Apr 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm #1272792
Ok, I know all you SUL guys are into your tarps and bivys and all, but a tent is more comfortable in the conditions I experience.
So, having never used a sewing machine before, I set about making a tent to my own design. It was not too difficult to make, but it took a LOT more time than I expected. I used 300yds of thread – that's a lot of sewing!
The design is a single skin hybrid tunnel tent with a side entrance. It has a sewn-in bathtub groundsheet with noseeum mesh walls bonded to the flysheet.
It is made from conventional materials: silnylon flysheet (50g/m2), PU nylon groundsheet (90g/m2) – much more robust and better hydrostatic head than silnylon, and alloy poles.
The interior dimensions are: 225cm (89") long, 100cm (39") at the widest point and 100cm (39") at the highest point. This gives plenty room for a 6' guy to sit up and move around.
Total weight: 1020g (2lb 4oz) including poles and 7 stakes.
Frame for making patterns:
Front pole tension adjustment:
Side guy attachment:
Rear pole attachment:
Apr 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm #1728841
Looks great!Apr 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm #1728850
Stuart, nice job! Looks roomy too!Apr 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm #1728897
@skyzoLocale: Borah Gear
Wow, that is quite the tent, looks awesome!
I was thinking about making a similar shelter soon, do you happen to have a pattern or anything for it?Apr 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm #1728910
I see some Vango inspiration in there..
Nice work. I like how you made that wood frame .
You have smoother lines than some commercial designs.
One of the best DIY tents I have seen.
Do you have a vent at the foot end ?
FrancoApr 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm #1728953
shape, wood form looks just like the one i made.Apr 25, 2011 at 1:22 am #1729063
Yes, the shape is similar to a Vango Helium. That is a heavy double wall tent, now there is a lighter version but still poor on ventilation.
My tent has no vent at the foot. However the whole perimeter acts as a low vent and with the high vent at the head I hope there will be enough ventilation.
To make patterns I made the wooden frame shown then stapled 150um builders polythene to it and cut to shape. This is easy. Then there are some minor adjustments to account for the stretch of silnylon.
Loads of room for one, and two (me + son) if packs are left outside.
thanks allApr 25, 2011 at 3:55 am #1729074
@maelgwnLocale: Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Can you post more details about bonding the noseeum to the flysheet? Did you just put down a healthy amount of silicone and stick the noseeum to it (squeezed with books or something until it dried)?
Do you think your method is better than putting a felled seam in to attach the noseeum?
ThanksApr 25, 2011 at 5:12 am #1729087
With the tent up, I marked a line where I wanted the noseeum to attach. Then I took the tent down, layed it on a flat surface inside-out and put a narrow bead of silicone along the marked line on one panel and then pushed the noseeum into it with my fingers and left it to dry. No weights were required. Once dry, repeat with the next panel.
I did this to minimise the number of seams and potential leak points.Apr 25, 2011 at 7:04 am #1729108
Great idea. I suppose some other adhesive may work as well. This would have allowed me to do my low density polyethylene tarp in true no-sew fashion. I will have to remember this.Apr 30, 2011 at 4:02 am #1731203
Ok, so the conditions were good enough for just a bivy bag, but I wanted to try out my newly completed tent. Morning dew on the grass and on the outside of the tent, so very light condensation on the inside was not a suprise and easily wiped dry.Apr 30, 2011 at 8:10 am #1731227
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
First of all very nice job on the tent. Well done!
"Morning dew on the grass and on the outside of the tent, so very light condensation on the inside was not a surprise…"
What were the weather conditions?
I'm just thinking out loud here. Is it at all possible that being set up so close to that beautiful water source had anything to do with the condensation that you experienced inside of your tent?
I assume that the high vent is on the head end of your tent. In the picture of your campsite, which way was the wind, if any, coming from? Was there any one place inside the tent where the condensation was the heaviest?
If there was any wind and it was coming from the unvented foot end, your tent could have become an evaporator of sorts. This is nothing new. The cooler damp air on the outside of your tent would have turned the inside of your tent into an A/C evaporator. The combination of your own body heat and exhaled breath being warmer would condense on the inside surface. So like I said this is nothing new.
Yours is a beautifully done tent with what seems to be a very adequately sized high vent. I can see the amount of thought, planning and attention to detail that went into your project.
I myself use a tarp and a bivy. But I am always tossing around ideas in my head of the "perfect ultralight single walled tent". I have always shied away from actually trying to make one because of the condensation issue among others.
Thanks for posting the pictures and description of how you made your tent. I really like the idea of bonding the noseeum to minimize the number of seams and leak points.
Very Well Done!
NewtonApr 30, 2011 at 8:36 am #1731243
Very Nice! It'd be a very nice outcome for an experienced gear builder, much more so for a first project!!
Can't tell from the pictures … is there a vent in the foot end? If not, adding a small beak and replacing the top half of triangle with bug mesh might improve ventilation with little loss of coverage or added weight.Apr 30, 2011 at 10:00 am #1731263
You should do a full write-up on it.Apr 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm #1731288
There is no vent at the foot. This is intentional: when there is rain on a strong wind I want to be able to point the foot into the wind and not get wet.
Overnight the skies were clear, the breeze died away and the air temp dropped to around 5C. The temperature of the silnylon would have been a few degrees cooler, hence the condensation on both sides.
thanks allNov 7, 2011 at 9:36 am #1799366
That looks like a very nice tent indeed, congratulations.
I have a few questions though,
Could you post some more pictures ? I am curious to see how the zipper works, and how you glued the mesh.
And how you attached the sleeve to the fabric.
Also, how did the tent perform ? I suppose you have been using it more than once this summer.
An update would be appreciated.
One question in general: Does anyone know where I can order 3 way pole connectors?
(as the MSR Hubba has). There must be some site that has a good collection of pole connectors….
Thanks,Nov 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm #1799534
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Fibraplex sells hubs that are drilled to accept three poles of arrow shaft diameter.
They are pretty hefty, and could probably be bored to accept thicker shafts.Nov 8, 2011 at 5:33 am #1799657
The tent has indeed been used: for a few nights in Scotland and a trip in the Pyrenees. My 16yo son accompanied me for that trip and altho the tent was designed to be spacious for a single person, there is just enough room to two to squeeze in. Not bad for 1kg!
I have been very pleased with the performance so far, altho it has not be subjected to challenging conditions. When there is no wind, there is some condensation which is to be expected, but it is very manageable even with two people. If there is a good breeze then there is no condensation at all.
I'll upload some more pictures this w/e, in the meantime here is one from the Pyrenees trip
Nov 8, 2011 at 10:06 am #1799735
@theflyingdutchmanLocale: Spanish Mountains
First off…. your tent looks incredibly well made. Congrats!!
Second…. Pyrenees…. After the Sierra Nevada, my favorite play ground — I live in Southern Spain :)
Third…. -the real reason- :). I was wondering if you could share the dimensions (height + width) of your tent at the foot-end. I’m working on the design of my own tarp (tent) and for the main (front) end of same, I’ll be using 2 trekking poles (in an A-frame), probably separated a little with a “spreader bar”. One of the 2 stays of my DYI pack (external frame) will likely be used for this separating action and I’m planning on using the other stay for keeping up the foot-end, in a similar manner as what looks to be a tent pole in your tent. Problem is that my stays are only 53 cms long (nearly 21”) and I don’t know whether that will be long enough.
Given that (1) there’ll be a 10 cms (4”) clearance all around (I’ll use the tarp-tent with a bathtub-style hybrid inner tent / bivy) and (2) I’ll be using Cuben Fiber for the fly with a width of 137 cms (54”), Pythagoras shows me that I can have a max. width of 108,2 cm (42,6”).
How does that compare to the dimensions of the foot-end of your tent? BTW, I’m 56, 6’3”, 220lbs and will be using an inflatable air mat (i.e. NeoAir or KookaBay).
Also, when you up-load the other pictures, would it be possible to have a close-up of the attachment point (tie-out??) for the guy line there?Nov 9, 2011 at 12:30 am #1799961
Thanks for the tip,
They have hubs, Not many different types, shapes and colours though..
Must be more sites with similar products.
If I had the tools I would make them myself.Nov 9, 2011 at 12:54 am #1799964
Thanks for replying.
Looks good, that tent in the Pyrenees.
I am planning my own tent as well, and I am more concerned about sewing the seams, taping them and getting the whole thing waterproof then about the design itself
Could you give s few links, with sewing tecniques for example,
and adresses where you got the fabric, guylines etc.?
One useful adress for fabric is the german site http://www.extremtextil.de
They also have a good section with links to interesting projects.
Here is a nice example of a one man tent: http://www.flusslinie.de/index.htm
Click on "Behausung" and then "Zelt"Nov 9, 2011 at 6:41 am #1799989
Thanks for your kind words. I love the Pyrenees, you will know why :-)
The foot of the tent is 60cm high and 80cm wide. I had the idea that could sleep with my head at the foot if the foot had to be pitched 'uphill' to face into a strong wind. I think you will be ok with 53cm high and you will not need more than 100cm wide.
All seams are flat fell seams, plenty instructions to be found on the web. They are not difficult when you get the hang of it, even with silnylon, so long as you pin the seam together before you sew. Sew along the pin line and the pinholes effectively disappear.
The pole sleeve is on the inside of the fly sewn into the seam at that point and is made from noseeum netting. Do not use silnylon for the sleeve – too much friction prevents the pole from sliding in easily. All fabrics were obtained from http://www.extremtextil.de who are excellent. The seams and the zip were sealed using Permatex Flowable Silicone, silnylon cannot be taped.
Diagrams added to the the original post in case they are of assistance, more pictures to follow.Nov 9, 2011 at 9:15 am #1800043
@theflyingdutchmanLocale: Spanish Mountains
>”I love the Pyrenees, you will know why :-)”<
I sure do. Because of distance (about 100 miles from where I live), you’ll find me more often in the Sierra Nevada – normally on weekend trips (although I’ve also done the Sulayr there). However, in the last 30 years I have spent more time in the Pyrenees than anywhere else. I have had numerous holidays with my wife there and I’ve done several GR’s of which I’ve completed the GR-11, “Carros de Fuego” (Aigüestortes), a 14-day-trip around Vignemale and Midi d’Ossau (Haute Pyrénées), I’ve been on top of the Aneto and, at the moment, I’m organizing a 14-day-trip in the Ordesa-area (for next year). So yes, I know why you love the Pyrenees. :)
Many thanks for the dimensions of your tent (and the diagrams in the original post), they sure are of help; the reason I asked was to assure myself that the 53 cm stay of my DIY-pack would be long enough — especially when using an inflatable mat (I wouldn’t like to having to bring a specific pole, since I already carry these 2 aluminum -arrow- poles as my pack stays). After confirming your tent is 60cm high and “only” 80cm wide, I feel that mine (with a height of 53cm and a width of 108cm) will certainly be enough. Thanks again.
And yes, I agree. I’ve dealt with Martin (Extremtextil) several times. He really is a nice guy to work with (always responded swiftly at all my queries via e-mail) and…. excellent quality materials.
Looking forward to the other pictures.Nov 9, 2011 at 11:14 am #1800097
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
Wow–this is quite the inspiration. Beautiful tent.Nov 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm #1801132
@copperheadLocale: Down Under
Did you also use the Permatex Flowable Silicone bond the noseeum to the fly?
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