your project.Aug 12, 2017 at 7:24 am #3484459
Ken T.BPL Member
Where do you plan on using this system? What is your winter camping experience? Great first post.
Bob, I thought Nemo bailed on the air beam. But they still have two on the site. Ever see one in the wild?Aug 12, 2017 at 7:51 am #3484466
Nope, never seen one in the wild or anywhere else. I didn’t think there were any on the website, however upon closer inspection I see you are correct… just the 2 bivy shelters, though.
The Morpho 2 weighed around 5 lb so not UL at all by today’s standards.Aug 12, 2017 at 8:36 am #3484480
Mordecai _BPL Member
So, take a 3-season tarp shelter, and put an inflatable dome/tunnel over it? I’m unclear on the plan for snow-loading on the dome/tunnel. Is it to manually remove it? I have little experience with the 4th season, and I’m not saying any answer is wrong…
I like the idea of two layers for wind deflection, each layer operating independently, with the outer layer being more capable of resisting the wind through deflection, sort of “sloughing off” a portion of the wind load. Flexing without breaking is key. Inverting the WP layer to the inner, and letting the outer work on wind more… I don’t know if it adds up to a lighter more efficient option, using the inflatable supports, but this particular two-layer strategy is a new one (at least to me), and that seems worthy of investigation.
The weight of the shelter would probably not be the best aspect of performance here, taken on its own, but maybe some measure of dry space per weight. Tunnel tents do that pretty well, but they rely on flexible poles… Maybe you can get under the weight of those, and/or roomier, but still dryer than a typical pyramid, using the the basic pyramid architecture, and a two-layer wind-protection system. If you used the same pole for both, but used an air-permeable material for the outer, I wonder if that would work as kind of a buffer, that would increase the overall wind resistance of the inner, allowing it to be a light cuben (0.5 or even less). The outer would deflect more, so you need a big gap with the inner, especially on the sides.
The outer would drip, especially if it is blowing around, but you have a WP inner in light cuben to catch the drips and deflect them to the gap. Assuming the outer is blocking most of the horizontal aspect of sideways precip, the inner WP could have big vents. Designed right, so could the outer outer portion of the mid, at the apex. A design trouble spot is determining how fixed the apex has to be, deflection-wise. Assuming the pole has very little deflection, the material there would provide less buffer action, and more direct resistance. So maybe the top foot or so of the outer mid is a different material, like heavier cuben.
Now I’m getting carried away maybe, but maybe that WP cap on the outer mid allows a matching hole at the apex of the inner mid – think of the tipi with a whole in the top – and a cinch of mesh if you want. The weight is starting to get close to a typical mid + inner. If there is wind-deflection benefit to the inverting the layers of breathable/WP fabrics (I want to formally acknowledge I am just pulling this out of my a…), then this could be a good design for dry space per weight.
Someone remind me… Why can’t we mix cuben and nylon? (Sewing cuben to nylon… I am sure that’s been debunked. But if anyone has a good link…)Aug 12, 2017 at 10:14 am #3484499
to answer the guy above.. Sewing cuben to nylon would be near pointless. Doing so in my opinion would eliminate the pro’s of each material whilst combining the cons of both materials…
“but this particular two-layer strategy is a new one (at least to me), and that seems worthy of investigation.”
Yes, regardless of how I end up constructing this, using whichever gear ends up working the best for this project, that is the basic principle. and I think the concept is worthy of development as well.
To simplify it for anyone else reading, the idea is to pack an ultralight cuben tent, with a much much stronger fly sheet, that has it’s own supports that do not rely on the weak cuben tent poles or fabric,
Making the employment of the fly sheet, convert an UL 3 season tent into a badass tent that can withstand high, high winds. while staying under 10 pounds, and still holding two people.
I say “under ten pounds” because extreme weather tents, that can withstand high winds, and can hold 2 people, are often 13+ pounds and have no option whatsoever to be converted into a sub 3 pounds ultralight set up ….so this is ultralight in it’s category, imho
Someone mentioned the Morpho, well unfortunately, that is only a 3 season tent
you can find cheaper, lighter extreme weather single person tents, but they are freaking coffins, lol (bivvies), not nearly as spacious as the cave, and quite frankly depressing to camp inside of
if the cave’s components prove to just bee too heavy, I could use the bladder and flysheet from the heimplanet Fistral as well. However I don’t think it is quite as rugged in terms of wind resistance. and it’s much smaller.
To anyone willing to help. What I am essentially looking for is a highly wind resistant, semi or fully free standing, essentially debris/wind shield shield, as it doesn’t really need to be water proof as the inner cuben tent has all of that covered and water was never the problem with them, puncturing by hail, and pinecones, sticks, rocks,winds etc, isAug 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm #3484543
Mods please close this thread, as I need to ammend the OP, but cannot do so due to it being read only. I’m going to make a new thread with more information.Aug 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm #3484544
I say “under ten pounds” because extreme weather tents, that can withstand high winds, and can hold 2 people, are often 13+ pounds
Bit short of background knowledge there. Try reading two of our articles on extreme weather tents:
Our Survey of Tunnel Tents (this is only Part 1)
When Things Go Wrong, a story of a couple of ‘interesting’ nights in the Alps, one with 100 kph winds all night. The tent survived just fine.
The tent in the second article, which is quite comfortable for two, weighs under 1.9 kg with all poles and stakes.
Aug 12, 2017 at 4:29 pm #3484550
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Roger Caffin.
Greg MihalikBPL Member
That wheel was invented a long time ago.Aug 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm #3484552
Thanks for those articles! I have researched +5 hours daily on this subject and was yet unable to find them somehow…I have no idea how..
Though technically that is not exactly what I had in mind. My idea is to have a tent that could transform from what you see in those articles, into something much much lighter when it isn’t winter/storming.
However, I have made a new thread since I was unable to correct some of the info in the OP, So any more discussion of this subject should be done here :
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/lets-assemble-an-awesomely-ultralight-4-season-extreme-weather-shelter-system/Aug 12, 2017 at 5:45 pm #3484559
Which tent is that in the second article? I cant read it for the time being… (the 1.9 kg one you refer to)Aug 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm #3484560
Ken T.BPL Member
Roger’s myog tent.Aug 12, 2017 at 6:16 pm #3484562
So that is indeed the tent in the second article, weighing only 1.9 kg, which reportedly took very high kph winds?
Oh, that is is own design! Which is a DIY project, right?
I am horrible at even folding a freaking paper airplane…could someone point me to a person who could reliable construct this for me, for which I will likely pay handsomely, but that is to be expected….
Aug 12, 2017 at 6:50 pm #3484569
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Michael F.
At commercial rates for someone new to the design, that would probably be <$1,000. Bit of a learning curve needed. They would very likely prefer to bill by the hour.
Materials – figure on $300+
Making poles and stakes for now – extra, significantly
Aug 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm #3484571
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Roger Caffin.
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Get in line, Homey!
(the line of people wanting a Caffin winter tent) (and summer tent)
I’ll be calling it the Coffin as a tactical mis-spelling of Rogers last name, the purpose of which is to annoy him to the point that he gives me v.3 or whatever to keep me from associating it with a cadaver conveyance. But ‘knowing’ Roger he doesnt even read my posts anymore, except to skim for cuss words like:
Aug 12, 2017 at 11:32 pm #3484618
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Jeffs Eleven.
So I’m looking a these:
Big Sky Chinook
Crux X1 Assault …though the cuben vestibule is worrisome
Aug 13, 2017 at 12:32 am #3484621
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Michael F.
Big Sky Chinook
Pop-up dome. Poles not threaded into fly. Good luck pitching that in a storm.
Crux X1 Assault
Single-skin pop-up, but with threaded poles. Still difficult to pitch in a storm, but one of the better pop-ups. Assault tent: not a lot of room.
CheersAug 13, 2017 at 1:19 am #3484623
Here are my needs.
1: Weighs exactly, slightly below, or slightly above 4lb’s packed weight (ideally including stakes, but ok if not)
2: 4 season use, and Can be pitched in a storm, easily or with a reasonable amount of difficulty (nothing really difficult)
3: Good at handling high winds, snow loading, and rain and has good ventilation
4: Holds up to 2 people, but it is not necessary to be extremely roomy. Imo a smaller footprint would be more versatile, so if it is (reasonably) tight for two people that is ok, and would be my actual preference
I greatly, greatly prefer anything silicone coated over polyurethane, GREATLY (I despise PU unless it is better for some reason that I don’t yet understand)
I would also greatly prefer the fly/outer tent be made of polyester (again silicone coated if possible)
(polyester due to it being better at handling moisture and not changing it’s qualities when wet) Again…unless for some reason polyester is worse for other aspects, and the trade off wouldn’t be optimal.
So… a 4 season tent, made of silicone coated polyester(outer), and silicone coated sinylon(inner), that has good ventilation and can handle high winds, rain, and snow loading, can be pitched in a storm with at least a reasonable amount of difficulty, and hold 2 people with a small foot print, that weighs less than, or exactly (or slightly above) 4lb’s packed weight (ideally including stakes, but ok if not)
Got any leads? (I am the most willing to compromise on weight, but nothing over 5.9lbs please, with that said I really, really want to stick to my weight goal of at or around 4lbs) (I am least willing to compromise on materials/coatings)Aug 13, 2017 at 2:25 am #3484628
If you want a top of the range winter mountain tent in a finite time, I would suggest the Macpac Olympus. Curiously, it is one of their oldest models, but it keeps selling. It is well-known around the world. Unfortunately, since it is rather bomb-proof, it weighs 3.1 kg all up. This is above your 4 lb.
We bought one in the late 80s and used it for years and years in the alps here in the snow, and in the warmer months as well, and it took some serious weather. We never felt at all threatened in it. Home away from home.
I subsequently got into tent design because I wanted to reduce the weight a bit. Making my own tents was what convinced me that the prices they want for commercial tunnels are really very reasonable. I made and sold a few of my tunnels, but I found I was working for about $3/hr: Chinese rates of pay. Not fun.
Nylon vs polyester: I go for nylon myself. It has a bit more elasticity than polyester, and this makes it far more suited to handling extreme weather. With the right design, the nylon fabric absorbs the shocks from the wind and recovers, not loading the anchors too much. They talk abut UV-resistance, but the silicone coating blocks most of the UV, and we don’t leave the tent pitched in the middle of the day anyhow.
CheersAug 13, 2017 at 4:23 am #3484629
Mountaineering tent that can be used year-’round, 2-person, small footprint? And is available off the shelf?
Black Diamond Eldorado… mountain wedge format, more like 4.5 lbs, but bomber. Can handle truly heinous weather… huge snow loads and big wind. Simple to pitch, although it takes some practice to learn how to get the poles in
easilywith a bit less wrestling. ;^)
I used one a lot back in the day before Todd Bibler was bought out by BD and it easily handled a lot of nasty weather in the Whites and Adirondacks, and a fair amount in the Cascades. It was the last thing standing a couple of times after ice storms. I also used it for a few 3-season canoe trips in Canada.
You’ll have to investigate further to see if the materials meet your requirements. Looks as if they’re still using the “Todd Tex” fuzzy stuff, which actually mostly works, and which I think is polyester.
Nowadays I look at things differently. There are 3-season tents and there are winter tents. Why carry around a 5 lb (or 9 lb or 13 lb) bomber tent when its capabilities are not needed — when a 1.5 lb (or less!) solution is more than adequate?Aug 13, 2017 at 10:35 am #3484667
Yeah, that’s my plan! 2 tents …1 summer tent (zpacks duplex) and 1 winter tent (still looking but I will look into you guys’ suggestions, thanks) it’s just that I don’t want my winter tent to be heavy af. Also I plan on mostly campking at fairly low altitudes in WA state and in Western NC (asheville etc) in the winter …very different winters, so I am looking for that kind of versatility
the 4.5 lb black diamond sounds awesome just off of its weight alone
Instead of trying to find bomber light weight 2 person tents …could I save weight by using 2 single person shelters, and we each pitch our own? Could the combined weight of 2 shelters be less than one 2 person shelter…? ever?
The reason I might be carrying both shelters is because a lot of my friends will be relying on my gear to tag along on treks as they only have much smaller day packs etc, and I might need to keep both of them on me (if for some reason they cant fit it in their smaller bags)
I have a custom HMG 4400, (got them to use heavier fabric for me) so I would be carrying most of the gear, while they carried less stuff (and used a lot of my gear)
Aug 13, 2017 at 10:40 am #3484669
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Michael F.
and Bob , could you go ahead and throw that Eldorado on the scale for me and make sure it’s real wight is about 4.5 lbs, cause reading accounts of expensive tents being sometimes over 2 pounds heavier than advertised really gets close to pissing me off (I would promptly return said products, with something to say about it) cause that is just really wrong
Upon inspecting closer, the I-tent is 4lb14oz and the eldorado (larger version of same tent) is 5lb 1oz
so a 3 oz difference …if these weights are true I would go for the eldorado for only 3 oz more…if they are going to be heavier than listed, I’ll go with the I-tent
know the true packed weights of these tents anyone?
Can either the eldorado or the i-tent be pitched easily in a storm?Aug 13, 2017 at 11:51 am #3484680
Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
Mark, here is a two door Eldorado (they don’t make them anymore) with carbon fiber poles, some ti-stakes and guy lines:
If I add the vestibule and ground sheet, it’ll top 7lbs. As many have said, it’s a “bomber” tent, easy to set up (even in foul weather), and more versitle than the Firstlight. BUT, at 5 to 7lbs, it’s kind of heavy, so I would make sure I have a 2nd companion with me, and I make sure there ain’t a 2.5lb shelter that I could use for the weather & terrain I might encounter.Aug 13, 2017 at 11:57 am #3484681
Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
“Can either the eldorado or the i-tent be pitched easily in a storm?”
Absolutely, but you MUST practice setting it up a bunch of times first.
You can either completely pin the tent down, climb in and set it up on your hands and knees, or you can drape the tent you while standing and set the poles while remaining vertical. But, the biggest weakness with the tent is inserting the poles into the “snaps” in its corners.
If you miss one of them, you could puncture the floor of the tent.Aug 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm #3484710
Hmm..I’m not to worried about having a ground sheet, but I would like a vestibule…and with this tent being so heavy even without one, would anyone here object to the idea of using a cuben fiber vestibule? might have to get it custom made, but that wouldn’t be a problem…
if it is 5.375 pounds, with everything but a ground sheet and vestibule…then using a cuben vestibule would probably let me keep the weight at 5.6 pounds no?(give or take) 5.6 I could live with…not so much 7
also you mentioned carbon fiber poles….are those worth a damn in a storm?
So I’m thinking the I-tent, with a cuben fiber vestibule, and no ground sheet…(possible carbon fiber poles, unless I am advised against this)
does any one think that sounds like a bad idea?
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