When it comes to tent camping, there’s a fine line between what can be a memorable weekend away or what can quickly turn into a disastrous nightmare that exposes you to the elements.

Of course, ease of setup, resistance to the elements, and portability are the prime factors when it comes to tents, so it’s no surprise that one designer recently looked towards nature for inspiration: a mollusk shell.

Designed in much the same fashion as a pram hood with one side that can fold back and forth, designer Ru Hartwell’s Mollusc can fold open in either direction using the ingenious side hubs.

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The Mollusc is manufactured in two different sizes; the Standard features a 19-foot diameter and a weight of 496lbs, while the Nano, which measures in at a 10-foot diameter and weighs a more manageable 50lbs. Needless to say, the Mollusc isn’t a minimalist ‘backpacking’ tent by any means, but it’s hard to argue that it’s one of the coolest tents we’ve seen in awhile regardless.

Designed much like a clamshell with a pair of side hinges connected together using a curved-pole PVC exoskeleton – which can open and retract into three positions – the tents polyester fabric is connected to the poles using snap-on clamps and has a PVC floor that’s attached using a zipper.

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With a starting price of $2,673 for the smaller Nano size, the Mollusc certainly isn’t in the camping budget for everybody, but for a mere pledge of just $100, Ru will send you plans to make your own from scratch.

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Those looking to mortgage one of their own Molluscs can do so here.

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