As a newbie camper, you may find it difficult to understand the function of some tent elements like the guyline tensioners.
You don’t even know what their main functions are. Therefore, many campers often use them incorrectly. What are guyline tensioners?
Are guyline tensioners worth it? The answer is definitely yes! Not all types of tents require guyline tensioners, but it is better to equip your tent with them.
That’s because they will replace traditional loosen knots and offer a wide range of benefits for campers in different weather conditions like preventing leakage, expanding space, or supporting tent frames.
Let’s scroll down this article to discover more about why you should have these tools and find the answers to the related questions!
What Are Guyline Tensioners And Their Use?
Some camping beginners may be a bit unfamiliar with this concept. What are guyline tensioners? How do you benefit from this device? Scroll down!
Guyline tensioners are small devices used in camping to assist you in tying down your shelters, awnings, rainfly guylines, or sunshades more quickly and efficiently without the knots.
Normally, they have two parts, including the guyline and the cord. The guyline part often comes with two or three holes. Also, the cord should be longer and angled at 45 degrees away from your tent.
How many tensioners does your tent require? It depends on the shelter and the weather of the place you intend to camp in. Basically, you only need four to make your shelter stable in almost all weather conditions.
These camping devices are useful for two things. First, they keep the tent rainfly off the body to reduce the risk of leaking.
What’s more, they improve the structural integrity of your shelter so that snow loads and severe winds don’t make the poles bend suddenly and possibly shatter.
Most of the worthwhile tents will possess guyline hooks and loops around the rainfly foundation and in the middle of the fly to achieve their principal purposes.
How Do The Guyline Tensioners Work?
The tensioners come with various designs, but they have the same functions. You can easily adjust them to grasp the lines fixed between your tent and the ground rod.
They work in several ways by creating friction between the tensioner and the rope. The guylines connect to loops on the rainfly, and they are firmly fixed to the ground to a relatively small extent from your shelter.
Notwithstanding, you may take up the slack or extend the rope by making the loop tighter by sliding the rope over the tensioner.
Guyline Tensioners Materials
You can easily find common metal tensioners such as stainless steel, aluminum, or aluminum alloy. That’s because they offer more durability to withstand wear, pressure, weather, or damage.
Different Types Of Guyline Tensioners
There are two types of tensioners. You may find some varieties with two holes and most with three holes.
The two varieties are similar in use. That said, two-hole kinds are suited for ropes with 0.1 or 0.2 inches in diameters.
On the other hand, the three-hole tensioners have become more popular because they are versatile for different cords like paracord, string, wire, rope, yarn, elastic cords.
What Characteristics Should A Guyline Tensioner Have?
When purchasing tensioners, here are characteristics you expect in them.
You should be aware that most tents have flexibility in the pitch when it comes to shape, height above the ground, and ridgeline angles.
If your tensioning systems are not adjustable, which means your shelter possibly won’t be fixed in inconvenient locations.
This characteristic will be particularly useful for silicone tents, which have their own natural stretch, especially when getting wet. With a flexible guyline system, sagging can simply be discarded.
A dependable tensioning system will work even in severe weather conditions like gusty storms, blizzards, or downpours.
In other words, its line should never snap, and the ties should never slip or become loosened.
Easy Knotting And Breaking
Imagine if your guyline system is difficult to tie and break down loops, which will be time-wasting and inconvenient before moving to other parts like line locks, cleats, or tensioners.
Last but not least, you also need to think about the speed. The speed is the time spent setting up or breaking down the shelter. To make these processes quicker, it should be a speedy guyline system.
Are Guyline Tensioners Worth It?
The answer is yes. Although some suppose tensioners are unnecessary, it’s advisable to equip them for your tent, especially in severe weather conditions.
They are greatly important because they help you fix the shelter to the ground better, prevent rain and snow loads, and maximize your tent volume.
If you need a detailed explanation, let’s scroll down to discover more!
Why Do You Need A Guyline Tensioner?
Here are the primary reasons you should equip your tent with tensioners for all your trips.
They Offer More Stability
These devices are extremely helpful in severe weather conditions like heavy winds or snow. They contribute more extra strength to the frame of your shelter.
Most importantly, if your tent is non-freestanding, it’s compulsory to equip it with these tools as it adds more stability to stand up.
For freestanding tents with poles, their base often comes with loops or grommets to stake into the ground to avoid the shelter shifting during windy conditions.
Sadly, these loops are not strong enough to keep the tent secure in some circumstances. That’s why you should use guyline devices to provide more additional structural support.
To get maximum strength, you need to make each guyline firmly embedded in the ground so that all of them are approaching a proper angle with the stake. You can achieve this goal by securing them far away from your shelter.
Similarly, stakes should be driven into the ground at a right angle to these tools to keep them from being pulled out by strong winds.
They Increase Ventilation
One of the main functions of the guylines is to keep the rainfly tightly stretched. This feature is helpful for double-walled tents because they will separate two walls individually.
In addition, they might prevent the rainfly from accumulating directly on the inside wall of the tent. It allows for good air circulation inside the shelter, keeping you cooler and preventing condensation.
They Create More Inner And Outer Space
The canvas is usually not very taut when you put up a tent. The body may droop inward in some sections, reducing the total inside space volume.
You can consider using these tools to expand the space inside your shelter by pulling out loops in the middle of walls or edges.
In this way, you can keep sag from happening and create more space to stretch out and stow your gear and other equipment.
Besides, the tent with vestibules which are the outer spaces of the inner wall generated by the rainfly, usually relies on guylines to build those porches.
You can make use of these places to keep the gear or devices you don’t want to bring inside the shelter, such as muddy boots or dirty raincoats.
They Can Keep Your Tent Dry
The shape and design of most tents allow them to prevent snow and rainwater from resting on the frame. Unfortunately, your tent can’t handle heavy loads in harsh storms.
That’s why your rainfly becomes sagging, which loses its capacity to deflect and channel rainwater from the body of the shelter.
As a result, water may seep into these spots gradually, or the snow weight may become too much for the shelter to support, causing it to collapse.
This situation even gets worse if the weather is wet and cool. The condensation can concentrate on the base of the tent body, which causes leakage.
In this bad case, the tensioners can help you by staking out the rainfly and keeping water out of the tent edges, corners, or body.
That said, you should pay attention when applying this way to silnylon tents because they may sag when they cool or wet. Thus, check the guylines regularly to maintain the rainfly tense.
How To Set Up A Guyline Tensioner?
Some campers might have difficulties setting up tensioners for their tents despite the small and simple design. So, here are in-depth guides to follow:
Attach The GuyLine To Your Tent
First, you will need to detect and locate loops or guy-out loops. You can find them on the tent corners, walls, or edges.
Next, locate the guyline system on your tent. As said above, some shelters may not come with these devices, so you will have to attach them yourself.
In some cases, these lines from some manufacturers are available, but they are considerably short and poorly fastened. It’s better to cut them off and attach the new ones.
You can use any practical things to serve as lines, such as cord, string, or twine. Some experienced campers often use reflective cords, and you can consider them as reflections are extremely helpful for late-night trips.
Moreover, make sure there is an adequate length from the guy out loops to the ground, plus 50% more extra. It will guarantee that you have sufficient back length to harden the line.
Once you identify the points to attach the guyline to, you need to connect it to the guy-out loops with a fixed knot. You can apply a clove hitch or bowline knot.
Stake Down The Guylines
Select the suitable anchors. Among them, stakes are the most popular, but you should choose the best-suited ones depending on the condition of the ground where you set up your tent.
For instance, you can utilize large rocks or exposed roots to drop anchor guylines if the ground is too hard to attach to these devices.
Next, fix the guy line’s loop end to a ground stake. While hammering the stake into the ground, you should keep these things in mind:
- This characteristic will be particularly useful for silicone tents, which have their own natural stretch, especially when getting wet. With a flexible guyline system, you can discard the sagging simply.
- The angle between the ground and the guyline should be 45 degrees. You can accomplish this by positioning the stake away from the shelter’s bottom.
Tighten Guylines Correctly With Tensioners
Sequentially tighten the guylines around the tent with tensioners. That said, you shouldn’t tighten them excessively because these things can offer too much tension in the shelter and might cause a break.
Now all you need to do is set up tensioner loops, tie the guylines to your anchor ends, and make them tight enough to support the rainfly. Once done, stake them down properly.
You can discover more ways to use tensioners via this video:
What Are The Best Guyline Tensioners?
If you are looking for the best tensioners with guylines, the list below will be helpful. Let’s have a look!
1. Zephyr Guyline Cord Tensioners
- Extremely durable and UV resistant
- Versatile for various applications such as tents, tarps, or awnings.
- Small and lightweight
2. BPNHNA Reflective Guyline with Tent Tensioner
- Perfect for outdoor camping like picnic, hiking, or shelter
- Highly visible and useful for late-night trips
- Greatly stable in severe weather conditions
3. Paracord Tensioner
- Highly adjustable
- Visible in night
- User-friendly with two-hole design
4. LiteOutdoors Guyline Tensioners
- Fast and easy to tie and break down
- Compact and lightweight
- Versatile for various activities
5. KRATARC Adjuster Tensioner
- Easy to use and store
- Flexible for diverse applications
- High-quality and visible guylines
Considerations When Using Guyline And Tensioners?
When using these camping devices, you should turn these considerations over your mind:
- Some plastic tensioners are easy to break and slip easily in harsh windy conditions, so you should purchase metal ones.
- Use reflective guylines to prevent tripping over these small strings.
- You should apply tension guylines finally for freestanding tents to give extra support for the shelter frame.
- It’s better to set up guyline and tensioners daylight to have a tight knot and perform correct tying techniques.
The Bottom Line
You have got an answer to the question: Are guyline tensioners worth it? In general, these devices are not compulsory, but it’s better if you possess them to prevent water leakage, increase tent space, or give more strength to your tent.
Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you. Have a nice trip with your beloved!