- May 15, 2019 at 1:26 pm #3593076
Trey LBPL Member
I have a tent design that’s pretty revolutionary, geared at a niche market. I’ve ordered from most of the US-based raw material suppliers (Quest, Seattle Fabrics, Ripstopbytheroll, etc), but I want my next prototype to have the quality materials that you’d find on a Kelty tent, or any higher quality backpacking tent. Even something simple like the nice j-hooks or the grommet/webbing material is near impossible to find!
I’d like to secure a source for these materials before contacting manufacturers, then I got to thinking… Who manufacturers the majority of Kelty, REI, and Marmot tents? Perhaps it’d be best to just reach out to their manufacturer directly and see if I can plug into their source if I use one of their MOQ contracts? Does anyone have any advice or insight on this?May 15, 2019 at 2:32 pm #3593085
Mike BBPL Member
Some of the smaller cottage manufactures might be of assistance.
I know Dan Durston just did one with Massdrop, he is around here somewhere.May 15, 2019 at 3:04 pm #3593089
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
All the big name companies you mention are made overseas, mostly in Vietnam. I think the problem you will run into is that these companies will require a manufacturing run of X number of tents (probably at least a couple hundred) and that takes large amounts of capital.May 16, 2019 at 1:49 am #3593178
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Don’t think you will find a cost-effective way to get someone else to built a prototype of your design. So many details do not come up until an actual prototype is built. Once a prototype is built and tested more issues may arise. Also needed is some way of knowing if sale of a first run is likely.
Dan Durston’s threads on BPL are very instructive about ways to address the above issues.
Maybe he can respond to your OP.
I just build tents for myself and a few friends, but even with just that, and following my own advice above, issues arise, sometimes not until a prototype is done. So I have taken to posting about projects in detail, with pictures of models, specs & etc., seeking comments before building a prototype. And many of the comments have been very helpful. But sense that what readers most want to see posted is the actual prototype in order to garner more comments. I learn the most about tent design when editor Roger Caffin gets into a discussion with other tent geeks about projects and design.
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