March 15, 2005
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Developed in conjunction with BlueSky Designs, the new Eureka! Freedom tent is the first shelter offered for campers with physical disabilities.
The tent's universal design provides people with disabilities a camping tent they can set up and use independently, and provides conveniences for them and their partners not found in other tents. The tent should be available in 2005.
This unique, three-season tent was designed with the top priorities of ease of set up, easy access, and a usable vestibule space for mobility devices. It is a five pole tapered rectangular dome style and sleeps two people. A patent-pending zipper-less vestibule door requires minimal dexterity and reach. It pivots open like a fan, providing quick entry out of the elements and has no zipper noise. Pull handles on the internal door and window zippers provide easy grasp and operation of the zipper. The design allows easy set up from a wheelchair, with continuous pole sleeves originating at the rear corners and one side of the tent. The poles are slid through one end of the sleeve and are captured in pockets on the far end. The other pole end attaches to the tent with posts and grommets.
A large vestibule offers easily accessible and protected storage for gear or chairs, as well as space for sitting, eating and recreation. It can also be used for drying wet gear or a sleeping area for pets. The combination window and side entry doors in the sleeping area allow side transfers onto a sleeping cot while also providing excellent ventilation. The mesh roof increases ventilation and reduces condensation in the sleeping area.
The Freedom tent measures 6'6" x 11'8". The height is 5'2" at the vestibule door and 3'2" feet in the rear. The packed weight is 16 pounds, 8 ounces. MSRP is $574.99.
BlueSky Designs is a product development organization that applies ergonomics and universal design to develop products addressing the needs of people with and without disabilities. Funding for the development of this product and other innovations was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's Small Business Innovation Research program. For more information, visit www.blueskydesigns.us
According to BlueSky Designs, the tent has a 36" door opening with flush entry, can be set up from seated position, and one can roll in bikes, strollers, or wheelchairs.