Vintage 1975 JanSport Mountain Dome Tent.

Vintage 1975 JanSport Mountain Dome Tent

This is a Jansport Mountain Dome Tent. As I’ver read it’s the model used by the American assent on K2 in 1975. This early Geodesic tent has features making it befitting of an ascent on the second highest mountain in the world. Those features include an additional tunnel style door and vents. A full covering fly with cut outs for additional guy lines from the tent poles. Snow piled on the flaps around the bottom helped keep the tent anchored in extreme conditions. The poles are original and fit together in individual sections,there’s no shock cord connecting the segments of each of the three poles. The sections are made of a dense plastic or possibly fiber and resin material. I can imagine trying to fit them together, fumbling with them in a K2 basecamp, but they work.

The tent is of course made from nylon. A fine ripstop version up top and a heavy coated nylon on the bottom. The thickness of the bottom would keep out melting snow and reduce the need for a ground cloth. The full fly is made of a tightly woven nylon to be water and wind resistant. The color block pattern is wild and right in line with early JanSport design and marketing.

Tent measures approximately 69″ inches across at its widest and 52″ tall at it’s tallest. I would classify it as a three-man, four-season tent. In total it weighs approximately 10lbs.


15 thoughts on “Vintage 1975 JanSport Mountain Dome Tent.

    1. I have this same tent but I don’t really trust it in the rain anymore. It is a big heavy for normal backpacking. I got it in 1977 at A16 in San Diego along with a Kelty D4 backpack and North Face Celanese filled sleeping bag. Still have those too. Good quality equipment lasts a long time!

  1. I used to own one of those tents and really liked it. I remember a picture of it being on the front of National Geographic Magazine. I used to store it, unfolded, in a garbage bag in the attic. My parents cleaned out their attic and thought the bag contained garbage, rather than a tent, and accidently through it out.

    1. Thanks for the comment. That piece of knowledge will give me something to look for when I come across old National Geographic mags! That’s a bummer about your tent. Though I’m sure I’ve probably been on the receiving end of some accidental thrift store donations in my time. I often wonder how and why some of this stuff gets let go of.

  2. I bought this same tent at REI in Seattle in 1980. It looks like the only difference may be the color and the segmented poles that I have, do have shock cord in them. I still have this tent and still use it. the snow tunnel is somewhat of a novelty when people see it.

  3. If I remember correctly, mine were shock-corded together. Perhaps the shock cords rotted on the one you have and someone just removed them

      1. I still own one of these, however mine is white, orange and gray. I’ve used it for years, and still use it for more extreme conditions. I replaced the poles a couple years ago with aluminum shock-corded poles, and they work great. Although it’s old, it’s still one of my favorite tents and I just can’t bring myself to discard it, despite its aging and frayed condition. I really wish JanSport would reproduce this as a retro piece, with the same design but more modern materials.

    1. There’s a few outlets to get replacement polls online that a google search will turn up. Hardest part with these old tents is finding the correct size. I’d suggest next time you see one of these listed for sale reach out to the owner and ask to measure pole length. That should make shopping around easier. Likewise, I guess I should start recording this for future reference. These guys may have some additional info for you as well.

      1. You could probably by a longer section of poles and simply cut them down on one end. A Dremel tool with a cutoff disk would make it really easy to cut off either fiberglass or aluminum poles. Just get the tent as tight as possible with the longer poles and mark the end where it needs to get cut.

  4. I have a very similar one, an RE I purchase. I just set it up, and I was thinking about letting it go. It survived ( as did I) BMT snow camp, including a snow storm tent set up after dark, in the Sierra Mountains, with the Sierra Club.

    Mine is green and brown….great memories.

    1. They are like a tank – strong but heavy. Back when it was a young tent I used it in some really harsh conditions in Utah’s Uinta mountains. Crazy windy snowstorms, sleet and freezing conditions. It never failed me until it got older and then started leaking. I recently seam sealed and re-coatted the fly and floor so I should give it a wet weather test. I miss taking it backpacking but it’s just too heavy. I mainly use a Marmot EOS 1P these days. I’ve never had it in the snow but it’s kept me dry in some strong rain despite only weighing about 2.5 lbs.

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