Craft Tents

I am a novice artisan. What advice can you give me regarding purchasing a tent? What brand do you like?

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  • I have an ezup and have used it for 5 years.  And do a show in April in NE Kansas (beginning of torando season).  We always have thurderstorms during the night during the the show weekend.  It is just known to expect a storm.  The trick I have learned and have been able to keep my tent damage free during the storms is proper weighting.  Not only weight the bottom but also have a weight attached to the top.  I also use the stabar from Flourish that helps keep it from twisting.  I purchased the bottom bar and pull it up as far as I can which is almost mid way.  I have 100 pounds on each leg.

    I also spray my top with water proofing spray which helps keep it from leaking (Never Wet works great).

    I only do 3 shows a year and this system has worked well for me thus far.

    I do agree that if you are going to be doing multiple shows a year, you would be very wise to invest in a higher end tent.

  • Need advice on this. I found an 8 year old trimlime that has a slit in one side and some patched spots in the roof for $550 with staybar kit. Need advice. Only plan on doing 1-3 shows local per year. looking for something in the $300-500 range.

  • The Light Dome

    Larry Berman

    • Thanks Larry. I should have added in price also.

  • I am in the same boat. Looking for something between the Trimline and the EZ-Up in quality and durability. Does anyone know of anything like that?

    • Should have added 'in price' also.

  • I like a canopy made by Flourish (Timeline). 100% water proof, no tools required to put it together and very sturdy. The down side is it takes two people to put it up. I have done it by myself but world recommend having someone help you.


    • Since my posting on June 2014 the only modification I have made is the Eclipse II aluminum frame.  The problem I have with the Flourish tent or any other for that matter, is the stabilizer bars which are not nearly as strong as the ones I made.  Some of my daughters art is heavy and even using the chain link fence top rail it sagged in the middle until I connected the top and bottom rails with a vertical bar at the center and a support to the ground.  I always try to see how other tents react to windy/stormy days and so far I have not seen any that appeared to be as stable as ours. On two occasions (different shows) while having bad weather I saw several tents take to the air.  The last one, a tent across from us took flight and crashed into our neighbors tent ruining his display.  I am not claiming this tent will stand up in hurricane force winds but I believe it is a top contender for good stability.  By the way, none of the tent modifications look shoddy, all are neat and professional looking. 
      I will admit I have not seen a Tirmline tent fail in bad weather.    
  • I went a little crazy with mine.  I tried to document what I did to make it reliable;

    We (daughter, wife & I) have an ez-up 10X 10 that I have modified recently.  The structure of the tent is steel and the legs are aluminum.  It was ordered from the internet about four + years ago and I can’t find the paper work so am not sure which ez-up model it is.   After purchasing the tent and since we live on the Gulf Coast it has been exposed to several windy, rainy shows.  The top began to weep water after a while when it rained and the side curtains were junk.  Also, it has been upside down one time and on other occasions taken down when the wind would get up.  After looking at many of the tents at various shows, including the highly thought of Trimline, I decided to modify our ez-up. 

    1. I replaced the top canopy with a 600 denier one that came with Velcro on bottom edges to attach the side curtains.

    2.  I purchased 500 denier side curtains that came with Velcro straps at the top to attach the curtains to the tent frame.  When I received the curtains, I had Velcro sewn on to match the ones on the canopy.  Also, the new side curtains have five Velcro straps to attach to the tent vertical legs instead of three as on the old curtains.  

    3.  I decided to make my own stabilizer bars (top and bottom) out of chin link fence top rails which are heavier than what can be bought from Flourish.  I engineered and made the brackets to fasten the rails to the vertical legs of the tent.  The negative is the fence rails are one piece (almost 10 feet) but that isn’t a problem for me since I have a pickup truck.  For someone else wanting to use these they could be cut in five foot sections and put together with the crimped ends like used on a fence application.  I use a vertical pipe, on each side, five feet from each leg (centered) tying the top bar to the bottom bar which is approximately eight inches from the ground/floor.  Also, I have a short piece with a bracket for the bottom rail to sit in and foot that rests on the ground to help support the weight and relieve some stress from the tent legs. The back has a three foot door opening so the vertical pipe is not center located.  The bottom stabilizer bar is as low to the ground as possible.  My daughter displays metal art, mostly sea life designs.  Her pieces are usually mounted on old barn wood frames and are heavy depending on the size.   She hangs the art pieces for display from the top stabilizer bars with decretive chain and hooks.          

    4. I was able to purchase some heavy duty used shrimp net (treated green, follows the décor of her art) which I cut to fit the sides and threaded a black 5/16 inch polypropylene rope through edges of the net.  The net is fastened to the top rails with hooks (used in a fence application) and Velcro straps on the sides and bottom rails.  The exception is on the back where the three foot door opening is and the section of net used on the back has a nylon border sewn on it with eyelets for fastening to the sides and bottom (with Velcro, hooks on the top).  The netting serves the same purpose as mesh panels except I think the netting is much stronger.  They also help to stabilize the tent.

    5. A back shade/work area is made from round aluminum tubing from an older shade patio tent.  The tubing fastens to top stabilizer bar in the back and extends out about 6 feet to a three point bracket for the leg and cross tubing that connects both legs. There is a center tube from the stabilizer bar to the cross tube.   The back side curtain is draped over the aluminum faming, which has a slight slope down to shed water, and fastened with the five Velcro straps on each side of the curtain.

    6. There are four weights made from four inch square (stacks easily and won’t roll over on your foot) polly fence post with caps on each end and with an eye bolt at the top.  These are filled with concrete.  They weigh around 35 pounds each and fasten to the top tent frame with nylon rope with an eye platted in it at the top and snap fasteners at the bottom for quick installation.  We have four screw anchors that can be used (when allowed) and they attach to the bottom rails with wide heavy duty Velcro straps.  Two additional 50 pound weights are used (tied underneath the bottom rails) when the screw anchors cannot be used.

    Yes, I could have bought a Trimline for what I have in this tent if my time to make the modifications was taken into consideration.  Speaking of time, we can set the tent up in about 45 minutes excluding the time to display the art.

    Since writing this (about two months ago) I have ordered an Eclipse II aluminum frame which should be delivered next week. 

  • Hi Joyce,   I can say securely to stay clear of any EZ-UP knockoffs.  I used a "First-Up" several years ago and without exaggeration the thing folded like a toy in a stiff wind while others barely moved.  That First Up tent was in the $100.00 range.    Another artist at the fair offered me his 2nd tent, an EZ-UP , if I wanted to set up again on the Sunday.  EZ makes about 6 models last I researched, some are fairly light duty while others are extremely sturdy and durable.   Their website is pretty informative. Hope this is of some help 

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