1960’s REI A-Frame Tent

1960's REI A-frame Tent (side view)

When it comes to shelters, I am tarp guy. I first learned about tarps in 1969 in USAF survival training, where we learned to construct shelters out of parachutes and ponchos.
In high school I bought a used REI A-frame tent at a swap meet. It is made from nylon and being ‘single-walled’ it is not great in snow and generates a lot of condensation. It’s not that good in wind compared to other designs, but it never collapsed, even in strong winds — but there is a lot of movement on the side panels. Compared to other A-frame shelters I have seen it is very stable for an A-Frame. But then it is over 50 years old. Also it is heavy at 5.5 lbs.

STUFF SACK

1960's REI A-frame Tent Stuff Sack
Tent in Stuff Sack
1960's REI Label in Tent Stuff Sack
Old REI Label for Stuff Sack

POLES AND STAKES

1960's REI A-frame Tent (poles & stakes)
Poles and Stakes

The shelter has 4 telescoping poles. When each pole is pulled apart, sections are flipped end-to-end and can be snuggly connected making a 59″ pole. Two poles slide into sleeves at each end of the tent forming an inverted “V.”

Pole Specifications

  • Each pole weights 7 5/8 ounces (216 grams)
  • Length of each pole assembled is 59 inches (150 cm)
  • Outer diameter of pole sections (larges to smallest)
    • 5/8″ (15.95 mm)
    • 1/2″ (12.60 mm)
    • 3/8″ (9.48 mm)
    • 1/4″ (6.30 mm)
  • The wall thickness of all poles is 1/16″ (1.50 mm)
1960's REI A-Frame Tent
Apex of tent poles (2 at each end of the tent)
1960's REI A-Frame Tent Poles
Apex of tent poles (side view)

FRONT VIEWS

1960's REI A-Frame Tent
Front door closed. There are 3 zippers: one in the center and two at the bottom
1960's REI A-frame Tent (front view)
In this picture I just used my hiking staff as a single front pole (outside of the sleeve) and one of the included tent poles at the rear (outside of the sleeve). This way I could save 1.5 pounds of weight by leaving 3 poles at home — yes even in the old days we tried to par down our weight 🙂
1960's REI A-Frame Tent Door Zippers
Junction of the 3 zippers for the front door
1960's REI A-frame Tent  Zipper
Front door metal zippers are very robust
1960's REI A-frame Tent Mesh Zipper
About 4 years ago I had to replace the zipper for the front mesh door. I can’t remember if the original was metal or nylon, but the new on is nylon.

REAR VIEW

1960's REI A-frame Tent (rea view)
In this picture I just used one pole at the rear (outside of the sleeve) and my hiking staff for the front pole. This way I could save 1.5 pounds of weight by leaving 3 poles at home — yes even in the old days we tried to par down our weight 🙂    Note the rear vent.
1960's REI A-frame Tent (rear view)
Rear View

SIDE VIEW

1960's REI A-frame Tent (side view)
Side View
1960's REI A-frame Tent (side view)
Side View
1960's REI A-frame Tent (side view)
Side View Close-up. Notice that there is not a seam sewn as the ridge line, but the seam is perpendicular to the ridge — I think might possibly help keep the tension on the panel.