Pressurized air is an integral part of structures from car tires to basketballs, from spacesuits to the massive Millennium Arches building in Stockholm. AirSupported Technology® is NEMO’s unique interpretation of inflatable structures for lightweight backcountry shelters. The advantages of AST®, compared to traditional tent poles, include faster and easier setup, greater strength and wind resistance, easy and reliable repair in the field, smaller pack size, and the ability to bend without breaking.
When properly inflated to the operating pressure of 7-9 psi, NEMO’s airbeams can be considerably stronger than traditional aluminum tent poles. In testing, the larger Morpho airbeam withstood more than twice the downward force compared to a standard tent pole. One of the great advantages of airbeams is that even if you bend them all the way to the ground, they simply spring back into shape.
LOW THERMAL AND IR SIGNATURE
When minimizing detection is of the utmost importance, airbeams have a considerable advantage over aluminum poles. Since airbeams are constructed from fabric and soft components, they have a much lower thermal and IR signature.
QUIET AND EASY SETUP
In every AST™ tent, airbeams make tent setup quiet, fast, and simple. Since airbeams are already connected to the tent, no extra assembly is required after the tent corners are staked. Simply attach the Quick-Disconnect valves and begin inflating the airbeam. The quiet airbeam setup allows operators to maintain a low profile in the environment of use. NEMO’s AST® also allows you to inflate the tent from inside during bad weather. After staking out your tent, get inside, and take your time pumping up the airbeam while staying dry.
The shape and puncture resistance of an airbeam is provided by the outer sailcloth shell, but the polyurethane bladder inside holds the air. The airbeams should never be damaged during ordinary use, however accidents do happen. In the event of a puncture, the bladder can be easily repaired or replaced. Simply tie the new bladder to the damaged bladder and pull the damaged bladder out of the airbeam. The damaged bladder can then be patched with the included patch kit and kept as a spare.
SMALL PACK SIZE
AST® tents can be packed into smaller and more irregularly shaped spaces than poled tents since there are no rigid elements. Leave your stuff sack at home, and stuff your AST™ tent in the empty nooks and crannies of your pack. The flexible pack size also means that more efficient packing can be possible in kayak and canoe hulls, bike panniers, or motorcycle saddle bags.
NEMO AirSupported Technology® is capable of withstanding a wide range of conditions including dramatic changes in temperature. At its recommended inflation pressure of 7 psi, a swing from freezing point (32 F) all the way to the most searing heat (120 F) only increases the airbeam pressure to 8.2 psi—not even close to the 20 psi minimum burst pressure of the airbeams. Starting in intense heat (120 F) and dropping to the freezing point (32 F) decreases the pressure to 5.9 psi—still more than enough pressure for a strong and stable shelter. The tents can withstand reasonable winds and weather with as little as 3 psi of pressure. More reasonable temperature fluctuations such as from 90 F to 50 F produce less than 1 psi of pressure change.
NEMOID™ FOOT PUMP
The Nemoid™ Foot Pump is the fastest way to inflate AirSupported® tents, and is included with Morpho™ series tents. It weighs less than 4.5 ounces and can be stored flat in your tent’s stuff sack by simply closing the Dump-Check Valve™ before squeezing the air out of the pump body.
AirSupported® tents are easily inflated using the Integrated Pump. This patent pending device takes the 1 or 2 psi that you are able to blow with your lungs, and amplifies it to the 7-9 psi you need to optimally inflate a NEMO airbeam. You do this by blowing into the peanut shaped chamber of the pump, and then squeezing the now-inflated chamber. Internal one-way valves send the air out of the pump and into the tent. The “lung-amplifying” pump features durable welded construction, a Moisture Release Valve™, and a Quick-Disconnect Valve for easy airbeam setup. The pump weighs 2.5 ounces and packs easily into the stuff sack of any NEMO tent.
ULTRALIGHT INTEGRATED PUMP
The Ultralight Integrated Pump is the smallest and lightest way to inflate NEMO AirSupported® tents. This lung-amplifying pump uses similar construction to NEMO’s original Integrated Pump, but uses ultralight weldable fabric and shortened tubing to reduce its weight by 50%.
EXOFLY™ RETRACTABLE VESTIBULE
NEMO AST® tents feature a unique morphing vestibule. These tents are designed to store gear inside where it can stay dry and close at hand, but if you need a temporary vestibule simply unclip and retract the inner tent from the fly. Use this space to store muddy boots or prepare food while protected from the rain.
COMPUTER OPTIMIZED SHAPE
Building computer models of our tents allows us to optimize various aspects of the tent without building completely new prototypes. Once our design is in the computer, we can alter the length, the height, or any other dimension to discover how it will affect the overall shape of the tent.
Using computer-aided modeling, we built catenary curves into the edges of tent panels. This method of patterning saves extra material and improves the tensioning of the tent.
WATERTIGHT DRY-STYLE STUFF SACK
Many of the NEMO AST® tents include watertight dry bags. Having your tent in a watertight stuff sack means it won’t take on water weight if it’s in your backpack while you’re hiking in the rain, or if it’s in your kayak when you roll your boat. Alternatively, if you have to pack your tent wet, it will help keep the rest of the gear in your pack dry.
Many AST® tents include a UVX window so you can check conditions outside without exposing yourself or your gear to the elements. The window is optically clear, non-yellowing, non-clouding, UV resistant, and remains flexible in cold temperatures.
Some AST® tents includes a special pocket for your headlamp with a light diffusing fabric. Place your lamp in the pocket with the light facing towards the inside of the tent, and the Light Pocket™ will help cast an even glow throughout the tent interior.