Title:
LIGHTWEIGHT TENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a lightweight tent having a sloping roof that overhangs the door and preferably the base of the tent as well at one or both ends. This latter slope allows the tent to be erected using a single supporting member, and provides good ventilation while simultaneously providing good protection from the elements. The lightweight tent is constructed from a waterproof canopy having generally trapezoidal sides joined to a floor that preferably tapers from the front to the rear. Its roof slopes downward from the front to the rear, with at least its front side edges tilting toward the ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees.



Inventors:
Stewart, Jeffrey L. (Greenwich, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/758847
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/06/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/87
International Classes:
E04H15/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICES OF JOHN DE LA ROSA (375 UPPER MOUNTAIN AVE, MONTCLAIR, NJ, 07043, US)
Claims:
1. A lightweight tent comprising: a front door entrance including a door flap that opens from the top down; and a canopy having first and second canopy sides meeting along a roof ridgeline sloping from the front end to the rear end of said canopy, the roof ridgeline overhanging at the front end said front door entrance, with said front door entrance disposed between the base of the tent and the roof ridgeline.

2. The lightweight tent of claim 1 wherein the roof ridgeline also overhangs the base of the tent at the front end.

3. The lightweight tent of claim 1 wherein the base of the tent tapers from the front end to the rear end.

4. The lightweight tent of claim 1 further comprising a floor that covers the base of the tent.

5. The lightweight tent of claim 1 wherein said canopy at the front end includes front canopy edges tilting towards the roof ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees and extending down to the base of the tent.

6. The lightweight tent of claim 1 wherein the front door entrance includes netting.

7. The lightweight tent of claim 1 further including a rear door disposed between the base of the tent and the roof ridgeline.

8. The lightweight tent of claim 7 wherein the roof ridgeline overhangs both the base of the tent and said rear door.

9. The lightweight tent of claim 8 wherein said canopy at the rear end includes rear canopy edges tilting towards the roof ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees and extending down to the base of the tent.

10. The lightweight tent of claim 7 wherein the rear door includes netting.

11. The lightweight tent of claim 7 wherein the rear door includes a door flap that opens from the top down.

12. The lightweight tent of claim 7 further including a rear end wall at the rear end of the canopy.

13. The lightweight tent of claim 1 further including a front end wall at the front end of the canopy.

14. A lightweight tent comprising: a roof; a front door entrance including a flap that opens from the top down disposed between the base of the tent and said roof; and a canopy having first and second canopy sides meeting along a roof ridgeline defining said roof, the roof ridgeline sloping from a front end to a rear end, thereby forming a funnel shaped interior region within the tent between the front and rear ends, said roof ridgeline overhanging said front door entrance.

15. The lightweight tent of claim 14 wherein said roof ridgeline also overhangs the base of the tent at the front end.

16. The lightweight tent of claim 14 wherein the base of the tent tapers from the front end to the rear end.

17. The lightweight tent of claim 14 further comprising a floor that covers the base of the tent.

18. The lightweight tent of claim 14 wherein said canopy at the front end includes front canopy edges tilting towards the roof ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees and extending down to the base of the tent.

19. The lightweight tent of claim 14 wherein the front door entrance includes netting.

20. The lightweight tent of claim 14 further including a rear door disposed between the base of the tent and the roof ridgeline.

21. The lightweight tent of claim 20 wherein the roof ridgeline overhangs both the base of the tent and said rear door.

22. The lightweight tent of claim 21 wherein said canopy at the rear end includes rear canopy edges tilting towards the roof ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees and extending down to the base of the tent.

23. The lightweight tent of claim 20 wherein the rear door includes netting.

24. The lightweight tent of claim 20 wherein the rear door includes a door flap that opens from the top down.

25. The lightweight tent of claim 14 further including a rear end wall at the rear end of the canopy.

26. The lightweight tent of claim 14 further including a front end wall at the front end of the canopy.

27. The lightweight tent of claim 14 in which the roof ridgeline at the front end is supported by a first guy line secured to a point at or higher than the peak of the roof ridgeline, and in which said roof ridgeline at the rear end is secured to the ground by a second guy line.

28. The lightweight tent of claim 27 further including a pole located at or past the front peak of the tent, said first guy line secured to the peak of the pole.

29. A lightweight tent comprising: a roof; left and right sidewalls; a front door entrance disposed between the base of the tent and said roof, said front door entrance including a door flap that opens from the top down; and a canopy having first and second canopy sides meeting along a roof ridgeline defining said roof, the roof ridgeline sloping from a front end to a rear end, said first and second canopy sides joined to said left and right sidewalls, respectively, thereby forming a funnel shaped interior region within the tent between said front and rear ends, said roof ridgeline overhanging both said front door entrance at the front end.

30. The lightweight tent of claim 29 wherein the roof ridgeline also overhangs the base of the tent at the front end.

31. The lightweight tent of claim 29 wherein the base of the tent tapers from the front end to the rear end.

32. The lightweight tent of claim 29 further comprising a floor that covers the base of the tent.

33. The lightweight tent of claim 29 wherein said canopy at the front end includes front canopy edges tilting towards the roof ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees and extending down to said sidewalls.

34. The lightweight tent of claim 29 wherein the front door entrance includes netting.

35. The lightweight tent of claim 29 further including a rear door disposed between the base of the tent and the roof ridgeline.

36. The lightweight tent of claim 35 wherein the roof ridgeline overhangs both said rear door and the base of the tent at the rear end of the tent.

37. The lightweight tent of claim 36 wherein said canopy at the rear end includes rear canopy edges tilting towards the roof ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees and extending down to said sidewalls.

38. The lightweight tent of claim 35 wherein the rear door includes netting.

39. The lightweight tent of claim 35 wherein the rear door includes a door flap that opens from the top down.

40. The lightweight tent of claim 29 further including a rear end wall at the rear end of the canopy.

41. The lightweight tent of claim 29 further including a front end wall at the front end of the canopy.

42. The lightweight tent of claim 29 in which the roof ridgeline at the front end is supported by a first guy line secured to a point at or higher than the peak of the roof ridgeline, and in which said roof ridgeline at the rear end is secured to the ground by a second guy line.

43. The lightweight tent of claim 42 further including a pole located at or past the front peak of the tent, said first guy line secured to the peak of the pole.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention generally relates to tents and shelters used in backpacking and other outdoor activities.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Tents are typically used by backpackers, hikers and others as shelters during overnight trips, and need to be as light and compact as possible to make them easier to carry. Moreover, they need to protect the backpacker(s) from the weather, and from insects, while also providing adequate ventilation to minimize condensation. Additionally, tents need to be sturdy, and should be fast and easy to erect, preferably using as few custom poles and stakes as possible.

To date, there are many tents available for use as shelters. Currently available tents, however, all have trade-offs. Those providing the best protection from the environment are, for most backpackers, too heavy. Most lightweight tents, on the other hand, generally do not provide adequate protection on all sides from insects or the elements, e.g., wind, rain, sleet, hail and snow. And, those tents that do, typically suffer from poor ventilation, allowing condensation to collect inside. Accordingly, there exists a need for a tent that better meets the requirements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a lightweight tent having a sloping roof that overhangs the front door entrance, and preferably the tent's base at least at one end, allowing the tent to be erected using a single supporting member, such as a pole, while providing good ventilation and full protection from the elements and insects.

In one embodiment, the tent is constructed from a waterproof canopy having generally trapezoidal sides joined to a floor that preferably tapers from the front to the rear. The tent has a roof ridgeline that slopes downward from the tall front to a shorter rear, thereby forming a funnel shaped region within the tent. This funnel shaped interior maximizes convective air flow by forcing moisture out a top opening at the front end as cooler air enters low at the rear end. The roof ridgeline is longer than the floor and the front edges of the roof tilt toward the ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees allowing the roof to overhang the front door entrance, and preferably the floor as well. The resulting overhang produces an awning that prevents rain, snow and other elements from entering the tent. Similarly, the rear edges of the roof tilt toward the ridgeline, allowing the roof to likewise overhang the floor and door at the rear.

The tent includes a front door entrance having a door flap, which is provided with fasteners, such as zippers on each side, and opens from the top down. It can be partially opened to the extent needed to keep out the elements while allowing adequate ventilation of the interior of the tent. Also provided is netting which overlaps the flap and extends vertically downward from the roof to a front end wall for protecting against insects. Fasteners, such as zippers, are provided along the sides of the netting to allow entry and exit.

In another embodiment, the tent includes sidewalls to increase the useable floor space. At the front end, the bottom of the overhang starts at the top of the sidewalls to achieve a more taut structure without the use of additional stakes. Similarly, the overhang starts at the top of the sidewalls at the rear end.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the invention may be obtained by reading the following description in conjunction with the appended drawings in which like elements are labeled similarly, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a lightweight tent constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the lightweight tent of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is side view of the lightweight tent of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the lightweight tent of FIG. 1 with the door flap partially opened;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of another embodiment of a lightweight tent constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is side view of the lightweight tent of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A lightweight tent for use in backpacking and other outdoor activities that maximizes ventilation as well as protection from the elements and insects, all with a minimal amount of materials and weight, and with a minimal amount of required assembly, is realized by employing a sloping roof that overhangs the door, and preferably the tent's base as well at one or both ends. Additionally, the tent has door flap(s) that open from the top down. Importantly, the sloped, overhanging roof allows the tent to be erected using a single supporting member, such as a pole, while providing good ventilation and protection from the elements.

Without any loss of generality or applicability for the principles of the invention, the preferred embodiment of the lightweight tent is described with a sloping roof ridgeline that is straight. It should be clearly understood, however, that the present invention is equally applicable to other roof line shapes, such as catenary roof ridgelines, and the like. Also, the lightweight tent is designed preferably to include a floor covering the base of the tent. Although it may be designed floorless, to further reduce the weight, such a design would, of course, reduce protection against insects and the elements.

Referring to FIGS. 1 through 3, there is shown a tent, designated generally by numeral 100, having a waterproof canopy 105 made from a lightweight, waterproof material, such as spinnaker sail cloth, weighing about 0.9 oz/yd2. A slightly heavier, waterproof material, such as 1.1 oz/yd2 silicone impregnated nylon can also be used. Although it is more expensive, Cuben fiber, weighing only 0.5 oz/yd2, is still another choice.

As shown, canopy 105 has generally trapezoidal sides 110A and 110B extending to the ground. Trapezoidal sides 110A and 110B, are joined to floor 115 along floor edges 120A and 120B, respectively. The area of the ground enclosed by the tent defines the base or ground footprint 115'. Preferably, floor 115 tapers from the front to the rear forming a trapezoid. This creates a generally funnel shaped interior region with a tall front end 125 and a shorter rear end 130, defined by the corresponding sides of canopy 105. The funnel shaped interior of the tent maximizes convective air flow. The so-called “chimney effect” causes warmer air with moisture to be forced out from a top opening at front end 125 as cooler air enters low at rear end 130.

Tent 100 has a roof 135 defined generally by a roof ridgeline 140 defined by trapezoidal sides 110A and 110B. Floor 115 is connected to canopy 105 by various means, including sewing, heat sealing, gluing or ultrasonic welding. Preferably, floor 115 is constructed from a material such as 1.1 oz/yd2 silicon nylon. Of course, other suitable fabrics may be used for greater strength and abrasion resistance or for lighter weight.

To create a taut structure, loops or grommets are sewn along edges 120A and 120B of the floor or base, in particular at the four base points 120a, 120b, 120c and 120d, and secured to the ground by stakes (not shown for the sake of clarity). Each tent has a front door entrance 145 extending preferably from a front end wall 146 to roof ridgeline 140. Roof ridgeline 140 slopes downward from tall front end 125 to shorter rear end 130. The roof overhangs the front of floor 115 as well as front door entrance 145. Front canopy edges 155A and 155B preferably slope down to base points 120a and 120d, respectively, preferably at about 30 degrees from vertical. That is, the front canopy edges of the roof tilt toward the ridgeline at an angle less than ninety degrees. This latter overhang produces an awning that prevents rain and other elements from entering the tent. Similarly, the roof overhangs floor 115 at rear end 130, protecting it from rain and other elements. Rear canopy edges 155′A and 155′B preferably slope to base points 120b and 120c, respectively.

The roof should be slanted from front to rear as much as possible to maximize air flow, but this is constrained by the need to minimize material and weight, and the required anthropomorphic space. The preferred angle for the sloped roof is about 12 to 15 degrees from horizontal. This angle will vary depending upon the overall dimensions chosen for the tent. The tent can also be pitched with its rear end facing the wind to augment airflow through the tent.

Roof ridgeline 140 is supported by a front guy line 165 that is secured to its end 170 using, for example, a sewn-in loop or grommet, with the guy line then tensioned to a supporting member, such as a pole 175 located at, or distal to, end 170. Preferably, guy line 175 is attached to pole 175 along a line continuous with the ridgeline of the roof. Pole 175 can be placed at varying distances from the tent, so as to facilitate entry. The farther away it is located, the easier it becomes to enter and exit the tent. However, the farther away, the longer the pole and front guy line have to be. Should the pole be lost or damaged, or if it is desired to save the weight of carrying a prefabricated pole, it is possible to secure the guy line to another point higher than the peak of the ridgeline outside the tent, such as to a tree or rock, or a stick fabricated from wood found in the field.

Pole 175 may be constructed, for example, of aluminum, titanium or carbon fiber composite and, preferably, be made collapsible for compact carrying. A trekking pole may also be used. Pole 175 may be prevented from falling over by attaching one or more guy lines, such as guy line 180, to the ground with a stake 185. Because of the sloping roof, short rear end 130 need not be supported by a pole. Instead, it may be supported by a rear guy line 190 at end 195 using, for example, a loop or grommet, and secured directly to the ground with a stake 200. Alternatively, the guy lines may be secured to trees, rocks, shrubs, and the like. Once roof ridgeline 140 is supported and tensioned between pole 175 and stake 200, and the base points 120a, b, c and d are attached to stakes, it forms a taut, erect structure.

Referring to FIG. 4, front door entrance 145 includes door netting 205 fastened to door side edges 210A and 210B, and extends downward from ridgeline 140 to front end wall 146 for protecting against insects. Door netting 205 is permanently attached to front end wall 146, by such means as sewing, gluing, heat sealing or ultrasonic welding. A fastening means, such as a zipper (not shown) is provided along door side edges 210A and 210B to allow opening of the netting for entry and exit. A door flap 215 is also provided, preferably interior to netting 205, and is likewise secured to front end wall 146. Door flap 215 overlaps door netting 205 and opens from the top down along front edges 210A and 210B, using known fasteners, such as zippers, hook and loop strips, and the like.

Door flap 215 may be made from the same material as the canopy and importantly can be partially opened to the extent needed to allow ventilation of the interior of the tent, while keeping out the elements. In severe rain or wind, a small opening can be left at the top of front door entrance 145 to maintain air flow, which air flow is facilitated by the chimney effect afforded by the funnel shaped interior of the tent, and still provide protection to prevent rain and other elements from entering.

Rear door 160 can also be fashioned in a similar manner with door netting 220 and door flap 225, although the door flap could be eliminated, if desired. Because the rear door would not generally be used as an entrance due to its small size, the netting could be permanently attached between the roof and rear end wall 161. Door netting 220 is preferably exterior to door flap 225. The overhanging roof at rear end 130 protects the rear door from rain and other elements.

Loops may be provided near the upper, interior corner ends of the tent and at the upper ends of the door flaps to allow the loose ends of the flaps to hang, thereby removing some of the weight of the door flaps from the fasteners when partially opened. Loops may also be provided along edges 210A and 210B and 210′A and 210′B at some height, such as 12″ above the floor, where a line can be attached for drying clothes or hanging small items, such as a wrist watch, flashlight and the like.

Of course, the interior of the tent can vary depending on space and headroom needed, as well as on the size of the tent desired. For a one-person, lightweight tent, the peak height at the door entrance is about 36″, and at the rear door about 19″. The width of the base at the front end is about 36″ and at the rear end about 24″, and the total base length is about 81″. The front of the roof overhangs the base by about two feet, and the rear of the roof overhangs the base by about one foot. Using 0.9 oz/yd2 spinnaker cloth for the canopy and 1.1 oz/yd2 silicon nylon for the floor, the tent would weigh approximately 15 oz, excluding pole, guy lines and stakes.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, it is contemplated that the present invention could include sidewalls 230A and 230B to increase the useable floor space, which would be of greater importance for larger tents, such as those accommodating two or more people. Sidewalls 230A and 230B would be a continuation of trapezoidal sides 110A and 110B, respectively, and joined to floor 115. Again, floor 115 preferably tapers from the front to the rear forming a trapezoid. The trapezoidal sides form a funnel shaped interior region. At front end 125, the bottom of the overhang would preferably start at points 235A and 235B of sidewalls 230A and 230B to achieve a more taut structure, without the need of using additional tie-out points and stakes. Similarly, the overhang would start at points 240A and 240B of sidewalls 230A and 230B at rear end 130.

A two-person tent would preferably have: approximately 5″ sidewalls; a front door entrance height of about 42″; and rear door height of about 21″; a two foot overhang at the front end; a one foot overhang at the rear end; the width of the base at the front end of approximately 62″ and at the rear end about 42″; and the total base length of about 81″. Using 0.9 oz/yd2 spinnaker cloth for the canopy, and 1.1 oz/yd2 silicon nylon for the floor, the tent would weigh about 22 oz, excluding pole, guy lines and stakes.

Those skilled in the art will readily note that the present invention provides distinct advantages over currently available tents. Because the overhanging roof is sloped, only a single vertical support member, such as a pole, is needed. This reduces the weight of the poles required, and, if desired, eliminates the need to carry any poles, simplifying site selection and offering greater ease of assembly. And, the resulting funnel shaped interior forces out moisture from the top opening at the front end, as cooler air enters low at the rear end. The door flap(s), opening top down, can be opened to the extent needed to keep out the elements, while allowing good ventilation of the interior of the tent. Also, the overhang produces an awning that prevents rain and other elements from entering the tent.

It should be understood that the embodiments herein are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention. Various modifications may be made by those skilled in the art which will embody the principles of the invention and fall within the scope thereof. For example, other cross section shapes for the interior of the tent may be used, instead of a triangular one. Additionally, as newer waterproof materials that are lighter and/or stronger become available, they could be substituted for those presently available. As such, for an appreciation of the true scope and breadth of the invention, reference should me made to the following claims.