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#206074 - 01/11/22 05:06 AM Sauna tent
bcpoll Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/09/22
Posts: 2
First, I'm new to the forum, so thanks for letting me join and post here. I hope this has some value for others.

I've been working on building this sauna tent for about a year now, and have a pretty good working model. It's a hexagonal dome, using a 240g poly fabric (for it's water repellence and flame resistance), and measuring 9.3ft corner to corner (or 8ft side to side). Can fit about 4 people including a mid-size 25L stove.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYldWHyKUD4/

I used pre-made 8.5mm x 17ft poles as the basis for the frame and built from there. A silicone baking sheet forms the chimney collar.

For those that aren't familiar, these portable tent saunas are somewhat common where I live now, in Denmark, and it keeps a respectable temperature inside for a steam sauna - 150F degrees. It could also work well as a hot tent for 1-2 people. It has an internal height of about 5 and 1/2 feet and the whole thing only weighs about 8 lbs - minus the stove.

I was inspired by the traditional American sweat lodge design - dome shaped and willow branches - to make it like this.

Anyways, I'd like to take it to market, but I think some things need refinement and I have no idea how to source competent design advice or materials, and was wondering if anyone had any advice or just thoughts in general. For example, I think there could be better fabric choices, and I think the 8.5mm poles are undersized (but am unsure if larger diameter poles will achieve the same arch shape), but would rather get some consultation before investing more in materials.

Thoughts?

[img]/https://www.instagram.com/p/CYldWHyKUD4/[/img]

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#206075 - 01/11/22 10:38 AM Re: Sauna tent [Re: bcpoll]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2088
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I think you've probably come to the wrong place. This is a forum primarily for backpacking as practiced in the US: an unsupported journey, carrying everything you need on your pack. An 8-pound sauna is something that few, if any, of us would be willing to carry into the woods or mountains on our backs.


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#206076 - 01/11/22 01:48 PM Re: Sauna tent [Re: Glenn Roberts]
bcpoll Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/09/22
Posts: 2
Ok. Thought I could get some diy feedback but, fair enough

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#206077 - 01/11/22 02:56 PM Re: Sauna tent [Re: bcpoll]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2088
Loc: Southwest Ohio
You may get some feedback, but I don't think you'll get a lot - I just didn't want you to get your hopes up too high. Sorry if I came across as totally negative.

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#206078 - 01/11/22 02:58 PM Re: Sauna tent [Re: bcpoll]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3236
Loc: Portland, OR
That's an interesting idea and it sounds like you've already done a lot of prototyping on it. The specialized nature of the project, especially the high temperatures all the components would be exposed to, means you probably already have more practical experience around this than anyone here could offer you. Most of the specialized problems our DIYers are trying to address have to do with weight-strength ratios, cost reduction, or adding highly personal features not available in commercial products. Still, someone here might get excited about the challenge you've presented and give you their ideas.

Good luck with your project.

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#206079 - 01/12/22 03:24 AM Re: Sauna tent [Re: bcpoll]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 305
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Quest Outfitters is a good resource/reference for tent poles:

https://questoutfitters.com/tent_poles.htm
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#206081 - 01/12/22 10:04 AM Re: Sauna tent [Re: bcpoll]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: Madison, AL
I might be able to help with the pole question. I'm a mechanical engineer. Though structures are not what I work on, I know enough to be dangerous. I wrote up a little analysis helping another DIY person with poles once. Let me try to find it.

I wasn't able to see your pictures on instagram. Are they posted anywhere else?

poly fabric sounds like a good choice. You can get it in lots of different weights. Though for a large structure like this you probably don't want to go too light. Silnylon is popular in the backpacking community, though it is not fire resistent and it absorbs water so I don't think it would be a good choice for this application. Dyneema is another popular choice for people with deep pockets. It would be very light and wouldn't absorb water. I'm not sure how it would do with embers but probably not very well. The cost of the fabric would turn this into an ultra-luxury item. I think using the silcone mat for a chimney collar is a great idea.

In terms of taking it to market, many of the cottage tent manufactorers are now getting small runs produced in Asia, so I think their are opportunities there but I can't give you advice beyond that.

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#206082 - 01/12/22 10:11 AM Re: Sauna tent [Re: Bill Kennedy]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: Madison, AL
As Bill pointed out, Quest is a great resource for poles. They also have some great advice for designing your pole arches:

https://questoutfitters.com/Tent_Poles_FAQs.htm

I think that is better than any analysis I could do, because it is based on real world experience. I'll still look for what I did previously.

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