Henry Shires at Tarptent, makers of innovative ultralight backpacking tents, was inspired by the design of the 1891 canvas tent below to take that design and improve it quite a bit.
According to Henry:
“The key improvements over the 1891 shelter include the integrated rear carbon fiber struts, catenary ridgelines, swept “wings” which better stabilize the tent front, do away with any center stake or guyline and add gear storage, and the copious venting with full bug protection and integrated flooring. Not to mention the weight, which at 1.5 lbs is superlight.”
This tent is called the Contrail. The pole for this can be a single a hiking pole, a stick found on the trail, or you can take a very light 2-ounce pole. There is no front guyline to trip over or duck under. The headrom at entry is excellent, as is the elbow room (66″ across front door) and rectangular foot room. The width of the floor eliminates any chance of the bag contacting the walls, and leaves room for a dog to join the boss in the tent.
There is excellent ventilation as the back wall can be folded open, and the packed size is tiny at 14″ x 4″ x 4″.
The tent is a stretched pyramid design with end corner 14″ carbon fiber struts, which fit in protective sleeves. The rear floor edge is inset 10″ from the tent dripline. Setup is extremely quick, and uses only 4-stakes in the sub 2 minutes setup time.
Front beak provides 10 square feet of protected gear space. The high beak vent allows flowthrough ventilation.
The rear storm flap rolls up or down (from inside) as needed. It also suppports tip side up or handle side up trekking poles (not shown in these photos). The 7-foot floor cradles a “long” sleeping bag (shown) with ease. At 1.5 pounds, this makes a great weatherproof ultralight tent.