Longtime outdoor industry tent designer Mike Cecot-Scherer recently founded The TentLab as an outlet for some of his more experimental design ideas. After a successful Kickstarter campaign for his Deuce of Spades ultralight latrine trowel, Mike is back with a unique family backpacking tent—the 3- and 4-person RugRats.
When thinking about the new tent design, Mike approached it viewing sleep, reliability, and enjoyment as the key priorities over minimalist features and ultralight weight. Things such as livability and making the tent easy to anchor were elevated to the number one spot.
Ample floor space (48 to 64-square-feet), a large interior volume with vertical walls, a bunch of round windows at various heights and mesh ceiling panels for great views, all add to the enjoyment of being in the tent. The brand new DAC 13.55 PL poles are stiffer, stronger, and not much heavier than your average 8-9mm poles used in backpacking tents today.
Using 20D polyester throughout, Mike was able to save on weight using a thinner fabric while still offering bomber security and weather protection. Unlike nylon, polyester does not sag when wet, meaning you can stake it once and forget it, without having to constantly re-tighten the fly or have it flapping in the wind all night.
These are not your average backpacking tents—the 4-person weighs in at a minimum of 8 lbs 4 oz. But, if you are looking for maximum backcountry comfort for three to four people, you can easily share the load between you. One person will not have to carry more than three pounds (poles: 2 lbs 11 oz, tent body: 2 lbs 13 oz, rainfly: 2 lbs 12 oz). The RugRats will most definitely make great car-camping tents.
Mike needs to meet a minimum order of 300 in order to manufacture the tents. At this time, he does not plan to offer them beyond the Kickstarter campaign so if interested, you will want to jump on it now. For $600-$665, you could be the owner of one of these truly unique 3-person or 4-person RugRats tents.