My tent history part 2

My next tent was one of the best backpacking tents ever made: the Saunders Backpacker S. It weighed only 1.8kg and accompanied me on the Pennine Way and the Centurion Walk amongst others. Unless you’ve seen one, it’s a little difficult to describe and I haven’t got a photo. Essentially, it was a ridge tent but with two poles at the front, so the roof was an elongated triangle shape and the foot end was narrow and very low. This made for a very good aerodynamic shape if you pitched it foot into the wind, particularly with the extra pegging points that I sewed on. It also had a good sized porch for storage and cooking. I’m surprised the design hasn’t been revived, replacing the front poles with walking poles and using modern materials, I’m sure that it would weigh under 1kg.

My next tent was possibly THE best backpacking tent ever: the Phoenix Phreeranger. This was a single hoop tent with a very short ridge crossing at the apex. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo, but George Griffin does. Martin Banfield used the single skin version (the Phreerunner) in this year’s TGO Challenge (see day four of his diary). It had an excellent space to weight ratio and was amazingly stable in high winds. It also had a good sized porch and good head I think this was probably my favourite tent.


3 thoughts on “My tent history part 2”

  1. Hi Robin I now use my old Sauders Jetpacker in the way you suggest as a bombproof winter single skin tent and it works really well. So well in fact that I’m considering have one made out of the latest materials to reduce the weight from an already light 700g.

  2. I contacted Robert Saunders about reviving the Backpacker S and he offered to make one specially. However, I never followed it through, partly because I’ve already got too many tents! I’m sure they are missing a trick by not producing some ultralite version of the Jetpacker. You could even make an A frame at the front by wiring together two walking poles, similar to the Aarn tent ( )

  3. My Backpacking tent is a Wilson 400, Just like the Backpacker S but the enterances are at the sides and so it is shorter and I think looks better,,,

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