Tents can be a great, affordable introduction to camping, as well as the perfect option for those who like to get away from it all or just travel light.
But they’re usually not very good at keeping out the heat in summer or cold in winter, or those annoying sounds from nearby campers.
But that looks set to change with a ground-breaking new product described as “the world’s very first properly (thermally and acoustically) insulated tent”.
The Irish founder of Thermo Tent, Derek O’Sullivan, grew up camping in tents but after one particularly cold night under canvas pondered the question: ‘Why can’t tents be more comfortable?’
Working with leading tent manufacturers, he came up with a novel design that features an inner lining made from two layers of highly breathable inner poly-cotton. Vacuum packed to reduce bulk, they form a sandwich between a special TTinsulate material that boasts low thermal conductivity and high density.
Thermo Tent says the insulation technology helps muffle noise transfer by about 35 decibels, which is the equivalent of reducing city traffic noise down to the equivalent of a normal conversation.
The inner lining has thermal conductivity of 0.03 W/(m.K), helping to “reduce or even to eradicate the spikes in temperature that occur in normal tents”. The breathable material along with extra vents are also designed to reduce condensation build-up
The Thermo Tent is available in various sizes, and features steel pole framing, a fire-retardent Ripstop poly-cotton flysheet and sewn-in ground sheet.
The largest, six person ‘tunnel’ tent has the fully insulated sleeping quarters divided into two rooms (two and four berth), each with its own door.
All up it weighs 48kg and travels in two bags “designed to pack very easily into storage space and into cars”.
As well as recreational campers, Thermo Tent is hoping the product will appeal to high altitude climbers as well as those working in disaster relief.
After running a campaign on the Kickstarter fund-raising website in early-2015, Thermo Tent attracted 175 backers pledging a total of £50,891 ($98,385) to get the project up and running.
Early adopters pledged from £485 ($939) for the three-berth tent to £1190 ($2304) for the six berth, with first deliveries expected in May.
The company has also come up with a range of ‘glamping’ accessories including waterproof and insulated carpet for inside the tent, and a ‘world first’ salt water charger for your mobile phone.
Thermo Tent says it can take orders and deliver to most countries including Australia. See the website for further details.