The Torrent Ellis Canvas Tent Review

Torrent Tent at Sparks Lake

A few months ago Christina covered wall tents in one of her posts as a temporary tiny house option and she featured the Ellis Canvas Tent wall tent in many of her photos in the article. (see it here)

Recently Alex from Ellis Canvas Tents contacted and and let me know that they appreciated the article on the Tiny House Blog. He said that they were no longer making the wall tents but that they had another tent that might work well for tiny housers interested in a short term living quarters or as an extension of their tiny home. Alex asked me if I would like to see one in person and do a review on it. I am impressed with the quality of their tents and jumped at the opportunity to take a look at one in person. A couple of weeks ago the tent arrived and last week before the snow started coming down I headed out to Sparks Lake here in central Oregon to see if I could set it up.

The Torrent is advertised as being easy for one person to set up and I decided I would just read the instructions and try it out. I set up my iPhone for a time-lapse video and went to work. It proved to be quite simple and it did not take me long as you can see in the video below.

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UrbanCampsiteAmsterdam’s Unusual Sleeping Pods

Unusual ways to go camping seem to be all the rage this summer and UrbanCampsiteAmsterdam may have taken the idea to the most extreme. Not only can you stay inside these unusual structures, but they are also an open-air exhibition open to the public.


The Attic [Arjen Boerstra]

The installation is located in the Centrumeiland, or Centre Island, an artificial peninsula made of layers of sand. It’s an experimental process for the small country anticipating growth along its waterfront areas. Designer Francis Nijenhuis and economist Annette van Driel saw the area as a wasted opportunity and wanted to show the public a unique way of looking at, and utilizing, space. They commissioned various designers to create 14 mobile structures that will eventually be moved elsewhere. Continue reading

Modern Prefab Cabins Soon Available in California Parks

Usually if you are camping in California, you need to have a tent, RV or reservations for a park model or yurt. Now, tiny house and prefab fans will have a few more stylish options thanks to the Parks Forward Commission. The Commission invited architecture students from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona to design new cabins to be placed in various California parks.


The Wedge cabin

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MINI Camping Concepts

MINI has a diehard fan base and is teasing them with several new concept cars that may or may not come to fruition. The problem with concepts is that anyone wanting the item aches for it to be available On the other hand, it gives those with imagination and tools the fodder to run with the idea and ask “how small can you go?”


The Clubvan Camper is being called the world’s smallest luxury camper van and the basic Clubman has been adapted to provide sleeping for one person by removing all the other seats besides the driver’s. The bed (with storage underneath) extends from front to back on the passenger side of the vehicle and the space behind the driver’s side becomes a kitchenette which extends on rollers out the pair of rear doors. The kitchenette includes a two burner stove with slide out counter space, storage and a chest refrigerator. The Clubvan also has an auxiliary heater, a small flatscreen TV and a handheld shower designed to be used outside the vehicle. Continue reading

Handmade Matt’s Truck Camper

The December issue of the Tiny House Magazine has a story about handmade, wooden truck campers in it and one of most talked about versions on the Web is the whimsical truck camper designed and built by Handmade Matt. Matt is a craftsman and tiny house enthusiast from Surrey, England and is currently available as a consultant for anyone looking to build their own tiny house—on or off a 4×4 truck.


Matt’s step-by-step process of the camper build is available on his website, and while the camper has been sold to a new owner in Sweden, Matt has recently finished up a new design. The vision for the first camper was to create a traditional looking removable camper with modern comforts. The camper is fully insulated, has solar power with 12v outlets and inverter. It contains a full kitchen with running water from a 13 gallon tank and a refrigerator, a two burner stove and a heater. There is an emergency composting toilet for when a public bathroom is not available.


“I wanted a four wheel drive camper and I have woodworking skills. It was the cheapest and most stimulating option,” Matt said. “The design was inspired over the years by all the things I have seen, a lot from Lloyd Kahn’s books. I am actually featured in his latest book, “Tiny Homes on the Move” with another cabin that I have built. I make no real plans when building, it all comes from my imagination. I make it up as I go along, no drawings, limited forethought. The projects just evolve.”


Matt said his favorite part of this particular build was the finishing touches.

“It’s when the magic happens and the whole vision comes together,” he said. “It’s finally when other people can see what was in my imagination all along. It’s a way of getting something that is inside me to come out into the world.”

Matt and his girlfriend took the camper all over the UK, through the southern English counties and into Wales. It did just fine in the mountains and also served as a home for his girlfriend who worked at various festival events.

For future builds by Handmade Matt, keep an eye on his website or the Tiny House Blog.



Photos by Handmade Matt

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]