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PlayaDomes Shelters at Burning Man

Shelter Systems' PlayaDome Shelters are our most popular portable Geotensic shelters. They have been used on the playa at Burning Man for many years. PlayaDomes are truly portable, durable, lightweight, and are strong enough to hold up well in the high wind and dust conditions of the playa. PlayaDomes are made of a strong, tear-resistant fabric and non-puncturing fasteners. With proper care, your PlayaDome will last you many years at Burning Man.

In addition to being used as burning man shelters, PlayaDome shelters have served as family living spaces, camping tents, emergency shelters, art studios, playrooms, retreats, fair pavilions, expedition tents, research tents, and more.

"We have been using two of your PlayaDomes for the past 4 years on the playa and as far as portability and usability they are the best thing going" Matt

Easy Set Up:
14', 18' and 20' PlayaDomes can be set up by most people in 30 minutes without tools. Insert the interchangeable poles into factory-attached connectors spaced evenly over the cover. The poles bend slightly when inserted, tightening the cover into a wind- and waterproof shelter. The cover is freestanding requiring no guy lines and can be moved into the desired position or location without disassembly. The PlayaDome can be taken down in 5 minutes: simply remove the poles and roll up the covering.
(Photo to the right shows 31', two 30', 20')


Here's some photos of the 10' dome being set up. With two people it went up in minutes. Luckily when we arrived to the playa it was a calm day, so set up was easy and we were able to get it up and staked out before any wind picked up. thanks for a great product! We love these domes! See the full testimonial here

10 foot set up burning man dome tent 10 foot set up burning man dome tent 10 foot set up burning man dome tent

Sturdy Design
PlayaDomes are stronger than any other structure made of the same materials. Because of its curved shape with no corners, there are no weak points. Our patented structure is drum tight, waterproof and wind-resistant.

"We are very pleased to say our 18 foot dome survived the dust storms of Burning Man 2007. Ours wobbled and shook, but never failed. I did reinforce with guy lines, and will be adding more lines next year just in case. We stayed relatively cool with the black shade cloth, but can’t help but wonder if the silver reflective would be better next year. We also experimented with space blankets to reflect the desert sun beams, with mild success. I would recommend your domes to anyone in need of shelter. They are fairly easy/fast to assemble and super easy to disassemble, leaving more time for playa hijinks. Thanks so much! Keep it up. Cheers! Todd"

Shelter Systems' PlayaDomes have the poles on the outside with the covering suspended under the frame via Shelter Systems' own Grip Clip tarp fasteners, such that the frame and the covering are not in direct contact. Because the covering is under constant and even, tension, the tent will not flap or shred in high wind, the poles cannot rub against the covering, which would eventually wear holes in it, and water and leaf debris can't get caught in dips between the poles.

The shingled panels of our PlayaDomes overlap each other by 6", making the structure very strong and completely leak proof (we have a leak-proof guarantee for all of our domes). The shingling design allows the structure to breathe for air circulation and so moisture is driven out by vapor pressure, preventing condensation.

playadome burning man shelter

Shelter Systems' patented Grip Clips™ tarp fasteners are used to join the dome's cover to the pole frame and to fasten the shingled panels together. Grip Clips remove the need for sewn seams or other types of grommet that puncture the cover, which would allow rain to enter. The Grip Clip grips a large surface area of the material, adding to the dome's strength in high wind conditions.

Durable Materials
The cover of Shelter Systems' PlayaDomes is made out of Shelter Systems' super strong, waterproof, tear proof, woven rip stop film . The material is manufactured in three layers that are heat bonded together, adding even more strength. It is UV-stabilized to withstand up to 3 years of full sun exposure. This material will not rot or mildew, and effectively excludes rain, dampness, wind, cold, leaves and other debris. The white color of the covering diffuses sunlight and provides 40% shade.

The cover is totally waterproof and shingled design is breathable, making a rain fly unnecessary. The frame of the PlayaDome is constructed of strong, long lasting, resilient, UV-stabilized, Class 200, 1 1/4"-diameter (3.5 cm.) PVC tubing.

More Photos at Tent Testimonials

Light and Fresh Air
Shelter Systems' PlayaDome shelters are light filled and well ventilated. The translucent covering creates a bright interior, transmitting 60% of the light. Our PlayaDomes come standard with four translucent windows above the doors, which allow more light through than glass, but create privacy as you cannot see clearly through them.

PlayaDomes have several features that contribute to comfort on the playa. These domes have four evenly- spaced flap doors for good cross-ventilation and light. The door coverings close automatically so you can enter and exit quickly and don't have to fumble with zippers. Because the panels of our domes are shingled, overhead ventilation is can easily be attained by inserting "ventilation tubes" between several panels (two vent tubes are included with each dome). When the vent tube is removed, the panels snap shut and are watertight. For maximum ventilation, the walls themselves can be rolled up, transforming the domes into an opened-arch form (see 30 PlayaDome at right in its open-arch form).

playa dome burning man shelterShelter Systems' PlayaDomes are winter ready, in case you get cold or wet weather on the playa. They do not require a fly or liner and are completely watertight and will not leak. They resist condensation build up because the shingled construction drives out moist air by vapor pressure. The dome shape has minimal surface area for its volume, so it is easy to keep warm with a wood stove (installation instructions are included with each dome). The The PlayaDome shape has other comfort features. The interior can be divided into "rooms". The dome has more volume than a flat-sided tent meaning it feels, and is, more spacious. The shape is more heat efficient, using less fuel to heat it, and the heat circulates more easily, increasing comfort in cold weather. The cover of the dome is easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

"I plan on using my dome on the playa at burning man! i've heard great reviews of your product(s), and have been very pleased with the friendly, helpful staff when i've had questions. keep up the good work!"

A Shelter System
Shelter Systems' Geodesic PlayaDomes come complete with poles, 12" long high-quality Durapeg stakes, guy lines for strong wind settings, ventilation tubes, spare parts (extra Grips Clips and pole connectors) and a complete Shelter Systems' Instruction Manual. Our manual gives details on sunshades, floors, site selection, anchoring, cooling, winterizing, stove installation, and how to best adapt your dome for extreme climates. Shelter Systems offers Accessories for your PlayaDome including sunshades to keep cool, sticky back Velcro to help seal out dust, extra strong stakes, and more (see PlayaDome Kits).

Shipping and Storage
All Shelter Systems' Geodesic Yurt Dome Shelters are shipped by DHL and pack up into compact packages that one person can handle take as baggage on a plane, transport in a car or store in a small space.


PlayaDome 11     

PlayaDome 10' shown here at a practice set up and the 14' and 10' playadomes next to eachother at Burning Man Here's the photos of the 14 foot and 10 foot domes in action out on the playa. My mom and her husband stayed in the larger 14' dome, and I was in the 10'. We got a lot of compliments on how they looked and how spacious they are. See the full testimonial here


Attached are some pics of our beautiful dome over the years at BM. It's been out there 4 times so far, and has made a beautiful cosy addition to our camp.
/ michael

(this is a 14 foot dome)

Due to different length and diameter of poles used for each size dome, some of our domes are stronger than others against high wind. 18' and 20' PlayaDomes use the same diameter poles, but the 20' poles are longer. The result is that longer poles are less stiff, making the 20' dome less strong against high wind. The 30' dome uses a larger (stiffer) pole than 18' and 20', but are shorter than 20' dome poles, making the 30' very strong. Also, the 30' dome is only 1' taller than the 20' dome, giving you much more space for only minimal height for the wind.

For maximum strength against wind, 10', 18', and 30' domes are the strongest. But, our 14' and 20' have been used by many at Burning Man without problems.

Note that you get a lot more volume for your money as you go up in diameter. When you step inside the 18' Playa Dome after being in the 14' PlayaDome, the 18 ' dome feels twice as big. This is because the extra feet in diameter extends out in all directions (including up) creating a large increase in volume. Since the surface area of the covering does not increase as rapidly as the volume, the larger domes are less expensive for the volume you get. Our drawings effectively illustrate the different sizes we offer.

height at max.
floor size
10' PlayaDome
10 ft.
5 ft.
75 sq. ft.
21 lb.
14' PlayaDome
14 ft.
7 ft.
154 sq. ft.
40 lb.
18' PlayaDome
18 ft
9 ft.
254 sq. ft.
60 lb.
20' PlayaDome
20 ft.
10 ft.
314 sq. ft.
70 lb.
30' PlayaDome
30 ft.
11 ft.
706 sq. ft.
190 lb.
31' PlayaDome
31 ft.
16 ft.
754 sq. ft.
270 lb.

We also offer PlayaDome Kits that include the dome, sticky-back Velcro, extra poles, extra Grip Clips, and a Sunshade
See our Accessories page for DustBuster 2"binder clips and more

Order with our secure online order form

Happy Customers: Tell about their experiences with Shelter Systems' domes

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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Questions?   Orders & Customer Service: Toll Free 866-777-1066 or 831- 464-2002 or Moble 831-588-8794 Technical: 650-323-6202 Copyright © Shelter Systems 1976 - 2015 All Rights Reserved