2 Seconds: the springs of a magic tent

The 2 Seconds tent has revolutionised an entire market and even invented its own category as a desirable and unique tent.

2 Seconds: the springs of a magic tent

Using technology that didn’t even exist yet now seems obvious, the 2 Seconds tent makes adventure accessible, both financially and practically: anyone can travel with it and pitch it with unprecedented ease and speed.
17 years on, an entire generation has grown up with the 2 Seconds tent and its various models.
This product receives particular attention for its innovation and shines in our camping eco-system and beyond.

2 Seconds: the springs of a magic tent

2 Seconds technology: lengthy development for 2 seconds of magic

The idea of an “automatic” tent that you “throw in the air and it pitches on its own” emerged at the beginning of this century. As is often the case at Quechua, it's by getting to know users on the ground, by listening to them talk about their perfect material and their dreams that things click into place. The pioneers of this project who met that day included Jean-François, product manager (whose role was to develop the “product brief”, to write something that didn't exist), and “Abi”, the designer (whose role was to design the product). Abi remembers that it was the act of throwing a tent that drew the attention of Jean-François.

2 Seconds: the springs of a magic tent

Remember that pitching a tent was tricky before the 2 Seconds, there were poles to put up, rip tabs, the whole thing was a daunting puzzle. To invent the perfect tent, our teams got to work on an unprecedented project with no big brother to copy and no product to iterate: it was raw innovation, making magic happen.

The priority that drove all the research and the project group was the ease of pitching/dismantling and finding the technical detail with the “wow” factor that would be a game changer. Weight or bulkiness aren't necessarily crucial points as long as you have an exciting trick.

Part of the tent’s appeal for our teams and our innovative vision is that it’s “multi-process”: it mixes textiles, engineering, composite materials, eco-design... Even though the prototypes weren’t yet produced internally at the time, the designers and engineers used a lot of standard parts and could tinker and experiment.

Of course, the concept that would change everything was the use of this 8 part spring effect pole and especially the various pre-assembled elements (flysheet, design) making the tent much easier to pitch and dismantle. After 3 years of development and prototypes, the first 2 Seconds appeared in stores in 2005 and euphoria soon took over!

In 2006, as well as staggering popular success, the 2 Seconds won two prestigious design awards: the IF German design award and an IDSA gold award (Industrial Designers Society of America). Three patents accompanied this success and protected it while pushing the teams to innovate even further: one covering the design, one for the folding system, and the third for the components (see Fresh&Black in the technologies section).

“We had one requirement and that was to take out the tent, throw it and that's it, it should be ready to sleep in. ” Abderrahmane “Abi”, family tent product engineer and 2 Seconds developer

2 Seconds: the springs of a magic tent

The 2 Seconds series: a camping revolution

Next to lighter tents (trekking section, can be carried on the back for long hikes) or bigger tents (family size, inflatable, etc.), the Quechua 2 Seconds is available in its dedicated tent section to “ make adventure accessible”. Above all, it’s a tent that's extremely easy to pitch and dismantle that can fit in the boot of a small car and is ready to use at any time.

In the 10 years that followed its impressive popular success, the Quechua 2 Seconds tent became a series. We worked on technologies for the components and materials as the 2 Seconds is a complete dome-shaped tent with a polyester flysheet with taped seams, a real two person tent to pitch anywhere. We added coloured models, committed designs, and even personalised models with the “my 2 Seconds” project launched in 2014.

Our teams worked on developing an entire range by incorporating customer feedback in a process of continuous improvement. By bringing new technologies to a design that works, we developed models for one, two, three people, as well as an extended range with optional extras (the Illumin and its integrated LEDs in 2010), ventilation (firstly with Fresh in 2012 then the patented Fresh&Black technology in 2016).

As usual at Quechua, we benefited greatly from all the 2seconds innovations to enrich the entire range. A good example of this is the Fresh&Black technology which is now available on over 20 Quechua product references. This patented technology solves one of the biggest problems with summer camping, with a series of layers in different materials for the flysheet, the light never gets in the tent and the temperature is regulated with adequate ventilation. The availability of this technology on all tents shows the best way to capitalise on innovation and apply it to all our products.

It’s also an example of development through teamwork. In January, the project group went on a field trip to South Africa to validate the darkness and ventilation of Fresh&Black. The prototypists and their sewing machine could therefore change details directly in use before final validation in June ahead of production the following year.

The challenge of the closing system has been on everyone’s mind since 2005, it's one of those “irritants” that customers bring up and our teams look to resolve at any cost. While we have achieved easy pitching, the developments on dismantling have been more crucial. When you see the first models (the creators made hundreds of them, it was like an exercise drill), folding them away was easy but not very intuitive and the cynics proclaimed “2 seconds to pitch, 2 hours to dismantle”.

Our teams would find solutions by working hard on the way to fold the tent, to improve the simplicity and intuitiveness, with bars, straps, loops, that make this 8 easier in the end. Hundreds perhaps thousands of tests, we even talk internally about “folding exercise drills”. In 2008 the first 2 Seconds Easy tent was rolled out and has now become the standard 2 Seconds.

Since the beginning we dreamed of a tent that would be as quick to store as the 2 Seconds is to open. We had to take up the pilgrim's staff, or rather pole, and find answers. Another story begins with the new 2 Seconds Easy.

2 Seconds: the springs of a magic tent

“It’s a tent that goes from generation to generation, it becomes a family story,” Reka, product manager

“I was part of something that made hiker’s lives easier. People who were afraid to pitch a tent can now sleep outdoors and connect with nature.” Abderrahmane “Abi”, product engineer