How do teepee style or hexagon/yurt style tents fair on the playa?

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How do teepee style or hexagon/yurt style tents fair on the playa?

Post by jendoe333 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:45 am

Hello all!

This will be my first year on the playa. I'm shopping for a tent. I've come across some teepee style tents and hexagon/yurt style tents. Will the shape and construction hold up to the winds and white outs? I haven't seen any mention of them anywhere, and I'm thinking there may be a reason for that......Any and all guidance and advice appreciated! Thanks!

This is one in particular I was looking at. Multi-pole construction and multiple guy lines. ... thena=true

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Re: How do teepee style or hexagon/yurt style tents fair on the playa?

Post by Popeye » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:50 pm

That tent looks ok BUT Walmart and $111.00? I don't know.
Check how good the zippers are. Can you pull them apart? Also those poles may not be strong enough to stand up to the wind with all that sail area.
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Re: How do teepee style or hexagon/yurt style tents fair on the playa?

Post by Canoe » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:19 pm

Shape looks good to me, but all of the details that determine if a tent will survive a blow on the playa can't be determined by photos in an ad.

In the photos, there even seems to be some issue with the guy lines holding the side of the tent out, where an upper and an lower attachment points merge into a single guy line, with the upper attachment point appearing to be folded over, so instead of pulling evenly on the seam, it looks more like it's trying to tear it out. From the interior photos, the door and window covers zip up their sides but are open at the top. You could use tape along the zippers and the open top, but will their zippers and tape hold, and hold in a playa wind. The top vents look like there's no cover on the inside, and the outside cover may pull more closed, but that's not the same as sealed.

And a huge bonus of the tent designs that are mentioned below, is that a tarp can be thrown over top and secured, to keep the direct sun off of them. Some used a light or even foil sided tarp to reflect more heat away. Are the poles capable of handling that weight, and under a wind load, and are the guy line attachment points going to interfere with that.

This is where you're welcome to be a guinea pig and bring one to the playa, or find out if it's been playa-tested yet. And by someone who had it on the playa during some of the usual wind, as in 35 mph to 70 mph (not a walk-in-the-park year with little wind): for keeping dust out, not blowing apart and not taking off like a tumbleweed and trashing your downwind neighbours. There's no telling what the winds will be when you're there.

It also helps if you're not sitting out in the open by yourself (say out in walk-in camping), where the wind gets an open path at you. Located within the various structures of the city usually means the wind speeds are reduced, but you may get wind channelled at you from a nearby larger structure, or get run over by a whirlwind or a micro-burst, in which all bets are off.

So although some people enjoy watching a neighbour's tent/structure blow apart (providing they're not downwind of it) and that would be providing some entertainment to some in BRC, given the above, I'd recommend getting a tent that has a proven record on the playa. There's a few that have a playa track record with people recommending them, and that appear in threads during the past month, so you can read the accounts and recommendations and make a more informed choice. Pay attention to what is said about included tent pegs. The snow/water seasons determine what the top of the playa soil is like each year, and it can vary some through BRC. Some years/locations the stock pegs/spikes will work fine, other years not so much so, and other years they can't get a purchase. So look into recommended options for those tents.
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