Dura-Tent is a unique type of outdoor camping equipment meant to protect picnic tables from rough weather or pests. It combines the design of tent with mesh food cover tops. It’s made of the same material as tents and can easily fold which means it’s portable like a tent too. However, the difference between Dura-Tent and conventional mesh food covers is that it has a nylon bottom too.
Dan Rothwell invented the full enclosure tent when he noticed flies gathering on a picnic table at a family outing. He disliked that there were so many flies and pests flying over the food at family picnics and wanted a way of keeping the food safe without having to cover it again and again.
Are They Still an Active Company?
The company is active and business is thriving.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Don Rothweil came to Shark Tank with an initial ask of $50,000 for a 30% stake in the company. He intended to use the Shark Tank investment to expand production and retail. He gave an excellent pitch accompanied with an educational video on the dangers of flies on your food.
The Sharks were initially impressed by Rothweil’s sales, which were at 50,000 units over the four years that it had been in business. Rothweil added that most of the sales had taken place at county fairs.
He added that each tent sold for $19.95 up to $34.95, and the prices varied according to the size of the tent. He then shared the production cost, which was $4.65 and $7.27 respectively. However, Lori noticed that the calculations seemed off.
Once the sales were recalculated, it was revealed that Rothweil’s sales were at $35,000, which wasn’t as good as what he’d claimed initially but the Sharks still weren’t disappointed.
Robert responded first by claiming that he wasn’t really thrilled about the concept and exited, followed by Mark who left for the same reason. Kevin was the first to make an offer of $50,000 without equity, and instead asked for a royalty on the sale of each small and big tent. He asked if Lori wanted to join as well but Greiner was uninterested in the food tent business.
Lori also felt that she’d already seen similar products on the market and couldn’t particularly see anything different about Dura-Tent as compared to conventional mesh food covers.
Daymond was the last to step out. However, Rothweil didn’t particularly care for Kevin’s offer and turned it down because he was hoping to get a Shark who was better at marketing.
Overall, the Dura-Tent Shark Tank Review was neutral, with Rothweil getting an offer then turning it down because it wasn’t what he was seeking in the first place. Rothweil eventually re-branded his product to Picnic Pal, and continued to make sales even after failing to secure a Shark Tank investment. Currently, his business still manages to make almost $1 million in profits each year.
Our Review of Dura-Tent
We decided to try out Dura-Tent for ourselves to see how it would fare in practice.
The good news is that the picnic-sized tent is spacious enough for almost 8-10 servings and can accommodate a large table, while still leaving enough room for other utensils. It’s made of good quality material, takes very little time to assemble and can easily collapse into a compact portable form.
Plus, it comes with a storage bag, making it easy to carry while going to a distant outdoor camping location by road travel. The tent door flap is different from conventional covers because it comes with a Velcro door flap that prevents any air or pests from getting to the food. The material is also simple to clean.
The bad news is that the tent has no water-proofing system meaning that it wouldn’t be able to withstand rain. Plus the nylon bottom could easily be damaged by hot dishes. It doesn’t perfectly fit every table. It’s also quite expensive as compared to other cheaper options for mesh food covers on the market.
Pros and Cons of Dura-Tent
Pros of Dura-Tent
- Good quality
- Different sizes
Cons of Dura-Tent
- Not waterproof
- Nylon bottom can be damaged by hot dishes
Who is Dura-Tent for?
Dura-Tent is mainly targeted at large groups of people going camping or having a picnic outdoors. It’s the perfect option for people looking to keep their food covered and safe from pests and rough weather conditions.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Mesh food covers are nothing new and there are many cheaper alternatives to Dura-Tent on the market.
Simply Genius Mesh Food Cover is one good alternative to Dura-Tent. It’s a mesh food cover intended for outdoor usage. Just like Dura-Tent, it comes in different sizes depending on the number of people coming to an event. It effectively prevents mosquitos and other insects plus its lace borders are visually appealing.
Just like Dura-Tent, it also comes with seal edges, however, the difference is that it’s made of much lighter material than Dura-Tent, making it more breathable. It comes with a carry bag too and can be collapsed much in the same way. It’s even simpler to use in comparison to Dura-Tent because it has a simple open and close mechanism.
Our Final Thoughts
Dura-Tent is a good option for people who want a portable option for covering their food while still enjoying the family picnic. This removes the added stress of having to shoo away flies from your food. However, the sealed ends don’t fit on most tables and the tent table cover might be chunky to use at family picnics. It’s also not as attractive as conventional mesh food covers.
On top of which, it isn’t waterproof, which doesn’t make it stand out from cheaper alternatives. The material seems more like a camping gimmick than an innovative idea. However, people might still prefer to get it to keep their food sealed and protected from flies and other insects that often wander in the wild.