Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

In the post on "Booth Shots to show examples to newbies", Oscar Matos Linares posted photos of his booth where he has attached his weights to the StaBars at the bottom of the tent close to the corners. 
Most of the tent weights I have seen are hanging from tie straps connected to the top corners of the tents, then attached to the legs near the bottom of the legs. 

So my question is this, since both locations place the weight near the bottom of the tent, does it matter where the weight is located? 

Would there be an advantage of the weight being more on the corner of the tent where the leg is located? 

Or, would placing the weight be more beneficial being placed on the lower StaBars? 

I like the clean look of the weights being on the StaBars.  No need to covering the tie straps at the legs.   

Just a side note to this, I went to a show this weekend just to walk and check it out.  I was surprised how many booths didn’t have weights or had them hanging halfway down the legs and just swinging in the wind. 

Views: 2179

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'd say a third of the way up connected to the legs and top corner of the canopy. That way if a wind blows, the canopy top won't become as much of a sail bending the legs. Normally I hang my weights from the top and bungie them around the legs about two feet up from the bottom.

Larry Berman

I've been using the saddlebag weights on the stabalizers for years, three 40lb on each side and my craft hut never moved. I recently started using an easy up with an upper and lower stabalizer with the same weight set up and two weeks ago in a very bad wind storm( 40 to 50 mph winds) my neighbors ez up that had weights hanging on the corners buckled and blew away while mine didn't move.

Thanks Lori, so it looks like placement does make a difference.  Good to know! 

Just to clarify you have "three 40 lb. weights" on each side= 120 lb. on one side, or 40 lb. on each side with a total of 120 lb. on the tent?

I have four 40 pound saddlebag weights on my stabars on my trimline.  I've never had a problem until this weekend.  Was at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia with heavy wind gusts magnified by the building/street layout.  Around 4pm on Sunday, had both front legs lift a bit.  Was nervous, but made it to the end of the show.  During teardown, after I had all my art work packed, had taken down my french wall (so now my tent weighs less), I was removing my mesh panels.  A gust picked up the whole front of my tent, lifting the front legs off the ground about 3 feet.  My guess is the whole tent would have gone over, but I grabbed the front left leg with both arms and threw myself on the ground, pulling my tent back down.  A passerby grabbed the other front leg. 

Turns out, the straps on the front saddlbag weight on the other side ripped right off!  Aside from that and a slightly bent staybar, no other damage.  Could have been a disaster.

I'll get the saddlebag fixed/replaced, but will rethink weight placement.  Based on where the wind was coming from, I should have moved my weights (all four) closer to the front of the tent.  I may also build some PVC pipe weights, or will order another set of saddlebags.

Like I said, I hadn't ever had a problem and thought I was OK. 



Most people put their tent weight on each corner pole. The engineering solution is to put the weight midway between the corner poles. For example, a five gallon bucket of water weighs about 45 pounds. At the corner you get 45 pounds of dead weight on the corner. If placed in the middle you get a little less the 54 pounds of force on the corner. I use this on all three walls on my 10x10 tent that has 1" steel conduit frame. It works. I have had my tent scoot a few feet sideways in microbursts and 45- 50 mph gusts, but it has never risen off the ground.

Thanks Richard for the information.  Do you use a strap from both top corners to the same center weight?  Is so, do you still end up with the same force on both corners or is it less? 

Yes. Forces are the same. You can read more about the Force Triangle on line. It works on everything from bridges and cranes to saddle riggings and tents.

Chris, I use three 40lb weights on each side for a total weight of 240lb.  I use small pebbles as weight as opposed to sand, sand will hold water if it rains and creates a mess in your vehicle.


240lbs. your tent isn't going anywhere!  LOL  Thanks for letting me know, I'm sure this will be useful information for other members as well. 

that's the good thing about the system I use, if the wind shifts I slide the weights to where they're needed

Just a couple of issues here, Richard; the angle is off a little. The angle from the center to the upper corner is a little greater than 45, using the tangent , rise/run=7.5/5=1.5, then inverse tan gives 56.3 degrees give or take a little. I think you may have to multiply by the sine instead of dividing in order to find the Y vector. My gut hunch is to do it the down home way and stick a bathroom scale under a tent leg and see what it is, and my guess is that the weight should be evenly distributed across both legs with 22 1/2 pounds downward force on each leg.

The thing that kills the EZ-Up tents and to a lesser degree the other tents isn't so much the wind or rain load, but the rotational torque. Of course insufficient weight will turn anyone's tent into an instant box kite. A marvelous show I used to do in the 90's was the Near Eastside Artworks show in downtown Chicago at the intersections of Randolph and Michigan Avenue on Stetson Street. Great show and piss-poor location with what had to be the world's worst weather patterns. The location created vortex winds and wind tunnel effects that destroyed tents of all sorts left and right, with some tents blown so far they were never found. Amy Amdur now has a show in that location.

At the time I had a set of home made panels consisted of 2 20" Rubbermaid wire shelves 6' long tied together and framed inside an H ladder made of 1x2 stock. It seemed like a good idea when I built them but didn't think about the extra inch and a half the wood members added. Upshot was that the third panel wouldn't fit flush against the back of the tent and had to be kicked out about a foot and a half. What the benefit was, that miscalculation was diagonal corner bracing that kept the frame from flexing on those cross winds. I went through thunderstorms that lasted over an hour with sustained 60+ mph hour winds that left the show looking like a war zone. One artist I recall didn't have sufficient weights and there were 4 of us rushing to her tent and holding on the struts to keep it from flying away.

The key I feel is that display panels should be tied to the legs of the tent and Sta-Bars used. The weak spot on most booths is the front end, and if some one is going the extra step, a bar across the middle in the front should be used at night when zipping up or when dropping the front during the day with approaching storms. When a direct wind hits the front the front tarp billows inward by a foot or more and creates some fierce lateral forces pulling the legs inward and the side Sta-Bars won't help much there.

I'm surprised someone hasn't funded a nice research project for a bunch of engineering students to examine best practices on securing tents and using a wind tunnel with appropriate measurement devices ;-) I'd chip in a few bucks for a donation.
As we used to say " close enough for government work (artists). The other benefit is that the forces on the side walls are in equilibrium, and they are not with dead weight.


Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the our latest Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

Video Website Reviews

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service