I have used many cuben shelters from various manufacturers and have been very happy with their performance. I won't bother mentioning any in particular, but just take a look at my gearlists and you can see which ones come with me on my trips. Each of them serves me very well, but it was only a matter of time until I came up with an excuse to make my own version. The main objective for this design was to create a tarp that was fully enclosed, allow plenty of length and height for tall guys like me, and utilize my trekking poles to create a rigid frame of some sort. Also, while it didn't make it in this version, I was thinking of how I could incorporate a hood in the shelter so I could use it as a poncho. So I started to brainstorm....
That's how I started thinking about the design of this shelter. I wondered how I could go about creating a rigid frame out of my trekking poles and offset them to each side. This would perform two functions. The first is that it would allow me to use the highest and largest section of the shelter more efficiently, and the dual pole design, if properly secured would create an ultra-rigid structure.
Now, drum roll please....feast your eyes on the ALL-W.E.T., which in case you didn't notice, stands for the All Weather Enclosed Tarp. And yes, the name is supposed to be a play on words, meaning that you WOULDN'T get all wet if you used it - yeah, I have a bad sense of humor.
I am currently working out some bugs, but I have several plans already in place for R2 of this shelter. The first is that I plan on adding a hood at the top of it so it can be used as a poncho. This is also the reason I use buttons on the entry ways. If you open up the top button on each side, you can stick your arms out to use your trekking poles. Once the hood is added, you will have an enclosed poncho/tarp. I am also working on a carbon fiber strut to run between the poles. The few times I have used the shelter, I have been in an area where there is lots of wood, so finding a natural strut has been easy. However, I realize that this may not always be possible so I hope to create a very light one to use in those situations. The tieouts will be replaced with either bonded tieouts or standard grosgrain, I'm still working on a few solutions so we'll see how that goes.
Description: The entire tent body is made from 0.75 oz/yd cuben fiber. The roof is a single piece with doors sewn on each side. The doors are secured closed by plastic buttons running down each side allowing for 30" high openings. The tieouts are made from the same weight cuben fiber bonded to the corners and then small aluminum grommets are secured to the beefed up sections. A piece of very light cord is then run through the grommets and used to stake the shelter out. Two poles are inserted into the corners of the roof which are reinforced with 2 layers of cuben fiber and then a stick or pole is pressed in between the poles to create the rigid structure.
Weight: 6.25 oz ( 170.1 grams) with 8 guylines attached
Notes: I still have quite a bit of testing to do on this little beauty. So far, I am not sure I can even make these due to the expense of both the materials and labor involved (I have no idea how the other guys are doing it so cheap!). But...I do have bigger and better plans for this, aswell as high hopes, just thought I would post it a bit prematurely for you to enjoy!