State of the Art


May 15, 2006
Outside Magazine

Tent makers are putting more R&D into poles; the result is stronger, roomier, lighter tents. Variable-diameter poles add strength while saving weight, and pre-curved shapes increase internal space. Other developments include carbon-fiber models (see Big Sky's Evolution 2P) and no poles at all (Nemo's inflatable Morpho).

Ultralight materials and design have trickled up to three-person tents, creating a new class of shelters: big enough for three, light enough for two. This breed weighs in well under five pounds, feels cavernous with two campers, and can accommodate a third. If you're going to own one tent, make it one of these.

More and more manufacturers are turning to silicone-treated fabric, since the material is both light and strong. But in many cases, tents that employ the fabric don't pass the strict fire-retardant standards used by several states. Until the regulations or fabric technology change, shelters like Black Diamond's Skylight may have limited distribution in some regions.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Need a Gear Fix?

Open email. Get latest gear. Repeat.

Thank you!