The DART Winter is a low-profile, "one-and-a-half person" light-weight tent for solo travellers going anywhere in the world. Do not compare this tent with so-called 'ultra-light' shelters that depend on minimal frameworks and the use of ultra-light floor fabrics to achieve minimum pitch weights around the kilogram mark. This is a full-on winter tent with excellent high wind stability, resistance to snow loading and liveability.
The diagram shows just how spacious this tent is. There is heaps of room to arrange gear inside the tent, beside your full-length sleeping mat. Head room is also surprisingly good, sufficient to facilitate dressing without the need for more difficult Yoga poses. The slim vestibule is adequate for stowing an empty pack and boots while leaving room for access and, if it come to it, stove operation.
The Dart uses a pair of long, assymetrically-crossed poles combined with a transverse shorter one. The space this arrangement provides (not to mention the strength and stability) completely out-classes the commonly available single-pole-arc, one-person tent designs on the market. As a single-person tent it has one-sided access only. The floor extends into the space created by the transverse pole on the opposite side to the entrance. The outer tent door panel is sufficiently steep that little of the inner tent wall need be exposed to rain when entering or leaving the tent.
Once the inner tent has been erected the outer skin is fastened over it. The six custom designed pole feet engage the strong, narrow webbing loops on the outer tent 'corners' making the attachment and tensioning of the outer skin a speedy operation. We developed this unique system some years ago to avoid the durability problems around 20mm tape straps, side-release buckles and eyelets set in webbing. The narrow webbing straps are stitched only within the width of the outer tent double-lap-folded seams, eliminating the risk of tears when the straps are firmly tensioned. The door panel is fitted with twin sliders so the upper area can be partly opened for ventilation in dry weather. Two vents, carefully positioned as high up as possible on the outer skin, provide optimum convective ventilation during rainfall. They are held open by short props and closed by strips of touchtape on carefully designed fabric carriers that prevent water being blown up, in and onto the inner tent in strong winds. By unzipping the top part of the inner tent door and reaching around to the vent the near one can be opened or closed from inside the inner tent. The other must be adjusted from outside the tent. The outer tent is provided with our unique shockcorded guy system essential to assist the relatively rigid frame structure resist the drag forces created by storm-strength winds. It is possible to erect the outer tent on its own as a lightweight canopy. Simply disconnect the pole feet fittings from the inner tent corners and the ground strap for the floor pan and set the tent up as over the framework. Fabric loops to retain the poles are provided under the outer tent at the pole cross-over points and it is a good idea but not essential to feed the poles through these first. It's always a good idea to peg down your tent, even a free-standing one. Outer tent panels can be better tensioned and there will be no risk of the tent blowing away in your absence!
Except for the small top triangle, the Dart inner canopy is all mesh. In conjunction with the full-perimeter outer tent ground clearance and venting, this mesh allows excellent ventilation. The top triangle panel uses 40d breathable nylon for extra strength as well as some dew resistance when the inner tent is used without the outer. The single, large, arc-zip door design provides good open access. One mesh pocket is provided in the side wall at the left side of the door. You can use the inner as a simple, free-standing insect enclosure. Like the Dart 2, the Dart is ideal for tropical use and for many general backpacking and camping conditions. The only limitation of the mesh inner is its lack of protection when snow or dust is airborne in strong wind, or ground splash becomes a problem with torrential downpours on badly drained ground. The suspended floor and its splash walls go a long way to reducing this.
The super-durable, 100d nylon floor pan on the Dart is uniquely designed to deliver the same standard of protection from water as the unstressed full tub floors of our outer-pitch-first models. The six pole-tip socket end-carriers are cleverly designed so that the tensioned floor's tub corners they connect to are suspended well above ground level. This removes the need for difficult and bulky corner sealing solutions. Inner tent finished weight is further reduced by using outer tent fabric for the floor pan splash side walls. When the tent is occupied, the floor panel simply sags down to the ground just where it is loaded. The PU floor coating is light grey in colour. It is easier to find lost items in the tent, light levels improve on dull days and, against the black fabric background, accidental coating damage is easily identified for repair by liquid sealant application. The pole framework is carried by mesh sleeves fitted to the inner tent. These are reinforced against wear when poles are being inserted or withdrawn.
The links beside the picture at the top of this page lead to a wide range of information, advice, instructions , technical background, and so on, probably much more than may interest you. If you purchase or already own this product we strongly advise you to read the use and care pages carefully. The info on the DIY repairs page could also be worth a scan, just so you are prepared incase of a field mishap.