We often get questions about the purpose of an inner in the tipi. A tipi is in fact a fantastic tent by itself where such as the sami in Norway has been using this design for centuries. Without any forms of inner in the tipi. So. Why use an inner now? This is mainly due to the modern fabric of the flysheet. In the past, tipis were almost equivalent to cotton cloth that preventet penetration of water from the outside, but in the same allowing moisture to escape from the inside. This is perfect to optain a dry climate inside the tent where the condensation penetrates through the canvas leaving the inside dry and comfortable. Unfortunally the weight is a big issue with these tipis. A 6-person tipi could easily be around 20 kilograms.
Today we have pushed the weight on the flysheet down to as little as about 2 kilograms. This means that you can bring your tipi in your backpack without any hassle. This is possible thanks to the use of modern fabric. We at NorTent use silnylon on the flysheet which is both light, strong and durable. The obvious disadvantage and advantage of silnylon is that it is very waterproof. That is, the flysheet does not allow moisture to penetrate from the outside or the inside. The consequence is of course that rain stays out. But the moisture from inside the tipi is caught on the inside. It does not breath through the flysheet. The humid air is held back by the flysheet and then left as liquid water inside on the dense fabric. It then drips from the inside of the tent.
As in all single-layered tents, moisture inside the tent is entirely dependet on ventilation to avoid condesantion. However. in some cases it is almost impossible to get rid of the humid air. Especially on damp evenings where the temperature is low and the humidity is high. The humidity is especially high during rain and the ventilation in this kind of weather is even more complicated. However. In some cases the fight against condensation is lost where the tent walls becomes wet on the inside. When using a stove, the temperature inside the tent will rise. Hot air is able to absorb more moisture than cold air, and you will experience that the condensation on the inside of the flysheet disappears. In the lack of a stove, it is all about the innertent when the inside of the tent becomes too humid. In this case the humid air will pass through the fabric on the inner, leaving the innside of the innertent dry and comfortable. We would strongly recommend the innertent if you are spending the night in a wet and cold climate without a stove to heat up your tipi.
A lot of hikers swear to tipis without an inner. In these cases you do not need to worry about dirty, wet shoes and clothes soiling the floor of the tent. This, of course, makes your stay in the tipi more flexible and simple. It is essential to reflect about whats important for you in relation to your comfort when hiking with a tent. Some do not care about waking up in the morning with condensation on a wet inside tent wall. Others find that it is detrimental to the whole experience. You need to think about what is important to you and plan your trip thereafter. Are you doing the venting, you should avoid most of the condensation throughout the night. But, of course, this depends entirely on whether the climate is cold, hot, humid or dry. In Norway, I feel, for my part a clear need for an innertent during the cold and damp nights where the stove is not in use.