Setting Up A Dome

Greetings from New Mexico. We are the folks that bought two of your 18′ domes. We took them on the road – traveling 2,000 miles with 16 kids – exploring Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, The Grand Canyon, and Hopi. Our experience with the domes on the road was quite marvelous. Kids (ages 11-14) learned how to put them up (often with impending storms) and we loved the cooperative effort that took over our shelter lives. They also faired very well with the rains. We have used lots of different shelters over our nine years of camping with groups and were very impressed. We came back after two weeks traveling feeling quite endeared of our two domes. Thanks.

I tried my new 20 foot dome this weekend. It can be backpacked in 3 loads. I simply duct tape the dome package to an old backpack frame. The instructions were a little hard to follow, but I can excuse that since the dome was totally leakproof in 8 hours of rain. The way the floor is oversized keeps it bone dry even with water running under it! I also like the way the shape of the dome tends to hold it down in the wind. Those windows are really really neat too. It is ingenious how the panels all overlap and seal tightly when stressed by the PVC. I know it sounds crazy to use a 20 foot dome for backpacking by myself but I love it. It is like being inside a house. Congratulations on a great product and thanks!

Happy Customers

We are a group of environmental scientists who purchased your White Solar Dome 20 for use as a portable field laboratory for water quality investigations in southeastern Massachusetts. Our project ran for two years, and we used the Dome throughout the four seasons, in ALL kinds of weather. It kept us dry and warm, and hey, our electrical equipment liked it, too. The ‘pipe forest’ you can see in the foreground is our 3-D well sampling network that we use for our research. Inside each pipe are 15 thin plastic tubes that go into the ground water and sample water from a particular depth. Sometimes we sat for weeks at a single location, and other times we moved the Dome from one site to another several times a day. One day after moving the dome quite a few times, we left it for the night, forgetting to stake it down, as your instructions say. Well, in the night a big storm blew in. We’re talking a 20 Foot East Coast Tumbleweed! However, despite being blown 300 ft. and smashed into a pine forest, the Dome could be set back up in twenty minutes with no damage done. The Dome was the best product on the market for meeting our needs for a dry, cozy portable field site.


Thought you might enjoy seeing how well your dome works for a wheelchair. I love it and had tomatoes for 8 weeks after the first frost. It has stood up to our often high winds of 30 – 40 mph.

I live near Arcata on the coast of California. We get lots of rain here, yet I’ve lived comfortably in my 18′ Dome Tent for the 2 years and have not had a single problem. My tent was warmer than a lot of my friends’ houses because I had a little wood stove and the tent was cozily small. Yet it was bigger than a rental room. I would not have had the comfort or privacy that this tent has allowed me. It also allowed me to get through without paying a lot of rent. I’ve had to take it down, not because of any problem with the tent, but because moths and gophers ate holes in it when I left it for 4 months unattended. I had electricity via solar power.

Happy Customers

“I purchased the Lighthouse 18 last November. It has withstood all weather for the past year including being crushed flat by an all-night wet snow last January. I shoveled hundreds of pounds of snow off of it, crawled inside and popped it right back like new. The only damage was a pinhole in the roof.”

(Note: Shelter Systems does not recommend that you allow snow to build up on your dome; best is to take it down for the winter or at least to knock the snow off with a broom or melt it off with heat inside.)

Dome By The Water

We own a sea kayaking and whale watching expedition business in Mexico and have found your domes to be a great asset when the Baja weather goes bad. Your domes have held up against strong winds and rain and provided a sanctuary for cooking, sleeping, socializing and even dancing to the cumbia music of our ‘Pirates of the Gulf’ Baja beach band. Thanks!

Last year, I purchased the Geo-Dome 18. It’s been great having it because I use it as a greenhouse environment. My neighbor purchased one three weeks later, because he was so enthused by it. They definitely sell themselves. Some other friends are interested in having one too. I am trying to sell them on the 18′, because of how much more versatile this size can be for a garden environment. I call mine ‘a tropical greenhouse’ due to the fact that I have fruiting papaya and banana and pineapple, plus regular vegetables!


Here is a photograph of our Crystal Cave being used in the excavation of the Dowell Site in January 1989. This structure made doing Archeology in the winter not only feasible but even pleasant. It is easy to assemble and easy to move. The only problem we had was in high winds when it blew away. This was solved by using Tee fence posts and ropes to hold it down. It has since held up and stayed in place in sustained winds of 30-40 mph.

Our dome has been very useful. For eight years it has been doctor’s office, guest house, and teenage crash pad.