Tent question

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estavash
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Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2010-08-28 14:31
Tent question

I have a question for those of you who do henna at outdoor venues... I'm finally setting up my own henna tent at some festivals this summer, so I need to buy a 10'x10' pop-up canopy.  I want a sturdy professional model that will survive the festival season (it's in sunny Southern California, but we do get occasional bursts of wind and rain) but that's light enough that I can set it up by myself if needed.  

Does anyone have experience with such a tent, positive or negative, that you'd be willing to share?  Any favorite brands or other advice?

Thanks,

Ellen

 

Malynda
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Last seen: 6 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2010-05-10 13:25
Re: Tent question

I have bought 6 canopies in as many years.  Some ate it due to weather, some died after being slammed into by unsecured canopies due to weather, and some are still going strong.  It seems like you get what you pay for.  Anything $80 or over have been great, even Walmart specials.  My best canopies are an $80 EZ-Up brand from Walmart and a $200 King brand from Costco.  All can be set up by one person (for tips on that, it might take a whole new thread :).  There are some basics you want to have:

*Cross-braces that span the top inside frame, not just the spindly supports that peak from the 4 corners.  This is important if you ever plan on facing serious winds.  Walmart specials ($80 and under) do not have this support structure.  This isn't vital... a properly guyed tent can withstand impressive winds, but you have to know how.  As an SCAdian, I bet you know how or can learn :).  The best defense against wind is to drop your canopy to the lowest setting or all the way to the ground (leave it staked).  This has saved us many, many times (except from airborn canopies that weren't guyed or dropped).

*Metal feet that are fused to the canopy legs to stake through, not plastic foot attachments.

*UV treated canopy top.  If you're sensitive to sunlight, you can sunburn right through untreated material.

*Make sure the carrying bag has wheels on the OPPOSITE side of the towing handle.  Odd thing to check, but you'd be surprised how important this is when lugging a canopy around.

*Walls are nice, either solid or mesh.  You'll have to buy them separately for Walmart specials.

*Stake alternatives.  Some venues won't allow you to pound stakes into the ground.  Good alternatives are sand bags, water jugs, or cinder blocks.  Some people (Henna Caravan, for instance) get very creative and make their tent weights out of pvc tubes full of concrete.  75-100 pounds of weight has worked for us in high wind.  Attach the weights to the legs or tie them with the canopy's guy ropes.

Happy hunting!

Mani
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Joined: 2010-05-24 01:43
Re: Tent question

Another consideration is the color of the top.  Some venues will only accept canopies with white tops.  As much as I love my WalMart FirstUp, the only color choices are blue or tan.  Also, after borrowing a friend's King canopy (Costco), I am seriously considering a switch for the first time ever.  It has a white top, I could put it up myself and it stood up to some very impressive winds (50 mph).  I suppose it reallly comes down to what kinds of events you'll be doing and how much money you want to spend on your initial set up. 

Jen
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Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2010-04-26 06:47
Re: Tent question

 I had a $5 pole tent I picked up at a garage sale that did just fine my first two years.

One thing to consider... Keep it 10x10 or less. That's kinda the standard for booth space.

estavash
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Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2010-08-28 14:31
Re: Tent question

Thanks all!  I'll keep your advice in mind as I do my tent shopping.

Ellen

 

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