Yurt Dome and Tent Testimonials 2004 - 2006

Testimonials  2013-Now  2012  2010-2011  2009-2010  2006-2008  2004-2006  Before 2004

If you are considering buying a Shelter Systems' portable, waterproof living or gardening structure, we think you'll find these letters and photographs informative as well as enjoyable. They were sent to us by satisfied people who've bought and used our structures for many varying purposes.

Hi Bob,

Thank you very much for sending the Grip Clip Pro’s overnight to my office.  As you can see in the pictures, they turned out to be a BIG SUCCESS. 



They help up very well in the rain and heavy winds.
I attached a few of the best photos that we could get
with out renting a helicopter. 

Thanks again and we will definitely be using them again.   
Micah Williams
Advantage Project Builders


We used a total of about 20 of the Grip clips around the edge of the tarp and 4 in the center.  And yes they did hold up to the heavy winds.  They were very easy to attach with 1 ¼” gold screws.  I didn’t find any problems with them at all.  You can put some of the pictures on the website if you want.  Let me know if you have any more questions.
Thanks again,
Micah Williams

Skagway Glacier Dome

Have been using your 18' ES Yurt Dome up here in Alaska on the Glacier for a hang out spot for the crew. I love your product. I can put it up my self in 30 minutes. We had to do some repairs and and I just used part of the wrapper it came in to make a patch. The dome, being white blends into the glacier and does not distract from the beauty of the place. It is really spacious inside, good for getting out of the rain, a relaxing space. Kids love it and think it is a big igloo.

City of Skagway

On Oct 24, 2005

Hi  Robert ,

We have used the Yurt Dome Tents for a couple months now in Mongolia.

The tents have helped us out very much in our work. Please see some of the photos we took this time using the two tents.

One of the days during our trip, the temperature dropped to minus 10 centigrade (which is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

Since the weather in Mongolia is cold, hot, windy and sandy, we will be making some modifications for the two tents, and may be ordering tent parts sometime soon. Please see the attached photos (size reduced for email) and give us your suggestion. Hope everything is going well with your business.


To: Jack Shibata

Subject: Thanks for the photos of your use in Mongolia

Thanks for the great photos. Can I put a few on our site?

What are you working on in mongolia?

What problems have you found for the domes?

I noticed that you lowered on of them. How has that worked out for you?



Robert Gillis

October 27, 2005 3:21:51 PM PDT

Hi Robert,

Please feel free to use the photos. Out in the desert areas of Mongolia, we have strong winds of 45km per hour, where it's difficult to stand. One of the tents, we guard with our vehicles, and the other we lowered to reduce the wind. It has worked out good for us, and even in strong winds, the tent that is lowered does not budge. So far, we have not had any big problems, except that the wind comes in through the layers that are overlapping, and we are considering ways to prevent that, since in the spring and early summer, Mongolia has strong winds and much dust. As you have seen in the photos, we use lights in our tents, so we have added a lining inside the tent to prevent from showing up. The most we have had together in one tent so far was 31 people. In the past it used to be difficult to be together for meals, but with the tent guarding us from wind, and lights in the tents we are able to have our meals together wherever we are. Our work in Mongolia is Christian related work where we pass out Bible literature. We also do charity work.
We have had a few poles get brittle and break in the cold, but otherwise there has been no problem. The dome tents are designed so well!
thanks a lot,

On Sep 20, 2005, at 3:54 AM, Kim Lane wrote:


Hi there Bob-
Just wanted to let you know how utterly FANTASTIC our yurt worked out for the burn this year!!

As you may recall we were a little nervous about collecting it right after we flew in from the UK and then having to erect it on the playa without a training run....well we got to the playa as the sun was going down on Sunday nite, the wind (which picked up to a dull roar the next day was just starting to blow) and my intrepid hubby insists we go ahead and put it up- in the dark!!!

Well it took us 45 min to get it up, a bit longer to do the rebar but there it stayed for the remainder of the week.

The shadecloth worked great and it never got unbearably hot during the day - it was a beautiful year weather-wise tho!

So just wanted to give you feedback- we loved it and plan on using it every time we manage to get back for the burn- we've stored it in SF.

Here are some photos you can add to your site if you want.

Aug 4, 2005

Dawntree Studio"

Three summers and counting. 

Thanks for a great product.

Beats renting a warehouse.

I use the studio 24/7/365 days a year.  Heat in winter w/ kerosene heaters. 

Is there any sort of thermal liner that would make ac practical in the summer? 

We make a full liner that would help with AC. Accessories: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

What is pricing for 30'x16' dome?

The 30 by 16 is $2800 Shipping $390.


-Henry Mitchell

July 31, 2005

The yurt is a geodesic yurt dome.

Its yurtish-ness is its portability, its assemble-ability.
Its dome-ish-ness is in its curved surfaces, and its over-all curved structure.

Those are the two criteria that majorly contributed to the selection of this particular 'structure' to make the test-bed prototype structure with.

The prototype will be used to test various interactive technologies and scenarios with user groups/ audience- participants.

The processes for design and construction, as well as these testings will be documented throughout.

Its bigger and heavier but smaller and lighter than I expected.

Inside, its light and high- ceiling.

for photos with more info see below:


Ann Morrison

Dear Robert Gillis,
Everything went well with putting up the dome.
We hope it will have a nice time on our alpine pasture and not be blowed away by the next strong wind. We have anchored it very well but we don't know how resistent the material is ... As we put up the dome we asked ourselves how the rain stays out if the wind comes from aside -- but times will show. 
The stone floor fits very well and the atmosphere inside of the dome is really great. The acoustics are also very fine; we sang some songs in it and they sound good.

The costs for shipping have been about 100 USD sheeper; not so much as I hoped but ok. The customs checkpoint didn't understand what a 'dome' and 'poles' are, and wanted to know what kind the material for both is. Maybe it would be easier to declare the dome as a tent and give information about the material.
Soon I will sent you the link to the complete built-up documentation of the dome.
Anna and Manuela from
Germany / Italy



March 24/05


A number of years ago we bought a bunch of the domes from you to use on the trekking trips in Bhutan. They were a great hit and we want to place another order.

Here is a photo of the Dome Tent at Chemolhari: Base Camp in Bhutan. We Love the tents!

Best, Brent

Geographic Expeditions

On Feb 15, 2005


I've attached a couple pictures of the tanks we've installed at the South Pole this past "summer" season. We put in eight tanks this season, and plan another 20-30 each year over the next 5-6 years. The fabric held up well. I've also attached a press-release about the overall project in case you're interested in a bit more about it.

The tanks are a part of what we call "IceTop" which itself is a part of "IceCube" (see attached press release). In the pictures are seen two of the 1000 gallon water-tanks, out of eight total installed this past summer (austral summer, that is, mainly Nov, Dec, and Jan when flights are able to get in and out of the pole) season at the South Pole. Wrapped around a framework above the tanks are the "sunshades" for keeping direct sunlight from hitting the top of the water, since at the South Pole the sun simply circles around the sky while staying essentially the same distance above the horizon day after day (finally setting near March 21 and not rising again until Sept. 21). This allowed the water to freeze more rapidly, a surprising problem even at the south pole, because of the rather large thermal heat capacity of water it takes roughly two months for the entire tank to freeze. Two light sensors, identical to those deployed deep within the icecap, are frozen in the tanks, with two tanks being deployed on the surface above each IceCube hole.

So, I'll be ordering more material soon.


Dear Bob,

We want to thank you for providing us such
tents for temporary shelter relief. These tents stood
up to the weather changes for the six months that we
experienced. As you can see on the pictures attached,
we found sand bag to be good anchors for the tents.
The more it rains the heavier sand bag became. The
heavier sand bag also became better anchors. The sand
bags were 25 lb per bag and 10 bags per tent.


Thank you very much

Julian Chang

Dawntree Studio is into the second winter now.  Keeping warm. Had planned to build a "hard" studio by now, but considering a 30' dia. yurt come spring instead.

Hi Bob,

Guess we got disconnected this afternoon.  I spoke with my colleague who used the 8 foot dome in chile and asked him to send a picture of it.

It seems to me his dome was shorter than the one we just received from you.  Can you tell from the picture whether he has something different/shorter?




It is an 11'


On Nov 17, 2004

The 31.5' dome we bought from you a couple of months ago was delivered to the US Army in Korea along with the specialized satellite trailer we manufactured for them.  This was the first of several units to be completed over the next 24 months for this application.
Some problems on dimensions have arisen, and I am forwarding the E-mail form our Client's field engineer to you.  Not sure what might be possible, but please let me know your thoughts on this after you get a chance to go through the questions below.

Jim Abbott


Hey gang,
   Good news and bad news.  We had some successes…

We got the tent up and it turned out not to be so difficult. We had three guys doing the crown, and we spent about an hour doing that (the first few sets of squares…. Then the next morning we set out with 6 guys and it only took us 2 hours to finish it.  Then we moved it with 8 guys. We simply stowed the antenna, lowered the feed, and lifted the dome over the antenna.

So, now we realize that it wasn't calculated out so good as to the space required.  While it does fit, when we steer CW or CCW, the antenna extends over the trailer and with the low elevation, it actually starts to rub on the dome ceiling. We don't get too far before it gets dicey in either direction.  One thing that is a problem is on the antenna…at the top of the joint where the antenna folds out there is a hinge that sticks up several inches. This then grabs or presses on the material.  On Photo#0031 I marked up to show.

The other photos also show some of our temporary solutions. We went out and bought some additional PVC and started creating extensions to add a few feet of lift to the front portion.  This may or may not work…we are worried about stability. 

Could you contact, or send me the contact info of the manufacturer that you worked with? 

  We would like to know, is it possible to extend the heighth of the tent by 2-3 feet all the way around? This should give us the clearance we need.

If this is not possible, then #2 solution is to go with our extensions. Then we would like to get 20 spare panels that we could use as a skirt along the bottom…of course we would need some way to attach the stuff to the existing panels?

So these are my thoughts, any ideas?

We are just about done for this round.  I think I worked out a few calibration problems I had.  I am going to take a week of vacation, then travel back out here on the 5th of December for a week. We will be showing everything off to some of the Big-Wigs of our programs.

Talk to ya later,



The strongest way to add a 2 feet to the bottom of the dome is to first:
Tie pairs of pole connectors to 20 new HD clips.
Unclip the 20 plug clips with the single pole plugs at the base of your dome.
Add and shingle a skirt of material to the bottom that is wide enough for the height you need + 1.5' using the 20 clips with connectors you have just assembled.
Clip the plug clips along the base of the added material allowing 11" for a skirt 2' directly below the connector clips.
Cut and insert 20 new full length poles to create the ring around what was the base but soon will be 2' above the ground.
Cut and insert 20 new short poles to your added extension. Choose a length so that the tension on the covering is the same as the tension on the main part of the dome. These short poles are difficult to install because you can not bend them. It will be easier to install them if you first remove the vertical pole above it; insert the short pole then reinsert the long pole; or use a pulley system to tension the base clip cords with extra long cords after adding the poles to clips .
Stake out.

This will maintain the integrity of the structure and only weaken it slightly.

Let me know if this works for you. Send me a photo of the finished dome with the added height.



On Nov 18, 2004

Thanks for the quick and detailed response.
Could you provide these extra materials? 


I'm sure they can find and cut the PVC, but could you provide the other stuff and the extra material needed?

If so, what sort of time frame

We can ship these materials as soon as you want.

and cost?

HD 10 (with cord) $30 ship $5; You need 20 so $70. The price on the Fabric is $8/yd + shipping (it come 6' wide) so it depends on the height you want to rise the dome. Best not to rise it any more then needed as extra height increases the wind loading. The connectors you can cut from 1.5" PVC.
Also, could we do this up front for the remaining systems?  (That is, deliver it a little bigger as this modified one would be?)

Yes, if you give us the specs.
Feel free to use pics -- attached as JPGs.


Jim Abbott


Sure, you can use the photos.   I believe the shots I sent you are ones I took, so feel free. 

The yurts were a mixed blessing.  First, they looked very cool and definitely served the purpose of supplying culturally neutral shelter.  They also looked great in the various photos and served to soften the mil look towards a much more civ look.
We did meet with a couple of challenges.  The first was that when assembled by a small group of men that have just met, the large quantity of testosterone cancelled out any common sense that might have dictated actually reading the instructions before attempting to assemble.  Thus I question whether they were assembled as you would have done it, particularly the flooring.
The second thing that was a challenge was that it got way too hot without insulation.  It was very common to be dealing with internal temps of greater than 107 F by midday.  We ended up using industrial strength Velcro to attach the Reflectix to that part of the dome from about 5' up in the primary dome and circulating the warm air with lots of fans.  Several other attempts were made to increase the air flow but some of those messed with the structural integrity of the dome.  We were subjected to variations in the weather, always hot, always humid and sometimes raining.  And when it rained, it poured.  Typically at night when we were gone, so it meant creating the venting at the top or leaving them open at night to cool wasn't an option. 
Several people suggested some kind of easy open, easy close venting in the "ceiling" of the dome, but I'm not sure how you would do that and still assure that it would be rain proof.
Live and learn, as the saying goes.



Did you try useing the vent tubes that came with the dome to create openings up high to vent hot air? These will pry open the shingling to create an overlapping vent that prevents rain from entering.

The best way we have found to keep the domes cool is to shad the structure using shad cloth (90% shade preferred, but 60% still works) (you can get this at most buliding supply stores) pulled over the outside frame of the dome and tied to the clips of the dome. This blocks the sun before it gets inside the dome. Vents are fine but shade is best.


Hi Robert,

I really wish I had slowed down for a moment to document our cozy little camp at Burning Man. I do have this photo that shows the dome... and you are free to use it or crop it as you would like. I have big plans for the camp next year and will make an effort to gather some good images of the dome. My thanks (and apology) to you.



August 13 - 04



Last year we bought one of your 14’ domes and used it for our chili-cook-off store.  It went over real well; we had it painted like the surface of the moon.  During the competition we experienced a short Texas summer rain where it dumped over 5 inches of rain in a little over 2 hours.  The dome handled the wind and rain superbly and as a result we were one of the few teams that stayed in place and finished the competition.  I’m sending you a couple of pictures per your request.  Thanks,



Re: 10' Bubble Dome Questions

Date: August 1, 2004


Thanks for your help on the phone! You had good answers for all my questions/issues..:). I have attached a picture of the bubble dome mounted on a backyard deck at my home, which backs up to a golf course. I live in Friendswood, Texas, which is about halfway between Houston and Galveston. This leaves me a decently dark suburban sky for astronomy work. My home-built 17.5" Newtonian telescope now lives under the bubble.


Al Kelly


You mentioned using 8 "d pull rings" (I think you called them this) to hold down the dome to your deck?


They are called "flush ring pulls", basically a flush-mounted, flip-up handle, manufactured by National (part no. N203-752). They can be found often in the cabinet hardware section of hardware stores. Sure, you can use the photo

August 1, 2004


At your request,  I am attqching two pic's from the float trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon.  This trip was July 13 to July 20,2004.  Pic 163 was taken at Rock Island camp and 141 was taken at Marble Creek camp with Marble Creek Rapid in the background.  We enjoyed the use of the dome as it rained on several occasions on this trip. We spent 8 days, 7 nights on the Middle Fork this trip. We have enoyed the yurt on the Middle Fork Salmon River and the Grande Ronde River in Oregon.  We also used it for a backyard graduation party for our granddaughter. 
Dan Hinman 

On Jul 27, 2004 Subject: Arctic Yurt

Bob Gillis,

Please find attached a couple of photos of the 14' Yurt that we recently
purchased from you and used as our base tent for our Arctic exploration
program. The tent worked very well in this environment, 20 km south of the
Coronation Gulf. Without trees to support any structure, the free standing
yurt worked very well for us, even in the strong 40 mph winds we
occasionally had.

The only negative to the structure was that it is not completely sealed, so
the mosquitoes were a problem inside the tent. Good product, thanks.

Geoffrey Goodall
Global Geological Services Inc.


Thanks for the great photos. Would it be alright to put them on our site to share them with others?

For windy and buggy areas like you were in, use sticky back Velcro strips on your doors that we offer on the Accessory page shelter-systems.com/accessories.html or you can get locally to hold the doors tightly closed.

I noticed that some of your top poles are bowing outward excessively. This can be corrected if it bothers you by trimming off 1/8" to 1/4" from each pole. The overall effect is to take some tension off the poles; the covering will then not tend to bend them as much. Do not trim off too much. If it does not bother you then don't bother as it will have little effect on the strength of the dome.

Bob Gillis

June 23, 2004


The tent worked out great!
We had up to 50 audience members in the tent and it did not feel cramped.

Attached are some photos. Unfortunately, for a series of reasons, we did not
get a photo of the show with audience. I'll try, if we remount the show.


Cleveland Public Theater


Observation of the transit of Venus: Tuesday, June 8, 5:35 AM – 7:30 AM

On June 8, 2004, an extremely rare celestial event will unfold before the eyes of geographically and meteorologically fortunate viewers: the passage of Venus between the Sun and the Earth, causing the fiery methane-enveloped planet to appear as an undulating silhouette with an aqua-green halo, floating upon the face of the Sun. The phenomenon is known as the Transit of Venus and occurred last in 1882.

In order to distill all of the subtle nuances of the Transit, artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand are creating a Machina Helioscopica, a telescope with a compound lens attached, allowing the telescopic image to be projected on a screen without the use of any recording media or electronic amplification. A coelostat will follow the Sun’s trajectory and send its reflected image from a rotating mirror to the telescope.


June 7, 2004 Studio Yurts and Domes

The yurts that make up Dawntree Studio are approaching their second summer now.  Still look good. Still dry and tight.  Get a bit warm in the afternoons-   so we make sculpture mornings and evenings and do our gardening and nap afternoons.


The lighting is excellent - better than outdoors. At night I bounce the
floods off the skin. The reflection provides a very even, yet bright light
to work by.


-Henry Mitchell
Greenville SC

Testimonials  2013-Now  2012  2010-2011  2009-2010  2006-2008  2004-2006  Before 2004

1 1/2-YEAR GUARANTEE. If for any reason you're not completely pleased with your purchase, return it in original, dry and clean condition within 30 days of receipt for a full refund or exchange as you wish. All items in this catalog have a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship for 1 1/2 years. Should any product prove defective we will repair or replace it at no cost to you. Special Orders are not returnable. Read Snow and Wind Warnings.

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