We make The Deuce of Spades and MoonLight tents Who, Where & Why | TheTentLab


This is the experimental arm of my long-running product design business. Here’s my plan: I’m going to make and sell some really out-there things – things that don’t compete with my clients – through a channel which allows me to directly hear what users really think of them.


I’m Mike Cecot-Scherer owner/operator of TheTentLab. I’ve been a product designer in the outdoor industry for 36 years. I’ve designed 266 tents and counting. Here’s my resumé


Email is the best way to get ahold of me:
mike email pic

By telephone is theoretically possible but be prepared to leave a message - I get relentlessly telemarketed and rarely answer an unknown number without hearing a voicemail first.
phone number graphic
I usually answer “Inkling, this is Mike,” since the company name is Inkling Inc.


This business is run out of our home in Louisville, Colorado (it’s near Boulder)

Future - The SuperTent™

A wicked winter tent that’s ridiculously strong IN ALL DIRECTIONS but doesn’t weigh a ton. This project is currently stalled. I know what I want to do but really don't have the time to do it. It's complicated poleset that isn't easy enough to set up yet. Still, ymail me if you’d like to be on the notification list.

More Why

I created TheTentLab to introduce highly specialized and experimental tents (and occasionally other things) to the world to see what real users think of them. I’m not just trying to sell you a tent, I’m trying to talk to you about tents and in the process, yes, I hope that some of you will want the revolutionary tents I’m making.
• The tents are specialized because they have been shaped by a unique set of non-mainstream preferences and tradeoffs. They definitely don't fit a “they're for everyone,” marketing story.
• The tents are
experimental not because they might not work, they’re experimental because they’re unique – no one really knows if there are customers out there for them.
• The tents are crafted works which represent the state-of-the-art of tent and design. I present these tents with full and honest disclosure of their inherent tradeoffs and benefits. It’s a marketing model I wish would catch on.

As a freelance designer, I've worked for a slew of companies. And over that time, I’ve come to the understanding that there really are huge limits — both internal and external — on what a mainstream brand can offer. Each brand has its own Manifest Destiny that motivates and directs their activities down to remarkably small detail. They can’t deviate from their paths without the risk of losing their identity and their sales. The net result is that there’s just a ton of stuff that they can’t, won’t or shouldn’t do. I believe this has left lots of holes in the
kinds of products being offered and, as a designer, I’d like to explore some of those spaces with you, the customer.

Which brings me to another of my goals for TheTentLab, to connect with tent users without the filters and biases that overrun the usual communication channels (if those channels even exist at all). I want to hear
directly from tent users - what they think, what they believe, what they care about, and what they have problems with.

=> And last but not least, TheTentLab aims to catch many
new and exciting features and designs and release them safely into the public domain. Catch and release, it’s not just for fish anymore.