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The Elements of a Tent

A tent consists of many individual components which form a functional unit and should be precisely matched to each other. The choice of materials and functionality depends on your needs and personal preferences.


In the inner tent, the tent’s microclimate and vapor permeability are particularly important, as this is the actual sleeping area of the tent. Fine mesh fabrics (polyamide, polyester) and strong ripstop fabrics ensure a comfortable microclimate. Moisture can escape quickly and, at the same time, there is sufficient protection from condensation. A mosquito net at the entrance also keeps annoying insects out. Ripstop fabrics help ensure that your tent walls stay taut and ensure the best use of space.

Our assortment includes both inner tents with very airy material, for warm temperatures, and with thicker material. The latter is particularly suitable for cool temperatures and, due to its density, minimises the dripping of condensation into the interior.

The tent floor is also part of the inner tent. As it lies directly on the ground, the material is subject to high stress and high pressure. Accordingly, it is designed to be robust and can withstand a water column of at least 3.000 mm.


The outer tent primarily fulfils the function of weather protection. The materials and coatings used depend on the intended use of the tent.

In the following, we have summarized all coating and material variants of our outer tents with their advantages:

In the following, we have summarized all coating and material variants of our outer tents with their advantages:


Polyurethane (PU) is a synthetic polymer with strong water-repellent properties. Materials with a PU coating are permanently waterproof and offer higher abrasion resistance. Nevertheless, they are still breathable which helps reduce condensation. When choosing an outer tent with a PU coating, keep in mind that the synthetic finish will increases the total weight and pack size of the tent.

Silicone / PU coatings

A triple silicone coating (Si) on the outside of the outer tent provides increased tear resistance, UV resistance and water beading effect. At the same time, the polyurethane coating (PU) on the inside ensures optimum comfort thanks to reduced condensation.

Silicone / silicone coating

A silicone coating can be applied to the inside and outside of nylon tent fabrics. It provides a high level of protection against harmful UV radiation and allows raindrops to simply bead up and roll off the outer surface. It also increases the fabric’s tear resistance, extends the service life of the tent and is a lightweight treatment.

With a siliconized tent fly, you should make sure your tent is well ventilated, otherwise condensation will collect on the inner walls.


In addition to polyamide, polyester (PES) is also an important material in the construction of a tent. It is often given an additional coating or is siliconized. PES is a synthetic fiber with good moisture-transporting properties and low absorbency, making it particularly suitable for use in tents.

However, some people are allergic to polyester. Since people generally don’t come into contact with the outer tent, this should rarely be a problem.


Like polyester, polyamide (PA), also known as nylon, is a synthetic fiber. PA is characterized by low moisture absorption and fast drying properties. In addition, the fibers are very light, stretchy and elastic.

Polyamide is sensitive to heat so it shouldn’t be exposed to excessively high temperatures.

Polyester / polyamide

Polyester and polyamide are synthetic fibers that have a low absorbency and quickly transport moisture outward. They are light and versatile.


We have put together the following table to show you which combination of materials and coatings are used for our outer tents:


The tent floor has to be very robust to be able to stand up to rocks, moisture, and creatures living in the soil such as ants. The material for VAUDE tent floors is tightly woven and reinforced with ripstop threads. The floors of our Ultralight (UL) tents are even resistant to the formic acid that ants secrete.

Material glossary for tent floors

The following overview shows the combinations of material and coating that we use for our tent floors.


Guylines provide the necessary support for the tent and make it truly windproof and weatherproof. The linen material is extremely low-stretch and keeps its original length even after years.

With the aid of tent tensioners, the tent can also be tightened after it’s set up. Some tent tensioners even glow in the dark to make operation easier. Since the distances to the pegs vary, the cord length can also be adjusted.


Tents have a variety of guyout points for attaching guylines. These are attached directly to the outer tent and serve to distribute load peaks and stabilize the tent so that it is protected from wind and weather. The more guyout points there are (depending on the tent construction), the more stable your tent will be.


Poles form the basic structure of a tent and lend it its shape. They shouldn’t be too heavy, but at the same time they have to be able to withstand high forces from wind or rain. All of our poles are easy to handle and quick to set up.

Easy Set Up

To make it easier to set up your tent, all of our tent poles and tent pole components are color coded.


VAUDE only uses quality aluminium poles with internal rubberbands. Aluminum is lightweight and flexible and will bend long before it breaks – an important safety aspect. Broken poles often cause severe damage to the tent material due to the sharp-edges at the break.

If a tent pole should break, each tent comes with a repair tube. So a broken pole can be repaired quickly and easily even during the tour.


For our tents we use high-quality components from the South Korean manufacturer DAC (Dong Ah Aluminium Corporation). The company is a leader in the development of new product solutions for tent poles. Like VAUDE, this partner attaches great importance to social and ecological commitment.

We have even agreed on a development partnership with the manufacturer DAC. This allows us a better and more extensive use of the complete DAC – “know how” in new developments.

The Dong Ah Aluminium Corporation, with its headquarters in
South Korea, has been a driving force behind the tent industry
for over 25 years now. Its founder, Jake Lah, is a qualified historian
and economist, art and nature lover. All of this is reflected
in his company too. Not only does it showcase a multitude of
innovations and produce numerous proprietary machines, it also
demonstrates great dedication to social and ecological projects.
As such, the company’s grounds host a small botanical garden and
an art collection, as well as an observatory and a test center for
wind and snow load testing.

Combination poles:
Various pole diameters can be combined. Thinner segments in the
middle poles simultaneously enable steeply sloping tent walls (=
greater utilizable space with thicker segments) and a flat arch in
the middle (= more head space with thinner segments).

The connector, whose diameter is increased by 0.02 mm, is
pressed into the pole segment. This means that the ferrule is
connected tightly to the segment without requiring otherwise
common centre punching to attach it. This damages the aluminium
and is often the starting point for material fatigue.

Featherlight NSL:
The diameter of the pole segment is smaller and increases in
size towards the end from which the connector is attached.
This is usually the weakest point of a pole. The greater diameter
increases the strength at this point, simultaneously making the
segment thinner and thus lighter.

Green Anodizing:
For the first rinse, it was possible to replace fresh water with purified
water. Phosphoric and nitric acid as well as 90% of mineral oil
based detergents were cut down on.

DAC TOYS bring the new and more secure structures.
Sunflower Hub is a small and clean machined aluminum connector
with threaded inserts. By adjusting angles and connecting various
numbers of poles, tent designers can get more flexibility in designing
innovative user friendly tent models.
Swivel hub and H-Clip strengthens tent structure by allowing to fix
cross section of tent pole at any given angle.

DAC NFL: New Featherlight
NFL poles are THE new standard for ultralight backpacking tents.
They come from the same ultra-precise production process that
originated in the Pressfit poles and was refined in the NSL line.
They have wall thicknesses about 25% thinner and outside
diameters about 2-3% larger than the NSL. This makes them the
lightest tent poles for their stiffness and strength in the world.


Pegs are used to stake the tent to the ground and tension it properly. They are made from materials such as steel, titanium or aluminum, and differ in size and shape. The most important factor when you’re deciding which type of peg to use is the type of ground the tent will be set up on. The harder the soil, the harder and thinner the peg should be.

All VAUDE tents are delivered with the number of pegs that allows the tent to be pitched for the first time. However, depending on the destination and travel time, ground conditions (grass, pebbles, sand, snow, stone) and climate change.

Here completely different pegs (aluminum, steel, iron, plastic) in different lengths, thus also different weight are used. We can hardly cover these diverse possibilities and ask for your understanding that we leave the individual basic equipment to the customers.


Vestibules are spaces between the inner and outer tents that are separated from the sleeping area. They provide room for bulky gear and items that shouldn’t be stored inside the tent (such as wet shoes or muddy bags).

Floor Protector

For each of our tent models we offer a matching tent floor underlay, the Floor Protector. This covers the entire tent area (inner tent and vestibules). However, it is slightly smaller to prevent the space between the Floor Protector and the tent from filling with water when it rains.

Although this additional equipment means extra weight during transport, it offers unbeatable advantages, especially when the tent is used frequently:

  • safe protection of the tent floor from muddy ground, thorns and sharp stones
  • extends the life of the tent
  • Underlay in the apsidal area
  • additional moisture protection against moisture from the ground
  • reduces the formation of condensation in the tent

We recommend using every tent with a Floor Protector.


Ventilation is particularly important to prevent the formation of condensation inside the tent and thus create a pleasant indoor climate.

In regions with high humidity or when camping near lakes and rivers, a tent with longitudinal ventilation, i.e. with two entrances, has a clear advantage

VAUDE tents have a variety of ventilation options:

Control Air is a window ventilation system that can be fully adjusted from inside the tent.

Ventilation Hood is a rain-protected ventilation area which is regulated via a 4-way zip at the tent entrance (can be opened from both sides in both directions – from above or below).