Stephenson's Warmlite

 Index |


Warmlite Tents

Sizes | Weights | Price | Colors
Technical Data on Tents | More Pictures of Tents



THE standard of performance in severe weather use, WARMLITE tents are the most versatile, simplest, and lightest tents made. Exceptional dependability, ease of use, and light weight - along with options found in no other tents - has made them the first choice of experienced backpackers, expedition members and canoe, bicycle, or airplane campers since 1964.
WARMLITE tents have been proven in the most extreme conditions throughout the world. The shapes have been copied, but performance never equaled. We’ve made many important improvements since 1964, but even our early WARMLITE tents had many of the following unique advantages over others:

  1. Elliptical ARC Shape for wind stability, strength, quietness, headroom and space: this shape gives stable air flow and lowest wind loads, no high stress, flapping, noise and failure so common in others. No need for many annoying staked out lines and their stress points. Conical ends form built-in “vestibules” for cooking and gear storage, and uniformly distribute loads from stakes, directed for best holding power. Well placed pockets aid gear storage and organization.

  2. Most ROOM, for sitting and working with good headroom. 60" width (89" in Model 5). Two people can sit side by side in front half of Model 2 or anywhere in 3, or 4 across in Model 5. Floor shape gives best fit for sleeping bags and gear.
    “Vestibules” for gear and cooking are standard, (not an expensive extra weight option), and are floored to keep gear clean and DRY, for a stable, easily cleaned cooking space. Model 2 tents have vestibule at front, others at each end.

  3. Fast, EASY Set Up. Two permanently curved poles slip easily into full length sleeves. Setup is quick and simple even during fierce winds when other tents can’t be setup. Only three stakes are needed to hold a Model 2, four for Model 3 or Model 5. (Those so called “free standing” domes need stakes at each pole end for any wind resistance. Imagine trying to get poles in, or Fly on to a partially erected dome in rain, with strong wind whipping it about!) When you are tired and short on air in a wild storm your IQ of 176 loses first digit, and you NEED the simplicity of a Warmlite tent!

  4. High Wind SECURITY: Designed for smooth airflow in high wind, WARMLITE tents resist 95 mph winds or, with optional inside WIND STABILIZERS up to 160 mph, very important for safety in severe storms. (Most other tents fail in wind under 60 mph. Some deform or fail in wind under 40 mph.) WARMLITE tents can survive in winds to 160 mph. Extraordinary!

  5. EASY TENSION ADJUSTMENTS, from INSIDE, for tight wind-stable tent without leaving your warm snug bed.

  6. STRONGEST POLES -7178T6 is much stronger than those in any other tents - curved to shape and stiff to hold tent shape and stability in any wind. These resist 20 times more force than thin flexed-to-shape poles used on most other tents. Flexed poles use 80% of their strength just flexing to shape. Stephenson poles need no load sacrificing flexure, and are MUCH stronger and stiffer to begin with.

  7. ADJUSTABLE VENT SYSTEM for full control of warmth & humidity. HIGH vents let out humid air while LOW vents let in heavier dry air. This “chimney effect”, assures excellent venting even in still air, when other vent schemes fail. Upper vents have zippered inside covers for easy incremental control of venting. Lower vents can be closed against excessive wind or dust, but open when wind dies, always providing safe ventilation.
    Optional windows on each side open from inside (once the outer cover is raised) for views and cooling. Open them any amount, in any location, or close as tight as if they weren’t there. They have no effect on storm resistance when closed.

  8. DRY, WARM: Double walls, silicone coated fabric and sealed seams provide full rain protection, best warmth, and least condensation. The inner wall is kept warmer by an insulating air gap between walls, aided by radiant heat blocking aluminized exterior. The tent stays dry inside; warmth of inner wall eliminates the miserable condensation so common in other tents, and aids differential height chimney venting. Warm humid lighter air rises up and out the top vents, while fresh, dry air is drawn in through the lower vents.
    Sealed one piece construction. No loose “fly” to get heavy with condensation, soak the inner tent, or let the inner wall soak up rain during setup or take down, the worst problem of old style tents. Tradition isn’t good when it leaves you wet.

  9. LIGHTEST Weight: The lightest, yet strongest tents made. (Only 1 to 1 1/2 lb. per person.)
    Weight may vary due to coating thickness (seldom over 2oz), or by seam sealing efficiency.

     2X = 2.33 lb

     3X = 3.25 lb

    5X = 4.7 lb

     2R = 2.75 lb

    3R = 3.75 lb

    5R = 5.6 lb

  10. Simple, Quick Entry - Sloped door makes entry easy while keeping out bugs, rain and snow. The door is easily held to keep out rain or snow while opening the freeze proof zipper, then the door slope makes it easy to go thru. The door can be used even in highest winds without degrading strength or stability. There’s an inner backup coil zip and a bottom zipper to seal against crawling bugs. On Model 3 and 5 a door on other end provides an alternate entry.
    Large Door: The ‘95 door design allows optional extra zippers on left side to let whole door panel open for loading or stargazing: better than old drop front for large door, and good for stargazing. (Ventilation is impaired if the door is left open.)

  11. Wide Range of Options for many different needs:


R Regular double wall version with radiant heat blocking inner wall. The aluminized outer surface on inner wall reduces heat radiation for warm surface and least condensation (also blocks light). For more light in the tent, lighter colored fabric can be used for inner wall (call for details).
X eXtra LIGHT single wall version. Weighs less than typical 1 person “bivy sack”, yet is full sized tent with all the space and storm protection of R tent. These are not as condensation resistant as R tents, so should only be used by the 1 out of 3 intelligent enough to avoid needless sweating, and use proper rain gear (see VB). If you usually can wear a shirt for more than 5 days without sweat odors, you can use the X tent.
S large Side Windows (on both sides) for cooling on warm nights, or views or stargazing. These have no effect on strength or wind stability. To open, the outer wall is zipped open and raised, or tied out like an awning. Inner covers open from inside any amount or location, with 2 sliders on zipper across top & sides. Adds 5 ounces.
LD Large door adds pair of door zips up left side so opening is twice as big. Use for loading gear and stargazing. Adds 2 ounces.
W Wind stabilizers: diagonal inside straps from each side of each pole down to far end of pole, greatly stiffening and supporting pole. For winds over 95mph. They get in the way a bit in use, especially on mid pole, and no one really needs them. +2.5 oz on 2R, 5 oz on 3R, 7 oz on 5R.
E Endliners - double end walls to prevent rare condensation on ends, ONLY for dumb ones who WON’T control needless excess sweating. Only if you usually must change shirt every day do you need E. Helps frost control at -40 deg., but not worth the bother.
M Mid pole to reduce side deflection in strong side winds, is not needed for strength. Sleeves for mid pole are in all 3R and 5R tents. For doubters of 40 years of experience, a multi-mid pole version of any size can be made, at high cost.


Colors are fairly close to true except Dark Blue & Olive Drab are too dark

SORRY but we no longer have TAN

Light Yellow, Green, Lime Green, OD (olive drab), Medium Blue, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Purple (blackberry), ORange, PInk, Fushia, BLlack, GRey, Tan, or mixed. Use light color for the ends to let in light. Dark colors on top between poles have little effect: alum. liner is already dark. For much more light inside get X tent, or use a light color on liner, with slight reduction in humidity control. In dim light Lime Green and Yellows are most visible while ORange & Blues are hard to see. Alum. and Blue blend into shadows on snow. Light green blends best in fields and forest. Aluminum is used for sun protection if you MUST often leave tent up in sun, but COSTS a lot more - better to lift the tent off stakes on one end, fold it end to end (with poles flat - sleeping bag and all) and AVOID a day of sun.

Three Sizes 2, 3, or 5: for wide variety of needs and uses. Size number conservatively indicates number of people who can comfortably sleep in it with all their gear. There is a WARMLITE tent for one person, or for two to six (5R will fit 6). Many of our customers have purchased 2 or 3 sizes to be ready for different needs. We recommend a Model 3R for most universal use, since it is the ideal size for winter camping for 2 or 3, gives capacity for up to 4 when needed, yet is still lighter than other two-person tents. We are often told that 3 people fit easily in a 2R, 4 in a 3R, and 7 in the 5R, with occasional stories of even more in emergencies.
Model 2 tents are roomy for 2 people and their gear, yet are also as small as a practical tent for one person can be: you need same length and height for one as for 2, so only width can be decreased without degrading use and venting. But less width hurts wind stability without saving much weight. A Warmlite 2X is lighter than any other 1 person tent or bivy, and is THE choice for lightest 1 person tent. (Light pole saves another 2.6oz., double wall 2R is only 6oz. more.)
Drawings show exterior sizes. Interior sizes are about the same for X tents. R tents seem smaller due to the liner, but sitting and moving space is the same (liner easily pushes up).

Packed sizes: Diameter X Length:

 2X = 4" x 17"

3X = 5" x 17"

5X = 6" x 21"

2R = 5" x 17"

3R = 6.5" x 17"

5R = 7.5" x 21"

Poles determine length, are about 1/3 the volume.


Fabric is ultra high tenacity 30d. ripstop Nylon with a very durable silicone waterproof finish (made for parachutes and hot air balloons, thus the color choices!), is 3 times stronger than fabric usually used for fly on other tents, (and which we used till 1995). Seam sealing (which we let you do, or offer as a service) is done with silicone adhesive we supply, (use for repairs if ever needed). The finish is extremely slippery, thus stays clean and wears far better than urethane coatings usually used on tents, and doesn’t turn sticky from damp storage as urethane coatings do. Parts are LASER or hot knife cut for accuracy and fused edge so they can’t fray and pull apart. (Others hide fraying stack cut edges for a while with flat felled seams or seam tape.)
Nylon thread is used for maximum strength and wear resistance (proven since 1958 with no seam failures!)
Poles are 7187-T6 aluminum, 5/8" diameter (3/8" on small end of Model 2, or for lightweight poles), formed to the curvature of the tent (hardly noticeable in the 15.5" folded length). Sections are held together with Nylon covered elastic, ends held with plastic pole end caps. Optional Mid poles are 5/8" or 3/8": 5/8" gives spare sections for end poles, is stronger and stiffer. 3/8" flexes enough to pass extreme loads to ends and not break, and saves 2.6oz on 3R, 4oz on 5R.
All vents and windows are covered with the finest “Noseeum” netting available.
Zippers are the best from YKK, carefully selected for each function. Coil teeth have most strength, smoothest operation, are self repairing. Outer door zip has molded Delrin teeth for freeze resistance, inner backup is #3 coil.
The features of the old ERV -- extra reinforcing, second door on 3 and 5, inside access to stake out tension adjusters, sleeve for mid pole, many net pockets, fused edge cutting of parts -- are standard on ALL WARMLITE tents.

 A Warmlite tent starts out lighter then stays lighter: You won’t be carrying several extra pounds of condensation or rain soaked inner tent, like the typical antique porus tents with fly.