Specs

Weight 10.3 kgs
Floor area 9.27 sq m
Volume 6.7 cu m
Packed size 60 x 20 x 20 cm

Reviews

I invented this tent so the reader needs to understand…

The author of this review is the inventor of the product.

Source: I made it.

Summary

I invented this tent so the reader needs to understand first off that I am utterly biased in its favour, but I do think it easily solves the hateful summer overheating problem that afflicts just about every other nylon tent and its "open and close" functionality confers a lot of collateral advantages that people who have used the tent rave about. Yes, we would love it if people want to buy one but as a pretty unique design we also want to put it out to the camping community for feedback so we can improve the offering.

Pros

  • You can open and close the entire canopy in a few seconds
  • It's very roomy
  • It's very versatile

Cons

  • It's really, really heavy by backpacking standards
  • It takes a while to learn how to pitch and take down
  • It doesn't cope very well with uneven ground
  • It is not fully 2 skinned, so condensation may be a problem in frosty conditions
  • It isn't available off the shelf and will only be ready for delivery by end of June
  • It's pretty bulky when packed
  • It hasn't been tested at altitude or in snow

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The Mollusc 'Clamshell' design grew out of a frustration with the inability of ordinary tents to cope with changes in ambient temperatures. After waking up on a nice summer morning in an overheating tent for about the 200th time, this thought came..."If you could only somehow open the whole roof up and cool the thing down a bit?" Six years of problem solving and this is the result. 



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It has its problems—the pram-hood design requires far more in the way of frame poles than any other equivalent tent. It weighs in at 10.3 Kgs which would make most of the ultra-lightweighters out there recoil in horror, but on the plus side that could be shared amongst four buddies and the resultant radial exoskeleton makes it a lot more rigid in the wind than flimsier structures.

It also enables the tent to be positively anchored by direct pegging of the base perimeter frame arc. This means that wind load is distributed from the canopy evenly into the frame—no point loading on one peg. Conversely, the design means that the tent can also be pitched entirely without pegging if the substrate is sandy or rocky. Optional sand bags or rocks are placed on the perimeter arc instead of pegs.


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With most standard tents you are either inside or out. With this tent, the interior/exterior boundary is a bit more blurred. You can pitch it to take full advantage of 180-degree panorama and enjoy that from inside.


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More info is on the Mollusc Tents website. It's only available to order on Indiegogo. I know some of you will shoot me down in flames for posting this here, but it is a genuinely new design which people should know about.

LoneStranger

Even if I don't want to carry it I certainly won't knock someone for trying something new. When you drop the wall to open it up are you inside a bug net or totally exposed? I often will furl the fly to use the inner tent as a bug house which works pretty well with all of my three season tents so I get what you are going for here. Seems like the shape of your design would shed snow pretty well in addition to wind if you decided to make a four season version. Thanks for sharing this here Ru!


2 years ago
madmarmot

It looks similar to a Big Agnes prototype I picked up some years back. This looks to have solved most of the issues that tent had. How well does it do in the wind? And being upfront about it not necessarily being a backpacking tent, by no means rules it out. This looks amazing for car, float, or animal packing.


2 years ago
Ru Hartwell BRAND REP

Thanks both. You are exposed when you open the canopy fully but the door has a full flyscreen on it and there are 3 large screened ventilation panels in the roof so in good weather you can close the canopy, roll up the exterior door flap and take off the yellow flysheet and get a good bit of airflow through that way. I have never tried that, though myself as we cant trust the rain not to come and spoil things over here in Wales... Likewise, no snow test.That stuff is rare here now. I dont think it would like a heavy collection on the top of the roof but usually that would come with wind and so would likely shed....an unknown, basically. I Have had it erected in 35mph wind so far and it coped fine with that providing you used the storm guys and didnt attempt to open the thing!! We specifically warn users against that. If you open this in heavy wind it will initially behave like a pillowcase on a washing line and then a kind of paraglider, probably. Yep, the weight rules out portage. Feedback appreciated!


2 years ago
Jake W

You seem to have a grasp on the advantages (and more importantly limitations) to your product. Kudos. Most people like to claim they've reinvented the wheel. Every product, tents included, are not going to excel in every situation, and no one expects the to. I'm impressed that you've seen the need to improve a certain design and done it yourself. Good luck on the continued improvement of your tent!


2 years ago
G00SE

I don't think anyone will flame you over this. It looks interesting. The only thing I would suggest is this might have been better if you had posted it in the forums. An active forum discussion will stay on top for days/weeks/months, as long as people are commenting on it. But reviews are listed newest first. So in a few days, this review will disappear, and because it's not an active brand, no one will search for it. I'm going to flag the review for Alicia to see it and suggest she moves it to a forum post instead.


2 years ago
G00SE

Ru, Alicia can't move a review to the forums. But if you want to cut and paste it into a new forum thread, you'll probably see more life in the discussion.


2 years ago
Ru Hartwell BRAND REP

Thanks Jake W and G00SE!


2 years ago

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