We make The Deuce of Spades and MoonLight tents The Poles | TheTentLab


FAT poles
Behold the MoonLight '+' tents' mighty 13.55mm DAC PL poleset.

All MoonLight tents use “PL” poles from Dongah Aluminum Co. (DAC). If you're a geek like me, you've probably heard of DAC. They make virtually all the world’s highest quality aluminum tent poles. DAC PL poles are the invention of the owner and designer at DAC, Jake Lah, and his team. And they’re really something because they push the technical limits of how thin the tube wall is compared to it's diameter – which is why they are so weight efficient. Did they go too far? Making a pole that's easily damaged? Nope. From experience, and having used poles that were too thin-walled (from another maker) and PL poles, I can tell you that DAC has really nailed it; PL poles have thick enough walls to handle all the miscellaneous hardships that tent poles have to take.

Here's where the DAC factory is located in South Korea. See that funny shaped white thing just to the right of the red marker? The one that looks kind of like a telephoto lens laying at an angle? That's the wind tunnel on the roof of DAC. Let that sink in. DAC has their own wind tunnel. Holy smokes!

The table below compares our MoonLight poles to what you would typically find in a 3-season backpacking tent. All data is relative to THE most commonly used pole, 8.5mm, which is available from several pole factories with similar specs. I used the DAC 8.5mm Pressfit pole for the comparison.

MoonLight Poles comparison

A few notes:
For 2-person tents, the 8.5mm is stiffer, stronger and heavier than many of the ultralight poles used – 70-something percent less stiff and strong but 60-something percent lighter.
It's pretty shocking that anyone sells a 4-person tent with only 8.5mm poles (even a 3-person one is pretty weak).

Combining this data with the wind strength of our tents lets us tease out a rough guess about how much of the MoonLight's strength comes from the design, and how much from the poles. It goes like this: paying attention to the 2-person tent info only, most 3-season backpacking tents blow down around 20mph - some dismally less, like 15mph - very few can handle 25mph. Both our 2-person tents handle 40mph winds (the 2+, even more) which is roughly double what other 2-person tents can do. Because wind force is proportional to the square of the windspeed, that 2-fold wind performance equates to a 4-fold difference in strength. As in 400%, 4X, four TIMES the strength! MoonLight 2v2 poles are 1.86X stronger than an 8.5mm pole which means the design must be responsible for about 2.15X – call it about 2X.

Wind test graphic 1331 new ML2v2 no v1 comparison
So basically what accounts for the high performance of our MoonLights tents is half due to the design (~2X) and half due to the big fat poles we use (~2X)! That's kind of a satisfying result (so I should probably take it with a dollop of uncertainty to counter my affirmation bias).

One of the coolest things is that the PL pole also displays a bizarre sort of super-elasticity that I have never seen in an aluminum pole before. The pole takes crazy amounts of flexing without breaking or even losing its straightness when the load is removed. The alloy they're made from is proprietary and called TH 72M but it might as well be called Adamantium (or perhaps Obtainedium). It’s just an incredible pole and a no-brainer to use them in service of a good night's sleep.

Below is an H-clip (on the tent) snapped to an S-Stopper (on the pole)

S-Stopper 1920

Below is an H-clip (on the tent) snapped to a Swivel-CHL (on the pole) which is holding the two crossing poles together to unitize the frame structure

Swivel-CHL 1920

The EyePole hub for the MoonLight 2+, 3+ and 4+ tents
• EyePole tube end fits onto the Red insert - easy on and off tolerances, especially with sand or dirt
• Allows the user to know if the pole is on all the way
• Red color makes it easy to figure which pole comes off when taking the tent down
new ML3&#38;4 hub 772px