Originally Posted by schrochem
I was intrigued by this and so I pulled the spreader off the foot end. It isn't that bad but I think it would be better to have some spread. So I took one 18" of the .625 pole and put it in there. I think that's a nice compromise and should be fine. I'll sleep in it tonight and see if it's any less comfortable. this will be nice keep that width down to prevent tarp issues and you can save a little weight.
I was intrigued by the phenomena of radical width reduction at the foot end also, and my current prototype under testing is cut to support this. I imagine the transformation of a parabola section at height 17" and 36" wide at that height, narrowing over the space of 7' to a height of 17" and 18" wide. The arc lengths of the parabolas along this transformation gave me a shape to cut, approximated by a trapezoid, and I added material for a suspension curve on the long edges. I also cut the suspension at 7' long rather than my more typical 6.5' to give a little more room down in the foot area, and I have more material past the head spreader bar that lets me scoot so that the spreader bar is above my neck, or even shoulders, if I like.
So I've hung without a foot spreader at all, and with one with 18". The latter case is just fine, I'll have to try sleeping without a spreader bar at all to see how that goes. It's trivial to use a trail stick to serve as the spreader at the foot, so there is definitely a weight advantage from no pole there, as well as less material.