Tent + Reflectix = Awesome? Fail?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
Post Reply
FancyJoshOG
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:01 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Tent + Reflectix = Awesome? Fail?

Post by FancyJoshOG » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:29 pm

So my tent has an uncovered mesh ceiling which I intend to cover. As a solution I figured I couldn't go wrong with Reflectix. I intend for it to be zippered on or heavy duty velcro so it packs as small as before. This got me thinking about creating a solid sheath of the material that could be attached around the structure quickly and easily. The tent's poles give a distance of about 3 inches from the outside to the fabric wall. The sheath would go over this, allowing a dist barrier and opportunity for airflow. The whole system would end up essentially air tight when done properly, all thoughts towards durability and strength considered like potentially webbing sewed to edges before zip or velcro added.

Why would I do this, why do I need it, you may ask? I intend on having a swamp cooler or AC inside, much more effective when radiant and light heat is brought to a min. There will be a shade structure over, but I am quite aware that better shade from heat means more airflow and better shade from light means sail/warm material/less air. I also enjoy making things I already have function better and would love to keep my investments to a min this year.

I'm curious if anyone has done this or something similar and what your experience was.

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 5825
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Tent + Reflectix = Awesome? Fail?

Post by Ratty » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:10 pm

I sew everyday. I sewed a way to tow a car once. Yup. I'll sew fabric over a mesh window in a tent. I'll sew a new zipper on. (Right onto the old one.) But even I ain't gonna sew a 'tent cozy'. If you want to keep your expenses to a minimum don't say the word reflectix. That stuff ain't cheap.

I wonder if a roll of radiant attic barrier would be a better choice. Where is Zig-zag? She made a whole monkey hut out of it and it was still going strong a couple years later.

You know this may end up a shake-n-bake oven sack. Keep us updated. If you make something come back and please tell us how it worked. We love the latest innovation.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

User avatar
Popeye
Posts: 636
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:39 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Beaverton
Location: Where the east wind blows

Re: Tent + Reflectix = Awesome? Fail?

Post by Popeye » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:02 pm

FancyJoshOG wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:29 pm

Why would I do this, why do I need it, you may ask? I intend on having a swamp cooler or AC inside,
Swamp coolers go outside with the cool air vented into the tent and then the tent vented to remove warm moist air. AC goes in the wall so the condenser is vented outside and the evaporator is inside.
nobody wants to live in a world with only one flavor...

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 1968
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Tent + Reflectix = Awesome? Fail?

Post by Jackass » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:55 pm

If you're going to be under a shade structure with an a/c unit aimed at you inside your tent, then what more do you need?

Shoulda made a hexayurt...
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

funkbomb
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:07 pm
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Born to Roam

Re: Tent + Reflectix = Awesome? Fail?

Post by funkbomb » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:18 pm

FancyJosh, I intend on doing this setup as well. There's a few things you need to understand about Reflectix:

1. It is not a good insulator on its own. It's only .25" thick, with an R-value of 1 to 1.5. Not very good.
2. What makes Reflectix or any insulator effective is the air gap you put between it and another insulating material.

So for your Reflectix to be effective, you need to mount it on the outside of your tent as you say using those protuding tent poles to create an air gap, but you need to SEAL that air gap well from outside air.

If you don't, the air in this gap will heat up, causing it to rise, and create a convection current of fresh hot air on the walls of your tent, eliminating any benefit of the reflectix.

Also, it will be contrary to your instincts, but you need to mount it with the shiny side DOWN, facing the walls of your tent (unless you are getting the 2-sided Reflectix). The effectiveness of Reflectix comes from the interaction of the non-emissive side (shiny side) and an air gap barrier.

Hexayurts are nice, but let's be honest...crazy bulky, and you'll spend $100 on that fancy 6-inch tape every year just to construct it. A one-time purchase of a $30 roll of reflectix is enough to cover my tent.

Also, the previous poster is right...your swamp cooler needs to be on the outside of your tent. You need to buy INSULATED ducting to bring the cold air inside...I can't stress this enough. If you get uninsulated ducting you'll lose at least 50% before it even gets inside your tent.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Master-Flow ... /203420974

Post Reply

Return to “Building Camps & Villages”