Tent design is about people. How to shelter them from bugs and rain and the pain of carrying too much weight. How to integrate the sleeping experience with the wonder of the environment. How to hide the technical details and accentuate the aesthetic ones. At Tarptent, we design for the purpose of people.
What we do involves what we call “probing the polyhedra” (and non-polyhedra). By that we mean looking at the mathematical world for what is proven mathematically and experientially to do the job. We look at prisms and pyramids, spheres and cylinders for inspiration and then push those forms into new aesthetic and structural expressions. We recurve them and change their mathematical DNA, searching for the best way to weather the storms, maximize the interior volumes, and minimize the weight. Using high performance computer aided design software we cycle from screen to sewn and back again searching for the best expression that lets you Sleep Anywhere™. We’re proud of our shelters and our commitment to Sewn in Seattle.
The Pitchloc is a patented, foldable, elemental structural component across much of our product line. Made of very light and strong carbon fiber tubing, the Pitchloc enhances usable volume, increases structural strength and stability, eliminates multiple stakes, reduces setup and takedown time and complexity, and reduces weight. In conjunction with arch and trekking pole supports, the Pitchloc is an esssential part of our tent DNA.
Catenary curves are formed when a homogeneous cable is suspended by its endpoints. The word catenary is derived from the Latin word for “chain.” The mathematics of the curves are described by a hyperbolic function. Catenary curves can also be seen in lots of structures from bridge cables, to hanging chains, spider webs – take a look around you!
Tarptent ridgelines are true catenary curves. This design element gives Tarptents exceptional strength, sag resistance, and wind-shedding ability.
A critical design goal for every tent we do is to maximize usable volume. By usable volume we mean space into which you can reasonably sit up, lie down, change clothes, and organize gear. Listed length, width, and height specifications mean little in the absence of understanding the tent geometry. Shallow slopes cut off usable volume, steep slopes increase usable volume. Two tents with identical listed dimensions can have radically different usable volumes. Note how we use the PitchLoc ends in the Notch design to dramatically increase usable floor length and volume without increasing the footprint—the space required for setup.