Yurts are our specialty, and years of camping in yurts have helped us to create a design that balances the portability of a traditional yurt with the benefits of several modern improvements. Efficient use of living and storage space, protection against the elements,
and an all around "home away from home" feeling make camping in a yurt tough to beat. Living and working in a circular space is a unique experience
and gives many people a peaceful sense. The roomy, circular interior serves as a creative inspiration
for many uses, whether for camping, as a workshop, a gazebo, or many other functions!
||Click any image to enlarge
Yurts are the traditional tent homes of the
nomadic peoples of central Asia and have served them well for
many centuries. They were the primary dwelling for the nomadic
Mongols who once controlled large parts of Asia stretching to the pacific. Thus
the yurt has many cultural variations in lands that are now
known as China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Turkey,
and other countries. Yurts can be found in many of these areas
to this day! Yurt is actually the Russian word for these structures;
the Kazakh's who use them call them Kigizui and the Mongolians
call them Ger. Yurt is the best known word however, which
we will use here for purposes of easy recognition.
Yurts differ markedly from European notions
of a tent since the designed orignated as a portable home and not merely a temporary shelter. A
yurt consists of wooden rafters atop a circular, collapsible
lattice wall. These rafters converge
at a roof ring in the center.
There are tension bands along the outside
of the lattice wall, to keep the the wall in place. The weight of the rafters push down on the lattice wall, which is held in place by the tension bands, and dissipates the pressure evenly into the ground. These elements
make the entire structure free standing, and strong, without the need
for stakes, guy lines, or even the tautness of fabric to
keep the structure up.
Our yurts use the same time-tested designs as
the plains dwellers, but with updated materials.
Walls and roof structure-
Yurt walls were first made of flexible saplings, laced together
with leather strips. Wood is still the primary material
in our yurts; we use hand picked
yellow pine lathes and rafters for our structure. A yurt is strong
because of the redundancy and flexibility of its
structure, and we find pine has a good blend of flexibility/elasticity
Lattice joinery - Instead
of leather strips, stainless steel bolts hold our walls together,
for increased durability and to serve as convenient hangers.
They have rounded heads so they wont scratch
your canvas, and the ends on the inside are flat, not pointed.
The bolts are not visible from the outside when the canvas
is on the frame, so it maintains a quite authentic
Tension band and ropes - Historically
woven cloth, horsehair, or leather was used for bands and rope.
We use 1 inch white nylon webbing with a break strength of
4200 lbs. As oppose to rope, the wider surface of the webbing lies flat against the lattice,
Walls and roof fabric - We use top of
the line Sunforger canvas for the best in water repellency
and mildew resistance. This comes in a 10oz or 12oz variety,
and both are a natural off white color by default. For
more information on our canvas, click here
Dome and Door - All of our yurts come with a two piece collapsible dome that fits into the inner diameter of your ring. Also included is a separate canvas dome flap that easily goes over the roof ring in cases of inclement weather, or just to keep the heat in at night. The dome flap is much wider than the roof ring itself, and has long rope ties on each corner so its easy to tie down over the dome. The canvas wall naturally overlaps the door frame by several feet, forming a simple canvas door flap.
Stability – Every point where the
yurt meets the ground acts as an anchor to set it firmly
in place, rather than the few poles and ropes that hold
a marquee-style tent down. The design of a yurt is
excellent at distributing weight evenly around the structure,
naturally dispersing any stress it receives down to the
ground. See the picture to the right, where one of our craftsmen
is hanging by the roof ring, which easily supports the weight.
Additionally, the structure of a yurt is totally
freestanding, and in no way dependant on any canvas, ropes, or stakes to stay up. This means less day-to-day
maintenance than a marquee or wall tent.
Strength – A yurt's greatest
strength is the redundancy built into its design, and the
flexibility of it's individual parts. The nature of a yurt's design is such that even if several lathes along the wall were missing, the structure would still hold
itself up. That same redundancy allows the roof ring to stay up, even with half the roof rafters
inserted. In fact, with all but the largest models, the roof ring will support itself with 4-6 rafters inserted, provided they are evenly spaced. The remainder of the structure picks up the slack
from the open spots to ensure that the yurt remains standing. This strength of flexibility also means a yurt can handle campgrounds that are moderatley inclined or hilly.
Wind Resistance – Yurts are extremely efficent at dealing with high winds. Yurt designs were developed in areas of flat land where steady, high winds were commonplace. The round
shape of the yurt means that the wind will go around and above
it rather than blowing it over, even in high winds. Of course, no structure is invulnerable to the weather, but even with no additional structure, ropes, or supports, the inherent advantages of a yurt's design make them among most wind resistant tents.
Footprint – Pole and rope supported
tent can have a footprint of anywhere between 2 and 5 feet
beyond its usable interior space due to support poles,
ropes, and stakes. So a 10' x10' pavillion often has an actual footprint of 15' x 15'. However, a yurt needs no external poles, guy lines, stakes,
or ropes. This makes it the most space efficient
tent around, because every inch of footprint it takes up on
the land is usable interior space.
Interior Space – Like the
outside, the inside is just as space efficient. Since the
roof ring needs no center pole, the full interior is uninterrupted,
useable floor space. Traditionally, a fire was kept directly
underneath the center roof ring so that the smoke could exit the top. Feel free to put your bed, cook stove,
or whatever else you'd like right in the center of your yurt,
there's no pole to stop you. Likewise, there's plenty of headroom in a yurt. All our walls are 6' high and our roof peak is a minimum of 9' on all models.
Hanging supports – The bolts that join the yurt walls, or the lattice itself can serve as a hanging point for all types of items,
from cookware, clothing, tools, tapestries, shelves,
and much more. The space that this frees up on the floor cannot
be understated, and is one of the best features of a yurt. In addition, the top of each rafter has a small hole, through which you can thread a rope to tie all sorts of things. Tie a lantern to one end of the rope, thread it through the hole in the rafters, and tie the other end to the top of your wall to make a convenient hanging system. Simply loosen the rope to lower the lantern within reach, then pull to send it back up again. No need for a step to reach the hanging item!
Climate Control – In
warm weather open the dome flap and open the
wall canvas to allow a nice cross breeze as well as a sort
of natural air conditioning. Warm air in the yurt will rise
up through the roof ring, drawing cooler air from the ground
into the yurt. In colder weather, simply keep the walls down
and the door and roof flap shut, and even a few candles can
raise the ambient temperature. Hanging blankets or other insulating layers on the walls can also help.
Doorway and Doors –
The wall for our standard yurt kit overlaps the door frame to form a basic fabric door, however our door frame is ready to accomodate a variety of hinged doors of whichever design you choose. In fact this is quite
common among nomadic yurt dwellers even to this day. Your
door can be anything as simple as a wooden sheet, to a thick
carved double door. Not only does this contribute to the look
of your yurt and offer you a great opportunity to customize,
but with the right door it allows you to lock your tent! What other type of tent
can claim to do that?
Versatility– The durability and space efficiency a yurt provides means it can serve many functions. In the right configuration, a yurt can serve as an outdoor
dining area, shed/storage, workshop space, gazebo / greenhouse or overall relaxation
space. Its easy to think of a yurt as more than a camping
space and many of our customers have imagined several alternate uses for their yurts.
Ease of transport - While, all of the yurt's features come from its unique free-standing structure the structure is often bulkier than its European counterparts. However, it is this structure that affords you all the benefits listed above, and a collapsed yurt can still be
transported on most cars with a roof rack or long cargo compartment. Feel free to contact us if you have space concerns while consdering a yurt and we can happily share our experinces and suggestions for packing and storage.
Set up time - Set up of a yurt can be tricky at first, particularly those used to post and line supported tents but as
you put up and take down the yurt, the process will become
easier. Also, once a yurt is up it requires little if any
day to day maintenance or tightening. All our tents come with complete set up instructions and we are happy to offer an in-person demo if possible, or live phone support when you are setting up your yurt for the first time. Setup on most sizes of yurt can be accomplished with as few as two people, and solo setup is even possible on some of our smaller sizes. Once you are familiar with the yurt, many of our smaller models can go from fully packed to set up in as little as 20-30 minutes.
Deposit - We
require a 30% non-refundable deposit to begin work on tent
orders, the buttons below will add that deposit to your cart.
The balance (plus tax if applicable) will be billed
to you once your tent is complete and is due before your
tent will ship. You may
pay this balance earlier, should you so choose. Any options
must be paid for along with your initial order, unless otherwise
Shipping - Shipping cost will also be included in the above mentioned
bill and will be calculated based on your address, whether an in person pickup
or event delivery can be scheduled, and final weight of your tent. We attend
many events in the NJ/ East PA Area and are happy to schedule a delivery if
possible. In-person pickups are also welcome, if you are near the central NJ
Build time - Please
allow 4-6 weeks for the construction of your tent. This time
can vary depending on how many orders we are working on at
the time (Late spring / early summer tends to be the busiest
time), the size of your tent, and other factors. If there
is a specific date you would like to have your tent, we encourage
you to order early! As we build, we will keep you updated
via e-mails and/or pictures on the status of your tent, and
an estimated completion date. We
will notify you ASAP once it is ready to ship.
Warranty – All tents
are covered under a 3 year warrantee,
guaranteeing that they are free of manufacturing defects or faulty materials.
See this link for more information.
Includes – Our yurts include
- Structure: Bolted lattice wall, rafters, door frame, roof
ring, and dome.
- Canvas: Wall with integrated ties and overlap for door flap, roof with integrated drawstring, dome flap and ropes.
- Hardware: Tension bands, door bolts, door ties, Full setup instructions.
A note on size: The yurt's diameter can vary slightly
from setup to setup. In fact, you can purposely set the walls
up a few inches taller or shorter to suit your tastes.
Smaller diameter will result in a taller roof, wider diameter,
a more shallow roof.
- A variety of options to customize your yurt
Double-wide door - Our standard door frame is 3' wide (About the average size of any doorway in your house). For any yurt 16' and up, we can double the width to 6' at no extra charge. Please indicate in the "Optional Instructions" section as you check out if you would like this option.
Separate door flap - Our standard door flap is built into the wall, in that it overlaps the door frame by several feet. If you'd like however, we can make the overlap into its own separate door flap, independent from the wall at no extra charge. Please indicate in the "Optional Instructions" section as you check out if you would like this option.
12 oz. Sunforger canvas- add 15%
of base price- For
the absolute best in weather resistance, we offer 12 oz
Sunforger canvas. This may be more than you need for
the occasional camper but for those who anticipate extremely
harsh conditions or set ups of a month or more, we recommend it.
For more info on our canvas click here.
(Please indicate in the "Optional Instructions" section as you check
out if you would like 12 oz canvas. Due to the limitations of our billing system, we must
bill separately for this option)
Flame retardant canvas - add $150
- If regulations require a flame retardant fabric
where you camp, or if your own specifications call
for such, Sunforger is also available with a flame retardant
treatment that meets CPAI-84 regulations
Stained structure - (see table below) - We can stain all the wood of your structure for a more unique look
to your structure. These colors range from traditional to exotic and
look beautiful in day or night. The stain is applied
to the walls, door frame, rafters and roof ring for a
finish that contrasts nicely with the
canvas. Finishes are available in a variety of colors. To order, select the button corresponding to the size of your yurt below.
|10'-12' Yurts - add $150
||14'-16' Yurts - add $200
|18'-20' Yurts - add $250
||22'-24' Yurts - add $300