POLES


The MoonLight 3 and 4 use 13.55mm “PL” poles from Dongah Aluminum Co. (DAC). If you're a geek like me, you've probably heard of DAC. They make virtually all the world’s highest quality aluminum tent poles. If you haven’t heard of PL 13.55mm poles, that’s not surprising since they’re a recent invention of the owner and designer at DAC, Jake Lah, and they’re really something.


See that funny shaped white thing just to the right of the red marker? The one that looks kind of like a telephoto lens laying at an angle? That's the wind tunnel on the roof of DAC. Let that sink in. DAC has their own wind tunnel. Holy smokes!

A normal 3- or 4-person backpacking tent would use poles ranging from the DAC 9.6mm NSL to the 11mm PressFit. The small end would be for the weight obsessed - read that as being in virtually all comparable tents. Strength and stability valuing customers would most often look to the 11mm poles. We're off the scale with the 13.55 PL poles. They're 45% stiffer (and therefore in a sense 45% quieter) than the 11mm poles but they weigh 7% LESS than those poles. Compared to the NSL 9.6mm, they're just 1/3rd heavier (11 ounces) but they're 2X stronger and almost 3X stiffer.
The cool thing is that the PL pole also displays a bizarre sort of super-elasticity that I have never seen in an aluminum pole before. The pole takes crazy amounts of flexing without breaking or even losing its straightness when the load is removed. The alloy they're made from is proprietary and called TH 72M but it might as well be called Adamantium (or perhaps Obtainedium). It’s just an incredible pole and a no-brainer to use them in service of a good night's sleep.

For the new production run in process now, the hubs of the MoonLight 3s & 4s will be made by DAC and incorporate a new feature: RED colored "outie" hubs. More about those below.

The MoonLight 2 uses DAC 9mm NSL poles with “M-hubs” and a “reverse-combi” ridgepole. It’s about 24% stiffer than a (more usual) 8.5mm NSL pole and it’s about 13% stronger. As with the larger tents, much of its strength comes from locking the poles together at the crossings with what’s called a “Swivel CHL” part from DAC (photo below).

A feature that the MoonLight 2 has that the larger ones don’t is special H-clip/S-Stopper combinations instead of clips (photo below). The S-Stopper is anchored directly into the poles so when the tent is clipped to it - by the H-clip - it’s all joined together into one unit. A regular clip allows poles to slide through it as the tent is pushed by winds. This system allows the inner tent to contribute to keeping the poles in place. Nice, eh?

The Hubs on the MoonLight 2 are DAC M-hubs. They’re made out of fiberglass filled acetal so they’re quite burly - they’re stronger than the poles by a fair margin. They also make your life a little easier when assembling the EyePoles because they provide a nice easy socket to put the pole ends into. They also come apart quite easily for takedown.

Below is an H-clip (on the tent) snapped to an S-Stopper (on the pole)

S-Stopper 1920

Below is an H-clip (on the tent) snapped to a Swivel-CHL (on the pole) which is holding the two crossing poles together to unitize the frame structure

Swivel-CHL 1920

New and improved EyePole hub for the MoonLight 3 and 4 tents
• EyePole tube end fits onto the Red insert - easy on and off tolerances, especially with sand or dirt
• Allows the user to know if the pole is on all the way
• Red color makes it easy to figure which pole comes off when taking the tent down
new ML3&4 hub 772px