Scarp pole arch tensioner

In contrast with both the Akto and the Laser Comp, the pole arch on the Scarp is quite flexible even if you use the side guys. This is not a huge problem as the critical structure of the tent comes from the PitchLoc system at either end. However, in gusty winds, it can lead to the side guys coming loose with the constant flexing.

I’m constantly looking at tents and thinking: can I improve this? On the way the Ffynnon Llugwy, I had a brainwave. The Vaude Power Lizard uses something they’ve called a “powerframe”, which, as I understand it, is a cord that is attached at various points inside the pole arch and helps to tension the arch.

I wondered if I could mimic the powerframe by threading a length of dyneema cord from the apex of the arch through the loops securing the inner tent and then via the loop inside the door to the foot of the pole. This might help to add a little bit of stiffness to the pole arch. Indeed it did help.

However, I decided it might be better to simplify it further by ending the cord at the loop securing the inner tent just above the door zip (see above). This gives two “fixed points” (one either side of the pole arch) rather than only one at the apex. It was definitely better. To achieve a good level of tension, I used a linelok. At the base of the pole, the cord is secured to a small loop on the grosgrain the connects the two pole ends (see below).

 The picture below shows the full system.

It definitely helps to stiffen the pole arch, although it still retains some level of flexibility. If I were re-designing the Scarp, I’d have two guying points on either side, like the Akto, but it’s difficult to retrofit a loop to the pole arch to achieve this, so this is the next best thing. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to reverse.

So there you are, yet another mod to my Scarp!


14 thoughts on “Scarp pole arch tensioner”

  1. That’s a good idea Robin. I have a Power Lizard and it certainly helps with stability. The Power frame also consists of the 7 clips on the external pole which you lock down once you have got the correct spacing. I think it makes for a strong structure and with some additional mods seems to perform well for a single hoop tent.

  2. Hi Robin

    Have you any useful tips or adjustments to your Akto ?. Have recently purchased one myself.


    1. I gave mine away! I liked using a porch groundsheet which was a full ground sheet protector cut in half. I didn’t do many tweaks before I gave it away.

  3. Well timed Robin. I just received a load of cord from Henry today, so if I’ve got any left over I’ll give this a try on my Scarp. Doesn’t look it, but presumably the extra line inside doesn’t get in the way when moving about ?

  4. Nice idea Robin. I think i will look at doing something similar with the Moment. That looks like the Synmat UL7 with the pillow elasticated in place?

  5. Robin, great ideas! I will use some of them for my TT Moment. Though one slight change. Instead of clam cleats, I’d suggest using a trucker’s hitch, especially on the exterior pole arch guy lines. This way any flexing will not cause the lines to slip. Love your blog.

  6. I know it is a big time necro-bump but thought I would chime in because this is one of the top results Google returns for the Scarp 1. You can add guy lines pretty easily to any silnylon tent by sewing the guiline into a silnilon patch around 5-6 inches in diameter and then bonding the patch to the outside of the tent with Silnet or GE silicone. Work quite well.

    1. Thanks. While that’s a good idea for a tweak, it’s pretty difficult to sew another loop on the pole arch without unpicking the stitching and re-sewing. Even then, making the loop strong enough is difficult. The beauty of the pole arch tension system is that it works without any sewing. My revised system is even better . Even the original loops are not well secured All in all, I think the pole arch tensioner system is the way to go.

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