frackenpohl poulheim: the cave dome tent for heimplanet frackenpohl poulheim: the cave dome tent for heimplanet
jun 11, 2012

frackenpohl poulheim: the cave dome tent for heimplanet

‘the cave’ by frackenpohl poulheim for heimplanet image © designboom



as an alternative to traditional tents, german duo frackenpohl poulheim (thorsten frackenpohl & andré poulheim) have designed ‘the cave’ for hamburg-based company heimplanet. this system offers a highly efficient and stable structure – an inflatable geodesic dome. with the help of the IDG (inflatable diamond grid), it allows for pitching in less than a minute. the IDG is a self-supporting airframe formed out of 5 modular double-layer air beams. they can be divided into five separate air chambers to provide a stable stance even in case of damaged parts. inflating the tent with a normal hand pump takes less than minute. to deflate simply release all five valve openings and the air will remove itself on its own. its round ground design offers space for three to sleep and up to six to sit together. the five point-symmetrical roof slope that offers several run-offs for rain. the IDG also allows for great stability in wind up to 120km/h.

outer tent made with waterproof, durable lightweight polyester material image © designboom

valves for inflating and deflating image © designboom

storage bag image © designboom

water repellent nylon interior with mosquito net image © designboom

sloped roof for water run-off image © designboom

full exterior view

IDG top view

close up of IDG

‘the cave’ at night

clockwise: outer tent, inner tent, ground concept, grid


first prototype

prototype connecting frame to tent

testing water run-off

‘the cave’ – set-up

‘the cave’ – deflating the tent

    finny says:

    finny says:
  • Genius. No more tent stakes — tho in 120km wind I might want to be tied to something. Now it just needs to be made from recovered plastic.

    Tom P says:
  • smart design, I like it a lot but is it durable in weather conditions?

    Jack says:
  • Agree with the recovered plastic comment Tom! We have enough plastic bags in this world that we should be able to somehow find a way to recycle them all to remake things for at least a few years

    Lilz says:
  • The Cave is very durable in windy conditions, because the geodetic surface reduces the effective area, this was tested with a powerful wind machine during development. But for sure you should fix it with stakes if you like to keep it in stormy conditions.

    Andre says:
  • inner tube cameras, coating of tubes are made from hitech plastics. they hold about 6-8 atmospheres pressure. it\’s not possible to use a waste plastics for production of tubes. the same technology is used in kitesurfing for more than a decade. tubes are very abrasion sensitive. good idea, possibly saves a weight.

    green says:
  • I agree on having recycled plastic bags. But this tent is supposed to have a lifetime of at least 5 – 10 years. so why the fu**n hell the material is supposed to be recyled material? the oil needed manufacturing one of these tents is nothing compared the waste of oil by shipping one of our beloved electronics gadgets or kickstarter items around the world!

    rolánd says:
  • Great d;-) Have often thought of the idea, but with an internal frame and slightly narrower air pipes. External pegs in wind. Larger & smaller sizes would also work very well in the market place. Power to the makers d’-)

    Jetwax says:
  • Kitesurf inspiration? great concept incorporation

    Felipe says:
  • It would be very interesting to see tested in hard weather conditions.
    Great Idea.

    Diego says:
  • Why internal iso external tent?

    External means larger inside volume with same tubing and the deflation points are better protected against annoying people. Of course, the last deflation point should be close to the exit/entrance.

    What made them choose internal?

    MM says:
  • Ni interno ni externo- deberia ser intermedio – como una sola membrana. Me gusta la idea, felicitaciones.

    a_frieri says:
  • Interesting pole-less design but… negatives:

    1) one leak leads to total collapse.
    2) reliance on pump?

    Might have practical applications to lightweight backpacking. I would partner with a good tent maker to leverage the massive research already done in tent design.

    8r8k says:
  • 1) the inflatable structure can be separated in 5 chambers – this prevents the structure from collapsing even if parts would get damaged. Also maintenance becomes very practical.

    2) poles can break, the inflatable structure is more stable and can bend in extreme conditions. – that makes a small and light pump worth it

    stefan says:
  • There is a wind test in the video attached. This is 120 km/h of wind.

    Jonas says:
  • Very smart concept!

    myface says:
  • I kind of like it but it is not thought through in many ways:

    – There is only one entrance. You need at least two entrances and much more moskito nets for ventilation. Looks nice, but I would not camp in it as long as the ventilation is not solved, it be quite wet inside the tent. Also it is nice to look outside of tent but with this small opening it feels quite closed.

    – this looks like a summer tent (only one layer) for it to be working in severer conditions an outside tent would be necessary.

    – It packs quite big, way to big for backpacking and together with the necessary pump it is probably too heavy so only for car camping purposes.

    – no pockets, nets or hooks inside

    – where do I cook when it rains ?

    – As its floorplan is round, it seems to be a three person tent, how about a two person tent (most tents in use are for two)

    As somebody said earlier, these guys should partner with a tent manufacturer in order to make it work this is a nice idea but not a product yet

    james says:
  • ups, I am sorry on a closer look, there is an outer and inner tent !

    james says:
  • finally a truly innovative design!

    ollen says:
  • Product link to purchase:

    I can’t wait to get it!!! Camping here in the bay area is going to be even more awesome now.

    Cameron says:
  • Storage bag + pump…

    uchaFFu says:
  • very safe concept (for camping inside a warehouse), 120km/h winds?… you have no idea how bad that is, I’ve experienced 2 hurricanes, and this tent will be completely destroyed, believe me.

    agent smith says:
  • my face truly doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about

    sappa says:
  • Nice idea but so expensive …

    FSK4ever says:

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