Whether you spend your evening chatting by the campfire or dancing all night at a festival, being woken up at sunrise sucks! Less sleep means less energy to get the full potential from the rest of your day (or night), so we set out to improve the camping experience for everyone and make bright, overheating tents a thing of the past!
The Siesta4 is a four person tent, made from a specially developed lightweight, durable, waterproof fly fabric that reflects infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light. Compared to typical nylon and polyester tents, the Siesta4 is dramatically cooler and darker inside when in direct sun.
The Siesta4 is the world’s first tent to feature ducted side vents, into which up to two ultra-quiet, 8 inch, USB-powered fans can be installed. The fan draws cooling fresh air directly into the inner tent through a special fabric duct that connects the inner tent to the fly. This is especially useful when the doors are closed, or if there’s no breeze.
Sure, the Siesta4 beats any other tent hands down in hot weather, but what about rain, wind and cold? Well, the full length fly and closable mesh give excellent protection when the weather turns nasty. Far better protection, in fact, than a 3-season tent. We'll even go so far as to claim the Siesta4 is the most versatile tent ever made!
In terms of wind resistance, aluminium poles, full length pole sleeves and plenty of guy rope attachment points give you best-in-class performance. In response to early feedback, we've already decided to add even more guy rope attachments to the production model to help in very strong winds.
A common problem with tents when the temperature drops is condensation. We've got that covered too! The inner tent is made from breathable polyester fabric, which combined with excellent airflow under the fly makes the Siesta4 extremely condensation-resistant.
Waking up in the Siesta4 is more like waking up at home with the blinds/curtains closed than waking up in a tent. Unless you set your alarm, chances are you’ll carry on sleeping until you wake up naturally.
Basically, you won’t be woken up by bright light, and you won’t feel a burst of heat when the sun hits your tent. It's comparable to pitching a regular tent in complete shade, such as under a large tree… only it’s darker inside, and you don’t need to find a tree or move your tent when the angle of the sun changes!
What's the temperature like?
This chart compares the air temperature inside the Siesta4 to a tent made from regular tent fabric. This data was recorded on a typical summer morning in Spain. As a general rule in any climate, the temperature inside the Siesta4 remains relatively close to the temperature of the (ambient) air outside the tent. We've also marked on the chart the time at which one fan was turned on. As you can see, the Siesta4 is dramatically cooler than a regular tent even without a fan running. In this example the doors were closed so you can see how the fan helps keeps the temperature down when the tent is nice and dark inside.
By contrast, the air inside a normal tent gets extremely hot. In reality you’d be much hotter than the air temperature indicates because this doesn't account for the additional heat you feel as a result of infrared radiation. Infrared energy doesn't heat the air - it’s only converted into heat when it’s absorbed by your skin (or your tent).
How dark is it?
A small amount of light comes in through the 4" gap around the bottom of the fly. This isn't enough to wake you up, but it's enough to be able to find your way around the tent. If you want more light you can simply open the doors of the fly. It's more of a dim glow that's diffused by the wall of the inner tent.
To accurately demonstrate the difference between fabrics, we made an identical tent out of standard tent polyester. These two photos are taken using the exact same camera settings.
The Siesta4 is a double-walled design. The inner tent is made from breathable polyester fabric (210T ripstop taffeta), and has two huge double doors with full mesh panels. There are two circular side vents with zips to attach the fans, and there are also two smaller mesh vents in the roof of the tent. All the mesh panels can be zipped closed, so the inner tent can be fully protected against wind-borne sand and dust.
Having two doors means both ends of the tent can be opened up for great cross-flow of air, giving the best possible ventilation. Opening up all the doors also turns the tent into a great hang-out space if you need a break from the heat during the day!
In crowded campsites, such as festivals, the tent can be easily pitched without guy ropes. Just stake out the corners and vestibules. Of course, we advise you to add extra stakes and guy ropes if it’s likely to be very windy.
Only four poles and a familiar dome style design means the intuitive setup is quick and easy. The inner tent can be left clipped in, so everything can be pitched in one go.
Other features include:
- High quality aluminium poles for strength and durability
- Full length pole sleeves for additional structural stability
- 2 vestibules give loads of storage space for bags, cooler etc.
- Adjustable fly door positions (using toggles on the inside) make it easy to increase ventilation without letting in too much light
- High-sided, heavy-duty, waterproof floor
- Top quality YKK zippers
- Central lantern loop
- 16 additional hanging loops
- 6 mesh storage pockets
- Power cord access zippers
- Reflective guy ropes
We spent many months developing our unique, ultra-reflective fly fabric. The base fabric is 210T polyester taffeta cloth, the same as is used to make other high quality tents. The difference is that ours undergoes a special process that applies a reflective coating on one side, and a polyurethane coating on the other. Both coatings are waterproof, and the seams are sealed at the factory with industry standard PU seam tape. This also means you can repair the fly with a standard tent repair kit should any accidental damage occur (always apply the repair patch to the underside of the fly, not the reflective side).
To demonstrate how reflective our fly fabric is, here’s a comparison with some other materials using an infrared thermal camera. This image shows several different fabrics, placed on a hotplate:
The dark colour is due to aluminium cooking foil and our fabric both having low emissivity (they don’t radiate much heat), which shows that they are also excellent heat reflectors. In contrast, normal polyester tent fabric absorbs and radiates heat very well, which is why it’s almost the same colour as the hotplate itself.
You can see an even more dramatic effect when the whole tent is viewed by a thermal camera on hot sunny day.
In a camping world first, we have designed a ducted vent system that keeps out heat and light, whilst allowing fresh air in from outside. A fabric air duct connects an opening in the inner tent to the vent on the fly, and the outer end of the duct has insect mesh so bugs can’t use you as a tasty treat.
Inside the tent the vent opening can be left uncovered for natural ventilation, or one of our custom fans can be zipped in. The duct can be left in place when the tent is rolled up, but the fan(s) have to be removed and packed separately.
The fan can be run from any USB power source. Power consumption is very low (less than 2 Watts), so battery life isn't a problem . We recommend portable rechargeable power banks like the ones used to charge cell phones and tablets, and/or solar charging kits.
Each fan will be supplied with with a 5v USB compatible power cord. Please let us know if you’d also like a cord for 12v batteries and/or 12v car outlets as we’ll add this if there is sufficient demand.
For most camping trips, a portable battery (USB power bank) will run the fan for a few hours each day without needing to be recharged. We evaluated the options for supplying our own portable battery packs, but we can’t currently compete with the prices you can find online from Amazon, eBay etc. Therefore we've created a table to give you an idea of what size battery to buy.
We recommend buying from a reputable brand (check the online reviews) as not all battery packs provide as much real world capacity as the suppliers claim. If in doubt buy a slightly larger capacity pack than you think you'll need. If you want to run two fans, simply double the capacity and choose a model with 2 x USB outputs, or buy two battery packs.
If you wish to use the same battery pack to charge your cell phone or other devices while camping, don’t forget to add extra capacity for those devices as well.
As an example, a 16000mah power bank should last most people for a week of camping without needing to be recharged. A battery of this size can be purchased very cheaply.. For more examples, search ‘usb power bank’ on your favourite online shopping site.
What about solar?
You can use an off-the-shelf solar panel to recharge your USB battery pack. Many brands supply portable solar kits that are compatible with their batteries. Please note that small portable solar panels generally won't be powerful enough to run the fan by themselves without being connected to a rechargeable battery. This is because motors need a burst of power to start up, and then once they're running the power requirement decreases. Therefore a small solar panel may not have enough power to start the fan motor, but once the fan's running it can happily keep your battery topped up.
We love solar, but in many cases a USB power bank will last a whole camping trip without needing a recharge. As solar panels are typically more expensive than USB power banks you may find it's cheaper to buy a battery with enough capacity to last a whole trip than buy a portable solar panel. If you need any help deciding which option is best for you please feel free to contact us for advice. Please note we don't recommend or endorse specific brands.
Since the first proof of concept was made back in Sydney almost a year ago, we've been hard at work developing our fabric and refining the design.
The very first proof of concept was made using the frame of an off-the-shelf 3-person tent:
The first fan test used a computer cooling fan! This type of fan is actually a very good fit for our requirement as they are very efficient and don't use much power.
We refined the design using regular polyester whilst we were developing the reflective fabric:
We tested the tent manufacturing process using several different reflective fabric technologies before selecting the best one for the job.
We will have local shipping from warehouses in the US, Australia and UK.
For the rest of the world, we’ll ship to from whichever warehouse is closest to you. If there is enough interest from other countries, we’ll do our best to arrange local shipping and refund the difference.
Shipping costs for Australia, UK, and EU countries also include local taxes where applicable.
For other international destinations we've estimated a base shipping fee that covers most countries, however additional shipping and local taxes may apply. Please contact us if you'd like an estimate.
After completion of the campaign, you will receive a questionnaire to confirm your shipping details, and we’ll organise accurate international quotes at that time.
Outback Logic LLC is a US company, founded by Gareth Price, Sally Slarke, and Brandon Beck.
We’re a team of entrepreneurs from Australia, America, and England, who got together to bring Gareth’s idea for a heat-reflective, light-blocking tent to life. We’re a multidisciplinary bunch with a wealth of commercial experience. We partnered with leading fabric, tent, and specialist coating manufacturers to develop a world-class product and make the Siesta4 a reality.
Gareth originally had the idea while camping at a festival in the Australian outback. Having camped in a number of warm climates, including Australia, Southern Europe, California, and Nevada, he realised there was huge potential for a heat-reflective tent, and undertook extensive research, design and development to prove the concept and ensure commercial viability.
Why are we here?
The manufacture of tents at a competitive price is only possible at high-volume, especially as we’re also producing our own custom fabric, which is more complicated and more expensive than typical tent fabrics. The development work is all completed, but we need the funds to meet (or hopefully exceed) the various factory minimum order requirements, and place our first production orders. We can’t bring the Siesta4 to market without your help, so if you like what you've seen please spread the word, and consider backing our project. Thank you!!
Risks and challenges
Our goal is to deliver the Siesta4 April 2016, so everyone can enjoy their new tents as soon as the weather starts to get warmer. Although this may seem like a tight schedule, we’re very confident of being able to meet our goal as everything is ready to go, and we’re using tried and tested manufacturing processes where timescales are a known quantity and the risk of delay due to unforeseen factors is relatively low.
Lead times on high quality aluminium poles can be long. We have assurances from our factory that the poles can be manufactured in time to meet our target. We'll therefore be ordering the poles as soon as possible after the project is funded, ahead of other components.
The aspect of manufacturing with the highest risk of delay due to unforeseen factors is the fans. This is because some custom tooling is required. In the event of a delay with the fan assembly, we’ll still ship the tents as soon as they’re ready, and we’ll send you the fans via a separate shipment at no additional cost.
To minimize risk of delays with shipping we're using only the most reputable sea freight and fulfilment companies. We've learnt a lot over the past year and developed great relationships with our factories and suppliers in Asia.
We've seen how frustrating it can be for backers when project owners are not open and transparent about delays or problems. We promise to post regular updates and in the unlikely event of any major problems we'll let everyone know exactly what's going on and how we're going to fix it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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