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Tent makers step up differentiation efforts

Releases boast enhanced durability and user-friendliness as the industry expands market reach.

Tent suppliers in China are adding more value to their selections to ensure continued growth and viability. This comes amid rising costs and other challenges, which have made it increasingly difficult for companies to compete primarily on price and still maintain profitability.

  
Tent
  Zhejiang Wuyi’s LYCT-029 model has a PU-coated 190 tex polyester flysheet with a water resistance of 2,000mm.

Efforts toward greater product differentiation are yielding more one-season models that require little or no manual setup. Recent releases include pop-up types with flexible hoops or frames that spring into shape when unfolded. Push-up variants, which open similar to an umbrella, have also been introduced.

Tents that can be used in different seasons are on the rise as well. For these, suppliers are adopting denser fabrics, better surface treatments and stronger frames.

In flysheets, for instance, companies are increasingly opting for 210 tex materials instead of 170 or 190 tex varieties. PU coating on the fabrics allow them to withstand pressure from a 1,500 to 10,000mm column of water.

For poles, aluminum types are becoming more popular. These have better strength-to-weight ratios than fiberglass versions, enabling them to weather strong wind gusts.

By offering differentiated models, makers hope to broaden their customer base in the EU, US, Canada, Australia and Japan despite looming price increases. Many are also targeting greater penetration of South America, Southeast Asia and other emerging economies.

Adjustments in quotes are expected to range from 10 to 20 percent this year, similar to 2010.

Fabric costs are among the key drivers of projected increases. In February, spending for 170 tex polyester climbed nearly 100 percent YoY to exceed $0.50 per meter. Versions with a density of 190 tex reached $0.75.

Issues regarding labor are also pushing outlay upward. To attract workers and improve employee retention, most companies raised wages by up to 20 percent in 2010, and many see this expense surging further in coming months.


Tent selection
Product gallery
Tent selection

Tents can be sourced from more than 300 suppliers in China. The industry offers models in various shapes, materials and designs.

The selection comprises A-frame, cabin, dome, tunnel, hybrid dome/tunnel, geodesic, single-hoop and self-erecting constructions. Versions for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities are available.

Models are typically made of polyester or nylon, which is treated for water and UV resistance. Additionally, in compliance with market requirements, selections for the EU, US, Australia and Japan are often fire-retardant and free of azo dyes and lead. Such designs are priced higher since they cost up to 70 percent more to manufacture.

Quotes for China-made tents start at $5. These increase depending on the materials and components adopted.

Models not exceeding $25 consist of single- and doublewall constructions with one or two living spaces. Some have a porch area as well.

The products employ 170 to 210 tex polyester for the flysheet and inner wall. Coated with PU or PA, the rainfly has a hydrostatic head rating of up to 1,500mm, while the inner tent is water-resistant up to 1,000mm.

For the frame, fiberglass poles with a diameter of 8.5mm or smaller are adopted. Nails and rope are bundled with each tent.

Higher-priced designs are mostly double-wall types with two or three living areas that can accommodate a total of four to 10 people. These come with a PU-coated 210 tex polyester
or nylon flysheet, which has a water resistance of 2,000 to 10,000mm.

The inner tent is also in PU-coated polyester, albeit of less density. It has a hydrostatic head rating of 600 to 1,000mm.

For the frame, fiberglass poles larger than 8.5mm are employed. Aluminum versions are popular as well.

China’s tent exports amounted to $843 million last year, 32 percent higher than in 2009. The US, the UK, Germany, Australia and France were the top five markets in terms of sales.

  
Tent
Product gallery

Leisure Hill Industrial Ltd

Model: LH-T003
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: 1,000mm PU-coated 185 tex polyester flysheet; breathable 170 tex polyester inner tent; PE floor; 8.5mmdiameter FRP poles; 210x240x130cm; 27kg

  
Tent


Leisure Hill Industrial Ltd

Model: LH-T022
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: 1,500mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester flysheet; 1,000mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester inner tent; 120gsm seamless PE floor; 8.5mm-diameter fiberglass poles

  
Tent


Ningbo Appo Leisure Products Co. Ltd

Model: 5101150
MOQ: 980 pieces
Delivery: 35 days
Description: 2,000mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester flysheet; 300mm PA-coated 170 tex breathable polyester inner tent; 110gsm PE floor; 8.5 and 9.5mm-diameter fiberglass, 16mm-diameter steel poles (135+150+135)x210x185cm

  
Tent


Ningbo Appo Leisure Products Co. Ltd

Model: 5101010
MOQ: 3,240 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: 800mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester flysheet; 300mm PA-coated 170 tex breathable polyester inner tent; 110gsm PE floor; 6.9mm-diameter fiberglass poles

  
Tent


Ricon Camping Products Co. Ltd

Model: RD-T98
MOQ: 300 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Description: Pop-up; 600mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester; 105gsm PE floor; 4mm-diameter PVC-coated steel poles

  
Tent


Ricon Camping Products Co. Ltd

Model: RD-1015
MOQ: 300 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Description: 1,500mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester flysheet; 170 text breathable polyester inner tent; 110gsm PE floor; 7.9mm-diameter fiberglass poles; (100+205)x205x130cm

  
Tent


Yongkang City Ocean Leisure Production Co. Ltd

Model: XST-T1041
MOQ: 1,000 sets
Delivery: 40 days
Description: 2,000mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester flysheet, flame retardant, seam taping; 170 tex polyester inner tent; 210d oxford floor; 9.5mm-diameter fiberglass poles; azo-free

  
Tent


Yongkang City Ocean Leisure Production Co. Ltd

Model: XST-T1033
MOQ: 1,000 sets
Delivery: 40 days
Description: 800mm PU-coated 190 tex polyester flysheet; 170 tex polyester inner tent; 120g PE floor; 7.9mm fiberglass, 16mm-diameter steel poles

  
Tent


Zhejiang Wuyi Green Zone Gift Co. Ltd

Model: LYCT-004
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: PA-coated 170 tex polyester; 100gsm PE floor; two 7.9mm fiberglass, two 13mm-diameter poles; 205x205x120cm




Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.



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