Thursday, October 14, 2010

2011 Sneak Peek: Pentalite 4P

We've been looking at designs for single pole supported pyramid-style tents for a while here because you can have extremely low weight-to-sleeping capacity ratios. These types of tents also tend to give you a lot of flexibility in order to tailor the shelter to your specific needs. The downsides of these tents are often related to the pyramid shape -- you usually have a wall hanging right over your head or at your feet.

When we designed Pentalite 4P (coming out in Spring 2011), we patterned a tent that can be set up as a traditional pyramid or guyed out to create nearly vertical walls. The idea behind the shape was that everyone could sit up in their own sleeping space without feeling crunched by the pole or tent wall.

We experimented with all sorts of different shapes and sizes for the footprint (a previous version of the tent had a square footprint). In the end, the pentagon shape (where the name of the tent comes from) gave the most versatility for living and storage space.

Each wall of the tent has a vent that can be guyed out. By doing this, you fully expose the mesh vent, and pull the tent wall away from the inside of the tent. This makes a big difference in creating the largest possible usable space inside the tent.

You can make Pentalite into a fully protected shelter (no bugs, no 'elements') by adding the Wedge, not to be confused with the OTHER Wedge. When decoupled, the Wedge is a mesh wall that zips into the Pentalite shell while the floor attaches along the remaining three sides.

There's a pretty cool detail about the Wedge that let's the pole pass through the floor so that it doesn't rub or abrade the floor fabric. We're calling it the Pole Port. Notice the cord lock cinch at the top of the port that prevents six or eight-legged 'friends' from entering the tent.

Our professional kayak ambassadors like this style of tent because at the end of a long paddling day, they like to get a bunch of them inside of the tent, zip up the door, close every single vent and transform the whole thing into a sweat lodge (presumably to sweat out the funkiness of being in a kayak all day?). Note: while it is possible to fully seal up the tent, high and low vents normally keep lots of air moving through the tent when they are open. Kayakers can substitute their paddles for setup instead of the monopole (or hikers can lash together 2 trekking poles).


P.S. For this tent (4 person), the tent shell alone is 3 lb, 1.5 ounces, the monopole is an additional 14.6 ounces.