Heimplanet's latest inflatable tent withstands 112 mph winds


July 23, 2014

The 10-person Heimplanet Mavericks expedition tent

The 10-person Heimplanet Mavericks expedition tent

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Since launching its Cave tent a few years ago, Heimplanet has been slowly expanding its line of distinctive geodesic inflatables with offerings like the Wedge. The German outfit has now added three more designs, making its line-up large and tough enough for some of the most distant, challenging expeditions on Earth.

One question mark when it comes to inflatable tent design is how well air-filled poles can compare to traditional aluminum/fiberglass/carbon fiber poles in rough, windy weather . If Heimplanet's numbers are to be believed, the reality is that they can hold up just fine.

Heimplanet designed the 10-person Mavericks expedition tent specifically for the Red Bull Storm Chase, a windsurfing competition that seeks out rough, raging storms around the world. The tent features a reinforced version of the brand's Inflatable Diamond Grid meant to spread stress over a larger surface and maintain a solid structure in rough weather. According to the company, the Mavericks can stand up to 112 mph (180 km/h) winds, though it appears to have experienced just 96 mph (155 km/h) during an Ireland leg of the Storm Chase.

After inflation, the Mavericks air beam structure can be split off into 10 separate air chambers, double the number in the Cave. This "Multi Chamber Safety System" is designed to prevent one leak from deflating the entire tent. Instead, a single leak will deflate one chamber, while the nine others maintain a stable structure. You'll still want to patch the leak as soon as you can, but it's less likely that the tent will flatten on you in the middle of the night. The design also makes it easier to locate the leak. The double-walled air beams are built similarly to tubed bicycle tires, and the inner TPU tube can be patched or replaced in the event of a leak.

The roomy Mavericks is built to serve as a base camp shelter for up to 10 people and their gear. It offers 6 ft 7 in (2 m) of head room and 142 sq ft (13 sq m) of floor space. The tent body automatically forms to shape when you pump up the inflatable exoskeleton, allowing just one person to set the large tent up in under 10 minutes. It includes five fully openable windows and five partially openable windows for ventilation. The design packs into a 31 x 20 x 20-in (80 x 50 x 50-cm) form and weighs 25 kg (55 lb).

Expeditions don't usually come come cheap, and the Mavericks tent doesn't make them any cheaper. It is available for €4,999.00 (US$6,730) before you tack on shipping costs.

The average camper doesn't need a tent to hold up to 112-mph winds – they'll be staying in a hotel if that ever happens. Heimplanet also has a new large and small tent aimed at more commonplace camping expeditions.

At first glance, the new NIAS, named after a surf spot in Indonesia, looks a lot like the Wedge. But it has a different frame structure and is significantly larger, providing enough space for six to eight people. Built to house one or two occupants, the new FISTRAL is much closer to the Wedge in size, but is more of a traditional dome shape.

Heimplanet introduced the NIAS and FISTRAL tents at the Outdoor Friedrichshafen Show earlier this month and will be adding them to its line-up in 2015. The NIAS will retail for €849 and the FISTRAL for €399.

Source: Heimplanet

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Paradoxically the design causes increased drag in the first place. They definitely look groovy in a moon unit kind of way and would be easier to find at a festival. Zero ventilation in the wet though?


Love it! Camping moves into the 21st Century.


$6730 tent?! Great design, but I think it'll be cheaper to hire a whole troop of eagle scouts to pitch my tent for me.


The Mavericks is broadly comparable to the North Face 2-Meter Dome tent in floor area, weight, and price. The web page for the 2-Meter Dome doesn't mention wind resistance. No worries about deflation, of course.


Is there a big market for those that want to go camping in hurricanes?

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