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Topic - Whatever happened to the ridge tent?

KellyKettle - on 27 Aug 2013
Earlier I pitched my X2 in the garden to check the replacement parts i'd ordered were correct (70mph winds, not a problem; drunken man stumbles onto tent as you're pitching it, surprisingly damaging), and I was struck by how it occupied a simmilar amount of space as my dad's 2-man tent (Robert Saunders Fellpine C/I) which feels much smaller, so I pitched them side by side (Photo: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3788/9606082995_9581091428_k.jpg ).

The footprint is nigh identical, the interior space is slightly less in the fellpine due to the tapered shape, and the crux wins hands down on usable headroom... but I was struck by how good the 34 year old tent was in comparison to modern ones, and from my fathers recolections at least, it stood up pretty well in the elements, I'd hazard that the crux would outperform there, but assuming both were pitched with their back to the wind, I'm not sure there would be a huge amount of difference.

I also found that it took a fraction of the time to pitch a ridge tent compared to a geodesic and also slightly less time than a tunnel tent; moreover even with heavy steel poles and pegs, the fellpine is still lighter than most of the small two-man tents I've handled, my bet is that with aluminium (or more exotic) poles, nylon rather than cotton inner, and modern pegs, it would compete on weight with many of the one hoop tents on the market, whilst being a measure more resiliant.

So, what is it that killed the ridge design? I'm assuming that they don't deal with side winds awfully well, hence their being supplanted by geodesic designs for 4/4+ season tents, but for lightweight backpacking tents etc, I can't see why they faded out.
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