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Big Agnes Replaces Tent Zippers with Magnets

 

Tent zippers can snag, wake your tentmate during a midnight nature call, and be a major warranty issue for manufacturers. So how about a tent without zippers? Big Agnes wanted to give it a shot.

The Fishhook SL is a zipperless tent that closes with little magnets along its door frame (see below). It's designed to be quieter, while still withstanding the elements and pesky bugs, thanks to a flap along the edges.

Big Agnes calls the Fishhook a minimalist backpacking tent. It will be available in one- and two-person models for spring 2013: the Fishhook SL 1 ($349.95) and Fishhook SL 2 (3 lb 10 oz, $399.95).

A zipperless tent may sound crazy, but so did sleeping bags without insulation on the bottom, and Big Agnes has been selling those for years.

Filed under: Gear News, Outdoor Retailer

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Comments

slimepig
2 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
August 3, 2012 at 12:55 a.m. (EDT)

ummmm neat idea, especially since zippers wear out real quick, but then again with a zipper, i can feel assured that no creepy crawlies are gunna come sleep with me. this magnet thing looks too easy for things to crawl in.

Peter1955
1,347 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts
August 3, 2012 at 9:49 a.m. (EDT)

A cool idea. My current tent uses the zippers to convert the door  and fly into part of the tent's structure - when closed, the tent is fully stretched on the frame. This design seems to assume the door is just a loose hanging flap.

But it sure would be nice not to be fumbling in the dark for a zipper when you have to get up in the middle of the night!

IanJRider
RETAILER
81 reviewer rep
4 forum posts
August 3, 2012 at 11:02 a.m. (EDT)

I honestly can't wait to see this concept in person. I'm sure the whole creepy crawlies in your tent thing was one of their top considerations. 

DrReaper
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts
August 4, 2012 at 3:58 p.m. (EDT)

Electronics don't like magnets. Keep your phones, ipads and laptops away from the magnets.

sparkaj
34 reviewer rep
4 forum posts
August 5, 2012 at 8:55 a.m. (EDT)

I don't think those magnets are stronger than snakes.

philipwerner
130 reviewer rep
130 forum posts
August 27, 2012 at 11:34 a.m. (EDT)

Looks like they need even more fabric to hold the magnets and create an overlap to keep the bugs out. More fabric = more weight. NOT!

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
August 27, 2012 at 12:10 p.m. (EDT)

How much does the SL1 weigh? I see a listed weight for the SL2.

I highly doubt that a little bit of extra fabric would add a substantial amount of weight to the shelter.

Personally, I think people get too consumed by this whole UL thing. Some even take it to the point that it is not only borderline ridiculous but also teeters on dangerous.

Then there is the hit one takes in the wallet. Take for instance the price tag on some of the Cuben Fiber tents that were highlighted at the show...

$2000 for a tent? Uh... yeah.

I could here the convo with a retailer now.

$2000? Really? Yeah dude, it weighs under 2lbs... (shakes head.)

What's next? Are we going to have poles that have encapsulated hydrogen in them?

Callahan
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
August 29, 2012 at 1:12 a.m. (EDT)

I hope I get to choose,,,,, zippers for me

hikerduane
0 reviewer rep
251 forum posts
August 29, 2012 at 8:59 p.m. (EDT)

It'll be interesting to see how they hold in the wind and if any issues lining mating surfaces together and securely.   At least with a zipper, you know edges are mated properly.

Duane

bheiser1
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,028 reviewer rep
1,208 forum posts
September 15, 2012 at 4:59 p.m. (EDT)

Since I believe zippers are the bane of mankind (or at least the bane of outdoors people), I like this idea (of the magnets) a lot.  However I would not go for it as illustrated, with magnets apparently spaced out over the length of the closure.  

I'd be more in favor of a magnet as a "strip" that spans the entire closure.  Otherwise there will be gaps between the magnets where crawling (or slithering) critters could enter. 

If you can't actually seal the tent closed, you might as well save the extra weight and use a tarp.

Aside from the lack of full closure, from what limited views we have of it, I like the looks of the Fishhook SL 1.  I like that the ends & sides are fairly vertical, for lots of room inside, and I like that there's more fabric (as opposed to netting) to reduce drafts,  particularly in cool weather. Since they are billing this as "minimalist", as opposed to "ultra light" (like the Copper Spur) I wonder what it will weigh.  I am looking forward to seeing more about it when it's released.

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