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Collapsible Compact Shelter pops up in under two minutes


June 13, 2014

The Compact Shelter designed by Alastair Pryor pops up and down in less than two minutes

The Compact Shelter designed by Alastair Pryor pops up and down in less than two minutes

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Young Australian humanitarian and social entrepreneur, Alastair Pryor has created a foldable crisis relief shelter for disaster victims and the housing displaced. Dubbed Compact Shelter, the portable dwelling boasts an innovative design that is simple to use, collapsible and lightweight. What's more it pops up and down in less than two minutes

Twenty-four-year-old Pryor was inspired to create the shelter after unintentionally disturbing a homeless man in the Melbourne CBD during the middle of winter, when working on a construction site.

"I used to work as a 'tradie,' building scaffolding and one morning we were drilling and it woke up a homeless man below us. It really made me think about how poor his living conditions were," Pryor tells Gizmag. "I thought if I could design a shelter that he could fold up each day or fold into a box it would be highly beneficial. I worked on this idea for quite some time until I started to think on a larger scale – aid relief. So I created a larger shelter to fit four people."

The Compact Shelter was thus designed to address the humanitarian need for cost-effective aid relief on a local and international scale and is suitable for use in a range of different environments or scenarios. Made from a UV stabilized polypropylene, the shelter weighs an impressive 16 kg (35 lb) and comes flat packed for easy transportation. The shelter collapses down to dimensions of 200 x 100 x 7 cm (79 x 40 x 2.75 in) and when fully erect measures 2 x 2 x 2 meters (6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 ft), providing enough interior space for two adults and two children to sleep.

The Compact Shelter is also modular in design, meaning individual units can be joined together to create larger dwellings or two separate rooms. When combined together, the shelters can comfortably accommodate larger families, as well as providing privacy during times of hardship.

Pryor chose to use polypropylene as the main material for the shelter due to its durability, weather resistance and thermal properties. Having undergone extensive testing in order to meet the high standards set by aid relief organizations, the shelter has proven to be suitable to all sorts of weather conditions and is water- and wind-proof. The shelter also features air vents, which can manually open or close for air flow. It is designed so that cool air enters through the base of the shelter and warm air is expelled out via the ridge line.

"It has the twin wall profile extrusion meaning its thermal qualities are amazing during colder climates," tells Pryor. "We have also specifically teamed up with manufacturers that have the capability to fully recycle the polypropylene by melting it back down and reproducing it. We’re proud to say we’re 100 percent recyclable."

Besides from aid relief, the Compact Shelter could also make a great cheap and easy addition to the campsite or be used as a temporary outdoor structure in the backyard.

In order to live up to his initial intent to provide aid-relief that is not only practical but also accessible, Pryor has kept the total cost to a minimum, modestly pricing the Compact Shelter at US$150 per unit.

Source: Compact Shelter

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Interesting. The floor is the first concern, that being subject to traffic, but maybe some plywood would solve that. Pictures are nice, but a video would have been better.

Bruce H. Anderson

Because it is polypro, I'd like to see the price at $35 US.

Paul Anthony

O.k. Here is the thing..... Sell them tents ! Tent floors can be inflated and act as a raft during a flood while providing safe shelter and portability. Tents can be pegged down easily, and be vandal-proof. More secure than plastic and easy to clean. And can be made of recycled materials.

And if you want an insulated tent, I invented one of these too !

Erwin Lapschies

Wow a large cardboard box.


One of the better ideas - simple and easy to store. Keep one or two in the garage for extra guests after a long party for instance, little space lost and no drunks driving home when your small house has filled. For what it is, the price is not unreasonable. Think outside the box - add a piece of plywood on the roofrack and a cartridge camp stove and sleeping bag in the boot and you have a "let's stay here and watch the sunrise" instant tent!

The Skud

I think that is really neat and useful for emergency uses. I can see it being air dropped at emergency sites where people would have a place to get out of the elements when waiting to be rescued. Perhaps make a bright color to make it easier to be seen?

Perhaps if it was produced in significant numbers, the price would be even lower?


cheaper, better and available right now. http://www.coleman.com/product/instant-tent-4/2000015605?contextCategory=11020#.U58cd_ldXTo

SpacePort-Terra Spt
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