Six Moon Designs is excited to announce that we are bringing back Dyneema Composite Fabric (Formerly known as Cuben Fiber) shelters to our product line. After a pause over the past few years to re-group our strategy on DCF shelters, we are now in the midst of a large production run of the Deschutes and Haven in DCF.
SMD’s DCF History
The Refuge X circa 2008
In 2008 SMD released the Refuge X, at the time this was the lightest two-person shelter available on the market. You can read a great review about the Refuge in the archives of backpacking light. At the time SMD produced around 30 of these tents, making SMD one of the first companies to ever produce tents out of DCF and also one of the largest producers of DCF shelters at the time.
The Refuge X taught us what worked and what didn’t when one manufactures with DCF. We pulled back for a time and sorted out ways to increase seam strength and manufacturing technology to make DCF viable for a production run model versus a custom made to order model.
In 2010 with all that had been learned, SMD came out with a line of DCF shelters that started with the Skyscape X, then included the Deschutes and Haven. These shelters were manufactured in the US, with various facilities making components and then final assembly taking place at SMD’s headquarters in Beaverton, OR. Using SMD’s proprietary seam manufacturing technology these shelters assembled quickly and had outstanding seam strength performance. At the end of 2015 SMD once again decided to take a step back and re-group what was going on with the DCF line, one major reason being a desire to have all the production done in one location.
SMD and DCF, Present Day
Over the last year and a half, SMD staff has been helping train their main manufacturing facility on the techniques used to manufacturer DCF shelters on a production scale. After prototypes were approved in 2018, SMD has moved forward with the largest run of DCF shelters in their history, and possibly one of the largest runs of DCF shelters for the backpacking world at one time.
Two models are being released on December 10th, 2018, the Deschutes DCF and the Haven DCF. These two models are currently available in a sil-nylon version and will continue to be so into the future, but for those customers looking for an even lighter, more waterproof option, these new models are the answer. SMD exclusively uses .75oz/sqyd DCF fabric, our experience has shown this weight fabric to be the best combination of strength to weight ratio.
The Deschutes DCF is a 1-person pyramid style tarp that provides 100% coverage and protection from the elements. Weighing in at 8 oz, this shelter is sure to be a favorite among the long-distance hiker, bike packer or anyone looking for a solid shelter. The Deschutes DCF will also pair nicely with the Serenity Net Tent (11 oz), giving the user an option to have a fully enclosed double wall shelter that weighs just 19 oz total. MSRP $400 USD for DCF Deschutes only, Serenity Net Tent is an additional item MSRP $125.
The Haven DCF is a 2-person, 2-door, as symmetric side entry A-frame shelter that weighs in at 12oz. This shelter has ample space for 2 people and gear and can be paired with the current Haven NetTent (16 oz) for a solid double wall, 2-person shelter, which provides each occupancy with their own door and vestibule at just 38 oz. This shelter is sure to be a fan favorite with couples, hiking partners and those who love to take Fido with them into the backcountry. MSRP $500 USD for DCF Haven only, Haven Net Tent is an additional item MSRP $160.
SMD is committed to once again be working with and offering shelters out of DCF. In the future, the line will be expanded with additional models that customers are requesting until then enjoy the new Deschutes DCF or Haven DCF on your next backcountry trip.
DCF Haven at Desolation Wilderness, photo by David Wiese