A blind devotion to absolute light-weight in solo tents often results in disappointing field performancewhen it really matters. A fresh breeze will show up worrying instability. Real foul weather can jeopardise the trip. The Dart is true, free-standing solo tent combining excellent storm strength and stability with great ventilation, generous floor area and useful vestibule space. With the waterproof outer skin removed, the insect-proof, mesh-walled inner remains as a perfect dry-season enclosure for those warm, starry nights. For higher latitudes where wet and cold combine the Winter version, due in 2011, is a great alternative.
- Totally Free-standing, 3-season, "one-and-a-half" person tent.
- Inner tent pitches first, outer attaches over and can be used alone.
- Min Wt 1.97 kg
- Packed Wt 2.28 kg
- Floor Dimensions: 2.3m long x 1m widest
- Outer Tent Fabric: 30d ripstop polyester, silicone elastomer face, tape-sealed, 1500mm PE back coating.
- Outer Tent Colour: Gold or Eucalyptus Green.
- Inner Tent: Black 20d nylon mesh door and walls, light grey air-permeable 40d nylon roof panel.
- Floor: Suspended tub, 100d nylon base with 8,000mm HH PE coating, 30d outer tent fabric splash walls.
- Poles: 3 x Scandium Air Hercules FC (floating connectors), fully field-maintainable.
- Pegs: 7 x 4-Flute HT Aluminium, with pull cords.
Much more info about the Dart
The DART is a low-profile, "one-and-a-half person" super-light tent for solo travellers. Although a dependable double-skin design, its roominess, useful space, stability and ventilation are quite exceptional. The use of 30d siliconised polyester for the outer tent and mesh for the inner canopy, coupled with our unique tub-floor design have resulted in a surprisingly low weight for such a liveable tent. The Dart is ideal for use in summer and tropical conditions. If rain threatens the outer tent can be rapidly added and tensioned down using the six side-release buckles around its perimeter. The high-wind stability is excellent.
The drawing shows just how spacious this tent is. There is heaps of room to arrange gear inside the tent. Head room is also surprisingly good, sufficient to facilitate dressing without the need for more difficult Yoga poses. The slim vestibule is adequate for stowing an empty pack, boots and cooking gear.
The Dart uses a pair of long, assymetrically-crossed poles combined with a transverse shorter one. The space this arrangement provides (not to mention the strength and stability) completely overshadows the commonly available single-pole, one-person tent designs on the market. The small vestibule on the entrance side will fit an empty pack and some cooking gear. The slope of the outer door panel is vertical enough that during rainfall the door flap can be managed to prevent troublesome exposure of the inner tent.
Outer Tent Features
Once the inner tent has been erected the outer skin is fastened over it. The six custom designed pole feet engage the strong, narrow webbing loops on the outer tent 'corners' making the attachment and tensioning of the outer skin a speedy operation. We developed this unique system some years ago to avoid the durability problems around 20mm tape straps, side-release buckles and eyelets set in webbing. The narrow webbing straps are stitched only within the width of the outer tent double-lap-folded seams, eliminating the risk of tears when the straps are firmly tensioned. The door panel is fitted with twin sliders so the upper area can be partly opened for ventilation in dry weather. Two vents, carefully positioned as high up as possible on the outer skin, provide optimum convective ventilation during rainfall. They are held open by short props and closed by strips of touchtape on carefully designed fabric carriers that prevent water being blown up, in and onto the inner tent in strong winds. By unzipping the top part of the inner tent door and reaching around to the vent the near one can be opened or closed from inside the inner tent. The other must be adjusted from outside the tent. The outer tent is provided with our unique shockcorded guy system essential to assist the relatively rigid frame structure resist the drag forces created by storm-strength winds. It is possible to erect the outer tent on its own as a lightweight canopy. Simply disconnect the pole feet fittings from the inner tent corners and the ground strap for the floor pan and set the tent up as over the framework. Fabric loops to retain the poles are provided under the outer tent at the pole cross-over points and it is a good idea but not essential to feed the poles through these first. It's always a good idea to peg down your tent, even a free-standing one. Outer tent panels can be better tensioned and there will be no risk of the tent blowing away in your absence!
Inner Tent Features
Except for the small top triangle, the Dart inner canopy is all mesh. In conjunction with the full-perimeter outer tent ground clearance and venting, this mesh allows excellent ventilation. The top triangle panel uses 40d breathable nylon for extra strength as well as some dew resistance when the inner tent is used without the outer. The single, large, arc-zip door design provides good open access. One mesh pocket is provided in the side wall at the left side of the door. You can use the inner as a simple, free-standing insect enclosure. Like the Dart 2, the Dart is ideal for tropical use and for many general backpacking and camping conditions. The only limitation of the mesh inner is its lack of protection when snow or dust is airborne in strong wind, or ground splash becomes a problem with torrential downpours on badly drained ground. The suspended floor and its splash walls go a long way to reducing this.
The super-durable, 100d nylon floor pan on the Dart is uniquely designed to deliver the same standard of protection from water as the unstressed full tub floors of our outer-pitch-first models. The six pole-tip socket end-carriers are cleverly designed so that the tensioned floor's tub corners they connect to are suspended well above ground level. This removes the need for difficult and bulky corner sealing solutions. Inner tent finished weight is further reduced by using outer tent fabric for the floor pan splash side walls. When the tent is occupied, the floor panel simply sags down to the ground just where it is loaded. The PU floor coating is light grey in colour. It is easier to find lost items in the tent, light levels improve on dull days and, against the black fabric background, accidental coating damage is easily identified for repair by liquid sealant application. The pole framework is carried by mesh sleeves fitted to the inner tent. These are reinforced against wear when poles are being inserted or withdrawn.