NEMO Equipment of Dover, N.H., now lists an entirely new spec for each of its shelters—tent topographic diagrams—which are designed to help better visualize the three-dimensional space inside the tent.
Today's standard tent specs include the floor dimensions and peak height, but convey no information about how steeply (or not) the tent walls slant inward nor how much space is actually available at peak height. Both have significant implications for the user experience in the tent.
For example, a pyramid tent with a peak height of 48 inches has a radically different interior space than a dome-style tent with the same peak height and floor dimensions. But you'd never be able to figure that out from the standard specs.
To address this shortcoming, NEMO has created a topographic diagram for the interior space by taking a cross-section of the tent at 12-inch intervals (see above illustration) and then overlaying the resulting outlines on top of each other to essentially create a topographic map of the inside of the tent.
Here's an example of this in action using their Espri LE 2P tent:
And here's a side-by-side comparison of the pyramid vs. dome tent example:
Finally, here's an example of what all the specs together look like on the NEMO website (Losi 3P tent):
If you're familiar with topographic maps, these diagrams are pretty intuitive and definitely help convey more information about tent dimensions than has been previously been available.
NEMO Equipment is the first to develop and use these tent topographics, which are currently only listed on their web site. No word yet on whether other companies will follow suit, but I for one definitely hope they do.
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.