The Ace is an entirely new tent design,another WE original. It will be available Spring 2011 in two UL ultra-light versions, one with a mesh-walled inner, the other with a full-fabric winter inner, and an institutional version. The institutional version uses more economical fabrics and has the winter inner.
The Ace design aim was to develop an all-season, all-conditions, lightweight, single-person tent with sit-up headroom, good length, adequate width and vestibule space for adult users, all under a framework with excellent strength and stability. The common complaint with existing ultra-light and very-light sit-up single-person tents on the market is their cramped space and dismal performance in real storm conditions.
The Ace achieves its design aims by employing a completely new device,a dihedral hub (innovation patent application pending). At first glance the framework looks like a very conventional double-crossing, end-to-end, two-pole system. It isn't! The splayed end poles rise from the tent corners to meet at quite high hubs. These two end triangles are stiff, strong and provide a solid platform for the two remaining framework elements, two low-angle poles between the hubs that curve apart to provide shoulder width in the centre part of the tent (no extra transverse pole needed). The novel aspect of the system is the dihedral angle between the slope at which the end and overhead pole pairs enter their hub. Sit-up headroom and frame rigidity are achieved in a minimum-profile envelope.
The framework is essentially one piece. All components are linked together by shock cord and separate to fold up normally. When the inner tent is used alone it is completely free-standing. The outer skin requires two pegs. The two transverse guy cords can be combined onto these pegs or anchor on additional ones. Two closing vents of standard WE design are provided high up on the outer tent. Both can be operated from within the tent.
Another feature is an internal snow load strap that can be clipped in place and tensioned between the end walls of the inner tent at the hub locations. This strap effectively stiffens the overhead pole arcs against deflection by snow loading. It also stiffens the complete tent structure against severe wind loads. Since this strap is relatively high in the tent and only required when the occupant is asleep or away from the tent it causes minimal obstruction.
As a model designed to solve the single-person instructor shelter problem for outdoor education programmes, as well as for wide use by light-weight walkers and travellers, the Ace incorporates all WE's experience in building strong, long-lasting gear. All zippers follow easy-to-operate straight paths, except for a slight, unavoidable curve on the inner tent door. Fabric's,components and coating quality are all WE standard.