site  contact  subhomenews

Two CF straight tent poles compared

March 08, 2021 — BarryK

The last overnight hike, tested a cheap tipi-bivi style tent, designed to be held up with a trekking pole, or any approximately 125cm straight pole. I used a 5-section carbon fibre (CF) pole purchased from Aliexpress, weight 92g:

It is just over 28cm folded, which is great, as fits horizontally in the Daylight waist pack. Anyway, here is the report on that hike:

The pole is too long for that tent. Next, plan to test the other cheap tent purchased from Aliexpress, a tarp-tent. That might be more agreeable with the 125cm pole, however saw a shorter one online, 114cm, decided to buy that.

I bought the pole from, Six Moon Designs 5-section 45" (114cm), and it arrived today. I was quite surprised how fragile it looks. Only weighs 60g, and I can see why. Here are the two poles side-by-side:


...the new one is on the left.

I was unable to find any reports of the thinner pole breaking, but it does bend. In fact, it is intended to bend. I looked up the Six Moon Designs website:

Carbon Fiber poles do have built-in flexibility. When setting up your shelter, you want to tighten the canopy just to the point where the poles create a slight bend. Then back off until vertical. This is more than enough tension to keep your shelter erect, even with high wind loads.

On the other hand, the Aliexpress web page states that their poles are intended to remain rigid and straight.

Going back to the 80s, I have had prior experience with carbon fibre poles. Bought a very cheap tent with two carbon fibre poles, that formed hoops either end of the tent. So it was a tunnel design.
Problem was, the carbon fibre started to crack at the joins. The fibres run lengthwise, so once the cracks started, it rapidly split down the pole.

Apparently, modern CF is manufactured with criss-crossed layers, so much less likely to split. This page explains:

Only using my measuring tape, so these measurements are approximate:

Wall thickness
Aliexpress pole
Six Moon Designs pole

Perhaps the Six Moon Designs pole is made with the highest quality technique, so can withstand flexing. Even so, just looking at it does not fill me with confidence.

I intend to test both in the field.  

Tags: light