The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures

The 2 Seconds Easy is very quick to put up, and folds back away again at the simple touch of a button: technology serving simplicity.

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures

Launched in summer 2020, the new 2 Seconds Easy tent introduces technical innovation that rejuvenates and brings a fresh new look to the incredible story of our iconic 2 Seconds tent. A project in the glowing shadow of its iconic big sister (or big tent?), which always feeds innovation in our project groups. While it was originally intended to replace the original 2 Seconds, this “Easy” version now complements it and follows a parallel path to support your adventures with ease.

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures

From 8 to umbrella, The genesis of the 2 Seconds Easy

The hardest thing with an innovative product is to think about the next.
The Quechua 2 Seconds tent is so exciting, it was only 6 years after its marketing debut that we said to ourselves that it’s time to think about something else.
Between 2017 and 2018, the whole team was renewed.
The former product manager Jean-François had now retired, while Abi the engineer was working on Air Seconds inflatable family tents.
Make way for a new generation, led by Reka, a former Hungarian athletics champion who’s passionate about these complete and complex products.

Here at Quechua, we’re not limited in this kind of project and invest the time and energy necessary to achieve the desired result.
It took nearly 5 years of development and hundreds of prototypes to arrive at a tent that’s still revolutionising the world of camping by making life even easier for all those who like to sleep outdoors.
A 2 Seconds Easy tent that meets all the constraints, makes dismantling easier (with a single touch of the finger), transport (much more compact) while offering a different but no less exciting ease of opening to that of its cousin, the 2 Seconds.

After 4 years of tests with customers, partners and mid-mountain guides, a “double umbrella” system was chosen.
Because while for nearly 15 years we have improved the principle of the "8 arch" of the 2 Seconds tent to make folding it up more intuitive, on the 2 Seconds Easy tent we offer a brand new system which makes closing considerably more simple.

The development time for this new product was long, but not exceptional for Quechua. We’re always innovation-oriented, in particular on the "annoyances" reported by our customers, and we know how to take the time to achieve our goals.
One factor also lengthened the process, namely that we wanted to protect these innovations with new patents, and we had to work a lot internally, behind closed doors, to develop this new technology.

The research and development process first brought out several other solutions and around fifteen prototypes, in particular a tent that folded into an oval, to fit better in a backpack and store away more easily. But the intuitiveness of the folding process wasn’t satisfactory. The most important thing was to immediately identify whether the assembly/disassembly system was ultra-simple or not.

Having our prototyping workshop on hand in the Mountain Store is a great advantage for this type of innovative equipment. The first structures are developed with prototypists and engineers. The first avenues can be explored right away, and the teams can go out into the field. The moulding part on the umbrella system had to be done at our suppliers, but with 3D printing we’d already managed to get close to what we wanted on the functional level. And we could also work on the patterns, to save material from the start of the project.

“In Passy, ​​5 years ago, we had almost nothing. We’ve made a lot of progress on resources, especially on prototyping”, Alexandre, product engineer

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures

The technology of the 2 Seconds EASY tent

For the 2 Seconds Easy tent, the system used is that of an "umbrella bed", which you can open on your own in a few seconds, or with someone else in an even shorter time. To close, it's even easier - just press a button, and the tent folds up extremely quickly, as if by magic. It's so much fun that, at first, you can't help but put it up, take it down, put it up, take it down.
The inspiration comes from the “mastless” beach shelters from Tribord. By manipulating them, the 2 Seconds Easy team wondered “what if we put 2, face to face? » It was one of those rare and precious eureka moments. We then made the system more compact, enlarged it once unfolded, and the adventure was underway. We were making a “monster”, a representation with what we had to hand: straws taped together, lolly ice sticks, to get the proportions and movement. It wasn’t something fully functional, something you could sleep in, but as the step after the sketches, it was something you could handle. This system was convincing compared with its main competitor, an ultra-compact 2 Seconds which was the size of a wheelbarrow when folded.

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures
The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years of being there for your adventures

But we weren’t done: it would take us another three years and 150 prototypes to validate a product that could be sold on our shelves. Each new prototype integrated the functions defined by the product manager as well as users’ ideas, which increased in number as the field tests progressed. The number of prototypes didn’t depend on the person, but rather the project. To add the finishing touches, the product engineer has experience, he knows the market, our users, and in 3 or 4 prototypes, the job was done. But on an innovative project, you start from scratch and have to make up your mind. For each of the 10 functions of the specifications (“compact”, “habitable”, technical constraints, economic, etc.), we produce around ten prototypes.

We’re not just talking about a changed seam, but important features, such as a 5- or 6-piece structure, ventilation, flysheet, etc. For example, we started with really oversized joints. Once the function had been validated, they had to be shrunk down, with numerical calculation, simulations, and the opening of moulds in the Lille workshops. Moulded and 3D-printed materials don’t have the same characteristics: the 3D printer makes it possible to validate the kinematics, but we need injection, which allows us to size it by integrating the constraints, to have “the right processes with the right materials”. And for that, before speaking with the factories, there’s a real skills centre in Lille to inject the most technical parts.

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years of being there for your adventures

"I spent 100 nights in a tent over a year to validate the 2 Seconds Easy tent, which was not necessarily always comfortable... Leaking tents, tents coming down … I've seen it all! " Alexandre, product engineer

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures

The saga of the new generation of 2 Seconds Easy tents

The products behind the saga of Easy tents aren’t just simple variations. The 3-man, for example, required a complete rework of the umbrella system, to make it bigger and more robust. This gives a truly exceptional living room, because the opening system takes up space but allows for more vertical walls, so very little space is lost on the side.

This 3-man project meant reworking the entire structure. But as we already had a system for the 2-man, our teams here adopted a new design method: they placed sensors on the structures and asked users to fold and refold the tent, in what’s called a dynamic ageing test.
By using 10 testers who didn’t know the system to do this operation a hundred times, we could better see the stresses taking place, and where we needed to improve the system.
We then used 3D modelling and digital simulations, with the addition of prototyping, which makes it possible to cut development time by half compared to the 2-man model. Date product east to develop, on a from and on surpassing yourself the breakdown.

We also worked on a 4-man version, and on an adaptable awning that allows for a storage extension, compatible with 2- and 3-man tents, and which is fixed in place with a system of straps.

“At first, I naively thought that the 3-man tent would be a larger copy of the 2-man, but I was totally wrong. " Alexandre, product engineer

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures

From innovation to eco-design

Today, we have guarantees of 2 to 3 years on most tents, and for the Easy, this guarantee extends over 5 years, so you can spend a lot of peaceful nights outdoors. These are tents that must be able to be left erected for several weeks outside in summer, in sun and storms, so their UV-resistance must be better than bivouac tents.

Eco-design is an area we’re already dealing with, with a very long product lifespan, and easy to extend further: all spare parts are readily available. On the 2 Seconds Easy, for example, it’s very easy to replace the poles without tools.
we also did research on the least impacting materials, and today it's polyester, which is easy to recycle and reuse, as well as dye-free materials. Actually, dyes consume a lot of energy and water, and also discharge waste water, so they’re limited as much as possible: that's why all our fresh and black tents are white. Greige, an undyed fabric that remains in its raw colour state, is used on part of the flysheet of these tents. To reduce our impact, we also choose "Dope Dyed", a technique that lets us integrate colour pigments from the manufacture of the yarn, and that we use on part of the fly sheet and bedroom of these tents.

We also explore materials to find the best components: to replace, for example, the fibreglass poles with natural materials such as linen, and we’ve developed a thicker fly sheet over 2 years, for added durability.

Like all Quechua tents (2 Seconds or pole models), the 2 Seconds Easy is tested to the highest standards. First in a special building (in Passy) to withstand tropical rain equivalent to 200l/m2/hr for 3 hours (against 60l for 15 minutes recommended). And then in a wind tunnel on a turntable to expose each side of the tent to the wind, which must remain habitable with a wind speed between 40 and 50 km/h near the ground (Force 5 to 6). The wind tunnel test (to simulate the wind) is done in an external laboratory, at the CSTB in Nantes, in a “climatic vein” (there are 2 in Europe) which can simulate the wind, as well as snowstorms.

We have a high degree of requirements and tests, even on our entry price items. The shower test is the same on all tents, from entry price to the most expensive. And the technologies, often developed for the flagship products that are the 2 Seconds tents, are also found in the rest of the range. As Reka points out, "Some people don't like the 2 Seconds system, but why should we deprive them of advances in technology?"

The 2 Seconds EASY tent: 25 years alongside you on your adventures

"No pun intended, but it's very important that we don't make a throw-up tent only for it to be thrown away" Reka, product manager

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