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Navigate:  StoreFront / SHELTERS / Tipis / Sawtooth

Tipis / Sawtooth

The efficiency of a tarp with the stand-up room of a Tipi, this hybrid is a great combo of weight savings & comfort.
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The very popular 8 man was Patrick's first Tipi, and has been everywhere, done everything for 25 years
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Great for large groups or as a cook or med tent at big events, this popular Tipi sleeps 12, but provides ample "living room" for about 6
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Darn near big enough to play a game of rugby in
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Shelter Design

FABRIC: I want to be clear on one thing - what our material is NOT. It is not what everybody else is using. It is not silnylon, and it certainly isn't in the same category. Silnylon--either sourced from offshore or domestically--has less than half the tear strength of our proprietary fabric. Yet our fabric is just as light. The only thing silnylon has going for it is that it's far cheaper than our stuff. This fact means our shelters cost more.
We also know exactly how to sew these things--for example flat felled seams, also more costly but far stronger.
POLES: Back when I was creating man-carryable tipis and stoves I wrecked a ton of center poles of all sorts of exotic materials. My home base is the storied Front Range in Colorado. We have Chinook winds here, and they rival any winds anywhere on earth. We're famous for 'em. Perfect test tube for wind-testing tents, especially if we refine the test medium by setting up the test-shelter in a "notch" between peaks that further funnels the blasts. Which I did. And left the test tents for months if they survived the first Chinooks. Left them up till the latest test poles broke (the canopy testing was going on at the same time of course). I went through carbon fiber of course, even bamboo (!!). The surviving material that never broke is the aircraft aluminum we use now. The stuff that has been used reliably all over the earth for all this time. Yes, it's heavier than other choices but worth it when your life depends on your shelter staying over your head in the highest winds. 
Note, a caution about snow load; while our shelters are the best on earth in wind, snow is another matter. NO center pole--or canopy for that matter--can withstand a heavy enough load of snow. No tent is a cabin...you couldn't carry it if it were. Our poles bend--in the middle--rather than break if you've allowed too much snow to accumulate on your tipi. That's good--you don't want broken pieces of pole to rip into your canopy--or yourself. 
The shelter is designed so that the pole will bend before the canopy tears. This is a very good thing, made possible by the superior strength of our canopy. You can still use part of the pole or cut a stick to replace it and still be in business because your canopy is still intact. HOWEVER, by far the best course of action in snowfall is to keep the snow from accumulating on your tipi to the point the pole gives way. Brush it off periodically, or slap the tent from the inside and push it away at the bottom with your feet or hands. This is easy to do and is good insurance.

R&D: It's a fact that the track record of our shelters having stood the test of reliability over a very long time in every turbulent weather on earth--from Antarctica to Mount Everest, and everywhere in between--speaks to the truth of getting what you pay for. We don't subject our customers to the task, and risk, of testing our shelters themselves--we have done that for them long ago. I began testing our special fabric in the 90's. It was so tough I built a LongHunter backpack out of it and used that pack in tough backcountry for eleven years. As I touched on above, we know how to sew it too. Experience matters, and I invented these "Modern Tipis" (and stoves) in the 1980's when I owned Mountainsmith. Many of the same employees are still with me at Kifaru. We know how to do this. 
Innovation and Ideas: In summary, our shelters were the first of their kind. The originals. They are extremely lightweight while at the same time proving themselves to be utterly reliable for nearly twenty five years in all the world's windiest places. As far as I can tell, all the original Mountainsmith versions are still in service. I have personally staked my life on these designs and materials countless times in countless horrific weather events all over the place for all these years. I continue to test new materials and the commercial competition for better ways to build the ultimate man-carryable "home" in the backcountry. Our latest shelters continue to evolve in small ways. If I find any "breakthroughs" as to materials and workmanship you will know about it. I haven't seen any yet...the competition may be cheaper and lighter but still falters in all-important reliability. In my own personal "final analysis" the out-there shelter issue isn't and shouldn't be "commercial"--undercutting the other guy. That's probably because I roam really remote places...places where the Super Cub won't show up for a week and your shelter MUST NOT fail. Other folks can get "in the business" with lesser gear for lesser places. Fine. Let them. Y'all know now the places I build for, and if you hanker to attend to those sorts of places you can get your shelter from me with confidence.

Patrick Smith

About a Built-to-Order Product
We sew our products in batches and therefore may not have all colors in stock at one time. We sew and assemble shoulder straps and waistbelts on each pack to fit the measurements provided by you, our valued customers, to ensure consistent high quality. Thus, nothing usually ships immediately, but is well worth the wait.

We're proud to provide extremely durable, lightweight products that are 100% American made. This gear will outperform and outlast anything made offshore - period. It is built specifically for serious users with the best-in-the-world materials. It is costly gear - our customers quickly acknowledge that the benefit-to-cost ratio of their Kifaru gear is quite high and is well worth the investment.

Delivery Note: all of our Shelters are built to order and may take 5 - 6 weeks for delivery.
Accessory orders: Most ship within 2 - 3 weeks.
Unit Orders: please call 1-800-222-6139 - we can make arrangements.

We are in the process of transitioning to a new shopping cart. You may browse this shopping cart for the time being, however all new orders should be placed in the new shopping cart. (https://kifaru.net/store).

Returning customers checking on current order status may log in as normal on this page. For any new orders you will need to create a new customer account in the new shopping cart (https://kifaru.net/my-account)
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