How hard is it to make a pyramid shelter?
Feb 8, 2016 at 11:16 am #3380892George FBPL Member
I am sure you are right, but I was just tightening up something that was already sewn. If I ever make another I will spend more time with the design phase of it and try to get the curves right the first time.Feb 19, 2016 at 8:04 am #3383062
How do you guys cut the triangles for the pyramid if you don’t have a massive work table?
Do you use something to make a pattern (like cardboard), then lay it on the floor?? Or just long straight edges and draw each segment on the silnylon?Feb 19, 2016 at 8:33 am #3383071
I lay it out on floor. 8 foot long straight edge. Weigh down four corners of the fabric to pull it taut. Measure with tape measure.
To make the cat curve, I lay out the straight line, then put a mark every 2″, then measure the deflection for each point using Roger’s spreadsheet. I do deflection in mm because it’s easier to do fractions, although with Excel, you can specify unit’s in 1/32ds or 1/64ths of an inch which would work.
I made a pattern once, out of 1/16″ 4′ x 8′ sheet but that was more hassle than it was worth. I’de do this if I was to make more than one tent.Feb 19, 2016 at 8:38 am #3383073Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Full size template Jen.Mar 4, 2016 at 8:41 am #3386685
Nick, did you get that silpoly shelter back? any more words of wisdom about which material to get?Mar 17, 2016 at 8:51 am #3389767Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
So I did get it back. Here’s what failed and how:
- The membrane tore at the very top of the apex. The tent actually still works here because the stitching holding the reinforcement patch to the tent held strong, so it’s more a cosmetic issue.
- The mid-way tieouts should’ve had reinforcement patches, on one of them the tent tore near the tieout
- There were a few tears in the tent fabric mid-panel (not near any tieout), near the bottom
The first two issues can be avoided with good use of reinforcement. The third shows the potential weakness of the material. On the one hand, the tent has tears after just a few weeks of use. On the other hand, you could easily patch the tears with tenacious tape, and none of them had propagated significantly.
So yeah – I think if constructed properly a membrane ‘mid should hold up fine, unless holes get poked through it. Then it’s a bit questionable how it would hold up in strong winds if the holes weren’t patched. So, bring tenacious tape and make sure you know which side is the PU-coated side so it’s easy to patch in the field. Depending on the lighting conditions it can range from really easy to nearly impossible to tell the PU side from the sil-coated side, and tape does best on the PU side.
So, I think for my personal use I’m gonna stick with the 1.4oz silpoly. But making one out of membrane is feasible if you take good care of it.Mar 17, 2016 at 9:04 am #3389773
Nick, which material is the one that came back, the Membrane version?
Ripstop by the roll recommended the 1.1 non PU coated material for a shelter….hmmm????Mar 17, 2016 at 9:59 am #3389792Dave @ OwareBPL Member
@bivysack-comLocale: East Washington
A 4 sided mid is easier to set up square than a 5 or 6 sided. If one doesn’t get the stakes in the right place to form a square with right angles (or hex with equal angles) one corner will appear to be higher than the others.
You can add features later, a clip in floor, netting, even a covered vent as you gain the motor skills for sewing light fabric.
The zipper is usually the first thing to go, specifically the zipper slider. Make the end of the zipper tape so you can replace the slider without having lots of seam to rip. Also I find a buckle at the bottom of the zipper takes some stress off the zip when setting the tent up.Mar 17, 2016 at 10:10 am #3389798
David Olsen – voice of experience : )
another thing that’s worse the more corners you have, is if they’re not all level, like if one corner is higher in the air then the pitch is difficult. 4 corners better than 5 or 6. Also if the center pole is higher or lower, but that’s the same as having a longer or shorter pole so you can make the whole tent higher or lower all around the edge.
my #3 zipper broke so I ripped it out and replaced with #5. Some day I’m going to put in several ties, like at the middle and bottom so in case the zipper fails, I can still tie it closed as a kludge until I fix zipper.Mar 17, 2016 at 10:56 am #3389818JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Nick, thanks for the info. That does not sound promising for the Membrane SilPoly. While the SilPoly PU4000 that weighs 1.4 oz/sq-yd seems more puncture-resistant than the Membrane SilPoly, it does not seem to have much higher tear strength (at least according to my crude tear tests). It might be the PU-coating that weakens the material, as RBTR’s 1.1oz SilPoly (that weighs 1.24 oz/sq-yd with a Sil/PU coating) is much harder to tear; unfortunately, it tests at a low HH
I’ve been using the 1.4oz stuff as a shelter floor for around 20 nights with good results and it seems well-suited to that application, but your report would make me carefully consider making a pyramid tarp with the material. At 1.4 oz/sq-yd, it might be better to go with silnylon anyway and simply deal with the sagMar 17, 2016 at 11:45 am #3389839
I don’t think the stretchiness of nylon is that big a deal. Sure, you sometimes have to tighten a couple guylines after a couple of hours, but not that big a deal. I like the strength to weight.
Maybe a 1 oz silnylon is bestMar 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm #3389845
RSBTR said to get the PU coated version for a floor, but the 1.1 silpoly NON-coated for the pyramid itself.
Any thoughts???Mar 17, 2016 at 7:38 pm #3389953Justin WSpectator
As others have logically surmised, the silpoly will probably have higher tear strength, but definite lower water proofness. But i agree with what Jerry has said in the past, that with steep angled walls like in a pyramid, high water proofness isn’t quite as important as say a tarp that’s going to be pitched flat or near flat across.
In any case, if you find that it does truly “mist”, you can add extra silicone to up the HH. It’s really not that hard, and only adds a little weight. If you do happen to do that at some point, i would go by Richard Nisley’s weight proportion suggestion of silicone to mineral spirits, since he tested various proportions by weight and found that one to have the best HH to longevity ratio.Mar 18, 2016 at 12:05 am #3389986Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
Jennifer: The Membrane is the fabric that came back. So the “uncoated” 1.1oz silpoly isn’t actually uncoated, it just doesn’t have the PU coating. It’s got a sil/PU coating on both sides and the finished weight is 1.25oz. My guess is that it’s probably good enough for most people.
I actually have a tent made out of it but I was going to replace it with a 1.4oz one because it has some issues with loose side panels, and I already have a bunch of 1.4oz lying around. But given how busy I’ve gotten I might keep the tent and just add mid-panel tieouts to deal with the loose side panels. I have not had the chance to test it in any serious rain.
John: Hmm, I came to the opposite conclusion after informal tear strength tests with the two fabrics. Poke a hole in the membrane, and if you pull on it in the right direction you’ll tear the piece completely in half with little effort. Poke a hole in the 1.4oz and it’s harder to do so. At least that was my experience.Mar 24, 2016 at 4:47 pm #3391655Kyle BakerBPL Member
Nick: Thanks for the feedback on issues with the mid. It’s great for myself and the community to hear field reports for different applications of the material. A couple things come to mind:
- For clarity sake, the MEMBRANE you’re referring to is now “MEMBRANE PU4000” if you go to look for it on the site. The trade with this fabric is high water resistance and strength, specifically tear strength and puncture resistance. Mostly due to the PU backside, both are lower with MEMBRANE PU4000.
- The original intention for the PU4000 fabrics (mainly the 1.4 oz) was a floor application, not tarps or shelter sidewalls. But two things happened – A) people started using them for those applications with success and B) I concluded based on my own testing that tear strength wasn’t a big deal for most designs. That being said, some designs stress the fabric more than others, so it doesn’t surprise me to be finding limitations.
- For designs that put more stress on the fabric, I would look at the MEMBRANE silpoly 0.93 osy. It has lower HH at 1500 mm, but higher tear strength due to the sil coating on both sides. Silicone coatings improve tear strength, PU coatings lower tear strength (compared to the uncoated base fabric). This is a relatively new material and wasn’t around when you made the original mid. This is the lightest weight silicone coated polyester you can get.
Jennifer: Given the choice, I would opt for the 0.93 osy MEMBRANE silpoly over the PU4000 version for your shelter. Like I said above, it’s more robust and the lightest you can get in silpoly. Some may disagree, which is fine, but I think 1500 mm in a steep sidewall shelter is adequate waterproofing, especially in the context of going full bore UL.Mar 26, 2016 at 7:52 am #3391971
Kyle, thanks for the feedback. How would this compare to the 1.1 silpoly in terms of water resistance (particularly for use in a ‘mid) and tear strength?
Should I expect misting? if a thorn punctures the shelter (I do a lot of desert hiking), would I have to worry about a big wind coming along and ripping out the whole side (exaggeration i know, but I’m using it for demonstration purposes…;)
So in your opinion, the MEMBRANE .93 silpoly would be the better ‘mid fabric? I take very good care of my gear, but I also don’t want to stress about it being TOO fragile…..Apr 7, 2016 at 10:22 am #3394540
OK. designs coming along very well thanks to you guys!
I’m actually making 2 – a 9×9 square with the 1.1 silpoly as well as a more duomid-sized rectangle with the .93 MEMBRANE.
For the rectangle one, I’d like to sew in some netting and a floor ala the Zpacks altamid. I’m closely reading this Making a 2-man Cuben tent and I’m curious about how to attach the netting to the walls of the shelter if it’s a pyramid shape….
In this article he sews a strip of cuben fiber to the netting, then glues that on. If I’m working with the silpoly and not cuben would I need to do that, or can the netting be sewn directly to the tarp?
Any other tips for creating the zpacks-ish net/floor to sew directly into a duomid-shaped tarp?
I’m thinking there is a wall of net with a door in it, then each side and the back have the horizontal netting to attach the floor to the walls. Is that correct??Apr 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm #3394573Stuart RBPL Member
I attached a bug net wall to the inner of a sil-nylon tent using a thin bead of clear silicone sealant (normally used for bathrooms etc). It worked perfectly.Apr 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm #3394622d kBPL Member
You can sew the netting to the silpoly no problem. I used tulle instead of netting, so I sewed a strip of silnylon inside the mid, then sewed the tulle to that (since it’s so fragile,I figured it might need to be replaced, and the strip in between would save having to sew through the tent again).Apr 8, 2016 at 7:21 am #3394732
How do you guys feel about the .5 noseeum from ripstop by the roll for that netting? too fragile? too hard to sew?
Should I just get the .67 and be safe?Apr 8, 2016 at 7:53 am #3394741JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
For a Z-Packs style net floor, I think using the heavier netting would be wise. If making a separate inner-tent, then I would try the 0.5oz noseeum from RBTR. It’s harder to sew, but not too bad overallApr 9, 2016 at 2:47 pm #3395055Ola AkerstromBPL Member
Jennifer, you are a spin master… Many experienced people are willing to share their findings here… IMHO I thinks old bedsheets helps to get the right shape of things. I simply makes my mistakes cutting out and sewing whatever I need over and over again in cheap (or free) material until its right. When I finally cut the real and expensive stuff, I am prepared and usually get it right. It pays of in the long run. Good luck with your project!Apr 16, 2016 at 5:43 pm #3396389Dan YBPL Member
Use one of these for your pattern, not expensive ;)Apr 19, 2016 at 7:06 am #3396779
another quick question – what seam do people use for the edges? anything in particular?? Just a wider rolled hem, or something else?
THANKS!!!Apr 19, 2016 at 8:22 am #3396785
edges – rolled hem – fold over twice and sew through it
I normally do two rows of stitches just to make sure it doesn’t fail, but on the edge it wouldn’t matter
I usually mark a line with a “proven permanent” where I want the edge to be to make it even
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