View Full Version : Tent Poles... Fiberglass or Aluminum

11-05-2015, 11:00
Would like to replace the tent poles on a 4 season tent, if I can reduce the weight. Should I look at fiberglass or aluminum or maybe there's another option? How do you determine the diameter needed, and can that be reduced for weight savings? Where should I look for a replacement set?

This is for a Early Winters Winterlite tube tent.


11-05-2015, 11:34
Amazingly, I found a photo of the tent via google. Good luck finding replacement poles. Due to the arc they need to bend in, only fiberglass poles will work. They also need to be pretty heavy duty to support that tent in the wind or they will snap. If you have poles which work, I seriously doubt you can improve on them.

If you want a lighter tent set up, buy a lighter tent!

11-05-2015, 12:01
Thank you for the reply S.. I don't use a winter tent often enough to invest in a lighter tent, so was just trying to improve on this one if possible. The original poles are good I was just going to put new shock cord in them and had this thought.


11-05-2015, 12:40
What material and diameter are the original poles? Are they still working? Not bent or cracked?
Do not reduce the diameter. The strength of a tube decreases RAPIDLY with a decrease in diameter. The reverse is also true: Strength increases rapidly with an increase in diameter.
If the original poles are in good working order, except for the shock cord, I would use them. Just be careful with them.


11-05-2015, 12:58
I had some custom tent poles made once by this company - they were easy to work with and the product was good:

Tom Hegerle
TentPole Technologies
12607 NE 95th St., Suite A109
Vancouver, WA 98682
360-260-9527 (tel:360-260-9527) phone
360-260-9937 (tel:360-260-9937) fax
www.tentpoletechnologies.com (http://www.tentpoletechnologies.com/)

11-05-2015, 13:35
You may be able to get custom carbon fiber poles, which would be lightest, AL is next, fiberglass last.

11-05-2015, 15:54
Just learning which material is lighter/more desirable (and I'm sure more expensive) is good info to have. And where I would look for them if I should need to replace them. Thank you..Linda

11-05-2015, 16:59
You may be able to get custom carbon fiber poles, which would be lightest, AL is next, fiberglass last.
Yes the new MSR tent is coming with carbon fiber....

11-05-2015, 17:30
Carbon fiber needs to have a wider radius than aluminium.
(that is why at Tarptent some of our CF poles have al sections in them...)
Easton have pre bent pole sections that may work for the Winterlite, I haven't worked out the radius needed for that tent but you can measure that and let TentPole Technologies work it out for you.

11-05-2015, 17:55
www.tentpoletechnologies.com (http://www.tentpoletechnologies.com/)

Interesting. I have an old self supporting gortex bivy - a very small tube tent as it were - which I've lost most of the poles for and is pretty useless with out them. I'll have to have theses guys give me a quote and see if it's worth putting it back into the mix of tent choices I have.

Just Bill
11-05-2015, 18:04
I use tent pole technologies as well, between them and Quest Outfitters you can get just about everything aluminum.

Not that it's worth it for a one off... but if you cut some plywood for a jig you can use that and some clamps to bend poles gently.

IIRC- 40" is the minimum radius on the Easton Nanolight poles without needing pre-bents.

11-05-2015, 18:24
If you buy pole sections to make your own, it is easy enough to use a hacksaw to cut to size if needed.
Better to have two slightly shorter sections than one much shorter.
(if by assembling your pole you have,say, 4" extra, cut 2x2" bits not 1x 4")
Put the cut section/s at the end.

11-05-2015, 20:41
I actually cut tent poles with an electric chop saw using a regular wood blade. I'm sure it's not great for the blade, but it's just a couple of seconds per cut. Nice and smooth and clean, better than a hacksaw. I got end pieces from Tentpole Technologies. Easy to do.

11-05-2015, 21:20
Yes, I have a Dremel that works well but if I need to do just one or two a hacksaw and a quick pass with the metal file does the job.