Mylar on Tents

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Mylar on Tents

Postby GypsyMike » Sat May 03, 2014 7:42 pm

I'm pretty sure I'm just going to go with a monkey hut at this point, but I have some tent cooling ideas I would like some feedback on. I'm thinking about either gluing 2mm mylar to the existing rain fly on my tent or gluing it to a tarp and then draping the tarp over my tent. Has anyone already done this? If so, how much cooler does it get in the tent? With my regular dome tent, it's usually 10-15 degrees F warmer in the tent than outside. I would like to reverse that if possible so that I can actually sit in my tent during the middle of the day. This video shows how easy it is to glue mylar to a tarp. The first half of the video is superfluous but the second half is good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgNiav-y9Rk

I would really like to experiment with the new Coleman Octagon tent. It's HUGE. 13" Octagon shape with a center height of either 7 or 8'. It has a two doors and then three sides between each door. I would love to cover the three East facing sides and the East facing top half with 2mm mylar. One of the cool features of this tent is that the six sides that don't have doors have a full length rain fly that open curtain style. Here's a link to that tent.

http://www.coleman.com/product/octagon- ... 2WnPVfesTB

I look forward to hearing some feed back. Thanks :)
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun May 04, 2014 9:39 am

Check out the Cooling your Tent or Van thread. I'm pretty certain that the mylar will just catch the heat and make it worse. The way shade structures work is that sun warms them, not the tent, and that there's room for air to circulate and take the heat out. Also, mylar's a pan to work with. And the shiny stuff detaches at folds...
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby EspressoDude » Sun May 04, 2014 9:42 am

hold some mylar in the wind......it is not quiet. think 20 - 40 mph, and it will delaminate from the tent fabric and make more noise than you can stand
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby GypsyMike » Sun May 04, 2014 5:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback(s). It seemed like a good idea at the time, but not so much now. I think the monkey hut with a tent is the better way to go all around. I'm thinking about making a 40' one. So, I can put my tent in one end and still have plenty of shade for hanging out in. This provides lots of space with the least investment. Win/win! The Coleman tent I mentioned is just under $300. and I was looking at the even more expensive Srpingbar and Kodiak tents. With the monkey hut, I'm thinking total investment will be under $150. and then $50-$75. for a dome tent. I learned last year that it's actually a good think to sleep in a fairly small tent because it keeps in at least a little heat at night. I noticed the difference between a Coleman Sundome 3 and a Hooligan 4. You wouldn't think their would be any difference, but the sundome with a tarp over it was noticeably warmer. During the day with the windows/doors open, in the hut, will hopefully be cool enough to sit in and meditate, then it will also be a little warmer at night.
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby DoctorIknow » Sun May 04, 2014 7:51 pm

Coleman makes a lot of great stuff that's very useful on the playa, but for the octagon tent, their description of it gives it a big warning to burners:

WINDOWS AND MESH ROOF - PROVIDES MAXIMUM VENTILATION

I've been amazed at the perfectness of an old Coleman Weathermaster tent I've used at Burning Man for 15 years...the only mesh being on four large windows that have full zippered covers, making dust penetration in the highest winds very slight, almost imperceptible.

This is what they've done to the same model tent in the last 7 or 8 years:

coleman weathermaster.JPG


Looking for a tent with sealable mesh is a wild goose chase, good luck. There are expedition tents, and the canvas ones so worshiped here in eplaya, but the cost of both are way expensive.
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby GypsyMike » Mon May 05, 2014 4:51 am

Nice to hear about the weathermaster holding up for so long. Do you modify it in any way to help it take the winds? Do you drape anything over it to keep it cool?
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby DoctorIknow » Mon May 05, 2014 9:05 am

The only thing I do is stake down the four corners with candy cane rebar about 18 inches long...probably too long, but better safe than sorry. The rest of the stakes are candy cane rebar, but the thin stuff and only 12" long. The pic above is a smaller unit than what they used to make, and there are four sets of poles and not two. This self supporting tent (no guy lines) design works "with" the wind and the tent can flex as it's being billowed in one way or another. Some years I use the rain fly, but always have great shade above, be it army camo, snow camo, combination of those two, and now, aluminet, which doesn't cast interesting shadows at all (a negative) but packs up nicely and is fine for sun lessening. It would be very hard to find one of the older Weathermaster tents on craigslist, and you'd have to visit to make sure it isn't a screen top and that the windows can seal up. Of course, you could block out the screen, in which case do lots of searching here as this screen/mesh problem is well discussed. Good luck!
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby trilobyte » Tue May 13, 2014 6:55 pm

I'm giving this a nudge over to Shelter & Camping, since that's a better fit for shade/shelter discussions.
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby Kaos Salmon » Fri May 16, 2014 7:57 pm

Two relevant bits of research I'd like to share, though I haven't actually purchased or playa-tested either so I can't say much about them other than the fact that I've spent endless hours googling the shit out of these topics. I'll try to avoid too specific of a product endorsement, since I understand there are board rules about that.

1. Tents with fully zip-close-able mesh windows. There aren't many, but a company called Suisse Sport makes at least two that appear similar in every regard except size (and the fact that one gets better reviews on Amazon for some reason). Note that they still have a relatively small mesh ceiling underneath the fly that would need to be covered, but at least it's a much, much smaller area than the Coleman Sundome in the same price range that many people seem to tolerate with sheets clipped or adhered over the massive mesh walls.

2. There is an alternative to Reflectix that appears to be cheaper, stronger, and perhaps even a better reflective barrier. It is not sold in Home Depot or other brick and mortar stores, only online from the manufacturer, targeted at do-it-yourself types. Their website has a great deal of information, including video comparisons to similar products. Google "reflective barrier," that company is on the first page of results.
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby DoctorIknow » Fri May 16, 2014 8:28 pm

Kaos Salmon wrote:...a company called Suisse Sport makes at least two that appear similar in every regard except size (and the fact that one gets better reviews on Amazon for some reason). Note that they still have a relatively small mesh ceiling underneath the fly that would need to be covered, but at least it's a much, much smaller area than the Coleman Sundome in the same price range that many people seem to tolerate with sheets clipped or adhered over the massive mesh walls.


The 9 and 12 minute marks on this video show the Suisse Sport Yosemite 5 person (for sure, if you can, always get a tent for BM that you can stand up in) and there is a "room divider" that could probably be re-purposed as a barrier for the screened top, which shows up best in the video at the beginning.

What I see as problematic is the dependence on the support poles. Even though they probably are very bendable, in high wind it's almost for sure the tent will "flatten", not necessarily breaking the poles, but if inside at the time, it's very disturbing. One could try to guy rope down the poles in the spots that one can attach line (duct tape at the knot so it doesn't slip, at which time it could stress the tent fabric and possibly tear it) and leave some slack in the rope/string.

For ANY tent that is supported by the fiberglass, or aluminum poles, I suggest you either replace them with the strongest ones you can find, or at least take an extra one of two, that you can buy at http://tentpoletechnologies.com/?page_id=17, as repair of these high tech but breakable poles on the playa is really hard. (I used rebar and duct tape once...fortunately, the break was at an exposed part of the pole before it went into the sleeve.)

Again, the beginning, the 9 and 12 minute parts the best to get an idea of this tent. I think WalMart sells them:
[media]
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Re: Mylar on Tents

Postby dragonpilot » Mon May 19, 2014 1:02 pm

Most tents have overhead mesh as most tents are designed to maximize ventilation. They don't have Burning Man playa conditions in mind.

Find a tent with minimal overhead mesh. Cut sections of blanket-like material to fit the mesh panels. Stitch the sections to the outside of the mesh panels with heavy thread. It won't eliminate dust, but goes a very long way in minimizing dust sifting in through the top mesh. You can do the side panels also, but many tents have zippered flaps for the sides, so not really a priority...and you'll want some ventilation at times.
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