the two second tent
As my friends know, I am not a camping enthusiast. In fact, my idea of roughing it in the great outdoors consists of a stay here or here. But, after seeing this advance in tent technology (sent to me by Scott via Gizmodo), I am reconsidering my position about nights under the starry skies.
The two-second two-person tent and the three-second three-person tent are offered under the Quechua brand and sold in the U.S. by Decathalon. As you might gather from the above picture, the manufacturer has found a way to simplify tent assembly. To set up camp, just toss your tent in the air. That's it. No parts to lose or complicated instructions to follow. Re-folding is a bit trickier (there are 8 steps estimated to take 15 seconds to complete), but I imagine with a little practice my readers will have no trouble.
The award-winning design (Gold, IDEA 2006 Best Product Design) is inspired by collapsible auto windshield shades and relies on two fiberglass spring hoops. The basic two-person tent is 8 feet long and 4 feet, 9 inches wide but less than 8 pounds in weight. It is constructed from polyester polyurethane, it completely waterproof and, at $69, seems like quite a bargain.
Bonus link 1: more photos of the tent in action
Bonus link 2: a real-world review providing a strong recommendation for the three person tent
11/8 Update: The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled all 22,000 two and three second tents sold in the US for failing to meet flammability standards. I hope that an improved version of this innovative design returns to the market soon.