Hubbed tent poles, or poles that go nowhere.

8:11 p.m. on October 7, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey all,

I would like your opinions, or experiences with hubbed tent poles, or the poles that just stick out to support a rain fly or to create more area inside a tent.

I have no experience with these designs, but it seems like a weaker design (?), or am I just wrong?

I understand the weight & space advantages of this type system, I am just curious about the durability.

Thanks.

11:32 p.m. on October 7, 2010 (EDT)
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My North Face Mtn 25 has poles that attach to holdup the vestibule on my tent. And a couple to hold the upper center area up for the vents. Is that what you are referring to? Not sure what a "hubbed" pole is?

7:43 a.m. on October 8, 2010 (EDT)
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It seems that these little stuby poles are all the rage. They dont add to the strength of the tent. They simply hold a wall or rainfly out. And the point (end) of the pole rubbing on the rainfly is a bad idea.

4:44 p.m. on October 8, 2010 (EDT)
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For some reason, these designs are proliferating. My old EMS Pampero (kind of looks like a Trango Assault) has five poles-4 main poles that cross in sort of an overlapping double "X" and one vestibule pole that makes a hoop for the vestibule that you stake out. No little pieces. My tent floor is a rectangle shape. There may be pics of it here somewhere.

I don't like these odd designs. Too old school I guess, but I'm not keen on a tent that looks like an Art Center design project. Even Henry Shires (Tarptent) has gotten into this-his winter tent has two small poles that hold up the back corners of one of his designs.

To me, the hub design is just another piece to get lost or break.

6:48 p.m. on October 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I've had no problems whatsoever with my tents that employ hubs; they are not however, the type that create an anchor point for a single pole to extend into space. I have a Walrus Orbit Rapide, Rocket, Warp 2, Warp 2+2, Rapeede XV, Arc 2, and Arc 4, that all use the Rapid Hub design. This from the Walrus website:

RAPID HUB
A number of our tent designs center around the use of our "Rapid Hub." Our hub tents are related to the widely-known structures called Geodesics.

Why the Rapid Hub? Here are the principal reasons - Triangulation: Look around at constructions that require stability, strength and stiffness, from a tripod to a bridge girder, you will see triangulation at work. Less material needed to achieve rigidity: our hub-style tents can use less pole footage. Rapid set-up and take-down: since the hub allows the pole system to be inter-connected, the poles easily fold up with the tent skin. No poles to be lost. No poles to insert and remove. Set-up is simple and swift.

Most systems use pole crossings, because that is where a semi-triangulation takes place. The problem is that there is much slack at that point, as poles can slide over one another; some tent makers try to correct this problem by tying the poles together with a fastening device. The Rapid Hub is like a pole crossing, but it is much more rigid, as the poles are fixed at the point of intersection. A hub is somewhat like a triple pole crossing, without the pole crossing through the intersection. You accomplish more with less.

Rapid Hub provides stiffness and lightweight strength with economy and elegance.

6:51 p.m. on October 8, 2010 (EDT)
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Like this Gary:

http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/CopperSpurUL1

abman47,

Sorry, I should have been more specific, I was thinking of the hub design incorporated in the side, or end of the tent that turns two poles into one as it travels up to the top of the tent. Not necessarily the type located at the top where the poles typically cross anyway. Thanks for the info though.

8:27 p.m. on October 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I have an MSR Hubba Hubba HP wich uses two hubs, one one each end. They start off as a "y" from the bottom (forming the corners) and then as they go up near the top are hubbed and form a single pole until it reaches the other end and repeat on the way down to form the other two corners. Across the very center, is another hubbed piece which runs perpendicualr to the main pole, which is used to form the vestibule. Even with the hubs, the tent forms a pretty study structure, and seems to have to take a very good beating (from a normal 3 season aspect). When using the cross-piece to form the vestibule, as mentioned above, the end of the pole could rub the rain fly where it attaches to the pole, however MSR put a nice piece of nylon near the guide hole allowing you to "protect" the rain fly from the end of the pole. I will try and get pictures of what I am describing next time I have the tent out.

This is my first tent, so the hubs do make it very easy to setup even in the rain! I guess I can't really see how the hub design (on this particular tent) would be any less sturdy than non-hubbed designs. I think that maybe if you see and feel one of these designs up close you might be able to come to the same conclusion.?.

4:59 a.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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This is what I mean by art school project-

http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/fast-and-light-tents/mutha-hubba/product

The specs say 3 poles, but there are actually 7 because of the hub design.

The really bombproof designs like the TNF Mountain 25 are far simpler. I can see why some of these tents are designed the way they are, but as the old saying goes...

"In theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice, they aren't." Yogi Berra

10:16 a.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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After looking at Tom's link, I figured they would have one for my tent, so...

http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/tents/fast-and-light-tents/hubba-hubba-hp/product

Sorry about the horrible spelling/grammar on the last post, I was typing in the dark and not proof reading!

As an addition to my previous post, with the tent staked down and proper use of guy-lines, this thing should hold up pretty good for most weather. I only have used the stakes and have had no problems as of yet even in some pretty big downpours.

11:20 a.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Most those tents have to many poles for my taste. And most are unnessasary, Like the Mutha hubba. With a 3 hoop design you just need 3 poles not 7.

On those little poles to nowhere. Does anyone know if the rainfly has pockets for the poles to fit into?

2:45 p.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Some of your attitudes remind me of what a Sears representative told Bill Moss when he approached Sears to manufacture and market his first tensioned fabric tent design(the Pop-Tent), " If this were a good idea, we would have already thought of it".

Jim Giblin, formerly of Walrus, designed the Hubba. Please refer to an explanation for the utilization of the hub design from my post above. Now think of the "strength through geometry" achieved, and then look at the set up instructions(yes, all 4 pictures) here for the "art school project" Mutha Hubba. There ARE only 3 poles as the pole with the hubs is a 1 piece design, which remains assembled, unless you choose to cut the shockcord. If your criteria is that there are too many components for this single pole(an argument I find akin to Emperor Joseph II's statement, "There are simply too many notes" from the movie "Amadeus"), a logical design fix would be to use much longer pole segments; but that wouldn't be very efficient as far as fitting the tent and its' integral parts into a pack...

3:04 p.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Modern tent design seems to be a combination of architecture, art and marketing. I've never seen a book or website with a history of tents on it, although www.oregonphotos.com has histories of particular companies, like TNF, which made the first geodesic dome tent for camping in 1975, according to the site and is one of the few sites with vintage gear on it.

Tents don't have to be complicated-the Bibler single wall tents sold by Black Diamond are a good example. So is something like the Sierra Designs Flashlight, which I owned-two poles and six stakes (no vestibule). The simplest design I know of is the one pole teepee and the modern UL variations, then next is probably the A frame, then the two pole freestanding dome like the old VE-23. I'm not counting tarps you just tie into nearby trees.

There are now a number of one pole UL designs such as this one by Six Moon Designs-www.sixmoondesigns.com

I think some designs exist just to be different, while others are trying to provide as much space as possible for a given shape. My tent has a rectangular floor which is about as efficient as possible for a freestanding tent, although you could argue that a floor with extra room on the sides of the pads is better because you have extra storage space.

Some of the designs are supposed to be stronger than just a simple two or three crossed pole design. but to me, each point or hub or pole pocket is a potential point for failure. On my tent, a bent or broken pole can be fixed with a sleeve without needing a special part.

5:06 p.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Tent Book by E.M Hatton 1979 (I bought this book on eBay)

The Tensioned Fabric Roof by Craig G. Huntington 2004

I had a North Face NorthStar. As I recall, it had 3 single pole sections(in addition to the 5? pole set) which were inserted between the tent body and the fly, resting on plastic discs, and employed to provide space between the tent and fly. Simple? The most complex tent(7 poles)

I have is the Jansport China Everest, so named because one was left on Everest(the Chinese side) and found intact the following season.

The above is a web photo as mine were lost in a hard drive crash 4 months ago, and I've not set the tent up to take more photos since.

2:35 p.m. on October 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks, I didnt know that the Mutha center hoop was shock corded as a single pole. I seem to like a simple aproach. One of the lessons that I have learned is that less can indeed be more. But there are times when you need more. 4 season tents must be heavier and stronger that the 3 season counterparts. These poles to nowhere seem to add more headroom. For some the added 6-8" is very important. I agree with Tom, the more parts, the more points for the tent to fail.

2:36 p.m. on October 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Most those tents have to many poles for my taste. And most are unnessasary, Like the Mutha hubba. With a 3 hoop design you just need 3 poles not 7.

On those little poles to nowhere. Does anyone know if the rainfly has pockets for the poles to fit into?

The little "poles to nowhere" (at least on my tent, Hubba Hubba HP, I would assume others) have a metal grommet for the pole to go through and secure the fly. Again mine has a nylon piece to "cover" the end of the pole so that it won't rub and tear the fly.

6:35 p.m. on October 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Abman, that is nice looking tent. You should do a book on tents. How many do you have? Around 100 from what I read on one of your old posts.

10:36 p.m. on October 11, 2010 (EDT)
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I'd love to camp in abman's backyard and set up tents for a week and crawl around inside each one. Then again I am easily amused. The Jansport tent looks very solid, but there are a lot of poles to mess with when setting it up. I once had a North Face oval intention which was hard to set up due to lots of poles crossing each other.

I've assumed the Walrus hubs were solid enough, Walrus had far too good a reputation for the hubs to be crap. The poles to nowhere, like in the rei quarter dome, seem like the the grommet and webbing will one day rip out.

3:21 p.m. on October 12, 2010 (EDT)
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I like both types myself.My 4 season tents have continuious sleeves and my little solo MSR Hubba HP has clips and to hubs with a "go nowhere" pole to support the upper tent and fly.It has proven to be a great tent.-It is 3 season but i have used it in sheltered spots in the early winter and spring.Yes the companys try to be different to increase sales and yes some like the artsy look but what is wrong with that if it works?Buy what you want and ignore the rest.Same applys to all types of gear.There is more than one way to skin a cat comes to mind.I will also add that the hub style tents are way lighter in weight than the full on pole designs so for 3 season use why carry 4lbs or more when 2 to 3 will do the job.

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