Why have Roger Caffin's designs not caught on?

Norrland

Ultralighter

Coming across some of his design recently I find myself thinking "why are there no tents in this style??!". The bent poles allowing for a small point at the top really helps defeat the flat surface you end up with on a lot of tunnels and other tents, allowing for water and snow collection. Probably less flappy in the wind also.

I'm sure many of you are already familiar with him due to his presence over at the BPL forums but I haven't frequented those forums much so I'm only coming across the wee treasure trove now.

Thoughts/insights?
 

Norrland

Ultralighter
Closest thing I've come across is the lightwave t10 trail but that is inner pitch first design
*Edit wrong. It can be pitched both ways

1462264203-22332800.jpg
 

MikeinDorset

Ultralighter
Vango certainly did this. I have a Spirit 200 with pointy bits like the t10. Quite a nice tent, if heavy and bulky for its size due to the materials.
 

Norrland

Ultralighter
I think much of the lightwave designs are fantastic. I think they are the same company as Crux. Seem to be good materials also. Anyone know where there production is?
 

Rickyboyd

Summit Camper
I believe roger is a fan of triple hooped tunnels and the key is to not have too large a span between hoops. I think he says 1m. Other than his tents he often touts MacPac (Olympus I think) tents for their construction and bombproof in weather.
 

Norrland

Ultralighter
cb3_liner_3rdpole.jpg


Tarptent cloudburst can be triple poled but don't think the the fabric goes all the way to the ground
 

Jon Fong

Trail Blazer
Big companies tend to monitor small companies as a method of market research. When the popularity / buzz about a new design shows up on their radar, then they take notice. When they see a significant market advantage, they jump on it and crank out their own version. My 2 cents.
 

Norrland

Ultralighter
Big companies tend to monitor small companies as a method of market research. When the popularity / buzz about a new design shows up on their radar, then they take notice. When they see a significant market advantage, they jump on it and crank out their own version. My 2 cents.

This much is obvious. But the question remains why have some designs been favoured over others? I guess I could apply some anthropological research to find my conclusions but right now tents are not in my PhD agenda ;)

For example the hilleberg akto. Personally I think it's a terrible, flappy design. Yet it's been hugely popular for many years. Odd stuff.

Today's tent market is fueled in a similar way to most other technologies in our society - feature driven over function driven.
 

Jon Fong

Trail Blazer
It’s customer driven: what will people buy independent of what they actually need. It’s also distribution channels: in the US a goal would be to sell it through REI.

this is also why cottage industries do so well at the started. They figure out the unmet need is and deliver. My 2 cents
 

Norrland

Ultralighter
It’s customer driven: what will people buy independent of what they actually need. It’s also distribution channels: in the US a goal would be to sell it through REI.

this is also why cottage industries do so well at the started. They figure out the unmet need is and deliver. My 2 cents

But what DRIVES the customers? ;) Features!
 

Norrland

Ultralighter
Nope, Marketing, group think and reviewer. I have worked in Consumer Electronics for decades and have seen it first hand.

Maybe but these things you mention don't really get to the root of the issue. They're just marketing terms. A sociologist, anthropologist or psychologist will often have different answers. It's never as simple as you say.
 
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Jon Fong

Trail Blazer
Look at JetBoil as an example. Do customers really need a stove that could boil 500 ml in 2-3 minutes? Hardly. If time were a big factor, then all of the freeze dried food packets would be pushing for faster prep time (sub 4 minute and ready to eat).
people tend to get caught up in Marketing hype as that feature seems to be important. My 2 cents.
 

Rickyboyd

Summit Camper
There's a lot of academic and commercial research behind marketing, so I imagine many such parties are involved.
I agree with Jon about group think - which is why lots of people on here now have small tables they don't take with them 😏
Yep I’ve got one of them.
 

Ed the Ted

Ultralighter
But what DRIVES the customers? ;) Features!
You offer one 'root cause' then criticise Jon, who draws upon professional experience, for being simplistic. Perhaps the framework and method of your various ologists can be speculated upon, but certainly not what they might find.

Personally I rationalise whatever I want according to a myriad of factors, not least FOMO and group think, when I get carried away with some new desire, and certainly don't just respond to a list of 'features'. Perhaps I tell myself it's about features to justify the consumption, but in reality it's usually a long list of other things.
 

Norrland

Ultralighter
You offer one 'root cause' then criticise Jon, who draws upon professional experience, for being simplistic. Perhaps the framework and method of your various ologists can be speculated upon, but certainly not what they might find.

Personally I rationalise whatever I want according to a myriad of factors, not least FOMO and group think, when I get carried away with some new desire, and certainly don't just respond to a list of 'features'. Perhaps I tell myself it's about features to justify the consumption, but in reality it's usually a long list of other things.
I wasn't being serious about features being the cause. I was saying that features trump function in many product designs today, regardless of whether it's a tent or a coffee machine. i was simply arguing that it's never as simple as vague, out of date concepts like "group think". I have also worked in one of Swedens largest companies in their organisational development and UX departments for 10 years before starting a company funded PhD in the same area. I'm also drawing upon experience and if you came into our department and starting talking about "group think" you'd be laughed out the door. All of our current research stems primarily from interdisciplinary research teams of anthropologists, sociologists, pschologists, computer scientists, UX designers and many more. None of which mention group think as being any kind of driving factor in modern consumption habits. Nudge theory tactics are being utilised quite a lot in this department.
 

SteG

Section Hiker
Have the sales of the hilleberg soulo in this country been driven by group think, wether that's been passed through social media, videos or word of mouth? People feeling that they want/need this strongest tent for going out in winter? I know people who feel this is the ultimate tent and covet it. But they don't really do much camping in the cold let alone stormy weather. Wouldn't they end up disappointed like a lot of others and seek something out a bit more appropriate? Have I misunderstood what you think, group think means? Im trying to say that I think a lot of people are driven to buy tents that others say are the best to buy. Look how well the Vango Banshee did, still does. I got into that group think myself after spending time on certain fB groups. Never heard of it before.
 

Bmblbzzz

Ultralighter
Isn't function-driven versus feature-driven usually a way of saying "does one thing well" versus "does one thing and then does peripheral things too"? Core versus adjacents? One coffee machine forces boiling water through ground coffee beans, it has one function. Another also froths milk, makes swirly patterns in the top of your cup, adds sugar and serves a biscuit; it has many features. And yet those features are in fact functions, they are things the machine does. We distinguish them as features because they are additional to the core function or purpose of the machine, and it would still perform its basic function if those features became non-operational.
 

Jon Fong

Trail Blazer
Going back to the OP on Roger’s tent design. Generically, the 2 person tent market is very crowded. What features does Roger’s design attract people? Probably robustness in the wind and snow. Are there competitors out out there? Yes, a few. As a new tent design / implementation you probably need a significant advantage in order to capture a decent market share.
That being said, a vast majority of backpackers really only need a 3 season tent and do not need high wind or snow protection. I own a Big Agnes Copper Spur 3 as I prefer to have the extra width ( I am a flopper). So we need the extra room, and it it a light weight tent. If I were to spend a week in the Cairngorms, I would probably want a tunnel tent.
 

Teepee

Thru Hiker
I have not seen his designs before either. I really like some of them.

Coming at this from a perspective of someone who makes his own tents, the first thing I notice is the designs don't visually appeal to me. I have to look closely at them and then imagine them in a different colour, with better photography.

I'm really impressed with Rogers skills and have learnt plenty from his articles, but unfortunately that link just doesn't have 'Kerb appeal'.
 
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