Homemade (Solo) Alpine Tent and other gear.
This is my little alpine tent. 850g including poles, pegs and lots of guys. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50964712206_483500da9e_z.jpg https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50964711871_9a7894316b_z.jpg https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50964711686_8e5e1d95f9_z.jpg https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50964711521_fcee33f08a_z.jpg I'd been thinking about it for a while, wanted a solo tent I could (just) sit up and change a jacket in, with enough vestibule to keep my pack in and cook in adverse conditions, really bombproof in adverse conditions including high snow or neve in a storm. Aim was a weight below 1 kg. I looked at the Macpac Microlight, felt the single long pole was sub optimal, lots of unsupported fabric either side of it, weight quite heavy at 1.4-1.6 kg. (I could carry my Minaret fly, poles and a lightweight bivi bag and have a lesser weight). I settled on a two pole design, more of a scaled down Minaret with the vestibule moved to the side. The longer pole is from my Minaret with one section removed, the shorter pole cannibalised from an older single pole tent I had. Fly is a fairly conventional weight, 30D silnylon ripstop similar to my Minaret fly. I did reinforcing patches on all attachment points around the bottom edge, put in extra guy points between each of the main ones around the bottom edge, so 16 possible attachment points around the bottom edge. Each pole has 5 guy attachment points so the poles shouldn't move much at all in even a high cross wind. The fly comes much closer to the ground than the Macpac flys, but I can roll up the bottom edge on both sides for more ventilation in a calm valley situation. I went really light on the inner. The floor is DCF (Cuben Fibre), the upper is very light ripstop (light sleeping bag weight) with light ballet tulle for insect screen. The whole inner is only about 150 g. The DCF is completely waterproof, but not very puncture resistant, but it's easy to permanently field repair holes in this stuff with the DCF tape. So far I haven't seen any downsides to the very light inner, though of course time (and a week or more in Fiordland) will tell more. Be interesting to see if/what anyone else is making in the way of their own tramping gear? Also, any existing commercial designs that have a similar approach? I tend to make something when I can't find what I want commercially, but didn't see anything out there that matched my ideas of what I wanted.
Now all you have to do is wait for the orders to roll in
Wow - I would buy one of these :) Looks like a very solid lightweight tent. Are you taking orders for real haha? Would beat my $720 MSR piece that ripped 2nd use - lots of unsupported fabric, some of the buckles/eyelets have been sewn in upside down so the webbing is twisted when in use, the plastic pole ends do not fit well inside the poles and are already starting to deform. Replacement fly for $90 but no refunds from Bivouac :(
It looks amazing. I am in awe of your skills.
That’s excellent work Ian, good looking design and very impressive execution!
Looks ex Ian. What do reckon it cost you to make? Phil
@Kickinghorse: I didn't do a detailed costing as I went, wasn't really figuring on doing more than a one off for my own use. I cannibalised poles out of my Minaret, and another older tent I had lying around, inner was also cannibalised from the bottom of a bivi bag I'd made previously and some other bits and pieces lying around. Looking at receipts for fabric, I'd say about $200 in total for fabric and bits and pieces. (So not including the poles) Not sure if I could source poles that would work with this design as it is. I can see poles available through [Tent Pole Technologies](https://tentpoletechnologies.com/product/easton-351-diameter-7075-t9-2/) in the USA, but I can't see any pre-curved section options, which I'd need for the relatively small diameter of the hoops. I could probably re-design to use straight sections and a couple of the 145° bent sections, I could see that working quite well and giving a bit more room, but it would need a re-design and re-development of all the panels. I'd need about 13 x 13 inch pole sections at about US$3 per section, so perhaps NZ$60-$100 depending on freight costs for a pole set. I'm not really focussed on making gear to sell, the problem is you pay a premium for specialist materials which have to come from multiple sources so freight adds up, and the time figuring things out and then putting it all together is quite high, so you often don't even make minimum wage on your time. I was pleased this one came together nicely on the first attempt, but reproducing it for someone else would take some more design time to make it work with the poles I could source. I'd probably make it slightly larger as well, I'm relatively small (174cm, 70 kg), it's sized for me rather than the 95th percentile of people who might want one. At the same time, if anyone is really keen, send me a message. I'll probably advance the design process as I feel inclined, measure up the possible pole sections available and do a more detailed materials and time cost analysis, but I can't imagine I could make/ sell one of these for less than say $750 or so. A Macpac Microlight is $470 on sale at the moment. Cheap labour and economies of scale...
Thanks Ian. Yes once people decide to enter the manufacturing arena it becomes a mine field! Roger Caffin from over here went down this path a while back and whilst his design etc was excellent he hit too many roadblocks to manufacture/retail Still the fruits of your labour have proved you with what looks like an excellent tent. If it can withstand the challenges of your high country then you are doing exceedingly well for the weight! Have you tested it out in some challenging weather yet? Phil
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