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  1. #1
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    DIY Tipi Dimensions-now figuring weight

    I'm getting dangerously close to ordering the material for a tipi and am trying to finalize the dimensions. A friend has an SL-5 that he loves and feels it's about perfect for 2 guys and gear with his cylinder stove inside. I have been planning to go bigger than his because I need to be sure I can fit me and my two boys in it, preferably with a DIY cylinder stove that I want to build. But how much bigger is what's getting me. I can tend to go too big on stuff (bigger's always better, right....?) but REALLY don't want that to happen here, since I'll be carrying it.

    I was planning on going with RSBTR's new XL silpoly for the tent material. The extra length can give some more in the way of possibilities on the dimensions. Then I got to thinking about a somewhat rectangular design and stretch two of the walls instead of all 4? But then I wondered if that actually made any difference in the useable space inside vs just keeping everything even? I'm also trying to get my final height figured and have looked at some of the commercial tents out there. I'm 6'3", so I sure wouldn't mind having a little head room standing up. But again, I think there's a happy medium with the right height for the wall angles for the interior and not adding so much length to the peak so there's a bunch more weight I'm carrying around...

    All that to say, what are your thoughts on the dimensions you'd go with? I'm planning to put tie outs 2 or 3 feet up from the bottom to help pull the walls out for more liveable space inside. I just want to do everything I can to make it "right" the first time.


    Jeremy
    Last edited by gudspelr; 04-20-2017 at 09:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    I have a design i'm planning [once I finish my other project] that is 13', 12 sided. It will be a little on the heavy side as I'm using the 1.6oz pu4000 from RSBTR. 12 sided is a PITA you say....yeah, but it works well with fabric size, the addl seams will add strength and the rounder shape will shed wind better.

    I had a SL5 and sold it....a little tight for 2 guys our size [I have about 1/2" on you]...at least I thought it was a little small as you lose floor space with the catenary cuts.....but if you want to go as light as possible....that size works. I wouldn't do catenary cuts though.

    A 4 sided pyramid saves on sewing but isn't going to shed the wind as well...it all depends on your preference.

    Height wise, REI has an 8'6" pole...that makes things easy to design around. My design gives me appx 2' wide of head space on either side of the pole.
    Last edited by Beendare; 04-18-2017 at 05:17 PM.
    “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett

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  3. #3
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    Yeah, the more round the design, it sounds like the better it does in the wind. But, I think I'm going to stick with 4 sides for the simplicity at this point. I have a 12'x12' canvas pyramid tent (that I'm trying to sell to fund some of these projects) that I've had in some lousy weather and it did great. I know it's a long ways heavier than these lightweight materials, but I think I should be good for most any situations I'm going to be out in. I was looking at the slightly heavier Silpoly vs the 1.1, but then they came out with the XL (which is 1.1)... And the lack of stretch on the poly means I'm not going for any cat cuts. So are you going to do a full 8'6" for the height? That would definitely be nice and roomy-how much do you think the tent will weight?

    Jeremy

  4. #4
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    Heres one about the size of an SL5 I whipped up for you...just a tad bigger...man is 6'3" for scale11ft tipi w man.jpg
    “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett

    "You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” ― Edwin Louis Cole

  5. #5
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    And here is that same 11 footer from the bottom with 2 pads 26" wide by 6'3" long11ft tipi bottom.jpg

    Should help you on size req.
    “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett

    "You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” ― Edwin Louis Cole

  6. #6
    Senior Member realunlucky's Avatar
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    Mcr85 design more like the sawtooth. I have had 3 guys and the stove in mine for a week in Alaska. It's a great design

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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  8. #7
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    Realunlucky's is a good design with good use of the fabric....you can tell he has thought that part through.

    I dunno what my 13 footer will weigh...its not really for backpacking so weight wasn't #1 priority.
    “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett

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  9. #8
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    This is a 13' point to point footprint I think I'm going to use...still tinkering. Pads are 28"w x 6'3" long for scale, 5' 10" between the pads

    13ft tipi bottom.jpg
    “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett

    "You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” ― Edwin Louis Cole

  10. #9
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    Looks good, Bruce. I think I'm going to have to go smaller, since I plan to back pack with it. My 3 pads will be smaller, though as well: 23" wide by 72" long. I was wondering in my head if I could get one pad on each wall, other than the door. And if I would be able to have enough room for gear and the stove... I'm wondering how feasible this would be for packing into the hills, though. That was what made me wonder if I could make it a slight rectangle to accommodate some of the gear in corners? I don't know-I need to get sketch up working (having a heck of a time getting exact measurements on lines I'm drawing and such....).

    Jeremy

  11. #10
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    I've got the tut and good do me and my boys in it with stove but not for long as they grow.
    The new 70 (usable) RSBTR poly would make it huge. I think the tut panels are 55 at the bottom. So that would add over 2 ft to sides. Could easily sleep along 3 walls at that point.
    Concern would be how high to make it and how to cut do don't waste a ton of fabric.
    Weight of fabric won't be bad. Pole and stakes will add up though.
    I had tut in wind that bent two of the cheap big orange stakes this year. Thought pole would break but it didn't
    Good luck on project

  12. #11
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    I went through a couple tents last fall and found I liked the Cimarron footprint (hybrid pyramid) to suit my tastes more as I really liked the length in the design for 2 guys sleeping long ways in it, either that or the elongated sawtooth profile I think I'd like too. This is from the perspective of looking for a spacious 2man setup. Once getting into the taller tipis I think the increased diameter would make me like them more but I'm also interested by the redcliff (larger version of the cimmarron) for sleeping more guys the short way.

    There is no doubt tipis shed the wind better but my Cimarron got hammered on by wind this year on the backside of a ridge at the head of a long valley and held up fine.

  13. #12
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    Thanks for sharing your experience, pods. Glad to hear the Cimmaron held up well in the wind.

    So, I'm thinking of doing the silpoly XL 1.1 oz. that's 70 usable width, total of 140" (11.6') per side. That's without seam allowances, so it may end up closer to 11'3" (?) per side sewn, depending on how good I do on the sewing machine. I'm wondering if an 84" (7') height would be reasonable for the peak? I'm wishing I had the math skills to calculate the weight for this, plus a wood stove jack and a little vent for the peak... I may have to look up how to figure that out. Also, maybe I can try some math to see what height would allow me to cut a long strip diagonally on the material to end up with each side to then turn and sew together as a triangle. Would sure make material usage the best...

    Jeremy

  14. #13
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't go any less than the 1.1PU for a tent or tipi. You wont get the width of other fabrics and thus will have to add seams to manage fabric but this only makes it stronger.

  15. #14
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    Do you mean the 1.1 silpoly PU4000? From their chart, RSBTR has the PU silpoly as having somewhat lower tear strength and puncture resistance than the "regular" 1.1 silpoly. It does appear to be more abrasion resistant, though. Is there a particular reason you'd go that route instead of the regular 1.1? It's also a tad heavier per oz, though the hydrostatic head is better. Hmmmmm....

    Jeremy

  16. #15
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    Yeah, it will stay waterproof...and not lose it like lesser fabrics.
    “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett

    "You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” ― Edwin Louis Cole

  17. #16
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    Ok, maybe someone can help double check my math for weight...? Math was FAR from my strong suit in school, but google has an amazing way of helping that... Here goes:

    A tent with a bit over 7' peak height in the XL fabric (70" usable width) means I could have four 9' long pieces of material and make a diagonal cut down to the opposite corner and I'd have my pieces to sew together for the four walls. That was a mental feat in and of itself that left me feeling pretty good about myself . So, I wanted to figure out what the weight of just the material was. This was where google came into the picture.

    The silpoly (if I go with the 1.1 XL) is about 1.3 oz/square yard after it's treated. 9' lengths for each wall gives me 12 yards for all 4 walls. Calculations gave me a total of 23.33 square yards. I multiplied the 1.3 by 23.33 which came to 30.329 (1.89 lbs). I'm pretty sure that last number should be ounces. But for some reason, I can't help but wonder if that's right? That seams really light for what would be a little over an 11' square tent. Made me start wondering, so I did the math for the heavier, 1.6 silpoly. RSBTR lists that material after coating at 1.77 oz/square yard and that equated to 41.29 oz (2.58 lbs). It's a bit over a 1/2 lb heavier than the 1.1, but is 40D vs 20D. The 1.1 PU4000 comes in at 1.4 oz/square yard treated and would weigh 32.66 oz (2.04 lbs).

    I know that doesn't account for thread, the zipper, stove jack, and tie out points and such, but that seemed like a pretty great weight for the material (maybe excluding the heavier 1.6 silpoly). I don't suppose anyone has ideas on what everything else would add as far as weight? I think the Bearpaw standard size stove jack is listed at 7 oz. I've got no clue what thread and seam sealant along with everything else would bring it up to... Just don't want to overdo things and end up with a really heavy setup.


    Jeremy
    Last edited by gudspelr; 04-20-2017 at 08:55 PM.

  18. #17
    Senior Member WoodBow's Avatar
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    I made mine with 45 degree walls. 7.5 foot peak. 15 feet wide. 1.3 oz PU Nylon. I had to splice panels into the bottoms to get my fabric big enough. 500d cordura stake out reinforcements and peak. My weight with an REI $30 pole is right at 7 pounds. If I do it again I will make it a 10 panel to save having to splice the panels. It will be a little less sewing and a little simpler build.

    DIY Tipi Tested and Proven

  19. #18
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    Thanks, Woodbow. Your tent looks great and thanks for the weight total. I'm hoping I'll be able to keep mine a bit lower.

    Jeremy

  20. #19
    Senior Member realunlucky's Avatar
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    Zipper and seam sealer add quite a bit of weight

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  21. #20
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    Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. Which thread did you guys use-Mara 70? I think I'm going to go with a #8 zipper? Does that sounds right?


    Jeremy

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